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Sean Payton ‘not discouraged’ by eight-win finish

This isn’t the industry for that.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

In Denver’s 2023-24 finale, they fell 14-27 to the Las Vegas Raiders, ending their season 8-9. We already knew coming into this game that we had zero playoff chances, and we were without our starting QB, but the aim was still to accomplish one last victory before tying it all up.

Denver Broncos Head Coach Sean Payton, though disappointed with the loss, is not discouraged by last night.

“Look, you are what your record is. In our league, it’s just the truth,” he acknowledged, “So, like I said, you’re disappointed — not discouraged, but disappointed because you do have an expectation and then we go from there. We begin this offseason, which is going to involve a lot of work.”

Paramount to disappointment, of course, is the expectations and effort put into it — expectations on the players, on their scheme, and, especially, on their coaching staff. It’s difficult to watch something so meticulously planned fall short.

“That’s the thing that’s most disappointing,” Payton admitted about how the coaching staff could have done better, “You come away as a teacher and you’re like, man, we collectively — and I said that in there — we didn’t do a good enough job. There are things that happened in that game that get me upset because I know better. So, it starts with us.”

He followed this up with praise for the Raiders, noting their high quality performance. “Those guys did a good job today. I’m talking about Vegas, and that’s the thing that keeps you up.”

Asked why he’s not discouraged in the face of a losing season, Payton’s answer was simple: “Because this isn’t the industry to get discouraged.”

“It would have been real easy to get discouraged with the start of the season,” he pointed out, “No one said this was going to be easy.”

The head coach shed light on their offensive struggles and what they’re working on in the coming season. “We’ve had different quarterbacks play and we’ve had different running backs over the years, and part of our job is to build the offense around the ingredients that are in the building.”

Payton added that they’ll continue to do just that, rebuilding and refining in the coming year.