Russell Wilson ponders upcoming Week 1 return to Seattle

ENGLEWOOD, Colorado— When the Broncos travel to Seattle for a “Monday Night Football” game to open the season, Russell Wilson will try to play down the emotions that will come with a trip home.

“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 meant the world to me for the last 10 years. Lumen Field I have a lot of respect for all those guys there, doing what they do.

“I think for me it’s not emotional, though. It has to be non-emotional. You have to be able to come into it understanding that it’s just a ball. And also understanding that there’s I had some amazing times there, I had a lot of tough times there, I won a lot of games there.

Wilson acknowledged 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 to try for a season-opening victory.

“For me, it’s about going out there and trying to play the best football for our football team here and trying to win,” Wilson said.

The new Broncos quarterback, who played 10 years in Seattle before joining Denver via trade this offseason, said his balanced approach to the game wasn’t necessarily unique to the Week 1 game.

“What I really believe in is the ability to be neutral in the middle of a storm, in the middle of chaos, in the middle of opportunity, in the middle of good things, good times, hard times,” Wilson said. “To be able to play this game in a balanced way. To be able to be neutral in the middle of it all. Obviously I think the most important thing is to just try to do what you always do. I’ve been doing it for a long time. I played a lot of football. For me, it’s just focusing on the fundamentals, focusing on the middle of the game, focusing on the joy, focusing on that person who is in the stands – that young boy or that young girl who is in the [upper-level] sits high 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 nice.

Defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero was off the field on Monday as he participated in the NFL’s first Coach and Front Office Accelerator program. Evero and executive director of football operations/special adviser to the general manager Kelly Kleine are both at the NFL’s spring league meeting for the two-day summit – and they will join more than 60 senior prospects who hope one day be head coaches or general managers.

Head coach Nathaniel Hackett, of course, is happy to be without Evero for a few days, given the circumstances.

“With Ejiro, I can’t say enough how excited I am to have him at this peak,” Hackett said. “I think it’s a great opportunity for him to meet people. I think it’s a great opportunity for everyone to meet people. You have Kelly Kleine – she’s there. It’s great. We have to adapt like anything, and very happy to see them there and I can’t wait to get them back too.”

And with Evero in the first NFL event of its kind, the Broncos have adapted on the field.

“So excited about the coaches that are here,” Hackett said. “They didn’t skip a beat, which was great. You got [Senior Defensive Assistant Dom] Capers. It’s crazy to think that I’m sitting here calling plays against Coach Capers, because he’s done that a lot.”

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