The Denver Broncos certainly didn’t envision a 5-12 season, good for last place in the vaunted AFC West, when they traded for former Super Bowl champion Russell Wilson last offseason.
But that’s exactly what happened, with the Broncos later firing head coach Nathaniel Hackett and replacing him with former New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton, himself a Super Bowl champion.
Payton is a couple of months into his new gig, and when asked about the debacle that was last season for the Broncos, he didn’t mince words when it came to Hackett’s performance.
“It might have been one of the worst coaching jobs in the history of the NFL,” Payton said to Jarrett Bell of USA Today. “That’s how bad it was.”
Still, Payton made clear that Hackett wasn’t the sole blame for the pitiful season.
“There are 20 dirty hands, for what was allowed, tolerated in the fricking training rooms, the meeting rooms,” Payton said, apparently referencing the access Wilson’s entourage enjoyed to the team facility.
“The offense. I don’t know Hackett. A lot of people had dirt on their hands. It wasn’t just Russell [Wilson]. He didn’t just flip. He still has it. This B.S. that he hit a wall? Shoot, they couldn’t get a play in. They were 29th in the league in pre-snap penalties on both sides of the ball.”
Payton went on to call the performance embarrassing, and it’s hard to envision the Broncos having a similar output under the proven eye of a coach like Payton.