The Seattle Seahawks have an undefeated record through five games and Russell Wilson has been cooking from just about every spot on the field.
As the Seahawks star continues to etch his name in the NFL record books and prove to the naysayers why he deserves to be in the Most Valuable Player conversation, let alone receive a single vote, is this the year Wilson finally breaks away?
The 32-year-old believes he’s firing on all cylinders.
“I think I’m playing the best that I’ve ever played,” Wilson told Bill Simmons in his podcast for The Ringer. "Just seeing everything so clear. I’ve definitely had great years before, but it should be progression.”
Wilson credits one of his idols, Peyton Manning, for laying the foundation of how a quarterback should study and prepare at the professional level. During the pre-draft process, Wilson had a rare opportunity to meet Manning in the Mile High City, but it wasn’t his first time.
“I went into the locker room and he was in there,” Wilson said. “He goes, 'Don’t I know you from somewhere?' and I’m like, 'Peyton, my name’s Russell Wilson. I went to NC State.'”
In 10th grade, Wilson attended Manning’s Passing Academy, where he honed his craft as a quarterback and received a blueprint on how to be an elite student of the game.
But what Wilson took away from that locker room visit was something much more special than his previous visits with the NFL legend.
“The first thing I notice is how he was taking notes and highlighting, and it was just him sitting there in the locker room by himself. It was the first week he got there,” Wilson said. “So, when I got back on the plane to fly back to Virginia, I started writing down my goals, and my goals, I wrote down everyday goals, and I wrote down legacy goals, and I still have in my locker to this day…
The six-time Pro Bowler has learned that preparation is the key to success each Sunday.
“Today I think because I’ve treated every day as a new day as if I’ve never heard it before, I’ve learned and retained so much information and experiences and visualization that the only way is up,” Wilson said.
“The only way is up.”
As Russell Wilson continues to build upon his MVP case, he’s chasing many of Manning’s legendary records. After the Seahawks Week 3 victory over the Miami Dolphins, Wilson’s 16 touchdown passes tied Manning for the most through the first quarter of the season.
If Wilson can surpass 55 touchdowns on the year, he would break Manning’s single-season passing touchdown record (2013). So far, Wilson has 19 through five games.
“The separation is the preparation," isn’t just a quote the star-studded Seahawks quarterback says, it’s one he lives by too.