MILE HIGH MONDAY

Mile High Monday: Broncos should promote Evero or trade for Sean Payton

Nov 21, 2022, 6:00 AM
Sean Payton...
(Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for SiriusXM )
(Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for SiriusXM )

The Denver Broncos are among the worst teams in the NFL with a 3-7 record after losing at home to the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday. There are six teams in the league with that record, so the Broncos currently would have the No. 5 overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft – if they had that pick. Instead, the Seattle Seahawks will have a premium pick thanks to the trade for Russell Wilson and the Broncos struggles under head coach Nathaniel Hackett.

I like it when the proper changes are made. I think that will include removing Hackett as the head coach of the Broncos. We didn’t want it to turn out this way, but in this production-based business he’s simply not getting it done.

I also like contemplating life and sports when driving around with the top down on my old Jeep TJ! The following is a result of those trips during the week.

Buckle up, let’s take a ride through my thoughts.

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I’m Just Disappointed

I’m not even mad about the Broncos’ woes anymore. I know a lot of listeners enjoy my Broncos rants where I yell and scream about this team, but I just can’t do it anymore. I’m apathetic about this team because this season has just been too bad. I cannot stay in the doldrums of this team and instead must focus on the future. I’m not mad, I’m just incredibly disappointed – especially since I had a different vision for this team and predicted they could win 10-12 games in 2022 while also making a deep postseason run.

That’s not going to happen.

Therefore, there’s no need to be overly upset over this team. Things have not worked out with Hackett, and we all know changes must be made. I could raise my blood pressure by ranting about this team, or I could know that they’re not going to turn things around this year and then focus on what they can do to eventually get back to where we all want them to be.

I know Wilson is going to be here for at least a few more seasons. That means whatever direction they go in must be prioritized when it comes to Wilson’s immediate future with the team. I know he wants to play 10 more years, but the way he’s playing I’d say a 3-4 year plan would make more sense. He’s still good enough to be a solid starter in this league, although I know his play this season will make some of you disagree with this statement.

This is certainly a lost season for the Broncos, but I’d like to see signs for a positive future over the next seven games. The roster has talent, and I would like to see some young players get more playing time to see if they can build on their careers with more experience.

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So, Are They Hiring?

The Walton-Penner group should be looking to replace Hackett as the head coach of the Broncos. There is no doubt he needs to be fired, and the sooner the better I say. The 2022 season is lost, and there’s no way for Hackett to save his job outside of an improbable sweep of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Since the Broncos aren’t in the same stratosphere as the Chiefs, they do not have much of a chance to do that – especially with Hackett as the head coach. There is no way for him to stay with the Broncos and waiting it out only hurts this team’s long-term future. Hackett is a nice guy, but the NFL is not worrying about hurting anyone’s feelings. Instead, this is a cold business that has chewed up and spit out head coaches like Hackett in the past.

Things would be different if they didn’t have Ejiro Evero on the staff. Evero, the team’s defensive coordinator, is getting a lot of buzz about being a future head coach in the league. The Broncos could easily fire Hackett and put Evero in his place. There are seven games remaining this season, and that’s a nice audition for an up-and-coming coach like Evero. Making that move ASAP just makes a ton of sense.

On Monday, we’ll see if the Broncos announce a coaching change. Sure, it’s the week of Thanksgiving but this is a brutal business that does not pay attention to the holiday calendar. If Hackett is not fired this week, then I’m sure that he’s done at the end of the year. There’s essentially no way for him to save his job. I think the Broncos should just promote Evero and see if he could be the full-time coach next year.

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A Guy Can Dream, Can’t He?

If the Broncos make a coaching change, I want them to take a look at former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton. Any team interested in Payton will have to surrender a first-round pick to acquire Payton as he’s still under the Saints’ control. That’s a high price to pay for a coach, and that’s a move that rarely happens in this league. However, I think it might be worth it to make that sort of extra investment in a coach.

Payton is on Fox as an analyst as he waits to get back into the league. During halftime of the Broncos game, I found it interesting what Payton had to say. To summarize, Payton was supporting the play of Wilson who had his most efficient game of the year going 24-of-31 passing for 247 yards. With the way Payton was talking, it sounded like he was firmly on the side of the Broncos struggles being due to Hackett and not Wilson.

With the Saints, Payton had to work with Drew Brees at quarterback. Like Wilson, Brees is under 6-feet tall and had to have the pocket moved so he could see down the field. Brees did not have a rocket arm, but he was a smart and accurate quarterback who put together a Hall of Fame career under the guidance of Payton. I think he’d know exactly how to craft an offense for Wilson, unlike Hackett who seems to be lost as to what to do on a weekly basis.

It feels like a long shot, but the Broncos have the ownership group that will do what it takes to improve the quality of the product. Acquiring Payton will take draft-pick compensation, and that’s not great when the team is dealing with fewer picks due to the Wilson trade. However, it’s all about “fit” in the NFL and I think Payton would know how to get the best out of Wilson over the next few years.

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Walking Dead Series Finale

I’m a huge fan of the comic The Walking Dead. I was first introduced to the TV show on AMC years ago, I think it was in Season Two at the time, and I immediately went to the comic book store and bought all the back issues I could find. The comic book was around issue no.50 at that time, so I was able to find some back issues that ended up becoming worth a lot of money (like Walking Dead no.19 the first appearance of Michonne).

For quite a few years, the Walking Dead wasn’t just a TV show, but it was an event. I remember watching seasons 4-6 and texting my best friend during commercial breaks on Sunday night. It was so cool to see the show follow the comic book and bring the pages to life on the small screen. The TV show did not follow the comic book to the letter, but things were close enough to get excited when you knew what could be coming next. A lot of zombie shows and movies focused on the creatures, whereas the Walking Dead focused on the humans – who were all infected with the zombie virus essentially making them the walking dead.

On Sunday, AMC aired the Walking Dead series finale. The show ran for 12 years, 11 seasons, and 177 episodes in total. I’m not as big of a fan as I used to be, and the comic book promptly ended at issue 193 in what could have been a move from the creator Robert Kirkman because he was unhappy with the direction the show had gone. I hadn’t watched faithfully over the last four years because the show strayed so far away from the source material.

Did you still enjoy The Walking Dead show all the way to the series finale? Hit me up on social networking and let me know!

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Follow Cecil Lammey on Twitter and Instagram: @cecillammey

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