Russell Wilson is one of the best quarterbacks of his generation—he is one of four passers in the history of the sport to have a career quarterback rating over 100. He has won a Super Bowl and has made the playoffs in all but one season since being drafted by Seattle in 2012. He is also living quite a good life. For instance, like a lot of people, Wilson watched the European soccer championships that ended Sunday, but Wilson watched while traveling through Italy on a vacation with his wife, Ciara. Wilson called me on Tuesday from the set of a Bose commercial shoot in Dallas for a quick chat about his summer, the 2021 Seahawks, and his favorite TV show of the moment.
What is something you’ve done this offseason that would surprise people?
We just had an amazing time in Italy. Venice, Tuscany for a few days, and the Amalfi Coast. But I’m super spontaneous. People may not know this, but I’m super spontaneous. We woke up on the last day and I said [to Ciara], “Babe, let’s go to Rome. Let’s fly to Rome really fast.” So we went to Rome quickly; it wasn’t that long of a trip. We went to the Vatican. We were able to see the Sistine Chapel. Travel is a big, big thing in my life. With COVID and everything, it’s changed so many circumstances, but we tried to do everything in a safe way and it was an absolute blast. Travel, I don’t know if it’s a thing people know I love to do or not; it’s one of the things I’ve had the most fun doing.
Did you watch the Euros in Italy?
We did, actually. We got to see some of the games. The championship game I saw back [in America], and that was great—wild, epic game, back and forth. The shootout at the end was pretty amazing to watch. We were actually in Venice after one of the big games [Italy] won, and everyone started going crazy. We were at this bar and people were going crazy in the streets, and it was pretty amazing watching the energy and how much European countries take soccer—football—so seriously. The NFL times 10 almost, in a way. These players are playing for their country so it’s such a special thing.
Tell me what you’re doing on this Bose commercial shoot.
I’m super pumped. Obviously I’ve been with Bose for my whole career. It’s an amazing relationship. As you know, I have music in my family with Ciara, and I’ve always loved music and it’s such a big part of my life and my world, even me as a player. Music has an important part of so many different moments and circumstances in my life in games and so much more. It’s cool—I’m down in Dallas shooting a pretty epic commercial that I’m pumped about. I’m really fired up about that. What’s been really cool is the QuietComfort earbuds. It’s been easy for me, always traveling, always on the go—me and [Ciara] just got back from Italy for our five-year anniversary. So I’m working out, training eight, nine hours ahead and you’ve got these earbuds in. So as I travel and move around a lot, I’ll always have music around me, get calls, have meetings, stuff like that. It really helps me in my daily lifestyle.
What part of your game are you working on the most this summer?
The thing I’m always working on: being faster, quicker, all that. But I think the bigger thing—the thing I’m always super focused on, the difference-maker—is my mindset. The things that I say, the words I say, the things I’m thinking about. I firmly believe my mindset is the biggest separator. I always want to use that when the game is on the line, always strike fear in people, always believing that, creating those scenarios as much as possible and trying to be the best and most clutch in any moment. That’s what I’m excited about every offseason.
How do you train your mindset over the summer away from an NFL facility?
That’s a great question. I actually started a business around this thought process called Limitless Minds. We work with some of the biggest companies and we also work with some of the best athletes in the world at what they do. And what we’re constantly working on and challenging people is: It’s great to have a positive mindset. You know me, I have a positive mindset for sure. But the reality is, when COVID hits, you go into financial circumstances, or you have family issues, or someone close to you gets diagnosed with cancer, something might be going on at school—it’s really, really hard to be positive. I am a positive person by nature, but the thing that’s easy to do is negativity. So one of the things we really talk about at Limitless Minds is neutral thinking. Neutral thinking is what the best do. A guy is at the free throw line and misses a free throw. He goes back to neutral and goes back to what he knows. He keeps it simple. Neutral thinking-—I’m sure you’ve driven a stick shift before—you always have to know how to get back to neutral. I think it’s a critical thing to life. Some people may call it even-keeled, but I actually think it’s a technique and a philosophy and [there’s] a thought process behind it. Some people have an even-keeled personality, but more so neutral thinking is an actual way of life. It’s the decisions you make. It’s winning what you can control. It’s been amazing.
You have a new offensive coordinator this season in Shane Waldron. What’s the thing you’re most excited to do in the Seattle offense with the way it’s developing?
I’m looking forward to the growth of our players. DK Metcalf having another year; he’s still such a young guy. Chris Carson being back; we’re so excited to have him back out there with us, the player that he is. Gerald Everett, coming from the Rams, is a tremendous football player. There’s so many great guys and players. Duane Brown has been so dominant for us ever since he’s gotten here at the left-tackle position. We got a new guard in Gabe Jackson who is a physical, dominant player, and I’m excited for Damien Lewis to move to left guard—what a player he was last year. The energy of us—I think a guy like Jamal Adams, just imagine his second year playing for the Seahawks. He was amazing last year, how he flies around the field. Bobby Wagner, there’s nobody better at his position and no better leader than him. He’s been amazing all these years. Then you have guys like [Quandre] Diggs who can make all the plays. We have everything we need and everything we want. We want to have fans back and get back after it.
I think for our offense, I’m just excited for our guys to continue to grow and make plays. It’s been fun having Shane Waldron there. He’s been an amazing mind, super collaborative. We’ve had a lot of fun and done a lot of great things and thrown a bunch of touchdowns over the last nine years, whatever it’s been. It’s been amazing along the journey, and it’s time to throw some more and win some more games. That’s what we’re excited about. We think we’ve got a chance to win it all and we’re going to go for it.
If you could steal one attribute from an NFL quarterback what would it be?
That’s a good one. I would say Lamar Jackson’s speed. Lamar is pretty fast, he can fly, man. He’s special. I like Lamar Jackson.
What TV are you watching?
The show that I’ve been watching—I’m late to it—but me and Ciara have been binge-watching Yellowstone. She loves Yellowstone—we both love it, we’ve had a lot of fun watching that show lately. If you haven’t seen Yellowstone, you gotta watch it. You gotta be patient. You gotta get through the first few episodes. It’s one of those things—you’re up in Montana, but when you finally get the whole picture, it’s really good.