After he was hired by the Denver Broncos to return to coaching, here’s what Sean Payton had to say.
Last year, Denver Broncos fans entered the year with tons of excitement over what a new star quarterback would do for their chances of competing deep in the playoffs. In the end, the Russell Wilson-led Broncos finished 5-12, last in the AFC West. They didn’t sniff the postseason.
With the Broncos locked into a substantial extension they signed with Wilson before he even took a down in Denver, they had to make sure they had the pieces right around him. Wilson is a sunk cost, but a cost they can recoup some of the investment on, perhaps?
Denver fired their first-year coach Nathaniel Hackett and tried to hire DeMeco Ryans. That didn’t work. Then they tried to hire Jim Harbaugh in secret. That didn’t work. Instead, they ended up with the very expensive Sean Payton, and a few less draft picks.
Payton is a great offensive mind and a quarterback whisperer. He reinvented Drew Brees’ career and arguably found ways to extend it when his arm strength weakened toward the end. Perhaps he can help reinvent Wilson, too?
Here’s what Sean Payton said about coaching the Denver Broncos
It was brief, but here’s what Payton had to say to Jeff Duncan, a Saints beat reporter for NOLA.com, in a phone call shortly after the hire was made official.
"“Great fanbase. Great tradition. The ownership group is fantastic, and I love the way they competed last year. It’s a great football city like we had in New Orleans.”"
He told Duncan in a column that this was the sort of opportunity (subscription required) he was waiting for.
On Wilson, he said he’s hoping to capture some of what made him succesful in Seattle. He referenced Wilson’s greatest hits and how he hoped his assistants would be able to get him using some of those old lyrics. In the middle of the field, Payton referenced the Seahawks using the naked bootleg and how that worked for him, but he also spoke on some more granular aspects of his play. Specifically, he also wants to look at Wilson’s succesful plays in the red zone.
We’ll hear more when Payton is officially introduced in his press conference.
Saints fans won’t like to hear that comparison, but the draft pick they got should help shut ’em up, even if it’s not quite the Jon Gruden haul they wanted.