By Brady Henderson
Thursday was Russell Wilson's 24th birthday, which was news to some of his Seahawks teammates.
"Oh, man, I didn't even know that. He hid it from us. I'm glad you told us," Leon Washington said during his conversation with Bob Stelton and Dave Wyman. "That's the kind of guy he is – this guy's always about his business."
There are stories about the detailed texts and emails he regularly sends to his receivers about their next opponent, which he does the morning after the previous game. All the time he spends at the team's practice facility led coach Pete Carroll to joke that Wilson was planning on taking a three-hour vacation during the bye week.
Washington gave another example. He said he was trying to joke around while heading to the practice field earlier Thursday when Wilson reminded him of the importance of ball security, a point of emphasis as Seattle prepares for a Bears defense that has a knack for forcing fumbles.
"High and tight, Leon. High and tight," Washington recounted.
Wilson entered the NFL with questions about how his small stature would translate to the pro game, but his credentials as a leader were never in doubt. When he transferred to Wisconsin, you may remember, he was voted a captain within weeks of stepping foot on campus.
Still, though, that's a role normally assumed in the NFL by veterans and rarely by rookies, who are typically busy enough trying to adjust to life in the NFL.
By all accounts, Wilson's teammates appreciate his approach.
"He's always focused on what he needs to do. That's special, especially from a rookie quarterback. That is extremely special," Washington said.
Wilson, also a guest with Stelton and Wyman on Thursday, was asked about his birthday plans and whether the occasion would warrant deviating from his normal Thursday routine.
Of course it wouldn't.
"Nothing different. I'm just relaxing, trying to figure out what my wife has planned for me, but she won't tell me," he said. "But that's about it. Just getting ready for this week. Obviously, my main focus and my only focus really is just going out there and playing against the Bears. It should be a great game, playing in Soldier Field."