FOXBORO — If anyone is entitled to predict his team will win a Super Bowl, it's Sean Payton. After all, the Saints coach won the championship last season.
You won't find Payton straying from the "one game at a time" mantra, but you also won't find him criticizing Jets head coach Rex Ryan for predicting on multiple occasions that the Jets would win the Super Bowl.
"I enjoy good coaches and I think Rex is a heck of a coach," Payton said after a morning practice session with the Patriots. "He has passion for what he does. A year ago, before it was fashionable, I had the Jets as a team that was on the rise. It was a team I thought, like Rex's personality, would come through. His players embrace that. He does a great job. I'm glad they're not on our regular season schedule."
And what of Ryan's frequent prediction of a Super Bowl, as well as his "soon-to-be-champs" comment next to his signature on an ESPN bus last week?
"The most important thing is to be yourself," Payton said. "That’s him. It’s more challenging when you see coaches that are trying to be someone else. It’s refreshing because that’s Rex. It’s in his DNA. That’s why it’s good and why he’s good at what he does. When you start trying to change who you are, you run into more problems."
Would Payton sign the bus with "soon-to-be-champs?" "That wouldn't be me, but I think your own personality is what you have to lean on. He's done
"That wouldn't be me, but I think your own personality is what you have to lean on. He's donea great job of putting his staff together. They’re going to be a tough team."