RENTON — At one point Thursday in Russell Wilson’s first weekly news conference of the season, he dipped back into memory lane, recalling his initial trip to Seattle following the 2012 draft.
“I remember flying over Seattle,” Wilson said. “The goal was to win multiple championships. It’s still the same goal.”
Somehow, in the seeming blink of an eye, Wilson is entering Year 10. His start Sunday against the Colts in Indianapolis will be the 145th of his Seattle career, tied for ninth on the team’s all-time list.
But if Wilson’s goal is the same, coach Pete Carroll says he thinks he’s seen a little bit of a different quarterback this year.
The Seahawks haven’t advanced past the divisional round of the playoffs since 2014, and after last year’s second-half offensive faceplant, they have a new coordinator in Shane Waldron. Wilson also turns 33 in November. And maybe he’s feeling a little sense of urgency as his career gets into double-digit seasons with just one Super Bowl title so far.
“I think the relationship with what we are doing and how tuned in he is to that generates another level of excitement from him and for what he’s hoping to put out there through his work,” Carroll said Wednesday. “… He’s got a little special juice about him, and that’s probably what I am mentioning about the chemistry between he and the coordinator.”
Asked about the “special juice” comment Thursday, Wilson started to give an answer, paused, then turned serious.
“Yeah, I feel it, and I’m ready to play,” he said. “Listen, I know that every day you wake up you get to do something special. God has given me a gift, and I want to use it all. And that’s the coolest part about what I get to do. At the end of the day, I also know that I lay it on the line every day. I don’t think anybody works harder daily, mentally and physically, on what I’m trying to do. You can set that standard for yourself, and I get to choose that every day. It’s a choice. Your lifestyle can’t be random, it has to be planned out and thought through. The lifestyle has to be winning habits.”
Indeed, Wilson mentioned getting up at 4:30 every morning this summer. And he has talked of revamping his training this offseason, having begun working with Tim Grover, whose past trainees include Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.
And while Wilson makes clear he wants to move on from talking about the controversy of the offseason, saying Thursday, “I think the whole thing got a little bit confused and everything else,” there’s no question he understands the stakes of this season better than anyone.
Wilson has two years left on his contract after this season, and should this year not go as planned, talk of his future could escalate quickly.
Thursday, though, Wilson was only looking to Sunday, which also will be the debut for Waldron.
“I think he’s a wizard,” Wilson said of Waldron, who after three seasons coordinating the passing game of the Rams was hired to replace the fired Brian Schottenheimer. “He really understands what he wants to get to. I think he has a great opportunity to be special in coaching this game for a long time. I think that he’s calm, he brings confidence to himself and to the guys. … I’m excited to be working with him every day and all of the coaches really. It’s going to be a great year I think, and we have to go for it.”
Asked about the “wizard” comment, Waldron laughed.
“Hopefully that’s a positive thing,” he said.
But Waldron, who didn’t really know Wilson before the hiring process, echoed Wilson’s thoughts on how their relationship has evolved.
“It’s been great,’’ Waldron said. “It’s every day. We didn’t have a relationship prior to when this job came about. From the very early stages where we got a chance to talk and get to know each other over FaceTime, then being around each other in the offseason program in that same scenario to now being around each other every day in person, we’re just continuing to grow that relationship.
“… Like I’ve said in the past, football is No. 1 for him. He’s got a lot of great things going on in life in general, but football is such a high priority for him that we have that common theme right off the bat, and it just grows from there.”
Wilson didn’t play in the preseason for the first time in his career as the Seahawks tried to keep their starters healthy and their new offense under wraps.
So for Wilson, even in Year 10, this might feel like more of a true beginning to a season than ever.
“The good thing is that we get to go perform it and put on a show hopefully throughout the season,” Wilson said. “And hopefully we can be the best offense in football.”