Sean Payton has two just-retired players joining his coaching staff

Denver Broncos new head coach Sean Payton has mostly completed building his new coaching staff, and there are two unique hires to note.

Davis Webb (as quarterbacks coach) and Chris Banjo (as a special teams assistant) are joining the team immediately after hanging up their cleats. Webb and Banjo both played in the NFL just last season.

“We have two hires that are a little unique,” Payton said at the NFL combine last week. “It’s unusual for a player to come from a playing role, literally last season — call it an active roster status — and into a coaching position. We have that with Davis Webb and we have it with Chris Banjo as well.”

This isn’t the first time Payton has given former players their first opportunities as coaches in the NFL. He did the same with Zach Strief and Michael Wilhoite, who will also join Payton in Denver this spring.

Unlike Webb and Banjo, though, Strief and Wilhoite were out of the NFL for (at least) two years before Payton hired them with the New Orleans Saints. Webb and Banjo will be going straight from the locker room to the film room.

“We really had a really good experience with Chris when he came from Green Bay to New Orleans,” Payton said of Banjo. “I knew that he was still playing at Arizona, but he was at that stage in his career where he was looking forward maybe to getting into coaching.

“I had called him one night and low and behold, it was something he wanted to do and do pretty quickly. Normally, I would say that it takes two years. There is a transition that it takes for players, where they go their way and then they want to get back in.” 

Banjo, who served as a rotational safety and special teams ace for the Cardinals last year, wanted back in immediately, and Payton will give him that opportunity.

Webb served as a backup with the New York Giants last season, starting one game. The Broncos weren’t the first team to offer him the chance to coach in the NFL — the Buffalo Bills wanted him to retire last year so he could serve as their QBs coach, but Webb decided to continue playing.

Webb is now ready to make the jump to coaching, and Payton has made it possible.

“[H]e came highly recommended from a bunch of different coaches,” Payton said of Webb. “Brian Daboll, Eli Manning, I spoke to a number of people. I kept hearing the same things about him, so we brought him in. I didn’t have to do that with Chris, but I didn’t know Davis from — I remember him as a player, but I didn’t know him at all. He did a really good job.

“Those are two unusual hires because they were just on rosters last year, but their experience and where they are at — he’s a coach’s kid, Davis is. He had a file on his computer of every gameplan that he’s ever had since he was in high school, then college, then Texas Tech. Then, [Patrick] Mahomes comes in and then he transfers. It was really impressive just going through the process. Then, the fit for us, too — especially in that room — I think will be good.”

Webb will serve as the team’s QBs coach, working alongside Russell Wilson, under offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi — a former QBs coach — and Payton, who started his NFL coaching career as a QBs coach in 1997.

Webb and Banjo will look to follow in the footsteps of Strief and Wilhoite, who successfully transitioned from playing to coaching under Payton.

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Story originally appeared on Broncos Wire