If you had two working eyes and watched primetime NFL football last season, you probably saw the trainwreck that was the 2022 Denver Broncos.
After trading for QB Russell Wilson and hiring
a sentient Star Wars ChatBot former Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, the expectations for the Broncos’ offense were sky high. They saw those expectations and fell flat on their face. The offense sputtered to a dead last finish in points per game, and Wilson had the worst season of his career. Hackett was fired before the season began, and in steps former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton.
Payton, much like his mentor Bill Parcells, doesn’t hold anything back when it comes to talking about what went right or wrong on offense. As an objective viewer last year (he spent 2022 providing analysis on Fox Sports), he was able to watch what went wrong for the Broncos last year.
And he picked out quite a few things that irked him. In a new interview with Jarrett Bell of USA Today, Payton buried everyone associated with last season’s Broncos … except for Russell Wilson.
“That was a message,” Payton said. “They can only beat the (expletive) out of you so much. But everybody’s got a little stink on their hands. It’s not just Russell. It was a (poor) offensive line. It might have been one of the worst coaching jobs in the history of the NFL. That’s how bad it was.”
Payton didn’t pull any punches, saying “it might have been one of the worst coaching jobs in the history of the NFL” about last year’s staff in Denver. Shots fired at Hackett and Co. What a quote.
Here’s one more.
“We’re not doing any of that. The Jets did that this year. You watch. ‘Hard Knocks,’ all of it. I can see it coming. Remember when (former Washington owner) Dan Snyder put that Dream Team together? I was at the Giants (in 2000). I was a young coach. I thought, ‘How are we going to compete with them? Deion’s (Sanders) there now.’ That team won eight games or whatever. So, listen…just put the work in.”
First of all, LMAO at the random shots at both the Jets and Dan Snyder. Never change, Sean Payton. Second, it’s interesting that he brings up the Jets and Hard Knocks, because I’m not exactly sure how many teams/players actually like having those cameras around. Seems like not many do!
This was about what went wrong with Wilson, and Payton minces no words.
“Oh, man,” Payton began. “There’s so much dirt around that. There’s 20 dirty hands, for what was allowed, tolerated in the fricking training rooms, the meeting rooms. The offense. I don’t know Hackett. A lot of people had dirt on their hands. It wasn’t just Russell. He didn’t just flip. He still has it. This B.S. that he hit a wall? Shoot, they couldn’t get a play in. They were 29th in the league in pre-snap penalties on both sides of the ball.”
Payton saying what pretty much everyone was saying last year. The Broncos offense was a muddled mess, with so many problems. The offensive line dealt with injuries and bad pass protection. The playcalling wasn’t getting in until the last second, like Payton said, and even then, it didn’t seem like it was helping Wilson at all. However, Wilson didn’t help himself much either. He’s older now, so the athleticism isn’t as high as it was, but the propensity for getting himself into pressure was still bad. That’s why Payton was brought in, to change that.
It was illuminating to hear what Payton had to say about the Broncos last year, especially because he spent the season away from coaching. He had a great view of what he thought was wrong with Denver, and with that, he can seemingly fix the problems they had.