Sean Payton bringing interesting OL tendencies to Denver Broncos
To be as successful on offense as the New Orleans Saints were during Sean Payton's 15 years on the job with that team, good offensive line play is somewhat of a no-brainer. The Saints may not have been widely revered during the last 10 years as having the best offensive line in the league, but they weren't just getting by in that regard, either.
Upon his arrival to Denver, I think a lot of people obviously expect Sean Payton to make the Denver Broncos offense better as a whole, but a huge part of that is going to be seeing an upgraded offensive line. The offensive line was a huge focus of the offseason for Payton and the Broncos, bringing in former Saints right tackle Zach Strief as the Broncos' new offensive line coach before going out in free agency and making a couple of big-money signings in guard Ben Powers and tackle Mike McGlinchey.
If we look back over the last 10 years, what kinds of tendencies do we see from Payton's Saints as it pertains to the offensive line? When you look at roster construction, what Payton values in terms of versatility, how many guys he keeps, where they spend money or where they invest in the NFL Draft.
I looked back at the last 10 years of Saints offensive lines (not including 2022 when Payton was retired) to find out what, if anything, we can glean as far as Payton's tendencies carrying over to Denver.
Sean Payton offensive line tendencies coming to Denver Broncos?
1. Generally 8, sometimes 9 linemen made it
One of the big question marks every year is simply -- how many?
How many linemen are you going to keep? If Payton's recent history tells us anything, the answer to that question is eight, possibly nine. In seven of Payton's last 10 years with the Saints, they kept just eight guys on the offensive line with interior players who obviously had the versatility to play multiple positions behind the starting lineup.
If you look at the Denver Broncos roster right now, I think it's tough to project less than nine or 10 guys and on my latest 53-man roster projection, I had them keeping nine. Would it be unheard of to keep nine for Payton? Absolutely not, but it is quite interesting that the majority of the last decade in New Orleans, he kept just eight.
That could be due to wanting quality elsewhere on the roster, it could be due to the NFL's gameday roster rules...Whatever the case, Payton typically kept just eight guys.
A fair question at this point -- do the Broncos even have eight NFL-caliber offensive linemen on the roster? That leads to another observation from Payton's time with the Saints...