Sean Payton kicked his tenure in Denver off with a bang, pulling out an onside kick on his first play as head coach. The attempt worked but was ultimately called back for a penalty.
The trickery has NFL fans talking on social media.
Payton arrived in Denver this offseason with the Broncos hiring him following a failed project with Nathaniel Hackett. Despite landing All-Pro passer Russell Wilson, the team went just 5-12 last year.
Hackett was fired midseason, and the team finished dead last in the AFC West for a third straight campaign.
Payton was selected as the replacement in the Mile High City following a fantastic tenure with New Orleans. Over the last few years, he’s been out of coaching, working as an analyst for Fox Sports.
Now, he’s back in the coaching game, and he looked to make a statement on his opening kickoff.
The @Broncos almost pulled off the onside kick on Sean Payton’s first play 😅
— NFL (@NFL) September 10, 2023
The onside kick is nothing new to Payton. He famously used the trick play to kick off the second half of the Saints’ Super Bowl win over the Colts in 2010.
The NFL world immediately reacted on social media following the attempt.
Of course he did: Sean Payton goes surprise onside kick to start his #Broncos head coaching career — and it worked …. BUT there was a flag.
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) September 10, 2023
Sean Payton really went for the onside on his first play as Broncos HC 🤣pic.twitter.com/4lJwAC8dQO
— SleeperNFL (@SleeperNFL) September 10, 2023
Only Sean Payton would try an onside kick to start his Broncos coaching career.
— Yahoo Sports NFL (@YahooSportsNFL) September 10, 2023
OMG Sean Payton dials up an onside kick on the first play of the season 🤣 pic.twitter.com/Q8ZBsOyuA2
— Footballville (@Footballville) September 10, 2023
Well that’s one way to start the season Sean Payton!
— Tim Micallef (@tim_micallef) September 10, 2023
DENVER SURPRISE ONSIDE KICK TO START THE GAME
SEAN PAYTON YOU WEAPON
— Football (@BostonConnr) September 10, 2023
While Denver did recover the onside kick, the “Sean Payton special” was overturned due to an illegal touching penalty. The head coach will look to win his first game on the sidelines, though his team currently trails 7-6.