Focus on: Russell Wilson, the sideline spectator

Posted Aug 21, 2014

On those rare occasions when Russell Wilson doesn’t finish what he starts, the Seahawks’ quarterback takes time to appreciate the energy being generated by the 12th Man fans and the plays being made by other players.

When you’re done watching Russell Wilson at CenturyLink Field on Friday night, the Seahawks’ quarterback will be watching you.

The starters are expected to get their longest stint of the preseason in the home finale against the Chicago Bears, playing into the third quarter. Wilson then will be a sideline spectator for the remainder of the game, which goes against everything in his the-separation-is-in-the-preparation competitive nature.

If there are plays to be made, Wilson wants to be on the field making them. But that’s not how the preseason works. So what does Wilson do after calling it an early evening?

“I get pumped up just to be able to stand and watch sometimes and observe,” he said Wednesday after the Seahawks’ final full practice this week. “Just see the energy of our stadium and kind of get an outside perspective from the sideline and watch our guys.

“It’s so exciting to see guys make plays on our team, guys who are trying to make the team and make a difference.”

Don’t get him wrong. Wilson does not want to stand and watch. During the six regular-season games he has started but not finished in his first two seasons, Wilson appeared as if he didn’t know what to do within himself as the game progresses without him.

“Whenever my name is called, I’m ready,” he said. “I’ll play the whole time if I have to.”

How much will Wilson and the other starters play against the Bears, especially since their time is expected to be very limited, at best, in next Thursday’s preseason finale against the Raiders in Oakland?

“I’m expecting a lot of play,” Wilson said. “I believe coach (Pete Carroll) is going to want us to play through the half and probably the third quarter, I would assume. I’m not sure exactly.”

Carroll is, and he’ll be asked the same how-much-will-guys-play/which-guys-will-play questions after Thursday’s walkthrough. He will likely answer them with, “You’ll see on game day,” if at all. That’s not only a coach’s prerogative, it’s imperative. As former Seahawks coach Chuck Knox always said, “If a hair on my head knew what I was thinking I’d pluck it out.”

Another question that Wilson and Carroll are constantly asked involves the evolution of the passing game – at the cost of a running game that completes the physical circle set by the defense and special teams that Carroll wants – now that Wilson is in his third season and Percy Harvin is healthy after missing most of last season following hip surgery.

Carroll usually cuts the question off before it can be completed, and his most-recent response was, “Why would we want to do that?”

Wednesday, Wilson was asked if the passing game could improve and evolve without more passes being thrown.

“Definitely,” he said. “The passing game already is improving and evolving. It’s going into my third year, so you take it kind of one day at time, one year at a time and just keep going and keep getting better. That’s my goal, is to always continue to progress and continue to get better on a daily basis.

“I think our team is going to be really, really good this year. I think that we have the right guys.”

Starting with the guy who will start at quarterback against the Bears, even if he won’t finish the game.