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Russell Wilson Audibles, Connects with Courtland Sutton on 35-Yard TD

Get used to the Russell Wilson-to-Courtland Sutton connection.

Toward the end of Thursday's practice session, the Denver Broncos were working on their two-minute offense. 

The situation: 4th-&-4 and needing a touchdown to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. 

The play: Russell Wilson drops back and delivers a 35-yard dime to Courtland Sutton, who climbed up over Broncos' cornerback Ronald Darby to make the catch. 


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What we learned from head coach Nathaniel Hackett (who also calls the plays) after practice was that Wilson himself made that call in a pivotal crunch-time situation. 

"It was great working with Russ through that one," Hackett said. "Watching him—he called that last play, which was absolutely fantastic, and hit it for the touchdown."

It's fair to wonder whether Wilson's play-call was based on what he saw, or had been seeing, from the defense pre-snap, or simply whether the offense had been working off of a script and the veteran quarterback simply picked the one he liked in that moment. Hackett provided the answer. 

"It's a combination of both of those [things]," Hackett said. "It's one of those things, I kind of try to plant some seeds in his mind. Some plays we've kind of collaborated on, a list of things we want to accomplish. Plays we want to run, especially in the situation, having to get down the field in large chunks. I give him those, we talk about it, and then he runs with it. I'm always kind of in his ear, but he runs with it." 

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Competency has returned to the quarterback position at Broncos HQ. But it's more than that. 

It's a kind of quarterback dynamism that exists only in the most special NFL players. When the chips are down and the fate of a game hinges on how that QB operates, what decisions he makes and how he executes, he wills himself and his team to the promised land. 

Broncos fans have seen it before in Hall-of-Famers like John Elway and Peyton Manning. Even Tim Tebow, despite his unpolished QB traits, possessed a potent will to win, or 'clutch gene,' as a Bronco. 

Wilson has it, too, as evidenced not only by this play in a two-minute drill simulation but also by the fact that his teams have missed the playoffs a grand total of twice since he entered the league as a day-one starting quarterback 10 years ago. Not many contemporary signal-callers have north of 100 regular-season wins on their resume, let alone a Super Bowl ring. 

Wilson does. 

The Wilson-Hackett relationship is still in its infancy, but if Thursday's fully-padded practice at full speed is any indication, this QB/head coach combo is poised to wreak havoc on an unsuspecting NFL in 2022 and beyond. While we're interpreting harbingers, it appears as if Wilson and Sutton are also on the brink of creating something special in the Mile High City. 

Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen.

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