Denver Broncos, like Aaron Rodgers, open offseason with darkness retreat

NFL Combine
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Aaron Rodgers opened the 2023 NFL offseason in a darkness retreat. Apparently, Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton liked that idea a little bit. In case you didn't know, the Broncos opened up their offseason program with weight lifting and conditioning in rare media silence. The reason you may not have known that is because this year's OTAs did not begin with really any fanfare.

There were no photos shared by the social media team of players showing up in the parking lot, coming out of their vehicles, excited to get to work. There is no video footage. There is no meeting the new coordinators or any of the new free agents yet. It's been a relatively silent offseason compared to last year when we were getting a "Behind the Broncos" episode for just about every major event of the offseason.

But Sean Payton is operating differently.

Like Aaron Rodgers, Sean Payton has the Denver Broncos operating in relative darkness. They are certainly not focusing on being open books, exposing every detail of the team's offseason preparation. The team is not even going to be utilizing a traditional OTA schedule.

Payton indicated at the NFL owner meetings that the Broncos will continue strength and conditioning work later in April citing that he feels teams move from "Phase 1" to "Phase 2" of the offseason program far too quickly.

Rodgers emerged from his darkness retreat with a chip on his shoulder. He stated on The Pat McAfee Show that he went into the retreat considering himself to be 90 percent retired, and he came out of the retreat wanting to play for the New York Jets. Will the Denver Broncos emerge from this radio silence with a newfound energy?

I guess if you need to change the culture of an organization, this is one way to do it. Payton is not messing around, whether we're discussing the offseason program, the exposure the team is getting from the media, his criticism of how the team looked on tape last year (bad), and really any other part of this process. He kept things tight-lipped when it comes to building his coaching staff, allegedly hiring more than a dozen coaches without any reports leaking from media members.

He's notified the media that there won't be much discussion about injuries as they occur. Payton just operates differently. He has a certain way of doing things that many are not used to, but frankly, it's refreshing. His methods are tried and true through the last two decades.

How can we expect the Denver Broncos to be following this "darkness retreat" of sorts in Phase 1 of the offseason program? I think we can expect a very focused team. Hopefully, we get to hear from coaches and players shortly after the NFL Draft, and hopefully there will be a discernible difference in the focus, excitement, and culture of the team.

Next. 3 reasons the Broncos didn't make a mistake hiring Sean Payton. dark