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ENGLEWOOD, Col. On the morning of March 8, many Denver Broncos players found out that the team had acquired quarterback Russell Wilson in a grand deal with the Seattle Seahawks when their phones imploded with a tidal wave of texts, calls and notifications.
They knew Wilson’s resume as a player – a Super Bowl winner and nine-time Pro Bowl selection. But in the weeks and sun-drenched throwing sessions in California that have followed since the franchise-changing deal, many of his Broncos teammates have learned something different about their starting quarterback.
“He’s a great FaceTimer,” Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton said with a smile.
Wilson’s drive, his outspoken “wild obsession” with preparation and his hit-the-ground-throwing approach have already left an imprint on how the Broncos have gone through the early part of their offseason program. But Wilson’s affiliation with FaceTime has affected how he has reached out to his teammates in the first few weeks since he was traded from the team that selected him in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
“A couple of days [after] “we found out we were going to have Russ as our quarterback, he shot me over a FaceTime,” said Broncos safety Justin Simmons.[He] just expressed his excitement … I thought, ‘We are the ones who are excited’. “
After Peyton Manning signed with the Broncos as a free agent in March 2012, he said, “football will come naturally, that’s what we all have in common, and we will get to work on the field,” but stressed learning his teammates to know. and getting acquainted with the team staff would require as much effort and consideration as working in the field.
He often joked about the number of wrong turns he made on his way to the Broncos’ facility in the first few weeks.
Russell Wilson throws an arrow at a fan in the crowd during his introduction to the Nuggets audience.
Wilson’s first public appearance as the Broncos’ quarterback came when he visited patients at the Children’s Hospital in Denver shortly after the deal. Since then, he has toured the Denver sports scene, sat on the court with his wife, Ciara, at a recent Denver Nuggets game, and threw the first court at the Colorado Rockies’ season opener, where he attended with his family.
He also held throwing sessions in California with a group of Broncos. And through it all, his teammates have learned to expect a FaceTime ring from Wilson.
Randy Gregory, who signed a $ 70 million five-year deal with the Broncos last month, said Wilson fired texts to Gregory as deep crossers before Gregory made his decision between signing with the Broncos and resuming with the Dallas Cowboys. And Wilson greeted Gregory with another FaceTime when Gregory agreed to the terms with Denver.
“I do not know if it was eight times, but he hit me a lot,” Gregory said after signing. “The first night I was afraid to answer back, there was a lot of uncertainty with everything that was going on. I woke up the next morning and the first text I saw was from him again. Then he sent me another. I said, you know what – and mind you, he FaceTimer me through this whole process.
“It’s funny – he came from the children’s hospital. There’s a certain picture he has out in public. It was funny, I told my parents and I told my wife I was like, ‘he’s literally what he is. out in public. ‘ He comes from an orphanage [Hospital]takes the time to call a guy he’s trying to bring to the team. “
It’s all part of Wilson’s franchise quarterback equation. And in a locker room that, with the exception of kicker Brandon McManus, has no players left from the Broncos’ last playoff team – one that won the Super Bowl 50 – it’s something they can sense in everything Wilson does.
“His knowledge of the game is on another level,” Sutton said. “It comes to him so easily that he wants everyone around him to understand it as he understands it … [But] You can all feel it, we can all feel it, the juice is just different. I was not here when Peyton Manning was here, but everyone who was here when Peyton was said is one’s juice. … Everyone understands that we have to operate at a different level, a different standard. “