Seahawks Insider Blog

Wilson on Seahawks' run in 2005: 'I knew about Matt Hasselbeck, but other that than that, I didn’t much about the Seahawks'

Here's what Russell Wilson had to say today:

(On how the Seahawks stay focused without letting the importance of the game being a distraction...) “Well I think that we don’t let this game be too big for us is by the way we’ve prepared all year. You know we’ve had that championship mentality all year, trying to have 1 and 0 mentality and going into every game and treating every game as a championship game. So our preparation is the exact same.”

(On how he stays focused...) “I always say, ‘You’re never nervous when you’re prepared.’ So I’m trying to get prepared this week as well as everybody else on our team. There’s still a lot more work to do. It’s our normal Thursday. So we’re going over all of our third down situations and all that. So that’s going to be one of the most important areas of the game obviously is being great on third down, being great in the red zone. So I think that’s the biggest thing. I’m blessed to play the game of football. To be able to play the game of football and to walk out on to the field every Sunday or in this case on Saturday, it’s going to be a tremendous honor.”

(On what the Seahawks could improve on in terms of third downs...) “On third downs, we just got to find a way to capitalize, continue to get the ball out quick, continue to throw the ball to the right guy at the right time, make sure that we’re protected, making sure we’re still running the ball too and give the ball to Marshawn [Lynch] on our short down distances and just do our thing. I think at the end of the day, we want to keep the down and distance short. That’s the main thing. When we’re 3rd and 11 or 3rd and 10 or 3rd and 9, it’s a lot tougher. They have a great football team and a great defense and Coach Rob Ryan, their defensive coordinator, is a tremendous defensive coordinator. So we’re going to have to be prepared in the best way possible.”

(On his assessment on his performance...) “I think in terms of myself, just continuing to do what I’m doing. I think there’s a couple of areas where I can continue to improve, continue to be a guy that’s relentless in the end zone, try to find ways to get the ball to our play makers. I think that’s the biggest thing; trying to find the right guy at the right time.”

(On what it says about the league in terms of the elite quarterbacks in the post-season...)  “Well obviously, I think that for us, it’s a complete team effort for our football team. It’s our defense, it’s our offense, it’s our guys that we have on offense, our special teams. But if you think about the guys that are in the playoffs right now, the quarterbacks and all, it’s a testament to the quarterback’s hard work. To the football teams and how they prepare, how the quarterbacks prepare. I think to be a really good quarterback, you have to clutch. When you watch these past games, these last few weeks, a lot of guys have been clutch and made a lot of great plays and so you enjoy that. That’s what the game is supposed to be about and that’s what the quarterback position is all about.”

(On what degree does he evaluate his growth in the post season when he has a quarterback, like Drew Brees on the other side of the field...) “Well I don’t really worry about the guy on the other side. Obviously Drew [Brees] is a tremendous football player, tremendous quarterback, who I have a lot of respect for as you guys probably know. But I can’t watch his game. I’ve got to focus on the game that I’m playing. But, the post season is critical. I think that you want to do great, you want to play at a high level and I think that to be a big time player, you have to play big time in big games and every big opportunity is a great opportunity to step up and at the same time too, there’s going to be adversity in the game. You have to know that Drew Brees is the other quarterback, he’s going to make some plays and they got a great offense and they’re going to make some plays and they’re going to do some good things over there but at the same time, we have to stay focused on us and stay focused on what I can control and that’s to continue to stay on schedule, be relentless in the red zone, be great on third downs or if I have to run it, get a first down or whatever it is.”

(On if it’s fair for people to judge quarterbacks based on their performance in the post season...) “I think it’s all of your work that you put in. I think it’s all of the work during  the off season, in terms of evaluating your quarterback, in terms of… during the season, you always want to be consistent and I think that’s the biggest thing and to be a great quarterback, you want to be consistent on a weekly basis, you want to be one of the guys that’s always helping your football team win games and being a great, situational quarterback and every year is going to be different But I think in terms of evaluating a quarterback, obviously winning a lot of games and winning games in play offs and hopefully winning Super Bowls, is a great thing. You think about the Tom Bradys the world and that’s what makes him one of the best quarterbacks of all time just because he’s been clutch in the play offs and because he’s been clutch in the past and same as so many other guys like Peyton Manning and Drew Brees and all those other guys as well.”

(On what he believes is his biggest area of growth within the past two seasons...) “I think the thing that I’ve grown a lot, in terms of a particular area is just situational football. Just understanding situations and understanding what to do in those situations and how to be calm and be poised in those situations. I think that’s the biggest thing about playing the quarterback position is being the calm in the storm and just helping everybody else and making the other ten guys in the huddle better. That’s what I try to do come every Sunday, every Saturday.”

(On Percy Harvin's impact to the team if he's cleared to play against the Saints...) “Obviously, Percy Harvin is a tremendous football player. If we can get him out there, that’s a great thing for us. He’s an explosive football player that’s for sure. He looks unbelievable so far. So if that’s the case, we’ll be really happy for him too. I think knowing Percy and becoming real good friends with Percy over the past several months, he’s a guy that loves to play the game of football and that’s what you want on your football team. We have so many of those guys, but he’s a guy… he’s one of the best players in the National Football League for sure and he’s just been itching to play. Hopefully we can get him out there, that’ll be exciting. He’s got a lot of speed, he’s got a lot of quickness, got great hands, he’s very physical, loves to bock, and loves to do things the right way.”

(On Robert Turbin and Marshawn Lynch’s impact on the offense...) “Well you think about Robert Turbin, I mean he’s a starting running back. He’s a guy that can… he’s got all of the ability. he’s got great hands, he’s great in protection; he runs the ball very physical, downhill, hes quick, can make all the plays. So to have a backup running back like Robert Turbin makers a huge difference for our football team and help us win games, especially in the fourth quarter when Marshawn [Lynch] has already rushed for hopefully 150 and you got Robert Turbin coming in the game and getting 10m yards at a time too as well. So he can do it all and I have a lot of respect for Robert Tubrin. He’s a good friend of mine obviously, but he knows how to do it all and then you think about Marshawn Lynch and what he brings to our football team, he brings an edge, he brings a certain skill level that you can’t find. His ability to find holes and ability to hit a hole and to run over somebody or make somebody miss or his desire to get in to the end zone is unmatchable.”

(On what he's learned from playing in the playoffs last year and how that will help his game this year...) “I think the thing you learn in the first time you play in the play offs obviously last year, we went to washing ton D.C. and played the Redskins and then we went to Atlanta and I think the biggest thing is just being able to slow the game down and it’s no different. It’s still 100 yards, it’s still 53 and 1/3, it’s still going to be first, second, third down, it’s still going to be red zone, it’s still going to be two-minute situations. So I think at the end of the day in those games, you just have to be the calm of the storm; you have to bring everybody in and not worry about all the outside things. You have to be able to ignore the noise just stay one play at a time just like always. It’s no different. It’s more exciting, there’s more people watching, and there’s more attention to it. There’s more media here sitting in the room but other than that, it’s no different.”

(On the challenges of staying focused and not being overconfident...) “I think the biggest challenge of forgetting the first game is… we won the game in a pretty good way. We kind of clicked on all cylinders. So this game right here in the playoffs, when you’re playing a team who’s been known to score a lot of points and been known to do a lot of great things and they have a great defensive coordinator and they fly around and make a lot of plays, you have to go into this game… it’s a brand new situation, it’s a brand new day, it’s the playoffs, playoffs are always different, the energy in the stadium is always a little bit more. Like I was just saying is, ‘The key is just being able to slow down the game,’ stay focused on fundamental football, stay focused on the little things and making sure you’re protected, making sure that guys are running the right routes, making sure that your communication in the huddle is great, making sure that you’re really drawing the attention of the guys, and don’t let anything else distract you from that in terms of the media, in terms of the game, what’s going on in the game? Whether you’re up by 20 or down by 20, you have to stay in the moment.”

(On the running game...) “In terms of the running game, we want to be able to run the football downhill, we want to hand the ball off to Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin and let them do their thing and then if I ever run it, just get a positive play out of it. So that’s our key to our offense is how we run the football and we always want to be able to run the football extremely well, we want to be able to get two, three, four yards at a time, and then hopefully by the end of the game, those break into 15-20 yard gains.”

(On how much he thinks about the Falcons game last year…) “As I think back to the game we played against Atlanta last year in the play offs and we were so close, we scored with 30 seconds left in the game. You know, I really don’t think about it anymore. It’s one of those things… well now its playoffs and now you think about okay,  the emotions, the feelings that you go through, the energy that was in that stadium. So you revert back to that so that you have something to grab on to. So you have that experience, but every game is going to be different. Every game. This game is going to be different; a different color uniform that we’re playing against, it’s at home. All of those things, all those variables but at the end of the day, the thing that doesn’t change is first, second, third down, and just making the calls and just trusting your calls and trusting your reads and your preparation that you put in it. So I think for me, that experience is great because obviously playing in the playoffs, it’s a little bit different, it’s a little bit more excitement, a little bit more ‘It’s kind of the end of the road’ type thing, where you really want to finish strong. But at the same time, you don’t put any more added pressure on to yourself.”

(On if playing in the NFC West has helped him prepare to play in the playoffs in terms of the NFC West's tough defenses...) “Yeah I mean playing in the NFC West, it doesn’t get any tougher. It can’t, but in terms of the defenses that you play against. In terms of the defense that I go against every day, you think about that. Just from when I got here last year and all of the experience I had last year and coming in as a rookie and starting as a rookie, going against the ones every day, it’s a challenge. You got two, first team All-Pro players and then you got a second All-Pro safety, who arguably could be the best safety in the game in terms of Kam Chancellor as well. So you got those three guys and then you got Byron Maxwell. So I go against those guys every day and the defensive line and the linebackers. So it doesn’t get any more tough than that and then you think about all of the guys that we’ve played, in terms of the rest of the NFC West. We have a lot respect for the 49ers and what they do and their defense and then you think about the Arizona Cardinals, they had a tremendous year this year, with a new head coach and all of the energy that they bring and all the players that they have that fly around on defense and then you think about the St. Louis Rams, who we had trouble with the first game we played them in St. Louis with our offensive line being gone, but they have arguable one of the best defensive ends whose added up a lot of sacks this year. So you just think about all of the teams that we’ve played just in our division and then I think about going against our defense every day. It’s a challenge and so that prepares us. So that preparation is going to help us in big games.”

(On how much he enjoys the chess match he comes across when playing against Rob Ryan's defense...) “Well it’s always a chess match and I think that obviously Coach Rob Ryan is a tremendous coach. He does a lot of things and he brings a lot of fire from all different directions. So I think the thing is just being protected, making sure that you make the smart decision. Don’t force anything. If it’s not there, just salvage the play, throw it away, or run it and get a couple of yards here or there or hand it off to Marshawn [Lynch] or whatever it is. But also, there are going to be game-altering plays, there’s going to be, I call them G.A.P. plays. Those opportunities are going to come up and we want to capitalize on those moments and we can’t shy away from that. We have to stay in attack mode; we have to stay in that mode of capitalizing one play at a time, and doing what we do best.”

(On Zach Miller's impact to the offense...) “Well you think about Zach Miller, our tight end, he brings so much to our offense. The number one thing that he brings is consistency. He catches the ball extremely well, he’s an extremely good blocker, he makes a difference in our passing game, in our protections, makes a difference in our running game, he blocks like a tackle and he moves his feet extremely well, he’s very strong, and he just has consistent hands. He knows where to be at the right place at the right time and to have a guy like that in terms of your tight end, you always want to have that and Zach Miller has done a tremendous job for us. He always plays very, very well in big games and we’re excited about giving him the football.”

(On the reason why the Seahawks had fallen behind in games during the post season...) “In terms of the playoff games last year and coming back from behind, I just know we need to start off a little quicker and the biggest thing is just capitalize on those plays. We had a couple of plays in the first two playoff games last year that we  thought that we could’ve capitalized a little bit better on. So if you make those plays, the game is completely different. But the good thing is it shows our resilience and you need to have that to be a championship football team. You need to have that to be able to have that grit to come back and to make the plays and to have that kind of never give up attitude. You have to have that to win a championship in this league.”

(On where he was in his life when the Seahawks were the number 1 seed in the NFC back in 2005...) “Yeah in 2005, I was a sophomore in high school I believe. I was young and obviously in love with football, and I loved the Seahawks logo. But other than that, I didn’t know much about the Seahawks. I knew about Matt Hasselbeck, but other that than that, I didn’t much about the Seahawks. But it was one of those things that I just loved football. I loved watching great teams play, I loved watching great players play and that’s what I remember. They seemed so united back then, that football team and hopefully we seem the same way. Hopefully we bring that to the table in this year’s playoffs and we just got to take one game at a time. I think the thing for us is all these big moments, nothing is too big for us I don’t think and that’s the way that we’ve prepared all year and that focus that we’ve had, that laser-focus that we’ve had, that one practice at a time, one day at a time, one game at a time, has really I believe elevated our play. So hopefully we show that come Saturday night.”