The Denver Broncos have not had a player with the leadership Russell Wilson brings since Peyton Manning lined up under center in Super Bowl 50.
Over the last several weeks, Wilson has organized “passing camps” with some of the team’s most prominent skill position players.
Jake Heaps, former NFL quarterback and current personal quarterbacks coach for Wilson, shined a light on the Super Bowl Champion’s world.
Heaps appeared on “The Drive” with Tyler Polumbus and DMac and provided interesting tidbits and into the focus, energy and resources Wilson puts into his preparation.
“For these guys, this was a crash course into Russell Wilson’s world,” said Heaps. “A crash course into his mindset, his expectations, the way he operates, and the way he expects them to operate. And this culture that’s been there with the Denver Broncos.”
Several members of the Broncos arrived in San Diego at Wilson’s personal compound. Per Heaps, Wilson footed the bill for his teammates. That included flight, helping arrange accommodations, and transportation to and from Wilson’s home.
Wilson’s camp lasted four days and featured Tim Patrick, Courtland Sutton, KJ Hamler, Kendall Hinton, Albert Okwuegbunam, Andrew Beck, Lloyd Cushenberry, and others.
Wilson’s drive for greatness was on display before the team reported for their first offseason organized team activities, let alone mandatory workouts. Denver’s new No. 3 is setting the bar high for the young Broncos.
Some could see Wilson’s hyper-focus on saying the right thing or throwing out signature catchphrases (i.e. “Let’s Ride) as phony or corny. It is true, Wilson may not appeal to everyone, but his drive to be the best is clear in everything he does.
“This is something that when Russell talks about, being invested and all the clichés that you may hear and go ‘Is this guy really like this?’ No, he’s really like this,'” said Heaps. “He’s wired like this 24/7.”
Sutton, Patrick, and Co. got first-hand experience into Wilson’s world and his obsession with winning and being great.
According to Heaps, Wilson paid for Broncos players to stay at nearby hotels. Heaps shared that Wilson shows up at 5:30 a.m., as he walked out into his backyard. Wilson’s house features an all-encompassing facility. The compound includes a football field and Wilson’s “full-body team,” including physical therapists, trainers, mental coaches, and chefs. All of which his teammates had access to during the team’s sessions together.
Wilson’s teammates arrived by 7:15 a.m. and they got to work around 8:00 a.m.
— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) March 25, 2022
“In terms of that winning culture and setting those expectations and what’s going to be demanded of them each and every single day,” explained Heap, “Russ made that very clear over these four days and the guys responded to it tremendously.”
The opportunity to build a rapport with his teammates is another connection most lesser quarterbacks are unable to achieve. Without Wilson’s status, teammates may have been reluctant to drop plans and travel to play a glorified game of catch. However, when Wilson called, his teammates quickly descended on his home. This included Jerry Jeudy who missed the initial date due to personal reasons. Jeudy found time the next week to work with Wilson and build on their connection.
— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) March 29, 2022
All in attendance got in basic work with Wilson as the team has yet to build the entire playbook. This won’t be the last get-together headed up by Wilson. The team plans on a larger workout in July before Broncos training camp starts.
However, the time with Wilson was more than simply throwing. It is a chance for his teammates to experience the elevated expectations that come with adding a soon-to-be Hall of Famer to the roster.