Sean Payton officially named Broncos head coach

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — The Denver Broncos named Sean Payton the 20th head coach in franchise history on Friday, 40 days after firing rookie head coach Nathaniel Hackett.

“Sean Payton is an outstanding leader and Super Bowl champion with a brilliant offensive mind. He shares our commitment to winning championships for Broncos Country and we are thrilled to welcome him as our new head coach,” said the owner and CEO Greg Penner in a statement.

“Sean knows how to build a championship culture with high expectations. He coaches with intensity and attention to detail while setting and maintaining high standards. Sean puts his heart and soul into winning with preparation, creativity and genuine love Game. “

The Broncos reached an agreement earlier this week to compensate the New Orleans Saints, who had Payton under contract for two more years.

A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the Saints would receive the Broncos’ first-round selection, No. 29 overall, in this year’s draft and a 2022 second-rounder and that the Broncos would receive the third from New Orleans. selection round next year.

Payton, 59, will be officially introduced at team headquarters on Monday. He has already been busy interviewing candidates for his coaching staff.

Payton, who worked in broadcast this season after leaving the Saints when Drew Brees retired, was 152-89 in 15 seasons with New Orleans and 9-8 in the playoffs. He led the Saints to a 31-17 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in the Super Bowl after the 2009 season.

“It’s rare in any sport to hire a head coach with Sean’s credentials and we appreciate the first-class manner in which the Saints have approached this process,” Penner said. “We also appreciated the opportunity to meet and learn from the other outstanding highly skilled coaches we interviewed.

“Our goal was to identify a strong leader for the Denver Broncos who is focused on winning, and we found him in Coach Payton.”

Payton’s first order of business after building his team will be to help quarterback Russell Wilson make a comeback after the worst statistical season of his 11-year NFL career.

The Broncos went 5-12 last season, extending their playoff drought to seven years. Hackett was fired Dec. 26 with a 4-11 record, making him the fifth head coach to fail in his first season in NFL history. Interim head coach Jerry Rosburg went 1-1 to close out the Broncos’ sixth straight season.

The Broncos were arguably the league’s biggest disappointment in 2022 given the blockbuster trade with Seattle for Wilson that cost Denver four premium draft picks and three players and the hiring of Hackett, which proved to be the biggest flop of last year’s hiring cycle, overseeing an offense that averaged less than 16 points per game.

Wilson signed a $245 million extension before the season, an extension that won’t even kick in until next year. He pledged to do everything in his power to bounce back in 2023.

The Seahawks own the Broncos’ fifth overall selection in the upcoming draft. The first round they sent to New Orleans for Payton is No. 29 overall. They got that pick from the Miami Dolphins in the trade of Bradley Chubb last year. The choice originally belonged to the San Francisco 49ers.

Payton was the headliner during this year’s round of head coaching openings. Only five teams were looking for new coaches: the Broncos, Texans, Panthers, Colts and Cardinals.

The Broncos conducted a thorough search, starting with a virtual visit with Jim Harbaugh, who decided to stay at the University of Michigan. Also considered were Dan Quinn, DeMeco Ryans, Raheem Morris, Ejiro Evero, Jim Caldwell and David Shaw. The Texans signed Ryans, who was a runner-up in Denver, on Tuesday.

Penner conducted the research with help from limited partner Condoleezza Rice and general manager George Paton.


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