The Seahawks will take this "alternate."
A day after Russell Wilson was left off the Pro Bowl roster as an all-star alternate, the league this morning named Seattle's quarterback as the NFC's offensive player of the week. That was for him throwing for a regular-season career-high 339 yards and two touchdowns on 20 completions in 31 attempts and running for 88 yards and another score in the 35-6 dismantling of the Arizona Cardinals. In that game Wilson became the first NFL quarterback since Randall Cunningham in 1990 to have an 80-yard pass (to Luke Willson for a touchdown) and a 50-plus-yard run in a game.
This is the second time Wilson has won the award this season, and fourth time in his three-season career.
Wilson won for the 35th regular-season victory last weekend. That extended his NFL record for most by a quarterback in the first three seasons of a career, two more than Dan Marino.
The two active NFL quarterbacks with the best winning percentages (minimum of 20 starts) are Tom Brady (160-46, .777) and Wilson (35-12, .745).
Wilson will have his weekly press conference this afternoon before the Seahawks (11-4) practice then take Christmas Day off tomorrow. They return Friday for a final full practice before Sunday's home game against St. Louis (6-9). A win in that game gives Seattle the NFC West title and the No. 1 seed in the conference's playoffs (as long as the 1-in-478 chance of Green Bay and Detroit tying doesn't happen).
Wilson is 21-2 in his career at home. That the most home wins in the first three seasons of a career for a quarterback in NFL history.
--Here from yesterday are some video and the transcript of coach Pete Carroll's press conference. Note the very last question I asked him about Marshawn Lynch:
December 23, 2014
(OPENING STATEMENT…) “Coming off the Arizona game, a night where we had a great night playing football, kicks us into the holiday week here. All of us want to wish everyone a Happy Holidays and a Merry Christmas. It’s a big week; a lot is going on in football, but a lot is going on in the rest of the world, too, and we are going to try and do everything we can to enjoy the holiday as much as possible, which really means finishing this week with a nice win. We got a week behind us that we are real proud of, and the way the guys played and the way they rallied together was a great setup for this opportunity this week against the Rams. It’s very much like it was last year—as far as the whole postseason stuff—but we are tuned in and we want to get in a great week, as you might expect. This is a championship weekend, so we are going to play this week like we know how to, and we are going to have a great week preparing and getting after it and [we are] looking forward to coming home to CenturyLink and the 12th Man. We are excited about all of this and [we are] looking forward to it.”
(HOW TO ADJUST ON CHRISTMAS….) “We will take the break on Christmas Day and we’ll work on Christmas Eve. We’ll recognize it like we did last year—it worked out pretty well for us last time around.”
(ON THE OFFENSIVE LINE…) “We were much improved—obviously we got sacked a bunch the first time around against those guys, so that improved. Plus, the yards rushing was a great statement coming through. I think the guys worked really well together—give a lot of credit to the coaches because they were making sure everyone was communicating against a very challenging front. We got that done and we handled it. We were better versed and cleaner in our communications. Even with the stadium and all, we talked really well at the line of scrimmage and things worked out fine. Alvin (Bailey) played a nice football game, Patrick (Lewis) did a good job, and all the guys did a good job. It was a good outing for us.”
(ON TOM CABLE…) “Tom’s got a great system, and he has worked really hard at the communications and verbiage and the principles of the language, [which is] so important, and it is really embedded [in his coaching style]. He is a great teacher and [he] takes great pride to make sure that group is really coordinating well. He moves guys around a lot over the course of the year to make sure they are well versed on the line, so that when you’re forced to make those decisions, guys are better versed and prepared for it. He does a masterful job. It hasn’t been easy—we have a had a lot of changes this year, I don’t know what the numbers are on that—but there’s been a lot of moving parts and he has commanded it really well for us.”
(ON WHO TO STARTS ON THE LINE THIS WEEK…) “We will wait and see as we go through the week. We will wait and see, give us a few days to figure that out.”
(ON MAX UNGER’S STATUS…) “He’s trying to get back. He won’t do much today, maybe we’ll get something out of him tomorrow. It’s going to be touch-and-go to get him by the game—it’s just been a long, arduous process getting him back. Unfortunately I would love to tell you he is cranking and ready to go, but I can’t tell you that right now.”
(ON PATRICK LEWIS’ PERFORMANCE…) “He played well, he did a nice job against them. We thought he held up well, so in the competitive world we are living in, if there’s an edge here or there we are trying to give a guy a shot, and that’s what Tom wanted to do with it and Patrick came soon.”
(ON RUSSELL OKUNG’S STATUS…) “He is practicing with us today and has a real good chance to get back.”
(ON JERMAINE KEARSE’S STATUS…) “It’s going to be tough for him to be back. He did tear his hamstring a little bit—it was a first degree pull—but it’s going to tough to be back in seven days and we’ll check at the end of the week and see where he is.”
(ON COOPER HELFET…) “He is practicing today, just toughing it out. It was an admirable week by him, to get banged like he did and make it through the game, and really to come back out here now. He will make it through the week and see if he can be available for us on the weekend. Tony (Moeaki) practiced today, too, so that would give us a boost if both of those guys are back and fighting forward and we’ll figure it out once we get the week through.”
(ON PREPARING FOR CHIPPINESS OF ST. LOUIS RAMS…) “We don’t prepare any differently. We are trying to play the game we want to play, and play it on our terms as best as we can, and not be taken out of that. This is no different than any other game, although we do recognize something happened last week. That’s not going to change anything.”
(ON JEFF FISHER…) “He is a great coach, and he has been around a long time. He has pulled off a lot of great plays and great finishes, and he’ll surprise you with all kinds of things over the years—he has a great bag of tricks. We honor that and respect it. Unfortunately, we have been the victim of that a couple of times, to his credit. We will very much be on the alert, and we need to play a very sound game against him. It isn’t just in special teams, but it has been a focal point for them, and (John) Fassel does a really good job with their group.”
(ON PREPARING FOR TRICK PLAYS…) “We have to know the history, and we dig very deep to make sure we know all the things they’ve done in the past, going way back. Also, it’s more than that—it’s the awareness that you have to have of sensing the right numbers on the field, the right looks on the field goal teams, if everyone is where they’re supposed to be, scanning the sidelines—you always have to be on alert. It’s good for us; it’s how you should play. Unfortunately, not everyone does, and you miss things, so we have to do a good job of that.”
(ON THE CONTINUITY OF SPECIAL TEAMS…) “It’s enormously important. The continuity, all the stuff those guys have to share and learn and count on one another, has to do with continuity. It’s an area of your football team that always has some kind of fluctuation, but to the system being able to remain intact is very important so you don’t make mistakes and you don’t have the big plays that can change the game. We lost a few guys right in the middle of it that were really the core guys. Derrick Coleman—that was a big deal losing him, he was such a big factor for us. You just have to overcome it and we’ve come back now. The guys have done a nice job where we feel comfortable—we have backup help now, we have guys who can jump in and give us flexibility. We should be OK at this point, but it was hard in the middle.”
(ON THAROLD SIMON’S STATUS…) “He felt pretty good today and he will get some work tomorrow and see how far he can take it. This will be an amazing recovery if he is able to do it. He had a real knock on his shoulder, but he feels pretty good. He has been through it before on his other shoulder, so that helps sometimes. It seems like he has a chance… There’s some stuff happening. It was a traumatic shot on his shoulder. He’s made it back from it and to this point he’s admirably pushing to play this week. He’s going for it.”
(ON CHRIS MATTHEWS’ STATUS…) “He will get work tomorrow and we will see where is. He had a good weekend; he made it through his running routine on the weekend, he is going to have a good day today and we will try to practice him tomorrow.”
(ON DEMARCUS DOBBS…) “He is getting closer. We are going to take a look at him tomorrow.”
(ON MAX UNGER’S INJURY…) “It’s a severely sprained ankle, a high ankle sprain. Sometimes those ankle sprains don’t go away for a whole season and guys get brought back early because they feel they can go and it just lingers and never gets right. So, if he can make it this week, we’ll go and we’ll see what happens.”
(ON THE KEY TO THE LOSS AT ST. LOUIS…) “The big plays in the kicking game were the difference. There were three really enormous plays—the one punt return for a touchdown, the big kickoff return that sets up the score, and the fake that allowed them to hold the football. We felt really good about winning the game if we got the ball back that last time. Those were three enormous plays and those guys put it together, so that was a great way to get us.”
(ON LOSING AT ST. LOUIS…) “We didn’t play very well, and we were a little disappointed when we looked at the film of how we played on defense. Hopefully that will factor into helping us. It’s going to be a very challenging game. Look at what they’ve done—shut out two teams, I don’t think we’ve ever shut two teams in a row out, and that’s an enormous accomplishment. They came back next week and gave up 12 points, that’s [an average of] four points over a three-week span, that’s crazy numbers. We have a lot of respect for this team, these coaches, and these players. They probably have the most athletic team we’ll face all year long, probably the fastest group we will see. I know they are young, but they are very athletic. We will have our hands full.”
(ON THE SPECIAL TEAMS BOARD…) “It is a common thought to keep score and track things. For the guys who are really competitive, they want their name to be on the board and be on top of that board. That’s an old Dean Smith thing, by the way.”
(ON SETTING A GOAL FOR WILSON’S RUSH YARDS…) “No, we don’t. The games dictate that somewhat. If they give us an opportunity for him to run, we are going to take it. It’s not something we are going to force the issue on, we don’t want him getting hit, we are trying to get him from getting it. He does a great job of that himself, but that’s part of scheme, too, we don’t want to put him in harm’s way. That’s not how it goes, we take what we can get.”
(ON GAINING A FRANCHISE-RECORD 596 YARDS…) “We were fortunate to have big plays, you have to have big plays to do that, and we had enormous plays—the 80-yard touchdown, the 79-yard touchdown, his big 55-yard run, Doug (Baldwin)’s big play up the sideline—you got to have explosive plays, but what happened in this game was when the opportunity was there, he nailed it. Sometimes a ball gets overthrown and you don’t make the connection, and the two big runs factored in. They were there, they took chances, he delivered the ball, and away we go. Really good execution, coming through with the catches and the throws, and really challenging the schemes they were coming at us with, and I think it worked out well for us. I think there are two or three teams that have thrown the ball for 400 yards against those guys, we were just fortunate.”
(ON STEVEN HAUSCHKA’S MISSED FIELD GOALS…) “No, he is good. He’s good. That’s as big of a fluke as you could imagine. He’s kicked great for us for years, we’ve counted on him, and he’s always come through, and he’ll do it again.”
(ON TALKING TO HAUSCHKA OR LETTING HIM FIGURE IT OUT HIMSELF…) “No, I talked to him a couple times.”
(ON LUKE WILLSON’S SPEED…) “He ran 4.5s, that’s great time for tight ends. He didn’t get a lot of attention in college and that’s a great job by John (Schneider) and his guys to find him as a prospect. And to work him out with the thought that he could be the guy he is now. This is the guy we hoped we could get, that’s rare speed for a tight end and he’s shown it. He’s made a couple big plays, but that was a great game for him to show how strong he is.”
(ON WILLSON’S DEVELOPMENT…) “It has taken some time. When we had Zach (Miller) we moved him around a little bit more and he wasn’t the primary tight end all of the time. Just the consistency of our need for him to be on it has been a difference for him, but he has answered the call. He is a really strong kid in terms of his competiveness, study habits, attention to detail—he is as all-in as anyone we have on this team. He has really gained and learned a lot from Zach, Zach was a great teacher for him. Now that he has the job, he has done a really consistent job. He will continue to get better and his blocking will always improve. He came from a place where he had a lot of ground to make up, so he’s done a great job.”
(ON RUSSELL WILSON’S ABILITY TO READ THE DEFENSE…) “Certainly it was. Picking up Luke on the first corner route, generally that route is covered, they made an error there and he took advantage of it and threw a great ball. The blitz [was] picked up a couple of times—those are great sights by Russell to recognize it. That’s what he is asked to do and he did it beautifully; we scored and had a big play on the other one. That’s tremendous illustrations of his growth and experience, so nice job.”
(ON WILSON PICKING UP THE BLITZ…) “At times he’s been able to do that. He hid it in one game in particular. They would just keep coming and he would make the right decisions and right choices. It’s better than he was a while back, but he’s recognized those situations as full blitz situations and that’s the best it’s looked. He came through for us.”
(ON THE NUMBER OF ATTEMPTS TO SCORE IN THE DUDE PERFECT VIDEO…) “Oh shoot, I’ll never tell. That’s the first shot. The camera was rolling and all of a sudden it just happened.”
(ON HOW OFTEN MARSHAWN LYNCH PLAYS THROUGH STOMACH PAINS…) “More than a couple. There’s been a handful of times where he can’t quite get right at the start of the game, it’s something you can’t perfectly time—it happens when it happens. We recognize he’s got his little ritual to get ready and sometimes it doesn’t line up just right.”