Broncos’ Sean Payton bans personal trainers from locker room, including star quarterbacks: ‘That’s weird to me’

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New Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton is already making some changes to the organization.

The Broncos introduced Payton on Monday, which meant answering questions from various national and Denver media about getting back in the saddle after a year out of the NFL. During that questioning, a reporter asked Payton about his policy on personal trainers for players allowed on his team, specifically quarterback Russell Wilson.

Payton was quick to say «I’m not too familiar with that,» but elaborated.

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New Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton poses with Christopher Titone and family members Meghan Payton and Connor Payton during a press conference at the UCHealth Training Center on February 6, 2023 in Englewood, Colorado. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

«That’s weird to me. That’s not going to happen here,» he said. «I’m not familiar with that. Our staff will be here, our players will be here and that will be it.»

Last season, when he was traded from the Seattle Seahawks to the Broncos, Wilson brought his personal quarterbacks coach, Jake Heaps, to Denver. He was allowed into the facility during training camp under new head coach Nathaniel Hackett, but that key card won’t let him in this year.

Heaps was also a quarterback and played for several colleges, including the University of Miami. He ended up joining the New York Jets as an undrafted rookie in 2015 and ended up signing with the Seahawks in 2016 to join their practice squad.

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Although he never played in an NFL regular season game, he developed a strong relationship with Wilson. While working at Seattle Sports 710 am radio, he was a quarterbacks coach and ended up packing his bags to follow Wilson to Colorado.

But he is not the only personal trainer. Tom Brady worked with Alex Guerrero, his personal trainer, for years. Guerrero was eventually ejected from the New England Patriots facility.

There’s also Adam Dedeaux, the personal trainer for Lamar Jackson, who also went to training camp for the Baltimore Ravens last year.

Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson (3) on the field after a win against the Los Angeles Chargers after a game at Empower Field at Mile High on January 8, 2023 in Denver, Colorado.

Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson (3) on the field after a win against the Los Angeles Chargers after a game at Empower Field at Mile High on January 8, 2023 in Denver, Colorado. (Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Wilson had a tumultuous first season in Denver, which is one of the main reasons they finished 5-12, last in the AFC West, leading to Hackett’s firing before the season ended. It’s the worst season Wilson has ever had, and Payton has been brought in to turn that around quickly.

Offensively minded, the Broncos hope Payton’s explosive offensive record can help clean up his 16.9 points scored per game, which was the lowest by any NFL team last season. And considering Wilson has a guaranteed salary of $165 million from the Broncos, they need to turn things around fast.

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Payton has also done well with quarterback relationships during his tenure, especially in the case of Drew Brees. Like Wilson, the concern with Brees was his height, but Payton’s training and Brees’ talent led him to win a Super Bowl ring during the 2009 season with the New Orleans Saints.

Payton has a more mobile Wilson under center, and he’s aware of the challenge ahead for him to make a Pro Bowl again.

«Obviously it wasn’t the type of season he wanted to have,» Payton said via The Denver Post. «I feel like in the last couple of weeks we’ve seen a little more than we expected or were used to. I think the number one job for us as coaches when we’re evaluating our players is, ‘What does he do really well?’ And then let’s try to put him in those positions.

New Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton answers questions from the media during a news conference at the UCHealth Training Center on February 6, 2023 in Englewood, Colorado.

New Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton answers questions from the media during a news conference at the UCHealth Training Center on February 6, 2023 in Englewood, Colorado. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

«I know it’s a job. An extremely hard worker. That’s important.»

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Payton has a career record of 152-89 in 241 games, all with the Saints from 2006 to 2021. He has had a winning record in each of his last five seasons.

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