Wilson’s consistency and focus are tools as valuable as his arm strength and scrambling ability. His gee-whiz pronouncements about how he considers his job to be the best in the world might make your eyes roll. But they’re a sure sign he is getting himself into game mode.
Since last we saw Russell Wilson, he has become father to a baby girl, gotten healthy from the injuries that hampered his 2016 season and been placed in the center of a supposed rift in the Seahawks’ locker room.
But you probably will be happy, and surely not surprised, to learn those swirling forces of happiness, change and potential turmoil have not budged the public persona put forth by Wilson.
Nor, it seems, has it altered his behind-the-scenes regimen of offseason preparation in Southern California. This year, that includes for the first time a full-time trainer and physical therapist, leaving the 28-year-old quarterback feeling, in his words, “super young right now, and that’s a great thing. I feel really, really young. I feel I’m just getting started.”
Wilson’s consistency, single-mindedness and focus are tools just as valuable as his arm strength and scrambling ability. His gee-whiz pronouncements about how he considers his job to be the best in the world and is treating life one day at a time, well, they might make your eyes roll. But they’re a sure sign that Wilson is getting himself into game mode.
He’s doing it with the perspective that comes with the addition of a child. His wife, Ciara, gave birth to Sienna Princess on April 28, adding to a family that includes Ciara’s 3-year-old son, Future Jr., from a previous relationship. When Wilson took the podium Friday after an extended session by Pete Carroll, he joked, “Coach Carroll took so long, I may miss Sienna’s first steps.”
Speaking to the Seattle media after the Seahawks’ workout Friday, Wilson called the new addition “a pretty cool miracle” and observed that “she’s growing up fast, and it’s a blessing.”
Wilson said the growing family helped invigorate his six-day-a-week workouts, which began in the early mornings and included sessions at various times at USC and UCLA.
“It was a little less sleep, and I don’t get much sleep anyway, right?” he said. “But it’s been really good, actually. To be able to come home and see Little Man, and also see the new one, too, see little Future and see Sienna, it’s really cool to be around them both. He’s such a good brother. To be able to see Sienna, how she grows every day and changes every day when you come home. Even at work since 5:30 in the morning, you come home, midday, and there’s something different. It’s a really cool experience. … It puts a smile on my face every time.”
Carroll was smiling about the renewed mobility Wilson has shown during this week’s organized team activities. Last year, Wilson hurt his right ankle in the season opener against Miami, then injured his left knee in Week 3 against San Francisco. The cumulative effect was to take away much of Wilson’s patented scrambling ability as he clearly played at much less than full strength for several weeks.
But on Friday, Wilson proclaimed himself 100 percent healthy, and Carroll noted that his arm strength appears better than ever. Wilson said he’s training with longevity in mind.
“I’m only 28 years old,” he said. “I want to play another 10 to 15 years, at least.”
Naturally, much of the questioning of Wilson — and Carroll as well, for that matter — centered on the recent ESPN article that portrayed a rift in the Seahawks’ locker room, particularly between offense and defense. The article focused on the devastating effect of the Super Bowl loss to New England that still lingers, especially on Richard Sherman, and Sherman’s reported perception that Carroll doesn’t hold Wilson to the defense’s championship standard.
Both Carroll and Wilson countered that the negative culture portrayed in the article is not the prevailing one. Asked specifically about the perception that he shows favoritism to Wilson, Carroll replied, “I show favoritism to every one of these guys, every one of them. I’m trying to figure each guy out and help them out the best I can, and I think we are doing OK at doing that.
“Individually I treat those guys as well as I can to what they need and how it fits them. In terms of Russell, we have raised Russell from a neophyte in this program, and he has done an extraordinary job for us. He’s a great competitor and a great worker, and I could say that about Doug (Baldwin) and Richard and Bobby (Wagner) and K.J. (Wright). But they are all different, they are all unique, and I think they all deserve the individual attention that they get.
“And if I wasn’t doing that, then I’m not reaching into them to help them be the best they can be. And I’m not going to treat everybody the same and overlook whatever is going on with their individual ways — I’m not doing that. You’ve watched it, and if you don’t think it’s working, then too bad — I think it’s working pretty darn well.”
Wilson said he didn’t read the article in question but added that he heard about it. He downplayed the gist of it.
“We play a hard-hitting game, there’s always tension,” he said, punctuating the comment with a laugh. “I don’t think it’s a negative tension. … We push each other in the most positive way possible.”
Asked bluntly about how divided the locker room has been, he replied, “I wouldn’t say it’s divided. I don’t know that. From my perspective, I believe we’re a team that’s been in the playoffs, we’re a team that keeps winning. I don’t think teams do that if they’re truly divided.”
Wilson also called Sherman “one of the best teammates I could ever ask for,” praising him both as a future Hall of Fame player and as a father.
“That matters,” he said. “Those are the things I look forward to. Those are the things I know.”
What we know about Wilson is that he is in vintage form. At one point, he said of the Seahawks, “I believe we’re better together, that’s for sure. We believe in one another. I believe in every single person I get to play with, every time.”
Sounds like the Russell Wilson we’ve come to know, undeterred by distractions and ready to resume the greatest job in the world.
|Russell Wilson file|
|Quarterback. 5-11, 203. Age 28. Wilson is entering his sixth season in the NFL.|
|Year||Gms||TD pass||INTs||Rush yds||Pass yds|