Payton Manning and the Broncos used to be a force to be reckoned with. However, the quarterback has been out of the game for seven years and the Denver Broncos look nothing like the team he left, a team that played in the Super Bowl just before Manning retired.
Since then, the Broncos have not made the playoffs in seven seasons, the second-longest absence from the NFL postseason in history. Even though Manning is not playing, he still lives in Denver and supports the Broncos. To say he found it hard watching his former team fall apart would be an understatement.
Manning Was All In on Payton
However, things may finally be moving in the right direction and the appointment of Sean Payton as head coach is seen as a positive development.
Moreover, reports say that Manning was consulted by Rob Walton, leading the Broncos’ new ownership team, on whether they should go for the 2009 Super Bowl-winning coach. Manning’s answer was short and clear – he told them to go “all in” on Payton.
Manning said he had a good relationship with the Walton family and Broncos general manager George Paton and he gave the green light when asked about the possible trade.
Payton Was Looking for a Team like the Broncos
Watching Payton, Manning could see “he wanted to get back in” and was searching for “a committed organization and ownership” similar to what he had back in New Orleans with the Benson family.
Manning knew that with the new owners, the Broncos had a similar management team to that of the Saints and would be prepared to give the coach everything he needed.
And Manning was right. The Broncos spent $247 million after bringing in Payton. Only two teams invested more money in free agency this year, outlining Denver’s ambition to end the dry spell and reach the playoffs for the first time in eight years.
Fans Should Be Excited By New Coach Says Manning
Manning said that Payton knew exactly what he wanted. If he picked a tight end, that was the kind of player he needed. Similarly, if he opted for a left guard, he knew exactly what he was looking for.
When the two-time Super Bowl winner speaks about the left guard position and the player that will slot in there, he is referring to Ben Powers, who the Broncos signed to a four-year deal worth $52 million.
Manning thought Broncos’ players should get ready for a completely new style of coaching from what they had under Nathaniel Hackett last season. Unlike Hackett, who had his first head coaching gig with the Broncos, Payton is an NFL coaching veteran who brings something completely different to the table.
The former Broncos quarterback predicted that the coaching, intensity, and discipline players would see this season would be completely different from last year. Manning also gave Payton the ultimate compliment by comparing him to the legendary Bill Parcells and said you could hear Parcells when Sean Payton was speaking.