Second Super Bowl win could cement Sean Payton’s place in Canton

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Sean Payton
(Photo: Parker Waters)

He is a student of the game and an ardent supporter of the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame.

When it comes to the history of professional football, Saints head coach Sean Payton has his PhD. With potentially a second Super Bowl title for the Saints in nine years, Payton understands his place in it.

If the Saints win another Super Bowl, it is quite likely that Payton will one day be wearing a yellow jacket at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

In the Super Bowl era, there are coaches with two titles who are not in the enshrined in Canton.

Former Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson has been an interesting omission. He won back-to-back Super Bowls with Dallas in 1992 and 1993, and the team he built won the title again under head coach Barry Switzer in 1995.

Former 49ers coach George Seifert won two Super Bowls with San Francisco and sports a 114-62 record as a head coach. But there seems to be no clamoring for Seifert in Canton.

Former Raiders coach Tom Flores won two Super Bowls in the space of four seasons and sported a 6-0 record against Don Shula, the winningest coach in the history of the NFL. Flores is one of 15 finalists for Canton this year, narrowed from a field of 103 nominees.

Tony Dungy, John Madden and Hank Stram are all members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, with one Super Bowl victory as a head coach.

There are four other head coaches in the Super Bowl era who entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame without Super Bowl titles – George Allen (no losing seasons in 12 years, won 1972 NFC championship), Sid Gillman (father of the modern passing offense), Bud Grant (led Vikings to four Super Bowls) and Marv Levy (Bills reached a record four consecutive Super Bowls).

Mike Ditka, who coached the Bears to the Super Bowl title in the 1985 season, was inducted as a player to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1988.

Payton is certainly resume’ building. His 118 regular season wins are seven less than Saints all-time leader Jim Mora. Payton is 34th on the NFL list for regular season victories. However, he’s only 31 shy of potentially reaching the top 20, where former Steelers coach Bill Cowher stands at 149 regular season wins.

Winning a Super Bowl title gives a head coach and a quarterback instant fame in the NFL. Capturing a second such championship takes the perception of that coach or quarterback’s career to an entirely different sphere.

Ask this about Peyton Manning.

How many times was he the league’s MVP?

Not sure? Thought so.

How many Super Bowls did he win?

Two, of course.

For Manning, that second Super Bowl title won with Denver and the exit thereafter was icing on an already made for Canton career.

For the coach of the Saints, a second Lombardi Trophy is the difference between outstanding and immortal.

And it is a wide chasm.

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Ed Daniels

WGNO Sports Director/106.1 FM

Ed is a New Orleans native, born at Baptist Hospital. He graduated Rummel High School, class of 1975, and subsequently graduated from Loyola University. Ed started in TV in 1977 as first sports intern at WVUE Channel 8. He became Sports Director at KPLC TV Channel 7 in Lake Charles in 1980. In 1982 he was hired as sports reporter…

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