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Basketball and Beyond: NFL Hall of Famer Warren Moon talks Russell Wilson

January 9, 2014

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When Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson takes the field this weekend in an NFL divisional playoff game against the New Orleans Saints, his mentor will be watching from the press box.

NFL Hall of Famer and former Seahawks quarterback Warren Moon is the radio analyst for the Seahawks. He has worked with Wilson since he was drafted in 2012. Moon joined Mike Krzyzewski on Basketball and Beyond this week and talked about what makes Wilson different.

“You notice his maturity,” Moon told Coach K. “He came in as a rookie much more mature, much more prepared than the average rookie coming out of college.”

Wilson didn’t take the normal career path to becoming an NFL star. He was selected in the 2007 MLB Draft following high school but chose to enroll at North Carolina State to play football and baseball. He was drafted once again in 2010 (by the Colorado Rockies), and spent the next two summers in minor league baseball while still training for his football career. He eventually transferred to Wisconsin to finish out his final year of football eligibility before the Seahawks drafted him in 2012.

Moon points to Wilson’s dual-sport collegiate career as the cornerstone for his NFL success.

I think having played some pro baseball really helped that maturity. Being around professionals and seeing how those guys prepare. He has a great work ethic, some of that was started by his dad who really coached him early in his life and some of it came from being in pro baseball. He works tremendously hard , as hard as any quarterback I’ve ever been around. He puts the time in, no question he has tremendous talent as far as his skill set, but I think his work ethic and maturity is what sets him apart from having so much success early in his career.

Moon anticipates more success the rest of Wilson’s career and specifically in this weekend’s matchup against the Saints.

He lives for great moments, he wants to be great, he thrives on those. When the game might be tight the rest of the team might be nervous but they can look over at their leader Russell Wilson at quarterback and see that he’s not nervous at all and that kind of calms everybody else down that hey, we’re gonna be alright because Russell’s okay.

Last season was a disappointment for the Portland Trail Blazers, as they finished 33-49 under first-year head coach Terry Stotts. Stotts also joined Coach K on Basketball and Beyond this week and talked about the team’s turnaround this year.

“We brought back four of our five starters from last year,” Stotts told Coach K. “Those four guys, Wes Matthews, Damian Lillard, Nicolas Batum and LaMarcus Aldridge all played very well last year. We brought back some continuity with those guys plus they all got better, they’re all having better seasons than they were last year.”

There were also some new faces in Portland who also hit the ground running.

“The additions we made to our roster,” Stotts said, “with Robin Lopez as the defensive minded center fills the hole in the middle that we had. Bringing in Mo Williams filled two needs for us with scoring off the bench and a back up point guard who could relieve Damian and allow Damian to play off the ball a little bit.

Coach K takes to the airwaves Thursdays at 6 pm ET throughout the college basketball season on SiriusXM College Sports Nation. Basketball and Beyond with Coach K, co-hosted by Dave Sims, is in its ninth season, and is available live on Ch. 91, on the SiriusXM app and on SiriusXM On Demand.

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