In 2017, the Broncos hired Vance Joseph who lasted two seasons followed by Vic Fangio for three, and Nathaniel Hackett for 15 games. Jerry Rosburg was promoted for the final two games in 2022 after Hackett was fired.
Entering the most recent offseason, the Broncos were once again in need of a new head coach and they went out and traded for former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton.
On January 23, while down at the Manning Passing Academy, Manning mentioned that Payton was his guy all along to become the next head coach of the Broncos.
“I certainly was all in on Sean (Payton).” Manning said, “The Walton family (Broncos owners) and George Paton (Denver general manager) and I have a good relationship.”
Manning also explained that he knew what was going on during the entire Broncos coaching process.
“Yeah, I might have, kind of known a little bit what was going on.”
Manning Knew Payton Wanted to Coach Again
Manning told the media that he had a golf outing with his brothers Eli and Cooper along with Payton and had an idea then, that the Super Bowl-winning head coach wanted to get back into the game.
“I could tell he wanted to get back in it,” Manning said. “I could tell he was looking for a committed organization and ownership that gave him the great support that he got here in New Orleans from the Benson family. I think he definitely found that with the Broncos’ new ownership. They’re going to give him what he needs and what he wants. The thing about Sean is that he knows exactly what he wants and needs. I mean he knows the kind of tight end he wants, and what he’s looking for in that left guard.”
Payton retired from coaching in 2022 after 15 full seasons with the Saints. During that span, Payton’s Saints defeated Manning’s Colts in the 2010 Super Bowl. In 15 seasons calling plays for the Saints, Payton’s offense ranked in the top 10 of scoring 12 different times, something the Broncos haven’t done since 2014, when Manning was still throwing touchdowns.
Manning Knows Payton Will get the Best out of Wilson
During Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat, Manning was spotted front row to the left of one of the baskets. After halftime, Manning joined ESPN’s “NBA in Stephen A’s World” and gave his thoughts on how he thinks the Broncos will do this season.
“Just saw Russell Wilson down there, Payton is sitting next to me. Sean has brought some new juice here. He’s going to get the best out of Russell. Russell feels rejuvenated as well.”
Wilson struggled last season under Hackett and put together the worst statistical season to his resume.
Smith continued to ask Manning if he thought Payton, was a good coach.
“For sure, 100 percent and he’s going to bring that championship mentality back to the Broncos, just like the Nuggets have right now.”
The Broncos have yet to return to the playoffs since Manning played the final game of his NFL career.