5 facts about Denver Broncos HC Sean Payton you didn't know

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4. Sean Payton was a "replacement" player for the Chicago Bears

Before he became a coach, Payton was a pretty darn good player. At Eastern Illinois, his jersey no. 18 is retired. He spent a couple years after his time at Eastern Illinois bouncing between being on and off professional rosters from the Arena League to the Canadian League, but in 1987, he was actually a quarterback for the "Spare Bears".

Affectionately known as the Impostors of the Midway, the 1987 Chicago Bears replacement players were called upon during the NFLPA strike that season. Interestingly enough, another "Spare Bear" player -- safety Mike Stoops -- went on to become the head coach of the Arizona Wildcats from 2004-2011.

The strike happened in the middle of the season, and lasted just a handful of games. The Bears went 2-1 during the strike and Sean Payton completed eight passes in those games for 79 yards. He didn't throw any touchdowns but the fact is, he was in the NFL during one of the most bizarre times in league history.

Imagine if something like that happened today...

Payton's time with the Chicago Bears was brief, but he would become the starting quarterback of the Leicester Panthers in 1988 (in Europe) for a season before turning to the coaching ranks.

Is anyone else catching Drew Brees-Saints vibes in that photo, or is it just me? Just the number nine?