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December 11, 2014 at 4:18 PM

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson: “You just continue to learn”

For all that Russell Wilson did right Sunday in Philadelphia — and he did a lot — it was also a game where Seattle’s third-year quarterback made a couple of uncharacteristic hiccups.

Specifically, two instances in the first half when Wilson was sacked, or called for intentional grounding, moving the Seahawks out of field goal range.

When he met the media today for his regular weekly press conference, Wilson said they were simply plays he needs to learn from and handle differently the next time.

“I think that there is a happy medium to me trying to extend the play and also throwing the ball away,” Wilson said, referring specifically to the first instance, when he was pushed out of bounds at the end of Seattle’s first series of the game, moving the Seahawks too far back to attempt a field goal.

“I normally throw the ball away—the defensive end jumped up in the air and I kind of got underneath of him. I was about to throw the ball to either [Jermaine] Kearse or Marshawn [Lynch] and they kind of got covered up. So it was just one of those situations, you just got to be prepared to throw the ball out of bounds. Then the other one (when he was called for intentional grounding), they did a really good job. I think [Eagles linebacker Mychal] Kendricks did a great job of just hiding and he kind of snuck across our offensive line and he got to me pretty quickly. So I couldn’t get the ball out of bounds the way that I wanted to so those are situations where you just continue to learn, continue to prepare for, and get ready for those situations like that.”

And as he had said when asked about it earlier this week by Bay Area reporters, Wilson said no harm was intended when he and Richard Sherman took part in an NBC post-game stunt to have them eat turkey at a table at mid field after the win over the 49ers on Thanksgiving night.

Ah, you don’t think about that kind of stuff,” Wilson said. “It was a battle—it was a game where you’re playing on Thanksgiving night and you’re playing against a great team in the San Francisco 49ers. Obviously we won the game and NBC had set it up for us to sit wherever so you just kind of go where everybody directs you. Ultimately, we have tons of respect for who the 49ers are, what they’re about, and all the championships they have won in the past and who they are now. So for us, we just love to play the game—it’s nothing about trying to embarrass anybody. It’s about playing great football all the time and it’s about playing championship football and playing for one another ultimately.”

Here is some video of Wilson’s press conference today with a few more quotes below:

(On connecting with his new receiving targets) Well to have two great receivers in Paul Richardson and Kevin Norwood, those guys have really stepped up. You think back to the Carolina Panthers game—Norwood makes that big time catch on third down early in that possession. Then, Paul Richardson has shown up time and time again—he showed up in that last two minute drive we had right before the half in Philadelphia—he makes that bigtime catch for us. He’s done so many different things—he’s now our kickoff returner, and then to have Tony Moeaki, who’s in a way, he’s new to a team—he’s almost like a rookie in that sense of he’s brand new but he’s definitely not a rookie. He definitely plays like a seasoned vet and that shows up in practice, it shows up in the game. His approach to the game is just unbelievable—he has unbelievable hands, he just makes big time catches when we need it. So having so many different guys that you can get the ball too, that’s the goal for me is to just facilitate the ball to the right guy at the right time and whoever is open throw the ball to them and those guys are doing a great job of catching and running and getting first downs and getting touchdowns when they need too.

(On expectations of the 49ers) I’m expecting a great defense to come in here and to play us very tough—they’re going to bring some pressure and be physical and try to get to me and we’re going to have to do a great job of blocking those guys up. They have some very good defensive ends and linebackers and we’re going to have to do a great job of protecting and getting the ball out on time and making plays. We know it’s an NFC West game that’s going to be a battle and we’re looking forward to it.

(On having more protection in the 2nd half against the Eagles) In terms of last game, we had some more time in the second half; we were able to slow down their defensive rush. I think part of that is moving around early and scrambling—those guys got kind of got tired out there a little bit. I think within the first twenty plays, there were eight scrambles. Then in the second half, there were three scrambles in the entire second half—that’s something that we do well. We want to be able to protect, have enough time, and those guys are working for me and doing a great job of that.

(On snapping the ball quickly on mismatches) Yes—you always have plays like that, there is usually like three or four that come up in a game and you try not to smile too much before the play happens. I think that’s something that occurs—when you study your game plan, prepared, and guys are on the same page like Doug Baldwin and I, Jermain Kearse, and the rest of the guys too—you just understand what’s going to happen. You trust that, you trust your preparation, you trust your visualization throughout the week and when it happens it just rolls right into his hands, he makes a big time play for us, and scores a touchdown.

(On Doug Baldwin’s TD catch being the play that was called) That wasn’t the play called necessarily, but we try to see the leverage of guys, what we can do there, how we can capitalize, and that happens a lot throughout the game so we were able to do that throughout that particular play.

(On bootleg decisions) Basically they let me take it whenever I want too—it’s one of those things where I try to really understand when those situations are, trust my instinct, trust what the defense is doing, and trust their stunts, and I try to notice that as I hand the ball off to Marshawn [Lynch], but honestly the ball is trying to go out to Marshawn every time. I’m trying to get the ball to him, unless I feel like there is not going to be anything good there at all and then I just try to get a positive play.

(On reading it pre snap or as the play unfolds) Pre snap mostly.

(On approaching 1,000 rushing yards) I think it’s definitely something significant to rush for that many yards, but I don’t try to rush for that many yards. More than anything else, I just try to take what the defense gives me, continue to try and deliver the ball to those guys and let them make plays and ultimately it shows how good our offensive line and good our receivers are down field blocking for me and making plays. I try to be smart too—I try not to take any bad hits. A lot of those yards are smart yards—I’m not trying to do anything crazy like jump over any piles or anything.

(On how he learned to avoid the big hit) I’ve never taken any big hits in terms of running the ball—I usually try to get away from that kind of stuff. I am willing to take a hit though if the game is on the line. I think back to Houston last year—it’s fourth down and I had to find a way to get a first down, but I’m 5’11 short and stocky for a reason I guess.

(On what he remembers about the NFC Championship game) I think the play that jumps out is the play that I think is the greatest play in Seahawks history is when they jump offsides and we’re able to hit Jermaine Kearse and Jermaine Kearse makes an unbelievable paly down field and those are things that you get prepared for and you visualize those types of plays and visualize being successful and making those types of big time plays. We have the guys to do that and that’s the exciting part and they continue to do that over and over again so when those moments come up, there’s no doubt that we’re going to make those plays. Sure enough, in my opinion, it’s probably the greatest play we’ve ever made and then a little bit later, we have Richard [Sherman’s] play—arguably those are the two greatest plays that take us to the Super Bowl.

(On where he was for Richard Sherman’s tip) I believe I was on the sideline jumping up and down. You can ask Doug Baldwin, I’m on the sideline and I’m usually trying to guess when we’re going to make a big play—I’m right most of the time so I’m just letting you guys know. I just have a feeling sometimes and sure enough, Sherm made a big time play, tips it to Malcolm Smith, who played an unbelievable playoff run and ends up being our MVP. It’s just funny how things work and just trusting guys to make big time plays, trusting our defense to always show up. Just like the Rams game last year on the road and the play in the NFC Championship game and the way that we showed up in the Super Bowl and that’s last year but we’ve also done thing s this year too. When it’s time to step up, I think we have the right character of guys to do that, we believe in one another, we’re always together, and we’re all fighting for one common goal.

(On what the play would have been if the 49ers hadn’t jumped offsides) Yes—it was to throw the ball and try to get the first down and I think we would have still gotten the first down based on how they were set up on what play we had going on but that play was a little bit better.

(On balancing the expression of social issues while not breaking league policy) In terms of having the privilege of being a professional athlete, but also having the opportunity to speak about certain things like Ferguson—I think it’s a great opportunity and you always want to show respect. That’s why I did the whole, ‘Why not you, pass the peace.’ It’s a sign of respect to the man in the mirror, what can I do personally to fix certain situations. Obviously, there is racism still in the world, sexism, and there are so many issues in the world that we can’t just handle all at once but individually we can fix things. So I think that’s where my focus is all the time—just try to do the right thing and try to lead the right way and try to be a great role model for kids and for people in general. I’m not perfect by any means, but I just try to do the right thing in terms of those situations.

(On athletes being expressive on social issues) Yes—I think if you have the opportunity to make a certain stand you should. As long as it doesn’t harm or disrespect anyone, I think it’s definitely something that can make a difference. A lot of people look up to us and a lot of people are inspired by us and what we can do and by the influence that we can have. I think that’s a gift from God, truly I think that God have gifted me with a lot of opportunity, a lot of blessings, and a lot of things that sometimes you can’t even imagine at the things that you have. So I’m just grateful—I’m grateful for the people that I have around me, I’m grateful that I’m able to surround myself around great people, a great organization, and people that always encourage rather than discourage and that’s always my focus.


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