Connect with us

Steelers News

Russell Wilson Realizes His Legacy is at Stake



Russell Wilson Steelers Quarterback

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Russell Wilson had a bad rap in Denver and Seattle for lacking leadership and not being a good teammate. Nothing of such has been showcased in Pittsburgh so far, however.

Wilson sat next to Steelers offensive lineman Spencer Anderson at the Penguins game last Saturday night. Anderson was a seventh-round pick out of Maryland last year and is not a marquee name on the roster. That action by Wilson is a far cry from the reports out of Denver that he was out of touch and didn’t relate with anyone in the locker room.

Steelers tight end Pat Freiermuth also gave Wilson props for organizing an offseason workout in San Diego. Freiermuth, Calvin Austin III and Van Jefferson attended the workout.

“That was big time,” Freiermuth told Teresa Varley of “He invited us to San Diego and a couple of us went there and got to work out and run routes and get to know each other. That’s big. The relationship on the field is big but building that off field is a big thing. It’s that trust you can bring over to the football field.”

Wilson’s legacy certainly took a big hit in Denver. His play was not up to par with the hefty salary that Denver was dishing out, but his image was absolutely destroyed. Aditi Kinkhabwala of CBS Sports thinks Wilson is fully aware that Pittsburgh is his last chance to not only get his career back on track, but to restore his public perception.

“I do think that Russell Wilson recognizes this moment for what it is. I think he now recognizes, ‘Okay, it’s not just one [bad year], it’s two, and the second was with a guy that everybody recognizes as one of the best offensive minds,” Kinkhabwala said during an appearance on 93.7 The Fan. “There are certain things that need some tweaking, maybe on the field and also [in] the way that he creates rapport with his teammates. I believe that he is very cognizant of that, and I find that very hopeful.”

Multiple sources told Alan Saunders of Steelers Now that by the end of the Wilson’s tenure in Denver, the relationship with Broncos head coach Sean Payton had become toxic.

But was all of that the fault of Wilson, or was he just a part of a few bad situations. In conversations with several sources close to the Broncos and former teammates of Wilson’s, no one was willing to offer a cogent criticism of the behavior of the 35-year-old quarterback.

“All of that is overblown,” one Broncos source told Steelers Now. “He’s a great guy and great in the locker room.”

Another league source said that while the personalities between Payton and Wilson were “oil and water,” it was more of a bad fit between the two than any specific fault of one or the other. A player that had been a younger teammate of Wilson’s in Seattle credited his leadership and mentorship during his time there.