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Sean Payton on Saints owner Tom Benson: 'He's been awesome'

Payton: 'His leadership starts with his on-hands approach'

Phoenix – New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton said he speaks to team owner Tom Benson regularly, and that Benson remains as involved as ever in the running of the franchise.

"He's been awesome," Payton said Wednesday from the NFL Meetings at the Arizona Biltmore. "He loves these meetings. We had dinner (Monday) night and kind of discussed the rule changes. I asked him at dinner, 'How many owners meetings is this for you?' Obviously, there've been quite a few. I would say that daily, we talk.

"Here's the one thing I know: His leadership starts with his on-hands approach. I think it's hard to be an owner and lead an organization if you're not in the building. He's there daily. Daily.

"I would speak to him at least daily, or every other day, walk down and just visit with him. It might be about the mail room, or it might be about the team, or it might be about something like these meetings. He's been outstanding, and that's been from nine years ago till now, for me. I've been fortunate to have that consistency and someone who's real good at it. He loves being at work."

Payton said Benson's meticulousness hasn't wavered, and joked that the owner doesn't overlook many details.

"His mind is as sharp as ever, so when he's asking me why haven't we cleaned the mail room, and the coffee cups don't have lids on them, you're afraid," Payton said, smiling. "You go to your assistant coaches and say, 'Let's get this thing squared away.' The worst thing you can do is park in the wrong spot and not have a lid on your coffee."

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