It was hard to ignore the smile of Russell Wilson when asked about receiver Percy Harvin‘s return to Seahawks practice Thursday. Enthusiasm was evident in the quarterback’s words, as well.
“To see Percy Harvin out there is exciting,” Wilson said. “We’ve been wanting him out there the whole year, obviously. … If we can get Percy Harvin back, like I said earlier in the year, he’s one of the best players in the National Football League, and he has been for the last four, five years. To get him back out on the field, you can see the effect. You can sense his ability.”
Wilson said he had thrown with Harvin for about 15 minutes on Monday, nothing to serious, just “a little pitch and catch.” It appears that only added to the anticipation of a hopeful return, which grew again Thursday.
“He’s ready to go, I think,” Wilson said, “but we’ll see. You have to listen to the trainers and Coach Carroll and how he’s feeling. That just adds another element to our game, if we can add Percy Harvin. He’s as explosiveness as can be, he has a great knack for the game, very physical, loves to just make big-time plays, so if we can get him out there, that will be great.”
“He can do a lot of special things. … He’s like a racehorse man. When you see him run, he can run for days.”
Here are some more highlights from the interview:
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(On what the team will do in practice this week since the Seahawks are on a bye week…) “Well to win the NFC West, that’s a huge honor for us and we want to always have that mentality, always win championships around here. So to get that first week bye is huge and it helps guys recover, it gives us time to really evaluate what we’ve done so far and what we could continue to improve on. So for us, this week has really been focused on what we can do for our football team, how can we improve our offense, how can we improve our defense, our specials teams. To be able to go (first-string offense against the first-string defense) the whole entire day is always a good thing. Our defense is really good and to go against them, it’s a really good for me too to go against our DBs and what they’re seeing and Earl Thomas back there, trying to talk a whole bunch of trash. So you get excited about it. So it’s a challenge, it feels like a game almost every day in practice.”
(On how he will watch the games this weekend…) “Definitely, I won’t watch as a fan. I definitely will watch; critiquing each thing and watching the coverages and watching the defense just like if I was watching film. I’m excited just to have a week where we can figure out who we’re playing. There’s a lot of great teams. Obviously, we can play either the Saints or the Packers or the 49ers. So all three of those teams are great football teams. So we’re going to have to be prepared and guys are really excited about getting back to the game of football and just have another day of practice today will be big for us; getting back into the flow and getting back in to the rhythm of the game, which we had a great practice today. It was one of our better practices I believe to be honest with you. So it’ll be good to watch these games and figure out who we’re playing.”
(On if the team has plans to watch any games together…) “Yeah there will be a bunch of guys probably watching them together. So we’re excited just to kind of relax. Taking the linemen out to John Howie’s this weekend. So that’ll be an interesting time. So that’ll be fun.”
(On if there are any improvements he needs to make in his game…) “I think the biggest thing is just to continue to get the ball out, throw it to right guy at the right time like always. It’s no different. It’s going to be third down; it’s going to be red zone. I just watch the plays and try to understand if there’s any reads in there that I can try to pick up on or any escape plans or any outlets that I can throw it to.
(On how he has improved as a player this year in comparison to last year…) “I think just the experience, my poise has continued to show up I think for me at least. So I just have so much understanding of situational football and trying to put our team in the right play at the right time, making checks and making calls, making the right protection calls and just our team in general. We all believe in what we can do. Every game that we’ve lost, all the three games that we’ve lost so far and even last year, have all been close games. So just understanding how to not allow that to happen. Just looking at plays and understanding situations and just being in the moment all the time. That’s my biggest goal I think for the playoffs and has been all year is just how tuned in I can be? How laser-focused can I be all the time?”
(On offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell…) “He’ll be a great head coach if that’s the case. I want him to stay here forever, but if that’s the case… At the same time, I also know that his focus is on Seattle Seahawks and what we’re doing right now and he wants to win the whole thing, just like I do. So that’s where his focus is.”
(On if he’s been paying attention to the Seahawks’ coaches being interviewed for available head coach positions…) “You know I’ve been around it. When you’re around good football teams and good teams just in general, that’s going to happen and that’s a positive thing. You want people to be successful in what they do and when your team is winning a lot of football games, that’s going to happen. The word is going to start going around and what’s going to happen with certain coaches or certain players. You can’t be distracted by that though. Like I always say to you guys, you’ve got to ignore the guys and just stay focused on what we’re doing and stay focused on the main goal and that’s to win.”
(On why the offense has not performed well in the first quarter this year…) “I think that teams just make plays. It’s one of those things that when you’re playing a great defense… you think about the teams we’ve played, the last four games, they’ve been pretty good defenses. So they’ve made a few plays and I’ll take a lot of the blame. I think that I can always improve and I think I can always do things better. So that’s something that I’m looking forward to. Just being relentless every play.”
(On if he’s glad to not play in the freezing cold weather in Green Bay this weekend…) “Yeah negative 35 degree wind chills is never good. So that’s what you get when you live in Wisconsin, it’s just always cold. I know the people in Wisconsin will be excited about it. When I played at University of Wisconsin, I had my linemen coming in, and I remember Peter Konz, for example, and Kevin Zeitler and those guys, they would be wearing shorts and sandals when it’s zero degrees and I’m like, ‘What are you guys doing?’ So they just love it.”
(On if he has a New Year’s resolution…) “Probably quit eating so much.”
And here is some video of Wilson: