DENVER (KDVR) — Russell Wilson knows Seattle well having spent a decade playing for the Seahawks, but he downplayed the Denver Broncos season opener Monday night in the Emerald City.

“My focus is on joy, my focus is going to be on my teammates and us playing our best football that we can possibly play against a really good football team,” said Wilson.

Wilson is approaching this like any other football game. What’s undeniable is that for the first time, the franchise quarterback will be on the visiting sideline at Lumen Stadium.

“It’ll definitely be an experience I’ve never experienced before,” admitted Wilson. “But it will also be an experience that I’m going to enjoy the journey of it all. We knew it was going to happen at some point because it was on our schedule. We’ve got to go out and execute it, doesn’t matter who or where or when.

In his 10 seasons with the Seahawks, Wilson made nine pro-bowls and led the team to eight playoff appearances, including a pair of Super Bowls and one world championship.

After a blockbuster offseason trade, he begins the second chapter of his career with the Denver Broncos at Lumen Field. It doesn’t figure to be a warm welcome.

“I don’t worry about that stuff. I mean, people have their opinions, thoughts, and ideas,” said Wilson. 
“Everybody has their own right to think what they want to think.”

“I would imagine that it would be a welcoming environment. That may not be the case,” added an optimistic Justin Simmons. “Whatever the case may be, my opinion [is that] I would hope it would be welcoming for him, but you never know.”

Broncos fans remember Peyton Manning’s return to Indianapolis to face his former team, the Colts, in 2013.  It was clear the emotions of the homecoming affected the Hall of Famers’ performance.

Russell’s teammates hope to keep him grounded on a night he may be a little over-amped.

“He’s a pro, man, I’ve told you [before that] his mindset is incredible,” said Broncos tackle Garett Bolles. “He knows what he’s going to do. He knows [the Seahawks] better than we all do, so it’s our job to keep him fresh as much as possible.”

We’ll find out Monday if Wilson’s Seattle homecoming has a happy ending.