DK Metcalf hears the doubters.
He isn’t motivated by the doubters.
He doesn’t care about the doubters.
“No, I had to learn to stop letting outside noise or outside people be motivation for myself or for the team, because people are going to talk, regardless,” the 24-year-old wide receiver said Thursday.
It’s a season for which Las Vegas oddsmakers have listed the over-under of Seahawks wins at 5 1/2. That’s what happens to what people think about a team that trades Wilson and cuts six-time All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner on the same day.
Metcalf isn’t down with perception. He’s up with Geno Smith, the successor to Wilson as Seattle’s quarterback to begin this season.
“Whether if we had Russ or didn’t have Russ, if we had Bobby or didn’t have Bobby, whatever the case may be, I think a lot of people outside of this building have a lot to say,” Metcalf said.
“But the only thing that matters is us, because we practice with each other. We have to deal with each other on a daily basis.
“A lot of people are going to be surprised by what we do this year.”
DK Metcalf, Russell Wilson ‘still good friends’
Wilson invited Metcalf to his offseason homes in Mexico and southern California for extended weeks together in recent offseasons. They lifted weights. They ran. They talked about families and life.
Wilson even taught Metcalf to swim on one of those trips, in Mexico before the 2020 season.
Wilson said he remains close with Metcalf, from afar.
“I mean, I still talk to DK pretty much every week,” Wilson said Thursday from the Broncos’ facility outside Denver.
Metcalf still calls Wilson “a brother.”
“Well, I thank him for everything he taught me while he was here,” Metcalf said. “But I know this is a business and it was a business decision on his and the team’s end for him to move on.
“Same with Bobby. I still talk to them regularly, probably once a week.
“But like I said, it’s just a business decision. I took my emotions out of it. We’re still good friends, still brothers at the end of the day.”
But Metcalf stopped short of doing what his fellow Seattle receiver Tyler Lockett did earlier this week: saying Seahawks fans should cheer, not boo, Wilson Monday night at Lumen Field, for all number 3 did for the franchise and the city.
“I’m not a fan,” Metcalf said. “So no, I don’t care.”
Broncos’ Patrick Surtain, Justin Simmons vs. Metcalf
There’s another thing Metcalf, who played collegiately at Mississippi, doesn’t care about entering this ballyhooed opener against the Broncos.
Studying and concerning himself with Denver’s defensive backs.
“Yeah, they have a talented secondary,” Metcalf said. “Surtain was really good. I played against him at ‘Bama his freshman year. And (Justin) Simmons is an established safety, as well. Another safety is Kareem (Jackson), who’s been established, as well.
“They have a veteran secondary that’s going to give us a challenge up front as well as on the back end, so just looking to take that challenge head on and just see what we can do when we snap the ball.”
Simmons said Denver’s focus is on stopping Rashaad Penny and Seattle’s running game that coach Pete Carroll wants to re-establish with the 2022 Seahawks. That, Simmons said, will give the Broncos secondary better conditions to cover Metcalf and fellow Seahawks receiver Tyler Lockett.
“Seattle runs that ball really well. That’s what helps set up the play action pass. We have to be able to stop the run,” Simmons told reporters in Colorado Thursday. “DK and Lockett, they’re the best at running those two-man routes, maybe outside or on par with (Minnesota’s Adam) Thielen and Justin Jefferson.
“They do such a good job of finding ways to get open. We’ve seen that for so many years and everyone knows going in there you have to eliminate the big plays with DK and Lockett. Then, someway, somehow, they always find a way to squeeze a shot in. That’s going to be a challenge for us in the secondary.”
Monday will be the first regular-season NFL game Metcalf has played against Denver. The Seahawks last met the Broncos for real in week one of the 2018 season, Seattle’ 27-24 loss at Denver Sept. 9, 2018.
That weekend, Metcalf was catching seven passes for 93 yards and a touchdown in Ole Miss’ 76-41 track-meet win home win over Southern Illinois in Oxford.
Does that mean he’s been studying extra film to try to know Surtain’s game for Monday night?
“No,” Metcalf said, flatly. “I don’t really think about the DB, because they have to guard me, at the end of the day.”