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Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Best arm in the NFC South? Sean Payton

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

If you produced a scouting report on each of the NFC South coaches, New Orleans’ Sean Payton would clearly be the leader in arm strength.

He’s a former college quarterback and played a bit in the NFL in a strike season. I’ve also seen Payton playing catch with his son after games in the Superdome and the old quarterback still can throw pretty well.

But Payton has been at his best this season when he’s throwing red flags, instead of footballs. When it comes to getting calls overturned via replay challenges, Payton is near the top of the league. He’s challenged eight calls this year and had six of them overturned. That’s a 75-percent success rate and the only NFL coach with a better number in that category is Indianapolis’ Jim Caldwell at 80 percent (four of his five challenges have been overturned). No NFL coach has had more calls overturned than Payton.

The rest of the NFC South coaches aren’t faring nearly as well as Payton when it comes to replay challenges. Tampa Bay’s Raheem Morris is next in line with a 42.86-percent success rate (three of his seven challenges have resulted in calls being overturned).

Atlanta’s Mike Smith is next with a 37.5 percent success rate. Smith has had three of his eight challenges overturned. Carolina’s John Fox is two for 11, which puts him at 18.18 percent. All numbers are courtesy of ESPN Stats & Information.