Saints coach Sean Payton says owner Tom Benson's mind 'is sharp as ever' _lowres

New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson, second right, and his wife Gayle Benson pose for a photo with head coach Sean Payton and co-owner Rita Benson LeBlanc, left, before an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Bill Haber) ORG XMIT: NYOTK


PHOENIX — There have been questions about whether the ownership saga that is playing out in New Orleans would impact other aspects of the organization.

It hasn’t. Saints coach Sean Payton said he has seen no changes in Tom Benson in recent months and that he and the coaching staff do not put much thought on what is and will play out in court rooms over the coming months.

“It’s two fold. One, we see Tom everyday. So when I have interaction and I’m able to go down with him, we’ll talk about a lot of different topics,” Payton said.”You know that that’s all going to take care of itself. His mind is as sharp as ever.

“So when he asking me why we haven’t cleaned the mail room and the coffee cups don’t have lids on them. You’re afraid. You go to your assistant coaches and say let’s get this squared away. The worst thing you could do is park in the wrong spot or not have a lid on your coffee. Some young new guy will end up in a wrong parking spot and I’m like ‘Uh oh. Here it goes.'”

Payton said he speaks with Benson daily after lunch when he goes down to the owner’s office to steal candy out of his dish.

“His leadership starts with his on hands approach,” Payton said. “I think it’s hard to be an owner and lead the organization if you’re not in the building. He’s there daily.

“I would speak to him at least daily or every other day. Walk down and visit with him. It might be about the mail room or it might be about the team or something about these meetings. He’s been outstanding. That’s from nine years ago to now to me. I’ve been fortunate to have that consistency and someone who’s good at it. He loves being at work.”