Larry Stone: Russell Wilson and his clichés are back -- and so, apparently, is his commitment to the Seahawks

Larry Stone, The Seattle Times on

Published in Football

SEATTLE — Russell Wilson is back.

That's true in a literal sense, of course. He showed up this week for Organized Team Activities in Renton, Wash., one of several Seahawk veterans to do so despite early indications they would skip the non-mandatory portion of the offseason, en masse.

But more important, in light of his highly, shall we say, eventful offseason, is the fact that the Wilson who took the podium Thursday for his long-awaited interview session was vintage Mr. Unlimited. Or, if you prefer, DangerRuss. In fact, he even said, multiple times, that he felt "more dangerous than ever."

That's straight out of the classic Wilson playbook. So was his listing of virtually the entire roster, right down to the second stringers at each position, when detailing his high hopes for next season. So was his repeated declaration that a title is all that matters, and winning "heals all things."

There's always comfort to be had when an accomplished artist plays the hits. When Wilson ended the Zoom call with his patented, "Go Hawks!" exclamation, it was like Springsteen playing Born to Run. It would have felt wrong without it.

That's not said cynically, either, or to imply that Wilson was pandering or playacting. His shtick might be saccharine, bordering on cloying, but it's consistent. So consistent that you have to conclude it's sincere.


In other words, by now we all know who Russell Wilson is — and more important, who he is not. And here's who he's not. He's not someone who can sustain his discontent and use it as a bludgeon, like Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, or demand a trade like Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson did before sexual-assault allegations against him put his status in limbo.

For better or worse, Wilson is bound by his image, which is to be a team-first player and community-first person who never rests in his pursuit of excellence on and off the field.

This offseason was the first time in his professional career that Wilson went astray of that perception. Not surprisingly, he spent the vast majority of his time Thursday explaining what happened.

Frankly, he still left some questions unanswered, and danced around a few others. Wilson stressed that he never asked for a trade, but he never fully explained why his agent still put forward publicly four teams to which he would agree to be traded.


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