BRONCOS

Garett Bolles says Russell Wilson will make critics ‘eat crow’ this season

Jun 8, 2023, 5:09 PM | Updated: 6:31 pm

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — By every objective performance metric, the 2022 season was the worst of Russell Wilson’s NFL career. But the attack unleashed on the quarterback went beyond on-field critiques.

His press-conference statements, his old sub-sandwich commercials, his attempts to limber up on a trans-Atlantic flight, even how many teammates came to his birthday party were topics of a nationwide fusillade of criticism and speculation. Some of the mocking even came from other players — current and past.

None of it sat well with left tackle Garett Bolles.

“You know, I was angry with everything that came out, because I love him dearly,” he said. “I take it very personal when people talk about him, because nobody knows him like I do — or us here.

“And so, when you put a heart on the line and you’re focused and things go rocky, you look like the bad guy, but he’s not. He’s a great dude. He’s the same guy every single day. He works his butt off.

“And I’m ready for that stuff to go away. And when it goes, everybody’s going to eat crow.”

Of course, there’s only one way for it to go away: perform better. If Wilson returns to his Seahawks form, much of the noise vanishes.

But if not, the viral onslaught in social-media spheres that Bolles compared to a forest fire will likely continue.

“Everyone’s just out to get him because of certain things, random rumors and things like that, and then just [grows] and then the fire burns,” Bolles said. “It’s like a forest fire, where you start in one corner and the wind blows, it just blows all over and burns thousands and thousands of acres and that’s sort of what happened.

“So, he’s not focusing on that. We just want to win, and that’s all about us.

It comes as no surprise that Bolles would so vociferously defend Wilson.

On multiple occasions, Bolles declared, “You touch my quarterback, it’s like touching my wife.” He reiterated that last summer during his first training camp with Wilson.

“I think he’s phenomenal,” Bolles said Thursday. “You guys write the stories, so the fire goes [with] what you guys write. And that’s just reality. But we knew who he was as person. We know who he is.

“I know him very personal. I love him dearly. I think he’s one of the greatest quarterbacks in the game in the last 10 years. I mean, stats don’t lie. Just because you have one rough season, you can’t dictate what type of guy, his personality and what he goes through.”

Of course, that one ragged season was his first in Denver with a new team and fan base. The success equity the quarterback accumulated during a decade in Seattle didn’t matter any longer.

And the team and QB’s struggles left pundits to pounce.

Which spurred Bolles, ever protective of his passer, to react.

“He knows who has his back,” Bolles said.

***

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