Seahawks Insider Blog

Wilson on third down: 'At all costs, just finding a way'

Here's everything Russell Wilson had to say Thursday:

(On how the Seahawks' performance on the road last year compares to this year in terms of bouncing back from games...) “Well I think our team is that much more competitive. I believe that we know who our guys are and who our leaders are and what we need to do to be successful. And, that’s through the way that we practice, that’s through our confidence and just in everyday, in terms of our preparation as well. I truly believe that the way we prepare separates us and gets us ready for the games. So this game is going to be a huge game for us. Tennessee is a very very good football team. They’ve been playing some great football. When you watch them on film, when you watch their defense on film, they fly around and make a lot of plays. They look spectacular on film. So it’d be a great game.”

(On what Russell Wilson has seen in the Titans' defense in terms of their aggressiveness...) “Yeah their defense is very aggressive. They kind of remind us of our defense a little bit just, in terms of how they love to play man, how they love to be in your face and make a lot of plays. So you know there’ll be a lot of one-on-one matchups, a lot of things that we’ll have to make the plays. At the end of the day, in the national football league, it comes down to making those plays and for us, on third downs, that’s our biggest focus this week is being great on third downs. We know we’ve done that before. It’s something that we just have to do right now. When the time calls in the game to be third down, be poised, be collected, and just go about our business and make the play, one play at a time at the end of the day.”

(On Max Unger being a factor on the offensive line...) “Well Max [Unger] is… if he’s able to play, he’s a tremendous leader. He understands the game so well. His ability to make different calls and get the line going to the right guy basically, and all of our run fits and our passing game and all that too as well. He’s a tremendous football player. You got to say Lem [Lemuel Jean-Pierre] did a great job I thought. You know, stepping in for him. It was pretty spectacular to watch him step in that situation against two very very tough defensive lines, in the past two defensive lines that we’ve faced. But to have Max [Unger] back, if that’s the case, it will be a great thing for us.”

(On how much pressure is taken off of Russell Wilson if Max Unger is cleared to play...) “Well I mean Max [Unger] is a Pro Bowl football player. To have him out there always helps. But at the same time, I was never thinking in the back of my head, ‘Awe. We got Lem [Lemuel Jean-Pierre] in the game.’ Never. I never ever thought that. He took charge right from the get-go and that’s the thing about him. That’s the thing about Coach Cable that got him ready. He works hard, he understands the game in terms of Lem [Lemuel Jean-Pierre], and then obviously having a Pro Bowl center, it makes a difference. Max [Unger] is a tremendous football player and just understands the game extremely well and puts us in the right position at the right time.”

(On the origins of Russell Wilson’s composure...) “That’s a great question. I think the lord kind of blessed me with that, first of all. But I truly believe that, you know just through experience. I played professional football and obviously and professional baseball and to have those two big things in my life. And then I think about all of things that I went through with my dad passing away and also trying to graduate early and having all of these things on me all at once, really prepared me for those situations. And at the same time, I’m a self-motivator. I want those moments. When I think about last week, with a minute and 55 seconds, I want the ball. There’s nothing I could ask for more, in that situation. And, you’re going to win some and you’re going to lose some. But at the end of the day, I never shy away from that moment. You know, that’s the thing that I want. So I think the biggest thing for me is just try to be a leader in the huddle, on and off the field. But being a leader in the huddle, help my other ten guys in the huddle play at a higher level and when the game is on the line, be clutch. I think that’s the biggest thing for me is just continue to have that mindset, continue to have that you know, ‘Let me have the ball when the game is on the line’ type mindset.”

(On if there were times that Russell Wilson was flustered...) “No. I don’t remember the last time I was ever flustered to be honest with you. It’s just… I think the biggest thing for me is just I stay composed. I know that I’m still really young. You know, it’s just one of those things that you know; it’s my second year in the league. I’m just starting. It’s just one of those things that I understand that there’s going to be a process to learn the whole thing. The game is not easy. Playing in the National Football League, everything is not going to be perfect. You have to understand, they got great players too. So we understand that, we understand that playing in the situation, playing in the moment, and being in those situations, you learn from them. You grow for them, whether it’s good or bad. It’s one of things that you use each situation, you try to understand it the best way that you can, and just relax and just trust what you’ve been practicing all week. Trust you visualization, trust your fundamentals. I think that’s the thing that I go to. You know there’s two things that I go to really, in terms of playing the game. I find a spot in the stadium; just to bring me back to zero, just to make me relax or whatever. If I ever feel like I’m doing really well or not doing so well, it’s like, ‘Hey. Just play the game. Even keel.’ And then the other thing I do is just focus on my fundamentals. Focus on the fundamentals of my footwork; focus on the fundamentals of the protections and all that. At the end of the day, that’s what it is because I know that I’ve prepared the right way. So I think that’s what helps me play and I think that that’s what helps me stay relaxed, in those moments.”

(On where the spot in the stadium that Russell Wilson looks at is located...) “Oh yeah. I can’t tell you where. Don’t ask.”

(On if the spot that Russell Wilson looks at changes...) “Maybe.”

(On the third down issue being a focus this week...) “Yeah. There’s a major focus on third downs. I mean, if you think about if we get our third downs going, I mean we have a great chance to being very very explosive. I believe that we are the second most explosive team in the National Football League or something like that. So if we could get our third downs going, which we will, I think that at the end of the day, it comes down to just executing the play. Just finding a way. At all costs, just finding a way to make the first down. So that’s what it comes down to and for us, if we can do that, with our defense,  with our offense being able to move the ball the way we do, we will have a great chance of being very very hard to stop.”

(On what the source of the Seahawks' third down issue is...) “You know last week, I think that they just made a couple of good plays right when they needed to. You know, I think they made a couple of good defensive calls on a couple of plays. You know, it’s just one of those things that we could’ve made a throw here and there or could’ve made a catch here and there, whatever it was. I don’t think they did anything to really necessarily stop us. I think that we more so stop ourselves. I think the biggest thing is just try to hang in the pocket as long as I can, continue to do that. And if I have to use my legs, use them too. But, we’ll make those plays, find the guy. There’ll be a lot of one-to-one matchups most likely and we’ll have to find the right guy at the right time.”

(On what opponent defenses are doing to prevent Sidney Rice from making plays...) “No. Sidney [Rice] is doing a great job. When you think about the Jaguars game, he had two touchdowns. He did an excellent job in that game. And then Houston, we were trying to stop their defensive line from getting to us a little bit there. They had a great defensive line. So just time was the issue in that game. And then pass game; I thought he did a good job. It’s just one of those things where we’ll connect. He’s a great football, he’s done a great job for us, he’s a tremendous leader, you love him to death. So he can make all the plays for us.”

(On Jermaine Kearse...) “Yeah Jermaine [Kearse] is the guy that I told you guys about early in the season and just… I knew that he was going to have a great season just by his effort, just by his knowledge of the game; his skill level is unbelievable, he’s got great hands, gets off on releases really well, in terms of press coverage. He’s just a great football player. I think that he had the blocked punt last week right? So he’s great on special teams too. He does a lot of great things for us. Its exciting to watch Jermaine [Kearse] do a lot of awesome things.”

(On the Titans’ game being the only game to be played at CenturyLink Field for the next month and a half...) “Yeah obviously coming back to CenturyLink, there’s nothing better. You know coming back home, it really is a special moment for us. So we were excited about it and so we have to cherish these moments. We can’t take it lightly. Tennessee is a tremendous football team. I’m telling you, they got a lot of great football players and they do a lot of great things. They’re coached extremely well and so they’re making a lot of things happen. So we’re going to have to play our A-plus football, like every week. But it’s one of those things where you come back and you want to play your best for sure. It’s one of those things that really matters to us for sure. We’ll be ready to go.”

(On what makes Jermaine Kearse an exceptional football player...) “Well Jermaine [Kearse] has got extremely strong hands, he does great on his releases, he’s got great speed, and he’s got it all really to be honest with you. The same with a lot of our receivers but, he’s a guy that reminds me a lot of Sidney Rice. You know, they’re very similar, in terms of body size and everything. They’re very long, long arms, great hands, got great leaping ability too, and just run consistent, great routes. Both of them, Sidney [Rice] and Jermaine [Kearse] are really spectacular in their route running. So it’s fun watching them.”