As the Denver Broncos’ head coach search heats up, two candidates for the job stand out from the rest: Sean Payton and Jim Harbaugh.
Payton went 152-89 with the New Orleans Saints from 2006-2021, winning seven division titles in 15 seasons. He also won a Super Bowl with a quarterback who is a similar height to Russell Wilson.
Denver’s quarterback struggled under ex-coach Nathaniel Hackett in 2022, but he finished the season on a positive note under interim coach Jerry Rosburg. After a 31-28 win over the Los Angeles Chargers, Wilson was asked about Payton being a candidate to replace Hackett.
‘I’ve been around Sean, obviously at the Pro Bowl,’ Wilson said after the team’s season finale on Sunday. ‘I’ve been around him across the league and I’ve played against them quite a bit. He’s one of the world’s best, obviously, a guy who has coached a Hall of Fame quarterback in Drew Brees, who was one of my closest friends and the guy that got to know across the league and so many other great players.
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‘He’s competitive as can be, he’s a winner and obviously won a Super Bowl, and then at the highest level, I was able to be around him at the Pro Bowl and just the wizardry that you would have on the field was just magnificent. It was just spectacular just being around him and just Alvin Kamara, myself, Michael Thomas, just these guys, we were just talking about ball and just how you saw the game. He’s competitive as can be and he knows how to push guys at the ultimate level.’
Because he is still under contract with the Saints, the Broncos would have to complete a trade with New Orleans in order to hire Payton.
Payton has already spoken in an interview with Colin Cowherd about how he would help Wilson get back on track if he was the QB’s coach. Based on Wilson’s glowing endorsement, it’s fair to say the QB is certainly open to the possibility of teaming up with Payton in 2023.