ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — When the Broncos travel to Seattle for a “Monday Night Football” matchup to open the season, Russell Wilson will try to minimize the emotions that will accompany a homecoming trip.
“I think it’s going to be an exciting time,” Wilson said Monday in his first comments since the schedule was released on May 12. “Obviously Seattle’s meant the world to me over the past 10 years. It’s a special place, a special place to play. Lumen Field. I have high regard for all those guys over there, doing what they do.
“I think for me, it’s non-emotional, though. It’s got to be non-emotional. You’ve got to be able to go into it with the understanding that it’s just ball. And also understand that there’s been amazing times, there’s been a lot of tough times there. I won a lot of games there.”
Wilson did acknowledge that Seattle “will always be a special place in [his] heart forever” but he noted that his first trip back to the Pacific Northwest would be about trying to earn a season-opening victory.
“For me, it’s about going in there and trying to play the best football for our football team here and going to try to go win,” Wilson said.
The Broncos’ new quarterback, who played 10 years in Seattle before joining Denver via trade this offseason, said his even-keeled approach to the game is not necessarily unique to the Week 1 matchup.
“What I really believe in is an ability to be neutral in the midst of a storm, the midst of chaos, the midst of opportunity, the midst of good things, good times, challenging times,” Wilson said. “To be able to play this game even-keeled. To be able to be neutral in the midst of it all. Obviously I think the biggest thing is just try to do what you always do. I’ve done it for a long time. I’ve played a lot of football. For me, it’s just focus on the fundamentals, focus on the midst of the game, focus on the joy, focus on that person that’s in the stands — that young boy or young girl that’s in the [upper-level] seats up top in the top left corner — and just throw the ball and make plays. Score touchdowns.”
If Wilson does that, his return to Seattle should be an enjoyable one.
Defensive Coordinator Ejiro Evero wasn’t on the field Monday, as he took part in the NFL’s inaugural Coach and Front Office Accelerator program. Both Evero and Executive Director of Football Operations/Special Advisor to the General Manager Kelly Kleine are at the NFL’s Spring League Meeting for the two-day summit — and they’ll join more than 60 senior prospects who hope to someday be head coaches or general managers.
Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett, of course, is thrilled to be without Evero for a couple of days, given the circumstances.
“With Ejiro, I can’t say enough about how excited I am that he’s at that summit,” Hackett said. “I think it’s a great opportunity for him to meet people. I think it’s a great opportunity for everybody to meet people. You’ve got Kelly Kleine — she’s there. It’s awesome. We have to adjust just like anything, and very happy to see them there and can’t wait to get them back also.”
And with Evero at the first-of-its-kind NFL event, the Broncos adapted on the field.
“So excited about the coaches that are here,” Hackett said. “They did not skip a beat, which was great. You’ve got [Senior Defensive Assistant Dom] Capers. It’s crazy to think I’m sitting there calling plays against Coach Capers, because he has done that a lot.”