BRONCOS

A comfortable Sean Payton commanded Broncos practice in every facet

May 14, 2023, 2:21 PM | Updated: 3:14 pm

It was only rookie minicamp, but the changes with the Broncos look and sound significantly different.

“The challenge always with these practices are tempo,” Sean splained coach Sean Payton. “Then educating them on staying up and working together without pads. I would say in my 16 years, the practice we had yesterday and today—just relative to the OTA tempo—was very good.”

Seven on seven drills were back. One of the largest rookie minicamps in terms of total players was back. Meanwhile, the media was moved to the berm which actually gave a better vantage point of practice.

With his orange Broncos visor and grey team hoodie, Payton commanded every element of practice with a stern voice. He was insistent on how every moment of the session occurred from the pace of the walk-thru portion to the final special teams period.

“We are really trying to look at everyone,” Sean splained Payton. “Not just the draft picks, but the guys that are here for three days. The challenge sometimes because we’re not in pads, if any one of us were here for just three days, we’re going to go pretty hard and try to make an impression.”

Payton took his time post practice addressing the media. He wasn’t in a rush. He considered each question carefully, quick to emphasize things that mattered – like what a rookie needs to do to be smart.

“The smartest thing?” Payton thought aloud before Sean splaining. “Well we put up a slide [that tells them], ‘How you’re being evaluated.’ So it’s important. I would want to know that.”

Payton now in full Sean splaining mode let it rip.

“The first thing is, ‘Does the player know what to do?’ ” splained Payton. “That’s incumbent upon us as coaches. If a player is confused or doesn’t know what to do, it’s hard to then evaluate that play. The balance of the right amount of installation and then the player knowing what to do. I would say knowing what to do and then how well was he doing it? There’s a little urgency for everyone to study the installation and look at it in the evening because it’s hard to make a good first impression if you don’t know what to do.”

Payton also went on at length about things that don’t matter like logos on helmets.

“At some point, we’ll put the logos on the helmets,” Splained Payton referencing his old Saints days. “It’s probably just because that’s what we’ve always done and it’s easier for the equipment room. it’s not like, ‘Hey, you haven’t earned it,’”

Nothing was too small to be overlooked. The entire open locker room session was a scheduled on purpose in order to teach the young guys how to give boring answers to the media. Payton even offered incentives for drabness.

“There’s gonna be a $50 gift card awarded for the most generic answer,” splained Payton. The muggles responded with calculated fake laughs and a ‘you’re killing us’ remark aimed at becoming Payton’s best friend.

The Broncos coach went through the contest details.

“So when you guys ask if you see yourself in a starting role…I’m hoping to get a real good one. Something super cliche and just real boring and we’ll give someone a gift card.”

Here are some contenders.

Marvin Mims Jr. on being an NFL player, “It’s a dream come true since I was a little kid. Now it’s time to take care of business”

JL Skinner on playing a variety of positions, “I’m just a football player. That’s the best way to describe it.”

Riley Moss on being aggressive, “You can’t be scared. You gotta hit him in the mouth.”

And the likely winner, Drew Sanders

On being with the Broncos, “I’m pretty excited just to get back to football.”

On how it’s going so far, “I’m having a great time.”

On what it’s been like since the draft, “I’m enjoying the process.”

Don’t spend that 50 bucks at Chili’s all at once young man!

Even Payton’s sharp sense of humor came out. Sanders made the play of the day picking off journeyman QB Ben DiNucci for a virtual pick six during a 7-on-7 drill.

“Unfortunately for Ben DiNucci, it was his first interception and there was more to that interception if you looked at it,” Payton said getting ready for a full on splaining. “it was good play by Sanders and it was right in front of [Owner & CEO] Greg Penner. I was telling Greg before practice how this Ben DiNucci was doing well. I told Ben—I said, ‘You know, he owns Walmart. If it doesn’t work out here, I’m sure there’s a greeting opportunity somewhere at one of his local stores.’ ”

How did the joke go over with DiNucci?

“He told me I’d have a job working at Wal-Mart somewhere if football doesn’t work out. So..it was a good laugh,” said DiNucci with a shrug.

There’s nothing DiNucci could do but laugh it off and oh, likely have a sleepless night.

Payton has been seen Sean splaining to Broncos owner Greg Penner at an Avs playoff game, Sean splaining to Russell Wilson at a Nuggets game and probably Sean splaining how a two-by-four should be cut at Home Depot.

On a brisk spring day at unnamed corporate sponsor training facility at Dove Valley, Payton couldn’t have been more comfortable.

“I have a house, a car; I know how to get home now,” Payton said.

These are most welcomed words for Broncos fans around the world collectively rejoicing that Payton knows how to get to this specific workplace.

***

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A comfortable Sean Payton commanded Broncos practice in every facet