NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - They say time heals all wounds. I guess Sean Payton needs a little more. With what transpired Sunday in the Superdome, five years away from Gregg Williams clearly wasn't long enough.
If there was any question if Payton still harbors any hard feelings about the man who brought 'Bountygate' to New Orleans, he emphatically answered 'yes' against the Rams.
Payton didn't just want to win. He wanted to completely dismantle Williams and his defense in the process.
He called the plays for the first time all season. He went for it on fourth down twice and scored on both. He emphatically fist-pumped after big plays. He stared down the Rams sideline. He hilariously trolled Williams with a 'circle of life' music choice and even tweeted a link to the song after the game.
"He was fired up. I'm sure y'all know why," Kenny Vaccaro said.
And nothing demonstrated that more than what happened in the fourth quarter. Up 21, Payton dialed up a wide receiver throwback pass that Willie Snead and Tim Hightower executed to perfection for a 50-yard touchdown strike.
It was Payton's metaphorical middle finger to the man that cost him the 2012 season and millions of dollars while on his season-long suspension.
The massacre had a happy but frustrated fan base asking 'why can't he be like this every week?'
The truth is he was, when Williams was Payton's defensive coordinator.
While Payton has no love lost for Williams, it's clear Williams always had a way of bringing the best out of him. Together they rode a healthy mix of dislike, respect and testosterone to a 37-11 regular season record and 4-2 postseason mark from 2009-2011. The alpha-on-alpha marriage may have been uncomfortable but it undoubtedly created an edge. The edge led them to the most successful run in team history. Until Sunday, that edge had been lost.
Thank Gregg Williams for bringing it back.