Russell Wilson: ‘Percy and I never had differences,’ blames media for scrutiny
Russell Wilson on Thursday had the first time to respond to a report from Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman that further perpetuated the suspicion that at least one of the reasons the Seattle Seahawks had no choice but to deal Percy Harvin was a perceived rift between the fiery wide receiver and the third-year signal-caller.
Wilson denied any conflict with his former teammate.
“Percy and I never had differences,” Wilson insisted to reporters, per the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. “Percy’s a guy that — we had a lot of similarities, probably, if anything: guys that want to compete at the highest level, want to win every single time you step on the field, want the ball in our hands to make the big play and everything.
Wilson deflected the notion that there is a developing schism within the Seahawks locker room between pro-Wilson and anti-Wilson factions and that the Harvin trade was symptomatic of a team in disarray. The quarterback instead opted to make a generalization about the media and how it often has a hand in making something out of nothing.
“I’m not sure why the media tries to blow everything out of proportion. It’s part of it, I guess. It’s part of it; you have to deal with it. But you also ignore it, too. Like I always tell you guys, I ignore the noise. … I don’t watch ESPN, I don’t read any of those articles, no offense. I just stay away from it all.”
Wilson is quoted in an ESPN.com report expanding on the above comments.
“I have complete confidence in who I am and the person I’m striving to be every day,” Wilson continued. “I’m an educated person who wants to continue to get better at the game of football, but also in life.”
As far as the supposed fracturing of the team, Wilson again expanded upon his originally stated theme that everything is fine, despite the multitude of reports indicating otherwise.
“There’s no division in our locker room,” he said. “There’s none at all. If anything, I think we’ve continued to build and continued to grow. I truly believe that.
“The guys we have in the locker room believe we can still be a championship team. Those are the guys we have in this room every day. Every morning we have one common goal and that’s to win football games.”
Other players echoed Wilson’s position that everything is hunky dory with the Seahawks, including free safety Earl Thomas, as well as wide receiver Doug Baldwin, who said the media scrutiny is “entertaining because they obviously don’t know what’s going on.”
“What happens in this locker room should stay in this locker room,” he added.
The problem with Baldwin’s belief that things that happen in the locker room should stay there is that it hasn’t. If that were the case, all the semi-sordid stories that have surfaced in the past week wouldn’t be treated as fodder for intense speculation and scrutiny.
Wilson obviously had no other choice but to take the stance he did with his comments Thursday. Was he supposed to admit that he is the source of strife in the locker room and that his relationship with Harvin was the primary impetus to the team trading away one of its most dangerous offensive weapons?
Freeman’s story also forwarded a few theories behind the causes of the rumored locker room schisms, including that according to some unnamed Seahawks players, Wilson isn’t “black enough.” It was also reported that some of his teammates believe he is too cozy with management.
The report was only the tip of the iceberg of stories coming out of Seattle since the Harvin trade about how the Seahawks are becoming progressively dysfunctional, at least for a team with such an esteemed pedigree of excellence. Wilson, as the team leader, is partly charged with putting out fires, whenever they are lit and however they are ignited, even if he himself appears to be the main source fueling the flames.
With the defending Super Bowl champions sitting at 3-3 and a showdown with the Carolina Panthers on the road Sunday, the team should take solace in the knowledge that nothing extinguishes the flames of a smoldering controversy like a big win. Now they just have to go out and secure it.