Broncos’ Sean Payton Ranked Among 32 NFL Coaches

Sean Payton

Getty An analyst from The 33rd Team ranked Sean Payton one of the NFL's top head coaches on May 25.

Despite new Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton spending 2022 away from coaching, one analyst is giving him high praise this off-season.

The 33rd Team’s Ross Tucker, a former NFL offensive lineman, revealed his league-wide head coach rankings on May 25. Payton cracked Tucker’s list at No. 4.

Per Tucker, Payton deserves a top spot due to his coaching history, including a Super Bowl win in 2010.

I give coaches that have success with multiple organizations and/or multiple quarterbacks a huge boost over those that haven’t,” Tucker wrote.

But despite Payton’s coaching career ending up a success, he has essentially only led one team and quarterback while doing so.

Before joining the Broncos, Payton spent 15 seasons with the New Orleans Saints as head coach. Drew Brees was Payton’s quarterback each of those years barring 2012 (when Payton was suspended for incentivizing a player bounty system) and 2021 (the year after Brees retired).

2023 marks a new beginning for Payton, as he embarks on a different journey with a new organization and starting quarterback. Tucker said Payton’s performance with the Broncos could weigh heavy on his coaching resume depending on how the team performs.

Payton’s tenure with the Denver Broncos will prove significant for his coaching legacy,” Tucker said.

Tucker noted that Payton’s 152 career wins as an NFL head coach ranks sixth among current coaches. Only Bill Belichick (298), Andy Reid (247), Mike Tomlin (163), Mike McCarthy (155) and Pete Carroll (161) have more wins than Payton.

Russell Wilson ‘Looking Forward’ to Working with Sean Payton

Payton arriving in Denver isn’t the only new beginning in Broncos Country. It also marks a fresh start for quarterback Russell Wilson.

In 2022, Wilson tossed just 16 touchdowns in 15 games, the lowest total of his career. The Broncos also scored 16.9 points per game last season, ranking dead last in the NFL.

Payton, who had plenty of success coaching the future Hall-of-Famer Brees, now aims to help revert Wilson back to an elite-level quarterback. Wilson was considered one of the game’s top signal callers with the Seattle Seahawks from 2012-2021 — even winning a Super Bowl in 2014.

In regards to Payton, Wilson said he’s one of the best coaches in football history.

“I think Sean’s one of the best coaches that’s ever coached his game,” Wilson said of Payton in a May 25 press conference. “He’s intense, he’s focused. He’s such a great teacher of the game.”

Broncos Continue OTAs on May 30

The Broncos initially hosted its first round of organized team activities from May 23-25. That will continue on May 30-June 1 as well as June 5-8.

The start of OTAs means Payton has begun installing an “entirely new offense. That’s brought a learning curve to all Broncos players regardless of experience.

In a May 25 press conference, Payton said player evaluation is a constant during OTAs, including waiver wire/free agent transactions.

“The process is going well,” Payton said. “Ultimately, you’re constantly looking at what’s the best interest for your team — relative to, in a lot of times, money, and what your ‘musts’ are come into it.”

Aiming for an improved second year in Denver, Wilson said he’s taking things one day at a time — all while absorbing Payton’s philosophies.

“All of us are learning every day, more information,” Wilson said during his press conference. “Just learning how to play the game the right way, how to practice at the highest level and that’s what we’re focused on right now.”

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