November 13, 2011
That's New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton underneath the stray mark on the Fox telestrator. Payton returned to the field on Sunday for the first time since suffering a broken left leg during a play three weeks ago. He was allowed to stand on the sideline with his crutches and cast provided he followed some rules. As you'd expect from an NFL head coach with enough bravado to order an onside kick to open the second half of the Super Bowl, Payton has different ideas.
Throughout the game, Payton stood inside the white paint on the sideline, seemingly deeper onto the field than most able-bodied coaches. That wasn't the idea when NFL observer Ben Montgomery discussed Payton's on-field requirements. "He has to stay behind the white box," Montgomery told the Associated Press before the game. "He's OK to be there. He has permission."
Why does Payton need permission from the NFL to stand on the sideline during a game?He's a grown man. If he wants to stand on the field and put himself in danger of breaking his other leg, that's his prerogative. It's probably not wise but it's no worse than, say, going for it on fourth-and-inches from your own 29-yard line in overtime.
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