The 12-year veteran quarterback refuses to be discouraged by a disappointing first season in the Mile High City. Wilson channeled University of Colorado head coach Deion Sanders in keeping a few receipts of his own ahead of the 2023 season.
“I think you’ve got them in your back pocket sometimes,’’ Wilson said via Chris Tomasson of the Denver Gazette on September 6.
The QB has attracted doubters following a campaign in which he set career lows in touchdown passes (16) and passer rating (84.4). Wilson is determined to return to the player who made the Pro Bowl in nine of his 10 seasons with the Seattle Seahawks.
“Listen, I’m used to some of those who believe and some of those who doubt I think when you’re playing high stakes and you dream to be the best that you can be every possible day there’s always going to be people who question whether you can do it or not. I think I’ve proven that throughout my career what I can do. And I’ve got to do it again. That’s just the name of the game,” Wilson said.
Sean Payton Praises Russell Wilson’s Leadership
The pairing of Wilson and head coach Sean Payton has made headlines all offseason. Payton has frequently come to the quarterback’s defense and even complimented Wilson’s leadership in Denver.
“I would say he’s really upbeat,” Payton said on September 7 via Zack Kelberman of Mile Hgh Huddle. “He’s positive and encouraging. He has a lot of really good traits that I like. I think over his career, dating back to college, it’s shown itself time and time again.”
Former Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning was even asked how the relationship would work given his connections with the team. The Hall of Famer doesn’t anticipate it working out immediately but explained that Payton will put Wilson “in positions to be the best Russell he can be,” as Manning noted on the September 7 episode of The Pat McAfee Show.
Payton and Wilson are tasked with getting the Broncos to the playoffs for the first time since winning the 2016 Super Bowl. Denver has a seven-year playoff drought which is the longest mark following a Super Bowl win in NFL history.
Russell Wilson Close to Reaching NFL Milestones in 2023
Wilson will have additional opportunities in 2023 to achieve notable NFL milestones and boost his career resume. The QB “Needs 21 touchdown passes to surpass Dan Marino (328) for the second-most ever by a player in his first 12 seasons,” according to Jeff Kerr of CBS Sports.
Heading into the 2023 season, Wilson has 308 touchdown passes in his first 11 seasons. Wilson also “Needs 3,000 passing yards to join Peyton Manning as the only players ever to reach the mark in each of their first 12 seasons,” said Kerr. The 12-year veteran had 3,524 yards in 15 starts with the Broncos in 2022.
On the ground, Wilson needs four more rushing touchdowns to become the fourth player ever to reach 300 career touchdown passes and 30 career rushing touchdowns. He also “Needs 34 rushing yards to become the third quarterback ever with 5,000 career yards on the ground, joining Michael Vick (6,109) and Cam Newton (5,628),” according to Kerr.