clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Horse Tracks: The Russell Wilson rebound?

So, what should we expect from the Broncos quarterback in his second season?

Los Angeles Chargers v Denver Broncos Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The other day, I was doing some spring cleaning and unearthed, from the bottom of a stack of rarely worn t-shirts, a shirt that I had bought before last season started. Raise your hand if you bought some Russell Wilson gear about this time last year? Oh the promise and excitement over having a legit Pro Bowl quarterback under center again! I think I wore it once before the reality of the 2022 season set in.

Like many of you, I was surprised by how poorly Russell Wilson played. There’s plenty of blame to go around as to why the 2022 debacle happened: Poor offensive line play, injuries, Nathaniel Hackett’s historic ineptitude as a head coach (remember the crowd counting down the playclock? That’s going to stick with me for some time).

Folks love to paint Wilson as a diva or as a charlatan that was propped up by the genius of Pete Carrol (look what he did with Geno Smith!). All that is just noise that served to pile on an ineffective and woefully underperforming giant of the game. He can’t be this bad, can he?

In 2023, things look vastly different than it did in 2022. The gilded comforts of Wilson’s personal training staff and office at the facility have been taken from him. Nathaniel Hackett and his goofy blubbering are now New York’s problem. The Broncos were exceptionally active in free agency having already spent over $235 million on 13 free agents, 6 of them on offense. Then there’s Coach Sean Payton who seems to finally be the John Fox-style “adult in the room” that could spark future seasons of success... or at least something better than the disaster of 2022.

Do I think Wilson can do better this year? I do. I think help on the offensive line and the run-first approach that Sean Payton is taking will benefit Wilson a great deal. Hackett’s mistakes were in thinking that Wilson could be John Elway and in putting him in situations where not even John Elway could be successful. Quarterback ego be damned, Sean Payton is already changing the focus of this team so that it won’t all be on Wilson.

How much better will Wilson be over last year? While my hopes are that the real Russell Wilson the Broncos traded for will emerge from the carcass of suckitude we saw last year, my expectations are that any improvement will a success. We as fans need it to be. At this point in Wilson’s massive contract, we have to be behind him to make this work. The Broncos are shackled to him through at least next season and so we really need to make this work. Please. Make it work.


Sacco Sez: Bob Smith and the history of Mic'd Up features
Broncos Team Historian Jim Saccomano reflects on how players and coaches being wired became a commonplace practice.

Former Pro Bowl RB Phillip Lindsay signs deal with XFL's Seattle Sea Dragons, per report -
Lindsay played the 2022 season with the Indianapolis Colts

Vikings' 7-year-old U.S. Bank Stadium needs $280M in maintenance in next decade, $48M in next year, per report -
A stadium that opened in 2016 and hosted Super Bowl LII will be costly to maintain

Eagles' Darius Slay says he was 'this close' to becoming a Raven before signing reworked deal with Philly -
The five-time Pro Bowl cornerback nearly left the Eagles this offseason

Chargers have no timeline for J.C. Jackson's return - ProFootballTalk

Report: Dolphins open to trading Cedrick Wilson - ProFootballTalk

Bears and Vikings also made offers to David Montgomery before Lions signed him - ProFootballTalk

NFL's funding rule isn't mandatory; did the Browns make escrow payment for Deshaun Watson deal? - ProFootballTalk

Report: Odell Beckham, Jr. is thought to now be looking for $15 million on a one-year deal - ProFootballTalk

Bodycam video shows Jalen Carter denying that he was racing - ProFootballTalk

Draft weekend, at the earliest, seems to be current target for Aaron Rodgers trade - ProFootballTalk

FMIA: What the First Four Teams Will Do on Draft Night and Owners Challenging Goodell - ProFootballTalk
Peter King shares more of what he learned at last week's NFL owners meetings, including a Thursday night football standoff and predictions for draft night.