Sean Payton just couldn't stay away from the NFL. After resigning from the New Orleans Saints, Payton spent one whole year away from coaching. But when the Denver Broncos called, Payton picked up the phone. Now preparing for his first year as head coach of the Broncos, Payton detailed what drew him back to the NFL in the first place.
Payton stepped away from the Saints after the 2021 season. But being away from the field didn't suit Payton. By the next year, the Broncos' new leader admits he was already considering a return to NFL coaching, via Nick Kosmider of The Athletic.
“I probably knew I was ready to come back in the middle of the 2022 season,” Payton said. “I think it was, ‘Alright, that's enough of this quiet time.' We're kind of conditioned with itineraries and schedules. When all of that stops, there's a bit of a void. I had played plenty of golf. I knew I wanted to come back this season.”
Payton called his time away from the NFL a, ‘reset.' He was able to spend time with his family and travel. He wasn't focused on game planning, he was able to just live a normal life. But a normal life didn't suit Payton for too long. When the Broncos gave him an opportunity, Payton just couldn't pass it up.
Sean Payton will be under a microscope in his first year with Denver. The Broncos – after trading a king's ransom for Russell Wilson – finished last season just 5-12. Payton is expected to produce immediate results. But after making the decision to return to the NFL, Payton seems up for the challenge.