If you have an app, chances are Russell Wilson has spent at least part of the last five weeks dealing with it. ESPN. Amazon. Twitter. ICT Tac. Instagram. Screams, even when Warren Moon wants to look away, which often happens, he… just… can’t.
“He was trolled a lot,” the Hall of Fame quarterback told me last week when the discussion turned to the Broncos franchise quarterback. “Man, I feel bad for him. But he brings some of it to himself.
Moon has been there. He moved from Houston to Minnesota late in his career, aged 37, after six Pro Bowl berths with the Oilers. The former Washington Huskies great will earn three more Pro Bowl nods – two with the Vikings and one more, at age 41, with the Seattle Seahawks. From the CFL to Canton, Moon is living proof that quarterback stories can have happy second chapters. Or happy third party. Or happy quarters.
And as Wilson and his 2-3 Broncos gear up for another prime time – hey, we don’t like these night games neither do you, America – showcase, this time on Monday Night Football against Justin Herbert and the Chargers (3-2) in Los Angeles, Moon said he would give Big Russ two sage advice. At present.
First, until your death is correct, get off social media.
“He’s just too outside,” said Moon, 65. “And I don’t know where it came from. I don’t know if it’s because of the money you can get from being an influencer, having so many followers, and how you can build your business — because I know long-term business is something that was important to him, in terms of a second career and all that, after his career ended.
“But when you make the choice to move (to another team) like this, you have to put a few things on hold for a while until you reacclimatize and solidify where you are. And I think he’s trying to do a little too much on and off the pitch…it just gets more attention. It brings more attention and more expectations to you when you do this stuff. And gives people a chance to get revenge on you when it doesn’t happen (on the pitch). »
People like, you know, Richard Sherman. Or Marshawn Lynch. The knocks on No. 3 are coming out of all corners these days. Especially former teammates.
But Moon thinks Wilson could avoid taking more shots on the field if he let go of the idea of being more like Drew Brees – and become more like himself again. Start running. Cast from a mobile pocket instead of a stationary pocket.
“I think he has to go back to who he is. I think he wants to be something else,” noted Moon, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.
“He wants to be more of a pocket passer, but I think he needs to get back to who he is and what got him to where he is today. ‘stock.
“And his coach has to get him off the edge a little bit more in terms of running certain bootlegs and different things like that, where he’s not always in the same place all the time. He can throw from the pocket, but that’s not his strength.When you’re 5ft 10.5in, you’re not going to make a living throwing the ball out of the pocket all the time.
“Brees was never a guy who was on edge. Brees was never a guy who threatened to run away. Russell can’t try to be something he’s not. He can’t try to be someone else. Be yourself.”
Moon knew who he was. Or thought he knew, anyway. The Hall of Fame quarterback was a radio analyst for the Seahawks a decade ago when Wilson joined a franchise that would play in two Super Bowls, winning one, in its first three NFL seasons.
“My (advice) for him (then) was to try to make sure he’s a good teammate, to make sure he gives a part of himself to everyone in the team so that ‘they understand and know who he is,” Moon recalled. “Because he tended to be a bit isolated sometimes. The team wants to know who their quarterback is, so they can fight for you.
Can you get out of this mess with a potentially pending season? The Broncos are averaging a putrid 15.0 points per game. Wilson heads into Monday Night Football with career lows in passer rating (82.8) and completion percentage (59.4). The irony for Moon is the same as for the rest of us: the harder this thing is to watch, the harder it is to change the channel.
“As far as his work ethic, I’ve never had a problem with that,” Moon said. (Wilson) worked as hard as anyone when he came to the league. But I just can’t imagine you can still get the same amount (of work) done when you’re also focused and focused on all those other things.