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Preparing for it all: Raiders defense gets ready for Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson knows how to run.

Now in his seventh NFL season, the Seattle Seahawks quarterback has 16 rushing touchdowns, and north of 3,300 rushing yards to his name, and has seemingly become the posterchild for the prototypical “dual-threat quarterback.”

“That’s what he’s really made a career on, ya know,” explained Tahir Whitehead Tuesday. “Moving around. He’s good, he’s great outside the pocket, probably one of the better quarterbacks in the league in getting outside the pocket, then making those deep throws for the big plays.”

And in 2018, it’s been a good thing that Wilson has the ability to escape the pocket and make plays with his legs, as the Seahawks offensive line has surrendered 18 sacks already, a number that only two other teams have eclipsed in 2018.

Getting pressure on the quarterback is imperative each week, but going up against a guy like Wilson, who seems to have an uncanny ability to extend plays, and make something out of nothing, it will be even more important than usual Sunday afternoon at Wembley Stadium.

“It’s everyone across the league, the game plan is always keep them in the pocket, but he’s so elusive, and he’s [so] strong, that it’s really hard to do,” Whitehead explained. “The more you can do that, the better the outcome, so we can contain him, and everyone pretty much, just focus on doing our job on defense, all 11 guys, we’ll come out victorious.”

While the Seahawks currently rank No. 27 in passing offense, Wilson remains a factor with his arm, but it really is his ability to get out of trouble with his legs that presents a unique challenge.

“He’s a mobile guy,” defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said of Wilson. “He can move around the pocket. He’s got good arm strength. He can get in and out of plays. He’s been a good player for a long time. It’ll be a challenge for us, for sure. They ran the ball pretty good, 190 yards against the Rams. That was impressive. They can run and throw it.”

Guenther is right; after totaling 190 rushing yards last week in their loss to the Los Angeles Rams, the Seahawks rank No. 7 in the league pounding the rock, and while Wilson has just 42 rushing yards as of now, he unquestionably boasts the ability to take off at any moment.

“He’s definitely a guy that extends plays,” explained Daryl Worley. “So I think what we’ll really have to focus on is the things that those receivers do after their route or play may be complete. I think a key thing this week will be eye control. That’s from their run, pass game, play action, things like that.”

Worley and the Raiders will travel to London Thursday night, and then get their shot against Wilson and the Seahawks Sunday at Wembley Stadium; kickoff is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. PT.

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