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Former NFC West foes are Russell Wilson's biggest fans

New Broncos' McGlinchey and Allen saw the best of Russ when the Broncos' QB was with Seattle.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — It doesn’t work this way, but the Broncos’ locker room could be broken down into two categories.

Those who played with Russell Wilson last year.

And those who were regularly beaten by Wilson during his 10 seasons with the Seattle Seahawks.

“Russ is a superstar,’’ said new Broncos defensive tackle Zach Allen.

“For the longest time I really couldn’t stand Russell because of how many times he beat us,’’ said new Broncos right tackle Mike McGlinchey.

Count McGlinchey and Allen among Wilson’s biggest fans now that they’re all Broncos. McGlinchey got the richest contract from the Broncos this offseason at $17.5 million per season. Allen got the second-richest deal at $16.25 million over the next two seasons.

Both came from the NFC West – McGlinchey from San Francisco; Allen from Arizona – where they would play against Wilson’s Seahawks twice a year.

Wilson has a remarkable 17-4 record against the 49ers. McGlinchey has now been around the quarterback long enough to understand why.

“Russ, first and foremost, he’s a workhorse,’’ McGlinchey said last week following the Broncos’ third of 10 OTA practices. “There’s nobody in the building that works harder than him. He’s addicted to this game and he’s addicted to trying to be great. And that rubs off on a lot of people. There’s a reason why he’s had the success in this league that he’s had.’’

Allen, whose Cards were a respectable 3-3 against Wilson’s Seahawks from 2019-21, has seen the same attributes from Wilson. (Neither Allen or Wilson played last season when the Broncos beat the Cards, 24-15.)

“He’s the hardest-working guy in the building and I’m a big fan of the way he works and the way he does everything and obviously he burned me a bunch of times when I was in AZ,’’ Allen said.

Wilson’s work ethic was much talked about last year at this time. And it didn’t mean much in a 5-12 season. The key to the 2023 Broncos is to get Wilson playing like he did when he tormented McGlinchey and Allen from his days in Seattle. That’s where new coach Sean Payton, a revamped offensive line and a defense that’s stronger against the run comes in.

“I’m excited for what we can all do together because I think with coach, with us, with the talent that we have on this team, I think we have a really good shot to help Russ get to even higher heights that he’s been,’’ McGlinchey said.


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