After a longer-than-normal practice on Wednesday, head coach Sean Payton shared insights on his strategy for upcoming roster decisions, along with some encouragement for his players.
One major factor in Payton’s optimism is knowing the people on his team, and being able to trust that their focus is in the right place. When asked about his message for the week, he admitted that he hasn’t given it to them yet, but that we could have the gist of it.
“Be smart. Take care of your body. Continue to work out. You’ve got so much invested.”
“Part of that is having the right type of guys who are smart enough to understand what’s at stake and what we’re getting ready to start,” he continued, “That gets all the way back to who you’re bringing in, who you’re keeping and the right 53.”
Speaking of the 53-man roster, the head coach divulged some strategy on narrowing down those final players.
“The art of the 53 is sometimes protecting the most vulnerable or the assets you think would be claimed or signed,” Payton shared, “I think the mistake sometimes is saying, ‘Hey, we need five at this position, and eight at this position,’ instead of the right 53 in order to secure the roster the way you want it.”
According to Payton, the next few weeks in the league will see the majority of roster moves. “Then, it begins to calm down a little bit,” he assured.
As for the practice squad? The coach prefers to sign players that have already been with the team versus grabbing new players off the market. He gave some details about that process, too.
“If we feel like there is an upgrade, then we look at it closely...every player is discussed—some very quickly and some longer. Then, there are some tags we apply to each player with each team. When the process ends, we go back and now we are at 17 that we’ve tagged.”
Payton described a combination of having these conversations, watching more film, and sleeping on it to discuss more things (i.e. whether a player will have a claim tag or a practice squad tag). This usually doesn’t happen without a late night at work, because being on MT means they have a smaller timeframe to turn in their decisions.
As we’re about to launch into the regular season, Denver’s staff is currently orchestrating an upcoming ‘Las Vegas practice.’ Up until now, they’ve been keeping their attention on just building the team without honing in on certain opponents.
“We focused a little bit more on us,” he stated, “We will shift gears. We are working on Las Vegas right now upstairs. Monday will be a Las Vegas practice.”
Despite our two away games ending in loss, we did go out with a bang against the Rams. With a proven and consistent leader at the helm, maybe in the weeks to come we’ll see a side of the Denver Broncos that hasn’t emerged in quite a few years.
Are you confident in Denver’s 2023 season outlook?
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Yes, but cautiously (I’m tired of being hurt)