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#pounditWednesday, April 24, 2024

Sean Payton had harsh advice for Russell Wilson

Sean Payton with the media

Feb 28, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Denver Broncos coach Sean Payton during the NFL combine at the Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos are hoping Sean Payton can turn Russell Wilson back into an MVP candidate, and the coach clearly has not been afraid to give his star quarterback honest advice.

ESPN’s Seth Wickersham published a lengthy feature on Tuesday that he wrote after spending a lot of time with Payton this offseason. Wickersham shared a few tidbits about how Payton has tried to motivate Wilson and others in Denver to forget about the disaster that was 2022. At one point, Payton showed the team a clip of a 2022 Ford Bronco driving off a cliff.

Payton also told Wilson that the 34-year-old needs to focus less on his public persona and more on football.

“Will you f—ing stop kissing all the babies?” Payton told Wilson, according to Wickersham. “You’re not running for public office.”

That wasn’t quite as harsh as the way Payton criticized former Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett, but it was pretty blunt.

Wilson signed a 5-year, $242.5 million contract with the Broncos last offseason. He then went out and had his worst season as a pro with 3,524 yards, 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Payton was known for being orchestrator of some prolific offenses with the New Orleans Saints, so he should be able to get a lot more out of Wilson.

One of Wilson’s former teammates is skeptical that Payton and Wilson will be able to coexist. Payton’s brash coaching style is the main reason for that, but it sounds like he has wasted no time exposing Wilson to that side of him.

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