Broncos coach Sean Payton impressed owner Greg Penner in 2023

In terms of a winning season and playoff berth, new Denver Broncos coach Sean Payton did not produce instant results in his first season with the club.

The Broncos finished below .500 (8-9) and missed the postseason in 2023, but team owner/CEO Greg Penner still came away impressed by Payton’s job performance.

“Really good,” Penner said of Payton during his end-of-season press conference last week. “I was impressed with after the 1-5 start, his leadership to bring us back from that adversity and getting into a position to make a playoff push — very impressive. Probably the biggest thing here, in terms of how I think about the future and this organization moving forward, is that he’s establishing a culture here based on performance, excellence, hard work and accountability.

“Again, his focus is on winning. A lot of times that does come out in a very passionate and intense way. I know you all see that. We see it a little bit differently. We see some of that in the building as well, but we also see another side of him. The messages that he has to our players are terrific. He has a great sense of humor. He uses historical anecdotes. We get to see both sides of that, but at the end of the day, he’s focused on winning, and I love that passion.”

Penner knew when he hired Payton that the Broncos would need some time to rebuild and contend for titles. After trading draft picks to acquire Payton and then giving him a big contract, Penner won’t give up on the coach quickly. Payton will be given time turn the program around, and Penner likes what he’s seen from the coach through one season.

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Story originally appeared on Broncos Wire