Friday, February 5, 2010

What is the Foundation of Your Strategic Process?

Every system has their origin. ... What is the foundation of your strategic process?

As Walsh did, Payton does
David White, Chronicle Staff Writer Wednesday, February 3, 2010 (02-03) 04:00

Saints coach Sean Payton never did work for Bill Walsh, but consider him an honorary member of the Walsh coaching tree.
Payton ripped entire chapters out of Walsh's playoff book, starting with the old bellhop routine.

Payton and his Pro Bowlers welcomed the rest of the team to the Super Bowl this week dressed in authentic luggage-carrier garb, just as Walsh did with his 49ers before Super Bowl XVI.
"I mean, we flat-out plagiarized it," Payton said Tuesday at Super Bowl XLIV Media Day at Sun Life Stadium. That's not all Payton has lifted from Walsh. West Coast offense plays, practice routines, schedule details. You name it, Payton is borrowing it without promising to put it back when he's done. "

A guy like Bill Walsh is someone who has his hands all over this league offensively, and practice-schedule-wise and installation-wise," Payton said. "He was very successful in the postseason. If we can take a simple play that we like that he had success with, then why wouldn't we apply (Walsh's methods) to another aspect of what we're doing?"

The Saints' playbook has dustings of Walsh's fingerprints all over it. For that, Payton can thank two former Raiders coaches: Jon Gruden and Bill Callahan (maybe their experience is why Payton turned down a chance to coach the Raiders in 2004).

They're the ones who brought Payton to Philadelphia as quarterbacks coach in 1997. They're the ones who introduced Payton to the Walsh Way, or at least their personalized brand of it. Payton hadn't coached in the NFL before. Gruden, who was the Eagles' offensive coordinator, enrolled him in both morning and nighttime sessions.

"When I got hired there, they were looking for me to really be a blank tape, for me to study and learn," Payton said. "I learned a lot in a short period of time working with Jon and that offense. It was a little bit like law school. They were a lot of late nights and a lot of early mornings. "You realize there's a lot of football that you don't know." That's OK. When in doubt, just steal a good idea from a genius.

E-mail David White at

This article appeared on page B - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle


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