Wilson carries tune, Seahawks against Chargers

Publish date:

SAN DIEGO (AP) Russell Wilson knows a lot more about the San Diego Chargers than you might think.

His late father, Harrison Wilson III, was a wide receiver invited to training camp with the Chargers in 1980. He roomed with future Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow.

Unfortunately, he was one of the final players cut.

So Wilson is looking forward to leading the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks (1-0) into Qualcomm Stadium on Sunday to play the Chargers (0-1) in their home opener.

''Oh man, I can't wait,'' Wilson said. ''I just think about all the stories my dad told and he used to sing the `San Diego Super Chargers' song around the house and the football I used to throw around. Really the first football I ever touched was a Chargers football.''

Wilson's father died in 2010.

''To go back in that stadium and play there, it will be a cool moment for me,'' Wilson said. ''I played there preseason once before, but to go back there and play the Chargers will be a very, very special moment. I always believe he's there with me, no matter what stadium I'm playing, home or away. I believe my dad's in the best seat in the house.''

As for the song, ''I don't want to sing it for you,'' Wilson said with a laugh during a conference call with San Diego reporters.

He did anyway, but just the first four words of the disco ditty from the Air Coryell years.

The Seahawks opened the season with a dominating 20-point win against the Green Bay Packers. The Chargers blew an 11-point fourth-quarter lead and lost 18-17 at Arizona.

Here are some things to look for going into the game between the former AFC West rivals:

DOUBLE NICKEL: Seattle played the majority of its defensive snaps with five defensive backs against Green Bay. It may take a similar tactic against San Diego's passing game, but will be without one of its key players.

Jeremy Lane suffered a groin injury that landed him on injured reserve with the designation to return later in the season. Lane took over the nickel position after Walter Thurmond left in the offseason.

With Lane out, the job is falling to Marcus Burley, who was acquired in a trade with Indianapolis just days before the season opener. Burley played well in his Seattle debut, but now has the challenge of San Diego's receivers this week and Denver's potent offense next week.

SAD SHERMAN: Richard Sherman has been known to bait quarterbacks into making throws in his direction and then come up with interceptions. But no matter what he tried, Aaron Rodgers refused to throw in his direction in the season opener.

Sherman was not targeted once in Seattle's 36-16 victory. The one time he felt a ball was coming in his direction, Rodgers was sacked. Otherwise, it was a boring night for the All-Pro.

''I'm a ballplayer. You don't get the ball, you know it's not as much impact. That's how I feel,'' Sherman said. ''Everybody has their own opinions of it, but I need the ball.''

Chargers QB Philip Rivers won't cut off half of the field the same way Rodgers did, but said the throws in Sherman's direction need to be well-timed and not forced.

''We're not going with the approach that we won't throw to that side,'' Rivers said. ''At the same time, I'm not going to be careless. It would be silly to say we're going to go after him. You have to be smart.

''You have to respect that defense as a whole. You don't try to get cute with their best players. I think while you respect Richard Sherman, you understand that (Byron) Maxwell on the other side is no slouch. He just gets more opportunities.''

DOUBLE TROUBLE: The Chargers have to worry about Wilson's passing and scrambling as well as try to contain Marshawn Lynch.

''Stop No. 24 and stop Russell Wilson and go from there,'' inside linebacker Donald Butler said. ''Easier said than done.''

Said fellow inside linebacker Manti Te'o on Wilson: ''Just don't let him scramble. Keep him in the pocket. It's harder done than said, but that's what you've got to do.''

As for Lynch, ''Everybody's got to get to the ball,'' Te'o said. ''He runs the ball the way it's supposed to be done.''

NOT SINCE NORV: The Chargers will try to avoid their first 0-2 start since 2008, when they were in the second year of the Norv Turner regime.

DIFFERING APPROACHES: Chargers coach Mike McCoy raised some eyebrows on June 18 when he announced he was canceling the next day's final practice of minicamp. He said his players had ''done everything we asked of them. This is a little bit of an appreciation for what they did.''

While the Chargers took the Club Med approach, the Seahawks were docked two practices next offseason for excessive physical contact in their June minicamp.

Coach Pete Carroll said a fight on June 18 between Sherman and wide receiver Phil Bates that was caught by television cameras was part of the focus by the league that led to the penalties.


AP Sports Writer Tim Booth in Seattle contributed.


Follow Bernie Wilson on Twitter at http://twitter.com/berniewilson


Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL