Patriots

Wilson explains how SB XLIX interception changed his career

Patriots

Russell Wilson could have chosen to erase the end of Super Bowl XLIX from his memory. Instead, he's taking the opposite approach.

We all remember what happened: Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler jumped Ricardo Lockette's slant route and intercepted Wilson at the goal line with 20 seconds remaining, sealing New England's improbable 28-24 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.

Nearly six years later, Wilson credits that disastrous play for improving his mental fortitude.

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"The mindset of being neutral, the mindset of overcoming, the mindset of coming through, the mindset of, 'I'm not going to let one play define my career' was -- to be honest, it changed my career," Wilson said this week on Barstool Sports' "Pardon My Take" podcast.

"I think it changed my career for the better in terms of how I overcome obstacles, how I come through situations, how I get ready and be fully prepared. ... That was a critical moment."

While the Patriots' miracle win helped launch the second phase of their dynasty, Wilson bounced back in a big way: He boasted the NFL's best passer rating in 2015 and has been a Pro Bowler in four of the last five seasons.

 

That's not to say the Seahawks QB blocked out the noise about the biggest interception of his career.

"I think that's kind of been, I don't know if I want to say the chip on my shoulder," Wilson added. "But I think that's been, over the past six years or so of my career, that's been my drive every day to know that, you know, every day I go about my business, every day I go about this opportunity. (It's) another great opportunity to just show up and to show people why."

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Wilson admitted he thought about the actual moment "almost every day" for about a year before moving on to use the overall experience as motivation.

"The only time I think about it is when someone either asked me," Wilson said, "or when you watch the Super Bowl, they'll show a clip, and -- all right, thanks, I get it."

As for Butler? The undrafted free agent eventually landed a five-year, $61 million contract with the Tennessee Titans, so we're guessing he has no problem rewinding the tape.