Broncos’ Sean Payton hires Joe Vitt, LSU’s Jamar Cain to staff, sources say

Sean Payton rounded out his first Broncos coaching staff on Saturday with a familiar, veteran face and several young additions.

Payton is hiring longtime Saints linebackers coach Joe Vitt as senior defensive assistant and LSU assistant Jamar Cain as Denver coaching specialist, the franchise announced Saturday.

The Broncos also officially acknowledged the hires of several other staff members, as well as several previously reported assistant coaches.

Vitt was the linebackers coach at New Orleans from 2006 to 2016 and served as interim head coach of the Saints during the second half of the 2012 season when Payton was suspended for the full year due to the Bounty scandal. Spoiled. Vitt was suspended for the first six games of the season over the scandal, but later joined Aaron Kromer as interim coach once the suspension ended.

Coincidentally, Vitt’s first game back after his suspension was a 34-14 loss to the Broncos in Denver on October 24, 2012.

In total, he spent 11 seasons in New Orleans until Payton fired him and several other defensive assistants after 2016 and a third straight 7-9 win for the franchise.

Most recently, Vitt coached the New York Jets outside linebackers from 2019 to 2020 before retiring, but Payton was able to convince him to come out of retirement and work on his first coaching staff in Denver.

Prior to his retirement at the end of the 2020 season, Vitt had been in the NFL in some capacity every season since 1982.

The 68-year-old is from New Jersey. He has coached the defense his entire career, except in 2018 when he served as Miami’s senior director of football and player development for then-Dolphins head coach Adam Gase, who is his son-in-law.

The 2022 season was Cain’s first in Baton Rouge. Prior to that, he spent two seasons coaching at Oklahoma, where his students included Broncos second-year outside linebacker Nik Bonitto. Prior to that, he spent the 2019 season at Arizona State.

At 42, Cain joins defensive line coach Marcus Dixon and outside linebackers coach Michael Wilhoite as a young and dynamic group of coaches working with the Broncos’ first seven, while inside linebackers coach Greg Manusky brings several years of coordination experience to the mix.

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