The Seattle Seahawks were always going to have a quarterback battle. They brought in Matt Flynn, a touted free agent who had backed up Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay, to go along with returning starter Tarvaris Jackson. Russell Wilson, however, is out to try and make it a three-man race.
Wilson, a third-round pick who finished his college career with one sterling season at Wisconsin, is hardly shying away from the competition. He also says he won’t be scared when his number gets called, whether it’s Week One or Year Two.
Russell Wilson joined KJR in Seattle with Ian Furness to discuss his early thoughts on living and working in Seattle, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, adjusting to the speed of the NFL, digesting the playbook, why he thinks he can be Seattle’s starter and why he’s not afraid of that possibility.
What are you up to? Are you in Seattle or have you gone back home?:
“I’m in Seattle right now. I’m not really leaving here ever. I’m just around here all the time. I’m excited about it. Mini-camp is coming up here in the next couple days, so mentally and physically I’m just getting ready for that. I’m excited about going into that.”
How do you like living in Seattle?:
“It’s unbelievable; I really do like it a lot. It rains a decent amount here and it’s a little bit less humid than I’m used to, which I don’t mind. Probably in Richmond, Va., where I’m from, it’s probably about 90 degrees and really humid right now. … The people here, though, are unbelievable. It’s so nice, just the atmosphere in general. Everywhere I go, there’s Seahawks fans always coming up to me. That’s pretty spectacular because in professional football, in the National Football League, you don’t really see that in too many cities nowadays.”
How many times have you heard Pete Carroll use the word compete or the phrase “win forever?:”
“I’ve been trying to keep track of it, but you can’t say it enough. He’s exactly right. To be where we want to go and where we want to be, we have to compete every single day and just keep getting better. The goal is to win a lot of games, obviously, and that’s our mindset.”
How were OTAs and what was the speed of the NFL game like for you?:
“I definitely believe the speed of the game is a little bit faster. You’ve got some defensive ends coming around the edge that can run a little bit better than most guys. That’s one of the things. The thing that you notice about the speed, though, is that everybody can run. … I think more than anything, it’s been a great experience for me so far. OTAs were great. I learned a lot, got a lot better. We were very, very efficient with the football. … Just getting in the huddle and getting with the veterans and being around them.”
How much of the playbook would you say you’ve digested?:
“All of it, to be honest with you. The key is just to continue going over it. You never know enough. You never completely have it all. One of my goals personally throughout my career here in Seattle and down the road is just to act like I’m a rookie every single day — whether it’s five years from now, 10 years from now, 12 years from now. Every single day my approach needs to be that I’m the new guy, I’m a beginner. If I have that beginner mentality, that beginner approach to everything, I’ll learn a lot.”
Why do you think you can be the starting quarterback for the Seahawks and why do you think you should be the starter?:
“I’m not going to say I should or shouldn’t be at all. It’s one of those things where if I am, I’m blessed to be it and if I’m not, I’m still blessed to be on this football team. We’re going to have a great team either way. My goal is to do the best I can every single opportunity I get, whether it’s the starter on Day One, Day Two, Day 25 or Year Two. Whatever it is, just be ready. … I think a great quarterback in the National Football League, he has to be a tremendous leader. He has to lead on and off the field. He has to have unbelievable attention to detail. He has to be consistent with his approach every single day. That’s something I definitely think I bring to the table.”
But you are confident you could be a Week 1 starter in the NFL, right?:
“No, I’m not afraid at all of being a starter at all. I’ll be ready to go whenever my name is called. … It’s just like I always say, and I don’t know if you follow me on Twitter at all or anything like that, but I always tell people that are close to me that there’s no time to sleep. I’ve got no time to sleep. You’ve always got to be ready to go. … I’m excited about the opportunities and we’ve got a great group of guys at quarterback, too. It’s pretty awesome to be in this quarterback room that we’re in and have the quarterback coach that we have.”