And Best Friends Become Enemies | Broncos QB Russell Wilson Looks Toward His Week 1 Return To Seattle After Being Traded

(Photo by Dustin Bradford/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks effectively hit the reset this offseason when they traded franchise stalwart and star quarterback Russell Wilson.

After a 2021 where Wilson’s name surfaced in trade talks, this offseason the team traded the dynamic Wilson to the quarterback-starved Denver Broncos. The NFL schedule loves subplots, and there won’t be many more captivating and highly anticipated than Wilson’s return to the Pacific Northwest.

The NFL isn’t wasting any time capitalizing on the storyline. In fact, the league made sure to have the Game in Week 1, on “Monday Night Football.”

 

 

Wilson recently talked about how he felt when the league made the schedule announcement. In a game that’s sure to be emotional, RW3 told reporters at the Broncos practice facility on Monday that he will do his best to stay even-keeled.

“I think it’s going to be an exciting time. Obviously, Seattle’s meant the world to me over the past 10 years. It’s a special place, special to play, Lumen Field. I have a high regard for all those guys over there and what they do. I think for me, it’s non-emotional, though — it’s got to be non-emotional. You’ve got to be able to go into it with the understanding that it’s just ball. And also understand that there’s been amazing times. There’s been a lot of touchdowns there, won a lot games there. So I had a great experience.
“It’ll always have a special place in my heart forever. So for me, it’s about going up there and trying to play the best football for our football team here and try to go win.”

Wilson is trying to just focus on the game, but it will inevitably be an emotional moment, as he’ll be competing against the only team he’s ever known. He basically built the franchise into a championship contender and raised its stature across the sports landscape. 

  

 

 

Wilson Just Wants To Play Football: Hopes To Channel Emotions

Wilson will be returning to a place where he posted a 62-23 home record, including playoffs, and facing a team that he’s led to a 113-60 record, including the postseason, over 10 seasons.

That record includes eight playoff appearances, two Super Bowl appearances and one Super Bowl win. He’s passed for over 37,000 yards, 292 touchdowns and just 87 interceptions.

 

“I think that for me, obviously, I think the biggest thing is trying to do what you always do. And I’ve done it for a long time — I’ve played a lot of football. So for me, just focus on the fundamentals, focus on the midst of the game, focus on the joy, focus on that person that’s in the stands, that young boy or young girl that’s in the 300 seats up top in the top-left corner. And just throw the ball, make plays, score touchdowns.”

 

Wilson Will Have Much More Freedom In Denver: Let Russ Cook

For years, NFL pundits and Seahawks fans has been clamoring for head coach Pete Carroll to let Wilson do what he does — and that’s cook. With an average offensive line at best for the bulk of his Seattle tenure, many often wondered why Carroll was so run-dependent and conservative offensively despite a dynamic talent like Wilson at the helm who excelled when allowed to play more backyard football. The Seahawks ranked in the top six in run percentage in six of Wilson’s ten seasons in Seattle a (46.4 percent) clip. Only the Ravens ran it more.

 

 

New head coach Nathaniel Hackett comes from a long tenure in Green Bay, where they mixed it up but passed it much more than the Seahawks. Having Aaron Rodgers dictated that. 

Hackett raved this week about Wilson’s “command of the system,” and his deep-ball accuracy, during Phase 3 of the team’s offseason program.

 “We want to build this thing completely around him and make sure that he’s comfortable and watch him come alive,” Hackett said. “I think he did some awesome things [Monday] utilizing his athleticism, and at the same time, being just a pure drop-back passer.”

 “When he throws the ball, it’s beautiful. He’s what we call a natural thrower. The guy can just spin it. The, watching him today just make some of the plays he did with his feet and dodging and moving, it was like me when I was in flag football back when I was younger.”

The Broncos have designed a system to fit Wilson’s strengths, and with the weaponry (Melvin Gordon, Javonte Williams, Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick, Jerry Jeudy, and KJ Hamler) at his disposal, they should see a major upgrade on the field.