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January 9, 2014 at 12:07 AM

Thursday links: Does Russell Wilson need a Super Bowl to cement elite status?

To the question posed above, Seattle Times columnist Larry Stone says yes, he does.

Writes Stone:

As he has moved up the football ladder, the first reaction to Russell Wilson, even from teammates, is invariably one of skepticism. As in, can this guy be for real?

All those platitudes, like “the separation is in the preparation.” The work ethic that borders on maniacal. The no-nonsense approach that extends to every practice, every meeting, every study session. Surely, it must be an act.

“I thought he was full of crap for the first few weeks,’’ said wide receiver Golden Tate, laughing. “It was, like, man, it’s not that serious. It’s serious, but you can kind of relax. But that’s who he is, and that’s what’s gotten him to this point.”

Where it has gotten Wilson is a second go-round in the playoffs, and another opportunity to cement his reputation as one of the NFL’s clutch quarterbacks. His opposite number in Saturday’s game with the Saints, Drew Brees, has what Wilson aspires to: a Super Bowl championship.

So do Tom Brady (three, to be exact) and Peyton Manning. The rest of the quarterbacks in the NFL playoffs — Philip Rivers, Andrew Luck, Cam Newton, Colin Kaepernick and Wilson — can rise to elite status if they complete the journey in the next three weeks.

Also in our paper today:

— I wrote a little statistical comparison of the 2005 and 2013 teams;

— Here’s our notebook leading off with Percy Harvin’s continued road to recovery;

— I also wrote this on Bobby Wagner and his return to health at mid-season and what that meant for the defense;

— We also had this on the Seahawks chef.

— Also, I will be on the 12th Man Roundtable Thursday at 8 a.m. on KJR-AM;

Also out there today about the Seahawks, Saints and NFL:

— USA Today says Wilson is one of the young guard of QBs taking on the vets;

— Nice article on Wilson from Gwen Knapp of Sports on Earth;

— SI.com on how to beat the Seahawks;

— Seahawks.com wraps up the day;

— Seahawks.com also offers a mailbag;

— Here is the Saints’ official injury report, the new news of which is that RB Pierre Thomas looks increasingly questionable to practice;

— However, CB Keenan Lewis practiced again;

— Here’s a look at a Saints’ secondary‘ that has been banged up of late;

— The Saints’ site looks at connections between the two teams;

— Lots of Saints coverage here from NOLA.com;

— The Saints say they will try to tune out all the noise this time;

— Will the Seahawks try to target second-year CB Corey White?:

— Here’s a feature on former Seahawk David Hawthorne, now with the Saints;

— Here’s a preview of the game from Yahoo.com;

— SI.com says the Saints are seeking unlikely playoff redemption;

— CBSSports.com with a preview;

— NFL.com examines all the quarterbacks in the Divisional round;

— SportsChatPlace says to take the Seahawks.

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