As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Well, the Denver Broncos are admitting Russell Wilson is broke for the time being, but they fully believe he’s “fixable,” according to team ownership.
Denver’s ownership group has also admitted the team’s leadership was broken too, with the decision to fire Nathaniel Hackett just ten months after signing him to a four-year contract.
While the Broncos still have two games to play before their season wraps up, it’s clear the team is looking ahead to the future and how they can prevent such a disaster from happening again in 2023.
To no surprise, the Broncos aren’t ready to move on from their $230 million quarterback yet (not that they could afford to). This offseason will be all about pairing him with the ideal coaching candidate who can get the most out of their franchise quarterback, hoping they can get back on track to deliver on their Super Bowl aspirations.
Speaking with the media on Tuesday, Broncos owner/CEO Greg Penner opened up about how the team views Wilson after a season that can only be described as a massive disappointment.
“The decision to have Russell here was a long-term one. This season has not been up to his standards or expectations. We saw some glimpses of it in the last few weeks. He knows he can play better, we know he can play better, and we know he will do the right work in the offseason to be ready for next year.”Denver Broncos team owner Greg Penner on Russell Wilson
Wilson is an 11-year veteran and a nine-time Pro Bowl QB. He’s still just 34, which isn’t anywhere near retirement or the point where a quarterback’s skills diminish at a drastic rate. If Aaron Rodgers can win an MVP when he’s 38, and Tom Brady can win a Super Bowl at the age of 43, then what’s up with Wilson? How did one of the best signal-callers in the game go from playing at a Pro Bowl level to barely being able to complete 60% of his passes?
Denver Broncos support Russell Wilson, but note he needs ‘fixing’
There’s no denying Wilson hasn’t been the same this season. It’s an issue that has seemingly stemmed back to his final year in Seattle, where Wilson broke his middle finger during Week 5.
Some might say Wilson has the ‘yips’ — a classic reference to baseball players who suddenly struggle with their arm accuracy for seemingly no reason at all.
What’s unique is that even the Broncos are ready to admit their QB needs to head back to the drawing board and figure out what’s changed in his process.
Here’s general manager George Paton on Wilson, insisting QB play wasn’t the reason for Hackett’s dismissal.
“I don’t think we made a coaching move based on Russ. That wasn’t what it’s all about. That’s not why we’re getting a new coach, to turn around Russ, it’s about the entire organization. It’s about the entire football team. It’s just not one player. It’s not whether Russ is fixable or not. We do believe he is. We do.”Denver Broncos GM George Paton on getting more out of Russell Wilson
It’s a bit eye-opening that Paton would readily admit Wilson needs fixing. It clearly indicates he is the problem or at least part of it.
Outside observers would certainly agree, but it’s still uncommon for a team to publicly state their QB is in a bad place. Paton first says, “it’s not whether Russ is fixable or not,” but then he basically states that Wilson getting fixed is part of the team’s offseason agenda, even if he’s not worried about it.
There’s even the possibility Paton gets his walking papers as well since Penner noted the next head coach will report directly to ownership instead of to the GM. It’s an odd structure, but the Broncos don’t have a choice but to make sweeping changes in the hopes it will bring better results. Seeing how Wilson responds to these latest comments by his team’s GM will be interesting, to say the least.