Lose a playoff game, and a coach’s mind has to turn to next year. The Seahawks go on; the Saints go home.
But we think that Coach Sean Payton is right to give some thought to how this team has shown more potential for New Orleans fans than many would have expected a year ago, in a time of turmoil for the Saints organization.
Coach Rob Ryan’s defense was solid in Seattle, for just one example of the positives revealed this season. The team fought to the very last on offense.
“I was proud of how our guys fought and competed this year,” Payton said. “They found a way to win 12 games. It’s disappointing to lose in a playoff game, so close to where your final goal is, and yet I thought there were a lot of good signs.”
We think so too, and look forward to next year with considerable optimism.
The Saints are back, and they show every sign of a team that can win again.