Here’s Sean Payton with a big here: ESPN’s Dan Graziano and Jeremy Fowler report that the Denver Broncos are hiring another one of Payton’s former New Orleans Saints players to his coaching staff. Jim Leonhard is in discussions with Denver to return to the NFL as the Broncos defensive backs coach.
Leonhard has been a big name in the college ranks — he rose to prominence as the defensive coordinator at his Wisconsin alma mater, developing many future NFL players, and he most recently worked at Illinois as a senior analyst. But before that he played in the NFL for a decade. He joined the Saints for training camp back in 2013.
He’s also interviewed for several NFL openings in recent years, but it looks like his first shot will come in Denver working with his old coach. Payton has given many of his former players opportunities to work on his coaching staff. Some of them are still with him on the Broncos like offensive line coach Zach Strief, assistant special teams coach Chris Banjo, and offensive quality control coach Logan Kilgore.