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January 26, 2022By Origin Ten LTD36 Minutes

Sean Payton Opening Remarks from Retirement Press Conference | New Orleans Saints By New Orleans Saints

let me see if I can get situated here a little bit

I’m going to cover a few things here but I’m making notes last night thinking

like how do you do this

with covid in

how do you

how do you leave how do you step aside

and I’m not a good writer

and I’m thinking you know what and Doug no offense but man the zoom angle on my face for the last two years has driven me crazy so I don’t want that to be like a lasting indelible impression on anyone and fortunately I think we managed to come up with a good setup here just with the

with the space and everything that we’ve been through we collectively all of us with with covid and in managing to go about our business

last week I had a great visit a tough visit with Mickey Loomis and mrs. Benson and Dennis Lasher relative to

just looking ahead

with with what I want to do and

Mickey and I are now 16 years and so I think that was challenging just because of our friendship more than our professional relationship and then mrs. B was awesome you know

I love this about her she said we’ll go away for two or three months and come back in training camp and will be ready to go and I thought that sounded pretty good actually

but I’m glad that

she she told me to spend some time away and give this some thought

because it is

a big decision and it and it certainly affects a lot of people

it’s not often

you as a coach

had that opportunity to possibly leave and it was something that certainly I hadn’t really thought about over the years you know we coach we coach we coach and at some point they tell you to leave in as difficult as being fired is it sure seems easier

to thank everyone and move on your Merry way but this

I’ll try to it

I’ll try to hit everything and I’m going to ask or answer every question until you guys are done answering so I’m sorry if this takes a while but we’re not in any hurry

I like watching Netflix I like watching TV shows I think you guys do as well and it’s Mardi Gras season and I’m a kind of Ted lasso fan and I do have a regret 15 season 16 years here and I’ve got like the best female owner in the World of Sports in

if we don’t do biscuits here in New Orleans but we do king cake so where’s Mississippi

I also have like a hundred of them for the media and everyone else that’s here to kind of celebrate the Mardi Gras season I want to start

and bounce around here but I want to start with a a series of thank yous it’s important and so thank you mrs. Benson for man for being

no better there could be no better owner for me to have work for starting with your late husband mr. B Tom Benson

when I was sitting around last night thinking about how I wanted this to unfold you know I Google search Breeze and it’s like I had found Breeze and he brought up some of the same stories mr. B was was always one of those guys that

for every every meeting I had with him it was never football-related it was always about something other than football and

he get a disability rolls and Hershey Kisses I go in there we talk about family we talk about

anyting other than the Saints and I miss him and I N in realize

the time in the time meaning of me coming here back in 2006 was perfect and obviously us having some early success worked out

but I wish you was here and mrs. Buu been fantastic carrying on

everything about his legacy in in I know he would be extremely proud and is extremely proud so he’s not here right now but he is and in so I think that the two of you for being for being great owners and I mean that bit beyond just being owners I thought about this I can’t think of one time

the answer was no

now it might be like oh we’re trying to do something and we don’t have enough time to

remodel and so it might have been time driven but the answer was never know and

look that’s easy when Mickey has the credit card and I’m buying and I’ve got the wish list

I’d like to thank Dennis Lau should our president in a good friend for 4

people talk about culture and like what’s the secret teams right now 1819 are all searching for the right culture that everyone wants to know how

and it’s very difficult in yet

if I was writing a book I’d say it’s also very simple the alignment of ownership your Club president your general manager your head coach right through your roster

that sounds easy

but like any relationship they require work right I mean it requires time and energy it requires a similar similar goal it requires us all to kind of like lay down our arms in our egos for the for the best of the team and if we ask that of our players then certainly we have to ask that of our organization so it’s sometimes I was fortunate at a young age to really

be around some special coaches my high school coach and my college coach and then in this league

you know how you sometimes get jobs in your you’re

it’s it’s coincidence sometimes it’s good fortune sometimes it’s not good fortune but those those routes for me or those Bloodlines for me as I look back on it we’re extremely extremely important and and I just met with our staff and I told our young coaches man you have your feet grounded and you know what the job you have in these things these get these things that you want

very fast will happen but they may not happen in the timing that you want them but the point I’m making about Dennis is

it’s like that it’s like a good baseball team right up the middle from the captured the picture to the infield The Outfield

we were always in concert

I didn’t mean we always agreed but we were always in concert in in for a first-time head coach 16 years ago

that was

that was important in more important now that I look back on it then then I have realized in so I thank you and appreciate you we had man we had a lot of trips we had fun trips crazy trips were the very first year before we drafted Reggie Bush we were out selling tickets and listening to 80s music and trying to figure out who do the words and and then we drafted Reggie Bush we sold out and I’m like thank God we don’t have to go on those like those freaking ticket ticket bandwagon Drive we’ve been sold out ever since Mickey Loomis

a dear friend I would say more importantly a friend just as importantly my general manager and just as importantly the person that gave me this opportunity

you took a chance on a first-time head coach and you guys know kind of the batting average in the challenges for for these positions they’re hard every year were reminded of that and

and I’ve written about this I’ve spoken about it and looked I had just interviewed in Green Bay with the late Ted Thompson man I thought I had a great interview and when I landed here it was right after Katrina in January and many of you remember that and I just thought when I met Mickey I thought man I like this guy he’s like he’s got a heck of a task ahead of them and I kept looking at my flip phone at the time waiting for that Green Bay area code to come in and I got the message that evening

that they had gone in a different direction and I remember just thrown the phone into the pillow and thinking holy cow and it was the best thing that happened in sometimes again you don’t have any control over that and so he

he trusted his gut and Beyond just tiring me

I can’t think it will we’ve had disagreements multiple times and yet we’ve always been in concert

and so like one of my biggest

not concerns but one of my biggest second thoughts was man I don’t I don’t want to not be around this really really good friend of mine and so and so that’s that’s not going to happen I mean I’m actually moving into another property here locally and in but but more than my general manager more than the person that hired me more than all of those things is I would say you know one of my best friends and

can I appreciate that

I appreciate that

I mean I can give you a thousand stories that would be interesting because our personalities are so different like he walks slow at bothers me I want him to pick it up

when you make a decision like this you spend time with your loved ones you spend time with your family I’ve got you know daughter who’s out west in in media trying to become with many of you are in a son is in college a white Scotland who we’ve been together for many years ten years and got married last June and I’ve confided in those guys quite a bit and in talked about these decisions quite a bit and and I appreciate them and they’ve been extremely good listeners because ultimately like we all we all want happiness for our friends we want happiness and health for our friends and family those are the two things I think about maybe is a grown older if if if your children are happy and healthy than your blessed I think and so I feel like there’s been a very steady

listening group here in without any

without any angle relative to

hey what is it that you’re looking for because honestly as I sit here today and in this is okay

I don’t know what’s next

and look I read the reports and I understand I’ve not spoken to anyone from a media Outlet relative to

doing television or radio maybe maybe that opportunity arises but every time I read something that says he’s in line for this job I I’ll call my agent Don and I’ll say Don did you hear some cuz I had not heard anything and that’s okay

I think I’d like to do that I think it’d be pretty good at it but

Soul Steppin Steppin outside like in the cold weather today in being a little uncomfortable professionally or from a career standpoint is okay

I don’t like the word retirement Mister be didn’t like it either he always said you know retirement overrated we get sold this whole

image of retirement by these investment groups on TV and golf courses in retirement Inn in so I still have a vision for for doing things in football and end in I’ll be honest with you that might be coaching again it’s some point I don’t think it’s this year I think maybe in the future but that’s not where my heart is right now

it’s not at all

I want to thank the media and I feel this way and I don’t want you to nod your heads in agreement you can tell me later but when you come in as a young coach

you make a lot of mistakes like because you’re trying to do everything you think you need to do and it’s not until you get older and more experienced that you you realize the more important things are this and not that and hopefully in my latter years you you guys have found me very accessible very friendly

are you open in in


may be eager to please or at least accessible and that’s what the Jeni’s Ice Cream for is for every offseason in Christmas time so but I do appreciate your jobs and I recognized especially in the last 2 years how difficult those have been you know people don’t understand when all of a sudden you practice inside and with the the covid restrictions the relationships that many of you have with our players with dark it’s hard to do those jobs effectively as you might like

I mean when’s the last time you’ve been able to go into a locker room after game and we kind of missed that really I do honestly and in going into the presser after game and looking at a laptop in so I appreciate everyone of you I think and I’ve worked in a lot of places I’ve been in New York I’ve been in Philadelphia have been in Dallas those those are big media markets but I appreciate the relationships and the manner in which you guys

have done your jobs and

and I mean that in in probably knowing what I knew now I probably handle my first five six seven years differently relative to the media where you know wait where you come in and you just don’t know enough yet but but thank you and then again I’m going to see many of you for 4 years to come I want to thank the city

and in the fan base

I’m going to get into a little bit of 2006 and in may be the early Journey but I don’t think any of us when we started certainly I didn’t when I start

understood the Dynamics and what took place post-katrina with that 06 season that I thought and I would argue is every bit as important as any other season that we’ve had here relative to where the city was in a became Much More Much much bigger than than football

and I’ll talk about that in a little bit but this fan base

is has been amazing and

you do this and you travel to cities and you see other venues this is by far one of the one of the most difficult places to play in in unfortunately we didn’t win enough home games this year but man you think the fans are something else it’s not a wine-and-cheese crowd you know people make decisions to buy season tickets here that that that goes into you know their budget relative to what what other things they’re choosing to do we appreciate all of that

I can I can I have a really good memory and can and can remember back in 06 when when we drafted Reggie Bush and we drafted the rest of that class and the excitement level I don’t have a history I’ve met Tulane Stadium Jeff I’m guessing hold 70 some thousand people I don’t know alright but I bet 110,000 people they told me that they were there for that game in the kick return over the years and the passion

that has been handed down

generationally is unbelievable because when you’re a young kid you root for who your Dad or Mom rude for you don’t know and so the amount of stories post o nine season you know where grandparent wasn’t alive to to see a Superbowl but but they were

all of that just makes what we do like man fulfilling is pretty special or teachers but that’s unique and I don’t know that any player back then when we signed on or any coach myself included new quite actually what we were getting into and that’s the truth

so thank you City of New Orleans our fans

I’ll be honest when I hear the Bengals and I’m rooting kind of for Cincinnati a little bit in the postseason but the who day thing that came after

I don’t know if any of you remember the movie Jerry Maguire there’s a scene in that movie where Tom Cruise is in an office building

he shouts out who’s coming with me to grab the Goldfish and Renee Zellweger says I’ll come and they began a journey and in in 2016 years ago

it kind of felt that way at that time

there’s a special spot in my heart for

the coaches the staff players everyone who came

when 90% of the cars were leaving I can remember the trip in on I-10 and there was no traffic heading south but all of it was going north coaches like Pete Carmichael jovit jovit had he was the only coach that I hired that year that had a number of other options and he chose to come everyone else everyone of us the king were all promoted and just paid better

Curtis Johnson Greg McMahon Gary Gibbs and I can’t I’m not going to be able to hit on every one of them but those of you that that coached in 06 I can’t tell you how thankful I am because

like we at we actually had a rule we we came up with the rule after our first month that no one could say the cave where no one could say Katrina because there were a lot of reasons for why we weren’t going to be successful in when we tried to look past those so do those coaches I appreciate it here’s what will help you be successful Deuce you draft Reggie Bush in the first round he plays 10 years you draft Roman Harper in the second round you acquired Jeff faine he starts at Center Roman Place 12 or 14 years you draft jahri Evans

in the fourth round he’s going to end up in the Hall of Fame someday and you also acquire Hollis Thomas a nose tackle who I was with in Philadelphia you draft Rob Ninkovich I’m back to young and dumb here

I’m back to young and dumb and and I don’t have a vision and so we let him out of the building he comes back in the building and I tell him he’s going to be a Long Snapper and then he goes and wins two Super Bowls for New England we make mistakes in but he ended up being a fantastic player in the seventh round you draft a lineman out of Northwestern by the name is Zach strief he plays 12 14 years he does play-by-play just cuz he wants to and then it becomes an assistant coach here and you draft Marques Colston with a compensatory 7

so when we talk about

quick window we all have to get started on credibility get your program off the ground it has to include the procurement of good players it has to and we didn’t know what then but those were the pillars along with any free agent that came here Thomas is going to come A year later but those were the pillars

of young players

that we built on now mind you we also signed in free agency Scott Vegeta

he came with we knew each other Mark Seminole we acquired a week before the season Scott Shanley

Drew Brees

that’s a pretty good group of free agents

we took a chance on Drew at that time because quite honestly

we weren’t going to win any jump balls in and that’s the truth another word we had to be a little overly aggressive

to win that the game if you will the status quo or just in so

man was the best chance we took and so I thank Drew and his wife Britney and their family I spoke to him at length last night about this decision in for the first time and then he was fantastic and I did call him during the season and we discussed him coming back and I think both of us agreed based on our lineup versus Miami it was a good thing he stayed

and it didn’t come

I also want to thank the players

that were here

that were ready to win

and wanted to join in Bill taught me that remove the blinders when you’re evaluating these guys in and understand there’s going to be good football players do sweet talk about it just a minute ago Jon stinchcomb I’m not going to hit everyone the late Will Smith Steve Gleason Charles Grant Brian young Freddie Mac there are a number of players on that roster

that were thriving for

this culture change and

they’re there and white a little bit training camp at Millsaps and in that was difficult and yet so there’s elements that went into that 0-16 that

that were extremely important and back to those coaches myself as the head coach I I kind of feel like we’re in this business of serving

we’re teachers at heart

and we’re grateful to be in this position quite honestly I know for me it was play until they tell you you can’t play anymore and then it’s like alright I don’t want to leave though

I think you have to coach


I’ve always felt

I’ve always felt grateful to be to be able to

teach and be part of the locker room even though I wasn’t playing

and our roles as teachers

are those of service


so I appreciate that group of coaches and that team and I still say this day in 06 we got a lot of teams probably teams that are better than the 0-16 but none tougher than that 069 tougher than that 0-16

and that leads me back to that whole city rebirth and fanbase and people

that’s when I grew to know like holy cow this is bigger this is bigger than

is it bigger than anything of this is more than just football

this is more than just football

I didn’t know how to eat a crawfish at that time I was kind of on the beignets

the king cakes with cream cheese in a number of things you know but everyone wanted to know hey how do you like it here and honestly in your first year when you’re not from here you’re figuring it out

hear the players

here are the players that have won the Pro Bowl or been selected All-Pro

in these sixteen years Terron Armstead

I want you to know this about him if there’s one thing

he is a tremendous leader

and a tremendous player Drew Brees

Jamal Brown Jermon bushrod is working with us now tight end Jared Cook Demario Davis



jahri Evans Jonathan Goodwin Jimmy g j t gray Ben Grubbs Roman Harper Deonte Harris Mark Ingram Malcolm Jenkins Cam Jordan Alvin Kamara Mike Kearney Marshon Lattimore Lattimore will Lutz Thomas morstead Carl Nicks

Andrus peat Ryan ramcheck Jeremy Shockey the late Will Smith Jon stinchcomb Michael Thomas Jonathan Vilma Max Unger Larry Warford

so here’s a problem when you get married in the offseason you can invite your team

when you get married somewhere in a different destination you got invite maybe your captains of your Super Bowl team or

the front one of those players that didn’t get an invite I would have

that would have been awesome and those that did

they spend enough to make up for the rest of you

but I’m proud of you I’m proud to have had the opportunity to work with so many great players

I’m thankful

I mentioned the 06 draft class to get to the 17 draft class you ready cuz we need another shot in the arm here Marshon Lattimore Ryan rent check Marcus Williams Alvin Kamara Trey Hendrickson who still playing and we wish him well

it’s a people business

and the thing that I’m most proud of


collectively in scouting Jeff in your group and everyone involved in the procurement process we’ve consistently found the right people that fit

what were trying to build

I’m not able to mention every player’s name

but I am able to thank every player today

I can’t hit on every coach my current staff I just in a staff meeting told him a record was 9 and 8 and we didn’t get in the playoffs we’re rooting against the Rams right now because of that but

I’m proud of the job they did this year it was extraordinary

so for every coach who’s been here

every Scout every staff member the people that take care of the facilities and Equipment guys security

the last word I wrote down is the building

you know what and I’ve heard that that saying it takes a village and honestly it takes a building to be successful

I’m one year but it takes a building to be successful

you’re after you


and for me to have a chance to be a part of that building in in a position


to coach so many of these great players and be around some of these great people

Jay Romero I can’t hit on everyone but man the tireless amount of time and energy people spend especially in the last two years I think them

I think

all right

that’s a lot

we’re going to have questions here in a minute

I don’t know what’s next

and it kind of feels good

the last thing I did before I went to bed a Google search how not to cry during a speech and one of the items was drink water and Ian why didn’t one of you on

but it worked a little bit

so with that

I’ll open the floor to questions