Former NFL QB Brutally Rips Denver Broncos’ Sean Payton

Sean Payton, Denver Broncos
NFL Analysis Network

Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton is not very well-liked in a lot of different circles.

He didn’t exactly make a great first impression in Denver when he called out former Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett, essentially breaking an unwritten rule.

Payton then clashed with quarterback Russell Wilson throughout the 2023 campaign and was seen visibly screaming at Wilson at times. Eventually, Payton ended up benching Wilson for the final two games of the season after the veteran signal-caller declined to defer his injury guarantee.

Former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf is not a fan of Payton, to say the least.

During an appearance on the Up & Adams Show, Leaf ripped Payton, saying, “I don’t know what he has on new ownership.” In other words, Payton may have some dirt on Broncos brass in order for the organization to give him this type of leeway.

Leaf was half-joking when he made the remark, but it’s clear that he has some disdain for Payton and made it clear that he did not approve of Denver trading a second-round draft pick to the New Orleans Saints just to land him as its head coach.

“They just make mistake after mistake,” Leaf said (h/t Bleacher Report). I don’t know how the general manager [George Paton] continues to have the job.”

Leaf didn’t stop there, either, saying that Payton has “the worst type of ego for a head coach” and calling the Broncos’ current situation “problematic.”

So, apparently, Leaf doesn’t have much confidence that rookie quarterback Bo Nix—who Payton had ranked third on his draft board—will step in and solve Denver’s issues under center.

Payton went 8-9 in his first season at the helm in the Mile High City. The Broncos did manage to go 7-4 after a dreadful 1-5 start, so that could be something Payton and Co. can build on heading into 2024.

Of course, the 60-year-old experienced plenty of success with the Saints, going 161-97 across 15 seasons as the club’s coach. He also led New Orleans to a Super Bowl championship during the 2009-10 campaign.

We’ll see if Payton can experience the same type of fruitfulness in Denver. He certainly hasn’t gotten off to a great start thus far, and Leaf evidently doesn’t think things will change.

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