Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson spoke with the media before Thursday's "No Turnover Thursday" practice session at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center. Here are five things we learned from his press conference, which covered Seattle's offensive line, Jimmy Graham, durability and more:
1. He Feels The Offensive Line Is Ready
One of the biggest matchups — maybe even the biggest — to watch against the Dolphins will be the battle in the trenches: Seattle's offensive line versus Miami's stout defensive group, and Miami's growing line versus Seattle's terrorizing rush. Wilson believes Seattle's "new group" of offensive lineman are ready for Sunday.
"Well you think about their defensive line, it's one of the best in the National Football League, the types of players that they have, the type of havoc that they cause." Wilson said of Miami's line that's projected to start Cameron Wake, Ndamukong Suh, Earl Mitchell and Mario Williams. "It'll be great, though, for our offensive line to go up against great defensive linemen and we're excited about that opportunity. We're a new group upfront but we're a talented group that can do a lot of great things, and we showed that this preseason, in my opinion. We're all on the same page, Justin Britt is leading the way in his communication and all that. Across the board from left to right, those guys have really been on the same page."
2. C.J. Prosise Has Made An Impression
Wilson was briefly asked about the running backs, and he praised rookie C.J. Prosise, who Wilson said reminds him of dual-threat Fred Jackson, who played for the Seahawks last season.
"He's so talented. He's so calm out there," Wilson said of Prosise, "really reminds me of a younger Fred Jackson in his mentality and his hands and the things he can do. His quickness. You see that he's got great vision."
When asked about the running back group as a whole, Wilson highlighted their versatility.
"We've always had a great stable of backs, but this year it's a young group that has tons of fire. We have a plethora of running backs that can make a lot of plays, they can do a lot of things."
3. Jimmy Graham "Looks Ready To Go"
Jimmy Graham hasn't played in a game since last November after tearing his patellar tendon, but since coming off the PUP list in August, teammates and coaches have raved about his progress. Wilson was impressed with how Graham has handled his rehab and said the 29-year-old tight end has been "lights out" in practice.
"Jimmy looks great," Wilson said, "he's ready to go and I don't know how much he's going to play, or if he's going to play — that's coach's decision and all that and the trainers. But in terms of playing out there, he looks ready to go for sure.
"He's one of the most mentally tough people you'll ever meet. Jimmy Graham is arguably the toughest person mentally you can ever meet because of all the things he's been through, through the family stuff, to his childhood, obviously to the injury this past year. He's handled it with so much grace, so much toughness, a positive attitude every day, a work ethic that's unmatchable."
4. Durability Is Key
Wilson — who has never missed a start in his NFL career — said durability is one of the most important things to being a quarterback.
"It's a huge part." Wilson said. "Availability, durability, is the most important, I think, thing to playing the quarterback position.
"You have to be out on the field, you have to be able to make the smart plays, know when to get down, know when to get out of bounds, know how to take certain hits. Being able to stand there and take certain hits when the game is on the line. Being able to stand there on third down, red zone, and all those type of throws. You have to be able to do that. I pride myself on that, for sure. That's all offseason work, in-season work with Coach Carlisle as well.
5. Prime Wilson?
At 27 years old, most would consider this the prime of Wilson's NFL career. Does he?
"I hope I'm cracking the surface a little bit," Wilson said, "that's kind of my mentality. I just take one year at a time, one game at a time, one play at a time. Let that add up. I definitely feel extremely confident knowing what I'm trying to do on offense and understanding what we're trying to do. Every year, the goal is to improve, every year the goal is to play at a high level and play winning football."
The Seattle Seahawks have faced the Miami Dolphins 15 times dating back to 1977, going 4-8 in the regular season and 1-2 in the postseason. They'll look to add another win this Sunday, October 4 at 10 a.m. PT at Hard Rock Stadium.