The Broncos gave up a first-round pick and then some to get coach Sean Payton, and they’re likely paying him a lot of money. It’s all worth it, for one very important reason.
When a team has a high-end coach, it gives ownership and the rest of the front office one less big thing to worry about if/when things aren’t going well for the team.
If a franchise doesn’t have a high-end coach, any and all struggles spark questions that include whether the problem is the coach. If a team does have a high-end coach, the team can worry about anything and everything else, if the struggles continue.
For example, many assume that quarterback Russell Wilson has lost his fastball. But what if the problem in 2022 was coach Nathaniel Hackett and not Wilson? If Wilson struggles in 2023 under Payton, it will be much easier to conclude that the problem was and is Wilson.
The same mindset applies to the rest of the team, especially when it comes to the offense. If the Broncos have struggles, the team won’t have to waste time, effort, and energy wondering if it’s the coach.
That doesn’t mean the Broncos will undergo a dramatic turnaround in 2023. But it does mean that it will be much easier for the team to diagnose, and in turn to fix, the things that are keeping them from contending.