AFC Notes: Sean Payton, Broncos, Chargers, Coordinator Search


  • NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero says while the Texans are still alive, logically the Broncos make the most sense as a landing spot for former Saints HC Sean Payton. They are willing to be aggressive to pay the cost it would take and Pelissero thinks Payton would be able to work with GM George Paton.
  • Pelissero mentions Michigan HC Jim Harbaugh‘s interview with the Broncos went well but they wanted to continue their process of exploring other candidates and Harbaugh decided he didn’t want to wait, reaffirming his commitment to Michigan. 
  • In addition to others in the ownership group and executive leaders with the team, former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has played a prominent role in the Broncos HC search. (Peter Schrager)
  • There is “mutual interest” between Payton and the Broncos following their interview. No financial compensation has been discussed, nor have the Saints and Broncos discussed exact trade compensation. (Mike Klis)


Chargers HC Brandon Staley explained why the team parted ways with OC Joe Lombardi and how that fits into his vision for the offense moving forward as a whole.

Just felt like we needed to make changes to the offense and the vision I have on that side of the ball,” Staley said, via Around The NFL. “I think there’s a different gear we need to get to as a football team, definitely not an easy decision because they did a really quality job for two years, but I think we can make improvements on that side of the football, and that’s what we’re going to have our focus be moving forward.

Staley said that Lombardi did a great job the past couple years with the offense but reiterated that the team needed to hit another gear in order to reach the Super Bowl.

Yeah, I think there’s just a different level that we need to play at, offensively, particularly at the line of scrimmage, in the run game, and having a marriage of the run and the pass, creating more explosions on early downs, and I think there’s just a style of play that’s still out there for us,” Staley said. “And I think we made improvements each season towards heading where I think we can ultimately go as a football team, and again these aren’t easy decisions but I think you’re not trying to stay at a certain place, you’re always trying to take your game to another level, and that’s what it’s about, creating that optimal level that I know our team can get to offensively. I think we played really quality football for two years, but in terms of us being able to compete for Super Bowls and ultimately be as good as we can be, I think there’s another gear we can get to.

Staley said despite the disappointing playoff loss that he was proud of how the team competed to finish the season and believes there’s a ton of room for growth.

No, I have a lot of confidence in the way we’ve done things for two years, I have a lot of confidence in what I see on the football field week in and week out, I know the type of improvements that we’ve been able to make as a football team since I’ve been here,” Staley said. “I think the way that we finished the season, the way we finished down the stretch, shows you all the things that we’re excited about moving forward. I know that the culture that we have in the locker room, I know the quality of the product on the field, and I know the capacity we have to grow, and we have all these things in place where we made tremendous improvement from Year 1 to Year 2, and now from Year 2 to Year 3 we expect to make those same types of improvements. But I was really proud of the season we had, especially with all the challenges we were having throughout, I felt like the way we finished the season said a lot about the guys we had in the locker room.


Chargers HC Brandon Staley said that they are looking for a new offensive coordinator in order to “maximize” QB Justin Herbert as a player. 

“Everything that we do in the program, we try to communicate with our players,” Staley said, via ProFootballTalk. “Just like when I first got here, shaping your offense, it’s going to go through him. When I talk about him being the system, I mean it. He has, now, three years of NFL experience to bank on. There are a lot of plays. As the head coach here for two years, we’re going to try and keep a lot of that consistent for him where we can, and that’s what I mean. As a head coach with an offensive background — that’s the position that I played — what we’re going to do, throughout the course of his career, is do that for him so that we can maximize him as a player. That’s what these moves are about, maximizing him as a player and continuing to challenge and grow his game with his teammates, and, ultimately, forming a team that can consistently compete for world championships.”

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