Sean Payton has jokes, just ask newly signed Bronco Ben Dinucci. Unfortunately, a miscue from the quarterback inspired the light-hearted moment.
First, let’s set it up. Denver was having a rookie mini-camp this weekend. Dinucci is the new guy. He spent the spring dazzling the XFL as quarterback of the Seattle Sea Dragons. Dinucci led the XFL in passing yards with 2,671. And he threw 20 touchdown passes. Plus, Dinucci, the former star at James Madison, has NFL experience. The Cowboys selected him in the seventh round of the 2020 Draft.
Sean Payton trotted out a Walmart joke
So there was Dinucci showing off his game in front of Sean Payton and the rest of the Broncos assistant coaches. Plus, several members of the Broncos ownership group were watching.
How did the quarterback fare? He threw an interception right in front of Greg Penner, the CEO of Walmart. Yes, Sean Payton went there.
“Unfortunately for Ben DiNucci it was his first interception,” Sean Payton told reporters. “And there was more to that interception if you looked at it. It was a good play by (Drew) Sanders. It was right in front of Greg Penner.
“I was telling Greg before practice how this Ben DiNucci was doing well. I told Ben, I said, ‘You know, he owns Walmart. If it doesn’t work out here, I’m sure there’s a greeting opportunity somewhere at one of his local stores.’”
Sean Payton on Drew Sanders pick 6 off DiNucci. #9sports pic.twitter.com/aSwHaO3z5C— Mike Klis (@mikeklis) May 13, 2023
Other Broncos quarterbacks are named Jarrett
Sean Payton enjoys a terrific reputation for working well with quarterbacks. So his major project is turning around Russell Wilson, who signed with the Broncos last off-season. Denver suffered through a hideous season. Then head coach Nathaniel Hackett was fired before Christmas. Hackett now is the OC with the Jets and working with Aaron Rodgers. Meanwhile, the Broncos hired Payton, the former Saints head coach, in part, to work with Wilson.
Denver isn’t looking at Dinucci for a starting job (or a Walmart greeter). But the Broncos do need to fill out the quarterback room. Denver also sports a couple of Jarretts as in Jarrett Stidham and Jarrett Guarantano. Stidham is a former fourth-round pick of the Patriots who backed up Derek Carr last season with the Raiders. Guarantano is a former starter at Tennessee, who transferred to Washington State. He didn’t hear his name in last year’s NFL Draft and spent parts of last year on Arizona’s practice squad. The Broncos signed him later in the season, then promoted him to the active roster days before Christmas.
But if we can offer a bit of advice — probably don’t throw a pick in front of one of the big shots at practice. They’ll talk and talk and your coach will make a joke. So that interception lives on.