What to expect from the early stages of Broncos' new Sean Payton-Russell Wilson partnership: “Robots can't play quarterback”
Published in Football
Sean Payton’s got a long to-do list as he gets settled into his new Denver digs.
He’ll have to get his UC Health Center key card and the human resources paperwork figured out and probably check the team store for a Broncos visor, too.
Once all of that important stuff is out of the way, he can turn his attention to minor details like figuring out a coaching staff, working on what 17 prospective free agents to sign and getting on the same page with general manager George Paton and the personnel group about what they like and what he likes. All part of the top-to-bottom evaluation of the organization CEO Greg Penner promised.
There will be changes. Probably a lot of them. It’s all in a few months’ work for a new head coach, even one with the resume Payton’s bringing with him on the jet from Southern California to the Front Range.
Somewhere along the line, Payton will link up with quarterback Russell Wilson and they will begin the process of trying to generate a resurgence for the 34-year-old quarterback.
Scott Shanle, a linebacker who played 128 games for Payton between New Orleans and Dallas — including 94 starts for the Saints — has an idea of how those early days will go between the two men the Broncos traded away three first-round picks, three second-round picks and three players to acquire over the past 11 months.
“I think Russell Wilson is going to sit there after about a week with Sean and say, ‘Thank God,’” Shanle told The Post recently. “And that’s not a slight on any other coach that Russell’s had, it’s just that Sean Payton is one of the greatest minds our game has seen.”
Wilson’s first year in Denver was the worst statistical season of his career. He also experienced the worst win-loss record of his NFL career and ended up on the injury report three times (lat, hamstring and concussion).
Much of the discourse around Dove Valley starts with something along the lines of, “Well, if Russell Wilson can just get back to average.” Or, “If he doesn’t hurt the team.” Or, “If he just plays a level better than 2022.”
People who have played for Payton are much more bullish that he can help Wilson turn his career around.
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