Skip to main content

Sean Payton nixes Russell Wilson’s personal coach in building

Feb 6, 2023; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton speaks at the UCHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

“Let Russ cook” became a popular phrase in the last few years of Russell Wilson’s time in Seattle. Wilson will have to get used to cooking with new coach Sean Payton’s staff in Denver.

Payton is putting the kibosh on Wilson having his own personal QB coach in the building, calling it “foreign.” Jake Heaps moved with Wilson to Denver from Seattle as part of Wilson’s performance team. But Heaps won’t be hanging out at UCHealth Training Center moving forward.

Payton made the comments Monday in a scrum with reporters after his introductory press conference.

“That’s foreign to me,” Payton said when asked about it. “That’s not gonna take place here. I’m unfamiliar with it but our staff will be here, our players will be here and that’ll be it.”

Wilson and his role in turning around the Broncos — as well as his own performance — was at the center of Payton’s introductory press conference.

“Obviously (last season) wasn’t the type he had wanted to have,” Payton said.

Related: Sean Payton introduced as Denver Broncos head coach

Wilson signed a seven-year, $296 million extension with the Broncos in September. But he went 4-11 as the starter, threw just 16 touchdowns against 11 interceptions, numbers that played a part in why Payton was introduced in the first place — the firing of Nathaniel Hackett.

“Here’s what I know: (Wilson is) a hard worker. I know he’s an extremely hard worker. That’s important and I think you take that skillset, he’s won a lot of games in Seattle,” Payton said.

“… Although it’s a much more visible position, it’s the same case and same goal for us with every player on this roster. What do they do well?” Payton added. “It’s easy to point out what players don’t do well. There’s certain coaches that tend to look at it that way. I kind of was taught early on, what is it they do well and let’s have him do those things.

“None of us want to be at a karaoke bar with a song we don’t know the words to,” Payton said. “So how do we get them comfortable and highlight their strengths. And that’s the process that’s going to begin right now as I’m learning about every one of these players, not just Russell.”

Payton acknowledged that he and Wilson spoke during the process.

“Yeah, he did, and when he called right away I thought, ‘Man, I’m the last person that needs to get in trouble with the league,” Payton said. “We chatted.”

–Field Level Media

Mentioned in this article:

More About: