Seattle Seahawks: Russell Wilson Is Tall Enough for the Job

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Seattle Seahawks: Russell Wilson Is Tall Enough for the Job
David Welker/Getty Images
Look! I can see see downfield!

With apologies to Ron Jaworski, I think he is wrong about Russell Wilson. The rookie quarterback is not too short.

When the Seattle Seahawks drafted Wilson, they apparently saw something that defied the conventional wisdom about quarterbacks. Today, you are supposed to draft a guy that is 6'4" and has a cannon of an arm. Russell does not necessarily fit the mold.

Of course, how many tall and physically gifted individuals have turned out to be failures at quarterback in the NFL? Plenty.

Still, here we are with a supposedly undersized rookie quarterback at the helm. Admittedly, Wilson has not been a dynamic quarterback from a statistical standpoint. However, I would venture to suggest that fans are reasonably happy to be 3-2 and have an optimistic future as the season unfolds.

I am still waiting for someone to explain to me exactly how Wilson’s height is inhibiting him. I get that Jaworski is a former NFL quarterback, so I will acknowledge his first-hand experience. Unfortunately, the arguments still feel like they are based in traditional thinking.

Against the Carolina Panthers, Wilson certainly made some mistakes. In spite of his errors, he was an efficient 19-of-25 for 221 yards. How did he accomplish this given that he supposedly cannot see over anyone? Could it be that quarterbacks will sometimes look between players? Once you are outside the pocket, does being 6'5" really help you?

Wilson did throw some picks, but so did a lot of other people on Sunday. Philip Rivers (6'5") and Eli Manning (6'4") each threw one. So did Joe Flacco (6'6").  Even Matt Ryan (6'4") of the extremely hot Atlanta Falcons threw a pick.

Is Russell Wilson's height helping or hurting his performance?

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Being 6'5" did not seem to help Cam Newton very much, as he was an unimpressive 12-of-29 for 141 yards. Height also did not allow him to escape being sacked four times.

What is the measure of a good quarterback? Is it touchdowns? Yardage? Wins? How about having the ball batted down? In case you are wondering, Wilson does not have his passes swatted very often.

What is it that Wilson is not accomplishing, and how is his height directly impacting that failure?

I am a little tired of all the talk about Wilson’s height. Let us try to remember that he is a rookie, and that some of his mistakes are more about his lack of experience than his lesser stature.

Again, Wilson is not tearing up NFL defenses, but I think he is doing just fine. If he were three inches taller, would he be throwing for 300 yards with no picks? I have my doubts. 

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