On Friday night, Sean Payton will be on an NFL sideline for the first time since closing out the 2021 season with a win over the Atlanta Falcons.
Since then, he has spent a year in broadcasting after a brief retirement from coaching.
As he makes his return to coaching with a new team, it looks like he is bringing a new approach to the pre-season with him.
For years now, the expectation for the first week of the pre-season has been that football fans wouldn’t be seeing teams send their starters out on the field, especially if those starters are veteran players.
That won’t be the strategy Payton is going with as he coaches his first pre-season game for the Denver Broncos.
According to 9NEWS’ Mike Klis, Sean Payton said that Russell Wilson and the Broncos’ starters will be playing for Friday’s game in Arizona.
Sean Payton said Russell and the starters will play in preseason opener Friday at Arizona. On 9NEWS. #9sports
— Mike Klis (@mikeklis) August 5, 2023
It will be interesting to see how a lot of coaches around the NFL approach the pre-season this year.
It will be the 3rd year of teams only playing 3 warmup games to make up for the extra regular season game, but coaches still seemed to have not quite figured out how to handle the shortened pre-season a year ago.
Early in the 2022 season, there seemed to be a trend of quarterbacks who hadn’t taken a snap in the pre-season struggling to start the regular season.
After seeing that trend, it won’t be surprising if every team at least tries to get their QB a few reps before the games that count.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that putting your starters out there this early is the answer as Week 2 feels like it would make more sense, but it looks like Sean Payton is already going to be trying new things early on in his tenure with the Denver Broncos.