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Coach Sean Payton plans unusual motivational ploy for Broncos at training facility

Kansas City Star 3/8/2023 Pete Grathoff, The Kansas City Star

When he was coaching in New Orleans, Sean Payton once brought the Lombardi Trophy and $225,000 in cash to a team meeting.

The message: this could be yours by winning the Super Bowl (the money was the bonus pay the players could have received).

Payton is trying something a little different in his new job with Denver.

The Broncos have missed the playoffs in each of the last seven seasons, and they haven’t finished with a winning record since 2016. Denver had high hopes last season after acquiring quarterback Russell Wilson, but they won just five games and finished last in the AFC West.

Payton wants the players to forget the past, so he’s planning to park a special car at the Broncos’ training facility, as NBC Sports’ Peter King reported.

“Payton told me he’s going to put an old car front and center in the parking lot so that all players and coaches will see it,” King wrote. “He said he’ll have the rearview mirror plus the side mirrors removed from the car. As he said at the Combine, he wants his players and his new organization to look ahead, and not behind, at the nightmare that was the 2022 Broncos season. So if you see a stripped-down old jalopy alongside some very nice vehicles in the Broncos parking lot this season, you’ll know why.”

Huh. Well, that’s one way to motivate players, I guess.

The mirrorless car idea wasn’t greeted enthusiastically by Broncos fans at Mile High Report.

One wrote: “Seems a little JV to me. I’d also question that if your the type of player that actually needs or can use a prop like that as motivation you’re maybe not the type of player that’s inherently competitive enough for the NFL. But hey, who knows…..Payton must.”

Another shared this: “So, we go from ‘Lets Ride’ to ‘Broken Ride’... This may be progress in some universe...”

A third wrote: “I think anything that’s supposed to help motivate me to NOT remember something only helps me remember that thing in my attempts to forget it. Seems a bit reverse-psychological. Counter-productive. I’d say the best solution for forward thinking is to literally just think forwardly and stop doing the same old thing... losing incompetently.”

Sports Illustrated’s Jimmy Trania chimed in on the idea, too. He summed up Payton’s plan this way: “I’m pretty sure you can ask your players to do this without leaving a car in a parking lot, but, whatever.”

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