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Sean Payton has 'Talked' to Mark Schlereth About Coaching Broncos OL

By Keith Cummings,


Sean Payton could stick close to home for his offensive line coach hire.

Sean Payton’s arrival as the head coach of the Denver Broncos hasn’t put an end to the seemingly endless waves of speculation. Payton has a clear vision of the coaches he wants to join him on his mission to turn the Broncos back into a winning organization.

Pinpointing the specific position groups that require more intensive coaching may lead to some slightly left-field appointments over the next few days.

On that note, former Broncos legend Mark Schlereth, better known for his TV and radio work, revealed via 104.3 The Fan that he had some initial dialog with Payton about leaving the booth to coach some offensive line.

“I talked to Sean several weeks ago. I haven’t talked to him since,” Schlereth said on his Schlereth and Evans morning radio show in Denver . “But, yeah, would I be interested? Certainly, I’d be interested if that opportunity arose. I don’t know that it will. I would imagine that we’re going to have a chat about that, but maybe not, I don’t know. Let’s just say that we talked about it several weeks ago, haven’t talked about it since.”

Schlereth’s lack of a coaching resume might be a stumbling block, you might think, but Payton putting the feelers out might mean something tangible. In the meantime, the desperate need to shore up an O-line that was responsible for a league-worst 63 sacks last season might demand some innovative thinking.

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More conventional avenues may lead Payton to conclude that long-time New Orleans Saints assistant coach Dan Roushar might be a better, more-seasoned option. Well-respected O-line guru Mike Munchak also remains at home in Denver, awaiting his next opportunity to come along.

Munchak’s familiarity with the personnel in Denver might prove valuable (he's only been gone a year). The ability to identify upgrades in free agency and the latter rounds of the upcoming draft might be of more critical importance.

Therefore, appointing somebody like Schlereth appears highly unlikely simply because his links to the required scouting networks are bound to be rusty or nonexistent. If Payton is going to put quarterback Russell Wilson successfully back together, it’s going to take a top-to-bottom rebuild of the O-line as a matter of some urgency.

Putting the right people on the job is crucial for short- and long-term results. Indeed, don’t rule out a hire that takes fans completely by surprise, but don’t count on it being the back-to-back Super Bowl-winning legend Broncos Country affectionately calls “Stink.”

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