Parker, Colo. – On Thursday morning, Jake Heaps spent four hours on the radio airwaves in Seattle, ending his last day as co – host of the Mid-Day Sports Show.
24 hours later, he found about 500 people running between farms at Chapperal High School in Colorado, in the market he was about to build the next stage of his career and life.
Heaps boarded the first of several Russell Wilson Passing Academy camps to fly to the Greater Denver area, having worked with Wilson, the Broncos’ new star quarterback for the past five years.
A Washington native who played quarterback for Heaps College, BYU, Kansas and Miami (Fla.), And spent three offseason episodes on the NFL roster, he continues to attend Wilson’s Passing Academy, but also serves as Wilson’s full – time quarterback.
“We’ve been working on the off-season and all, but I’ve been moving to Denver with him – for me, my home base is Seattle, so everything worked out in a way and it’s neat and synchronized. There is a lot to do for and only for his career. From the Denver community training topic and all, ”Heaps told USA Today Sports on Friday. I’m excited for that.
“It’s really about that.”
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Heaps and Wilson crossed the first line when Heeps spent the off-season on the Seahawks roster and was part of the 2016 campaign in the franchise practice squad.
“I’ve been on and off the roster for two years and we’re really connected through work,” Heeps said. “He saw how hard I worked. I tried to push him into this facility every day and through it the bond between us grew. I got a random phone call from him (Wilson) and asked him to come train at UCLA and I’m sure we’ve been together. Having a friendship and having that confidence he has in me and having honest conversations and evaluating his game and doing all I can to make him better is better than doing the things he worked hard for or continuing the work he is doing.
“He’s one of the best people in the world, so it’s not like you’re trying to change everything wholesale every year, it’s trying to change him 1% better every year and he’s finding ways to be better and sharper. Top things.
Wilson, in fact, is learning a new offense under first-year head coach Nathaniel Hockett in Denver, making it clear that the Playbook building is a collaborative effort between offensive staff and quarterback.
However, the system is at least somewhat familiar to Wilson, who played for Shane Waldron in Seattle last fall, as Waldron coached the Los Angeles Rams for the past four years under head coach Sean McVeigh. Hackett, meanwhile, spent the past three years at Green Bay head coach Matt Laughlor with that McVeigh and Kyle Shannon another member of the coaching tree.
“There’s a lot of psychological stuff that you have to work on and make sure you’re sharp on the new plays and new elements (Wilson) in the playbook, testing him and questioning him and all those things,” Heaps said. “There was introduction, but it was great to see everyone working together to mesh this thing and everyone from the coaching staff to Russell to the guys on the team. It’s really awesome and, honestly, I’m far from where they are and where everyone is at this time of the season with the install.
Before the off-season program began, Wilson hosted several days worth of work for Center Lloyd Cushingberry, along with the Broncos’ wide receivers at his home in Southern California, to design the chemistry. Quarterback recently announced that they will meet again next month before the Denver training camp begins on July 27.
“We let the boys escape. We’ve been going for 2.5 months now, it feels like that, so we’ll keep the boys away, spend family time, do what they have to do, travel, whatever,” Wilson said. We spend some quality time in Southern California.
Wilson, like some other top quarterbacks, built an operation around himself that was designed to help him excel even when he was away from the facility. One week, between OTA practice on Thursday and practice on Tuesday, Wilson and his wife Ciara traveled to the Monaco Grand Prix and returned. Another holiday weekend, he went to give an opening address to Dartmouth College, a school for his late father and many other family members. A few weeks before that, he was at a Seattle Children’s Hospital event on holiday.
Joking colleague Melvin Gordon: “When you make $ 30-a-million a year, you can take a private jet wherever you want. He’s about football, though, man. He was locked up. There is no other way to keep it.
Wilson, for his part, explained the importance of the people around him.
“Because I have an amazing team, my show team comes with me wherever I go. My assistant will help with everything, ”he said last week. “Everyone is very well organized so space is never wasted, and I think that’s important. Space is never wasted.”
Heaps is now a full-time member of that team. He will be in California for off-season training sessions and Wilson will return to Denver to help prepare for the regular season. At the same time, he joins the group working to build RWPA camps, where he develops more high-level quarterback training opportunities and continues to expand Wilson’s presence in Denver.
“He wants to be great. He’s already great, but what he wants to achieve in the second half of his career is that he wants it to be unique and I think he’s capable of doing it in Denver,” Heaps said. Are awesome. Obviously, this is the honeymoon phase and everything is great, everything is special, but I really believe they got what it takes to make some noise and achieve the goals they all have.