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Seahawks: Russell Wilson Conference Call Transcript
Q: What are your impressions of the Patriots defense?
RW: Well, they’ve done a great job so far. Obviously they’ve made some plays and everything. They’ve got some experienced players up front, obviously with [Vince] Wilfork, and their linebackers are extremely talented. I think the main thing with their secondary is they’ve made some plays when they’ve needed to. I think more than anything you’ve just got to play smart football. They’re coached extremely well obviously and so I think the main thing is just to play great football.
Q: Did you have any experience with them before the draft?
RW: I did talk to the Patriots beforehand, before the draft and everything. I had several meetings with them at the Senior Bowl and the Combine. I didn’t talk to them too much after that, but I did have some conversations with them.
Q: What is it like playing for Pete Carroll?
RW: It’s unbelievable. The passion that he brings to the game, there’s nothing like it. He brings so much energy to practice and so much energy to our meeting rooms. He keeps it loose, but at the same time he keeps us extremely focused. He’s a very good person to communicate with if you’re thinking about anything or you have some ideas, or whatever it is, so that’s the great part about it all.
Q: How does he compare to other coaches you have had?
RW: He’s a little bit different for sure. He definitely has his own style, which I definitely like. He’s his own individual; he believes in helping his players a lot. Coach [Bret] Bielema was a lot like that at Wisconsin as well. Then in terms of [North Carolina State] Coach [Tom] O’Brien, Coach O’Brien was similar, but definitely different from Coach Carroll.
Q: Has there always been a lot of attention placed on your height?
RW: You know I definitely think so, but my height is not a factor. I’m 5-11, but I believe that my height doesn’t define my skill set and I have all of the confidence in the world in my ability. I’ve worked at my craft; I’ve worked at having a high, quick release, throwing the ball on time with rhythm and just delivering an accurate football. In this game, as you look at the great quarterbacks, obviously the guys like Tom Brady, you look at it and you’ve got to have great leadership first of all. Then you’ve got to have great attention to detail and your competitive nature has to be relentless. I think that’s something that I bring to the table every single Sunday.
Q: Do you get tired of answering questions about your height?
RW: No, that’s always going to be the case. I’m not going to change. God made me this way for a reason. I’m not making any complaints.
Q: How much fun is it to watch Marshawn Lynch carry the ball?
RW: Oh man, it’s spectacular. Watching him every day in practice, his attitude, the way that he approaches the game, it’s so much fun to watch and be a part of. He’s a very, very talented player. He works at it and he studies film a lot. Just to watch when you hand the ball off and then some of these runs he’s making, say he gets the first 10 yards and then the last five to eight yards, just watching his feet there’s nothing like it. The way he moves his feet – he has great balance, tremendous vision and just great determination to get the first down.
Q: What is the craziest thing that you have heard about that controversial play at the end of the Packers game?
RW: The craziest thing I’ve heard? I don’t know, I’ve moved on from that game. I’m a big feet in front of us [guy]. We’ve got to get ready for the New England Patriots and that’s all I’m concentrating on right now.
Q: Did you have any quarterbacks that you wanted to emulate as you were going along through the development process?
RW: Yeah, the guy I watched the most was Drew Brees because he’s a similar stature. Like I said earlier, that leadership, that attention to detail, that competitive nature that he brings to the table is relentless, so I love watching him play. Just watching his footwork, the way he delivers the football, his high, quick release with the ball on time. I like watching other quarterbacks too. Obviously over the years I’ve watched Tom [Brady] play and just watched the way that he has delivered in clutch situations. That’s something that you develop over time and that’s something that you always work on. So it’s that determination that’s always something that I admire for sure.
Q: How would you describe the environment of a home game in Seattle?
RW: First of all, there’s nothing like it. I played in a lot of stadiums in college, playing in front of 100,000 people, and here I’m not sure exactly what it is – it’s probably 65 or 66,000 – I’m not sure exactly, but it’s ferocious in that stadium. Just how loud it is and the energy that the 12th Man fans bring in CenturyLink and there’s nothing like it in the National Football League I’m sure. Just that energy and that passion that our fans bring, it really heightens our ability to play at an even higher level just because they bring so much energy. We always bring the energy no matter what, but when you have that 12th Man on your side it always helps.
Q: When you go against a secondary as large as the Seattle secondary, particularly the corners that you face in practice, how difficult do they make it for a quarterback given their range, their speed and their size?
RW: That’s the first thing I noticed on day one. I knew that was going to help me throughout my career here. It’s just the fact that their ability to be so physical, to be great ball hawkers in terms of intercepting the ball and just ripping it away from guys. Also, just watching them getting their leverage on the football, whether it’s guys going deep, guys cutting across their face and then them intercepting it or knocking it down. They’re just so quick with their feet and they have so much speed and are so physical. So you’ve got four great DBs back there. All the way across the board they are tremendous, tremendous athletes, tremendous football players and have so much knowledge of the game. To be able to go against them, I ask them a lot of questions to try to help me out and just try to continue to develop and ask them if they see anything to help me grow. That’s great for our organization and for me personally –just to be able to go against those guys every single day.
Q: Has there been any instance where your secondary has been outmatched?
RW: I haven’t seen one yet. I think the main thing is they just have to keep going and keep working at what they’re doing. We’ve got tremendous wide receivers here that have definitely pushed them to get better and that’s the thing that Coach [Pete] Carroll brings to the table every day, in terms of the idea of competing. We go hard every single day in terms of competing. One-on-one type stuff or if it’s in the actual practice, we just really compete for the football and that’s what makes them better and that’s what makes our receivers better.
Q: How central is that idea of competition to Coach Carroll’s philosophy?
RW: It means everything. He always talks about the ‘always compete’ idea. We always have to compete no matter what it is. We’re always competing against the other team in terms of the film room, the weight room or if it’s at practice. So you have to bring that mentality to the table every single day and you play a little game in your head. That kind of idea of, ‘OK, I’ve got to beat this guy today doing whatever it is,’ or, ‘I’ve got to prepare the right way. I’ve got to get my feet right. I’ve got to make some plays today.’ Whatever it is, it is the idea of staying in the now, one play at a time too. Another thing that we talk about is [getting] after every single play if you can and that just heightens everybody’s ability in the long run and that really helps our football team.