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Get open and Russell Wilson will get you the ball

Posted Aug 5, 2013

Ten practices into the Seahawks’ training camp, Russell Wilson has completed passes to 22 receivers – from the expected, to the unexpected, to the no longer here. But as Phil Bates says, “It’s all good.”


In the first 10 practices of the Seahawks’ training camp, Russell Wilson has completed passes to 22 receivers.

The team’s second-year quarterback has connected with wide receivers (11 of them), running backs (six) and tight ends (five).

Wilson’s completions have gone to the expected – Sidney Rice, Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin, Marshawn Lynch and Michael Robinson, who also were on the receiving end of passes from Wilson last season. Wilson’s completions have gone to the unexpected – Arceto Clark, Cooper Helfet, Andrei Lintz and Derrick Coleman, players you wouldn’t expect to get reps with the franchise QB. Wilson also has passed to the in between --  Jermaine Kearse, Chris Harper, Brett Swain, Phil Bates, Stephen Williams, Luke Willson, Sean McGrath, Christine Michael and Spencer Ware, players who could factor into the passing-game equation this season.

Heck, Wilson has even hooked up with players who aren’t around anymore – Greg Herd, Victor Marshall and Ray Holley.

The winners in this get-open-and-he’ll-get-you-the-ball procedure? The show of hands includes Bates, who was a rookie in camp last summer with Wilson before being released and eventually signed to the practice squad; and Harper, this year’s fourth-round draft choice who was a quarterback before switching to wide receiver in college.

“We came in together, so I kind of know what Russ wants and where to be,” Bates said after Monday’s practice, when he caught one pass from Wilson and also made a falling grab of a 45-yard pass from Brady Quinn.

“We all watch film together, so we all try to be on the same page.”

From the QB who took the league by storm last season after being selected in the third round of the NFL Draft; to Rice and Tate, who finished 1-2 in receptions for the Seahawks last season; to Lintz, the rookie tight end from Washington State who was signed last week.

“It helps out a lot,” Bates said of being part of the rotation that Wilson is able to convert into a productive assembly line of seemingly interchangeable parts. “He has confidence and trust in you. And the more and more good things that happen, the more confidence and trust Russ gets in you and you get in yourself.”

Harper is new to the phenomenon that is Russell Wilson. But as a former quarterback at Northwest High School in Wichita, Kansas, and the University of Oregon, Harper has a difficult kind of appreciation for the things Wilson is able to do – especially when they include him.

“Russell helps me a lot,” said Harper, who moved to wide receiver after transferring to Kansas State. “He’s constantly giving me tips on what to do. And that’s obviously the guy you want to have reps with, because at the end of the day that’s who’s going to be on the field during the games.

“So anything I can get from him and keep it in the back of my mind it helps me – even when he’s not the quarterback.”

And yes, there are those moments when Harper the wide receiver reverts to Harper the QB while watching Wilson.

“In this system, with what he’s doing, it’s a fun system to play in because as the quarterback you can put the ball all over the place,” said Harper, who caught a couple of passes from Wilson in Monday’s practice.

Even into the hands of targets you wouldn’t expect the No. 1 quarterback to be throwing to.

But, as Bates said, “It’s all good.”

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