Russell Wilson didn’t have the best season of his career in 2022, and recently-hired Broncos head coach Sean Payton acknowledged that at the 2023 NFL Combine during a February 28 media scrum.

“Certainly, for Russell standards—and the Bronco standards—it wasn’t the type of year that they wanted,” Wilson said. “And typically, that’s why new head coaches arrive. We have a lot of work ahead of us right now. We’re just kind of getting started.” That was Payton’s sentiment when discussing the team as a whole. “It was a tough year,” he said.

Payton did defend his quarterback to the media as well, though, calling out the reporters in Indianapolis for not focusing on Wilson’s reported second-floor office away from other players. “Someone said it last night—I forget what I was watching—if they have success last [year], I don’t think the upstairs meeting room matters to anybody,” he said. “I don’t think it matters because I didn’t see any articles from any of you prior to Week 1 or Week 2 and that was happening. That’s what happens when you lose. Everything gets looked at closely, including the coaching.”

Sean Payton Arranged Dinner With Russell Wilson and Joe Montana

During the second weekend of February in Glendale, Arizona with the Super Bowl in town, Payton arranged a dinner with his new quarterback Wilson and 4x Super Bowl Champion and 3x Super Bowl MVP quarterback Joe Montana.

#Broncos coach Sean Payton on Russell Wilson as he tries to bounce back from substandard season #NFLCombine

— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) February 28, 2023

The conversation, as Payton explained, centered around how Wilson can pivot away from a down year under rookie offensive coordinator Justin Outten. “I know Russell was interested in talking about where we’re going, and I was interested in learning from Joe Montana,” Payton said to reporters on February 28. “It was a good conversation. We’re looking forward to the start of the season, obviously.”

Wilson had the lowest completion rate of his career (60.5%) during the 2022 season, while he threw 11 interceptions in 15 games and had a career-low 16 passing touchdowns.

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Sean Payton Acknowledges 2022 Wasn’t Good Year for Russell Wilson

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