Wednesday in Hawkville: Russell Wilson is the calm in the center of a chaotic storm

Posted Aug 20, 2014

When things start to come unglued around him, Seahawks QB Russell Wilson tries to slow things down while sticking to some advice his late father gave him years ago: “Just salvage the play.”

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Aug. 20, when the Seahawks held their "No Repeat Friday" practice in preparation for Friday night's preseason game against the Chicago Bears at CenturyLink Field:


As in the situation Russell Wilson seems to find himself frequently when he's on the football and everything around him is, well, chaotic.

That also seems to be when the Seahawks' third-year quarterback is often at his best. The play doesn't unfold as expected? No problem. A spin here. A whirl there. A pirouette over there. A duck-and-dance over here. And Wilson comes out throwing. Or running. Or scrambling to buy time before he delivers a pass.

"To feel all the guys coming sometimes, running at you, it feels a little chaotic at times," Wilson said after Wednesday's final full practice before Friday night's preseason game against the Chicago Bears at CenturyLink Field.

"But I try to slow it down as much as I can. I try to be very clear minded and keep my eyes downfield. I trust what I see. And if it's not there, just salvage the play. That's something I learned at a young age. My dad used to always tell me when I was younger, 'Just salvage the play. Move on to the next play.' "

With Wilson, it's often a matter of one man's salvage being another man's salvation.

"There's times where, if the game's on the line, you have to make something happen," he said. "You have to scramble a little bit extra and throw it up or whatever. But at the end of the day, I know we're going to have more plays to keep attacking and keep trying.

"So I just try to be smart. I try to not take any stupid hits; try to make sure I get down or get out of bounds. Get as much as I can. I can't forget that I have a great running back in Marshawn (Lynch). I can hand it off to him on the next play if it's third-and-1. Or I've great receivers on the flank if it's third-and-long. The goal is to get the ball to the true playmakers."


Pro Bowl center Max Unger and Pro Bowl-caliber left tackle Russell Okung continued to work with the No. 1 line in practice, a good sign for them to make their preseason debuts against the Bears after sitting out the first two preseason games – Unger with a sore groin and Okung because he had offseason foot surgery.


After leading the Seahawks with 8.5 sacks in 2013, defensive lineman Michael Bennett has a chance to become the sixth player in franchise history to do it in back-to-back seasons. Here's a look at the elite group Bennett is trying to join:

Player Seasons
Jacob Green 4: 1980-83
Jacob Green  4: 1985-88
Chris Clemons 3: 2010-12
Michael Sinclair  2: 1993-94
Michael Sinclair  2: 1997-98
John Randle 2: 2001-02
Chike Okeafor 2: 2003-04

Green also led the team in sacks in 1988 and is the franchise's all-time leader with 116; Sinclair is No. 2 on the all-time list with 73.5.

"That would be a bonus to get them all back," offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said. "We're still missing a couple of them, but the guys that have been in their place have done a really nice job."

That would be Lemuel Jeanpierre at center for Unger and Alvin Bailey at left tackle for Okung – although veteran Eric Winston has been working on the left side this week after playing primarily at right tackle since signing with the Seahawks on July 29.

"We can always count on Lemuel to step in there and do a good job for us," Bevell said. "It was a well-executed game last week (in the 41-14 win over the Chargers). I just want to make sure we continue to do that on a consistent basis."

Getting Unger and Okung back against the Bears would be two giant steps toward achieving that.

Here's how the lines have looked this week:

First team: Okung, James Carpenter at left guard, Unger and guard J.R. Sweezy and rookie tackle Justin Britt on the right side.

Second team, from left tackle to right: Winston, Wade Smith, Jeanpierre, Stephen Schilling, Bailey.

Third team, from left tackle to right: Garry Gilliam, Caylin Hauptmann (who sat out Wednesday), Greg Van Roten, Cory Brandon and Nate Isles.


The players will have a walkthrough on Thursday, their final on-field session before Friday night's preseason home finale against the Bears at CenturyLink Field.


"When he has the football in his hands people get a little nervous. You just kind of get that sense."

QB Russell Wilson on wide receiver Percy Harvin

Down the road a bit, Wilson will be among 11 players joining Carrie Underwood for her performance of "Waiting All Day for Sunday Night" that will be played prior to kickoff for each of NBC's primetime games this season – starting with the Seahawks' opener against the Green Bay Packers at CenturyLink Field on Sept. 4. The Seahawks also will be featured in Week 13 – at the 49ers on Thanksgiving night; and Week 16 – a Sunday night game against the Cardinals in Arizona.

So, will we get to hear Wilson sing?

"Will you get to hear me sing?" Wilson said with a smile as he repeated the question. "You know, I don't know. I'm sure how they're going to cut and edit it. So we'll see. There are a couple bloopers in there."

So we will hear Wilson sing. "I was singing a little bit," he said. "Want me to sing for you now? I'm just kidding."

Also joining Underwood are 10 other players who, along with Wilson, have accounted for 44 Pro Bowl selections, five Super Bowl championships, three Super Bowl MVP trophies and eight first-round draft picks – Saints tight end Jimmy Graham, 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick, Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly, Giants QB Eli Manning, Broncos QB Peyton Manning, Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall, Packers linebacker Clay Matthews, Eagles running back LeSean McCoy, Chargers QB Philip Rivers and Broncos defensive end DeMarcus Ware.