Seattle Seahawks

He said / she said – Seattle Seahawks vs. Detroit Lions

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USA Today

He said / she said – Seattle Seahawks vs. Detroit Lions

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Oregon Sports News writers Julian Rogers and Jessica Ridpath discuss and predict the Wild Card matchup between the Seattle Seahawks (10–5–1) and the Detroit Lions (9–7).

When: 5:15 p.m., Saturday, January 7, 2017 Where: CenturyLink Field, Seattle

Rogers: Unless the Seahawks get to play themselves, they could not have gotten a better draw in the Detroit Lions for their first game of the NFL Playoffs. Jess, I kid because I know you’re down on their chances this year.

But look at it this way: The Lions faced only four teams that made the playoffs this season and lost to them five times. (They played Green Bay twice). In early December, the Lions were riding high having squeaked by the woeful Chicago Bears, building a 9–4 record. They haven’t won since.

The Lions dropped three straight to close out the regular season to the New York Giants, the Dallas Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers. If you are concerned about the Seahawks’ momentum, you have to absolutely laugh at the “momentum” of the Lions.

Does that mean they are no threat against the Seahawks on Saturday? I won’t say that. But look at how they are obviously compromised: Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick are on injured reserve (their top two running backs). Quarterback Matthew Stafford’s productivity (and the Lions’ win/loss record) has plummeted since he experienced his finger injury on Dec. 11. The Lions’ top cornerback, Darius Slay, only just returned to the lineup (hamstring), but could not offer much impact against the Packers’ passing attack. The Lions’ #2 receiver, Marvin Jones, hasn’t scored a touchdown since Oct. 16 and may be out with a concussion. Old friend Golden Tate only collected four touchdowns all season. Two starting offensive linemen (Riley Reiff and Travis Swanson) missed last week and are questionable this week.

About the only thing the Lions have going well for them at this stage of the season are a not-terrible-but-still-bottom-half defense (18th overall; 18th against the rush, 19th against the pass) and a better-than-the-Seahawks offensive line (still iffy) and an overall offense that is almost parallel to the Seahawks: Lions average 21.6 points per game; Seahawks average 22.1.

Jess, the Lions should have “Playoff Fodder” stamped on their helmets. Does that cheer you up?

Ridpath: Half of my childhood icons are dead, a fascist tyrant is about to become our president, and the two football teams I despise the most are the top contenders for the Super Bowl. I’m afraid a little truth telling about the ho-hum Detroit Lions isn’t quite enough to lift my spirits. But thanks for trying.

I didn’t see much in Seattle’s performance last week to raise my spirits, either. But there were a few visible bright spots (even when viewed through my grumpy glasses):

  • After a slow start, the defense looked like it might be ready for playoff-caliber football—especially league-leading tackler Bobby Wagner, who added 10 tackles and 2 sacks to his collection.
  • Rookie Alex Collins ran the ball for 7.9 yards per carry, the highest average posted by any Seahawk running back in the regular season.
  • Russell Wilson was only sacked once.

Those last two bright spots dim a bit when you consider they were achieved against the league’s worst defense (San Francisco). But I’m still intrigued by Collins’ performance. He’s had a total of 21 carries in three of the Seahawks’ last four games, averaging more than 5 yards per carry. Thomas Rawls, on the other hand, has averaged a mere 1.5 yards per carry in his last three games.

Julian, is Collins’ performance of late enough to earn him a bigger share of the rushing gig in the playoffs?

Rogers: I’ll be surprised if it doesn’t. Rawls just isn’t having success running behind the same line. With this much production and praise from Pete Carroll, I see Collins getting in on the action even sooner than we’ve seen before. He could come in on the second series if Rawls starts off with another couple of nowhere runs.

As I noted above, the Lions have a middling rush defense. They just might get Rawls bounced early, which might not be to their benefit.

One match up I intend to keep my eye on is the way that Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin deploys his defensive ends. The Lions have a tendency to go “wide 9” with their defensive ends, meaning they put their outside linemen quite wide — primarily for the purposes of containment against mobile quarterbacks. It didn’t work last week against Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers broke the backs of the Lions with 42 yards on scrambles and designed rushes on 10 attempts (3 of which were kneel-downs for minus-4 yards). That will be a key determinant in this game. If Wilson can use his escapability to similar effect, Seattle should be able to move the ball at will.

Speaking of dreary outlooks for the new year, what are your picks for the NFL’s Wild Card round? Four teams and their fans are going to have their hearts broken this weekend. Here are mine:

Saturday January 7, 2017

Oakland @ Houston — Texans 23, Raiders 20 (Houston has a ridiculously lucky quarterback advantage.)

Sunday January 8, 2017

Miami @ Pittsburgh — Steelers, 30, Dolphins 13 (Pittsburgh’s killer Bs are rested and too good to lose at home.)

Giants @ Green Bay — Packers 30, Giants 27 (Pack scores just enough and exorcises Giants playoffs demons of recent past.)

Usually one home team loses in the Wild Card round. Will it be Seattle?

Ridpath: If any team is going to lose at home in the Wild Card round, it will either be Houston or Seattle. Your predictions for Pittsburgh and Green Bay are right on, IMHO—although I expect the Packers’ victory over the Giants will be a bit more comfortable. Eli Manning’s performance this season has been unimpressive (some might even say “atrocious”), and I don’t see him leading the Giants to 27 points at Lambeau field.

Even though the Raiders have lost two starting quarterbacks to injury in the last two weeks and will likely have to start rookie Connor Cook under center, I don’t think Brock Osweiler and his 72.2 passer rating are really that big of an advantage for the Texans. I’ll give the edge to Houston because of their league-leading defense, but I think this game could go either way.

Which brings me to Seattle. The Seahawks have not lost a playoff game at home in the Carroll-Wilson era … while the Lions have not won a playoff game since 1991. And the last time they won a post-season game on the road? 1957. For real.

Considering these trends, a Seattle victory seems almost certain. But I’m not buying it. I know I’m in the minority here, but I think the Seahawks chances at victory are 50/50 at best. For a variety of reasons, some rational … others perhaps not so much:

  • Earl Thomas: His absence leaves the Hawks’ secondary vulnerable to Stafford’s big arm. The last two times Seattle faced teams with elite passing quarterbacks (Aaron Rodgers and Carson Palmer), they lost.
  • The o-line: Playoff football requires playoff-caliber pass protection. And that’s something we haven’t seen from Seattle’s offensive line all season. Watching them play has been like eating a box of chocolates … (you fill in the rest).
  • Karma: The Lions fell to the blue birds in Seattle last season after a blown call late in the 4th quarter of their week four matchup on Monday Night Football. The universe has a way of evening out these types of injustices over time.
  • 1957: That’s a loooong time ago. Things have gotta change at some point.

Julian, this is where you tease me for being a New Age Hippie from Olympia. Go for it. Then tell me who will win this matchup and why.

Rogers: Take a bath and get a job, hippie! Honestly, I have no idea why I’m supposed to castigate you for being a hippie, but when you offer me a free shot, I’ll take it. Maybe you can explain it to me sometime over some kombucha? You Olympians confuse me. I grew up there, but I got out. I remain outside the realm of understanding what Olympians are talking about.

Speaking of out, the Lions are about to have their playoff lives snuffed out. The Seahawks won’t be dropping a home playoff game this time to the weakest playoff squad in the NFC track. I don’t foresee a cakewalk for the blue birds, but a win nonetheless as the Lions continue their slide. Prediction: Seattle 27, Detroit 20.

Please allow us your patchouli-soaked prediction, if you please.

Ridpath: Seeing as how my mood obviously needs lifting, I’m going to try a little reverse psychology on myself and pick the Lions. That way, if the Hawks disappoint me by losing, at least I’ll have the satisfaction of being right. And if they win … well, then I’ll have another week of Seahawks football to look forward to. Prediction: Seattle 23, Detroit 24. (Bonus prediction: Somewhere along the way, Steven Hauschka is going to miss a field goal or an extra point. And it’s going to matter. Big time.)

Owning up Here’s what we were right and wrong about last week.

What he got right: The game winner. I’m 9–7 on my picks for the Seahawks regular season.

What he got wrong: I pointed to Richard Sherman going off the rails. Seems he’s beaten me to the punch by nowfreezing out the media. So I guess we won’t be treated to a meltdown any time soon. The San Francisco 49ers made it closer than I predicted, but the Seahawks rested starters in the fourth quarter.

What she got right: The game winner, bringing me back to even at 8–8. Congrats, Julian! That means you win our regular-season prediction showdown. Your prize awaits you in Olympia. (But since us Olympians are so “confusing,” you probably have no idea what I’m talking about.)

What she got wrong: I thought this would be a comfortable victory for Seattle. They were playing against the worst defense in the league, after all. But the Hawks fell behind early after a dismal first quarter and had to rely on their defense to get them back in the game.

Russell Wilson wants to get a couple more superstars on Seahawks

Russell Wilson wants to get a couple more superstars on Seahawks

Russell Wilson is suiting up in the Pro Bowl for the fifth time Sunday with some of the best NFL players in the game. 

As he looks around the field in Orlando, the Seahawks quarterback might be envisioning one or two of those players playing in Seattle along with him. 

“I think we need a couple more,’’ Wilson said in an interview with ESPN. “I think we need a couple more. Jadeveon (Clowney) is a big-time guy that we would love to get back on our football team. He was so good in the locker room. He brought so many just havoc plays to the field. Hopefully, we can get a few other players there on the defense. Then also on offense, we have a great offense, but I think we can always add more pieces. I think that’s going to be the part that’s going to be great with John Schneider and Pete Carroll, as well, in terms of this offseason’s free agency. Free agency is very, very key to getting those superstars on your team and try to get great players that can fill the space.”

Wilson, 31, signed a contract extension during last year’s offseason, is set to make an average of $35 million through 2023, which for now, makes him the highest-paid NFL player. 

Of course, Wilson would rather be competing in the Super Bowl next week in Miami. Injuries hit the Seahawks late in the season and they didn’t have enough to get over the hump. 

Sitting at home doesn’t sit well with Wilson, who wants to cement his legacy with the Seahawks. 

To do that, though, the Super Bowl champion will need a superstar or two to help Seattle rise to the top once again.

According to OvertheCap.com, Seattle currently has roughly $59.4 million in available cap space for the 2020 season, which is eighth-most in the NFL. 

Now, the biggest question is, what are they going to do with that money?

Twitter loses it over Russell Wilson’s LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Tinder meme

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Twitter: DangeRussWilson

Twitter loses it over Russell Wilson’s LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Tinder meme

Dolly Parton’s LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Tinder meme is taking over the internet, and no one is safe. Not even Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.

In a post on social media Friday, Wilson decided to participate in the viral meme and let's just say...Twitter nearly lost it.

As many pointed out, Wilson’s Tinder photo is originally a workout photo of teammate DK Metcalf. 

Metcalf has not yet responded to the photoshopped picture, but guard D.J. Fluker had some thoughts. 

We feel the same way, Fluke. 

Russell Wilson picks Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs over 49ers in Super Bowl LVI

Russell Wilson picks Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs over 49ers in Super Bowl LVI

Russell Wilson often shares some interesting tidbits in his DangerTalk podcast, and this week’s episode had one bold prediction.

Ahead of Thursday’s Pro Bowl Skills Showdown, Wilson sat down with co-host Daniel Mogg to discuss his prediction for Super Bowl LVI in Miami. And drumroll please…Wilson is riding with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Wilson said he’s taking the Chiefs over the Seahawks’ division rivals due to the phenomenal play of Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

“You know I’ll pick Mahomes because he’s such a great player,” Wilson said. “Even though the 49ers are such a great team, Mahomes has such a great team around him, but he’s such a great player and he’s a factor, which always that great quarterback factor in that way, it’s always interesting.”

Wilson believes the game will ultimately come down to which defense can step up. The Chiefs will have to be prepared to stop the 49ers versatile run game, while San Francisco’s lethal pass rush will need to slow one of the NFL’s elite quarterbacks.

According to Pro Football Focus, Mahomes’ passer rating drops from 113.4 to 95.1 when pressured this season.

“It’ll all come down to the defensive lines, how they play,” Wilson said. “The Chiefs d-line has got to stop the run. The 49ers got to see if they can get to Mahomes. I know the Chiefs’ protection is pretty good too.”

Like the rest of us, Wilson was glued to his television last Sunday as the AFC and NFC championships took place. The Seahawks franchise quarterback said he was impressed by the 49ers gap-scheme running game against the Packers. 

“Their ability to run the football throughout that game was nuts,” Wilson said. “I’m not sure I’ve ever seen in the NFL where they’ve run that many times, that many attempts, for that many yards, that consistently and dominated the game that way in that fashion.”

“So that was pretty fascinating watching that game. Unfortunately, I wish it was us, so we could try to compete against those guys one more time.”

He was equally fascinated with Mahomes, who has started to use his legs as a running threat. The Chiefs' monster QB had a highlight-worthy touchdown run that went for 27 yards and he ran for four first downs, including another run that went for over ten yards.

“Mahomes has been amazing this past stretch, I was tweeting about it,” Wilson said. “I’m not a huge tweet during the game kind of guy, but it was fascinating how much he was ballin’ so I had to. I have a lot of fun watching him.”

We can likely expect more tweets like this if Wilson's prediction is accurate next Sunday. Super Bowl LVI kicks off at 3:30 p.m. PT on Feb. 2. 

Seahawks, Broncos, and the worst Super Bowl of all-time

Seahawks, Broncos, and the worst Super Bowl of all-time

Super Bowl LIV is just about a week away and it should be one for the ages. 

The high powered offense of the Kansas City Chiefs takes on the no-nonsense defense of the San Francisco 49ers. 

It's the classic unstoppable force meets the immovable object scenario. Something has got to give. 

How will it all play out? We will find out next Sunday. 

Until then, we have 53 years of classic Super Bowls to reminisce about. 

Some good. Some not so good. 

Seahawks fans, they've had both. 

USA Today recently ranked all the Super Bowls, and Seattle's Super Bowl XLVIII matchup against the Broncos ranks as the worst Super Bowl of all-time. 

Said USA Today,  "The chasm between pre-game expectations and eventual outcome may have been the widest in the game’s history. Seattle's Legion of Boom defense stifled a Peyton Manning-led offense that had scored a league-record 606 points."

This game was as one-sided as they get. 

The tone was set from the jump, with the Seahawks forcing a safety on the first play from scrimmage. 

From there on, the Seahawks dominated from sideline to sideline. 

With 2:58 left in the third quarter, the Seahawks scored another touchdown to take a 36-0 lead. It was all over but the crying for the Broncos. 

The Broncos were a two-point favorite but ended up losing to the Seahawks 43-8.

The game tied the third-largest margin of victory in Super Bowl history and was the largest margin of victory for a Super Bowl underdog. 

The game was ranked so low simply because it didn't even come close to living up to the pregame hype. 

However, for Seattle Seahawks fans it is the greatest Super Bowl of all-time. Of the three Super Bowls the team has played in, Super Bowl XLVIII is the only one the Seahawks have won. 

So where do the other two rank on USA Today's list?

- Super Bowl XL: Rank: 33 - Said USA Today, "Steelers 21, Seahawks 10: Pittsburgh joined the club of five-time Lombardi Trophy winners as RB Jerome Bettis ended his career in style in Detroit (his hometown) and Roethlisberger, 23, became the youngest quarterback to win the game despite forgettable numbers and amid controversial officiating that hurt Seattle."

- Super Bowl XLIX: Rank 3 -  Said USA Today, "Patriots 28, Seattle Seahawks 24: It will forever be remembered for Russell Wilson’s goal-line interception with the game hanging in the balance when the Seahawks could have given the ball to bruising RB Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch. The loss likely denied Seattle's shot at a dynasty while burnishing the Patriot Way. Brady won a record-tying third MVP award as he and Belichick collected their fourth title together but first in a decade. "

[SEE THE FULL LIST HERE]

For a trip down memory lane, let's rewatch the worst (best if you're a Seahawks fan) Super Bowl of all-time. 

Russell Wilson bests Lamar Jackson in Pro Bowl Skills Showdown

Russell Wilson bests Lamar Jackson in Pro Bowl Skills Showdown

While Russell Wilson would have preferred to be preparing for the upcoming Super Bowl, the Seattle Seahawks star quarterback is gearing up for the 2020 Pro Bowl.

Before Wilson and team NFC take the field on Sunday, he battled against the AFC, including likely NFL MVP Lamar Jackson, in the 2020 Pro Bowl Skills Showdown.

Here’s a look at how Wilson performed in Thursday’s events:

Wilson led the NFC team in the Precision Passing event with 19 points in 60 seconds, helping his team beat the AFC 43-17. Kirk Cousins also notched 18 points, while Lamar Jackson had just two points.

Wilson also received high marks in a new game this year called “Thread the Needle.” Four quarterbacks throw passes through targets, but you lose three points if a defensive back intercepts you. Wilson was picked once, but finished on top with 16 points. In the end, Wilson and Cousins (28 points) bested Jackson and Watson, who finished with 21 points.

The AFC dominated in the Gridiron Gauntlet, Best Hands, and Dodgeball events to take home the trophy, but Wilson’s outstanding performance did not go unnoticed by Twitter.

The 2020 Pro Bowl kicks off this Sunday at 12:00 p.m. PT at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida.

Seahawks unveil end-of-year picks for best players, plays and moments in 2019

Seahawks unveil end-of-year picks for best players, plays and moments in 2019

The 2019 season is in the rearview mirror for the Seattle Seahawks. While it ended in a disappointing finish in Green Bay, there were still plenty of bright spots throughout the year, including Seattle’s incredible 8-2 road record, an MVP worthy season from quarterback Russell Wilson and the return of Beast Mode.

Our friends over at the Seahawks made their end-of-year picks for best players, plays, moments and more. Take a look at some of the results:

Offensive MVP: Russell Wilson

This one is obvious. Russell Wilson was on another level this season. He finished the season with 4,110 passing yards, 41 passing touchdowns and just five interceptions. He added 342 yards and three more scores as a runner. Wilson had the highest WAR of any quarterback by Pro Football Focus’ metrics with just over four wins at 4.08 and was named MVP by PFF.  

Defensive MVP: Bobby Wagner

Wagner was named first-team All Pro for the fifth time in six seasons—the most in franchise history. He led the team with 159 tackles and has registered more than 100 tackles in eight years.

The 29-year-old linebacker was also recognized for philanthropic efforts off-the-field as the team’s Walter Payton Man of the Year. Wagner led numerous events in the community, including the Bwagz Sees You walk for stroke awareness. He also recently surprised Safeway shoppers with a shopping spree while bagging groceries for Seattle's homeless.

Special Teams MVP: Ugo Amadi & Nick Bellore

Ugo Amadi became the Seahawks starter at nickel cornerback late in the regular season, a move Seahawks coach Pete Carroll says he wishes he would have made sooner. The fourth-round pick out of Oregon won the starting nickel spot at training camp, starting there in Week 1. He was later replaced by Jamar Taylor and Akeem King, before getting a shot against the Panthers in Week 15.

He was also effective on special teams, recording a team-high 10 special teams tackles.

Nick Bellore was second on the team with seven special teams tackles.

Best Rookie: DK Metcalf

What a first year for DK Metcalf! The Seahawks rookie showed all the doubters that he was worth a first-round pick when he compiled 58 catches for 900 receiving yards—the second most by a rookie receiver since Joey Galloway’s in 1995.

His playoff debut against the Eagles in the Wild Card round was the highest postseason total by a rookie in the NFL. He caught seven passes for 160 yards and a 53-yard touchdown.

Best Newcomer: Jadeveon Clowney

Jadeveon Clowney undeniably provided a spark on the Seahawks defense this team so desperately needed. Despite battling a core injury since Week 10, he recorded three sacks, seven tackles for loss and a team-high 13 quarterback hits. The Seahawks hope to keep Clowney this offseason. He will become an unrestricted free agent when the new league year begins in mid-March. 

Other awards include:

Comeback Player of the Year: K.J. Wright

Best In-Season Acquisition: Quandre Diggs

Unsung Hero: Joey Hunt

Most improved: Rasheem Green

Unexpected breakout season: Jacob Hollister

Best Play, Offense: Russell Wilson to Tyler Lockett touchdown vs. Rams

Best Play, Defense: Jarran Reed, Jadeveon Clowney team up for a defensive score against 49ers

Best unexpected late-season development to arise from a bad situation: The return of Beast Mode

Trends to continue in 2020: Turnover differential, overall offensive efficiency and road success

Things to clean up in 2020: Defensive inconsistency and struggles at home

You can read them on the Seahawks site here.

Seahawks CB Shaquill Griffin orders orange juice, no ice while Mic’d Up at Pro Bowl practice

Seahawks CB Shaquill Griffin orders orange juice, no ice while Mic’d Up at Pro Bowl practice

When you get to elite Pro Bowler status, you can have anything you want.

Just ask Seattle Seahawks cornerback Shaquill Griffin, who during Day 2 of this week’s Pro Bowl festivities, ordered some orange juice during practice while Mic'd Up. 

Most people like Gatorade or cold water when working out, but the former UCF standout is back in The Sunshine State, where orange juice is basically nectar of the Gods.

“People think I’m talking to myself, but I’m not,” Griffin said in the video. “So can someone get me an orange juice, large cup, no ice. Thank you.”

Some of the fans who watched the video were perplexed by Griffin’s “no ice” request.

This is the third-year corner’s first Pro Bowl appearance. Griffin was named to the NFC squad as a replacement for Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore earlier this week.

Seattle Dragons out-pacing rest of XFL in season ticket sales, expecting over 20,000 at opener

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USATI

Seattle Dragons out-pacing rest of XFL in season ticket sales, expecting over 20,000 at opener

Football season isn’t over in Seattle, and it’s evident that the city is eager to embrace a second professional team.

The XFL’s Seattle Dragons are just a few weeks away from their first game. They’ll start on the road on Feb. 8 against the D.C. Defenders before their home opener on Saturday Feb. 15 at CenturyLink Field against the Tampa Bay Vipers at 2:00 p.m. PT.

According to a source, Seattle is currently leading the XFL (eight teams) in season ticket sales, in some cases by a wide margin. The Dragons have seen a surge in ticket sales following the Seahawks loss to the Packers in the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs. The club is currently projecting an attendance of more than 20,000 people on Feb. 15.

The hype surrounding the team began to build when more than 1,000 fans showed up to a Dragons open practice at Memorial Stadium in Seattle Center back in December.

The XFL’s resurgence comes a year after the Alliance of American Football (AAF) collapsed in its first season. WWE CEO and chairman Vince McMahon has invested more than $500 million to ensure that the XFL is financially stable enough to make decisions with a long-term view beyond merely surviving Year 1. Prominent broadcast deals are already in place as each game will air on either ABC, FOX or ESPN.

Dragons president Ryan Gustafson wouldn’t confirm the exact ticket numbers, but he did express his excitement with the season just weeks away.

“Seattle has the best sports fans in the world who love football and love their community, and that is what the XFL is all about,” Gustafson told NBC Sports Northwest. “We're so grateful for the support we have gotten and are excited to continue building this the right way, with our fans - not just for Game 1 or the first season, but for many years to come.”

Former Seahawks quarterback and Redskins head coach Jim Zorn is the Dragons head coach. Former Oregon State head coach Mike Riley is the team’s offensive coordinator. Brandon Silvers or B.J. Daniels will start under center and wide receivers Kasen Williams and Keenan Reynolds are two of the team’s prominent skill players.

Head here to see the entire Dragons roster and coaching staff and here for ticket inquiries. Affordable seats are still available for the opener and for full season packages. Season tickets start at just $20/ticket, or $100 for all five games for a lower-level seat at CenturyLink. Club seats start at $45/game or $225 for all five games.

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson says Shaquill Griffin is fired up to play in first Pro Bowl

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USA Today Images

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson says Shaquill Griffin is fired up to play in first Pro Bowl

Russell Wilson has been here before.

For the seventh time in eight years, the Seattle Seahawks star quarterback has been selected to the Pro Bowl. His teammate Shaquill Griffin, however, is taking in the experience for the first time.

In a video shared via the Seahawks on Wednesday, Wilson spoke about what it was like to be joined by Griffin in Orlando, as well as his brother Shaquem, who was seen by his brother's side during several of the activities. 

“Having the Griffin brothers on our team is pretty amazing,” Wilson said. “Those guys are so dedicated to the game, they work so hard. It’s cool having them here, too. Shaquill’s been special for us. To have him out here is great and I know he’s fired up about that. They’re both from Orlando—they played here." 

Griffin returned to his old stomping grounds of Orlando, Florida after he was named to the Pro Bowl earlier this week. He replaced Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore, who will not participate in the game due to injury. 

You can follow Griffin and Wilson's journey to Sunday's game here