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Mile High Morning: LaDainian Tomlinson looks at how Russell Wilson could fit in Sean Payton's offense


The Lead

As Head Coach Sean Payton puts together his staff, eventually attention will turn to how his vision on offense is implemented.

The obvious question on fans' minds is how Russell Wilson will look in Payton's system, as that will have a big impact on the team's success. As Pro Football Hall of Fame running back and NFL Network analyst LaDainian Tomlinson sees it, the offense's framework will naturally bring about change for Wilson, too.

"I think one of the biggest challenges for Russell is going to be just simply staying on script, playing on script," Tomlinson said. "And that simply means not doing what he's accustomed to doing in the past, improvising — you know, hitching twice, three times and then using his legs to get out of trouble, to find someone down the field. Sean Payton's offense doesn't operate like that."

In New Orleans, Drew Brees played marvelously within Payton's system, executing with perfect timing. Their offenses consistently were among the league's best, and the hope is the same will happen in Denver.

"You have to be able to hit that back foot and play on time, get the ball out of your hands," Tomlinson said. "Now, the thing that can help that obviously is the run game. We've seen that from Sean Payton's teams in the past with the Saints. He typically uses two running backs. And one running back is the thumper, the guy that kind of sets up all that play-action and the bootlegs and the naked [bootlegs], things you can utilize for Russell Wilson in this offense. But it has to start with the run game first, in order to get the other stuff going for Russell Wilson."

Below the Fold

At the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, General Manager George Paton and the Broncos' front office will get an extensive look at many of the top draft prospects. One essential position group for the team to look at, as Paton said, will be the offensive line.

"We need to upgrade at the offensive line,'' Paton said. "We do expect Garett [Bolles] to be healthy. There's a lot of different ways to acquire any position. Free agency, the draft. It depends what's stronger. Is free agency stronger or is the draft stronger? And obviously we need to upgrade there on the offensive line."

The Unclassifieds

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