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Payton would welcome Belichick's counsel on repeating

Posted by Shalise Manza Young, Globe Staff  March 24, 2010 10:03 AM

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This morning it was the NFC head coaches' turn to chat with the media here at the NFL annual meeting, which meant that Sean Payton, coach of the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints, was present and holding court.

He of course was asked about the Super Bowl, but he was also asked what happens now, when his team gathers again to begin the season as defending NFL champions.

Payton's response made it clear he doesn't believe in letting his team -- or himself -- rest on its laurels.

"I believe that once you get to the top of the mountain, you've got to come back down and begin the journey to go back up," he said. "In other words, I don't think you just stay there -- you have to start with the offseason and you have to start with the mini-camps and get through training camp and you have to hopefully climb back up the way you did the year before, rather than the idea that you're up there trying to defend it. The journey, the process, all of that, is what you have to focus on."

That said, would Payton seek out Bill Belichick, the last man to lead his team to back-to-back Super Bowl wins and someone Payton has a great deal of respect for?

"Yes. I haven't (yet), but it would be a real good point, that you would want to reference someone who's done it successfully and learn a lot," he said.

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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