Russell Wilson finally has a highlight moment at Broncos training camp
If given a dose of truth serum, anyone who has watched the Broncos at training camp this year would probably admit something few will voluntarily utter out loud. Russell Wilson has been underwhelming.
It’s not that Denver’s new quarterback has been bad. He hasn’t been. It’s just that he hasn’t been fantastic, either.
There haven’t been many moments that have made the fans in attendance “ooh” and “ahh” with excitement. There haven’t been many plays that made the media members in attendance race to get out the first tweet. There haven’t been many instances where it felt distinctly different from previous training camps, when journeymen were playing quarterback instead of a future Hall of Famer.
That all changed on Thursday. For the first time in training camp, Wilson delivered a cheer-worthy, tweet-inducing moment.
During their fully padded practice, the Broncos worked on game-like situations. They started a drive at their own 20-yard line, trailing by four points with just 1:42 to play. Wilson led the offense on a touchdown march, one that included a fourth-and-4 completion to Courtland Sutton and was capped by a scoring throw to Trey Quinn.
It was the kind of moment Wilson was brought in to provide. It was a big-time drive by a big-time player, with big-time clutch plays. And it was something that got his head coach excited.
“Two-minute (drill) is typically one of the hardest things to get going for a brand-new offense,” Nathaniel Hackett said after practice. “Everything is happening so fast. We’re trying to process situations. To see that happen on only the second time we’ve done it, first time during end of game, was really great.”
The drive also provided a glimpse into how the head coach and quarterback will work together this season. Hackett and Wilson are a partnership, not a dictatorship.
“It’s a combination of both of us,” the coach explained when asked about who is making decisions in those situations. “I try to plant some seeds in his mind. We’ve collaborated on a list of things we want to try to accomplish, plays we want to try to run. I give him those, we talk about it and then he runs with it. I’m always in his ear, but it’s his choice – whatever he’s feeling.”
This approach paid off in two key instances on Thursday. First, it came into play on the fourth-down pass to Sutton.
“That was pretty cool,” Hackett said with a smile. “We had something that we wanted to get to there, but had a little miscommunication. It turned into a bit of a different play, which we didn’t know was going to happen, but sometimes that’s how great things happen.”
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Then, the go-ahead touchdown came on a call by the quarterback.
“It was great working with Russ through that one,” Hackett said. “He called that last play, which was absolutely fantastic, and hit it for the touchdown.”
Add it all up and it was the best day of training camp for the offense as a whole. And it was the best moment of Wilson’s time in orange and blue.
Now the head coach wants to build upon the success. He wants the Broncos to keep moving forward offensively.
“We have a long way to go, but that was really nice to see,” Hackett said, clearly pleased with what he saw out of his QB on Thursday.