TIMOTHY A. CLARY, Getty Images
February 8, 2010
I still believe Payton's decision to roll the dice and call for an on-side kick at the start of the second half in the Super Bowl two years ago was one of the ballsiest decisions we've seen in the NFL postseason in the last 25 years. Not necessarily because it would have ruined his team had it not worked out, but because he would have been crucified by media and fans who love to second guess decisions based strictly on results. The truth is, Payton and his staff knew the Colts were bailing early on kickoffs, they knew it was a calculated gamble, and they figured they could live with the results if it didn't work. It still would have been the right call. That's the kind of coaching I respect. Now, just as a caveat, the Saints didn't exactly inspire the way they laid an egg in Seattle last year. They looked like a soft dome team that wasn't prepared to defend their Super Bowl title. But Payton is an excellent motivator, an impressive tactician, and he and Drew Brees have been the perfect marriage of leadership (Brees) and ego (Payton).