Patrick Reusse: Payton's traits were obvious

  • Article by: PATRICK REUSSE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 15, 2007 - 10:14 PM

"When he came home after a game, I could always tell if we won or lost by the sound of the garage door." -- Mary Feely, wife of Tom Feely, the legendary St. Thomas basketball coach who died over the weekend.

Payton's traits were obvious

Al Molde took over as Eastern Illinois football coach in 1983. Sean Payton was a redshirt freshman quarterback. He wound up starting from 1984-86 for Molde.

"He was an All-American quarterback for us," Molde said. "He passed for over 10,000 yards and was in the Division 1-AA record book for a long time."

Molde is in his 10th year as Gustavus Adolphus athletic director. His most recent conversation with Payton came after a Saints' victory in Dallas.

"He was wired up that morning," Molde said. "I see the same thing in him coaching as I did as a player. He has the ability to bring confidence to the people around him.

"His teammates believed in him as a quarterback. And, you can see that same belief in the Saints.

"He was a great recruiter for us, too. Anytime we had a recruit we really wanted on a campus visit, Sean was the player we used to show him around."

Worst rookie: Childress

There were seven rookie coaches in the NFL this season. Five of those coaches increased their team's victory total.

Payton improved New Orleans by seven victories, and now has added a playoff victory. Eric Mangini improved the New York Jets by six victories and took his team to the playoffs.

Green Bay's Mike McCarthy and Houston's Gary Kubiak improved their teams by four victories. St. Louis' Scott Linehan improved the Rams by two victories.

Detroit's Rod Marinelli coached the Lions to two fewer victories than in 2005. He was outdone by Brad Childress, who led the Vikings to three fewer victories.

Shouldn't our beloved Little Major get some kind of a plaque for this?

Bad golf not embarrassing

Now that Pat Miles has retired from the electronic media, she has more time to devote to another role: Minnesota's No. 1 booster for women's golf.

Miles, wintering in Arizona, was asked Monday if Michelle Wie's play has yet reached the embarrassing stage for fans of women's golf. Wie's latest fiasco in a men's event was shooting 78-76 and missing the cut by 14 strokes in the Sony Open.

"I am now the mother of two teenage daughters," Miles said. "I have to tell you, there's no score a young woman could shoot on a golf course that would embarrass me."

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