With a decade of stellar play, numerous accolades and a Super Bowl ring on his NFL resume, one would assume that all nagging questions about Russell Wilson’s 5-foot-11 frame would have evaporated long ago.
The question of size has largely disappeared because it is better to keep your mouth shut and be considered a fool, rather than open it and dispel all doubt. Less informed critics might claim that the Denver Broncos’ starting quarterback could have a pass rejected at the critical moment due to his lack of prototypical NFL height, but that’s a simplistic argument these days.
Wilson’s new offensive coordinator in Denver, Justin Outten, knows his signal-caller’s stature is only worthy of a cheap locker room joke at best. Outten has firsthand knowledge of Wilson’s phenomenal ability to accurately find small-window pitches time and time again, setting him apart and mocking the lofty critics.
“As short as he is, we make fun of him all the time, his ability to get the ball across the line of scrimmage with the angles he creates is remarkable,” Outten said Thursday. “It’s something you can do.” you coach. He puts defenses in a bind because if you give him a six-inch hole, he’s going to throw that thing in there. He just squeezes the windows in there, and he can put it in there.”
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Earlier this week, head coach Nathaniel Hackett addressed how he doesn’t want Wilson to take the kind of hard shots that would eventually wreak havoc on his body. An organizational master plan to extend and preserve Wilson’s career is one thing, but it can’t come at the expense of restricting the quarterback’s legendary ability to go off script.
Fortunately, putting the shackles on No. 3 is apparently not on the agenda, at least, that is if Outten is to be believed. Any offensive coordinator worth his weight in gold is aware of Wilson’s ability to move and make laser-guided throws, and how central he is to what makes him an elite quarterback, which is why Outten is still bringing him in. to your scheme.
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“As far as schematics go, their most successful game is a scrambler,” Outten said. “It’s something he’s very used to, and he knows exactly what’s behind the progression that he can eventually work on. It’s really remarkable to see what kind of arm angles he comes up with.”
It’s a tightrope of risk and reward that the relatively inexperienced Outten has to walk as the Broncos craft their offensive master plan for the regular season. Keeping Wilson healthy is the number one goal for the organization as a whole, and with good reason.
But throwing a wet blanket over Wilson’s preternatural ability to improvise and create off-script would be like pulling a gun from a gunman’s holster and continuing to hope he wins his shootouts. The Broncos have to strike the right balance to protect Wilson and set him up to win out of the pocket while fostering his backyard mentality when the play breaks.
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