The Seattle Seahawks are prepared to host their former quarterback, Russell Wilson, in the season opener against the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football, but head coach Pete Carroll isn't treating the game any differently.
Carroll told ESPN's Adam Schefter before Thursday's preseason game against the Chicago Bears that the team will prepare to face the Broncos the same way it prepares for any other opponent.
"It's a ballgame; it's championship ballgame time. That's all. It isn't [any] different than that," Carroll said. "I won't make it one bit different. I won't talk one bit different. It's no different than any other game we play. It's the biggest game in the world, and we're gonna do everything in our power to win it; that's how we do."
The Seahawks traded Wilson to the Broncos in a blockbuster deal this offseason, ending his tenure with the team after 10 seasons. Seattle acquired two first-round picks, two second-round picks, a fifth-round pick, quarterback Drew Lock, defensive lineman Shelby Harris and tight end Noah Fant in the trade.
When the trade was announced, there were indications that Wilson was the one who pushed for the deal. The nine-time Pro Bowler had a no-trade clause in his contract and reportedly would only waive it for the Broncos. Seahawks chairman Jody Allen said in a statement that Wilson "made it clear he wanted this change." Wilson later said the decision was mutual.
The Seahawks have not yet named a starting quarterback for the 2022 season, with Lock competing against veteran Geno Smith. Lock was initially named the starter for Thursday's game, but he was ruled out after testing positive for COVID-19. Smith has spent the past two seasons in Seattle, and he's received most of the first-team reps in training camp.
While playing without Wilson under center will take some time to adjust to, Carroll is confident in the Seahawks' chances at competing when the season begins. When asked if there will be a competitive advantage on either side when he goes up against Wilson, Carroll responded, "We'll find out."