When the Denver Broncos made the decision to bench Russell Wilson for the remainder of the season, all eyes turned to backup quarterback Jarrett Stidham. Well, not right away, but after all the drama of Wilson’s benching ran its course then those eyes began to turn Stidham’s way.
Head Coach Sean Payton was asked why he was confident in making the change to Stidham, he was quick to point out some of his technical strengths but also highlights how well he played last season for the Las Vegas Raiders.
“He’s someone who has really good poise,” Payton said. “He has really good feet. You see his arm strength and decision making. Take a peek at the 49ers game or take a peek at the Chiefs game with just some of those things we saw. Obviously, we get a chance to see him every day against our defense. Those are a number of them.”
This is an opportunity many backup quarterbacks will not get in the NFL, so he’ll obviously want to play well. If he can provide some kind of offensive life then there is a good chance Denver can win out, although their playoff chances are slim to none at this point.
“I think it’s significant,” Payton said of Stidham’s opportunity. “He understands it. He came here to compete. These guys are competitive by nature. They haven’t gotten to this level without that confidence in themselves. He’s going to want to play well, and that’s the trait most of these players at this level in our league have.”
While the Russell Wilson era has come to an end, the Sean Payton era seems to just be getting started. He’ll be hampered by the salary implications of George Paton’s miss on the Wilson trade and mega contract for the next few seasons, he won’t have the time to sit around and wait for that to resolve itself. It’s not for long in the NFL, so he’ll need to find a way to bring competitive football back to Denver before that clock runs out.
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