Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton didn't hold back in a recent interview, but his criticism of former Green Bay Packers coach Nathaniel Hackett isn't a good look.
Payton gave a brutally honest interview to USA TODAY Sports. He was asked about what went wrong last season for Russell Wilson and the Broncos.
Understandably, he tried to deflect the blame away from Wilson and his players. But he completely threw Hackett under the bus, and it's fair to say he stepped over the line.
"It's not just Russell. It was a (poor) offensive line. It might have been one of the worst coaching jobs in the history of the NFL. That's how bad it was," Payton told USA TODAY Sports.
Wow. Brutally honest from Payton, but also incredibly disrespectful to call out another coach in the league. And as Payton said, he doesn't know Hackett.
Payton said: "There's so much dirt around that. There's 20 dirty hands, for what was allowed, tolerated in the fricking training rooms, the meeting rooms. The offense. I don't know Hackett. A lot of people had dirt on their hands. It wasn't just Russell. He didn't just flip. He still has it."
Sean Payton's criticism of former Packers coach Nathaniel Hackett was unnecessary
The entire interview comes off as arrogant from Payton. Why take an unnecessary shot at Hackett and the previous coaching staff?
Coaching in the NFL is hard. After all, Payton coached Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees and reached only one Super Bowl, something Mike McCarthy has been criticized for in Green Bay. Payton's Saints had four losing seasons.
Payton should know as well as anyone that winning isn't easy, even with a star quarterback on your team.
Things didn't work out for Hackett in Denver, but the former Packers offensive coordinator is incredibly popular among the players he has coached. Aaron Rodgers loves him. It's no surprise to see them reunite in New York.
Hackett helped build a Packers offense that dominated in 2020. Rodgers won his third and fourth MVP awards with help from Hackett.
Payton's harsh criticism was unnecessary and reflects poorly on himself. He stated that he will be "pissed off" if the Broncos don't reach the playoffs this season.
We'll revisit those comments in January.