10 Reasons Why We Aren’t Surprised by Russell WilsonNovember 15, 2012
Two of the biggest surprises of the NFL season have been the Seattle Sehawks and their rookie quarterback Russell Wilson. The biggest surprise to most is Wilson, especially since the Seahawks acquired Matt Flynn from the Packers during the off-season. The Seahawks are currently 6-4 (thought we all know they should be 5-5), and while a lot of their success can be attributed to The Beast and their defense which consists of a very tall and very physical secondary, it’s also the leadership of Wilson. Through 10 games, Wilson boasts a 90.5 rating and has completed 62 percent of his passes with 15 touchdowns. While this comes as a shock to most, it ain’t news to us.
10. He Was Playing High School Sports in Middle School
That’s right, Wilson played high school baseball when he was in eighth grade. He was the starting shortstop on the school’s varsity team before he even got to high school. It’s pretty obvious that he was something special at an early age.
9. He Beat Matt Flynn and Tavaris Jackson for the Starting QB Job
After everyone saw Matt Flynn throw for 480 yards and 6 touchdowns in the Packers’ last game of the 2011 season, it was safe to assume he’d have a starting job somewhere else in 2012. Seattle signed him, but they still took Wilson in the third round of the draft. Wilson ended up winning the job, so how salty is Flynn right now? As salty as anyone who’s getting a guaranteed $10 million to sit on his ass would be. As for Tavaris Jackson? He was just lucky to be there.
8. His Freshman Year at N.C. State
Wilson began his collegiate career as a member of the Wolfpack, and after redshirting as a freshman, he won the starting job. During his first season as a starter, he threw 17 TD’s to just one interception on his way to becoming the ACC Rookie of the Year, and became the first freshman quarterback to be named to the All-ACC first team. It was a sign of great things to come.
7. He Doesn’t Make Mistakes
More than halfway through his rookie season, Wilson has just six interceptions—less than RGlll and Andrew Luck. That’s rare for a young QB, because even the great Peyton Manning threw 28 picks his first season with the Colts. Part of Wilson’s early success has been his ability to limit errors. Like I said, he only threw one pick his first year as a started at N.C. State, and he broke Andre’ Woodson’s NCAA record of 325 consecutive passes without an interception.
6. His Placement of the Football
Like both Drew Brees and Mike Vick, Wilson is on the short side for a quarterback. At 5’11, Wilson isn’t a Totem pole in the pocket, so he has to put the ball in the right spot. Brees is a wizard at this, and I’m not drawing a perfect parallel here, but Wilson seems to get better at it every week. The best thing that a vertically challenged QB can do is be accurate.
5. His Elusiveness
He’s not RGlll and he’s certainly no Mike Vick, but he can get away from people, kind of like McNabb could. Wilson ran for over 1,400 yards as 23 TD’s in college, and though he’s only rushed for 189 yards so far this season, he can evade defenders if flushed out of the pocket. This is where he makes a lot of those big throws.
4. His Coordination
Because he can’t look over linemen like the 6’4″ and 6’5″ guys, all of his mechanics have to be as close to perfect as possible. One misstep during his progressions and you’re looking at an incomplete pass or a turnover.
3. He’s a Juggler (Of Responsibilities)
In college, Wilson excelled at football in both the ACC and Big 10, played a little professional baseball and graduated early. This dude had a full plate early in the game, and what better way to prepare for the rigors of life as a professional athlete than having to mature early. That goes a long way.
2. He Can Adapt
Wilson had a great career at N.C. State, but the football program wasn’t too happy when the equally skilled baseball player decided to report to spring training for the Colorado Rockies. When the two sides couldn’t reach a happy medium, Wilson was released from his scholarship with one year of eligibility left. Two months later, he was a Wisconsin Badger. How’d the transition go? 33 touchdowns, 4 interceptions and Wilson was honored as a third team All-American. Those 33 touchdowns were the second most in Big Ten history, ironically behind Drew Brees.
1. Cool Under Pressure
10 games into his rookie season and he’s already beaten Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers (even though it was on some BS) on game-winning bombs. You can’t expect too much from a rookie QB, but you definitely don’t expect him to come through in the clutch in big games like Wilson has. It’s about time people stop acting surprised.