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Russ Riding the Pine

It isn’t too often that you get really good news about your favorite NFL team after a bad primetime loss to a bad team. But guess what? That’s what I got! 

The news broke while I was in the car on 495. So I am a little late here. I received a text message from my fellow blogger and Bronco fan Concret3Cowboy via text. Broncos head coach Sean Payton announced that he is benching QB Russell Wilson for the remainder of the 2023 season. 

Now I try to be better than this usually, but I have to say it. Thank. Fucking. God. Every Denver fan should be rejoicing. This is the best possible thing to happen in Denver since Super Bowl 50.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have despised Wilson ever since he was the Seahawks starting QB that just rode an elite defense and great running back to a Super Bowl championship, Yes, that has a lot to do with the fact that the Seahawks kicked the piss out of my Broncos in that game, but my point still applies. I said for years that Wilson was overrated. Some called me an idiot and even called into question how much I knew about football. Well, boy have I been vindicated. 

Now my dislike for the guy is no secret, but I have to be honest, when the Broncos traded for him, I have to admit I was a little excited. As fraudulent as I thought he was, he seemed to be better than what I had to suffer through in the post-Peyton Manning era. I mean, he couldn’t be worse than the likes of Brock Osweiler, Paxton Lynch and Trevor Simian right? I am also aware that WIlson was the consolation prize. Denver clearly wanted Aaron Rodgers. I even wrote a blog declaring that Rodgers was coming. The team even hired Rodgers OC from Green Bay Nathaniel Hackett to sweeten the deal for him to come to town. It didn’t happen and the team hit the panic button and traded for Wilson. Then they signed him to a huge contract without ever seeing him play a game for them. 

I wasn’t pleased, but I understood it. He wasn’t the second coming of John Elway, but he was at least serviceable. RIght? Wrong. 

The first year was abysmal. Wilson couldn’t find open receivers and flat out looked like an inept QB. Hackett got the ax and essentially the organization blamed all of the misery on him. Fine. That stuff happens. And I’ll even admit there were moments. Maybe if they brought in a competent coach, Wilson could get back to fooling everyone. 

The Broncos then went out and got retired coach and Super Bowl winner Sean Payton to straighten things out. He was an experienced guy and very well respected for his offensive knowledge. I, unlike most Broncos fans, was ready to toss Wilson aside and move on with Payton. But I was told to relax and trust that Wilson was a good player and could lead a good football team. 

Well, I know Sean Payton was a great hire. Not only because we share a first name, (he spells it wrong, but I’ll accept it) but he had the stones to see the atrocities that were occuring on the field and lay down the gauntlet. The trained eye could see the benching coming for a couple weeks now. The image of Payton dressing down Wilson in an earlier game made me confident it was coming soon. 

The final straw came on Christmas Eve. Anyone who watched the Broncos shameful performance against the dreadful Patriots knew this was inevitable. If we’re being honest, Russell Wilson was the 2nd best starting QB in that game. That’s saying something when the other starter is Bailey Zappe. That first interception Wilson threw was maybe the worst decision I have ever seen in an NFL game. I’ve coached high school freshmen that know not to throw that ball. Not to mention I’ve coached freshmen who can see over the offensive line better than Wilson. As a fan, I was insulted. This was my one chance to have some bragging rights against New England fans, who are going through their own QB issues.

You know, I could get past the fact that Wilson is a horrible QB, if he wasn’t such an insufferable puke. He just has this arrogant aura about him that reeks of a guy who had early success and now thinks he doesn’t need to work for anything. I have no proof he doesn’t work hard, it’s just a feeling I have. 

Phew. Well that felt good. I’ve been holding that in for a while. Thankfully Sean Payton finally did it. This is the kind of decision only elite coaches make. The organization is putting a lot of trust in Payton letting him bench their $250 million investment. And I love it. The Wilson era in Denver is finally over. But that brings me to the future. 

In Wilson’s spot comes Jarrett Stidham. Is he the long term answer at QB? No. He’s just the guy that happens to be there. He’s not a world beater, but it’s a win/win here. If he stinks, you move up in the draft order. If he’s good, you either keep him and ride the high, or another team sees something and you flip him for some draft capital. The team is already eliminated from the playoffs, might as well throw shit against the wall and hope for the best. 

But what to do with Wilson after the year. You basically flushed any confidence he had down the toilet, and no team is going to lay anything out for him. He also now hates Sean Payton and the entire organization, so there’s no coming back from this. And he’s such an insufferable douche, that he’ll obviously go on a whiny media tour trashing both. Here’s what you do. You do whatever you have to. Whether that means eating the huge financial hit, or trading him for peanuts, he needs to go. It’s like removing a diseased piece of flesh from an otherwise healthy body. I’d rather have one of my beep baseball teammates at QB next year than Wilson. If the team is going to suck, I might as well like the guy under center. Kirk Cousins is going to be a free agent, maybe they bring him in. Maybe they draft someone, or take a shot with Stidham. Anything is better. 

The only thing that could make me happier is if WIlson ended up back on the Seahawks or another team I hate and lead them into the darkness of the abyssal zone. I had this thought, and in a bizarre twist of fate, self-proclaimed Patriots insider Justin Ramos (@NEPInsider) tweeted asking if Wilson could end up in New England. He then deleted the tweet right after the news of Wilson’s benching was announced. Coward. Mind you this is the same moron that was claiming the Patriots were going to trade for Deandre Hopkins all spring. Some insider huh? But wouldn’t it be sweet if this simpleton spoke this into existence? I could rejoice even more! 

Anyway, I won’t let my negativity towards this Ramos goon get in the way of my awesome day. Some place just hired him so they’re stuck with his idiotic nonsense. 

This is a time for celebration. Wilson is done. The team is probably going to be mediocre for some time again, but at least we’re starting fresh with a good coach who knows ball. Bye bye Russ. It’s time for this jaded Bronco fan to enjoy a few too many beers and finally be happy about the team's future. So I’ll say it and if I’m wrong, I don’t care. Piss off Wilson…Let’s go Jarrett Studham! No, that's not a typo. He’s a stud compared to the other jamoke! 

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