NFC West Reporter
After extensive research, Denver Broncos CEO Greg Penner has landed Sean Payton, arguably the first person to target the franchise to get it out of the doldrums.
The veteran NFL head coach, who won a Super Bowl with the New Orleans Saints, spent the past season working as an NFL analyst for FOX Sports. Payton’s biggest challenge with the fledgling Broncos is solving Russell Wilson’s woes.
After acquiring Wilson in a blockbuster trade with the Seattle Seahawks last offseason, the Broncos were expected to fight for the AFC West title and possibly the Super Bowl. finished last in the
Wilson was a major source of the team’s 2022 struggles, with a new group of owners set to sack head coach Nathaniel Hackett before the first season ended. He had career-lows in completion percentage (60.5), pass touchdowns (16), passer rate (84.4), and was sacked a career-high 55 times.The Broncos scored (16.9) and converted third downs (29.1) in the NFL. finished last in the
Payton spent 15 seasons with the Saints and proved to be one of the best offensive minds in the league. That’s why New Orleans has become one of Wilson’s favorite trade destinations since the 2020 season. For years, Wilson has compared himself to Payton’s longtime protégé Drew Brees, given the quarterback’s similar size and height. Payton and Wilson were reportedly in touch before the Broncos finalized this latest deal.
Retired defensive tackle Brandon Mebain, who was Wilson’s former teammate in Seattle, believed Payton would be a good fit for the former quarterback.
“Pete [Carroll] They know how to communicate,” Mebane said.
“I think the closest coach that can get the system working and adapting to Russ is Sean Payton. I think he fits Russ best. Russ and Drew Brees are the same height. Russ has better arms. Maybe.”
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Of course, Wilson and Brees are different quarterbacks and different athletes. But Peyton’s track record suggests that he’ll not only hold Wilson accountable, but find the bread-and-butter play the aging star has been performing for so long.
“I want a cut-up of all of Russell’s past plays over 30 yards off the field. I want to see if there are some plans that he feels comfortable with. Herd,” said Colin Cowherd. “I know they did a great job pulling him out of his naked boots in Seattle. [Tyler] The rocket crossed the field where the ball traveled 60 yards in the air.
“Then I’d love to see another film of his red zone touchdown pass. What I’m looking for in an assistant is some of his greatest hits. Make sure some are available, and if not, let’s put them in.”
During Payton’s last five seasons with the Saints, his offense finished in the top five with four scoring runs. I was. As such, Payton knows and understands how to coach an offense and how to design schemes to get the most out of players and different signal callers.
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The Broncos already have one of the best defenses in the NFL. There isn’t much draft capital due to the Wilson and current Payton trade, but there is about $9.5 million in salary cap space, according to Over the Cap.
After a nightmare season under Hackett’s leadership, a new group of owners have wisely invested in an experienced head coach to put this once-proud franchise back on a winning path. Their playoff drought, which dates back to their victory in Super Bowl 50, is the second longest in the entire league.
Eric D. Williams has covered the NFL for over a decade, covering the Los Angeles Rams for Sports Illustrated, the Los Angeles Chargers for ESPN and the Seattle Seahawks for the Tacoma News Tribune. Follow him on Twitter. @eric_d_williams.
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