NFL

Broncos believe Wilson is 'fixable' as they begin search for new head coach

By Sports Desk December 27, 2022

The Denver Broncos believe Russell Wilson is fixable as they head into an offseason looking to pick up the pieces from a debacle of a 2022 season.

Denver fired head coach Nathaniel Hackett on Monday after under a year at the helm of a team many expected to contend this campaign.

The Broncos' 51-14 defeat to the Los Angeles Rams on Christmas Day sealed Hackett's fate, the loss dropping Denver to 4-11 on the season.

Wilson was acquired in a blockbuster trade with the Seattle Seahawks in the offseason, the Broncos parting with two first-round picks, two second-round picks, a fifth-round pick, quarterback Drew Lock, defensive lineman Shelby Harris and tight end Noah Fant to land his services.

But the nine-time Pro Bowler has endured the worst season of his career, completing 60.1 per cent of his passes for 3,019 yards, 12 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

Wilson's well-thrown rate of 78.8 per cent is below the NFL average of 81.1 per cent and, heading into last weekend's games, he ranked 25th (for QBs with a minimum of 100 plays in expected passing situations) in yards over expected on downs where the defense would be anticipating a pass, according to Stats Perform data.

His level of performance after being handed a five-year, $245million extension by Denver arguably makes the Broncos job an unappealing one for potential Hackett successors, with the dead cap hits that would come with parting with Wilson meaning they are likely committed to keeping him until at least end of the 2024 season.

But general manager George Paton remains confident Wilson can be salvaged and return to the form that made him such a prized asset.

"We saw flashes of Russ this year. Russ even said he didn't play up to his standard," Paton said at a press conference. 

"He will be the first one to tell you he didn't play up to his standard, didn't play up to our standard. He needs to be better.

"I don't think we made a coaching move based on Russ. That wasn't what it's all about.

"That's not why we're getting a new coach, to turn around Russ; it's about the entire organisation. It's about the entire football team.

"It's just not one player. It's not whether Russ is fixable or not. We do believe he is. We do."

Broncos owner and CEO George Penner, who revealed the new head coach would report into him rather than Paton, echoed the general manager's apparent lack of panic surrounding Wilson.

"The decision to have Russell here was a long-term one," Penner said. "This season has not been up to his standards or expectations. We saw some glimpses of it in the last few weeks.

"He knows he can play better, we know he can play better, and we know he will do the right work in the offseason to be ready for next year.

"George and I have had a chance to get to know each other – we talk every day since we purchased the team a number of months ago – and he acknowledged right up front there were a couple of decisions that hadn't worked out as he had expected.

"But I understand his thought process. He understands the work that needs to be done in this offseason, and I'm going to rely on him heavily as we go through and make these changes."

Related items

  • Atletico Madrid 5-0 Las Palmas: Llorente and Correa get hosts back on track Atletico Madrid 5-0 Las Palmas: Llorente and Correa get hosts back on track

    Marcos Llorente and Angel Correa both scored twice as Atletico Madrid thrashed Las Palmas in a huge 5-0 home win to get back on track in LaLiga.

    Javi Munoz hit the woodwork for the visitors early on, but Diego Simeone's men soon assumed full control when Llorente scored twice in a five-minute span to put them two goals up inside 20 minutes.

    Atletico ensured they warmed up for Tuesday's Champions League last-16 first leg against Inter in style when Correa struck 73 seconds into the second half, before doubling his tally from the penalty spot just after the hour mark. Substitute Memphis Depay then put the icing on the cake with a late long-range strike.

    The hosts were beaten by Sevilla in their last league match and had suffered an away loss to Las Palmas in November's reverse fixture, but they have now won four in a row at home and sit five points clear of fifth-placed Athletic Bilbao and level with Barcelona, who face Celta Vigo later on Saturday.

    Data Debrief: Home dominance continues

    Atletico are unbeaten at home in La Liga this season, with 12 wins and one draw from their 13 league matches in front of their own fans. Looking further back, they have now gone 24 such games without defeat dating back to January 2023.

    Llorente's double was his first since scoring twice in a match against Eibar in April 2021, while Correa – who also registered an assist – had not scored in more than two months prior to this fixture. Atleti were worthy winners, accumulating 2.29 xG to Las Palmas' 0.59.

  • One dead and more than 20 injured in shooting near Kansas City Chiefs parade One dead and more than 20 injured in shooting near Kansas City Chiefs parade

    One person has died and more than 20 others have been injured after shots were fired near the scene of the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl parade.

    A video on social media showed armed officers rush into Union Station on a day supporters gathered near the building at the end of the parade route to celebrate Sunday’s victory with the team’s players and staff.

    The Kansas City Police Department said at least 22 people suffered gunshot wounds, including the fatally injured victim, and confirmed three people had been taken into custody.

    Radio Station KKFI said on social media that one of their presenters, DJ Lisa Lopez, was killed in the shooting.

    KKFI said in a statement: “Our hearts and prayers are with her family. This senseless act has taken a beautiful person from her family and this KC Community.”

    Kansas City Police Department chief Stacey Graves said at a press conference: “At the conclusion of the Chiefs’ rally today, there were shots fired on the west side of Union Station.

    “Immediately, officers responded to the area, took two people into custody and also immediately rendered life-sustaining aid to those victims.”

    At a later briefing, she added: “We have confirmed there is one deceased person. Our gunshot total has went up to 22.

    “Right now, we’re still working on the total number of victims. This is still an active investigation.

    “We do have three persons detained and under investigation for today’s incident.

    “Our investigators are working with all of the surviving victims to connect them with loved ones. We are also working to identify our deceased victim so we can notify their family as soon as possible.”

    The Kansas City Chiefs confirmed their players, coaches and staff were all safe and accounted for.

    “We are truly saddened by the senseless act of violence that occurred outside of Union Station at the conclusion of today’s parade and rally,” the team said in a statement.

    “Our hearts go out to the victims, their families, and all of Kansas City.

    “We are in close communication with the Mayor’s office as well as the Kansas City Police Department.

    “At this time, we have confirmed that all of our players, coaches, staff and their families are safe and accounted for.

    “We thank the local law enforcement officers and first responders who were on-scene to assist.”

    Kansas City players and staff were celebrating beating the San Francisco 49ers in Las Vegas on Sunday to become the first back-to-back Super Bowl champions in 19 years.

    Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes took to social media, saying: “Praying for Kansas City.”

    Travis Kelce wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, saying: “I am heartbroken over the tragedy that took place today. My heart is with all who came out to celebrate with us and have been affected. KC, you mean the world to me.”

    Linebacker Drue Tranquill posted: “Please join me in prayer for all the victims in this heinous act. Pray that doctors & first responders would have steady hands & that all would experience full healing.”

    Offensive lineman Trey Smith thanked first responders, adding: “You’re the ones who should be celebrated today.”

    A statement from the NFL read: “We are deeply saddened by the senseless shooting that occurred today near the end of the rally in Kansas City for the Chiefs. Our thoughts are with the victims and everyone affected.

    “We are grateful for the quick and thorough response of law enforcement and emergency personnel.”

    Earlier, the city had been in party mode as Super Bowl MVP Mahomes and team-mate Travis Kelce took centre stage on a platform near Union Station.

    Mahomes had told a cheering crowd the Chiefs were going for a “three-peat” next season while Kelce led the supporters in some chanting.

  • One person dead and over 20 injured in shooting near Kansas City Chiefs parade One person dead and over 20 injured in shooting near Kansas City Chiefs parade

    One person has died and more than 20 others have been injured after shots were fired near the scene of the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl parade.

    A video on social media showed armed officers rush into Union Station on a day supporters gathered near the building at the end of the parade route to celebrate Sunday’s victory with the team’s players and staff.

    The Kansas City Police Department said at least 22 people suffered gunshot wounds, including the fatally injured victim, and confirmed three people had been taken into custody.

    Kansas City Police Department chief Stacey Graves said at a press conference: “At the conclusion of the Chiefs’ rally today, there were shots fired on the west side of Union Station.

    “Immediately, officers responded to the area, took two people into custody and also immediately rendered life-sustaining aid to those victims.”

    At a later briefing, she added: “We have confirmed there is one deceased person. Our gunshot total has went up to 22.

    “Right now, we’re still working on the total number of victims. This is still an active investigation.

    “We do have three persons detained and under investigation for today’s incident.

    “Our investigators are working with all of the surviving victims to connect them with loved ones. We are also working to identify our deceased victim so we can notify their family as soon as possible.”

    The Kansas City Chiefs confirmed their players, coaches and staff were all safe and accounted for.

    “We are truly saddened by the senseless act of violence that occurred outside of Union Station at the conclusion of today’s parade and rally,” the team said in a statement.

    “Our hearts go out to the victims, their families, and all of Kansas City.

    “We are in close communication with the Mayor’s office as well as the Kansas City Police Department.

    “At this time, we have confirmed that all of our players, coaches, staff and their families are safe and accounted for.

    “We thank the local law enforcement officers and first responders who were on-scene to assist.”

    Kansas City players and staff were celebrating beating the San Francisco 49ers in Las Vegas on Sunday to become the first back-to-back Super Bowl champions in 19 years.

    Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes took to social media, saying: “Praying for Kansas City.”

    Linebacker Drue Tranquill posted: “Please join me in prayer for all the victims in this heinous act. Pray that doctors & first responders would have steady hands & that all would experience full healing.”

    Offensive lineman Trey Smith thanked first responders, adding: “You’re the ones who should be celebrated today.”

    A statement from the NFL read: “We are deeply saddened by the senseless shooting that occurred today near the end of the rally in Kansas City for the Chiefs. Our thoughts are with the victims and everyone affected.

    “We are grateful for the quick and thorough response of law enforcement and emergency personnel.”

    Earlier, the city had been in party mode as Super Bowl MVP Mahomes and team-mate Travis Kelce took centre stage on a platform near Union Station.

    Mahomes had told a cheering crowd the Chiefs were going for a “three-peat” next season while Kelce led the supporters in some chanting.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.