Saints head coach Sean Payton is the Saints' head coach again, and it happened about two weeks ahead of schedule. Payton was suspended back in March for the entire season for his role in the team's bounty program and was expected to be reinstated by Commissioner Roger Goodell after the Super Bowl. Instead, it happened Tuesday.
"I am thankful today Commissioner Goodell has granted me reinstatement," Payton said in a statement. "As I stated back in March, I, along with Mickey Loomis, take full responsibility for all aspects of our football program. I clearly recognize that mistakes were made, which led to league violations. Furthermore, I have assured the Commissioner a more diligent protocol will be followed. Lastly, I feel we have learned from our mistakes and are ready to move forward."
Goodell said in his own statement, "Sean fully complied with all requirements imposed on him during his suspension. More important, it is clear that Sean understands and accepts his responsibilities as a head coach and the vital role that coaches play in promoting player safety and setting an example for how the game should be played at all levels."
The Saints still finished the season without Payton ranked second in total yards and third in points per game. But having perhaps the game's best offensive coach right now back in the fold is a good thing.