Wilson has missed some key passes in recent games, thrown interceptions and fumbled the ball, too. He completed just 44 percent of his passes in the loss to the Cardinals. “The focus is on football,” Wilson says.
RENTON — Russell Wilson has always tried to “ignore the noise,” but he is not immune from it.
Wilson entered a different level of fame over the last six months — that of a celebrity. He started dating the singer, Ciara, and signed a new contract that pays him among the game’s top quarterbacks.
Both have upped the spotlight’s intensity, and he has acknowledged the scrutiny even while downplaying it.
San Francisco @ Seahawks, 1:25 p.m., Ch. 13
On if his new contract has brought more pressure: “No, I don’t think so at all. People want to make it something else, but for me I just love the game of football. I love working. I love coming to work. I love getting here early and leaving late. That’s what it’s about. I think ultimately I love the guys on this football team. Nothing has changed.”
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On why he shares his private life on Twitter: “I keep most of it private. My private life is my private life, but at the same time, there’s no fear or anything like that. I’m grateful for the people I have in my life and the surroundings from the team to my friends. I’m sure you’re referring to Ciara, too; she’s an unbelievable person. That’s a part of, but I think ultimately when it comes down to football, the focus is on football. That’s just how it has to be and how it always is.”
This came a day after offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell made his most pointed remarks about Wilson’s performance in the pair’s four seasons together.
Wilson completed just 44 percent of his passes (including a couple of drops) in a 39-32 loss against the Cardinals. That’s his worst completion percentage since the second game of the 2013 season. He also had two turnovers.
Wilson had both Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett deep in the third quarter but misfired for an interception. An accurate throw to either would have been a touchdown.
On Seattle’s first two-point conversion in the fourth quarter, down two, Wilson floated a pass over the head of Baldwin, out of bounds.
“He just has to make a better throw on it,” Bevell said. “He had an opportunity to give Doug a chance and really didn’t give him a chance.”
On Seattle’s next two-point conversion later, the Seahawks tried to unleash the three-headed monster that had people drooling before the season: Wilson could hand the ball to running back Marshawn Lynch, run it himself or throw it to tight end Jimmy Graham, who was one-on-one outside.
Wilson kept it, rolled out and threw the ball incomplete to Graham late in the play.
“We feel like that’s about as good as we can get with three of our best guys,” Bevell said. “Russell is obviously the facilitator in that. He’s got to be able to make really good decisions when he does that. Again, you’ve got to give the guy an opportunity to make a play.”
Carroll made similar comments about Wilson this week: “I think that in this game, we talk about the ones that got away, the throws that got away from us, and the opportunities that got away, there were plenty of them in there,” he said.
Wilson is completing a career-best 66 percent of his passes, but he has already thrown as many interceptions (seven) as he did all of last season.
He is playing behind an offensive line that has allowed 33 sacks, second-worst in the league, although some of those fall on Wilson. Carroll said the leaky play of the line has had an effect on Wilson, but Bevell didn’t think Wilson had “happy feet.”
Interestingly enough, against the Cardinals, the Seahawks allowed 17 quarterback hurries, according to Pro Football Focus. The Cardinals allowed 30 quarterback hurries, and quarterback Carson Palmer dealt with the pressure by passing for 363 yards and three touchdowns.
Wilson, for his part, said he was “just a bit off.”
Wilson still made some thrilling plays, but with the contract and attention come heavy expectations. He has missed throws he normally makes. He has had uncharacteristic turnovers, including a fumble that turned into a safety against the Cardinals.
“He’s just trying to get better, like all of us are,” Carroll said. “But he made some marvelous plays to give us a chance, and we missed a few opportunities that we needed to make a difference, too.”
It has been that way for most of the season.