Russell Wilson makes the silly field day debate a completely moot point
The Broncos “field day” debate became a polarizing topic for Broncos Country this week. Head coach Nathaniel Hackett canceled the last practice of mandatory minicamp and held a field day for the players instead.
This invoked some very strong opinions. Those pro-field day feel that it is good team building. Those anti-field day feel that it is reminiscent of the awful Vic Fangio era.
Fangio held multiple field days during his tenure and those teams were some of the most-boring and undisciplined Broncos teams we’ve seen. As the Broncos attempt to break their streak of six-straight seasons with a playoff appearance, many feel they haven’t earned a field day.
The Broncos having a field day doesn’t matter because the Broncos now have their franchise quarterback in Russell Wilson. In the past few years, the Broncos quarterback situation was so bad that we were forced to look at things like the last day of minicamp as if it mattered.
Fangio was bad as a head coach, but one field day wasn’t going to change that. Fangio also had a poor quarterback room; one field day wasn’t going to change that, either.
Drew Lock wasn’t going to read defenses better on that last day of minicamp. And Teddy Bridgewater wasn’t going to elevate to elite quarterback with or without a field day.
Joe Flacco, Lock, Bridgewater and any other of the Broncos starting quarterbacks were ineffective no matter how much offseason work they put in. That’s just the reality.
The past few years the Broncos were so inept at quarterback and head coach that we were debating field day when the issues were much larger than that. It’s amazing that OTAs can’t overcome a bad quarterback situation!
A silly outdated philosophy of “play good defense and run the ball” isn’t going to work no matter how hard a team practices. Field day was minuscule compared to the real issues that haunted the Broncos.
The Broncos now have a franchise quarterback that is focused on winning. Wilson owns a football field in San Diego and held sessions with some of the offensive players on the Broncos. Wilson has already said they plan to meet again in July.
Wilson’s presence and pursuit of winning has already done more than any half day of minicamp will ever do. As Tim Patrick put it after practice recently:
“When you see someone carry themselves the right way every day, it makes you up your game not to slack and to put winning first. At the end of the day, we’re all here to win a Super Bowl and if our quarterback does it, no one has an excuse not to do it.”
Further, Dalton Risner explained to CBS Sports:
“It’s been a privilege to get to know this man, No. 3. And I’m not just talking about the way he throws the football, the way he directs the huddle, the leader he is.”
The expectation has already been set and understood by this Broncos team and the players know what has been placed upon them.
The Broncos weren’t bad in the last few years because of their offseason work. They were bad because they were deficient at quarterback. The Broncos weren’t going to “outwork” their opponents to victories. The quarterback was their ceiling, and the ceiling was low.
The reality is the Broncos have been so bad in recent years it has led all of us to have strong opinions on something as silly as field day. The Broncos made so many bad decisions since 2016, that we conditioned ourselves to disagree with everything they did, because it led to losses. It’s understandable to cringe at the field day because it reminds us of the Vic Fangio era.
The comparison falls short because everything about this current Broncos team is different. From ownership to coach to the franchise quarterback. With Wilson leading the way, the Broncos have displayed multiple times this offseason they are willing to put in the hard work to return to the Super Bowl. There is reason to be excited again and we shouldn’t forget all the positives based on one afternoon in June.