As Russell Wilson looks to rebound from a much-criticized 2022 season, Broncos offensive lineman Garett Bolles delivered a staunch message on Thursday to those who doubt the quarterback’s ability to return to form in 2023.
Bolles, who missed the final 13 weeks of the ’22 season with a broken leg, spoke to reporters about his firm belief in Wilson heading into next season amid criticism over his rocky first season in Denver.
As both Wilson’s friend and teammate, Bolles said he was “angry” about the backlash his QB faced, revealing that even he took the criticism “very personal.” After offering his latest public defense of the nine-time Pro Bowler, Bolles then described what he hopes Wilson’s play in Year 12 will have his critics doing by season’s end.
“I think he’s phenomenal,” Bolles said Thursday. “We knew who he was as a person, we know who he is. … I love him dearly. I think he’s one of the greatest quarterbacks in the game the last 10 years. Stats don’t lie, just because you have one rough season you can’t dictate what type of guy, his personality, what he goes through.
“He’s a great dude, he’s the same guy every single day, he works his butt off. And I’m ready for that [criticism] to go away and when it goes, everyone’s going to eat crow.”
Entering the 2023 campaign, Wilson appears to have plenty of support from not only Bolles, his enthusiastic left tackle, but also the organization despite a 5–12 season that led to the firing of coach Nathaniel Hackett.
With new coach Sean Payton now at the helm, Wilson will hope to resemble his days with the Seahawks in Year 2 with the Broncos after throwing for 3,524 yards, a career-low 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 15 starts last season.