Five months ago Broncos Country knew Sean Payton’s hire meant a return to details.
He’s known for that - and he told us so.
And now his new players are telling us again.
As player after player has come to the podium following OTA practices, the theme has been crystal clear.
Justin Simmons told us:
“If I had to sum it up in one word, I’d say educational,” Simmons said last week. “[Payton] is really good at explaining how he wants things done and why it’s being done.”
Josey Jewell told us:
“I’ve done some of this stuff before with other coaches, but this is definitely very detailed, very specific to things,” Jewell said, pointing out that a lot of NFL games are decided by one score - and that means details. “A lot of them come down to two-minute. That’s a huge priority for us: ending the game on the right note.”
Courtland Sutton told us:
“Everything to him is very [intentional]. There’s a rhyme and a reason to everything he’s doing,” Sutton said, praising the coach for working on situational football right now. “It’s amazing. It shows us that he understands and knows what to expect when we get into these games. There’s going to be no [wavering]. There’s going to be no question marks. Everybody understands that he knows what he’s doing. We’re all going to be on the same page [and] we’re going to go out there and execute.”
And now Payton is going to tell us again:
“[During] training camp on each day, we will take two [game situations] and we will review [them],” Payton said. “They have to know those cold, and they have to know what we’re thinking so that when they come up, we can execute. If you don’t address one because it doesn’t come up until every two years, then you’re going to be faced with it, and no one’s going to know what to do.”
Case in point - Payton has a board of 43 things that are “unique end-of-game, end-of-half, and sometimes middle-of-the-game situations” that they’ve gone over in walk-throughs and will be bringing back in training camp for review. It may be once every four weeks or it may be once every two years.
“We begin teaching those, and not just to those involved. In a perfect world, the whole bench is going to know what to expect at the end of the game in a certain situation,” Payton added. “It’s really just trying to get really specific with the details of certain game situations that actually happen. We have video of it, and we have statistics of it. What’s the strategy when it happens?”
I know what many of you are thinking - and about to comment below - that this is coach-speak, player-speak, “I’m not buying in until I see wins on the scoreboard...” And given the team’s performances the past seven seasons, it would be hard to blame you.
But this kind of information from players about what they’re getting out of OTAs is different. And not just from last year but every offseason since Gary Kubiak led the team. We aren’t just hearing about how excited they might be or how hard they’re working or how focused they are. We are hearing about how they are being taught. And it seems thorough.
This is the time of year that every team is undefeated and optimism is high.
But however the Broncos’ 2023 season turns out, it will not be due to lack of knowledge, lack of preparation or lack of careful intention.
Simmons, who has yet to be on a winning team in Denver, rather candidly acknowledged exactly why this year is different.
“You have someone that knows - knows what they’re doing, has done it for years and years and years and has been successful at it,” he said. “And so you can kind of see how those details stack up.”
It's all about the details. @philmilani, @sydneyajones_, @SteveAtwater27 & @AricDiLalla share how the @Broncos can get the most out of their WR corps in this offense » https://t.co/CYIph2P8kz pic.twitter.com/dSHaoW0luW— Broncos Studio (@BroncosStudio) June 11, 2023
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