Denver — It never gets easier.

With the Broncos approaching the league’s deadline to trim their active roster down to 53 players, head coach Sean Payton said the process is always a challenge.

“It’s always tough this time of year,” Payton said after the Broncos’ pre-season. “It hasn’t changed for me in 16 years. I usually get together with every player.”

Payton said the difficulty in making roster decisions is keeping the right players and not letting potential future contributors walk out the door.

“The dream of a lot of these guys is still alive, even if it’s not here.” Payton said. “The thing that keeps me up — I don’t want to say we’re up at night — but (it’s about) making sure you find the right 53. You don’t want to lose a player when you have control of him and then you get him.” Have success elsewhere.”

During Saturday’s 41-0 win over the Rams, a slew of players made the job of Payton and general manager George Button even more difficult. When the starting players came out of the game, many of the reserve players saw extended action that provided a final check.

“To commend the players, a lot of players will meet that challenge through their efforts tonight, during the week, and even last week,” Payton said. “It’s always difficult.”

Payton said the Broncos have begun discussing their 53-man roster and will continue to “meet about it” before Tuesday’s 2 p.m. MT deadline. After making the initial roster of 53 players, Denver will then field their coaching staff of 16. And as Payton made clear on Saturday, he views the coaching staff as an extension of the roster.

“I think the important thing when you talk about players on the coaching staff is: Are they developmentally capable? Are they the people you feel have an upward curve in?” Payton said. “Coaches, all in general, can be very protective and say this could be a perfect team player. Well, it’s not if you can’t see the positive side of being a 53-man. And with the rules the way they are now, There’s a lot more flexibility, I know it’s 53 and 16, but I look at it a lot differently, I look at it as the whole list.

“…I think there has to be a clear and valid view of the player for the coaching squad. And I think you collect all the information, but every team this year will have players coming out of this squad of 16 (players’ coaching staff) and playing important roles.”

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