After the Seahawks held their second practice of minicamp, quarterback Russell Wilson said he and his teammates “are fired up” about the team’s offseason workouts, which conclude on Thursday, and that mentality had nothing to do with the 90-plus degree weather in the region.
“The guys are making a lot of plays as you can see today,” Wilson said. “It’s exciting. The offensive line’s doing a tremendous job, they’re tough as can be.”
Here are five takeaways from Wilson’s press conference on the penultimate day of the Seahawks’ offseason workout calendar:
1. A year of experience under offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer is showing up for the offense.
At this time last year, Wilson and the rest of the Seahawks offense were still figuring things out under a new coordinator, Brian Schottenheimer, and new offensive line coach, Mike Solari. Now that the Seahawks have played an entire season with those two coaches, things are going much more smoothly this offseason.
“Going into second year with coach Schotty and the terminology and everything else we’re trying to do and how we’re trying to attack defenses, how we’re trying to make plays is really exciting,” he said. “So I think we’re doing a lot of great things. The versatility of the young guys, of the older guys too, it’s great.”
Asked how that experience working with Schottenheimer translates for the offense, Wilson said, “It translates in a big way. We spend a lot of extra time together, but we already have the same ideas as we’re coming into the office versus this time last year—‘OK, what are we thinking here? What are we thinking here?’ As soon as we watch that film after practice, we discuss what we’re seeing and what we can keep doing better and everything else. It’s a great thing, and he’s doing a tremendous job for us.”
2. The receivers are making plays “across the board.”
The Seahawks are without Doug Baldwin for the first time since 2010, and while the former Pro Bowl receiver is certainly missed, the rest of the receiving corps, which includes three players selected in this year’s draft, has made a strong impression on Wilson.
“It’s great seeing DK [Metcalf] make his plays. I think DK is looking really, really special,” Wilson said. “He can do anything and everything and he’s tremendous. I think David Moore’s looking really great. He’s had a solid, great, special camp. Tyler Lockett has just continued to be a star for us as you can see in camp. I think Keenan [Reynolds] is doing a tremendous job. There’s a lot of guys. And then J.B.—Jaron Brown’s doing a tremendous job of getting open, finding ways. There’s just so much versatility at every position to be honest with you. I’m really liking what the running backs are doing, I’m really impressed by [Rashaad] Penny and C.J. [Prosise], just how they’ve stepped and now obviously J.D. [McKissic] can always make plays too. So I think across the board, I’m really excited about the rookie class though that we have, you know, it’s been fun to watch them come in and the challenge that they’ve bestowed on themselves and just everything else and then our team and just, they really look forward to it.
"Last year, I think people were worried about the unknowns of everything and everything else. And the great thing about the game is you get to control your destiny, you know, and get control everyday how you prepare, how you work, no matter if you’re a rookie, no matter if you’re going into your eighth year or whatever it is. I think at the end of the day, how you prepare and how you come to work is the best thing that you can do. And we’ve got a lot of great leaders that are demonstrating that and then the rookies have already come in with a great attitude and now they’re continuing on what it takes to be great.”
3. DK Metcalf has impressed with his knowledge of the game.
Asked about Metcalf, a second-round pick out of Mississippi, Wilson was quick to point out that Metcalf is more than just a physical specimen. Yes, Metcalf did indeed run a 4.33-yard 40-yard dash and pop a 40.5-inch vertical at 6-foot-4, 229 pounds, but that isn’t what Wilson singled out when asked about the rookie.
“His knowledge of the game first,” Wilson said. “Everybody knows about ability to run and jump and catch and all that. But I think more than anything else, it’s his brain, how he processes information, how quickly he understands it. He’s really intelligent, he understands the game really well. He takes coaching well, he gets extra work. He’s a legit pro wide receiver. He’s everything everyone was talking about in terms of what he’s capable of and more.”
4. Wilson plans to again host workouts with teammates in July.
Ever since the summer following his rookie season, Wilson has organized informal throwing sessions with teammates during the team’s break between offseason workouts and the start of training camp, and Wilson plans to do that again next month.
“Yeah, we’ll definitely get together in the summertime and throw a lot of footballs together and have some fun too,” he said. “That’s always a great part about summertime.”
And while that extra time might be particularly important for a team that is younger at receiver than it has been in years past, Wilson is still impressed with how far the passing game has progressed thus far.
“I’m kind of shocked how good we’ve been in terms of the young guys coming in, the new receivers and tight ends and everybody else, just how everything has clicked in such a smooth way,” he said.”I feel like I’ve been doing it for years with these guys, so that’s a good thing. We’ve just got to continue to put the time in and see how far we can take it.”
The workouts, which have taken place in Southern California in recent years, allow Wilson and his pass-catchers to work on their timing, but it’s about more than just on-field work when they get together.
“That bonding part is key,” he said. “We want to just continue that, just getting together. This is the game that we love, it’s also our jobs, and it’s also family. So to be able to do that and spend time with one another is great.”
5. A new contract doesn’t come with added pressure.
Wilson signed a lucrative contract extension earlier this offseason, but in his view, more money doesn’t equal more pressure to perform. He has always had high expectations for himself and the team, and that won’t change in 2019.
“No, not at all,” Wilson said. “I think I always put enough positive pressure on myself. You look forward to the moments, you look forward to the challenges, you look forward to the opportunity, you look forward to greatness, you look forward to success. It doesn’t waver my mindset from my first year to this year, it doesn’t change anything. Pressure is when my dad was on his deathbed. This is a game I get to play, I get to throw a football for a living and get to do what I love to do and get to be around a lot of great guys and a lot of great fans. So I think there’s an excitement to do what you set out to do, and that’s to win a Super Bowl.”
Photos from Day 2 of the Seattle Seahawks' 2019 mandatory minicamp, part of the team's offseason workout program held on Wednesday, June 12 at Renton's Virginia Mason Athletic Center.