There seems to be steam building around the Denver Broncos and Russell Wilson bouncing back in 2023. Could the veteran quarterback set career highs in the 2023 season? Russell Wilson has never played for a competent offensive head coach in his NFL career.
The 2023 season should be the first year for that. And it seems that all of the best quarterbacks in the NFL are playing for above-average offensive minds, almost as if this is an offensive-first league. I do think both things can be true; players can make coaches look better and vice versa, but just take a look across the NFL.
Patrick Mahomes plays for Andy Reid. Joe Burrow plays for Zac Taylor. Jalen Hurts plays for Nick Sirianni. Trevor Lawrence plays for Doug Pederson. It's not a shock that teams can give themselves the best chance to win if they pair their QB with a competent offensive mind. Russell Wilson and Sean Payton appear to be the next pairing following this trend.
I do think there are only a handful of coaches in the NFL who could get Wilson back on track, and Payton is one of them. Well, the folks over at Bleacher Report seem to think that not only will Wilson bounce back, but he'll set a career-high in 2023. Here's what they had to say:
"In Courtland Sutton, Jeudy and Tim Patrick, Wilson has a rock-solid trio of passing-game weapons at his disposal. The arrival of Payton should be a sizable boost to an offense that ranked dead last in scoring in 2022.- Gary Davenport
All the ingredients are there for Wilson to bounce back big-time in 2023—so much so that Wilson is going to do something this year he never has before: Throw for 4,300 yards."
Wilson's passing yardage career high came in the 2016 season when he threw for 4,219 yards. He also had another season in 2020 hitting the 4,200-yard mark. Throwing for 4,300 yards over the course of a 17-game season would come out to 252.9 yards per game. It's not a horribly high amount.
Russell Wilson has averaged 234.6 passing yards per game over the course of his career, which comes out to 3,988 yards over a 17-game season. He's never piled up the passing yards, and that's largely due to playing in offenses that use the run game more than the passing game. I think we'll see the same of that in 2023 as well.
At this point, Russell Wilson just wants to win. I do truly believe he's beyond the "I want to cook" phase, which led him to be traded from the Seattle Seahawks. What I do think can happen is Payton gradually putting more on Wilson's plate if he can prove he can handle it. We won't see him throwing the ball 37 times a game, but man, wouldn't it be sick if Wilson could play efficiently in a pass-heavy offense?
I don't think the Denver Broncos are married to a certain offensive scheme right now. They will likely run the snot out of the ball, but I think Sean Payton is going to keep a close eye on Wilson. If he can handle more on his plate as a passer, I think Payton will gravitate toward that. If not, perhaps they'll be a run-first team all season.