BRONCOS

Slimmed down, Russell Wilson is feeling ‘lean and mean’

May 25, 2023, 4:41 PM

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — It was a different Russell Wilson that greeted Broncos media after practice Thursday.

He didn’t expound quite as much as he often did last year at his press conferences. His pleasantries and smile remained the same. But even the face around the smile saw an alteration.

For this Russell Wilson looked slimmer — befitting what the public saw during social-media posts from the quarterback earlier this offseason.

He declined to put a poundage figure on it — “I’m not worried about that,” he replied — but this was definitely a player who looked chiseled for work.

“Yeah, I feel great. I feel lean and mean, ready to go and focused,” he said after the Broncos’ third session of the week.

It marked the first time Wilson answered questions in a press-conference format since roughly an hour after the 2022 regular-season finale. That day, he vowed to put forth the effort to ensure that a repeat of his career-worst season didn’t happen again.

So far, so good.

“He’s picking it up good,” coach Sean Payton said. “He looks good and looks sharp.”

But the process in which Wilson and the team went about its work changed. The social-media posts mostly vanished. And the first few weeks of Payton’s initial offseason as Broncos coach saw the team focus on running and lifting, rather than learning the scheme.

“For the first five weeks, we were just lifting and running,” Payton said. “Now we’re getting into some football activity.”

However, Payton added, “We are ahead of schedule on the practice.”

So, this week truly is a beginning for Wilson. He’s learning a new scheme for the third consecutive year. But he’s doing so on a different schedule.

By this time last year, the Broncos had spent weeks in meetings, diving into the scheme. This year, they took the focus back to basics.

“I had a great offseason, just preparing, getting ready, mentally, physically. Looking forward to that,” Wilson said.

“And I think in terms of what we’re doing out here, the coaches have done a great job of teaching us, so, we’re doing that really well, and we’re taking it day by day. So, we’re preparing. We had a great day today. Guys are really working, focused. And so, I’m looking forward to putting the pads back on and playing again.”

With a few less pounds on his frame.

***

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