Each week we bring you a Q&A with a Ravens player or coach. This week's guest is cornerback Josh Wilson, a Maryland alum, who was traded earlier this season by the Seattle Seahawks. Wilson, who started in four games this year, has one interception and 22 total tackles. Wilson talks about what he misses about Seattle and what he loves about Maryland.
Question: What was the first thing that went through your head when the Seahawks told you that you'd been traded?
Answer: It was definitely an awkward experience. They didn't tell me where I went at first. They asked me what team, other than the Seahawks, would I like to play for. I told them if I could go back home and play for the Ravens, that would be great. They said, "Pack your bags because that's where you're going." It wasn't exciting in the moment when I got traded, but as I thought about it more, and thought about seeing my family and being able to play for a great team with Super Bowl aspirations, I thought "This couldn't be better."
Q: Did it come as a complete shock?
A: Totally. I don't think as a starter, you ever think about getting traded. I thought, well, it's the last year [of my contract] so they may not sign me, but you don't think about leaving during the season. We had a preseason game the next day. I was out at practice. I had no idea. I had been with the guys in that locker room for almost four years, and I was really close with everyone. I still talk to a lot of them. It was just a shock for everybody.
Q: What's one thing you miss about Seattle and one thing you don't miss?
A: I don't miss the rain. At all. It's not like it's pouring, but it's just a constant drizzle. The summer is great. The sun is up from 5 o'clock in the morning to 10 o'clock at night, but then in the fall, it's just rain all the time. I talked to a couple guys yesterday and it was snowing. It's just gloomy when you don't get to see the light of day. Also, the long plane rides. I don't miss those. Two hours is the closest flight. That's a grind. As far as what I like, I'll go with the seafood. Of course they don't have the Maryland crab cake, but you have some of the best seafood in the country right there. You go to Pike's Place and just experience a lot of stuff you've never experienced as far as food.
Q: What's one class you took at the University of Maryland that taught you something that you still use today?
A: I have a teacher I still keep in contact with. He actually went from working at the University of Maryland to the University of Washington of all places. He was my business and systems professors. I love math and was a business and marketing major, and I just loved everything about that class. It made me excited. You didn't just go in there and memorize stuff, you actually learned how to apply it to life.
Q: If you weren't playing in the NFL, do you think you'd be working in business marketing?
A: Definitely. I'm a talker. I would love to do something like work for a company like Nike or Under Armour. And if I couldn't do that, I'd like to be a sports caster and tell you all what's really going on out there, and so you didn't have to just make it up.
Q: Derrick Mason has expressed similar aspirations, and so we'll pose the same question to you that we did to him. Do you think you could be critical of NFL players in your analysis? A ton of players are afraid to speak frankly once they get those positions.
A: That's true. I agree. When you're in it, you can't really say what's really going on because you don't want to offend anybody. This is someone's job, and you have to respect that. But reporting is a job too. You have to report on it. You guys [in the media] do it, and we've got to be able to deal with it.
Q: When you were playing for the Terps, you used to keep a trading card of your father [former NFL player Tim Wilson, who died when Josh was 11 years old] in your wallet as a reminder of who he was. Do you still do that?
A: Yeah, I've still got it. I got a tattoo [of my father] as a freshman, and I still keep that card with me. It's a memory. It's a reminder of the things he taught me in life, like how you only get one opportunity to be great, and you have to be ready and prepared for that opportunity to take advantage of it.
Q: What do you think your dad would think about your career if he were still here?
A: He definitely would be excited. But he was excited when I was 11 years old playing tackle football and barely knowing what I was doing. So I know he'd be excited for this.
Q: Who is the most underrated wide receiver you've had to cover?
A: On this team, it's Derrick Mason. He's still underrated. But as far as the league, I'd say a guy like Steve Breaston [of the Arizona Cardinals]. I don't know how he is after hurting his knee, but he had moves and speed and he could do a lot of things to get open. I had to face Anquan [Boldin] and [Larry] Fitzgerald twice a year, and Breaston was one of the hardest to cover.
Q: What's one book you recommend to a friend?
A: I'm on one book right now and I'm just trying to finish it. It's the Bible. I'm trying to read it from cover to cover. It's definitely taking me a long time, but I'm almost through it. I'm into stuff that's going to try and make me a better person.
Q: You were twice named to the All- ACC Academic team. Why did you choose to major in marketing when you were in college?
A: I heard marketing majors end up doing group projects. And I'm the king of group projects! [Laughter]. No, seriously, I liked the sell. I like selling. I like the idea of going out and putting together a marketing campaign. No matter what it is, I want to go out and see if I can sell it. I want to be able to convince you that you'll like something. That was just fun to me. I enjoyed the classes, and we did do a lot of group projects. I didn't feel like I was going to school. I felt like I was having fun. It was kind of like playing [for the Ravens]. I don't feel like I'm coming to work here. I feel like I'm playing football.
Q: Years from now, if someone decided to make The Josh Wilson biopic, who would you want directing it, and which actor would you want playing you in the movie?
A: As far as directors, I'd probably have to go with Quentin Tarantino. But with Steven Spielberg advising him. As far as who would play me, I think I'd probably have to play myself.
Q: You're married. Who would play your wife?
A: Oh man. I've got to think about that one. I don't want to get in trouble. I think probably Rosario Dawson. She could definitely play my wife.
Q: Why Tarantino?
A: I just like his style. It's unorthodox. You never know what's coming. I also like Alfred Hitchcock a lot. I took a film study class at Maryland and I really like his stuff. Everything had meaning. If you had a shadow on someone's face, it meant something. I'd cut Tarantino for Hitchcock if he was still with us. Everything in the film, if you study it, really means something.
Q: True or False: You grew up a Redskins fan.
A: True. I grew up a Redskins fan. But I didn't have a choice! I grew up in a Redskins household. I was a Barry Sanders fan, but the Lions weren't too successful. I did root for the Hogs and Gary Clark and Art Monk, but Darrell Green, that was my guy.
Q: What makes you laugh?
A: Just jokes. Any kind of jokes. I'm a jokester. Even if it's on me, I'm going to laugh. You have to laugh. In this locker room, I've learned that you have a thick skin.