The great unveiling of the newlywed quarterback was a little anticlimactic.
The Russell Wilson of global celebrity and jet-set lifestyle looked a lot like the one we’ve seen in recent training camps — focused and in command.
Asked how Wilson looked to him, coach Pete Carroll said: “He’s smiling a lot.”
(Newlywed joke. Ba-dum-dum).
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Unless he ends up dislocating his cheeks from all the grinning, Wilson should be unimpaired by his new circumstances. In fact, he looked midseason sharp on the first day of camp.
At one point, he absolutely smoked a timing pass to tight end Luke Willson for what probably would have been a touchdown in a game situation.
And at the end of the first day of practice Wilson sprinted the length of the field to congratulate long-shot receiver candidate Antwan Goodley on making a nice catch. Remember, this was in a practice in July, not in the final minutes of a playoff game.
There couldn’t be a more vivid sign of Wilson being tuned in and displaying energetic leadership.
So, if he has been distracted by marriage and public scrutiny, or diverted from his typical offseason training regimen, the effects didn’t make themselves manifest Saturday.
But it’s fair to ask Wilson for his take on his new lifestyle, especially since he and wife Ciara (7 million Twitter followers) open the door to their lives with regular social-media updates.
For a player who always claimed there is “no time to sleep,” we can assume there was even less time given the pace of recent events.
Doesn’t something have to give?
“I’m always motivated,” he said. “I’m always motivated to be the best in the world at playing quarterback, and winning more games than 31 other teams.”
That’s the mission and vision, Wilson said. That hasn’t changed.
But how to fit it all in?
“For me, it’s (being) more efficient and also more purposeful,” he said. “Every hour counts, every minute counts.”
Wilson was engaged to the rhythm-and-blues singer last season, so exposure to the public eye beyond the typical sphere of sports is not something entirely new.
But it has to take up time. And its effect on him is something nobody can predict.
At the end of last season, when Wilson led the NFL in passer efficiency and put together a stretch of excellence that was among the best in league history, Carroll said an offseason goal was to work with Wilson to elevate his game even further.
Carroll wanted to school him on defensive theory, to broaden his understanding of what opponents were going to try to do to slow him down.
Carroll was asked after practice if he’d had those meetings with Wilson during this hectic offseason.
“We have done some, not as much as I would like; I thought we would have more opportunities, but with the schedule it didn’t work out that way,” Carroll said, before making it clear he wasn’t concerned. “We’re doing great; we’re on the topic regularly, so we’re growing together.”
Wilson, Carroll said, “is at a tremendous level right now. … He’s going to continue to get better and continue to improve.”
So, they didn’t have a chance to get in all of the “master’s classes” in quarterbacking that Carroll hoped.
Let’s remember a couple of things. Players are allowed to have personal lives. All of them do, but they just don’t get the same publicity as Wilson and Ciara.
It’s good to note that nobody with a rational mind could have imagined how much Wilson has done for the Seahawks franchise to this point.
So, if Wilson gets sacked 31 times in the first seven games this fall — as he did last season — let’s remember that it might have something to do with permeable protection rather than blame the new Mrs. Wilson.