Sean Payton’s already doing something very different than Nathaniel Hackett
Mar 27, 2023, 9:21 AM
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Remember last year when the Broncos didn’t play their starters at all in the preseason?
And the team looked out of sorts from the jump?
Yeah, that was the Nathaniel Hackett way, after the former head coach admitted he did not like exhibition games. There was no practice contests for Russell Wilson and his receivers to get on the same page, and Denver produced one of the worst offenses in NFL history. Oh, and that thought it’d keep them healthier throughout the year? That didn’t work either.
However this won’t be an issue in 2023, as new head coach Sean Payton is already doing something very different than Hackett. Speaking at the NFL’s annual owners meeting on Monday morning, Payton made it perfectly clear he will be playing Denver’s starters in the upcoming preseason.
Sean Payton, on whether he’ll play starters in the preseason: “Absolutely, we are.”
— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) March 27, 2023
“We’re going to play all of them,” Payton added, meaning Wilson will absolutely be out there at QB. This echoes what he told the Pat McAfee show down at the Super Bowl back in February.
“I don’t believe in sitting all our players during three preseason games,” Payton said at the time. “This whole idea that they’re going to be healthier — we haven’t seen the data, there’s nothing that tells us (that).”
Frankly, doing the opposite of Hackett is probably a good idea. Nothing that man did worked, and he was fired after just 15 games. Even Josh McDaniels made it longer, as you can make a strong case Hackett is the worst head coach in Broncos history.
Payton will make guys earn it during the preseason and also get calloused, something that should help when the real games start a month later.