Broncos' Russell Wilson: 'I Wish I Could Have Played Better' for Nathaniel Hackett

Doric SamDecember 28, 2022

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 25: Russell Wilson #3 of the Denver Broncos warms up prior to the game against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on December 25, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

The Denver Broncos are still reeling from Monday's firing of head coach Nathaniel Hackett, and quarterback Russell Wilson shared his sentiments while speaking to the media on Wednesday.

The nine-time Pro Bowler acknowledged that he hasn't done his part this season, and he shouldered some of the blame for the struggles that led to Hackett's firing.

"It's been a crazy season, tons of injuries, tons of everything else, but the reality is, I wish I could've played better for him," Wilson told reporters. "I wish I could've played at the standard and the level that I've always played at and know how to play at."

The Broncos are coming off a 51-14 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, which proved to be the tipping point in Hackett's lackluster tenure in Denver. Wilson had one of his worst outings of the season, throwing for 214 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions.

The subpar performance was just a microcosm of a disastrous 2022 season for the Broncos. The team had aspirations of competing for a Super Bowl after acquiring Wilson in an offseason blockbuster trade with the Seattle Seahawks that cost five draft picks and three players.

Unfortunately, Wilson never found a groove in his new home, setting career-lows with a 60.1 completion percentage and an 82.6 passer rating. He's been sacked a league-high 49 times and he's also on pace to set a career-low in passing touchdowns, as he's found the end zone just 12 times against nine interceptions in his 13 games this year.

Despite Wilson's struggles, Broncos CEO Greg Penner and general manager George Paton offered a vote of confidence in the 34-year-old while speaking to reporters on Tuesday.

"The decision to have Russell here is a long-term one," Penner said. "This season has not been up to his standards or expectations. We saw some glimpses of it in the last few weeks. He knows he can play better; we know he can play better; and we know he'll do the right work in the offseason to be ready for next year."

Denver signed Wilson to a five-year, $245 million extension upon acquiring him in the offseason, so the franchise is tied to him for the foreseeable future. After moving on from Hackett, the Broncos still face significant questions this offseason.