After a big win over San Francisco, the question on everyone’s mind is the health of Russell Wilson. According to Coach Carroll, he will be fine. Many players have played through this injury, and with Wilson’s work ethic Coach is confident that he will be ok. The other major takeaway from this presser is that Christine Michael’s confidence level is way up after a break-out performance Sunday, which is great to hear because Thomas Rawls may be a little more hurt that the team originally anticipated. More good news for our running game (and for the protection of Wilson) is that Germain Ifedi has a chance to get back on the field this week. If he’s good to go, Coach Carroll expects him to start and give a boost to the offensive line.
What did you see in the film?
It looked like we took a step forward in a couple areas we were hoping to [improve]. We wanted to run the ball a little bit better, it felt like early on we were making progress up front and it turned into a really good day on third down which leads to the opportunities that allowed us to get to some of the bigger pass plays and the explosive plays we were hoping to get. I think we ended up with nine explosive plays which was our best of the first three games. So we had a great day there. I was really fired up about the defense because the first three weeks we played the same. We played very aggressive tough football, good at the line of scrimmage, and also really effective on third down, and we’re running really well to the ball. So there’s real good positive stuff there for three weeks in.
What allowed you to get the run game going this week?
I think the coaches did a good job of emphasizing and the players did a nice job of embracing the challenge of improving and we took a step ahead. Christine [Michael] was the recipient of most of the good shots and he did a nice job, 20 carries for him, a nice day’s work. He looked really explosive and we really left a lot of yards out there too with some penalties we’d like to get rid of. I think it was a real good approach during the week and guys embraced it really well.
What did you find out about Russell [Wilson’s] status today?
That he’s remarkably well off for having a play like that. He looked very good. Very upbeat and positive, feeling like he’s going to be fine. It was all positive.
Are you expecting him to play Sunday?
Yes. Really early to say because I haven’t seen him do anything besides convince me of that thought, but he’s done a really good job so far.
Will he be limited in practice?
We’ll see. We’re planning on him practicing Wednesday.
The sequence where he had the injury, he came out for a snap and went back in for three snaps without the brace, are you ok with how that went?
Not particularly [laughs]. He kind of just ran back onto the field so we let him have a couple plays there. We were careful with the plays, but I had no intention of leaving him in. Regardless of what the doctor said he wouldn’t have went back in.
Does having a bye after this week play into it?
What do you think? [Laughs].
There are different grades to MCL sprains, has there been a grade assigned?
Does the fact that he [Russell Wilson] hasn’t missed a start motivate him to get back on the field?
In this are yeah. He’ll battle in those situations forever. He’s going to try to push it as far as he can, do everything he can, forever. That’s just how he is.
Because of his willingness to play through anything, regardless of his physical situation, what do you have to do as a staff to protect him from himself?
We have to communicate really well and stay in touch with him and make sure we are doing the right things. There’s an instance where he had the opportunity to jump back onto the field, but he’s not going to do that in the long haul. We’ll be OK. We’ll figure it out
[Couldn’t hear question]
I think it was really good. Just to get out there, and he threw the ball around a little bit. We got to see him on the field, and it was good for him and good for the other players to see him out there too. We’ve watched him a lot and seen a lot from him in preseason and in practice, and he’s a very poised comfortable athlete. He’s not going to get flustered and he showed that again the other day and that’s a good sign. We’re excited to see what he can do. He can make plays and make things happen. You saw him, he was pretty sharp for coming off the bench like that and that’s all you can hope for.
Thomas Rawls looks like his situation is a little bit different than we thought [couldn’t hear rest of question]
Yeah, we were able to find something there in the evaluations today that wasn’t clear a week ago, but makes sense with how uncomfortable he was feeling. He has a little crack that has to be taken care of and waited out a little bit. He’s not going to be incapacitated by it. He’ll be able to move around and all that stuff. We just have to be careful and get him through a few more weeks before we can get him back out.
Are you at the point where you feel you need to start looking at quarterbacks to add to the roster? [Question based on answer]
Yes, we always kind of do that so when we’re in this situation we’re looking and know what’s going on. We’ve already talked about all that stuff, so we’ll see what happens. Wednesday is a big day. We’ll see where he is. And he looks fine, so I’m not that deeply concerned about it. I wish it didn’t happen. I wish he didn’t get banged up, but I think he’s going to be alright.
Is he [Russell Wilson] getting two injuries treated now?
He’ll still work on his ankle, but it feel really good and he was fortunate to get out of the game without any setbacks at all and he looked good moving around, he looked better than he did a week ago. He looked fine when he was playing.
How is C.J Prosise?
C.J. is practicing with us. He is doing everything in practice so he’s up as far as staying abreast of the game plan and getting his work, he’s in great shape and all that. This will necessitate a more serious look at getting him out there. I would think he’d be ready to play this weekend.
How is Germain Ifedi progressing?
Good. He’s doing well. He’s really excited about coming back. He was really close last week, you wouldn’t know there was anything wrong with him at this point. He’ll put the days together, he worked really hard today and he’ll take a light day tomorrow, and he’ll get after it with us at practice on Wednesday. I think that gives him a chance to get back in there.
With the offensive line, did anyone do particularly well?
The left side did a nice job. I thought Brad [Sowell] handled himself well and Glo [Mark Glowinski] did a nice job. Justin [Britt] played real well but he had a couple of holds so it’s hard to give him a high grade. But that’s how it turned out.
If Germain [Ifedi} is able to play, do you expect him to step in as the starter?
What did Luke Wilson show in the new role you mentioned yesterday?
He did well. He was comfortable with it. He’s really pumped up about anything he gets to do to add to the team so he was excited about the chance. He’ll definitely improve in the next couple of weeks. It’s a really good role for him, and makes us a little more versatile in that substitution and that’s a good positive thing for us.
What was the biggest thing to happen with Jimmy Graham yesterday to improve his productivity?
It’s just been the process. You guys have had a chance to watch, and in essence you can value what it takes to develop chemistry. It takes time, and it isn’t just an automatic thing. Last year we were just working and just trying to fit things together. We could see the potential, but never felt the connection like it is now. It wasn’t the fault of anybody, it just takes time. Russell has thrown the ball so much to Jimmy in the summer and over the off season just playing catch and working together that they’ve developed a history now. You could see it in the last week of practice. We’ve been talking really positively about Jimmy and his work, and last week was the culmination of it.
Where you limiting Tyler [Lockett] because of the knee?
It just came out that way. We weren’t trying to feature him or push it because we weren’t sure how he would feel. He did a marvelous job of getting back during the week, he felt good enough to do the punt return stuff obviously he had a big impact back there. It just kind of turned out that way and we could turn it right around next week.
Was there some frustration with the defense with the two late touchdown drives?
Yeah there was. I think for all the obvious reasons. Our guys have a lot of pride, and we were out of sync. We were trying to get after the quarterback and rush the passer thinking that they were going to try to get back in it by throwing it, and we admitted to the players as coaches that we were thinking the same thing. We were trying to get pressure on the quarterback and they kept running the football. They had decided that was how they were going to finish the game, and we didn’t believe it so we kept rushing the passer and they kept running it. They got half of their yards in the last eight or nine minutes of the game.
How pivotal was it to get back to the running game after last week? [Question bases on answer]
It was really one of the bright spots of the game is that that showed up because it put us back into the feeling of how we play. You guys have watched us for a long time. That game was reminiscent of the style we want to play, plying off the the run game and all that stuff. That was the big battle cry of the week. ‘Let’s get back to the formula we like’. It just hadn’t felt like that in the first two weeks, so it’s good to see it and it’s a good step forward.
Did Christine Michael’s first touchdown help his confidence?
I think it will. This is a good time for Christine. His eyes are wide open and he’s taking everything in. He’s thrilled about how things have gone since he’s returned and he’s really excited about the role he’s playing with this team. That was such a great statement early in the game, an explosion to get us going. He had his first touchdown and a hundred-yard game and all that so I think there were a lot of positives and it’s kind of like he’s starting over again.
What have you seen from Alex Collins these last couple of weeks?
He’s doing his job. He’s getting out there and he’s pounding away. We’re fortunate to have him. He’s been a guy that’s steady and physically fit and all that. He’s banging away in the running game a bit, he caught a couple passes, he did a nice solid job.
Does Nick Vannett have a chance to play this week?
Yes, he does. We’re counting on him making it through this week, and we’ll find out where we can fit him in on the roster and in the game plan. We were really excited about Nick before he got banged up, [with his ability] blocking and receiving. We’re anxious to see where it settles here. It’ll be a little bit difficult to figure it all out because we only have a few days of practice to sort that out. Nick was really impressive early on, so we’ll see where that picks up from here.
Doug [Baldwin] said Russell [Wilson] changed the play on that deep post early, is he doing that more now than he has in the past?
Yes, he’s doing it more consistently, which is the natural progression of taking command of the position. He had a couple really nice checks in protection and route wise that put us in great positions. That’s really great stuff and it’s exciting to see it happening and to get the benefits of it, big plays and all that. There will be a lot more of that through the course of the season.
How long do think it will take Russell Wilson to fully recover from this knee injury? [Question based on answer]
Well, I don’t know that I can call that. But, he’s going to have to have a little bit of good luck to get through it, and like any kind of injury it’s always about how the guy responds to the work and does he make it back after working hard. We’ll find out how that goes. What he has, a lot of guys play with so this is something our trainers have been through a number of times. They know that it is possible for him to be fine. But he still has to respond to the work on Wednesday and Thursday, and we’ll be watching him very closely to do the right thing to ensure his health and his well-being moving forward. We’ll take all of that into account.