BRONCOS

On his big day, teammates rave about Russell Wilson’s impact on Broncos

Sep 2, 2022, 6:46 AM
Russell Wilson...
(Photo by Andrew Mason / DenverFan.com)
(Photo by Andrew Mason / DenverFan.com)

The Denver Broncos had a big day on Thursday. Early in the morning, news broke that the Broncos had signed quarterback Russell Wilson to a five-year extension worth $245 million. The deal includes $165 million guaranteed and will keep Wilson with the Broncos for seven seasons in total. Like I said, a big day for the franchise indeed.

This week has also been a big week because it’s the return of open locker room. That’s something that went away during the 2020 COVID season, and it’s been two years since the media has been in the Broncos locker room. It was good to get back out there and talk to players in a more informal setting than we get at the podium during a press conference.

Here are my notes about the Broncos from Thursday.

***

Define Obsession

I was happy to see Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton in the Broncos’ locker room. Ever since he was a rookie, I’ve called Sutton the “steal of the draft” every time I talk to him. Sutton was gracious enough to talk to the media, and during the scrum around his locker, he revealed quite a few tidbits about Wilson.

Sutton’s best quote had to do with Wilson’s borderline (or total) obsession with football. The veteran quarterback is a good man, a good father and a good teammate. However, as he navigates through his day, there is never a time when football is not on his mind. Sutton said as much on Thursday, and he revealed that Wilson is always bringing new ideas to him that they will implement in practice.

I think Sutton is Wilson’s favorite target. Wilson’s arrival means that Sutton is going to get back to his 1,000-yard ways, and I could see him earning a Pro Bowl nod this season. Sutton provided Wilson with a target he can trust all over the field, but especially when the chains must be moved. I call it a “struggle target,” which means that when the chips are down and the pressure is on, Sutton is the one Wilson is looking for. That trust is built from the notes these two share about what routes or play designs could be this season.

Wilson always thinks about football, and Sutton is his go-to guy on the field. That should lead to great things for the Broncos offense in 2022.

***

Brutally Honest

I like the things Melvin Gordon had to say to the media gathered around him in the locker room on Thursday. Gordon is misunderstood by some in the media, and it was good to see a different side of him next to his locker.

Again, the locker room gets a different feel than the podium. When a player is at the podium, it’s more of a buttoned-up interview. At a player’s locker, things can feel more relaxed and the answers less rehearsed.

Gordon is media savvy. He just tells it like it is, no matter where he’s talking to the media. On Thursday, Gordon seemed laid back and dialed in about what he expects for the 2022 season. Without throwing any of his former teammates under the bus, Gordon spoke a truth about the quarterback position that many players won’t say. Simply put, Gordon stated that it sucks when you don’t have a good quarterback situation.

We know the Broncos have a much better quarterback situation than they used to. No matter the quarterback Gordon has played with – yes, even Philip Rivers with the Chargers – he’s never played with a quarterback like Wilson in the pros. Gordon and Wilson were teammates for one year at the University of Wisconsin, and it is no secret that the two love playing together. That combination could be a great one for the Broncos just like it was for the Badgers years ago.

Gordon is 1000 percent correct. The quarterback means everything to a team’s future. If you have a good one, then things are looking up. If you don’t have the right quarterback, it can suck the fun out of the game of football.

***

The Return of the Standard

Wilson brings so much to the Broncos. I love his mindset to be the best in the NFL. In fact, Wilson is solely focused on his legacy. He just doesn’t want to be great in 2022; Wilson wants to be remembered as one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play. It’s that sort of drive that can make Wilson great, and it can catapult the Broncos much deeper into the postseason than some think they can go.

The Broncos have almost always had a high standard during my lifetime. Certainly, since the mid-80s there has been a standard of winning with this team. They don’t think about making playoff appearances, the Broncos have historically had a drive to win championships. They have won three Super Bowls, and Wilson wants to win at least a couple more during his time as the starter.

Having that belief in themselves can go a long way. With Wilson at quarterback, the Broncos do believe in themselves and most importantly; they believe in him. Just with the trade of Wilson, the mindset of these players has changed after six seasons of not making the postseason.

The standard has returned to Denver, and I couldn’t be happier.

***

Broncos

Patrick Mahomes...
Cecil Lammey

Around the AFC West: The division might not be as strong as thought

As the Broncos, Chargers and Raiders have a variety of struggles early in the season, it appears as though the Chiefs still rule the West
13 hours ago
Broncos Colts...
Jake Shapiro

How to watch the Denver Broncos on Thursday night against the Colts

The Denver Broncos play Thursday night for their Week 5 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts, here's how to tune in
13 hours ago
Jonathan Taylor...
Jake Shapiro

The Broncos will dodge one of the best players in the NFL on Thursday

The Denver Broncos will catch a huge break come Thursday against the Indianapolis Colts
13 hours ago
Jonathan Taylor...
Cecil Lammey

Three keys to the Broncos getting a win over the Colts in Week 5

Denver needs to get back on track after a loss in Las Vegas, but there's a recipe for success on a short week with Indianapolis coming to town
13 hours ago
Melvin Gordon...
Mike Evans

Broncos Country needs to rally around Melvin Gordon on Thursday

In a short week, heading into a game that feels like a tipping point of the season, Denver has no other options than their much-maligned back
13 hours ago
Russell Wilson...
Andrew Mason

Broncos-Raiders grades: Russell Wilson gets high marks

Wilson showed in Week 4 why the Broncos acquired him ... but there are concerns at plenty of other spots.
2 days ago
On his big day, teammates rave about Russell Wilson’s impact on Broncos