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A Premiere attraction
When Russell Wilson was invited to attend the NFLPA Rookie Premiere in Los Angeles last week, the Seahawks’ first-year quarterback was somewhat reluctant for the obvious reason.
Any time he spent at that event, would mean less time spent in the team’s offseason workout program.
“I knew it would be a great experience, but at the same time the way I’ve always been mentally is I want to focus on what I’m doing,” Wilson said through a smile on Monday. “And that’s playing football and winning games here.”
But once the importance of being invited to the NFLPA event was explained to him, Wilson quickly adopted a, well, “I’m in” attitude.
“The Rookie Premiere was great,” he said. “The NFLPA did a great job. It was unbelievable hospitality. And you get to spend time with the guys that you got drafted with, which is a pretty cool experience.
“It was a great experience, and I’m definitely glad I did it. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Wilson, the Seahawks’ third-round draft choice, and fourth-rounder Robert Turbin, a running back from Utah State, were among the 36 draft choices who took part in the Rookie Premiere. They modeled the team’s new Nike uniforms. They signed items for trading card companies. They had their photos taken for their first rookie cards. They met with representatives from marketing agencies.
“We helped in the community a little bit, too,” Wilson said. “And to have Turbin with me, it’s always good to have a teammate with you.”
Wilson and Turbin found themselves in good company, as the event also was attended by quarterbacks Robert Griffin III (Redskins), Ryan Tannehill (Dolphins), Brandon Weeden (Browns) and Nick Foles (Eagles); running backs Trent Richardson (Browns) and Ronnie Hillman (Broncos); and wide receivers Justin Blackmon (Jaguars), Jarius Wright (Vikings) and A.J. Jenkins (49ers).
So even though Wilson wasn’t around for the Seahawks’ offseason sessions on Thursday and Friday, he made up for the lost time during Monday’s workout and will participate in the first of 10 OTA practices on Tuesday.
After his impressive performance in the team’s recent three-day rookie camp, coach Pete Carroll said that Wilson will compete with incumbent Tarvaris Jackson and free-agent addition Matt Flynn for the starting job.
His reaction? Predictable for the beyond-levelheaded QB who had productive college stints at Wisconsin and North Carolina State before becoming the 75th selection overall in the draft.
“It’s definitely exciting, but at the same time you ignore the noise,” he said. “You just focus on what you can control, focus on executing every single play one play at a time and going from there.
“Don’t put too much pressure on myself. The goal is to just execute plays and just execute our offense and get in and out of the huddle and be sharp all the time.”