Starting quarterback Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks addresses the media at the Westin Hotel on January 26, 2014 in Jersey City, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
QUARTERBACK RUSSELL WILSON
(on if it’s more difficult to play in New York versus Seattle) “Your main focus in on the game. In terms of the noise, that’s what we’ve been doing all year. Our goal is to go 1-0 every single weekend and that’s been our focus. Things haven’t changed. We had that championship mindset all offseason, all during the season, all training camp, and now we’re here. I believe that we’re supposed to be here and we’re excited about the moment.”
(on the fact that there’s twice as many media members waiting to talk to CB Richard Sherman) “Richard Sherman is a great football player. He’s an all-pro player. He represents the Seahawks well by the way he plays and just his energy and his passion. I love the kid to death. He’s a very intelligent human being, too. Richard Sherman I believe graduated with a 3.9 GPA from Stanford. That’s not easy to do. You think about all the things he does for our football team, all of the big plays he’s made for us this year and the years that he’s played for the Seahawks, it’s unbelievable.”
(on if he is surprised that Sherman has received so much attention in the past week) “No. I mean, he’s a great football player. All of the things that he’s done for our football team, he deserves the attention with the way that he plays. I love that about Richard.”
(on the message from Head Coach Pete Carroll) “In terms of Coach Carroll talking to us, we’ve definitely had the talk in terms of there’s going to be a lot of distractions, a lot of media, there’s going to be a lot of things going on, and you have to do those things. Those are the things that makes the occasion so big and so great. We’re looking forward to those things, but at the same time our main focus and our only focus is to win the football game and to do everything we can to prepare the right way and play a great game next Sunday.”
(on the Super Bowl environment) “Well last year I went to the Super Bowl just to observe and watch and did some broadcasting stuff, but my main objective within all of that was to get prepared for the situation if that was the case. Just observing and noticing the time that it took in terms of pregame, in terms of halftime, you never know what may happen. You always have to be prepared for that. I think the biggest thing for our football team is just noticing that circumstances are a little bit different, but at the same time, it still feels like 100 yards, still 53 and a third; it doesn’t change, and we’re looking forward to that moment when the ball is kicked off and we play one play at a time and just be in the moment and enjoy the moment.
(on how important his decision was to transfer to Wisconsin) “In terms of transferring to Wisconsin it was a blessing in disguise. It was one of those things where I loved N.C. State. I graduated from there in three years in communications and broadcasting, went to graduate school there for business. I was blessed enough to play professional baseball and get drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the fourth round. I went to spring training and played A ball for several months and I had the opportunity to go wherever I wanted to go, just because I took care of business academically. That’s the promise that I made to my dad that I would graduate in three years, just in case I was drafted in baseball or football. That way I would have my education. Being able to transfer to the University of Wisconsin was a true blessing, obviously going to N.C. State was, too. Being able to go to Wisconsin, a place that I never imagined that I would ever go, and ending up there with the coaching staff and great teammates, one of the teammates I’m playing, (Broncos RB) Montee Ball, a great teammate of mine. You think about the atmosphere at the University of Wisconsin and the Big Ten just in general and just the school, the academics there were exceptional and so that was a great experience for me and I cherish both schools.
(on Denver RB Montee Ball) “He has a knack of getting into the end zone. He’s an exceptional player, he’s an exceptional friend. He and I are really close and he can just make a lot of plays. I have a lot of respect for him and what he does and he’s done a great job for the Denver Broncos.
(on what he takes from Drew Brees’ small stature) “Well, Drew Brees was a guy that I looked up to ever since my dad really told me about him, back when I was in middle school and high school, ‘Hey you have to watch this guy at Purdue, or you have to watch this guy play.’ When I went to college and I got to NC State, I started watching some film on him a little bit and when I went to Wisconsin, that’s when I really started watching him. I watched every single throw that he made the year before in the National Football League. Just studying his craft, studying his game. I’ve read his book several times, and he’s just great inspiration. He’s a guy that does things right, a guy that is a great leader and he’s so poised in big situations. That’s the thing you notice about him. We’ve been in communication over the past week, just about the experience. Like I said, he knows I look up to him. He’s a great individual and he was just talking about the experience and it’s no different. The biggest thing is taking care of all tickets and taking care of all family early in the week last week, which I was able to do last Monday and just focus on the game.
(on visualizing the Super Bowl) “I’m big into visualizing and this moment right here is exactly what I visualized. Being here in this moment is one of those things I truly believed going into the year, after we played the preseason game against the Denver Broncos that we may play them. Ironically, we’re playing against the Denver Broncos. They have an unbelievable quarterback in Peyton Manning. I have so much respect for him and what he’s done over his entire career. He deserves all of the credit; he’s an unbelievable quarterback and human being. Just the energy in this area right now, in New Jersey. All of you guys here in the New York area, it’s going to be a great scene. It’s going to be a great game. It’s going to be a battle to the end and I’m really looking forward to that game.”