What does it mean to be unapologetic?
And what, if anything, should one make of it when the face of their favorite franchise uses the word unapologetic to describe the collective mindset of his team as they set their sights on the ultimate prize?
NFL Total Access had LaDainian Tomlinson ask Russell Wilson three questions the other day at practice and while all of the responses are at least somewhat interesting, it was the last one that really stood out.
Note: I am going to paraphrase the first couple questions and responses and then provide the full transcription of the last Q&A exchange between the Hall of Fame running back and the future-HOF quarterback - including the ‘um’s, the ‘uh’s, and the ‘you know’s.
LaDainian Tomlinson: How’s it been going so far and what are you guys trying to focus on?
Russell Wilson: It’s been great. The defense is looking great. Offensively, we’re doing great. Shane Waldron has been amazing.
Going through COVID last year really taught us how to prepare at the highest level even if we’re away from each other. I think we’re ready to go.
Shout outs to Metcalf, Lockett, and Carson. Shout out to his O-line, mentions Gabe Jackson.
Good to be back, good to have the fans back; we’ve missed them.
Tomlinson: Talk a little bit about how Waldron’s offense might be a little different than Schottenheimer’s offense.
Wilson: It’s all West Coast; lots of similar thoughts and ideas. We’ve been able to do a lot of great things over the last several years and we want to keep a lot of that good stuff, but with some changes - change of pace, change a look here and there.
Extended shout out to Gerald Everett.
We want to have the versatility of being able to do it all. It’s going to come through the running game, the passing game; through explosive plays and all of the different things that we can do. We have a lot of versatility.
To get where we want to go, it’s going to come down to 1 or 2 plays here or there and it starts right now.
Tomlinson: You have always been a guy that’s self-motivated, obviously; no one has to come out here and motivate you to play your best. Obviously last year didn’t finish the way you wanted to, um, with the tough loss in the playoffs. So tell me, what was the mindset in the offseason, getting back to this point, starting from Round - Day One, Round One, you know, with this team, what is the mindset, how do you get back to the point where you want to get to and that’s competing for a Super Bowl championship?
Wilson: I think the bottom line is you’ve got to be unapologetic. You know, unapologetic; you’re just going for it. Um, at the end of the day, you know, uh, you know, it’s, uh, it’s tough to breathe sometimes when you’re at high altitude. You know? And so I think for us, and, you know, for me personally, you know, you gotta keep going, you gotta keep believing, you gotta keep climbing. And I think that’s really where we are; where we’re at. We’re gonna be unapologetic; unapologetic about it, so I think that’s really the mindset that we have.
Having pondered it for a few days, I think there are two ways to interpret Russell Wilson’s use of the word unapologetic given the context of the question.
Interpretation #1: What happened in the past is in the past. No reason to relive it, regret it, or apologize for it. We took what we could from it and we’re focused on what’s ahead.
Interpretation #2: We are going to do whatever it takes to reach our goal this season and we are not going to apologize for it. Eyes on the prize; nothing else matters.
Personally, I think that it’s probably a combination of both interpretations.
I am also cautiously optimistic that unapologetic may include eliminating the Seahawks’ recent tendency of playing down to the level of inferior opponents and utterly embarrassing them by 50+ points instead.