Broncos Head Coach Sean Payton's First Impression of Russell Wilson

The Denver Broncos have moved on from the offseason strength and conditioning program to on-field football practices. The Broncos held organized team activities (OTAs) on Thursday, which included a feisty practice session. 

Quarterback Russell Wilson was running the new scheme that the Broncos are implementing under head coach Sean Payton.

Coach Payton shared his evaluation of Wilson's playbook installation and how the veteran quarterback looked following practice. 

"These guys are doing well, and he's picking it up—the timing and all of those other things that are required," Payton said of Wilson on Thursday.

"We just lifted and ran for the first five weeks." We're now going into some football action. We're ahead of schedule with our practice. He's picking it up quickly—he looks terrific and sharp.

"This should be music to the ears of Broncos Nation. As a student of Bill Parcells' football psychology, Payton's compliments are earned, and he's not afraid to use subtle criticism to encourage a player if necessary, even publicly. 

Thus, when Payton says Wilson is "picking it up" nicely and "looks good, looks sharp," believe him. Just don't go too far in drawing implications that go beyond where the Broncos are right now, including Wilson. 

Wilson, who is entering his 12th NFL season and his second in Denver, is a quarterback who has been humbled. The nine-time Pro Bowler struggled mightily in 2022, contributing significantly to the Broncos' five-win season.