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Sean Payton announced on Tuesday that he’s stepping away from coaching after leading the New Orleans Saints for 15 years. He held a press conference and fielded questions about his tenure in New Orleans and his future, but he didn’t miss the opportunity to take a jab at the Los Angeles Rams.
During his opening statement, Payton said he’s rooting against the Rams in the NFC Championship Game because they were the ones who helped keep the Saints out of the playoffs. The Saints would’ve made the postseason if the Rams didn’t blow a 17-0 lead to the San Francisco 49ers, who got in as the No. 6 seed.
“In a staff meeting, I just told them, our record was 9-8 and we didn’t get into the playoffs. We’re rooting against the Rams right now because of that,” he said.
There was probably a little bit of sarcasm in there from Payton, but it’s not unreasonable to think he has some disdain for the franchise that knocked his team out of the playoffs three years ago in controversial fashion.
It was the missed pass interference penalty on Nickell Robey-Coleman in the 2018 NFC title game that likely cost the Saints a Super Bowl appearance. Granted, it was three years ago, but that’s a loss every Saints fan has had trouble getting over – and Payton probably isn’t excluded from that, either.