Broncos CEO Greg Penner: I’m going to rely heavily on George Paton as we make changes

Denver Broncos Press Conference
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When Broncos CEO Greg Penner issued a statement on Monday regarding the firing of Nathaniel Hackett, he mentioned that the team’s General Manager George Paton would be involved in the search for a new head coach.

But as Paton mentioned in Tuesday’s joint press conference with Penner, Paton was the one who picked the coach and most of the players on the roster. Paton went as far as saying, “There is no one to blame but me.”

So why keep Paton around? Penner was asked exactly that.

“George and I have had a chance to get to know each other,” Penner said during Tuesday’s press conference. “We’ve talked every day since we purchased the team a number of months ago. And he acknowledged right up front, there were a couple of decisions that haven’t worked out as he expected. But I understand his thought process.

“He understands the work that needs to be done in this offseason. And I’m going to rely on him heavily as we go through and make these changes.”

Given that the Walton-Penner group is still in its first few months of team ownership, it does make some sense to have continuity within the football operation as the group gets more comfortable running the franchise. But one can’t imagine that Paton will get many — if any — more chances to make significant decisions if the next coach doesn’t produce more wins.

37 responses to “Broncos CEO Greg Penner: I’m going to rely heavily on George Paton as we make changes

  1. Too funny. The CEO is going to rely on the guy, that hired both Hackett and Wilson, to fix the team? Wow, they made huge mistakes getting Hackett and Wilson, and now they want the guy that did it all to fix the team?


  2. When Terry Pegula bought the Bills he whiffed on his first GM and head coach. Doug Whaley & Rex Ryan.
    The Walmart people obviously aren’t stupid. Even owners have a learning and growth curve.

  3. But one can’t imagine that Paton will get many — if any — more chances to make significant decisions if the next coach doesn’t produce more wins.


    Penner said that he will pick the next coach and the next coach will report directly to him. Paton just get’s to voice his opinion so how does the next hire reflect positively or badly on him?

    Penner has only been owner for a few months but by this time next year he will be full on Jerry Jones. Owner/GM/puppet coach.

  4. Makes sense. Paton has long been considered a top tier GM candidate. He has made some bad decisions but starting over would cause a whole flock of other problems

  5. Well he’s a big part of the problem. He’s the one who traded and gave up the farm and then offered a huge contract a WHOLE YEAR before we had too for Wilson. Maybe had Paton seen Wilson’s play they could have signed him much cheaper or decided to cut ways. Now we are stuck and that’s on George. Maybe ownership should rely on themselves on this next move.

  6. George Patton had better start getting his home in the Denver area ready for sale. Sounds like more of a, “we’ll hire our own guy after the season”

  7. I think Penner is making a mistake. Why wouldn’t they go out and hire a consultant like Ron Wolf or someone of that stature who is experienced in NFL team management. Paton engineered this mess in Denver. Why keep him around,… and worse yet take advice from him. It doesn’t make sense to me.

  8. Is Paton good enough at player acquisitions to offset his bad coaching hires? Maybe but didn’t they draft Drew Locke under his tenure?It’s admirable a guy falls on the sword and admits he was wrong but everyone does that nowadays without any accountability (see Kevin Stefanski).

  9. So keep the guy who’s sole discretion and only his opinion to hire Hackett based on what he deemed to be the correct qualities for hiring a coach, not to to mention giving away a lot of picks and a few players for a QB then giving him a franchise crippling contract if the QB is no where near his again his discretion of talent level before even seeing that QB play…this is the formula to ruin franchises for at least a decade. Clueless owners who continue to rely on failed NFL execs and coaches.

  10. We trust the guy who brought us Hackett and Wilson. Good, one less competitor to worry about awhile.

  11. Smart move to say this NOW ….when in reality the Waltons are keeping it close to the vest to snag the best GM out there the minute the 2022 season ends. No need to tell everyone your gonna fire your current GM now.

  12. ann89103 says:
    December 27, 2022 at 1:57 pm
    Amazing how such successful, rich people can be so incredibly stupid.

    He got rich the old fashion way. Basically inherited the $ from Sam Walton’s efforts.

  13. It makes sense. The Walton-Penner family is thankfully humble/smart enough to acknowledge that they need a football guy in on the decisions. Instead of just winging it and micromanaging Dan Snyder style.

    If they ousted Paton, what would they have? A whole bunch of retail people trying to do football on their own.

  14. 1 – make arguably the trade and sign in history. check.

    2 – hire a HC so unqualified they get fired during (not after) their first season. check.

    3 – fire the HC but the GM responsible for 1,2 keeps his job???

    4. No accountability – check.

  15. 1 – make arguably the worst trade and sign in history. check.

    2 – hire a HC so unqualified they get fired during (not after) their first season. check.

    3 – fire the HC but the GM responsible for 1,2 keeps his job???

    4. No accountability – check.

  16. Paton has made one mistake after another. Makes perfect sense to rely on him heavily going forward. Good Luck Broncos fans,

  17. I wonder if Sean Payton is willing to pass on being the head coach of the Broncos (popular choice) and just become their GM. Keeping Paton around will just complicate the process – the Broncos don’t need a Walmart greeter at the door .

  18. So dude gets to hire a new coach, will likely get fired one or two years into the new coaches’ tenure, meaning Paton’s replacement gets to inherit a coach from the old regime who he probably wants to get rid of but will be forced to give a chance to… We’ve seen this story before and the fan base is always the loser.

    Never been a Broncos fan, but the league is better when Denver is at least competitive. Looks like it’ll be a while before they get there again

  19. Love all the masters of hindsight in here… all of you thought the trade sign for Wilson was going to win them the division. Now all of you think the gm should be fired for making the move that you all applauded. Most of you were also bashing Pete Carrol for trading Wilson before the season started, now everybody thinks he’s a genius.

  20. If this guy can be sucked into hiring Nathaniel Hackett as his HC, it doesn’t say much for his judgement as a GM. By this time next season he’ll be gone too.

  21. The rumor going around GB early 2022 was if Denver hired Hackett it would be the link to get Aaron Rodgers to leave GB for Denver. Maybe that isn’t far from the truth. Maybe Hackett will be free to talk about it now that he’s fired.

  22. A lot of the coaches they want to interview. Like your Harbaugh etc will want to bring in their own GM to work with. So I bet Paton is gone soon enough.

  23. Russell Wilson is now called : Mr. LIMITED.. Colin Herd wanted the Giants to give the 5th and 7th pick for Mr. LIMITED..

  24. I’m with a lot of those who think Paton better be looking over his shoulder.I can’t see peyton wanting a team that has a has been QB, no quality draft picks for years.
    He doesn’t want a rebuild.

  25. It sounds familiar. A guy buys a football team, but knows nothing about football. He talks to a “smart” football guy who tells him it’s just all about throwing darts. A couple of his darts didn’t find a home, but there are more darts, and anyone else he might hire would just come in and do the same thing. So, might as well stick with me. After all, I’m being honest. And that’s what an unknowing new owner needs. Some honest advice. Hip waders on sale! After Christmas special. On sale at Walmart. You might be able to get a discount, Mr. Penner. Sounds like you’re going to need them. Holy Smokes!

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