The subliminal and direct shots aimed at Russell Wilson from his former Seahawks teammates just went up another notch on Sunday, Oct. 30, in the aftermath of the team’s 27-13 victory over a New York Giants squad that was 6-1 entering the game and riding high.
Following another signature win for the franchise and quarterback Geno Smith post-Wilson, TJ Lockett, one of Wilson’s favorite targets during his time in Seattle, threw a subliminal that cut through the presser. Wilson probably felt it in London, where earlier that day his Denver Broncos grinded out a much-needed win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Lockett dropped a wide-open TD in the game, but instead of ice-grilling him or making it worse, Smith encouraged Lockett and a few plays later they connected on a crucial TD. Lockett was asked how the team was able to overcome that adversity.
“Well, I think the biggest thing is,” said Lockett, “It’s amazing what we can accomplish when nobody cares who gets the credit.”
Tyler Lockett with a not so subtle shot at Russ?
“It’s amazing what you can accomplish when nobody cares who gets the credit”
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) October 31, 2022
The ESPN “Get Up” crew got a kick out of that comment.
“It’s pretty obvious how we interpret that,” said NFL analyst and former head coach Rex Ryan. “There was one guy who used to play quarterback (In Seattle) that was a guy who craved attention and all that and now it’s the exact opposite.”
Lockett responded by telling the public to “stop reaching,” but nobody is buying it.
Russell Wilson left the Seahawks organization months ago and is struggling to get a 3-5 Denver Broncos team back on track. There were grumblings that Wilson was very unhappy during his final days in Seattle, but he conducted himself with the class that befits a brand as big as his.
He never directly badmouthed the organization, but his complaints were enough for people who really listened to hear a disgruntled superstar who wanted out from the burden of carrying a team short of Super Bowl talent, the regrets of past seasons and a fracturing locker room that apparently saw him as an out-of-touch legend who cares more about the cameras and the credit than the conglomerate.
If you piece together the two most significant incidents that occurred on Sunday, you’ll find the final and most damning piece to the Russell Wilson puzzle. As far as the media and fans are concerned, Russ is a poster boy for the NFL, who worked hard to achieve his superstar status and puts team first.
As far as his former teammates are concerned, Russ’ thanking the heavenly father after every game win or lose and his public image that he’s a selfless superstar just playing for the men around him is basically an act.
If you look at the number of former players who have licked shots at Wilson’s character and how personal those verbal assaults actually are (think Charlie Clips in a no-holds-barred URL battle) a pattern develops…then you sit there for a minute…and say, “Oh. Ok. I see what it is. They really don’t f*ck with Russ.”
Now it becomes even more clear why so many analysts picked Russ to fail in Denver. The streets of the NFL talk. There’s close-knit brotherhood, where everybody has a character card on and off the field. It might not be shared publicly, but everybody is keeping score and egos that large don’t let certain things go. However, Wilson conducted his business in the Pacific Northwest, clearly rubbing some folks the wrong way.
With his departure to Denver and that team looking like a cellar dweller, the tides have changed. Geno Smith’s ascension to All-Pro caliber QB in Russ’ absence and the way Smith, a career journeyman who has studied the game from the sidelines and knows how it feels to fail in the locker room and on the field, has made it a point to endear himself to his teammates. Geno is taking all of his past failures and maturing to a point where he appears to have mastered the craft of quarterbacking – and leadership.
The decline of Wilson juxtaposed against the rise of Geno Smith is an example of the unpredictable beauty of sports that keep us emotionally attached to the game.
“Nobody thought this team was going anywhere (without Russ), ” Ryan continued. “In fact, Drew Lock was going to be the quarterback.”
The Seahawks are 5-3 and in first place in the NFC West. The team has moved on from Wilson on the field, but it’s obvious there’s still an emotional attachment there from which Wilson’s former teammates can’t let go, which lets you know that the lingering impact of Wilson’s presence is a shadow that Geno Smith will forever play under in Seattle. He doesn’t mind, because if they’re still worrying about Russ and that obsessive disdain toward Russ fuel’s today’s success, then all Geno has to do is be everything Russ wasn’t. It’s working like a charm so far.