Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton apologized for his critique of the team’s previous coach and staff, calling it a “mistake.”
On Thursday, Payton told USA Today that his predecessors had done “one of the worst coaching jobs in the history of the NFL.”
But speaking to reporters during training camp on Friday, Payton said: “I had one of those moments where I still had my FOX hat on, and not my coaching hat on.
“And, you know, I said this to the team in the meeting yesterday. We’ve had a great offseason relative to that. And I’ve been preaching that message, and here I am, the veteran. You know, stepping in it.
“It was a learning experience for me. It was a mistake, obviously. I needed a little bit more filter … I said what I said, and obviously I needed a little bit more restraint, and I regret that.”
The 59-year-old Payton worked as a broadcaster for FOX last season. He was hired this past offseason by the Broncos, succeeding former head coach Nathaniel Hackett. Last season, Hackett was let go by the team after a 4-11 record under him.
Payton added he would apologize to New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh and offensive coordinator and former Broncos head coach Hackett at “the right time.”
“I think the world of Robert (Saleh). I know him. I don’t know Nathaniel (Hackett). But at the right time. Listen, it certainly will bring more interest in the game when we play them, but that seems like years from now. But I’ll handle it the right way,” he said.
The Jets are scheduled to play the Broncos in Denver in week 5.