Russell Wilson had the worst season of his career in 2022, throwing a career-low 16 touchdown passes in 15 games with the Denver Broncos.
Wilson appeared to be in decline, but not all of his struggles were his fault alone. Denver’s offensive line was a mess last season, and the team’s entire offense looked much better right after head coach Nathaniel Hackett was fired.
With a better coach (and a better offensive scheme), upgrades on the offensive line, and perhaps some better injury luck, there’s hope that Wilson could have a much better season in 2023.
Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton is confident that will be the case.
“The way ‘Russ’ prepares and the way that he gets himself and the team ready to go out and play, it’s second to none,” Sutton said after the team’s season finale. “Jerry [Jeudy] and KJ [Hamler] both said it best saying that ‘Russ’ brings the best out of everybody. He demands guys’ best just by the way he carries himself, the way he prepares, the way that he shows up and goes to work every single day. He’s the same guy every day, and guys know who they’re going to get whenever he comes into that building and when he steps onto the field for game day. The guy is prepared, he makes sure the guys around him are prepared.
“He’s doing everything he possibly can, and I have no hesitation to think that Russell won’t come back and have a Pro Bowl or All-Pro season next year. Yeah, things didn’t go the way we wanted this year, and guys are going to point fingers and try to say this and that all offseason because we can’t technically defend ourselves. What we put on film is what we put on film and that is what we got to hold on to. However, we know what he does, we know the preparation he puts in, we know how much he cares about this game and how much he cares about the guys around him. There’s nothing in my body that questions if he’s going to be able to come back and be All-Pro and a Pro Bowl-caliber quarterback next year for us.”
Wilson showed last season that he still has gas left in the tank, rushing for 277 yards and three touchdowns. The 34-year-old quarterback appeared to be at his best when he was given the freedom to move around and make plays on the move, either by buying time to find a receiver or by rushing himself.
Whoever becomes the team’s next head coach will hope to get the best version of Wilson in 2023. Sutton believes that will happen.