Sean Payton was hardly the first head coach to suffer a serious knee injury while standing on the sideline during a football game.
The Saints head coach, who is close with Bill Belichick, was injured Sunday when New Orleans tight end Jimmy Graham was tackled into him during his team's loss to the Buccaneers. Payton tore his meniscus, broke a bone in his leg and underwent surgery Monday.
Belichick noted Monday that a similar situation happened with former Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis when he was the head coach at Notre Dame in 2008. And Belichick said he's been hit on the sideline before, too, though he has managed to escape injury. He said it's happened quite a bit, and it's even more dangerous during practice when he's coaching in the middle of the playing field.
"Yeah, I've been run over on the sideline before," Belichick said. "Look, guys are moving fast. Sometimes you're not actually looking. I mean, it's happened to me many times on the sideline where you're not actually looking at the guy who ends up hitting you. You're watching another part of the play. You're not really watching the ball. You're watching something else, and then before you realize it, somebody is on top of you and you're in harm's way.
"There's a reason why everybody tries to stay back on the sideline, and that's to give the officials room to work the sideline and keep everybody back, and also a reason why we are careful with our injured players about putting them on the sideline during games — for those unexpected type situations where somebody can come flying over into the bench, and they're just not able to move quickly enough to get out of the way.
"To be honest with you, it's worse in practice when you're actually out there. Sometimes coaching on the defensive side of the ball, you're behind the linebackers, behind the secondary, and those guys are moving fast and they can get on top of you in a hurry. I have a lot of respect for those collisions, trust me."