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Seahawks vs. Ravens: Russell Wilson, Cliff Avril, Earl Thomas press conference notes

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, defensive end Cliff Avril, and safety Earl Thomas spoke to reporters today. I took notes.

Russell Wilson:
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  • Ravens have a very furious defense. They have a tenacity you can see on the film. Excited to play on the road again, time to get after it.

  • Doesn't change anything about the approach even with all their injuries. The film shows their defense is flying around making a lot of plays. Has a certain tenacity.

  • Pays a lot of attention to how defenses try to defend him, whether it is a lurker or robber or contain him in the pocket and all the other things. Doesn't think about it too much during the game, just tries to go through his reads and his progressions and trust those.

  • Think it is a positive thing for our offense than Russell can scramble and run. The defense loses a guy, they can't drop everybody because of the threat Russell posses.

  • During the bye week he watched the film, got away and relaxed and tried to understand how we can get better as a collective group. Have to continue to believe and work with a new O-line that has guys playing new positions. Working with those guys has been the best part of it. Getting the ball out, getting up there and communicating, has said we weren't that far off.

  • Not a leap of faith dropping back and getting the ball out and trusting the pass pro. It is a balance, trying to get the ball out quick but also making big plays off the scramble.

  • Coach Darrell Bevell, Tom Cable and Carl Smith do a great job communicating and really trying to prepare throughout the week. Cable does a great job understanding what we want to do with the run game. Bevell knows the whole offense, he watches so much film. Studying with him is so good for Russ.

  • Tyler Lockett has always run great routes and is great catching the ball. Favorite thing about working with him is his professionalism. Every day he comes to work he has a smile on his face, he gets prepared, even though he is a young guy he understands what it takes. Thinks that is a tribute to the other WRs, the younger guys watch the older guys.

  • Relationship with Doug Baldwin has always continued to evolve. It is a great friendship obviously. Playing with him is a true delight. You realize his tenacious approach to playing football, he is so hard to cover, he studies the game and is a great friend. One of the better relationships and the trust factor is huge, on and off the field.

  • Think Doug is really clear on who he is, on his approach. As you get older you start seeing more things, start understanding more things. As you get older you mature. Everything he does he does it the right way. That is why he is playing like a Pro-Bowl player. He puts all the work in, you love that about him. He is a leader, he leads that WR group. As a man he is really clear minded.

  • Think the passing game is extremely efficient and we are getting better and better every week. But is isn't about the numbers it is about the wins, doesn't matter how many yards or TDs he throws as long as we win. That is just his mentality, that is our football teams mentality and that is all that matters at the end of the day. (When asked about being the first 4,000 yard passing Seahawk QB).

  • Some people want Russell to take zone-reads more, this and that, but we have phenomenal running backs, and that is the ideal situation, handing them the ball. But if they all take the RB that is when he is trying to pull it. He says 99% of the time he is trying to hand it off. There are benefits obviously to running, they have one more defender over here just because of that situation. Got kinda tricked the last time, hopefully the next time we end up scoring. Ultimately cares about winning, not being a MVP, that is the only thing on his mind.

  • Our focus is we just want to be a winning team. Just wants to continue to win. Hopefully the defense can be lights out, along with the defense and ST. That is fun for us.

  • Studying throughout the weak is what helps you pre-snap with protections. Making sure you understand where their weaknesses are too. His thought process is if they blitz there is a lot of green grass behind them. Don't shy away from the blitz at all, can make a lot of explosive plays.

  • Thinks his arm is the strongest it has ever been. Worked on it in the off-season and this season. Calls it prehab work. Continue to get stronger and faster, squat a lot during the week. It is a long season. Doesn't look at the idea of working out as "maintaining" think it is more of continuing to grow and progress. Think a lot of getting your arm strong is your legs. Doing a lot of isolation stuff, doing a lot of movement stuff, a lot of it is core stuff.

Cliff Avril:
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  • Will let "you guys decide that" in regards to him playing a pro-bowl level. Is having fun, is making plays, is trying to get after the QB as much as possible. Hopefully he does get recognized, that would be cool.

  • Would say it is up there as the best season he has done. Still a lot of games left to be play. Thinks he is doing some great things. Gotta keep having fun, keep chopping away and continue having fun.

  • Would be cool to be selected to the Pro Bowl because he has done it all; he has lost every game, he has won a Super Bowl. Making it to the Pro Bowl would be pretty cool too. Wants to be selected but doesn't want to go, would rather be in the Super Bowl.

  • Sometimes as a competitor and athlete you want to reach and do too much. In this scheme and with these type of guys you don't have to. Play your gap and technique, if it comes your way you make the play but if it doesn't then you let your teammate make the play. When we are playing like that we are at our best.

  • Obviously as you get older playing 100% of the snaps is out the door but the coaches do a great job during the week taking care of them so they can go out and perform on Sundays. It is all about taking a breather when the coach says take a breather. When Frank Clark, Mike Bennett, Avril and Bruce Irvin are out there, you basically have four DE's out there. Frank is doing some great things, Mike-B thinks he can do anything, play DB if you put him back there. The speed is big, but the knowledge and experience Mike and Cliff have helps bring the younger guys along. Plus having the guys on the back end letting them rush for a split second longer is huge.

  • Think development of Clark has been mental, getting him in the playbook. This late in the season in college you are already done. The game plan changes every week and that can be confusing for young guys. It is all about making it simple for them and making them understand not worrying about all the other stuff. They try to retain everything, try to understand what the DBs are doing and Cliff says that has nothing to do with you. He's coming along pretty well. Told him in the preseason it always isn't going to always be this easy. Told him those guys you were playing in preseason probably didn't make the team. So you are supposed to do that. Once the "real bullets get to flying" we will see who will get to ducking and get things done. So he knew that, he realized in real games how fast the game goes. Obviously as the season has gone on he has started to get better.

  • It is hard at this level because the guy across from you is 320lbs and pretty athletic. It is about setting him up to get a sack later on. Setting him up with a move that he defends that play but it gets in his head and later in the game you can use that to beat him. It can take years to understand and to get to that point.

  • Keeps it simple with his amount of moves. Probably has no more than three moves. If you have more than three you are probably wasting your time. You have to have a move, a counter move and a power move.

  • Doesn't know if Frank reminds him of a younger version of Mike-B. Both of them are very physical and both have the same body style. But for as big as Mike is he does some pretty athletic things. He will be double teamed and somehow spin out of it and still be in his gap still, he does some crazy things. But all of that comes with experience, Clark can get to that point for sure. Have to continue to keep learning and want to continue to embrace the knowledge. Lots of young guys think they know it all, they don't.

  • Pass rush most definitely takes time. Doesn't know if it is the hardest position, being DB, Corner, QB, but pass rush it up there. It takes time. There is really no level of "Oh I finally made it, I know what I am doing" because the guy in front of you changes every week and their technique changes every week. Initially the biggest challenge is physically, but year 3-4 it becomes a mental game (for pass rush).

  • Doesn't care who wins, control what you can control. We got Baltimore this week and we can't control who wins or loses but us.

Earl Thomas:
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  • Is seeing a lot of window dressing, a lot of movement on Baltimore tape. Doesn't know who will play TE with their concussion problem but thinks we have a good grasp on what they want to do.

  • Everybody took advantage of the change of tempo last week in practice. That rest really helped us. During the week put all the load in our mind which helped the communication. Thinks they did that last year and it really helped out.

  • Think when you go into a game fresh and ready to go, and you haven't put strain and wear and tear on your body during the work week. Have guys that have been playing in this defense for a long time, think the mental aspect of the game is what needs to be captured week in and week out for us to play our best.

  • Think the free-safety is very important in this defense. Anything that breaks out you are 1 on 1, you can be on a lot of highlight tapes if you took advantage of your opportunities and understand situations. But his job has been easy with the guys upfront playing so great. Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright are doing great. They got better from last year. Think last year a lot of teams got them on being too aggressive but this year they have really polished their game.

  • Doug is showing a lot of explosion. He wants the ball, he understands what he brings to the table. Him and Russ are developing a great connection. When you communicate like they did against the Vikings it is fun. When everybody is chattering back and force the confidence grows.

  • The guitar celebration started in the country where he is from, his cousin, always used to play around. Dedication to family, was feeling himself a little bit. The trust and vibe is right on. Everybody's heart is open to one another. They understand what is at stake. Enjoying the moment and having fun out there, taking advantage of the moment.

  • Think it is personal decisions as an individual you add to the group. Are you gonna give It up? Celebrate others success? Gonna do your job? Gonna block when someone else catches an INT? All the little details add up, even on ST, especially in the DB room with all the guys that contribute.

  • Hangs up the jerseys he gets from swapping in his man-cave. Those are collector's items they ain't going no where. Has all the jerseys he wants, but doesn't really think about that.

  • When he talks about the connection, the connection, the connection, when you take a string, it stays connected, it can't be cut. When they throw a flat bang we are there, they can throw across the middle and we get a big hit, they can throw a pass and it is a tip and over throw. It seems like magic is happening when they get all those turnovers but everyone is on it, they are one out there.

  • Mike-B and Cliff are big in pass rush, even in teaching the younger guys in how to come along. Think they are great leaders, they are very outspoken, we need them on our team. They are having pro-bowl years this year.

Seahawks Practice/Injury Report:


  • Marshawn Lynch (abdomen)

Did Not Participate

  • Demarcus Dobbs (concussion)
  • Jordan Hill (toe)
  • Cliff Avril (NIR)
  • Michael Bennett (NIR)