MIAMI (Reuters) - New Orleans Saints’ Super Bowl winning coach Sean Payton felt the weight of history on Monday as he woke up beside the Vince Lombardi Trophy and then received a congratulatory phone call from his mentor Bill Parcells.
The Saints won their first Super Bowl title with a 31-17 win over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday helped by some positive, risk-taking calls from their inspired 46 year-old coach.
Payton got his hands on his first Super Bowl trophy, the silverware named after former Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi, a five times NFL championship winner and regarded as the greatest coach of all.
The celebrations included the curious sight of Saints’ quarterback coach Joe Lombardi posing alongside the trophy named after his grandfather.
“Joe, his father Vince Junior and his two brothers, they sat and posed with this trophy, the four of them,” said Payton.
“I just thought to myself, ‘you have got to be kidding me’. If you believe in heaven and believe that Vince Lombardi is there looking down on his grandson, it doesn’t get any better.
“This is a guy who coaches our quarterbacks, coaches Drew Brees and here is a trophy that is named after his grandfather, so you can’t get enough of this,” added the Saint head coach pointing to the trophy.
“This thing laid in my bed next to me last night, I rolled over a couple of times and I probably drooled on it. But man, there is nothing like it.
“To be a coach and be a part of a great team, with players like Drew Brees, I’m honored and I don’t take that opportunity lightly at all -- I feel very fortunate, very blessed and very humbled by it,” he added.
Payton is the latest protégé of twice Super Bowl winner Parcells to win a Super Bowl, following on from New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin two years ago and New England Patriots boss Bill Belichick who claimed three titles in the past decade.
“Bill (Parcells) has been a great influence on our careers,” said Payton. “I had a number of conversations with Bill leading up to this game and he taught me so much, about people, about teaching and about evaluation and about preparation and I am better having had a chance to work with him.
“The history of our league, with the great players and coaches, when you are able to be a part of that history...it’s a big reason why we are sitting here today with this trophy. I am thankful for that.
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