Broncos back struggling Russell Wilson after firing Nathaniel Hackett

Admit Russell Wilson is broken in the first leg.

At a news conference on Tuesday, Broncos general manager George Paton and team co-owner and CEO Greg Penner expressed optimism about a future with Wilson despite the quarterback’s continued struggles during his tenure. first season in Denver.

“We have seen flashes of Russ this year. Russ even said he didn’t play up to his standards,” Paton said after Sunday’s crushing 51-14 loss to the Rams. “…You might go through the season and see lightning. He will be the first to tell you that he did not play at his level; did not live up to our standards. He needs to be better.

“I don’t think we did a practice move based on Russ. That was not what it was about. That’s not why we have a new coach, to straighten out Russ, it’s the whole organization that counts. This is the whole football team. He’s just not a player. It’s not whether Russ is fixable or not. We believe it is. We do.”

Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson passes the ball during the fourth quarter against the Rams at SoFi Stadium on December 25, 2022 in Inglewood, California.
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Tuesday’s media session comes a day after the Broncos fired first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett after a 4-11 start, in addition to special teams coordinator Dwayne Stukes and offensive line coach Butch Barry.

Hackett’s dismissal follows a brutal Christmas outing for Wilson, who threw three interceptions in Sunday’s loss.

“The number one [thing] is I have to play to the standards that I know and I’ve played my whole career,” said Wilson, who returned from a one-game absence with a concussion.

Rams defensive tackle Michael Hoecht sacks Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson during the third quarter at SoFi Stadium on December 25, 2022 in Inglewood, California.
Rams defensive tackle Michael Hoecht sacks Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson during the third quarter at SoFi Stadium on December 25, 2022 in Inglewood, California.
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Rams defensive tackle Michael Hoecht sacks Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson during the third quarter at SoFi Stadium on December 25, 2022 in Inglewood, California.
Rams defensive tackle Michael Hoecht sacks Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson during the third quarter at SoFi Stadium on December 25, 2022 in Inglewood, California.
Getty Images

In September, Wilson — a nine-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion — agreed to a five-year extension with the Broncos worth $245 million. The deal follows an off-season trade with Seattle, where Wilson spent the first 10 seasons of his career with the Seahawks.

“The decision to have Russell here was a long-term decision,” Penner said Tuesday. “This season hasn’t lived up to his standards or his expectations. We’ve seen some glimpses of that in recent weeks. He knows he can play better, we know he can play better and we know he can play better. he will do the right job in the offseason to be ready for next year.

The Broncos had hoped for a much better result this season after trading for Wilson, who currently leads one of the league’s worst offenses.

Wilson has thrown for just 3,019 yards and 12 touchdowns with nine interceptions this season.

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