Monday, August 20, 2012

Short, But Tall in Many Ways: Russell Wilson

Most people standing at five feet, eleven inches tall in American society, 5'10 5/8" to be exact, are considered to be above the average height of a person. Apparently, that's not Russell Wilson. Most college quarterbacks who put up numbers that lead a team to the Rose Bowl are considered icons and future NFL stars. Well, that's not Russell Wilson either, according to the critics. After three years at North Carolina State University, Russel Wilson transferred to Wisconsin for his senior year of college football. It put the Badgers in championship consideration right away. After a very successful regular season in which Wilson put up All-American numbers and threw 33 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions, the Badgers reached the Rose Bowl. The Badgers played the Ducks tight the whole way, but the Ducks prevailed in the end. Wilson was also a very skilled baseball player, but chose to go the football path and entered the 2012 NFL draft.

Many panelists and critics dogged Wilson for his height leading up to the draft, but many also added that if he had the height he'd be the 3rd QB taken overall because he had the intangibles and skills, just not the height. They slated him as a late 3rd round pick at best. But there was that one team that had the confidence to select the QB everyone had written off. That team was the Seattle Seahawks. It was one of their best picks of the draft, if not the best.

Russell Wilson was immediately thrown into the fire as a rookie in his first NFL season. The Seahawks had previously signed Matt Flynn, but had no starting QB set in stone. Thus prevailed an ongoing QB competition (see previous blog entry for more details). So far, Wilson has put up big numbers, much like his college stats, in the Seahawks first two preseason games. In both games, he has played the entire second half against second, third and fourth teamers. Even though he's playing against lower level guys, he's still put up huge numbers. Tomorrow, Pete Carroll will announce who will start vs. the Kansas City Chiefs this week. Here's why I think it should be big Russ Wilson.

You can't teach heart. That's what Russell Wilson has along with a lot of other overlooked skills. One of the best things that Wilson brings to the team is his heart. One trait that Flynn doesn't bring and Wilson does is his ability to extend plays. Extending plays is the key to finding the wide open receivers and big plays as well as avoiding sacks, both which the Hawks crucially need as assets in their offense. Flynn has had his chance with the first teamers his first two games in the preseason. It's time for Russell Wilson to have his shot and for us to see what he can do. People could argue that starting a new quarterback 2 weeks before the regular season would mess up the chemistry, but that's not what it will do at all. Starting Russell Wilson vs. the Chiefs will give us our winner of the QB competition. Earlier I said Flynn would win, simply because of his contract and his experience, but Wilson has a chance to take the job right out of Flynn's hands this week. The key to Russell being able to do that is showing his height factor should be considered a non-factor, his skills are as good as RGIII's, and showing the big heart of his. I think Russell can do it, but only if he gets the chance.

As a high schooler, you wanna see everyone given a fair chance. If Pete starts Russell, it'll give me a sense of fairness within the organization. If he doesn't, I will always wonder what could of been if Wilson did start the third week of the preseason because you surely can't be having QB competitions when you're trying to build chemistry and win games in the regular season. The QB competition needs to be decided by the end of this week. C'mon Pete, ditch those indecisive ways and pick the best gunslinger you got, but give everyone a fair shot. Russell Wilson will show you what's he's got.

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