Seattle Seahawks: Meet Quarterback Russell Wilson
By now, we should all be used to ESPN's East Coast bias. But for those of us on that side of the map, we are missing out on a true treat out west.
I can't get enough of Russell Wilson, or as I like to call him, RWI. I mean, literally, I can't see enough of him. There has been one Seahawks game televised in my network area, the infamous "Fail Mary" game against the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football. I can't even get some solid highlights or coverage, as ESPN is busy with its love affair over fellow rookies RGIII and Andrew Luck, will or won't Big Ben play and whether or not Peyton Manning makes a better MVP candidate or Comeback Player of the Year contender.
Not to say Luck and Griffin don't deserve the publicity; what they have done as rookies is amazing, and I have enjoyed every minute of every game I have seen them play. But what Wilson has done might be more incredible.
Quick, who is leading NFL rookie quarterbacks in passing touchdowns? Russell Wilson. Who has more wins than Robert Griffin? Russell Wilson. Who has fewer interceptions and a better quarterback rating than Andrew Luck? You guessed it, Russell Wilson.
OK, I know you could throw stats right back at me as to why the top two picks in the draft are better QBs than RWI. But one thing that is inarguable is the job that Wilson is doing in Seattle. Consider that Luck's and RGIII's jobs were assured to them practically before the NFL draft and the future of each respective franchise was riding on their golden right arms. Thus, the Indianapolis Colts and Washington Redskins offenses were suited to their respective skill sets.
Conversely, Wilson was thrown into a three-way dog fight he wasn't even supposed to win. The team had just spent millions on promising Aaron Rodgers protege Matt Flynn. Flynn was one of the hottest free agents going and fresh off a six-touchdown spot start late in the 2011-12 season. He was mentioned with the likes of Matt Hasselbeck, Steve Young and, yes, Rodgers as backups to superstars who went on to take teams to Super Bowls themselves.
Then along came Wilson, who stole the job from Flynn and incumbent Tavaris Jackson.
Who will prove to be the best of the 2012 NFL Draft class?
I was so high on Wilson after his blistering preseason that I drafted him in the last round of my fantasy draft and began peppering my friends with questions like, "What if Wilson becomes a mini-Cam?"
The going was slow, but by midseason, he was picking up huge wins for me in injury and bye-week appearances.
Consider that in his first four starts, the Seahawks were 2-2, Wilson had yet to eclipse 160 passing yards and had thrown for multiple touchdowns just once. In the nine games since then, RWI has eclipsed 200 yards five times, had four two-touchdown games and two three-touchdown performances. He shredded the Chicago Bears defense for 364 total yards and the game-winning touchdown strike in a critical Week 13 win, then bombed the Arizona Cardinals secondary for 148 yards on just 13 attempts before being yanked for Flynn in a 58-0 laugher.
And I love what is in store for this kid's career. By all reports, his work ethic and intelligence are second to none, and he has a huge chip on his shoulder. In spite of his leadership, athleticism and big arm, Wilson was deemed too short to start at the next level and slipped to the third round. He was supposed to hold the clipboard behind a hungry passer looking to start his own legacy.
Instead, Pete Carroll is loosening the reigns on his surprising rookie, the Seahawks defense is dominating and Marshawn Lynch is going Beast Mode. Yes, Russell Wilson is truly the first of his kind, and maybe, just maybe, it will be RWI, not RGIII, who will lead the surprising NFC team no one wants to play come playoff time.
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