Once again this season, it feels like it is “Super Bowl or Bust” for the talented Seattle Seahawks, and the only way they can claim another Lombardi trophy is with a healthy quarterback.
While never missing a start in his six-year career, Russell Wilson played through excruciating pain a season ago as one injury led to another.
Despite the passion he showed on the field, debilitating ankle, knee and chest injuries never allowed Wilson or the Seattle offense to find a groove.
“I am super passionate about the game, I love what I get to do every day,” he said Thursday. “I am just big into getting into a rhythm, I think more than anything else… I try to play practice just like a game. The timing, getting the momentum and making the key throws and the clutch throws and everything else.'
Now a 29-year-old married father of a newborn baby, Wilson said he has slimmed down by using a nine-meal, 4,800 calorie diet plan to cut some weight and regain the agility and elusiveness that served him so well in his first four seasons.
A more mobile Wilson aids the running game with the read option and play-action that had been so lethal in the days of Marshawn Lynch.
With Lynch now off to the Raiders, Thomas Rawls is in competition with free agent acquisition Eddie Lacy to be the lead back for the Seahawks.
“When Marshawn was a little dinged up and obviously, Thomas stepped in, Thomas took over,” Wilson said. “He's really clear on what he wants to do and how he wants to do it.”
Pete Carroll has asked Wilson to take more reps this training camp, and the QB has obliged and been locking in on the biggest target in the league, Jimmy Graham.
With Graham shedding 20 pounds off his frame, Wilson said his receiver is in the proper frame of mind to succeed.
“We worked a lot this offseason together and had some really good quality time together… We've really played together now,” he said. “Jimmy is really healthy right now. Last year he was coming off the injury in training camp and the whole spring, so we didn’t get as much practice… He's an exciting player, that's for sure.”
The Seahawks’ run towards Super Bowl 52 will start Sunday with Seattle’s preseason opener at the Los Angeles Chargers. Kickoff is at 5 p.m. on FOX 12.
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