On Thursday, Jets offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett told reporters he has not heard from Broncos coach Sean Payton in the aftermath of Payton’s pointed criticism of Hackett’s tenure as coach of Broncos.
On Friday, Payton was asked about the situation. He had nothing to add.
“Respectfully, I feel like I’ve addressed it,” Payton told reporters. “[Jets coach] Robert [Saleh] did a great job of talking about it. Here’s the thing — we have two teams focused on getting their second win. I think that’s where our focus has been.”
Both teams need a win badly. Whoever falls to 1-4 might be done, as a practical matter.
Last year didn’t go well for Hackett and the Broncos. This year isn’t going much better for Denver.
No one expected much from the Broncos. The Jets had the high bar; that was part of Payton’s criticism. He pointed to the hoopla associated with the Broncos in 2022, and how that has attached to the Jets in 2023.
“You watch,” Payton told Bell in late July. “Hard Knocks, all of it. I can see it coming. Remember when [former Washington owner] Dan Snyder put that ‘Dream Team’ together? I was at the Giants [in 2000]. I was a young coach. I thought, ‘How are we going to compete with them? Deion’s there now.’ That team won eight games or whatever. So, listen . . . just put the work in.”
Both teams are putting the work in as they prepare to square off on Sunday in Denver. When it’s over, it will be interesting to see what Payton and Saleh and/or Hackett have to say to each other, if anything.
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