Sean Payton building familiar foundation in Denver

Denver Broncos new head coach Sean Payton is introduced during a news conference at the team's...
Denver Broncos new head coach Sean Payton is introduced during a news conference at the team's headquarters Monday, Feb. 6, 2023, in Centennial, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)(David Zalubowski | AP)
Published: Mar. 27, 2023 at 11:18 AM CDT|Updated: Mar. 27, 2023 at 11:26 AM CDT
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(WVUE) -After a season of stepping away from football, and ending a long-tenured run as head coach of the Saints, Sean Payton is laying down some familiar building blocks in Denver.

Payton spoke at the Annual NFL Owner’s Meeting on Monday (March 27) and addressed how several players and staff with a Saints past are now in Denver.

“Basically, these are guys we have a vision for and they were easy-read guys that were available,” Payton said.

The goal for the Broncos right now is to bring the best 90 players into training camp and Payton said that he wanted to bring in personnel he already knows what to expect from, noting that he didn’t believe the upcoming draft was a deep class.

Payton said that right now, the Broncos are up to about 70 players on their preseason roster.

Notable players that are in Denver after previous stints with the Saints are wide receiver Marquez Callaway, running back Tony Jones Jr., and Lil’Jordan Humphrey.

On the coaching staff, Payton has added Chris Banjo for assistant special teams and Joe Lombardi as offensive coordinator. Former Saints assistant head coach Joe Vitt lands in Denv after coming out of retirement and Zach Strief is now the offensive line coach for the Broncos after two years as the assistant offensive line coach in New Orleans.


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Payton said that Strief called him and said he wanted the offensive line coaching job and described him as someone with a track record of overachieving. Strief was drafted in the seventh round by the Saints in 2006, where he played for 11 seasons.

Having a year off, Payton said, has given him a chance to “reset”. He also said that he knew he wouldn’t be away from coaching forever and that he realized “midseason” during his time off that he wanted to return.

Saints head coach will Dennis Allen will speak at the owners’ meeting on Tuesday (March 28).

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