Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll made some waves this weekend when he declared that the Seahawks' third-round pick in last month's draft, former Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson, would be in the mix for the starting quarterback job in 2012 with last year's starter Tarvaris Jackson and the team's free-agent acquisition, Matt Flynn.
After taking 500 snaps and throwing roughly 400 passes over the weekend at the team's three-day rookie minicamp, Carroll told reporters, via ESPN.com:
He's showed us enough. He's in the competition. And that is going to tax us, as you know. It was already going to be taxing with two. But he's shown us enough that we need to see where he fits in with these guys.
There's really nothing surprising here.
Carroll loves to breed competition, and that's exactly what he's doing. I have no doubt Wilson looked great in the type of environment often found at rookie minicamps. No one doubts Wilson's ability to absorb a playbook and execute the plays on a football field in that sort of environment.
The point where the rubber will meet the road for Wilson will be when he is asked to face an NFL pass rush and make plays despite his lack of prototypical height, which caused some scouts to dismiss his time with the Badgers.
When he has to stare down an NFL defense from behind his offensive line at full speed in training camp and preseason games, we'll know a lot more about Wilson's NFL prospects.
Who will be the opening-day starter for the Seahawks?
I, for one, think the Seahawks got a steal and that Wilson will be a more-than-effective NFL quarterback. Short stature or not, he's a very good football player—the type who will find a way to get it done at the NFL level, regardless of the obstacles in front of him.
This kind of reminds me of one of the men Wilson will try to beat out for the starting job in Matt Flynn.
Flynn has also had to work and fight for everything that has come to him in the NFL since being drafted in the seventh round by the Green Bay Packers. So signing a three-year, $19.5 million contract only to be told he'll have to compete for the starting job should hardly stop Flynn from going out and winning the thing.
All of this said, don't discount Jackson. The way this is playing out, he's kind of the forgotten man, but he was playing surprisingly well in Darrell Bevell's offense last year.
All in all, Carroll is pushing his talent to compete, which is how you make your team better. While I still think Flynn comes out as the day-one starter, it's no surprise that Wilson is making his coaches pay attention right off the bat.