NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Welcome to Juan's World where we've finally reached the end of the season for the Saints and the beginning of the Sean Payton to this team and that team speculation.
And of course, when it's all brought up to Payton, it's always followed by "next question" from the head coach as it was following Sunday's loss in Atlanta.
For the second-consecutive season, talk of 'change' at the top is all the talk on Airline Drive right now.
Last year, it was a show of force at the end-of-the-year press conference, led by Owner Tom Benson, announcing that their head coach was 'never' going anywhere. I wonder what this year's season-ending presser will be like? Will Mr. Benson make another appearance or has he turned the page on the man that brought him his first Super Bowl Trophy?
A colleague of mine, Larry Holder of NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune first broke the story that the two sides met, after the loss to the Falcons, to discuss Payton's future with the team.
Since 2005, Payton is the only head coach the Saints have known. He's led them through the toughest of times, a.k.a. Hurricane Katrina. And he's taken this franchise to the mountain top with a win in Super Bowl 44. In other words, the full range of emotions have been felt within this fan base.
And by no means is Payton exiting stage left....official. But, the fact that the Rams are expected to ask for permission to talk to Payton this week 'and' word Loomis is willing to entertain offers for his head coach, speaks volumes about where this team is right now.
Payton has done things for this franchise that no coach before him could. And as difficult as it is to just win a game, the next guy may not ever be able to fill his shoes.
As of right now, Payton is still employed by the Saints. Tomorrow, we expect him to 'still' be employed by the Saints. But, now that the regular season is over, vacancies will begin to pop up. The Rams are the first. San Francisco is the second after the firing of Chip Kelly. The Chargers, The Broncos....they also may be in the market for a new voice to lead their respective team. And to Payton and Loomis, these opportunities and the reward that could come from them, might be too much to pass up.
Sometimes, it's just 'time' to move on. We shall see very soon if the time has come for Payton, Loomis and....The Saints.
Juan's World, Juan's World....Excellent!!!!