June 15, 2024

ussell Wilson was on the receiving end of a furious sideline tirade by head coach Sean Payton last weekend at Ford Field amid the Denver Broncos’ 42-17 loss to the Detroit Lions. The trope has been viral and has lingered through this week’s preparations for the Broncos to host the New England Patriots.

At the podium on Wednesday, Wilson addressed Payton’s dressing down for the second time since it happened. And although he hears and reads all the outrage and conspiracy theories, it’s not something the veteran quarterback gives any thought or focus to.

“I don’t really try to pay attention to it, to be honest with you,” Wilson said with a grin. “I was there.”

It’s one thing for both Wilson and Payton to play down the incident. You’d expect nothing less from two savvy, well-versed NFL operators on public relations and leadership. A true tell would be how the teammates around Wilson interpreted that sideline scene.

Mike McGlinchey: Payton/Russ Incident 'Blown Out of Proportion'

Broncos right tackle Mike McGlinchey was asked about whether Payton’s blow-up at Wilson has affected the players in the locker room and whether it’s indicative of a greater issue.

I think it’s been completely blown out of proportion. Things like that happen, especially in a humungous game for us with a lot on the line,” McGlinchey said from his locker on Wednesday via Denver Sports‘ Andrew Mason. “I think Russell, and especially Sean, are two of the most competitive people that you’ll ever be around, and all that is is competitive fire and frustration of certain things that go wrong, not being on the same page, or whatever it is. I don’t think anybody in this locker room is looking at that as an issue, nor should they because I can’t even count how many times I’ve gotten screamed at by a coach or frustrated because you’re not doing your job to the right—mistakes happen. And people get emotional, especially in the fourth quarter of game you’re getting your ass kicked. So I wouldn’t think anything of that and nobody in this locker room does.”

Wilson, McGlinchey, and certainly Payton would like to get past that ugly moment captured on national television and focus on Bill Belichick’s Patriots coming to Empower Field. But some storylines jump the shark and become sensationalized, which, unfortunately, can become a distraction to a team.

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