DALLAS — Suspended New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton talked extensively about not being part of the NFL this season. Payton was a guest of the SMU Forum, where he recalled the days when he was forced to leave New Orleans.
“The first three or four days, I found myself bitter, angry and at some point, it was clear that I didn’t want to spend six months feeling this way,” Payton said.
Payton has been using his free time to be an assistant coach for his son's sixth grade football team at Liberty Christian Academy in Argyle.
He says it’s one of the few positives that have come out of his suspension.
“This negative initially turned out to be a blessing and a positive in regard to my family and the time that I'm able to spend with both my son and daughter has been invaluable,” Payton said.
Payton said today’s interview was the first time that he's sat down for an interview since he was suspended by the National Football League. The requests have been endless and he says he misses the day to day contact with his friends in New Orleans.
“The harder part of this suspension is the inability of have contact with those people that were closest to me,” Payton said. “More than game day, more than practice, more than the locker room, I miss the friendships. It’s really unprecedented or rare that all of a sudden the better part of six or seven months, you can't have any contact with those people who you would say are your closest friends and guys that you love and care about.”
Without Payton's leadership, the Saints are off to a terrible 0-and-4 start.
He was an assistant in Dallas under Bill Parcells from 2003 to 2005 and was asked if he would ever consider coming back to Dallas.
“I'd rather answer a bounty question,” Payton said.
Payton also said coaching under Parcells was a lot like going to Law School because he felt like he was preparing himself to eventually become a head coach.