By Javier Ascoli
Denver Broncos Quarterback, Russell Wilson, is in a prime position to bounce back for this upcoming NFL season. Last year, was probably the worst season of his entire career, but overall, it was not only his fault. There are other things that made his first year as a Denver Bronco, awful. First, he had an injured shoulder, then he injured his hamstring, and following that, his knee. After the knee injury, he suffered a concussion in the game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Despite all these injuries, Wilson only missed two games, but there was still a problem… Nathaniel Hackett and an injured/irregular Offensive Line.
In my opinion, the Nathaniel Hackett hire was a failure, from the beginning. The Denver Broncos hired him thinking that he was bringing Packers’ QB Aaron Rodgers with him, but he did not. That was a big key in Hackett’s tenure as the Broncos’ Head Coach. He was not ready to be an NFL Head Coach, during his time with Green Bay, he did not call the offensive plays, and his offense was top tier in many statistics, but when he was the play-caller on other teams, he had bottom-ranked offenses. Now, with the offensive line… Garrett Bolles, the starting Left Tackle, had a season-ending ACL injury, and the Right Tackle position did not have a clear starter. Lloyd Cushenberry, the starting Center, battled with injuries, and when he played, he was irregular. Overall, with all the injuries, and bad playing level from the Offensive Line, Russell Wilson had to play during the 2022-23 season with 10 different Offensive Line combinations, which is bad, and in conclusion to that, Russell Wilson was the most-sacked Quarterback in the NFL with 55.
Now, why is Russell Wilson positioned to have one of the greatest comebacks in the NFL, well first of all, the Broncos fired Nathaniel Hackett, after an awful 51-14 loss against the Los Angeles Rams on Christmas Day. Following the season, the Broncos’ owners and general managers, went ALL-IN on their coaching search. They ended up trading for legendary coach Sean Payton, who was retired, but still had a contract with the New Orleans Saints (that is why a trade compensation was needed). Payton is a Super Bowl Champion Head Coach, who is known for winning, which is what the Denver Broncos need.
Free Agency started, and the Walton-Penner ownership group has spent A LOT of money so far, and they went with a big priority for the offseason, which was to improve their offensive line. They signed Guard Ben Powers from the Baltimore Ravens to a four-year deal, he did not allow a sack during the regular season and just allowed one during the Playoffs. Following the Powers signing, they signed Mike McGlinchey, a former first-round Draft Pick from the San Francisco 49ers to a massive 5-year deal. With a healthy Garrett Bolles, and Quinn Meinerz, plus the two adds, the Broncos can be a top-tier offensive line. Now they just need a better Center, who they can still get in Free Agency (Ben Jones, Rodney Hudson, Connor McGovern, and others still available), or they can use one of their Draft Picks in a center (John Michael Schmitz, Luke Wypler, and more), there are plenty of good options for the Denver Broncos at the center position, in both Free Agency and in the NFL 2023 Draft.
With a healthy team, and now a good offensive line and a good head coach, Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos are in a great position to bounce back after the 2022 season.