Transitioning from a legend is never easy. Fans cannot forget and don't readily accept the 'new guy' the following season.
At times, an organization can find difficulty navigating into the next era of its team.
The uncertainty looms — unless someone gives fans and a team a sense of confidence and hope.
SAINTS AND FANS SHOULD TRUST SEAN PAYTON
I heard Donald Miller, a former Hollywood screenwriter, once say Luke Skywalker wasn't the most critical figure in the first Star Wars movie, but in fact, it was Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Obi-Wan is Luke's guide. The guide is the central figure who helps the hero understand and accomplish their journey. Usually, it's through defeating the villain, overcoming a problem, or realizing their purpose in life.
In New Orleans, the central figure wasn't Drew Brees — neither will it be Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill.
It's Sean Payton.
Payton is the Saints' Yoda, Obi-Wan, and guide.
The hero? It could be Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill
SEAN PAYTON & WINNING
Of course, fans want the Saints to continue winning.
Still, winning wasn't always the case in New Orleans.
I grew up in the heart of the 7th ward of New Orleans. My Sunday afternoons with my Dad were either at Tulane Stadium or inside the Louisiana Superdome in the fall.
We watched great Saints players with names like Manning, Muncie, Jackson, Chandler, Brenner, Abramowitz, Swilling, Johnson, Hilliard, Martin, and Hebert.
The only problem back then is that those teams were perennial losers with great players.
In contrast, in the past 15 years, Saints fans witnessed the historical greatness of Brees, McAllister, Colston, Bush, Sproles, Kamara, and Thomas on winning teams.
Today, the New Orleans Saints are perennial winners, and many fear without Brees, the winning may end.
I remember what Mike Detillier told me about a conversation he and Bobby were having on WWL Radio. Bobby Hebert said, "Saint fans are spoiled."
If true, you can blame Sean Payton for this success.
You can also trust him in selecting a new quarterback in New Orleans.
For Payton, the only thing that matters is to 'win now.'
There's no better person to have his hands on the pulse of the team and feel the pressure of winning in today's NFL.
SEAN PAYTON'S JAMEIS-TAYSOM DECISION
Fans on social media, critics on the air, podcasters give their two cents - should it be Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill? A quarterback competition - that's what Sean Payton called it - is to go down in the upcoming training camp.
Regardless if Drew Brees is in the locker room or not, winning is the primary concern. You can forget all of the op-eds, including this one; Sean Payton is that 'win now' coach.
The quarterback position in New Orleans comes down to which player can keep the train going and amass more W's in the process.
Saints fans want to feel safe and secure with Coach Payton's decision.
Most Who Dats have already sided with their pick — Taysom or Jameis, Winston or Hill — they will still need to trust Payton in the long run.
SAINTS FANS QUESTIONED SIGNING BREES
I recall when everyone wasn't aligned with the New Orleans front office when Drew Brees signed his $60M free-agent contract in 2006.
Fans of yesterday who were in the NOLA.com and Saints Report forums called the signing everything from "stupid and dumb" and labeled Brees as "hot garbage" and "noodled-arm," referring to his shoulder injury.
I'm positive those "fair-weather fans" who offered those offensive comments later turned their pessimism into jubilation and chants of "Who Dat" later that season. You see, Payton and Brees became winners and were within a win from the team's first Super Bowl appearance in 2007.
Saints fans never tasted this type of success before.
Finally, three seasons later, Brees and Payton hoisted the Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl 44.
Winning matters the most.
Let's fast forward fifteen years, and the absurd commentaries still exist.
Jameis is "weird and will hurt the team," and Taysom "can't be a quarterback and make quick decisions in the pocket." Both are "turnover machines."
While opinions can be fair, but not all regarding Winston and Hill are rooted in logic.
One player's journey is from 1,844 miles away from Pocatello, Idaho. The other athlete is from an Alabama town called Bessemer which is 332 miles away from New Orleans.
These two men's lives now intersect to challenge one another for the right to open Week 1 as the starter at 1500 Sugar Bowl Drive - the Superdome.
TRUST SEAN PAYTON
Bobby Hebert mentioned on SiriusXM NFL radio, "I tried to tell the fans right now, look, if Sean Payton right now trusts Jameis Winston, then you got to trust him."
Saints fans must also trust Sean Payton and his decisions.
Payton is the glue to it all. He has the overall responsibility to man a roster, call plays and understand how to maximize the player's potential who will become the next face of the New Orleans Saints.
Payton's track record without Brees should be the sign of hope for the Who Dat Nation.
9-1. A winning record.
A new age of New Orleans Saints football will begin on Sept. 12 in Week 1 with either Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill leading the team.
We shall see.
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