Sean Payton represents everything Russell Wilson wants to be. But Jim Harbaugh is right choice as coach for what Broncos NEED to be.


Sean Payton’s pocket is the place Russell Wilson wants to be. But with this version of Big Russ, Jim Harbaugh’s offensive approach is what the Broncos need to be.

When you think of Payton, you think of Drew Brees. When you think of Harbaugh, you think of a style. A mantra.

Winning games by winning up front first. Using the quarterback in the run game. Power running to set up everything else. Moving the quarterback around. Which, when necessary, can also be pretty handy as far as keeping the other guy’s star quarterback chilling on the sidelines.

The Broncos have yet to beat Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes in 11 agonizing tries. Until you do, “Win The West” is nothing more than an empty Nathaniel Hackett promise plastered all over a t-shirt.

There are two football paths toward besting Kansas City’s finest. The first is the fun one, trying to outscore Mahomes on his own terms. Which means either trading for Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow — plus Joe Burrow’s receiving corps — or growing your own.

The first isn’t going to happen. That last part takes time. The quicker, less sexy path is building up an offense with the kind of chain-moving mojo that leaves Mahomes stuck next to coach Andy Reid, bored stiff, wondering if he’ll get the ball back before Valentine’s Day.

From 2011-14, Harbaugh’s San Francisco offenses ranked among the NFL’s top 6 in time of possession twice (2011 and ’14) in four years. His 49ers never averaged less than 30:21 of the ball per game in any season. His offenses pound the rock.

“(As a coach, you’ve) got to surround yourself with people that have been in this league and understand this league,” Broncos left tackle Garett Bolles offered Monday at UCHealth Training Center. “Because this league (will) chew you up and spit you out. That’s just the reality of the NFL. You’ve got to know who you are. You’ve got to be consistent.

“So having a consistent coach is going to be vital for us — somebody that’s disciplined, somebody that has accountability and that doesn’t break the rules. And that’s what we need. We need a tough guy to come in here, and a true leader that can lead (a locker room) to victory.”

Harbaugh and Payton tick every one of Bolles’ boxes. So does Dan Quinn, Raheem Morris, DeMeco Ryans and — although you’d prefer to keep him humming along as the Broncos’ defensive coordinator — Ejiro Evero.

But only Harbaugh or Payton plant a flag. Only Harbaugh or Payton make a statement to the rest of the league. Only Harbaugh or Payton get you back in the good graces of those television network executives whose retinas were unceremoniously burned, like the rest of America’s, while trying to watch the combination of Hackett and Russ in prime time. Only Harbaugh or Payton make the Broncos must-see TV again.


Source link