By John Boyle
Seahawks Russell Wilson, Zach Miller, Jermaine Kearse, Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, Michael Morgan and coach Pete Carroll were all on hand for the Mariners’ home opener, and in addition to being honored in a pregame ceremony, the players also spent a few minutes with the media. A lot of it was just goofing-around-on-camera stuff, but a little bit of football talk was included.
Most notably, Miller briefly discussed (after the TV cameras had cleared out) the contract restructuring he agreed to in the offseason.
“It’s not a situation you want to be in, but I understand the business side of the game,” Miller said.
“I’m just happy to be here again for another season and really excited to be with my teammates and this organization. There’s nothing like it in the rest of the NFL, I think.”
Miller said ultimately the decision to take a paycut wasn’t that tough of one, because he wanted to stay in Seattle rather than end up a free agent, which is generally what happens to players who say no when a team asks them to restructure.
“Not really,” Miller said when asked if it was a hard decision. “When it came down to it, I wanted to be here and I just wanted to make that happen. So whatever I had to do to be here, that’s what got done.”
Miller was also asked about the departure of several key players in free agency, including offensive starters Golden Tate and Breno Giacomini: “I talked to some of those guys, and obviously they’re going to be missed; they’re hard guys to replace… You can never blame a guy for leaving when he’s got to take care of himself, and that’s what it comes down to, but I’ll miss those guys.”
Russell Wilson threw out the first pitch, his second in as many weeks having done the same in Texas last week before a Rangers game. Wilson said he hasn’t heard from any disgruntled Seattle sports fans about being a member of the Rangers organization, or at least that he isn’t aware of any negativity.
“No I don’t think so,” Wilson said. “I don’t pay attention to all of that. I’m blessed to be drafted by the Rangers, and that was a great experience for me… It’s a great organization, and obviously I love coming to Mariners games too as well to support my city where I play in the National Football League.”
On some Mariners players and fans adopting the “Why not us?” line Wilson used last season: “It worked for us for a little bit. I think the biggest thing is just having the belief that you can win a lot of games.”
Wilson, of course, has been a very busy man this offseason as the quarterback of the Super Bowl champions, but he said none of that has kept him from preparing for the 2014 season: “Everywhere I go, I work out every morning. It never stops. That’s what I’ve been doing, watching a lot of film and working out every day.”
Wilson said he and the rest of the offense will again get together for offseason workouts in Southern California, something several players said helped them jumpstart a successful 2013 season.
“Obviously the goal is to do it again,” he said. “We’re not satisfied with what we’ve done… All the offensive guys, we head down to California soon, do the same thing we did last year and the journey starts there. The biggest thing is we want another championship, another Super Bowl. We’ve got to do it one day at a time, just like last year. Same thing, championship offseason, championship mindset. If we go in there with the right mentality, we can do it, we believe, for sure.”