Broncos tackle delivers message to Russell Wilson critics
By Zac Wassink,2023-06-08
Denver Broncos left tackle Garett Bolles delivered a strong message to critics of quarterback Russell Wilson.
"He's a great dude, he's the same guy every single day, he works his butt off,'' Bolles said about Wilson on Thursday, per Jeff Legwold of ESPN. "And I'm ready for that stuff to go away and when it goes, everyone's going to eat crow."
Wilson joined Denver from the Seattle Seahawks last offseason and then experienced a campaign he and just about everybody associated with the team would prefer to forget. According to ESPN stats, the 34-year-old finished the 2022 regular season ranked 31st among qualified players with a 60.5 completion percentage and 27th with a 36.7 adjusted QBR.
Wilson threw just 16 touchdown passes with 11 interceptions across 15 games last fall, was routinely mocked by members of the football community for his antics and was even accused of losing at least some members of the locker room.
Bolles went to bat for his QB1 in a big way on Thursday, though.
"I think he's phenomenal,'' Bolles continued. "... We knew who he was as a person, we know who he is. ... I love him dearly."
Bolles also said he was "angry [last season] with what came out" in an apparent reference to all that was said and written about Wilson throughout the campaign.
Some may remember how Bolles promised in April 2022 that Wilson was "not going to get hit [in Denver]." Wilson ultimately took a league-worst 55 sacks (tied with Justin Fields of the Chicago Bears) during his first season with Denver.
Multiple reporters and insiders have suggested that new head coach Sean Payton won't hesitate to sit Wilson in favor of backup Jarrett Stidham if the one-time Super Bowl champion signal-caller plays like a shell of his former self during the upcoming season. Bolles hinted such talk merely motivates Wilson.
"Random rumors and things like that and the fire burns," Bolles added about Wilson. "It's like a forest fire, you start in one corner and the wind blows and it just burns thousands and thousands of acres and that's sort of what happened. [But] he's not focused on that, he just wants to win."