Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/27/13
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As a man coming off a season-long banishment that sent his franchise into an extended patch of turbulence Sean Payton wouldn't seem to be a likely candidate for a Wanna Get Away? experience. Trust him or anyone else in The Crescent City: He was away far too long. Yet there was Payton on Sunday afternoon in Houston in his third preseason game since resuming his role as the New Orleans Saints' head coach wishing he could cut a hole through the Reliant Stadium turf and disappear after an uncharacteristic time-management gaffe. Upon misinterpreting a hand signal from rookie quarterback Ryan Griffin Payton burned the Saints' final timeout with eight seconds left on the play clock -- and two seconds remaining in the third quarter of a 31-23 victory over the Houston Texans. "That's one of those 'senior moments' I guess" Payton said Monday evening shortly before completing a trade with the 49ers for linebacker Parys Haralson. "Shoot I had the play clock down pat with the Liberty Christian sixth graders last year when the ref would give you 30 seconds that you'd count in your head." That was a reference to the Dallas-area team on which his son Connor played last fall. Payton suspended by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for his role in the Saints' pay-for-injure scandal served as an "offensive assistant" for the Liberty Christian Warriors while New Orleans fell from the ranks of the NFL's elite and staggered to a 7-9 season. It was a collapse I saw coming largely because of my estimation of Payton's prodigious presence or lack thereof. Now Payton is back in the cockpit and many expect to see a return to the audacious aerial attack that helped the Saints soar to unprecedented heights from 2009-11 a run that included a 41-13 record three playoff appearances and a Super Bowl XLIV victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
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