Just filed my story for tomorrow's News Tribune on Russell Wilson saying "Percy and I never had differences" and "there's no division in our locker room," in response to the media reports around the country this week that have claimed otherwise about the 3-3 Seahawks.
Here is all what Wilson said today before the outdoor practice at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center:
QB Russell Wilson
October 23, 2014
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(On of all the stuff that quarterbacks are graded on, where does staying on the field and staying healthy for your team along with keeping your team healthy rank) Well I think there are a lot of variables to being a successful quarterback. I definitely believe simply being on the field all the time and getting those reps with your guys and also making smart decisions, whether if it’s me running the football and sliding and getting out of bounds, whether if it’s taking unnecessary hits. You want to be healthy; you want to play out the whole entire season. I’ve been able to do that so far in my career, I would say knock on wood but I’m not superstitious. I believe that the guys do a great job of fighting for me and playing at their best ability. I think something that we always talk about in the quarterback room is always protect the quarterback meaning just get out of bounds, get down, making the smart decision.
(On what he means when he says get into a position where you don’t hurt your team) Yeah, I think also too, playing the quarterback position, there’s a certain calculated risk to a lot of those decisions that you make throughout the game. There are certain times when you have to go for it and its fourth & 15; you have to throw it no matter what. There are certain situations where you still have four or five minutes left in the game and you trust your defense to make a play so you may have to throw it away. So those smart decisions, I think evolve into great opportunities for your defense to make a big play but also another opportunity for your offense to get back out on the field.
(On how he’s never had a stretch where the team has lost three times in six games and how does he feel the morale of the team is at this stage and if he feels that there is an added pressure on them right now) You know, I don’t think that there is any added pressure. I just know that every week for us it truly is a championship mentality. I think we haven’t played our best football. We’ve played some good football and we’ve played some great football against some great teams. You think about the Packers, you think about the Broncos, some other teams, you know. So that’s the part that you have to grab on to. We lost to the Cowboys, a team that probably is arguably one of the best teams in football right now. We lost to them and we were up 23-20 with third & 20 and Tony Romo makes a great play. He’s a great quarterback and he makes an unbelievable play so you think about that. There are so many great things that we’re doing. There are a few things that we need to fix. That’s the part that we lean on, that’s the part that we practice for. That’s where we believe that we’re going to step up and make the plays when we need to.
(On if he thinks that the offense took a step forward in the second half against the Rams) Well, I definitely believe, in terms of offensively, we were able to make some huge plays in that second half against the Rams, against a very good defense. They played a very tough game. We were able to get that 80-yard drive, I believe a 90-something-yard drive, another 80-yard drive in a row so those are things that we can do on offense and we need to continue to do.
(On during that stretch, if that’s what the offense should look like with the mix of play calling) I believe with our offense we always want to be explosive. I believe we had 12 explosive plays against the Rams. Those are things that we can do. We have those types of players. We have the receivers, we have the tight ends. We have obviously the running backs, Marshawn [Lynch] and Robert Turbin. So that’s what we want to do, 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 and so those are the things that we are capable of and we have to show up and do that every week.
(On Offensive Coordinator Darrell Bevell saying how important tempo is to an offense and why it’s so important) Well tempo is so essential to an offense because it allows you to stay in rhythm. It allows you to stay on schedule too as well. I think playing offensive football, it’s one of those things when you’re in rhythm; it’s hard to stop an offense. I think that’s something that we’re definitely trying to focus on. It’s definitely something that I think I always need to focus on for our team and getting guys in and out of the huddle and making sure we’re moving quickly and we’re moving on time.
(On how Carolina has struggled on defense this year and how they are different than the team he played last year) Well, they’re just missing the quarterback. They’re right around getting turnovers. They’re right there. Similar to our defense really, our defense is playing some tough football. We’ve gone against some tough offenses. Everybody is right there and I think that’s the same thing that you kind of see in the Panthers as well. So we’re going to have to play our best football, we know how good they are. We know Luke Kuechly is a great football player and all the things that he can do. There are so many other great players on their team so we’re going to have to play A+ football.
(On if he notices a change in the atmosphere in the locker room this week after the trade with Percy Harvin) In terms of Percy, like I said last week, we wish him nothing but the best. I’m praying for him that it works out there in New York and everything. In terms of our locker room, our locker room is great. We have guys that are very positive that really want to work and really want to win and that’s what we need. We need that for sure and we have that. That’s what we’re relying on – the positive mentality of the guys that we have in the room.
(On if he ever had major differences with Percy Harvin at some point or if that’s overblown in the media) Yeah, Percy and I never had differences. We had a lot of similarities probably, if anything. We’re 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 tries to blow everything out of proportion. It is part of it I guess. You have to deal with it but you also ignore it too. Like I always tell you guys, ignore the noise. Percy is a Virginia guy and I wish nothing but the best for him.
(On having so many guys that want the ball and how he approaches that part of it) I try to keep it simple, throw the ball to the right guy at the right time, you know, whoever is open. That’s really what a quarterback position is about, leading your team and trying to keep everybody positive and also facilitating the ball to the right guy at the right time. When you can do that, it gets things in rhythm and offense can make plays.
(On the report that there’s division in the locker room and if there is any truth to that) There’s no division in our locker room. There’s none at all. If anything, I think we’ve continued to build, continued to grow. I truly believe that. I think that the guys that we have in the locker room, the guys that believe that we can still go 1 and 0 and still be a championship team; those are the guys that we have sitting in this room every day. Every morning when we wake up, we’re looking for one common goal and that’s to win football games.
(On what he thought of Robert Turbin filling in as fullback last week) Robert Turbin filling in, “roomie,” him stepping up to play fullback for us last game was huge. He’s so versatile, he can catch, he played receiver, and he can play running back. Obviously he stepped up for us playing the fullback position. Obviously we missed Derrick Coleman, he hurt his foot so I think to have guys that can step up and lead that way and block for Marshawn [Lynch] and make plays and be consistent, he did a great job. I thought he did phenomenal and he’s a star running back too so there are so many things that he can do and that’s what you want to rely on, guys that can do multiple things.
(On how might it help the offense if Robert Turbin and Marshawn Lynch end up on the field at the same time) Well to have those two star-studded players, in terms of Robert Turbin and Marshawn Lynch on the field at the same time, it’s tough on a defense because they can do so many things so it’s versatile. It makes us even that more difficult to cover I believe. It’s a good thing for us.
(On the noise that he is advising everyone to ignore and if he sees that as being a super bowl champion to be scrutinized) I think that you’re going to have a lot of successes and a lot of failures but I think a big part of it is, especially when you’ve won a Super Bowl, especially when things have gone really well, I think a big part of it is also being able to block a lot of the noise and what I mean by saying that is, I don’t watch ESPN, I don’t really read any of (your) articles, no offense, I 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, complete confidence in the person that I’m striving to be every day and the person that I’m working to be. I’m an educated individual that wants to continue to learn and continue to get better at the game of football but also in life so that’s where my focus is every day when I wake up. I don’t pay attention to the outside stuff; it will never make me waver in terms of my confidence so that’s where I am on that.
(On if he’s always been that way or if it started since he came in the NFL) 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. I’ve had a lot of experience. 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. I think that’s something that I try to keep my focus on. God has continued to show me so much grace, just to be the starting quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, come on, it doesn’t get any better so that’s where my focus is every day.
(On is it different for the team ignoring the noise because of the target that’s on their back) I don’t think it’s any different for us. Last year, we had high expectations for ourselves; the media had high expectations for us this year—doesn’t sound like it’s changed. All I know is that we’re 3-3 but all I look at is that we’re 0-0 and we got ten games left; what’s going to happen. So that’s where we have a chance to kind of make a difference and make a statement and we’ll see what happens.
(On is he would have a hard time figuring out the Percy Harvin trade if he were the media) That’s the front office side—I don’t know much about it to be honest with you. At the end of the day, I believe that Percy is going to play and do a great job. Like I said, he’s a great football player. For whatever reason, it didn’t work here but I know that he’ll do a great job. I know that we’re excited about the guys that we have here too; having Paul Richardson to be able to step up and to be able to make plays like he did last week, to have Kevin Norwood to be able to step up and make plays for us, and all the other guys that we have. We have a bunch of guys that are great football players so that’s an exciting thing.
(On what he expects to see from Kevin Norwood and Paul Richardson) Well what you see from Norwood and Richardson, you see so much speed, great hands, and great route running. They’re relentless in the way that they practice. They go against our first team defense every day and the plays that they make, the catches that they make, the blocks that they make—they show up. They did a great job in the preseason, they’ve done a great job so far and for them to step up and come into the game and get activated and play and play at a high level—that’s exciting. That’s an exciting thing for us, exciting thing for our future, and all the things that they can do. You can only ask for an opportunity and when you get that opportunity, will you take full advantage of it? And I know they will—that’s the great thing about Paul Richardson and Kevin Norwood.
(On is Doug Baldwin being in the slot more comfortable for him) Well Doug Baldwin has done an amazing job outside and in the slot with all the things he can do. I think he’s one of the best receiver’s in the league just because he can do so many things; he’s so quick, he can beat you deep down field, he’s got great hands, you’ve seen how many amazing catches he’s made—especially last year. You think about all the big time catches; against Houston, against other teams, the Saints, and he’s shown up for us this year too. So I’m looking forward to continuing to play with Doug and all the plays that he can make.
(On a topic that would get J.R Sweezy to talk more) There’s not too much that J.R. Sweezy is going to talk about—he’s just a hard worker. In terms of line in questioning, I can’t give away everything. The thing I love about J.R. Sweezy is just how far he’s come—you think about a guy that played defense, you think about a guy that went to NC State and he came in; I was in one room and he was in the room next to me. We developed that really good relationship. A guy that played defense and that has transferred into being one of the best guards in football. Maybe asking him about his mindset is probably the best thing to ask him just because I think that he’s a champion in that way. He really is a different and very unique person in that way because to be able to do the things that he can do, at such a high level, that’s what makes J.R. Sweezy so special.