January 1, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton during their game against the Carolina Panthers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Sean Payton: "Mistakes were made"

Sean Payton was reinstated by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell today, and can effectively resume his duties as head coach of the New Orleans Saints.

“I am thankful today Commissioner [Roger] Goodell has granted me reinstatement,” Payton said in a statement released by the Saints. “As I stated back in March, I, along with Mickey Loomis, take full responsibility for all aspects of our football program.

“I clearly recognize that mistakes were made, which led to league violations.

“Furthermore, I have assured the Commissioner a more diligent protocol will be followed.

“Lastly, I feel we have learned from our mistakes and are ready to move forward. I want to thank our owner, Mr. Benson and all of our great fans for the overwhelming support throughout this past year.

“I am excited to be back as Head Coach of the New Orleans Saints!”

And Sean Payton isn’t the only one excited about the news. Mardi Gras has most undoubtedly came to New Orleans earlier than expected as fans celebrate. The Saints Owner/Chariman of the Board Tom Benson is excited as well.

“We are all thankful that Sean Payton has been reinstated,” said Benson. “We have a lot of work to do and we are in the middle of it right now. He is our head coach and we welcome him back. We look forward to a great 2013 season and making another run at a World Championship for our fans!”

The Saints finished with a mediocre 7-9 record and missed the playoffs. Despite being the number 1 passing offense in the league they struggled on the ground, the 25th ranked in the NFL. The Saints’ defense ranked 31st against the pass and 32nd against the run. This could’ve been in part due to the several defensive players suspended for parts of the season.

The silver lining aside from Payton’s return. They finished the season 2-1.

Tags: New Orleans Saints Roger Goodell Sean Payton Tom Benson

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