In his first group interview since being named the Seahawks starting quarterback, Russell Wilson says he’s “never been afraid to excel.”
The least surprised person in the sports world about Russell Wilson? Russell Wilson.
No brag. Just fact.
I definitely had starting as a goal,” he told reporters after practice, his first interview after coach Pete Carroll Sunday told the rookie he was the Seahawks No. 1 quarterback. “I have high expectations of myself. I always have, always will. That will never waver. I always believe in my talent, always have.”
Wilson is so matter-of-fact about his supreme confidence that it sounds less like swagger and more like more like the proper tool to make something work.
“My goal every time I step out on the football field is to be great,” he said. “Im never afraid to excel. Thats the way I have to always be, in every opportunity that I get.”
Besides his strong Christian beliefs, Wilson credited another force that drives him.
“Me being a shorter quarterback, I believe Im playing for a lot of other kids in the future, to be honest with you,” he said. “Thats part of my motivation.”
Short-guy syndrome? No. Third-round syndrome? No.
“Not at all,” he said. “I dont play for other people or anything like that. I play for an audience of one. My viewpoint on (the nay-sayers) is people are going to have
their opinions. Thats part of the game. They get paid to do that.
“Part of my thing is just to do what I can control. Put the best foot forward I can, and just play to the highest level I could possibly play.”
He seems to know good things are coming his way because of his work ethic. Asked if he was surprised at Carroll’s decision, he hesitated.
Was I surprised? I was more . . . so excited about the opportunity,” he said. “I felt like I put a lot of hard work in. Matt (Flynn) is a great player too and . . . just to have the opportunity to help lead this football team is huge. Even though Im a rookie, I believe in the fact that I can help this team win and do a lot of great things.”
Wilson leaves a strong impression because he attempts to engage everyone personally.
“My thing is — and Ive always been this way – to get to know as many people as I possibly can on a personal level,” he said. “That way, when you get on the football field, youve got your buddy right beside you and youre ready to go.
“Its been a great experience for me. I dont try to win people over or anything like that. I just try to be myself. Get here early, leave late thats what I want to do, thats what I desire to do. I desire to be great.”
JACKSON DEAL DONE – The trade of Tarvaris Jackson to Buffalo was completed Monday morning when the Bills released backup quarterback Vince Young and gave the Seahawks an undisclosed draft choice.
Jackson had to accept a pay cut from the $4 million due him by the Seahawks because the Bills deemed the money too high for a backup to starter Ryan Fitzpatrick.
“It hasn’t really hit me yet,” Jackson told reporters after taking a coast-to-coast red-eye flight. “I’m just kind of excited right now to be here and trying to get in and learn as much as possible right now.”
The Bills are 0-3 in the preseason after a 38-7 loss to Pittsburgh Saturday. Jackson was with the Minnesota Vikings for five years before joining the Seahawks after the lockout in 2011. His record as a starter for the two clubs was 17-17.
Young led Texas to the national championship in 2006 and was drafted third overall by the Tennessee and was NFL offensive rookie of the year. But the Titans grew fed up with Young and released him before last season. He spent last year as Michael Vick’s backup in Philadelphia before Buffalo gave him a shot.