Denver Broncos Hire Sean Payton As Head Coach – But Can He Fix Russell Wilson?
The Denver Broncos paid a hefty price to bring in Sean Payton as its new head coach – but now he is faced with the challenge of turning a former star quarterback career back in the right direction.
Unlike most coaches, the 59-year-old was under contract until 2024 with the New Orleans Saints.
Following the 2021 season, Payton shockingly decided to step down and said his “heart” wasn’t into coaching at the moment.
But it looks like that has turned around and the Broncos got him in Mile High City.
So badly that the organization traded a 2023 first-round pick and a 2024 second-rounder to him, reports ESPN insider Adam Schefter.
The path is clear for Sean Payton to become the next head coach of the Denver Broncos 🐴
Denver is sending a 2023 first-round pick and next year's second-round pick for Payton and the Saints' 2024 third-round pick, sources tell @AdamSchefter. pic.twitter.com/CMf19IpbVE
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 31, 2023
The move came just weeks after firing head coach Nathaniel Hackett during a disappointing season.
Ahead of the season, there was a lot of optimism surrounding the Broncos after it acquired Russell Wilson in a blockbuster deal.
But Wilson, along with the former coach, underperformed massively in 2022.
Now Payton will be tasked with getting the 34-year-old back on track.
One thing to note about Wilson is he isn’t just your traditional pocket passer, as he is most effective when using his feat.
Wilson last year rushed for just 277 yards – the second-lowest of his career.
And Payton has been an outstanding offensive mind in the league.
In his 15-season career with the Saints, his offense reportedly ranked outside the top 10 three times in points.
Sure he had future hall-of-famer Drew Brees as his quarterback – but he also turned Taysom Hill into a weapon.
Hill, in particular, was used heavily in wild cat packages.
Meanwhile, Payton also won games with Hill as his quarterback when Brees was hurt.
Under Payton, Hill went 7-2 as a starter.
But Payton will need to find a balance between run packages and passing plays for Wilson.
He’s a quarterback that can beat you in a multitude of ways – but that wasn’t of course on display with Hackett.
Wilson in his career has thrown for more than 40,000 yards and 308 touchdowns, along with almost 5,000 rushing yards.
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