Following the 15th and final practice of Seahawks training camp presented by Bing at Renton's Virginia Mason Athletic Center, a workout held in front of a capacity-crowd of 2,600 fans, Russell Wilson took time to meet with the media.
Here's a couple things we learned from the Seattle quarterback as the team readies for its second preseason game of 2015 - a road matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs set for 5 p.m. PT this Friday at Arrowhead Stadium.
He's Not Concerned About The O-Line Shuffle
In Seattle's preseason opener against the Denver Broncos this past Friday at CenturyLink Field, the Seahawks' starting offensive line consisted of Russell Okung at left tackle, Alvin Bailey at left guard, Lemuel Jeanpierre at center, J.R. Sweezy at right guard, and Justin Britt at right tackle.
In the days that followed, head coach Pete Carroll and assistant head coach/offensive line coach Tom Cable admitted the unit needs to improve its pass protection and the Seahawks shuffled their O-line when they returned to practice this past Monday. Garry Gilliam has now been working as the starter at right tackle, a move that shifted Britt - who started 16 games at right tackle as a rookie last year - inside to left guard as the Seahawks look to get their five best linemen on the field at the same time.
Wilson, who was hurried often through two series last week and fumbled the football after taking a sack on the second play from scrimmage, was asked if he's concerned about the recent shift in personnel up front as the team continues to search for ways to replace last year's starters Max Unger and James Carpenter.
"No, I'm not concerned," Wilson said. "I have full confidence in those guys up front and they're going to do a phenomenal job. Britt's played right tackle, now he's moved to left guard some, and you got Garry Gilliam stepping in at right tackle some. So the great thing is that it's a long season, 16 games. As you guys know in the past three years we've had to have guys step up and step in, and that's great to have versatility up front and guys playing different positions. Coach Cable is going to do a great job of that and those guys are going to be ready to go."
Carroll has said the team "can't wait much longer" to settle on a starting line and Cable hinted at making a decision around the middle of next week. That would help heading into the team's third preseason game against the San Diego Chargers, the exhibition that traditionally showcases each team's No. 1 offense and defense into the third quarter of play.
He's Looking Forward To A Return To Kansas City
You could look at the last time Wilson played a preseason game at Arrowhead Stadium and say it was the start of establishing him as the Seahawks' franchise quarterback. It came in the third week of exhibition play in 2012, Wilson's rookie year, as the third-round draft pick found himself in a three-way battle for the starting job with veterans Tarvaris Jackson and Matt Flynn. Wilson earned the start against the Chiefs that week, and ultimately for the season, after finishing 13-of-19 for 185 yards and two touchdowns, also adding 58 yards with his legs.
"It's a great memory," Wilson said. "Think about that, was only three years ago or a little bit more. I think it shows that hard work pays off. Every day you try to be consistent and you love the game for what it is. You'll have some bumps and bruises along the way, and you keep moving forward. It's a collective effort. I've been fortunate enough to play with a lot of great players and a great team for three years so far, and we're looking forward to what's coming up next and so it's going to be a lot of fun."
Seattle visited Kansas City during Week 11 of the regular season last year. The Seahawks lost, 24-20, but went on to win their final six games and claim a second-consecutive division crown and the NFC's No. 1 playoff seed. Wilson said the team is looking forward to a return visit this week.
"I think the thing to accomplish is to be very productive, be efficient, and in terms of our offense we want to play with great tempo," said Wilson. "We want to get in and out of the huddle. Playing on the road is going to be fun. First time playing on the road this year, so it will be good. It will be a loud crowd, Arrowhead packs it up and they make a lot of noise, so it will be fun."
- Wilson said his connection with tight end Jimmy Graham is "right on point." The pair linked up for a 12-yard pass in the preseason opener that helped set up a Steven Hauschka field goal. It was Wilson's only completion and Graham's only catch of the night.
- We've noted that one of Wilson's goals for 2015 was to become even quicker on his feet. He has already said he feels faster than he did at this time last year and today noted that his offseason leg work wasn't all about just improving his game on the ground, "I think one of the most important things in terms of throwing the ball too is your legs," he said. "The strength in your legs. So that's where my focus is."
Seahawks Training Camp presented by Bing officially broke at the end of Day 15 practice.