There is a lot less of Russell Wilson this offseason.
No more hype videos bombarding social media, no more chronicles of every trip around the world, no more merch launches, no more creepy slogans.
And apparently less gourmet meals too.
“I feel skinny and bad and ready to go,” said Wilson, who appeared noticeably thinner as he took the podium Thursday for his first public comments since his postgame promise on Jan. 8 to do whatever be in your hands to reverse. his and the Denver Broncos’ fortunes in 2023.
Wilson was light on details when asked exactly how much weight he had lost.
“I’m not worried about it, I’m not counting,” Wilson said. “All I know is I’m excited to be playing again.”
Wilson has kept a much lower public profile since Sean Payton took over as head coach after a 5-12 debacle, Denver’s sixth straight losing season.
Payton pledged on Day 1 that the Broncos would work behind closed doors and out of the public eye. He also stated that Wilson would no longer be able to have his personal QB coach on the premises, as Nathaniel Hackett had allowed.
Payton has not made his coordinators, including former Broncos head coach Vance Joseph, available to the media. It also didn’t allow the team to shed any free agents that made up the NFL’s most expensive class this season.
He abandoned a minicamp the NFL had already announced and allowed access to the team’s draft picks after its rookie minicamp, meaning newcomers spoke before veterans could.
First to the podium was Wilson, who said his body and mind renewal was in no way different than any other offseason.
“You always reflect every year, ever since I got into the National Football League, the things you can do better, the things you can always work on,” Wilson said. “You always want to be in the best shape of your life. I’m ready for that. I’m better than ever.
“I think mentally as well, you know there’s always the journey of ups and downs. There’s been a lot of ups and some tough downs, but adversity, you’ve got to be able to handle it all. And I’ll be ready to go.”
Wilson threw just 16 touchdown passes with a career-high 11 interceptions, 55 sacks and a 4-11 record after the Broncos sent four premium picks and three veterans to Seattle for the only Super Bowl winner, in who gave $245. contract extension last summer.
Wilson praised the hiring of Payton, calling him “one of the best coaches to ever coach this game. He’s intense, he’s focused, he’s a great teacher of the game.”
And he praised the front office for adding free agents Ben Powers and Mike McGlinchey to an offensive line with the returns to health of Garett Bolles and Lloyd Cushenberry III.
He’s also excited about the returns of starting running back Javonte Williams and No. 1 wide receiver Tim Patrick.
At one point Thursday, Williams, about eight months removed from a serious knee injury, took a transfer from Wilson, stood on his surgically repaired knee and cut down the field.
“Javonte is one of the best backs in the game,” Wilson said. “He’s a tough guy to tackle, he’s got great hands, he’s great in protection. He gives us a lot of confidence.”
Wilson had some good throws in practice, but it’s hard to judge how soon he’ll be better in 2023. But Payton said Wilson was sharp and progressing as expected.
“Look, we’re installing a whole new offense. So you see interviews and then you see a lot of things that we have to correct,” Payton said of his offense. “But the process is going well.”
Report from The Associated Press.
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