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“They’re All Orphan Dogs”: Sean Payton Uses Bizarre Description For Broncos Quarterbacks

Suresh Menon

Sean Payton

After three tumultuous seasons at the Jets, Zach Wilson has been traded to the Broncos and is now in a three-way battle for the starting position. With three QBs at his helm, HC Sean Payton has a byzantine task ahead of him. But Payton had some strange words to describe his QBs.

Present at a press conference, HC Sean Payton was quipped about the QB situation at the Broncos with Wilson, Bo Nix, and Jarrett Stidham all gunning for the starting position. In reply, the HC surprisingly called the QB cohort of Denver the “orphan group”. He labeled them as “orphan dogs” because of the trio’s journeyman-esque career so far.

While this is Zach’s second team in the NFL, 12th overall pick Bo Nix also went from Auburn to Oregon in college. Stidham as we all know is a prototype journeyman veteran. Payton said:

“You know it’s kind of the orphan group… They’re all orphan dogs you know, they’ve come from somewhere but they’re doing good and it’s a good room.”

After making a statement signing Bo Nix in the drafts, many felt that drafting Zach Wilson was overkill by the Broncos. Regardless, HC Payton in his presser revealed that he is a huge fan of the former Jets QB due to his unique arm strength and mental agility in playmaking:

“I like his experience. You could tell he’s played and I feel like he’s got very live arm strength and he’s picking up the offense pretty quickly.”

Coach Payton also said that he has assigned specific days in his preseason training camp for each QB. For context, Payton has assigned Tuesdays for Stidham to practice his runs. Then the next days are for Zach and Bo. Sean isn’t a stranger to playing with three QBs having experienced the same for a period in Saints with Teddy and Taes.

It seems to be a win-win move for both parties as Zach needed a change in scenario, desperate after the travesty of last season. Moreover, Zach in his first media appearance as a Broncos QB revealed how he idolized the duo of Drew Brees-Sean Payton growing up.

Zach Wilson is a Sean Payton Fanboy

The partnership between Drew Brees and Payton lasted for 15 years with the Saints. While the duo wasn’t as prolific as the Brady-Belichick partnership with only one Super Bowl victory, Brees and Payton were a consistently formidable duo. Zach in his latest media appearance revealed that he is excited to play under Payton because he has seen how his new HC can bring the best out of QBs. The former second-overall pick is thus focused on picking Payton’s brains.

“He’s done a phenomenal job for as long as I can ever remember. I loved watching him and Drew back in the day and just the efficiency they played with how consistent it was, how explosive they were as offense and just taking what the defense give you. So you know, just looking to keep growing and learning every single day from them.”

When asked about the three-way competition for the starting position, Zach seemed unfazed by it. He instead argued that competition will only bring the best out of the trio and thus make it better for the team.

It will be important for HC Payton to manage his resources well to avoid a situation like the Russell Wilson debacle. While  Stidham may not have an inherent expectation to be the starter, the same can’t be said about Bo and Zach.

Hence the HC has to tread the murky waters carefully, manage their egos well, rotate, and ensure harmony in his “orphan group”.

About the author

Suresh Menon

Suresh Menon


Suresh Menon is an NFL writer at The SportsRush with over 700 articles to his name. Early in his childhood, Suresh grew up admiring the famed BBC of Juventus making the Italian club his favorite. His love for soccer however soon translated to American football when he came across a Super Bowl performance from his Favourite Bruno Mars. Tom Brady’s performance in the finals left an imprint on him and since then, he has been a die hard Brady fan. Thus his love for the sport combined with his flair for communication is the reason why he decided to pursue sports journalism at The SportsRush. Beyond football, in his free time, he is a podcast host and likes spending time solving the Rubik’s cube.

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