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Players say Payton’s resumé, swagger is building excitement, confidence in the locker room

And after you finish a season 5-12, you need a lot of confidence boosting.

NFL Combine Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

As the next phase of OTAs opens today for the Broncos, a couple of defensive stars have already been talking up the new coach while still keeping very tight-lipped about what’s to come in Denver under Sean Payton.

“All business,” Simmons said Saturday after participating in Denver’s third annual March for Peace. “We’ll put what we’ve been doing in the dark, that will come out in the light during the season.”

Patrick Surtain added that Payton “just knows what it takes.”

“He’s just locked in with the team,” the Pro Bowler said on The Jim Rome Show. “He’s got a lot of swag behind him. And you can sense that around the team. We’re very excited as a team to see where the season takes us.”

Simmons said the coach’s confidence is boosting the confidence of the team too.

“He’s been there and done it and he’s very confident in what he can do and how he’s done it in the past,” Simmons added. “So when you have that type of confidence and you can tell that what you do works, people just follow that lead.”

Surtain noted that the vibe in the building is completely different this year.

“You could just sense the vibe change. He brings a different type of passion for the game. He has very high expectations for us going into the season and we’re just looking forward to it and rallying behind him. He’s done it before, and I’m looking forward to competing at a high level.”

Broncos thought Russell Wilson was going to be the guy to change the losing vibe to a winning one and it didn’t come to fruition.

But Surtain believes Wilson is going to bring the same work ethic this season - and a new attitude.

“He knows what it takes to win games,” Surtain said. “Last year wasn’t the year that was expected, but I know what type of player he is, and he’s very excited about this year and looking to build the team for this coming season.”

In fact, newly re-signed Kareem Jackson told Jim Rome on Monday that Payton is the perfect coach to help Wilson reclaim his status as an elite quarterback. Payton ran prolific offenses each of his years with the Saints and helped Drew Brees develop into a Super Bowl-winning quarterback.

“This league is hard and there are always going to be ebbs and flows,” K-Jack said. “But it’s all about how you bounce back, and I think Russell Wilson has that toughness and mindset and mentality to bounce back. And obviously having Sean Payton is going to be huge for him as well.”

Payton & Co. will have to start fast and furious as the Broncos will open the season at home against hated rival - the Raiders.

Surtain pointed out that playing in the AFC West against such tough quarterbacks as Justin Herbert and Patrick Mahomes definitely challenges him every game, but he’s looking forward to competing - and winning - against those AFC West foes this year.

“We’ve got our work cut out for us, but we know what’s ahead,” Surtain said. “I’m excited to see what’s going to happen.”


Fun but irrelevant question - What is your rank order prediction for the AFC West QBs this season (by personal performance)?

  • 68%
    Mahomes, Herbert, Wilson, Garoppolo
    (343 votes)
  • 2%
    Herbert, Mahomes, Garoppolo, Wilson
    (14 votes)
  • 13%
    Wilson, Mahomes, Herbert, Garoppolo ;)
    (69 votes)
  • 0%
    Garoppolo, Herbert, Mahomes, Wilson
    (4 votes)
  • 14%
    Mah...oh, just write down your own order!!
    (70 votes)
500 votes total Vote Now

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