Mark Madden opens up on Russell Wilson’s form this year

Mark Madden thinks Russel Wilson is going to have a good year.

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Russell Wilson |

Mark Madden of 105.9 The X and TribLive haven’t really accepted the notion that the Pittsburgh Steelers‘ redesigned quarterback position will result in a notable shift in productivity up until this point in the “Madden Monday” podcast.

But on this week’s episode, Madden acknowledges that his optimism in Russell Wilson’s play is beginning to grow.

“One thing I have kind of conned myself into thinking is Russell Wilson is going to have a good year,” Madden said.

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Good? Or just better than his last two years in Denver?

“Much better than Denver,” Madden replied. “I think he’s going to have a year that we can’t complain about. It’s ‘Last Chance Saloon.’ He is experienced. He is talented. And I think he will not get rattled by their lack of offensive weapons. I think they’ll know how to make the most of what he has.”

The Steelers have not yet found a wide receiver to take Diontae Johnson’s spot, which contributes to their lack of weapons. This offseason, he was traded to Carolina for Donte Jackson, a cornerback.

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However, by selecting Roman Wilson in the third round and adding a number of journeymen castoffs who would only be mediocre players on most NFL teams, they have come the closest to unsheathing him as the No. 2 target.

“That Diontae trade, now as then, strikes me as a deal that they made to get rid of somebody without a plan B as to what would happen with dominoes falling,” Madden said.

Madden suggests Steelers to go for an extension

Using tight end Pat Freiermuth more frequently could help make up for Johnson’s loss. By the way, Freiermuth is about to start the last year of his entry-level deal. Thus, before the regular season begins, he might be searching for a new contract.

Madden believes it would be best for the Steelers to forego an extension.

“I don’t know why you’d give Freiermuth a contract,” Madden said. “I think he has been a real disappointment. And he doesn’t block.”

Ben Roethlisberger led the team in touchdowns during his first campaign with seven, but in the past two seasons, Brandon Freiermuth has only scored two.

The past two years have also seen Freiermuth’s progress impeded by hamstring and concussion difficulties. His catches decreased to 32 in 2023 from 63 in 2022, while his yards decreased from 732 to 308.

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In this league, we still believe Freiermuth has a lot of potential as a tight end. However, it could be prudent for the Steelers to forego an agreement that carries a big cap hit in favour of taking the chance of extending Freiermuth after this season.

Wilson’s middle-field usage

Not only that, but his health problems have been a worry. Let’s examine Wilson’s usage of the middle of the field, though. Something that he hasn’t always excelled at.

Regarding Wilson, my optimism is tempered more than Madden’s is. Though not significantly, I anticipate that he will surpass the Kenny Pickett/Mitch Trubisky level of success from the previous two years.

That might be sufficient to allow the Steelers to make it to the postseason. However, we don’t think the Steelers’ lack of postseason victories will end until 2024.

Madden and I discuss a variety of topics, including the ongoing Penguins problems, the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Pirates’ just-completed homestand, and Caitlin Clark’s exclusion from the American women’s basketball team.

By Shyam
Shyam Sharma who joined SPORTS BIG NEWS in 2021. Focuses on soccer – chiefly the Premier League, LaLiga, UEFA Champions League, Liga MX and MLS. On occasion, also covers American sports, general news and entertainment. Fascinated by the language of sport – particularly the under-appreciated art of translating cliché-speak.