Broncos’ Sean Payton bans personal coaches from locker room, including star QBs: ‘That’s foreign to me’
New Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton is already making some changes in the organization.
The Broncos introduced Payton on Monday, which meant fielding questions from the various Denver and national outlets about being back in the saddle after a year away from the NFL. During that questioning, one reporter asked Payton about his policy on personal coaches for players being allowed in his regime, specifically with quarterback Russell Wilson.
Payton was quick to say “I’m not too familiar with that,” but elaborated further.
“That’s foreign to me. That’s not going to take place here,” he said. “I’m unfamiliar with it. Our staff will be here, our players will be here and that will be it.”
Last season when he was traded from the Seattle Seahawks to the Broncos, Wilson brought along his personal quarterback coach Jake Heaps to Denver. He was allowed in the facility during training camp under new head coach Nathaniel Hackett, but that key card won’t let him in this year.
Heaps was a former quarterback himself, playing for several colleges, including the University of Miami. He ended up joining the New York Jets as an undrafted rookie in 2015, and ended up signing with the Seahawks in 2016 to join their practice squad.
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Though he never once played an NFL regular-season game, he developed a strong relationship with Wilson. While he was working on Seattle Sports 710 am radio, he was a quarterback coach and ended up packing his bags to follow Wilson to Colorado.
But he isn’t the only personal coach. Tom Brady worked with Alex Guerrero, his personal trainer, for years. Guerrero was eventually banned from the New England Patriots’ facilities.
There’s also Adam Dedeaux, Lamar Jackson’s personal coach, who went to Baltimore Ravens training camp last year as well.
Wilson had a tumultuous first season in Denver, which is one of the main reasons they finished 5-12, last in the AFC West, which led to Hackett’s firing before the season ended. It’s the worst season Wilson’s ever had, and Payton has been brought in to quickly change that.
Being offensive minded, the Broncos are hoping Payton’s track record of explosive offense can help clean up their 16.9 points scored per game, which was the lowest figure of any NFL team last season. And considering Wilson has $165 million in guaranteed salary from the Broncos, they need to turn things around fast.
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Payton has also done well with quarterback relationships over his tenure, especially in the case of Drew Brees. Like Wilson, the worry with Brees was his height, but Payton’s coaching and Brees’ talent led to a Super Bowl ring during the 2009 season with the New Orleans Saints.
Payton has a more-mobile Wilson under center, and he’s aware of the challenge ahead to get him back to his Pro Bowl self.
“Obviously it wasn’t the type of season he wanted to have,” Payton said via The Denver Post. “I do feel like the last couple weeks we saw a little bit more of what we were expecting or accustomed to. I think the number one job for us as coaches when we’re evaluating our players is, ‘What does he do really well?’ And then let’s try to put him in those positions.
“I know he’s a work. An extremely hard worker. That’s important.”
Payton has a career 152-89 record in 241 games, all with the Saints from 2006 to 2021. He has owned a winning record in each of his last five seasons.
Source: Fox News
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