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#pounditFriday, March 1, 2024

Report: Broncos coaches had 1 big issue with Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson in practice gear

Jun 13, 2022; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson (3) during mini camp drills at the UCHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Russell Wilson got a lot of special treatment from the Denver Broncos after they acquired him in a blockbuster trade last offseason, and there has been talk that his celebrity status bothered some of his teammates. The same was apparently true for members of Denver’s coaching staff.

The Athletic published a lengthy feature this week providing a behind-the-scenes look at Wilson’s disastrous first season in Denver. According to the story, Wilson had his own office on the second floor of the Broncos’ team facility. That is where coaches and executives also have their offices. As one coach described it, players almost always conduct their business on the first floor. One of the few times they venture upstairs is when they have been summoned to be informed that they have been released.

One offensive player told The Athletic that Wilson informed teammates he had an “open-door policy” with his office. A member of Nathaniel Hackett’s coaching staff felt that was problematic.

“So, are you a coach or are you a player?” the coach asked. “Your open door should be you sitting at your locker.”

All of those who complained about the setup with Wilson did so anonymously. Broncos wide receiver Kendall Hinton and former running back Melvin Gordon were among several players who were fine with Wilson having his own office. Gordon said the office was used for “strictly football” and other players were welcome to join Wilson. Hinton appreciated seeing how hard Wilson worked off the field.

“He’s got a whiteboard, the sides of the wall, and it’s just littered with (motivational) quotes and new play concepts,” Hinton. “It was crazy to see his mind thrown out on the (wall).”

Broncos legend Shannon Sharpe blasted Wilson during the season over the special treatment. Sharpe said some of Wilson’s teammates were “seething” over it, which prompted one star player to defend the quarterback.

It seems like some on the team took issue with the red-carpet treatment Wilson received while others were fine with it. Either way, it does not sound like the setup is going to be the same under Sean Payton.

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