Wil Lutz: My best years were with Sean Payton because I was scared to let him down

Veteran kicker Wil Lutz has been reunited with head coach Sean Payton after a trade from the Saints to the Broncos, and he says he's back with the best coach he's had.

Lutz, who played for Payton for six seasons in New Orleans, said that his respect for Payton makes him want to kick the best he can for him.

“Look, coach, he tries to get the best out of everyone,’’ Lutz said, via Mike Klis of 9 News. “I truly feel like my best years were with him because I was kind of scared to let him down. I think that’s how a leader is.’’

After losing the Saints' kicking competition, Lutz was thrilled to learn the Broncos wanted him.

“Look, for Sean to come over and get me like he did, it’s an honor,’’ Lutz said. “It’s great to feel appreciated, great to be wanted.”

Lutz had the worst field goal percentage of his career last season, which also happened to be his first season with a head coach other than Payton.

“But look, 2022, no excuses. I didn’t have a good year,’’ Lutz said. “It’s all on me. Mentally I didn’t feel like I was in the right space. Kind of felt like a rookie again after missing a year. I didn’t play in front of fans in 2020. Didn’t play in 2021. So 2022 Week 1 was the first time in front of fans in [three] years. So it was very eye opening. I think I didn’t handle it the right way."

Payton is confident Lutz will bounce back, and Lutz appreciates Payton's confidence.