NEW ORLEANS — For Sean Payton, writing a book gave him a chance to “come clean.”
The truth is, the New Orleans Saints’ head coaching job was not the one Payton really wanted back in 2006, and he had reservations about moving his family to a city that months earlier had been devastated by Hurricane Katrina.
“I was really trying to paint an honest picture of my first day here, rather than say when I got off the plane I fell in love with it,” Payton said Wednesday at an event to promote his first book, “Home Team.”
Having gone to high school and college in the midwest, he was a longtime admirer of the Green Bay Packers, and their opening was the one he coveted. When he was passed over by the Packers, only then did he begin to envision himself coming to New Orleans.
Slated for release to the public on June 29, the book, co-written by Ellis Henican, describes how Payton ultimately realized that being part of a rebuilding effort in a city where passion for football runs as high as anywhere gave him a sense of purpose he could not have gotten elsewhere.
“The lesson is really looking for where the opportunity is and where that opportunity finds you — and sometimes it’s not always where you think you