Manning helped mold Wilson

t.cotterill@thenewstribune.comJanuary 23, 2014 

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) will be pitted against Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning in the Super Bowl. Wilson said Wednesday that he first met Manning in the 10th grade when he participated in the then-Colts quarterback’s passing academy.

JOE BARRENTINE/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

RENTON — Peyton Manning helped create Russell Wilson.

Wilson said he attended Manning’s passing academy as a 10th-grader at Collegiate School in Richmond, Va. Of the thousands of kids at the academy, he somehow wound up in a group of about 15 kids who got to work specifically with Manning.

Wilson met Manning again before the 2012 NFL draft. Wilson said the Broncos brought him to Denver, and he approached Manning in the locker room.

“He said, ‘Have I seen you before? I think I’ve seen you before. Yeah, I think I’ve seen you somewhere,’” Wilson said in his attempt to impersonate Manning. “I was like, ‘Well, you actually coached me in the Manning Passing Academy.’ I loved him to death. He is a great person, first of all, and obviously a great football player.”

Manning now goes from adviser to adversary. He is searching for his second Super Bowl ring, while Wilson aims for his first in his second season.

Wilson said he has reached out to several Super Bowl quarterbacks and other players this week. But because he’ll be facing Manning on Feb. 2 in East Rutherford, N.J., it’s unlikely he was one of them.

Drew Brees was. His New Orleans Saints beat Manning’s Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV after the 2009 season. Brees was named MVP.

“I talked to Drew Brees and a couple other players, and I talked to some guys who have done a good job in big games,” Wilson said. “I talked to some players who were there last year, and I actually went to the Super Bowl last year just to get a feel for it.

“We are trying to win a Super Bowl, and we want to be the first ones to win it in this organization. … One of our things is we want to win a lot of Super Bowls, and to do that, you have to win the first one.”

Wilson has held his own camp, the Russell Wilson Passing Academy, the past two offseasons.

SEAHAWKS SCHEDULE

The Seahawks are preparing this week as if they will play Sunday. Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said they installed plays into the offense during practice Wednesday and will add more Thursday and Friday before they travel to New Jersey on Sunday.

“We will have the bulk of the game plan done by the time we leave,” Bevell said. “There will still be some things we fix, some things we look at and say, ‘Let’s change that up,’ maybe add a play or two. But for the most part, the bulk of the game plan will be done.”

Wilson said instilling the game plan early should eliminate potential distractions affecting them once they reach the East Coast.

“Once we get to New York, there are going to be a lot of possible distractions,” Wilson said. “You want to focus on just playing the football game, so once we get there, we will already have one week of instillation, and we can go over it again next week.”

WILD WEATHER?

A winter storm slammed almost a foot and a half of snow Tuesday in parts of New Jersey. AccuWeather lists a 30 percent chance of snow when Super Bowl XLVIII is scheduled to kick off Feb. 2.

Although NFL officials underwent a “dress rehearsal” Wednesday, shoveling snow out of MetLife Stadium while pretending they had less than a day to prepare for the game, Wilson said snow could make the game exciting.

“I have tons of family on the East Coast, and they are all letting me know that there is 12 inches of snow right now,” Wilson said. “It’s hopefully going to pass over, but if not, we are going to play in it. It’s always fun to play in the snow.”

He said he has played in one previous snow game. That was when he was at the University of Wisconsin.

NFL executive vice president Eric Grubman said Wednesday that the date of the Super Bowl could change from Feb. 2 to any time between Jan. 31 and Feb. 3.

BREAKING OMAHA

Manning offered an unspecific answer when asked last week what “Omaha” meant when he shouted it during his pre-snap reads.

“Omaha is a run play, but it could be a pass play or a play-action pass, depending on a couple of things — the wind, which way we’re going, the quarter, and the jerseys we’re wearing. It really varies, really, from play to play.”

Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman said Wednesday that he’s starting to believe the Omaha code doesn’t exist.

“I feel like there is no Omaha code,” Sherman said. “I feel like he is just throwing it out there.

“I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to break the Omaha code, because we don’t get soundbites in the film. If we did, I’d try my best, I’ll tell you that.”

Manning’s foundation for at-risk youth received $24,800 in donations for all the times he shouted “Omaha” in Sunday’s AFC Championship Game. Eight Omaha companies combined to donate $800 to Manning’s PeyBack Foundation for every time he gave the city a shout-out in his pre-snap play calling. ESPN reported he said it 31 times.

PARTICIPATION REPORT

Wide receiver Percy Harvin (concussion) was listed as a full participant at practice Wednesday. Receiver Doug Baldwin (hip), running back Marshawn Lynch (knee) and defensive tackle Brandon Mebane (ankle) did not practice.

TJ Cotterill: 253-597-8677 t.cotterill@thenewstribune.com

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