This is not exactly the way Russell Wilson usually says it, but for the Seattle Seahawks this time of year, the preparation is in the separation.
For the third consecutive spring, the quarterback has rounded up teammates and fled to warmer climes to get a jump on offseason workouts.
Earlier getaways were in California and included receivers and backs, while this one involves a charter plane to Hawaii and defensive players, as well.
Next year? Australia with wives, kids and ballboys?
Why not? This is a team that can use some non-stressful time together for healing and camaraderie.
The temptation is to liken this to one of those cheesy corporate team-building retreats, except for millionaire mesomorphs.
The difference in this Spring Break in Hawaii, it appears, is that work is actually accomplished, running routes, working on timing, learning or reinforcing an understanding of teammates’ capabilities.
There has been some testimony that these things prove valuable when the season rolls around.
During the Seahawks’ Super Bowl run in 2013, receiver Doug Baldwin said his improved rapport with Wilson had its roots in their California workouts.
The first I heard of these things was when the Saints were on their run to a Super Bowl title and teammates talked about how important were the offseason workouts that quarterback Drew Brees arranged and financed.
But, face it, the Seahawks didn’t have to go to Hawaii to find a place to brush up on their routes.
This is about more than football.
Following this via Instagram feeds, it’s clear that Wilson exploited his endorsement connections with Alaska Airlines to facilitate a charter flight. “Thanks @alaskaair for providing a Boeing charter for my teammates and I to go on our annual training trip!” Wilson’s feed reads.
The pictures from others involve a lot of players smiling and having fun.
Newcomer Jimmy Graham is in some of them. Newly arrived from New Orleans, Graham’s ability to fit in with the incumbent Seahawks was questioned.
He’s a high-priced tight end talent who starred on a team the Hawks had played often recently, and grown weary of their company.
I suspect that a trip to Hawaii this time of year might make for a pleasant honeymoon period for all involved. Who can’t get along at the traditional luau with umbrella drinks?
What happens is this: Before these guys even get in front of the coaches at the headquarters, they’ll have already seen each other in action. Seahawks will have seen Graham’s talent and sensed the ways he can make them better. And Graham can see what they expect from each other in workouts.
One of the pictures shows a mock fight between Graham and linebacker Bruce Irvin, who demonstrated the greatest disdain for Graham as an opponent. Seahawks teammates are holding the two away from each other, in theatric fear of an impending Hawaiian punch.
This time, it’s all in fun, and seems the perfect way to defuse a potential awkward situation.
At night, on the beach, under a golden moon, they might all form a drum circle and chant secret incantations (We all we got … we all we need, perhaps?).
What’s really important about this is the same thing that’s been important for this team all along, that they seem to have bought into it. It’s another shared experience to call upon.
Perhaps any day now, Wilson will get a huge contract extension. Sometimes that kind of thing upsets the delicate balance of egos in a locker room.
But time together in Hawaii would seem an effective antidote to jealousy and divisiveness.
Cue the ukuleles and swaying palms.