Russell Wilson: More than a short QB and a controversial touchdown pass?
|10.10.12 at 4:31 pm ET|
FOXBORO — One couldn’t be blamed for associating two things first and foremost with Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.
The rookie signal-caller has gotten plenty of attention this season for his controversial touchdown pass to Golden Tate on a botched call by replacement officials that cost the Packers a win on Monday Night Football. He’s also known for his unquarterback-like stature at a rather short 5-foot-10 5/8.
Playing in his sixth NFL game this Sunday, Wilson, who surprisingly beat out free agent signee Matt Flynn for the starting job in training camp, is out to prove that he’s more than that. In last week’s win over the Panthers, Wilson threw for 200 yards for the first time in his career as he compiled 221 passing yards.
Wilson, who was a third-round pick of the Seahawks in the 2012 draft, said on a conference call Wednesday that he met with the Patriots “several times” between the Senior Bowl and the NFL combine prior to the draft. Bill Belichick said Wednesday that there’s a lot to like about the Wisconsin product.
“I think he’s got pretty good talent,” Belichick said of Wilson. “He’s athletic, he can definitely move around, avoid the rush, he’s got good quickness in the pocket, can run, he’s made a lot of good throws, made some good throws down the field. The play-action touchdown that he hit to Golden Tate in the Green Bay game was a real good throw, big time. It’s West Coast offense so a lot of that is based on three and five step drops, getting the ball out quick, getting it on time. He does that. He’s got a good, quick release. He can definitely do that too. He uses his tight ends and gets the ball to all the receivers.
“I think he looks pretty good. I can see why he’s their starting quarterback. He played well in preseason and he’s done a solid job for them. Is it perfect? No. But I think he’s got talent.
Despite his 3-2 record as a starter, Wilson’s numbers haven’t exactly jumped off the stat sheet. His 815 passing yards are 29th in the NFL, while his six interceptions outnumber his five touchdown passes.
Though his stats may eventually improve, one thing that isn’t changing is his height. Wilson points to Drew Brees (6-foot-0) as a quarterback after whom he’s modeled his game, and says that being short doesn’t change his capabilities on the field.
“I definitely think [it’s frequently been discussed], but my height’s not a factor,” Wilson said Wednesday. “I’m 5-foot-11, but I believe that my height hasn’t defined my skill-set and I have all the confidence in the world in my ability. I’ve worked at my craft, I’ve worked at having a high quick release and throwing the ball on time with rhythm and just delivering an accurate football.”
Added Wilson: “It’s always going to be the case, and I’m not going to change. God made me this way for a reason. I’m not making any complaints.”
As for that controversial play, a 24-yard pass to Tate in the end zone that was intercepted but called a touchdown after the receiver wrested the ball from Packers safety M.D. Jennings, Wilson said he’s put it out of his mind.
“I’ve moved on from that game,” Wilson said. “I’m a big feet-in-front-of-us [believer]. We’ve got to get ready for the Patriots, and that’s all I’m concentrating on right now.”
The team Wilson is concentrating on has allowed 292 passing yards per game, good for 30th in the NFL. Still, Wilson said Wednesday that he has his work cut out for him.
“They’ve done a great job so far,” he said. “Obviously they’ve made some plays and everything. They’ve got some experienced players upfront obviously in [Vince] Wilfork and the linebackers are extremely talented. I think the main thing with their secondary is that they’ve made plays when they’ve needed to. More than anything, you’ve just got to play smart football. They’re coached extremely well obviously, and I think the main thing is just to play great football.”Here are some other highlights from Wilson:
– Wilson hasn’t had to be the star of the offense thanks to Marshawn Lynch, who is third in the league with 508 rushing yards this season.
“It’s spectacular,” Wilson said of watching Lynch. “Watching him every day in practice, his attitude, the way that he approaches the game, it’s so much fun to watch and be a part of. He’s a very, very talented player. He works at it and he studies film a lot. Just to watch when you hand the ball off and then some of these runs he’s making, say he gets the first 10 yards and then the last five to eight yards, just watching his feet there’s nothing like it. The way he moves his feet ‘ he has great balance, tremendous vision and just great determination to get the first down.”
– Wilson said there’s “nothing like” the atmosphere at a home Seahawks game.
“It’s ferocious in that stadium,” he said. “Just how loud it is and the energy that the 12th Man fans bring in CenturyLink and there’s nothing like it in the National Football League I’m sure. Just that energy and that passion that our fans bring, it really heightens our ability to play at an even higher level just because they bring so much energy. We always bring the energy no matter what, but when you have that 12th Man on your side it always helps.”