NFL

BREAKING NEWS: Brady's Bucs dethrone Mahomes and Chiefs in Super Bowl LV

By Sports Desk February 07, 2021

Tom Brady claimed a seventh Super Bowl crown after leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to their first Lombardi Trophy since the 2002 season with a dominant victory over defending champions the Kansas City Chiefs.

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  • Emotional coach Payton confirms Saints exit as Super Bowl winner ends New Orleans reign Emotional coach Payton confirms Saints exit as Super Bowl winner ends New Orleans reign

    Sean Payton called it a day as head coach of the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday, bidding the NFL franchise an emotional farewell after 15 seasons in charge of the team.

    Payton said he had met with team president Dennis Lauscha, owner Gayle Benson and general manager Mickey Loomis to tell them he had decided to go.

    "I don't know what's next and it kind of feels good," said Payton in a news conference.

    The 58-year-old Payton joined the Saints in 2006 and, in tandem with newly acquired quarterback Drew Brees, began to turn the team into a formidable force, peaking with a Super Bowl XLIV triumph in the 2009 season. Payton's team beat the Indianapolis Colts 31-17 in the NFL showpiece game.

    Payton was close to tears as he explained why it was now time to move on. But he had prepared for that eventuality.

    "The last thing I did before I went to bed was I Google-searched how not to cry during a speech," Payton said, "and one of the items was drink water and yawn. Well I didn't want to yawn, but it worked a little bit."

    He said stepping down had been in his thoughts for some time, and Payton was not minded to go back on his decision.

    "Last week I had a great visit, a tough visit with Mickey Loomis and Mrs Benson, and Denis Lauscha, relative to just looking ahead with what I want to do," Payton said.

    "Mickey and I are of course now 16 years [with New Orleans] so that was challenging, because of our friendship more than our professional relationship, and then Mrs B was awesome. I love this about her, she said, 'Well go away for two or three months and come back for training camp, and we'll be ready to go'. And I thought that sounded pretty good, actually.

    "But I'm glad she told me to spend some time away and give this some thought, because this is a big decision, and it certainly affects a lot of people.

    "It's not often you as a coach have the opportunity to possibly leave. We coach, we coach, we coach, and at some point they tell you to leave.

    "And as difficult as being fired is, it sure seems easier to thank everyone and move on your merry way."

    Payton thanked the "amazing" New Orleans support and recalled having taken charge while the city was still recovering from the damage caused in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina.

    Payton will be moving on after a 2021 campaign in which the Saints failed to reach the postseason, finishing with a 9-8 record.

    It still marked another fine coaching performance from Payton, who had his team evacuated early in the year due to a hurricane and later had to deal with a number of coronavirus and injury absences.

    Brees retired last year, and Payton decided it was time to follow suit.

    "He and I never discussed when his last game would be, or when I'd be finished. I just felt like this season it was challenging for everyone, but man I felt like it was time," Payton said, explaining the timing of his departure.

    "I knew maybe heading into training camp, but you don't share that with anyone. It's something I've been thinking about. You have close friends in the industry, and I've lost close friends in the industry in the last few years.

    "Not many get to choose their terms, and I looked on it as an opportunity to see my kids more, to travel more, to get in better shape.

    "I think the attention to details are so important, it can be so exhausting. I felt as this season was winding down it was the right thing."

    Payton's career with New Orleans included an NFL suspension for the entire 2012 season after the Saints' 'Bountygate' scandal blew up, with players said to have been rewarded by fellow team members for injuring and knocking opponents out of games.

    He returned to lead the team with distinction again, albeit unable to secure a return to the Super Bowl.

    From 2017 to 2020, New Orleans achieved regular-season performances of 11-5, 13-3, 13-3 and 12-4, finishing top of the NFC South on each occasion. This season they wound up as runners-up to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    Payton, who was under contract through 2024, has a 152-89 regular-season record – the 13th-best of all time (minimum 100 games) – while he is 9-8 in the playoffs.

  • BREAKING NEWS: Martial seals Man Utd exit with Sevilla loan BREAKING NEWS: Martial seals Man Utd exit with Sevilla loan

    Anthony Martial will play the remainder of the 2021-22 season on loan in LaLiga with Sevilla after falling out of favour at Manchester United.

    France international Martial has reportedly taken a pay cut to join the Andalusian club, who it is said will pay €6million for salary and a loan fee combined.

    United interim boss Ralf Rangnick revealed last month that Martial had asked to leave the club in January after struggling for first-team football following a return from injury.

    Rangnick then claimed in the wake of United's 2-2 Premier League draw with Aston Villa that Martial was not with the squad because he "didn't want" to be involved – the forward refuted those claims.

    While Rangnick drew a line under the situation, he hinted United were negotiating exits for several players ahead of the transfer deadline, and Sevilla's tactic of playing the long game has paid off.

    LaLiga's second-placed side were linked with Martial last month, but reports suggested they could not get anywhere near the player's wage demands, and United were seemingly unwilling to lower their own demands.

    But a breakthrough in negotiations has seen the clubs reach an agreement that Sevilla will hope significantly boosts their chances in LaLiga's title race.

    After 22 matches played, Sevilla are just four points behind leaders Real Madrid.

    Throughout January, they have been linked with forwards due to injuries and a general lack of goals scored – their 34 in LaLiga is the fewest of those in the top four and 13 behind Madrid's tally.

    Rafa Mir is their top scorer in the league despite a fairly underwhelming total of six in 20 appearances, with the pre-season arrival from Wolves struggling to pick up the slack for Youssef En-Nesyri, who has been absent through injury and Africa Cup of Nations duty.

    Sevilla will hope Martial can hit the ground running after the international break, but he may be lacking match sharpness given he has played the full 90 minutes of a game once all season and has played just eight minutes of football since Rangnick's first match in charge in early December.

  • Saints coach Payton to step down, ending reign that peaked with Super Bowl win - reports Saints coach Payton to step down, ending reign that peaked with Super Bowl win - reports

    Sean Payton is stepping down as head coach of the New Orleans Saints after 15 seasons in charge, reports said on Tuesday.

    The franchise called a news conference for 15:00 local time (21:00 BST) at which Payton's departure was expected to be confirmed.

    Payton will be moving on after a 2021 campaign in which the Saints failed to reach the postseason, finishing with a 9-8 record.

    The 58-year-old Payton joined the Saints in 2006 and, in tandem with newly acquired quarterback Drew Brees, began to turn the team into a formidable force, peaking with a Super Bowl XLIV triumph in the 2009 season. Payton's team beat the Indianapolis Colts 31-17 in the NFL showpiece game.

    Payton was suspended for the entire 2012 season after the Saints' 'Bountygate' scandal blew up, with players said to have been rewarded by fellow team members for injuring and knocking opponents out of games.

    He returned to lead the team with distinction again, albeit unable to secure a return to the Super Bowl.

    From 2017 to 2020, New Orleans achieved regular-season performances of 11-5, 13-3, 13-3 and 12-4, finishing top of the NFC South on each occasion.

    Payton, who was under contract through 2024, has a 152-89 regular-season record – the 13th-best of all time (minimum 100 games) – while he is 9-8 in the playoffs.

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