Jul 28, 2022 - Sports

The Russell Wilson era begins in Denver

A man in an navy blue American football uniform with orange lines runs past people taking photographs.m

Denver Broncos Quarterback Russell Wilson runs toward a field during the first day of the team's training camp on Wednesday, July 27. Photo: Esteban L. Hernandez/Axios

Hundreds of fans traded weekday responsibilities for some leisure in Englewood on Wednesday to watch the Denver Broncos kick off the new season's training camp. And it wasn't hard to pinpoint why: new quarterback Russell Wilson.

  • It's just practice, but Wilson trotted onto the field with his game face on before crossing the training grounds to greet fans.

Driving the news: The hype behind the Broncos' acquisition of Wilson has many fans forgetting last season's 7-10 record, shifting focus to another possible Super Bowl trophy for Denver.

  • "We've got a championship-caliber football team, and we're excited about that," Wilson told reporters on Wednesday.

What they're saying: Former Broncos lineman Orlando Franklin, who played with the team when they lost to Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks in 2014's Super Bowl XLVIII, told Axios Denver that he believes the team has the talent to turn Wilson's prophecy into reality.

  • "Now you have the quarterback, now you have the young coaching staff that's gonna grind, and they want to be new and they want to be different," Franklin said.

State of play: Wednesday's practice lasted about 90 minutes, with players getting a chance to make some contact with one another.

  • Wilson ripped a tight pass to wide receiver Courtland Sutton, who ran the ball to the end zone, prompting thunderous cheer from fans, who are hopeful the duo will become a scoring threat this fall.
  • Players wore Guardian Caps (basically soft-shell coverings) over their helmets following a league-wide safety rule to curb concussions that passed in March. Linebacker Bradley Chubb called the headgear ugly, but added, "if they're going to make us safe, I'm all for it."

Buzz: Wilson's wife, R&B singer Ciara, watched her husband on Wednesday, but the new Bronco isn't sure whether the pop star will be at every practice.

  • "She's got work to do too, I don't know if she'll be here for every practice, but she'll be here a lot, that's for sure," Wilson said playfully, just days after the duo opened a boutique shop in Lone Tree.

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