“Jeff has got a lot of experience, and he’s been a part of a lot of successful drafts. His opinion counts; everyone’s opinion up there counts,” Loomis said of Ireland, who also made his mark in the 2000s as the chief college scout for the Dallas Cowboys, where he worked with Payton under coach Bill Parcells.
Payton said Parcells’ influence could also be felt in the Saints’ draft room since he had “pounded” some of the same values into both himself and Ireland for years (including the importance of size).
“Here we are in this draft, and the discussion is maybe a short corner or an undersized [player], and the whole time I’m looking at [Ireland] and saying, ‘You’re taking the call from Parcells, not me.’” Payton cracked. “There are traits that he learned, and we were both fortunate to have those three years together. But he’s real savvy, smart, and he loves football. He really did a good job, and our scouting department worked extremely hard as well.
Not the first time we've read about how surprisingly influential Parcells has been on Saints operations during Payton's tenure. Not bad results, generally.