Sean Payton & Jon Gruden talk about friendship ahead of MNF matchup


NEW ORLEANS, La. – 13 years ago, New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton would begin his ascension in the NFL coaching ranks as the Quarterbacks Coach for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Working under the Eagles’ Offensive Coordinator at the time Jon Gruden.

“I had to hire a quarterbacks coach because I was yelling at the quarterbacks too much so we got Sean in there, I think he came from Indiana State. He was just a bright energetic positive source of good stuff that we needed. He loved football like I did,” says Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden.

For Payton, it was the opportunity to learn under one of the more detail-oriented young coaches in the NFL.

Sean Payton says, “You come out of college and you jump in with an NFL team where a guy like John is the coordinator, there was so much to learn. Watching him prepare, watching his work ethic. My office was basically a little corner couch in his office.”

“We laughed very hard about those days every time we see each other at the combine. He was on my couch probably as my psychiatrist most of the time to calm me down,” added Gruden.

The Philadelphia Eagles finished 6-9-1 that season, growing pains for a young staff that would go on to make winning football games their new normal.

“David Shaw, we shared an office with David. Juan Castillo was on that staff. John Harbaugh was on that staff. All of us just trying to work hard and win games,” says Sean Payton.

The first time Payton and Gruden faced off as head coaches was in 2006, Payton’s first year with the Saints and 3 years after Gruden’s first and only Super Bowl victory.

Now in 2020 they meet again.

Sean Payton’s Saints in “Sin City” to face Jon Gruden’s Raiders on Monday Night Football.

A match-up both coaches are looking forward too.

“I just look forward to seeing where we stack up,” says Gruden. “This is a great measuring stick game for us. They have one of the premiere coaches in all of football and they have one the best teams I’ve seen on film”

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