Run the table? Well,
that isn’t realistic.
But in the last few weeks, the Seattle Seahawks have taken long strides, not just steps. In the past three games, the previously constrained offense has scored an average of 27 points. Then this week, the rookie quarterback, Russell Wilson, went all Tony Robbins after practice:
“Today is a huge day for us,” he said. “It’s got to be the best day of our lives right now and tomorrow’s got to be the next best and keep going from there. That’s the way we look at it.”
Years of journalism experience taught me that those kinds of sunshine statements are a threat to my vision. So I had my optic muscles surgically replaced with bridge cables to prevent terminal eye-roll.
But Wilson says these kinds of things all the time. He’s a perambulating think-positive seminar, a human Hallmark card, a motivational steamroller.
Whether my bridge cables grow taut is of no matter; he believes this stuff. Most important, he gets his teammates to buy in, because the offense grows incrementally better as he gains more experience.
He is doing things rarely seen from a rookie in NFL history, especially for a third-round draftee.
Five teams had rookies open the season at quarterback, most since at least 1950, and two more than the modern era mark of three in 1968. Wilson’s performance is on a par with heralded rookie Robert Griffin III of Washington, and better than two others taken in the first round, Indianapolis’s Andrew Luck and Ryan Tannehill, a longtime Wilson pal who runs the Dolphins offense in Miami (4-6), where the Seahawks play Sunday.
Among them only Luck’s team has a winning record, the same 6-4 as Seattle, and the Colts played a softer schedule, owing to last season’s dreadfulness (2-14). And now, for the first time in his infant career, Wilson plays a game after having had a week off from drinking at the fire hose.
“The coaches recommended I get away,” Wilson said, sounding as if he did it only under orders. “It was a good thing – let the body relax and let my mind relax a little bit. But I’m right back at it. Like I always say, there’s no time to sleep.”
Yup. He always says things like that. Nobody has yet caught him lying. You know, like actually sleeping.
He’s on, 24/7,” said Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. “You get here (to the VMAC practice facility), he’s here. You leave, he’s still here. He puts a lot of effort into it and a lot of work.
“It’s always good to ease your mind (and) take everything off of it, so you can be fresh when you get back.”
Really, if Wilson didn’t make so much eye contact and wasn’t as sincere as a left turn at the Indianapolis 500, you have to think he’s making up stuff. Check this, when he was asked about his health following the longest stretch of the most rugged football he’s experienced.
“My body feels tremendous, actually,” he said. “It feels like I haven’t even played a game yet. That’s a tribute to the offensive line.”
Spoken like a Golden Child.
Art Thiel is a columnist for sportpressNW.com.