Rookie quarterbacks take a lot of heat, and not just in the NFL but at all levels of football in America. The pressure does get a little warmer when millions and millions of dollars are at stake in a football franchise.
Enter the Seattle Seahawks and Russell Wilson. Prior to the beginning of the season, the starting QB job in Seattle seemed to be Matt Flynn’s to lose. Having been Aaron Rodgers protégé, the up-and-coming QB was ready to take command of the Seahawk offense and see what he had learned during his time in Green Bay.
However, the gods of football would have it otherwise. Performing admirably in the preseason and impressing during the pre-season camps, Russell Wilson was declared the starting QB for Seattle…for now. Wisconsin and NC State fans, along with everyone who played the Badgers and the Wolfpack between 2008 and 2011, know of Russell Wilson. They know of his unpredictable out-of-the-pocket style and his ability to keep plays alive when the O-line has broken and all hell breaks loose. Pack fans saw Wilson rise into the heavens earning ACC honors and leading the Pack into consecutively great seasons, ending with a Champ Sports Bowl victory over West Virginia in 2010.
Wilson led the BCS No. 10 Badgers through an almost-flawless season in 2011 and a victory at the Big Ten Championship against Michigan State. Even though the season ended with a defeat to the PAC-10 Champions, No. 5 Oregon Ducks in the 2012 Rose Bowl, Russell had an extraordinary season. He finished 9th in the Heisman Trophy voting with 52 points, 33 passing touchdowns (single-season Wisconsin record, 2nd in Big Ten after Drew Brees), and with the FBS record for single-season passing efficiency of 191.8.
Wilson’s college football legacy in has been put to the test in the NFL. How well can a dual-threat, out-of-pocket QB perform where others have struggled before? Not only that, but many also stated that a 5’11” quarterback wouldn’t be able to pass or call the offense effectively in a league full of giant linemen. Could Russell Wilson make the transition to the National Football League?
Russell was the 75th pick of the 2012 NFL Draft, in the third round and immediately began a journey to become the starting quarterback in Seattle for the current season. At 4-4, the Seahawks welcomed the Minnesota Vikings this past Sunday and showed up with a dominant offense that has left a pretty good impression on all who were witnesses to the event. Russell Wilson threw for 16 out of 24, connecting with for 2 touchdowns with Golden Tate and once with Sidney Rice. Wilson suffered 0 interceptions and rushed for 27 yards. Marshall Lynch was also a hero of the game with 124 rushing yards and 1 touchdown which sealed the game in the Seahawks’ favor.
With 13 touchdowns this season, so far, Russell Wilson is the Seattle QB with the most touchdowns in his rookie year. He has thrown for 1,639 yards, with a 62% completion percentage, 8 interceptions, and an overall QB rating of 87.2. Compared with fellow starting rookie quarterbacks, Andrew Luck’s rating stands at 79, RG3 at 93.9 but with only 8 touchdowns this season but at 1,993 yards. He is definitely in the mix for which rookie quarterback will have the best season this year, and is performing much better than a lot of other veterans in the league.
So what should we say? Can Russell Wilson play in the NFL? It seems to me that the season has spoken for itself up to this point. Even though there are still 7 games to go in the Seattle schedule, 4 at home, Russell Wilson has shown us that perseverance and athleticism can take you places where physical implications may seem to be an obstacle. The Seahawks are 2ndin the NFC West 1-loss/1-win behind the San Francisco 49ers. There is still time to make the playoffs.
As for his personal life, Russell Wilson is a private guy but he loves to tweet and knows there is more to life than football, spending a lot of his time off at the Seattle Children’s Hospital. He has also visited the troops at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, in Fort Lewis, WA. If you follow Russell on Twitter, you will quickly realize that you are dealing with a believer in Jesus Christ who will flood your twitter feed with Scripture (especially on Sundays before the game).
We can’t help but hope and pray that current and future great things continue to be part of Russell’s career. His head and spirit are in the right place, and so far also his game. God bless you Russell, and good luck.
Follow Russell Wilson on Twitter