In the aftermath, some observers thought back to various preseason comments by Payton, including one in which he told quarterback Russell Wilson to stop “kissing all the babies” after the team’s disastrous 2022 season.
ESPN’s Ryan Clark referenced that comment during a rant about Payton on Monday morning’s episode of Get Up. Clark argued that Payton has his priorities all mixed up.
“Let’s not worry about how many babies Russell Wilson kisses. Let’s not worry about his public persona and how he plays. Let’s not worry about being the Fox analyst coming back out and talking about what Nathaniel Hackett did,” Clark said. ”Talk about what we’re going to do. Talk about how we are going to get better. … Sean Payton was worried about all of the wrong things in the offseason, and we gave him a pass because he’d won a Super Bowl. We gave him a pass because we felt like he was a good coach and had proven everything he needed to prove during his tenure in New Orleans. They’re getting worse.”
"That's the worst defense. I’ve only been on the planet 60 years, never seen anything that bad." - Rex Ryan— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) September 25, 2023
"Sean Payton was worried about all the wrong things in the offseason. ... They're getting worse." -@Realrclark25
This discussion on the Broncos this morning 👀 pic.twitter.com/DU89QLOfcs
In Clark’s rant above, he also referenced Payton’s comment that Nathaniel Hackett’s tenure as Broncos coach “might have been one of the worst coaching jobs in the history of the NFL.”
Payton made headlines with his comments earlier this season, but he seems to be taking a quieter tone with his team off to an 0-3 start.