Russell Wilson has tapped into a who’s who to develop his game plan
Sep 1, 2022, 4:35 PM
(Photo by Andrew Mason / DenverFan.com)
Russell Wilson inked a five-year extension with the Broncos this morning, keeping him in orange and blue through the 2028 season. All told, the new contract guarantees that the quarterback will be in Denver for the next seven seasons. At least.
That’s the good news. In fact, that’s the great news. After six years of wandering around in the desert, looking for the heir apparent to Peyton Manning, the Broncos finally have another franchise QB.
The bad news, perhaps, is that Wilson will be older than Manning was when he retired by the time he gets midway through the extension. That’s a bit of a cause for concern, as there’s reason to wonder if the quarterback will still be in his prime during his final years in Denver.
Wilson turns 34 years old in November. That means he’ll hit 40 during the 2028 season. While Tom Brady continues to roll along at 45, and Aaron Rodgers is still winning MVPs in his late-30s, that’s semi-unchartered waters. Most QBs have long since retired by the time the reach the big 4-0.
But Wilson thinks he can play at a high level through the seven years that he’s now under contract. In fact, he believes he can play beyond that time.
How? Well, he has a plan.
“I put the work in,” Wilson explained on Thursday. “I try to beat the sun every morning. That gives me a few extra hours to make sure everything aligns.”
When they do, the quarterback can put his masterplan into motion. That involves three elements.
“No. 1 is you have to keep your mind, your spirit and your body right every day,” Wilson explained. “You eliminate distractions and you only feed what you need.
“The second thing is surround yourself with the best of the best,” he continued. “Know that it’s not always on you. It’s on everyone to help you along the way. I have a great performance team that helps me every day, so I can think about what I need to think about.
“The third element of it all is you have to believe in it,” the QB concluded. “I never doubt. I never have. I never will.”
How did this three-prong approach come to be? Wilson developed it by networking with other high-performing athletes.
“I have pretty cool relationships with guys that I’ve gotten to know over the years,” he said. “I’ve asked Derek Jeter about how he was able to play so long. I got to pick Vince Carter’s brain once. I talked to Sue Bird last year about her greatness and how she’s able to do it.”
Plus, he’s tapped into someone who has helped two of the greatest of all-time perform at a high level late in their careers.
“I have one of the best trainers in the world in Tim Grover,” Wilson said. “He worked with Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.”
Add it all up and Wilson believes it’s a formula that can make his second decade in the NFL as successful as his first. Now we know that at least seven years of that follow-up act will be in a Broncos uniform.