Super Bowl fame hasn’t changed Russell Wilson

RENTON — The question was asked in regard to Russell Wilson’s physical build — does he have any desire to change his playing weight, something players often talk about doing this time of year — but really, his answer summed up the approach to the entire offseason for the Seahawks quarterback.

“It worked for us last year, I don’t need to change too much, you know?” Wilson said.

At first glance, Wilson does look different — a recently shaved head tends to do that to a man — but despite now holding the title of Super Bowl Champion Quarterback, and despite the added fame and increased endorsement deals that come with it, Wilson says little has changed since he held the Lombardi Trophy four months earlier.

Yes, you may now see Wilson in a barber’s chair pitching Microsoft products every time you turn on the TV, but on the field, he has no plans to be anything but the incredibly driven, cliche-spouting, teammate-inspiring quarterback he was over the past two seasons.

“No, not at all,” Wilson said when asked if the post-Super Bowl distractions have affected his focus. “It’s been one of those things — I stay pretty organized. I stay focused on what I need to stay focused on and getting ready for football. It’s been an exceptional offseason for me so far in terms of getting prepared for that. My body feels great, my arm feels really strong. My knowledge of the game has just grown so much more — exponentially more, I believe — from year one to year two and year two to year three. Playing in big games like the Super Bowl, that always helps. My goal is to continue to work on the fundamentals, continue to be engaged in the huddle and bring my guys with me, and just be exceptional when we practice and hopefully when we hit the field come game time, we do really well.”

As for why Wilson recently shaved off his hair, well that’s another story about the life of a defending champion. Wilson, whose father, Harrison, died due to complications from diabetes, had his hair cut into a Mohawk to raise money for a diabetes research fundraiser. The problem was, that fundraiser was just a few days before the Seahawks visited the White House to be honored as Super Bowl champs.

“I couldn’t see President Obama and the first lady like that, so I cut it all off,” he said with a laugh. “It’s growing back slowly.”

Told that he could have made a memorable impression on the President had he kept the Mohawk, Wilson responded, “I don’t want to be memorable in that way.”

Instead, he wants to be memorable for doing in 2014 what he and the Seahawks did last year. Being as good as they were in 2013, however, means forgetting about 2013. Wilson, like Pete Carroll and the rest of the Seahawks, says the key is maintaining their success is to work as hard as they did in the past without dwelling on the end product of that work.

“The thing that I’ve noticed more than anything else is just the energy level,” Wilson said after Monday’s session of organized team activities. “After winning, sometimes it can go either way. Sometimes you can kind of fall off and not stay focused or whatever. I think if anything, once we’ve been there, once we’ve tasted the Super Bowl and we accomplished that, we want it that much more again. We don’t talk about Super Bowls, we don’t talk about winning it again or anything like that, we stay consistent with our words and that’s going 1-0 every day. And that’s coming out here and having a championship mindset and playing the right way and playing efficient football.

“The energy we have at practice, the attention detail we have every time is as good as it gets, so we’re not going to slack off in that. We have a tough schedule, but we’re not looking ahead to that, we’re looking forward to the next practice, and we’ve done a great job of that so far.”

Irvin has hip surgery

While workouts this time of year are voluntary, most players do attend, so it was notable that linebacker Bruce Irvin was absent from Monday’s OTA, especially considering that he wrote on Twitter, “Scared as hell for tomorrow” on Sunday, then followed that a day later with “Man the time has come! Y’all pray for me!”

As it turned out, Irvin was nervous about hip surgery, which was performed Monday according to a team spokesman. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll was not available to the media Monday, so no further update on Irvin’s timeline was give, but he provided a little more clarity, again via Twitter. First, Irvin wrote that he “Will be back by training camp!” Then he later explained that he would not have had the surgery if it would have meant missing any games, so this may be a situation where Irvin could have played through whatever injury he had, something Kam Chancellor did last season before having hip surgery earlier this offseason.

Herald Writer John Boyle: jboyle@heraldnet.com.

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