“That’s Gotta Change”: Sean Payton Blasts Russell Wilson, Hints That He May Not Understand The Offense

Despite holding an 18-point lead and completing a last-second Hail Mary touchdown (only to fail on the two-point conversion attempt), the Denver Broncos lost to the Washington Commanders.

The concerning loss dropped them to 0-2, with both defeats coming at home. 

Quarterback Russell Wilson is still trying to find his old Seattle form, and it’s becoming clearer and clearer that those days may just be a thing of the past. 

Head Coach Sean Payton has expressed concern over Wilson and his struggles executing the offense. He even hinted at the possibility of Wilson wearing a wristband for play calls in the near future.

When asked about their late-game sluggishness, Payton didn’t hide his frustration: “Gosh … It was more than just one drive. There (were) a number of drives where we’re late with personnel, getting out of the huddle we took a while. I mean, that’s gotta change.”

“We had to burn timeouts in the first half (and) I’m not used to doing (that). We’ve gotta be better. I’ve gotta be better. Russ has gotta be sharper with getting the play out, and then we’ve gotta look at how much we have in. But, you know, if we need to wristband it, we will.”

Payton’s willingness to consider implementing wristbands for play calls is particularly noteworthy, given Wilson’s history, or rather, lack of it, using such a method. 

In the past, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll had emphasized the use of wristbands to expedite the relay of calls from the sideline when discussing Geno Smith’s unexpected emergence in 2022.

In doing so, he appeared to make a subtle reference to Wilson, who had spent a decade in Seattle but had shown a preference for having more influence over play-calling.

“If you notice, Geno’s going off the wristband,” Carroll stated last November, “and that’s a big help. It’s smoothed things out, sped things up, cleaned things up … We never did that before. There was resistance to that, so we didn’t do that before.”

Wilson downplayed the apparent dig at the time, telling reporters that he had “won a lot of games there without one on my wrist.” However, since his transition to the Broncos, nothing has come easy for Wilson who is fighting against the notion that he is washed up. 

With the red-hot Miami Dolphins up next, the path only gets harder for Payton and Wilson.

There’s a feeling that Payton isn’t in love with Wilson to begin with. If he doesn’t improve, it may only be a matter of time before Payton pulls the plug on Russ for good. 

Is Wilson fixable? Or have we reached the end of the road of Wilson being a productive quarterback in the NFL?

 

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