Things with Sean Payton appear to be a little shaky all of a sudden.
Despite all kinds of good signs last week that the Broncos want Payton and Payton wants the Broncos - which is still likely true but perhaps less exclusive than it seemed - Monday brought some conflicting reports and confounding news.
Jeff Duncan with NOLA.com reported Monday morning that Payton had an in-person interview scheduled with the Broncos on Wednesday.
Then Denver media came out saying nothing was confirmed.
So Duncan retracted his comment a bit and said Payton was flying out to Denver Wednesday and “expected” to have an in-person interview Wednesday night or Thursday.
But then it was reported that Payton had an interview with the Cardinals on Thursday and nothing was actually scheduled yet with the Broncos.
I know there is some question among Broncos fans about the heavy price tag that may come with Payton. Not so much the cash money but the draft capital. And it’s a valid concern.
But the Broncos need a fixer - and Payton is definitely that.
Duncan told DNVR last week that Payton is a proven winner and he will win wherever he goes.
Will it cost two first-round picks for Sean Payton?— DNVR Broncos (@DNVR_Broncos) January 20, 2023
Saints insider Jeff Duncan doesn’t think it’ll cost that much in the end. pic.twitter.com/qZmmSUHgK7
Nick Underhill of New Orleans Football told Broncos Country Tonight’s Benjamin Allbright last week almost exactly the same thing, saying Payton would immediately improve any team he goes to.
Nick Underhill, @nick_underhill of @nofnetwork, joined @AllbrightNFL and @redwardsradio to discuss what the @Broncos will be getting in Sean Payton if he ends up as the team's next HC. #BroncosCountry https://t.co/IF1eX0vPiG— KOA 850 AM & 94.1 FM (@KOAColorado) January 19, 2023
The Athletic’s Nick Kosmider ponited out in an article that if there is a coach to immediately jumpstart an offense, it’s Sean Payton:
“From 2006 to 2021 — Payton coached all of those seasons except 2012, when he was suspended due to the Bountygate scandal — the Saints were second in the NFL in scoring at 27.7 points per game. Only the Patriots (28.5), led during most of that stretch by incomparable quarterback Tom Brady, scored more points. The 392.4 yards per game the Saints produced during Payton’s tenure were No. 1. Third-down conversion rate? No. 1. Red zone efficiency? Best in the league. Total touchdowns scored? More than anyone. The Saints were also tied atop the NFL with the Patriots during that stretch in expected points added (EPA) per play.”
For a team that had the lowest-scoring offense in the NFL last year - and as a franchise that desperately wants, even needs, to get back to winning immediately - it shouldn’t take too much due diligence to see that Payton is worth all of it to get back on track.
Will all the smoke that Sean Payton could be the #Broncos' next head coach lead to some fire this week?— Doctor of Words (and tights) (@docllv) January 22, 2023
My latest #RoundUp highlights all the reasons our magic 8 ball says "Outlook good." https://t.co/CjZrIJi9ad
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