Did Sean Payton have his eyes on the Carolina Panthers as soon as Matt Rhule was fired? Well, we don’t know for sure—but his comments about the job when it first opened are a bit more interesting now.
On Sunday, ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter reported that the Panthers were granted permission by the New Orleans Saints to interview Sean Payton for their head coaching position—one he commented on a few months back. Here’s what he said regarding the opening on The Herd with Colin Cowherd on Oct. 10:
“I think it’s attractive,” said Payton, who’d then lay out why Rhule may not have meshed at the pro level. “First off—the jump, sometimes, from a successful college head coach to an NFL head coach is larger than you think. It just is. Schematically, red zone, third down. And I say that respectfully because in college, it’s a different job. You’ve got a certain amount of hours per week, you got spring ball, you’re recruiting. You’ve got a lot of things that are happening.”
Okay, then what about Carolina’s lack of a franchise quarterback? Would not having a solidified answer under center scare Payton or any other candidate away?
Well, as he’d go on to state in that interview, any team that needs a new head coach more than likely needs a new quarterback, too.
“Look, it’s almost a unicorn—the open job with a great quarterback, waiting for you to come in and be the foster parent,” he added. “Usually, generally speaking, it’s somewhat broken.”
Now—with a ready-made defense, a sturdy offensive line, a legitimate No. 1 wideout, some pretty decent draft capital and money to spend—let’s see if Payton is the man to fix it.