New Orleans head coach Sean Payton tabled any discussion of potential organizational changes within the Saints franchise until the offseason on Monday.
With speculation swirling about the future of Payton, quarterback Drew Brees and the rest of the front office in New Orleans, Payton reaffirmed his belief in the future of the franchise.
“I don’t think there’s any gray area with where we’re going as a franchise,” Payton said. “We’ve had great stability here with ownership, leadership from the top down. I think it’s been a plus for us, not a detriment.”
Two reports, one by the NFL Network and another by CBS Sports, indicated that Payton might be interested in the San Diego Chargers if he were to leave New Orleans after the season.
The CBS Sports report also indicated that if Payton stays, the front office could change again, with general manager Mickey Loomis promoted to a bigger role in charge of both the Saints and Pelicans, and Jeff Ireland taking over as general manager.
Payton declined to discuss any of those possibilities until after the season.
In regards to his own future, Payton has repeatedly said this season that he sees himself coaching in New Orleans beyond 2015, and he responded to Sunday’s pair of reports by referencing the competitive cycle of the media.
“They happen on Sundays because that’s an important news day, and they’re Twitter, basically, statements, and I can’t control those,” Payton said. “When you look at Sunday mornings, that’s when you see a lot of them, and not just with regards to me, but whether it’s injury news or any type of news, that seems to be the beginning of the NFL news cycle.”
Payton reiterated that his response to such reports within Saints headquarters is to focus on the game plan and the job of coaching the team week to week, preferring to tune out anything that won’t affect game preparation.
“You learn, each year it’s gotten a little bit more aggressive in regards to those, and you can’t control them, so really, you just work your best to put the best (game) plan in place,” Payton said. “That’s the best way to approach it. You can go crazy trying to pay attention to it all.”