Sean Payton praises Tom Benson in open letter

Sean Payton praises Tom Benson in open letter
Saints owner Tom Benson showed extra care for his players and coaches, Sean Payton said in a letter about the team's owner. (FOX 8)

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Sean Payton pulled back the curtain on his relationship with Tom Benson in an open letter posted on

The New Orleans Saints head coach said the owner of the team would often share wisdom from all aspects of his life.

Benson would obsess over "little things" which were "big things" to the Saints owner.

"Lots of coaches in the NFL periodically will sleep one or two nights in the office. With Mr. Benson, the challenge was getting the sleeping bag rolled or the couch folded up before he walked down the hall in the morning," Payton said in a letter.

Benson did not care for sloppiness, but he cared about his players and coaches. He would leave notes of encouragement, even when the team was on a losing streak. He wanted his veteran players to sit in first class during trips to other cities as a reward for their service to the team.

Benson and his wife, Gayle, would sit in coach with the rest of the team, Payton wrote.

"Like her husband, she was such a great fan and supporter. We won some games that year, and we won our division, and people would be waiting for us after road games at the airport. Hundreds of people. He loved seeing the customer happy."

You can read the full letter here.

Benson died Thursday at the age of 90.

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