Russell Wilson has a declaration to make.
And it has nothing to do with locker-room friction or any alleged feud with a certain departed wide receiver.
“To be the starting quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, come on!” Wilson said Thursday, almost scoffing at the thought that it is a contentious — or controversial — position to be in.
“It doesn’t get any better.”
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After the week he and his team just had, that’s saying something.
On his way out to practice at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center, Wilson was more expansive than expected while addressing a New York Daily News report from the previous day that there is a rift in Seattle’s locker room between a pro- and anti-Wilson camps and that Percy Harvin, whom the Seahawks traded to the New York Jets last Friday, was “an accelerant” to that divide.
“There’s no division in our locker room. There’s none at all,” Wilson said three days before Seattle (3-3) plays at Carolina (3-3-1). “If anything, I think we’ve continued to build, continued to grow. I truly believe that.
“I believe the guys that we have in the locker room believe that we can go 1-0 (each week), that we still can be a championship team. Those are the guys that we have sitting in this room every day.”
As for Harvin, a native of Virginia Beach, Virginia, who at 26 is six months and one day older than Wilson?
“Percy and I never had differences,” Wilson said.
Wilson, from Richmond, Virginia, said he and Seattle’s now-former $11 million receiver have far more in common than some believe.
“He’s a guy that we had a lot of similarities, probably, if anything,” Wilson said. “We are both guys that want to compete at the highest level, want to win every single time we step on the field, want the ball in our hands to make the big play and everything. I’m not sure why the media wants to try to blow everything out of proportion. That’s just part of it, I guess. It’s part of it and you have to deal with it.
“Like I always tell you guys: Ignore the noise.
“Percy’s a Virginia guy. I wish nothing but the best for him.”
Wilson wasn’t done there. That’s because the questions that have been bouncing around the country all week weren’t finished Thursday, either. The quarterback, who became the first NFL player with 300 yards passing and 100 yards rushing in a game in the 28-26 loss at St. Louis last weekend, sees the environment in which he prepares each week as the opposite of toxic.
“Our locker room is great,” Wilson said. “We have guys that are very positive, guys that really want to work and really want to win. That’s what we need. We need that, for sure. And we have that. We are relying on that, the positive mentality of the guys that we have in the room.”
Some of this is what happens to Super Bowl champions. They get more national attention. Put another way: Who was dissecting the psychology of Seattle’s locker room at this time last year? How many outside the Pacific Northwest even noticed there was an NFL locker room in Seattle at this time last year?
Wilson agrees with that.
“Especially when you’ve won a Super Bowl, especially when things have gone really well, I think a big part of it is also to be able to block a lot of the noise,” Wilson said. “I don’t watch ESPN. I don’t read y’all’s articles — no offense. I just stay away from it all.
“I think that’s a major part of it for me, because I have complete confidence in who I am, I have complete confidence in the person I am striving to be every day.”
Wilson said he has gained confidence in the Seahawks’ offense after it gained 463 yards last weekend at St. Louis. It was Seattle’s most yardage since last Nov. 10 at Atlanta.
As he did to beat Denver in overtime last month, he largely took the game into his passing arm and running feet in the second half at St. Louis. That rallied Seattle from a 21-3 deficit to within 21-19.
He sees two reasons for the offense’s surge heading into Sunday’s game at Carolina, which has allowed 37 or more points in four of its last five games: more big plays of 12 or more yards, and converting six of 12 third downs into first downs. That was the best conversion rate of the season.
“I believe we had 12 explosive plays against the Rams. Those are things that we can do. We have those types of players,” Wilson said.
“We want to rely on those guys to make the plays for us, make the consistent plays, but also be great on third down. That’s where we were able to separate in terms of offensively last time. We were great on third down. So those are the things that we are capable of and we have to show up and do that every week.”
As for the confidence he has to take over any game at any time, even with pass rushers continually pouring through a Seahawks offensive line that has been a problem area for two seasons, Wilson smiles.
“I’ve kind of always been that way. I learned that at a young age. My parents really instilled that in me, just to be confident in the man that I am and the player that I am,” said Wilson, the son of Tammy Wilson, a legal nurse consultant, and the late Harrison Wilson III, a Dartmouth-educated lawyer.
“I have gone through a lot of ups and downs in my life. I’ve seen a lot of good things, I’ve seen a lot of bad.
“But I’ve also had a lot of great things happen in my life, too, because I’ve always persevered.”
The Seahawks practiced outside for the first time this week. All but nine of them, that is. DE Michael Bennett has a new toe injury and PR/KR/WR Bryan Walters has a new concussion, according to Thursday’s practice participation report from the team. They joined LB Bobby Wagner (turf toe), C Max Unger (sprained foot), DT Jordan Hill (sprained ankle), CB Byron Maxwell (strained calf) and DT Kevin Williams (rest) in missing practice. … FB Derrick Coleman (broken foot) and TE Zach Miller (ankle surgery) are out for the Carolina game and perhaps for a while after that. Wagner isn’t listed as out, but he’s still in a cast. So don’t expect him back soon. … The Seahawks are trying L.J. Fort at fullback days after they signed him to the practice squad as a linebacker. The team has changed his position on its practice-squad roster. Fort was a three-year starter at linebacker in college at Northern Iowa. Seattle doesn’t have a healthy fullback on the roster with Coleman out. Robert Turbin played about half his 30 snaps as the emergency fill-in fullback last weekend against the Rams. He is preparing to do that again this weekend, if needed. Seattle only runs formations with a fullback on perhaps 25 percent or fewer of its offensive plays in a normal game, anyway. … Turbin was back at practice after missing Wednesday with a shoulder injury. RB Marshawn Lynch and SS Kam Chancellor also returned after resting Wednesday.