They told him he couldn’t play QB in the NFL, after all he was too short to look over his offensive lineman. When Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson declared for the draft it didn’t matter what his film showed, he was often cast aside by scouts and front offices because of his size. It would be generous to call Russell Wilson 5″11, yet he comes out and proves every week and proves that size isn’t everything.
Size is something Wilson has dealt with for most of his adult life, and that only grew when he declared for the NFL Draft. Fans, pundits and scouts joked about his size and how he would have to jump to look over his offensive line. They talked about how his frame couldn’t hold up in the NFL, and he would likely have to change positions. They ignored the instincts they saw on tape, the rave reviews his teammates and coaches said about him, they took the easy route and projected his career (or lack of one) on his size. Russell Wilson would face skeptics and criticism from the beginning, but he would go on to prove size is just a number.
Unlike his fellow rookie QB’s Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Brandon Weeden, Russell Wilson was not given the starting job. Wilson fell all the way to the 3rd Round before Seahawks coach Pete Carroll picked him up with the dream that one day he could be the starting QB. When Wilson walked into the Seahawks training camp he was listed as the 3rd string QB. Behind veteran QB Tarvaris Jackson who was the Seahawks starter the previous year as they fought to decide who would back up free agent acquisition QB Matt Flynn. After a few weeks of practice Russell Wilson started to grab the attention of coaches and moved his way to No.2 on the depth chart. When the pre-season rolled around the Seahawks loved what they saw from WIlson, but still felt Matt Flynn was there starting QB. Finally after 3 games the Seahawks made the decision to start Russell Wilson, a decision that would shape their entire season.
It turns out the Seahawks made the right decision as they now sit 9-5 with a chance to claim the NFC West with just a few breaks. While many will credit RB Marshawn Lynch for their success, they wouldn’t even be in the playoff hunt if not for their “short” QB.
Let’s take a look and compare the numbers for Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, and Russell Wilson.
QB A: 54.6 Completion Percentage, 3,978 Passing Yards, 20 TD Passes 18 INT’s 75.5 QB Rating//5 Rush TD’s
QB B: 62.9 Completion Percentage, 2,697 Passing Yards, 21 TD Passes 9 INT’s 95.5 QB Rating//3 Rush TD’s
QB C: 66.4 Completion Percentage, 2,902 Passing Yards, 18 TD Passes 4 INT’s 104.2 QB Rating//6 Rush TD’s
QB is Colts QB Andrew Luck and while he has thrown for 1,000 more passing yards than the two other QB’s, he has the lowest completion percentage, QB Rating and more interceptions. QB B is Seahawks QB Russell Wilson and while he may have the least passing yards among the group he has the 2nd highest QB Rating, completion percentage and leads the group in TD Passes. Finally, QB C is Robert Griffin III but you may have guessed that from the 6 TD runs. Wilson has thrown more TD passes with fewer attempts and has half of the interception total by Luck. Then when it comes down to Wilson vs. Griffin III I compare the two off wins, RGIII has 7, Luck and Wilson both have 9.
I already know the cases that have been made for Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, so instead I will just state my case for Russell Wilson. While Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III got the media coverage as the No.1 and 2 pick, Russell Wilson flew under the radar for most of the season. People will point to Luck and his 4th quarter comebacks, but we have seen the same ability from Russell Wilson. Down by 4 with just minutes remaining, Wilson led the Seahawks down the field for the lead at the rough and windy Soldier Field. It should have been enough but the Bears answered back with a FG to send it to OT. The Bears never got the ball back as Wilson took the ball down the field and ended it with a 13 yard TD strike to Sidney Rice to win the game. He did this against a stout Bears defense in a stadium where even veteran QB’s struggle as did Andrew Luck. Then look at the Seahawks last two games against the Cardinals and Bills, while they may have been inferior opponents the Seahawks proved themselves with consecutive 50 point games.
The biggest test for Russell Wilson will come on Sunday Night Football when the San Francisco 49ers head to CenturyLink Field. Wilson has shown he can play well at home, and now can make his case on national television as to why he is Rookie of the Year. A win would cement the Seahawks as a playoff team and put them tied atop the NFC West, although the 49ers would hold the tiebreaker. Russell Wilson has overcome adversity, skeptics and had to fight his way for the starting job. The fact that he has put up the type of numbers he did under the circumstances is just phenomenal. I have a profound amount of respect for Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, but what Russell Wilson has done should speak for itself. Russell Wilson has been and should be the NFL Rookie of the Year.