During the NFL Network’s show, “The Insiders” that features insiders Ian Rapoport, Tom Pelissero, and Mike Garafolo, they talked about the drama inside the Broncos' locker room and more.
According to Pelissero, he has been told that Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett has NOT lost the locker room. However, he continues that quarterback Russell Wilson has “lost some people around that team, and has lost some people inside that locker room.”
According to @TomPelissero, Nathaniel Hackett has NOT lost the Broncos locker room, but…— Zac Stevens (@ZacStevensDNVR) November 30, 2022
“Russ has lost some people around that team. He has lost some people in that locker room.”
(Via @NFL’s ‘The Insiders’)
The full clip can be viewed here. The part about the Broncos, Wilson, and Hackett starts around the 15:40 mark if you want to watch it in its entirety.
Hackett not losing the locker room is good news for him and potentially even keeps the door open for him to return next season. If he has the locker room’s support, he and the players could convince GM George Paton to give Hackett one more year. This is not something I want to see or think will happen, but a potential possibility if this is indeed true.
However, the part about Wilson already losing some in the locker room is concerning, but it makes sense. You haven’t heard many of his former teammates come to his defense during this time. Also, his “fake” personality and disingenuous antics have always rubbed some the wrong way. His success as a top Super Bowl-winning quarterback has helped shield some of the criticism, but now that he’s performing rather poorly, people are not holding back.
So, it makes sense that some teammates see their highly-paid quarterback doing all this and underperforming despite some of their best efforts(especially on the defensive side) would start losing faith in Wilson.
On the @NFL’s ‘The Insiders’ @MikeGarafolo said this about Russell Wilson with the Broncos:— Zac Stevens (@ZacStevensDNVR) November 30, 2022
“Privately, we were being told early on, these guys were looking at [Wilson] side eyed when he was doing all his kinds of goofy stuff all offseason into training camp.”
NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo chimed in and says that some of these questions began as early as this offseason. He says some players were “side-eyeing” each other when Wilson was doing his goofy/cringe stuff throughout the offseason and during training camp.
Back then, they probably thought, this is Russell Wilson and he’ll help us win football games, so they just accepted this. Now, that the Broncos are 3-8, they have lost faith and/or are not holding back anymore. We saw that this past Sunday when defensive tackle Mike Purcell started screaming at Wilson on the sideline. Broncos' PR quickly put out that fire, but you can tell that the frustrations are starting to boil over.
If all this is true, how do the Broncos proceed? They are tied to Wilson for multiple seasons after that contract extension and have a pretty big problem here on their hands. If they do indeed move on from Hackett after one season, this sort of thing could keep some of the better coaching candidates from interviewing for their vacancy. Also, if Wilson doesn’t improve or continues to decline, the Broncos are stuck in one major pickle moving forward.
The insiders did not have a good answer, I don’t have a good answer, and it seems like the shit show surrounding the Broncos continues to get worse and worse each week.
As they said in the video, “Let’s Ride...this out.”