Broncos Head Coach Sean Payton established himself as one of the NFL's most successful coaches in his 15-year tenure in New Orleans, winning 152 games and leading the Saints to the franchise's first Super Bowl title. Two of the reasons Payton believes his teams achieved such success? A supportive ownership and front-office group and a passionate fanbase.
When he considered moving to Denver to become the Broncos' head coach this offseason, Payton saw those exact qualities in the Broncos' organization.
In an interview with Trey Wingo of 33rd Team, Payton gave insight into his decision to become the Broncos' next head coach.
"The winning tradition here," Payton said. "I know John Elway well, Peyton Manning. I've just heard nothing but great things about the history of the Denver Broncos. You want to be somewhere where it's the main thing. It was in New Orleans, and this is a completely different region and fanbase, but nonetheless it is here."
Payton said his initial meetings with Owners Greg Penner, Carrie Walton Penner and Dr. Condoleezza Rice assured him the Broncos would give him the support he needed for long-term success at the NFL level.
"That's critical in this game," Payton said. "I was lucky enough to have it for 16 years in New Orleans, and that support… you don't take that for granted. There are a lot of teams that don't have it that make being successful, making the playoffs, winning the Super Bowl, make it extremely difficult. This ownership and this front office, I think I have good instincts and I felt really good about our first meeting."
Payton saw another parallel to New Orleans in the Broncos' rich tradition and the importance of football to Denver sports fans.
"The second thing, coaching in New Orleans, it's a big deal to those fans," Payton said. "There's a ton of fans on waiting lists for season tickets. It's a different type of fanbase here, and this is a football town. Being somewhere that it matters and there's a history, that was important."
Listen to the entirety of Payton’s interview here.
Below the Fold
The Broncos' acquisitions of tackle Mike McGlinchey and guard Ben Powers captured headlines this offseason, but the re-signing of do-it-all offensive lineman Cam Fleming could also prove to be a valuable move.
Fleming, who is entering his 10th season, started 15 games for the Broncos last year and split time between the left and right tackle positions. In an interview with the Denver Gazette, Fleming discussed his expectations for his role in Denver this season.
"I mean, I wasn't supposed to be a starter last year either and it ended up working out,'' Fleming said. "But I'm part of this team, so I'm just going to play the role that everybody asks for me. And if I have to go in there and start I'm going to go in there and do the best job I can. And if it's supporting my teammates, I'm going to do that as well."
Fleming rejoined the Broncos relatively late into the offseason, agreeing to a deal in May.
A two-time Super Bowl champion and a veteran leader on the offensive line, the Stanford product is also embracing the opportunity to pass on his knowledge to his teammates.
"Just relaying my experience throughout the league,'' Fleming said of the advice he's given his fellow offensive linemen. "I just try to inspire the guys and keep them going strong."
Read the Denver Gazette feature on Fleming here.