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'I want to be the best version of me': QB Russell Wilson holds himself to high standard as Broncos OTAs begin

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Ahead of his second season in Denver, quarterback Russell Wilson has high standards for himself.

"I want to have the best offseason of my life," Wilson said Thursday.

Following the Broncos' first OTA practice open to the media, Wilson said that everyone on the team wants to be at their best. And that applies to him, as well.

"I want to be the best version of me," Wilson said, "and I'm looking forward to the work of it all and doing that."

Wilson said he lost weight during the offseason and feels "lean and mean — ready to go." He did not specify his new playing weight, but he said he's focused on being in great shape.

"You always want to be in the best shape of your life," Wilson said. "I'm ready for that. I feel better than ever."

Following a difficult 2022 season, Wilson said he reflected on what he can do better during the season ahead — a process that he's followed ever since entering the NFL in 2012.

In 2023, Wilson will look to rebound from a season in which he threw 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He's thrown at least 25 touchdowns in eight of his 10 other seasons and broken the 30-touchdown mark in five campaigns.

"Mentally, there's always the journey," Wilson said. "There's always the journey of highs and lows. There's been a lot of highs, there's been some tough lows, but adversity, you have to be able to handle it all. I'll be ready to handle it."

The Broncos remain early in their offseason program, but Wilson said learning a new offense has gone well.

"I think in terms of what we're doing out here, the coaches have done a great job of teaching us," Wilson said. "We're doing that really well, and we're taking it day by day. We had a great day today. Guys are really working, focused. I'm looking forward to putting the pads back on and playing again."

Head Coach Sean Payton said Wilson is picking the offense up well and "looks good. Looks sharp."

In all his five NFL seasons, new right tackle Mike McGlinchey has battled Wilson at least once — and he knows the type of player Wilson can be.

"For the longest time, I really couldn't stand Russell because of how many times he beat us," McGlinchey said Thursday. "To be in the locker room with him and to be able to be in the huddle with him now has been awesome. Russ, first and foremost, he's a workhorse. There's nobody in the building that works harder than him. He's addicted to this game and is addicted to trying to be great. That rubs off on a lot of people. And there's a reason that he's had the success in this league that he's had. I'm excited for what we can all do together, because I think with Coach [Payton], with Russ, with the talent we have on this team, I think we have a really good shot to help Russ get to even higher heights than he's been."

Wilson spoke highly of Payton following the 2022 season, and he echoed those sentiments on Thursday.

"I think Sean's one of the best coaches to ever coach this game," Wilson said. "He's intense, he's focused, he's such a great teacher of the game. All of us are learning every day, more information, learning how to play the game the right way. How to practice at the highest level. That's what we're focused on right now."

And at this stage of the offseason program, the focus is naturally granular in nature.

"I think the thing we focus on is … having one day at a time and always believing," Wilson said. "Always believing, always focused on the details. Always focused on what we can do together as a team. Just being the best version of you every day. Bringing that every day. Bringing that level of intensity every day. I'm looking forward to that."

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