Sean Payton – Russell Wilson’s QB coach won’t be in facility

ENGLEWOOD, Colorado — Sean Payton’s formal introduction as Denver Broncos coach Monday touched on the importance of being approachable to players, a promise of discipline, an eye for detail and a focused pursuit of wins that “isn’t for everyone.” ‘

And perhaps nothing underscored the whole thing more than Payton’s unwavering belief in the improvement Russell Wilson can make and how Payton expects Wilson and the rest of the Broncos to make that improvement.

When asked if Wilson could continue to have a personal quarterback trainer — Jake Heaps — as well as other support staff to work with the quarterback in the building, Payton was clear on where he stood.

“I’m not too familiar with that,” Payton said when asked if Wilson had heaps in the building with access last season. “That’s alien to me – that’s not going to happen. I’m not familiar with it. Our staff will be here, our players will be here and that will be it.”

For a team that has lost at least 10 games in five of the last six years, Payton has quite a long to-do list with Wilson at or near the top.

Wilson, for whom the Broncos sent five draft picks and three players to the Seattle Seahawks last March, finished the season with a career-low 16 touchdown passes and a career-high 55 sacks. The Broncos were the lowest scoring team in the league (16.9 points per game) and had 11 games this season in which they scored 16 points or fewer.

But with Justin Outten calling plays from the coach’s box and quarterbacks coach Klint Kubiak on the touchline for the final two games of the season while Jerry Rosburg was the interim head coach, Wilson had six total touchdowns across the two games — four passing and two rushing. Wilson threw three touchdown passes in the season-ending win over the Los Angeles Chargers.

Payton said Monday he believes those two games are the first glimpses of how things could be better for Wilson.

“[The] last few weeks [of the season] We saw a little bit more of what we expected, which we got used to,” Payton said. “…The most important thing for us as coaches in evaluating players is what they are good at and then we try to put them in those positions….Highlight their strengths and minimize their weaknesses.”

Payton matched the offense with what Wilson does well, later adding, “None of us want to be in a karaoke bar with a song we don’t know the words to.”

But overall, for a franchise that has missed the playoffs in each of the past seven seasons — the Super Bowl 50 win is the team’s final playoff game — owner and CEO Greg Penner had said the new coach needed discipline and discipline Accountability.

Payton made those promises both in his interviews with the Broncos and Monday as he reflected on his arrival as coach of the New Orleans Saints in 2006 and working with Hall of Famer Bill Parcells.

“You’re in law and order, as Bill [Parcells] would say,” Payton said. “…You come in with it, that’s how we’re going to teach, that’s how we’re going to meet, that’s how we’re going to practice. …Every year in our league has been great plans with noble thoughts and lots of enthusiasm that don’t come to fruition… Discipline, toughness and football makeup will be very important to the Denver Bronco. There’s an element of discipline, there’s an element of tenacity and, look, it’s not for everyone.”

Payton later added, “I know what it looks like and I know what it doesn’t look like. And sometimes we don’t ask for it; sometimes it is non-negotiable.”

Penner and general manager George Paton said Monday they considered Payton to be the team’s best candidate earlier in the hiring process than most believed. Penner said it took “five or six days” after the Broncos decided Payton would be the next head coach to actually work out the trade with the Saints in exchange for compensation.

Payton, who last coached with the Saints in 2021, was under contract with New Orleans through the 2024 season. The Broncos sent their first-round pick in April (29th overall) and a second-round pick in 2024 to the Saints to sign Payton to a five-year contract. Denver also received a third-round pick back from New Orleans in 2024.

Specifically, Penner was asked if the Broncos were still pursuing San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans last week before Ryans accepted the job as head coach of the Houston Texans.

“That wasn’t the case,” Penner said. “…After we arrested Sean about five or six days before closing the deal with the Saints, our focus was on him and closing it.”

“We would have let Sean do it sooner if we didn’t have this other layer with the trade,” Paton said.

For his part, Payton said: “What I was looking for felt like it existed in one place based on my encounter with the other teams. … This was the opportunity I was interested in and I know I was the coach they were interested in.” Sean Payton – Russell Wilson’s QB coach won’t be in facility

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