Kam Chancellor of the Seattle Seahawks addresses the media during Super Bowl XLVIII media availability at the Westin Hotel January 27, 2014 in Jersey City, New Jersey. The Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks will meet in Super Bowl XLVIII at Metlife Stadium on February 2, 2014. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
by Curtis Crabtree
JERSEY CITY, N.J. - QB Russell Wilson may be the biggest single reason the Seattle Seahawks have made it to Super Bowl XLVIII and was one of the main topics of conversation Tuesday.
Wilson's meteoric rise as one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL has helped propel the Seahawks to just their second Super Bowl apperance in franchise history.
As such, Wilson was constantly referenced by both the Seahawks and Denver Broncos Monday in advance of their matchup Sunday night.
Seattle FB Michael Robinson said Wilson is the reason why the Seahawks have made it to within one victory of their first championship in franchise history.
"if your quarterback isn’t right, you can’t have a good football team," Robinson said. "There’s no slight to any other quarterbacks that I’ve had in the past, but it just felt like it didn’t get right until Russell got here."
Of course, Seattle wouldn't have seen the fruits of that ability if general manager John Schneider hadn't jumped on Wilson once he fell to the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
Head coach Pete Carroll credited Schneider for seeing what others didn't when it comes to their 5-foot-11 quarterback.
"John had it pegged perfectly. He’d been particularly sweating it out in the second round because he wasn’t sure he was right of course but he had it nailed," Carroll said.
"Not everybody knew. Not everybody realized what an extraordinary player he would be. John did."
The Broncos noted Wilson's scrambling ability as a key factor toward keeping Seattle's offense in check.
"He is a guy who can beat you running or throwing," CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie said. "The main thing is to keep him inside the pocket and don’t let him get out and scramble. He has a receiver that is capable of getting down the field and getting open. They are good in their routes, and any time he can get outside of the pocket, he makes things happen."
Added DT Terrance Knighton: "We’ve got to do a good job of keeping him in the pocket and force him out of his comfort zone. When he’s moving left he’ll tend to run it more and when he’s moving right he wants to pass it more. We just have to do a good job of containing him. He’ll get out and he’ll make his plays during the game, but we’ll just have to limit them."
Practices Begin in New Jersey
Monday was the first day of practices for both the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos.
The Seahawks get to train at the New York Giants' facility while the Broncos will get to utilize the New York Jets training facility. The one major difference is that the Giants facility is just nine miles away from Seattle's team hotel. The Jets facility is nearly 30 miles away in Florham Park, N.J.
It means the Broncos will spend considerably more time traveling back and forth from practice compared to the Seahawks.
What does that mean? Probably nothing, but it's still an interesting piece to the puzzle.
The Seahawks practiced indoors at the Giants complex on Monday as conditons didn't allow the team to utilize the outdor practice fields. Nevertheless, Carroll felt the team got some meaningful work accomplished.
"We had a great workout today," Carroll said. "It was a bonus Monday for us – a little more than you normally get during a normal week’s practice so the guys really took to it. We had a great tempo and enthusiasm and everything was really cool, so we’re off to a good start."
The Broncos were headed to their practice after media availability and had yet to set foot on the Jets training complex before Monday afternoon.
Both teams will partake in Tuesday's "Media Day" activities to be held at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
PHOTO GALLERY FROM THE MEDIA ROOM ...