That was the Seahawks' quarterback's answer to how he "ignores the noise" during a championship-game week, which he and the Seahawks keep saying is just another game week for them.
Wilson improved to 17-3 in December, Janaury and February when he threw for 268 yards and three touchdowns on just 15 completions last weekend in the divisional round against Carolina. He was 8 for 8 for 199 yards and all three scores on third downs.
He enters Sunday's NFC title game against Green Bay 5-1 in the postseason, and his 40 wins are an NFL record for quarterbacks in the first three seasons of a career.
Wilson says he believes players can indeed be clutch, and that it's something he strives to be. He also said his largest areas of growth this season have been in leadership, and on getting the ball out more quickly before the pass rush gets to him. Offensive-line coach Tom Cable said after practice today that's been one of the big reasons, offensively, for Seattle's ongoing seven-game winning streak, Wilson getting the ball out quickly and understanding how teams are attacking him and then exploiting it.
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Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said Wilson's visualization of success and game situations are at a level above anyone he's coached. And Bevell coached Brett Favre in Minnesota before coming to Seattle. That, Bevell said, is why Wilson is so poised in these mega games.
Wilson credited two people for that. And it was cool to hear.
"My parents (Tammy and the late Harrison) raised me the right way. They've taught me, and I've been through a lot in my life, good and bad," Wilson, who has described himself as a bully growing up, said. "So I think this game is something that I'm gifted to be able to play.
"One of the greatest gifts I have is obviously to play in the game of football and what God gave me, but also my parents always in terms of pushing me to play multiple sports. I think for me, being able to play football, basketball, baseball, this generation a lot of times either parents or high school coaches or kids just in general they just want to play one sport. But for me I think that helps my game, first of all, in terms of being able to make different throws and all that.
"But also my mental game. I've been in so many situations where the game's been on the line or so many times where you've been down a lot or the season is going well or not well, whatever the circumstances are. But you know how to get through those moments and also the rest of the things that happen in your life as well. So it's all a culmination of everything. That's one of the things I'm grateful for."
It's cool for an athlete to constantly credit his parents for his success, as Wilson does about every other week. As a parent, that would make me ridiculously proud.
It's also instructive for kids to know specializing in one sport as a teen -- or, worse, a pre-teen -- can cost him or her experiences like those Wilson is talking about, which can carry over from sports to life.
Here is what else Wilson had to say today:
QB RUSSELL WILSON
NFC Championship Press Conference
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Q Clay Matthews, he's been sort of ‑‑ he moved to the middle on run downs now, how much more difficult does that make to find him. I know you'll be aware of him?
RUSSELL WILSON: Yeah, you have to always be aware of Clay. He's moving around, playing defensive end and outside linebacker and middle linebacker, all over the field. One of the best players in the National Football League. You have to be aware for where he is. And he's got tons of talent. It's going to be a great matchup going up against him.
Q You have four different centers this year. And now you've got Max Unger back, what's that meant to you? Has that forced you to adjust from week‑to‑week and what's it like having Max back, comfort?
RUSSELL WILSON: It's been an interesting year in terms of that. We've had four different centers. Obviously you lose your Pro Bowl center in the middle of the year in Max Unger, and the rest of the guys stepped up. You think about [Steve] Schilling who stepped up first for us and he ended up getting hurt.
And then P-Lew [Patrick Lewis] stepped up and did a great job for us. Lem [Lemuel Jeanpierre] as well. And it's been a nonfactor, though. That's the biggest thing, being able to make plays and being able to communicate and be great for us in those moments in a lot of big moments, too.
And to have Max Unger back, that's a huge thing. He's been playing great football for three years since I've been here and this year, when he's been in there, he's been unbelievable. To have him back in there, I think makes our offense a little more efficient, maybe just in terms of communication, just a little bit faster. He's seen so many plays and done so many things and played in so many big matchups. So that's crucial for us I think. The great thing, though, is we have other guys that can step in and play.
Q What did you take from this week last year that you can maybe bank on, lean on, the experience from this game a year ago that you'll take with you this week?
RUSSELL WILSON: I think this week is no different than any other week. I also say this, cliche, going 1‑0, trying to find a way to ignore all the noise.
Yeah, there's a few more people in here now. But just be in the moment. And you just enjoy it for what it is. Stay focused on the fundamentals, have great communication, be engaged in the moments you're in and there in practice and also obviously the game.
And the field is still 100 yards, 53 and a third. It's still the great game you wake up in the morning to play. It's no different.
Q How do you ignore the noise, turn off your radio, TV?
RUSSELL WILSON: I don't read any of y'all's articles. Don't turn on the TV or watch ESPN. Sorry. But I just try to stay focused on the things I need to stay focused on.
Q You used the phrase, “I think I was made for these situations” or something after the game Saturday, your postseason numbers show it, what's allowed you to play well in these games?
RUSSELL WILSON: I think one of the things that definitely allows me to play well is the guys around me. I've got great guys around me, guys that want to work every day, guys that are devoted to being successful and no matter what it takes. And just those moments. I think that when you're in those moments, you either live for them or you fall off.
And I think that for me I look forward to those moments. I visualize myself ever since I was a little kid to be in these moments. I've visualized it being fourth and seven and visualized third downs and red zones.
So so many times that I've been in those situations in my mind. And so I believe I've had a lot of success and I've had some failures in it all, but I think that anytime I'm in those situations I keep trusting every time I'll have success and keep believing that's going to happen in the right way for me.
Q What did you think of Jermaine Kearse’s catch, especially when you watch it on film, the way he caught it with one hand?
RUSSELL WILSON: The guy can catch anything. Jermaine's had an unbelievable year for us. Doug Baldwin as well. But seeing that one‑handed catch for us, that was ‑‑ I didn't know he caught it one‑handed during the game. I didn't see him catch it one‑handed. I just saw him go over the top.
I call it like Willie Mays. He's like Willie Mays out there, him catching the football and sprinting to the end zone, that was a pretty phenomenal play. And I get home and, I'm actually at dinner actually, and they're showing it on the TV at Metropolitan Grill, and I see the catch and I go, Oh, man he caught that one‑handed. I didn't know that he did that. So that was pretty phenomenal.
Q Percy Harvin was obviously a big factor in the first Packers game. You've talked about it before, but with the rematch coming up, how is your offense different, the intent of your offense, the construction of it, since he was traded and you guys have kind of gotten back on step?
RUSSELL WILSON: We haven't done anything much since the trade. I think Percy Harvin is a phenomenal football player. I'm wishing nothing but the best for him. But for us, we've been focusing on how we get the ball to Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse and all the guys we have.
We'll miss Paul Richardson. He's a guy that really stepped up. This guy played some great football in the past several weeks.
So we're going to miss him. But we have other guys that are going to come in and play great football. So I don't think our offense has changed at all. We still want to be a physical running football team. We want to have great balance and be 50/50 in that way, in attack the defense and just make plays.
I think Percy's ability was definitely something that was good for us. But at the same time we have guys that have really stepped up and really made plays. And Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse have definitely led the way in that.
Q Talk about your connection with Luke Willson on the field. Could you talk about his emergence and the chemistry you've developed now?
RUSSELL WILSON: It's always good throwing to another ‘Wilson’. That guy, he's played some unbelievable football in the past several weeks. He keeps growing. A lot of people don't know this, but he didn't play that much football in college in the sense of getting a lot of catches.
So when he got here, he had great hands already, had great speed. Just getting out there, getting the game reps, getting the practice reps against the best defense in the National Football League. And he's continuing to build his repertoire and just keeps going.
So I think that Luke Willson has really been a phenomenal football player for us this season and he keeps making plays, keeps showing up. He's hard to tackle. He's got that 4.5 speed. He can do a lot of things for us.
Q From one quarterback to another quarterback, what did you think about Aaron Rodgers' performance last week with that torn calf muscle?
RUSSELL WILSON: Shows true grit him out there making the throws he can make. Aaron's one of the best in the business for sure. He can do a lot of things. I've got a lot of respect for him, how he plays the game.
Q How does Julius Peppers change your approach this week?
RUSSELL WILSON: It doesn't change our approach. You just gotta know where he is. You got a guy that's played a lot of great football, been one of the best ever to do it. Hall of Fame‑type player over there on the right‑hand side for the most part.
So Julius Peppers, he can do a lot of things. He knows how to get to the quarterback and knows how to make plays and you have to be aware of it.
Q What do you feel your rapport is with Kevin Norwood at this point, missed all of training camp, didn't get as many reps during the season for you. But where do you feel where your connection is with him?
RUSSELL WILSON: Kevin Norwood has been a guy that's been trustworthy, a guy that you can throw the ball to and he'll catch anything. I forget which game it was, but a couple of weeks ago he caught that ball on the sideline, races down to the five‑yard line.
He's done a lot of things for us. Carolina Panthers game the first time we played them in Carolina, made a great spinning catch on a second or third down. So many things he's been able to do.
He's got great hands and he's played in big‑time football games before in the past playing Alabama. He's only a rookie. So he's played in some huge games before. Nothing's too big for him. I'm not worried about him at all.
Q Besides getting up an hour early, does the noon kickoff time ‑‑ you usually play at one at home. Does that change anything?
RUSSELL WILSON: You've got to move everything up an hour, that's the only thing that changes. You'll be excited for that morning when you wake up and all that. I think for me I just try to be the calm in the storm. I don't try to be too excited or too down either.
I'm just looking forward to the moment and just getting out there and having an opportunity to play the game.
Q From the rookie year until now, do you think you've improved as a pocket passer, the guy that can move around in the box instead of running?
RUSSELL WILSON: For sure. It's something I've always tried to pride myself on is keep getting better. Every day see how much more I can learn, see how much I can get better in terms of getting the ball out quick and throwing the ball in time and trusting my eyes and trusting what I'm seeing and delivering accurate football to those guys.
So those guys around me will help me get better. Those guys around me do a great job of being in the right spot at the right time.
Q Russell, you talked about kind of preparing for big moments. Do you believe in the idea of clutch players or somebody being clutch?
RUSSELL WILSON: Oh, for sure. I think that's something that I tried to pride myself on. I think any great player has to be clutch.
And I'm always trying to be in that moment, always trying to be there in that space there. I think it's a mental space that you have to be in. You have to ‑‑ you can't shy away from those moments.
So for me, I think that it's something that I try to rely on and just try to visualize myself being in every week.
Q How good of an athlete is B.J. Daniels?
RUSSELL WILSON: Crazy athlete. I argue that the quarterback is the most athletic guy on the team. I don't know what these other guys think. But we can throw it. We can run. We can shoot. There's all these other things. I can't shoot, I can pass.
B.J.'s one of those guys that can do it all. So it will be exciting. I'm excited for him that he's active and ready to play.
Q What do you think about Ricardo Lockette getting opportunities with Paul Richardson out?
RUSSELL WILSON: I'm excited for Lockette. Obviously down that Paul Richardson is out, but excited for Ricardo Lockette. He scored a touchdown the last time we played the Packers. He's a physical player, guy that has tremendous speed and can run every single route in the book and great talent. And he's prepared. He works hard at it to get ready. So I'm excited for him.
Q How does it help your offense when you're getting rid of the ball more quickly?
RUSSELL WILSON: I think in terms of protection, it helps us get it out and get the ball to the right guy at the right time and it causes problems for the defense. It's harder to tackle the guy when you get the ball out, either the linebackers or the DBs are still backing up and this guy's stopping in front of them or a guy's running in on a slant route or breaking out on an out route. Whatever the route is. So it's hard to tackle those guys.
I think that's something that definitely I'm trying to pride myself on is getting the ball out on time, but still making those plays and still trusting myself and I just trust my instincts on it and trust the preparation.
Q From what you've seen of the Packers, how has it helped that Matthews has moved inside?
RUSSELL WILSON: I'm not sure it helps at all. I thought you meant how does it help us. He's on the field; it never really helps you.
But in terms of their defense, I think that he's in the middle of the field. He's on the left side. He's on the right side. He's in the middle, can still go either way and still get to the ball. Like I said, one of the best players in the game. A lot of respect for how he plays the game.
Q Where do you think you've just gotten better this year as a quarterback in your career?
RUSSELL WILSON: Hopefully leadership. Hopefully that's one of the things. And I think just continuing to be in that. And I think also just in terms of my game, I think just knowing the situations and knowing how to get the ball out on time, too, I think those are the three things I try to pride myself on and try to continue to work on.
I don't think the game's ever figure it out. I think you always are trying to find something new and try to contain to build. I always tell my quarterback coach, KTN, keep taking notes. Just keep learning. As much as I can learn. Whatever it is.
If we're in walk‑through and going through two‑minute situations and let's say the second team guys are going, just making sure I'm paying attention, making sure that I'm aware of those situations and feeling those situations out. So that way, like I said earlier, when I'm in the game I visualize those situations and hopefully I'll be successful.
Q People always talk about how hard it is to repeat, but as a young player you're constantly improving. Do you feel this team, even though you won last year, that this team is playing as good now offense, defense, special teams as you've ever seen them play the whole time you were here?
RUSSELL WILSON: Yeah. I think when you go through a season, you always want to keep progressing as a team and also as an individual. You want to just keep building. That's the thing that I think that our defense does, our offense does, special teams, coaches do.
We just continue to build. And every time we walk into the building there's something new to learn. There's something new to do. And there's something more to accomplish.
And so for us, when we have these opportunities to learn something new or to work on something or to get better at something or to keep improving on something, I think that it gives us a better chance.
And so like I said earlier, when you visualize those situations, they come around to you and you're successful on those opportunities.
Q You talked about being the calm in the storm, not letting the moment be too big, and all that. Was there ever a time high school, college, the moment it did get the better of you and you didn't play very well?
RUSSELL WILSON: I hope not. I can't really remember. At least I try to block it out of my mind if I had that moment. But I just think that my parents raised me the right way. They've taught me ‑‑ I've been through a lot in my life, good and bad. So I think this game is something that I'm gifted to be able to play.
I was on an interview earlier on the phone and they were asking me about similar question you asked me. I said one of the greatest gifts I have is obviously to play in the game of football and what God gave me but also my parents always in terms of pushing me to play multiple sports.
I think for me, being able to play football, basketball, baseball, this generation a lot of times either parents or high school coaches or kids just in general they just want to play one sport. But for me I think that helps my game, first of all, in terms of being able to make different throws and all that.
But also my mental game. I've been in so many situations where the game's been on the line or so many times where you've been down a lot or the season is going well or not well, whatever the circumstances are. But you know how to get through those moments and also the rest of the things that happen in your life as well. So it's all a culmination of everything. That's one of the things I'm grateful for.
Q It's been a couple of years now. How much does that Atlanta 2012 Divisional Playoff game still kind of motivate you? Do you think about that game two years later and you're so fired up after that game to get back on the field the next year, how much do you think about that moment?
RUSSELL WILSON: That's definitely something that I go back to, walking off that field in the playoff game against Atlanta. And my rookie year, that was a tough game. Came back and they made a great play and they kick a field goal and we lose the game.
Unbelievable game one for the ages, something that you never want to feel again. You don't want to lose ever again, that type of feeling. So I'm the first one to say I don't like losing, that's for sure. And so when you're in those big games like that, that's something that you think about. You think about what you've been through and just being in the moment and just seeing how you can find a way to win.
The goal this week is to score one more point than them. No matter how many points it takes, no matter if the score is 7‑6 or 45‑46, whatever it takes, we want to score one more point.
Q Is your team as strong as it was or is it stronger, considering?
RUSSELL WILSON: I think the story will tell. But I think in my opinion I think we're stronger. I think we're the same guys we had last year but we're just a little bit better. We found a way ‑‑ I think this year's a little bit better, just because we were kind of against ‑‑ we were 3 and 3, kind of going against the odds. And people said there's no way they're going to get back to where they want to go.
And so that's something that we think about. We have that edge, and we believe in that and we believe in stepping up and finding a way.
When we were 6 and 4, I knew we were going to go find a way to be 12 and 4. I'm just happy that I am with this team and I have great guys around me and great people around me and the best fans in the National Football League to be part of. I think we're definitely better. But we'll see what happens.
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