Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson responded Wednesday to apparent criticism from Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll about not wearing a play-calling wristband during his time in Seattle.
Mike Klis @mikeklis
Russell Wilson on play-call sheet on wrist band: “Won a lot of games. Didn’t know winning or losing mattered whether you wore a wrist band.” <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/9sports?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#9sports</a> <a href="https://t.co/XZ7IqlK7gK">pic.twitter.com/XZ7IqlK7gK</a>
Carroll didn't mention Wilson by name during his comments Monday on Seattle Sports 710 AM, which were centered on the Seahawks offense's success under Geno Smith, Wilson's replacement.
"If you notice, Geno's going off the wristband, and that's a big help," Carroll said. "It's smoothed things out, sped things up, cleaned things up. And that's part of it, too. We never did that before. There was resistance to that, so we didn't do that before."
The Broncos-Seahawks dynamic has been one of the NFL's most interesting storylines during the first half of the 2022 season.
When the blockbuster trade happened in March, Wilson was viewed as the missing piece for Denver, which was expected to emerge as a serious contender in the loaded AFC West.
Not only have the Broncos not taken a leap forward, owning a 3-5 record, but their offense has even dipped compared to last year. They rank 20th in total offense (328.9 yards per game), a slight decline from when they finished 19th in 2021 (330.5 yards per game).
However, Wilson expressed confidence after an Oct. 30 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, the team's most recent game prior to its bye week, that things were about to turn around.
"In every season I've ever played, there's a moment in time where it clicks," he told reporters. "Hopefully, that will be the start of it."
For now, though, Denver is one of the most disappointing teams at the halfway mark.
Meanwhile, the Seahawks are one of the NFL's biggest surprises with a 6-3 record heading into a Week 10 clash with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Smith is enjoying an unexpected resurgence, completing 73.1 percent of his passes for 2,199 yards with 15 touchdowns and four interceptions across nine games. He's added 196 rushing yards and one score on the ground.
The 32-year-old journeyman ranks fourth in ESPN's Total QBR (68.0), 24 spots ahead of Wilson (36.0), which is something few, if any, could have predicted before the campaign.
Clearly, the split between Wilson and the Seahawks was less than amicable, and that narrative has persisted throughout the season, previously popping up after Seattle's season-opening win over Denver when Carroll said the victory was "really rewarding" for the quarterback's former teammates.
"Eh, you figure that out," Carroll said when asked why it meant so much. "But it was really meaningful and they really wanted it and I knew we were playing for a lot more than just the regular stuff. We have a real connection with the history. ... They feel it and they love the fact that they played here and they love seeing us do well."
It's far too early to declare a winner from the offseason trade, especially since Wilson is under contract through 2028, but early returns are trending favorably for the Seahawks.