Russell Wilson named Seattle’s starting quarterback

These are exciting times for the Seattle Seahawks.

For years the team has been crying out for an injection of youth and quality at the quarterback position. Matt Hasselbeck carried an injury-hit offense to the playoffs in 2007, but was never quite the same after that. Charlie Whitehurst never seriously challenged to be the long term successor and Tarvaris Jackson was a convenient stop-gap. Matt Flynn arrived with some degree of expectation but may not get his chance in Seattle. It’ll be 20 years next April since the team last invested a first round pick at quarterback – an abnormally long time for a NFL franchise. After announcing Russell Wilson as the starter today, Pete Carroll will be hoping to extend that run to 30 years.

Naturally some perspective is required because Wilson remains an unproven commodity. The decision today isn’t so much exciting because it guarantees success. Far from it. Wilson will have to tackle some tough opponents this year, learn to deal with adversity, master the speed of the pro-game and cope with teams game-planning him specifically. Weeks 3-8 in Seattle’s schedule look particularly difficult, including games against Green Bay (H), Carolina (A), New England (H), San Francisco (A) and Detroit (A). The Seahawks need to start fast against Arizona (A) and Dallas (H) and there won’t be any time for rookie mistakes.

What’s more, Matt Flynn isn’t going to go away. If Wilson doesn’t start particularly well, I don’t think Carroll will hesitate to review today’s decision. Despite winning a fiercely contested competition this off-season, really the hard work starts now.

Despite all of this it is still an exciting time. Wilson hasn’t just looked like a potential starter in pre-season, at times he’s looked like a seasoned veteran. While other rookies like Ryan Tannehill and Brandon Weeden have struggled, Wilson has excelled. And he isn’t going into this thing alone – Seattle ended last season with a productive running game and top-end defense. As long as Wilson doesn’t turn the ball over, he should get enough support to at least feel comfortable.

Since the Kansas City game I’ve read multiple articles talking about the struggles of rookie starters in the NFL. That’s great – you can always find a statistic somewhere to back up whatever argument you want to make. The fact is Russell Wilson’s fate is yet to be determined and whatever has happened in the past will have little influence. If no rookie starter had ever been successful in the NFL, it still wouldn’t stop Wilson having a shot to be the first. If Wilson fails, it won’t be down to conventional wisdom. All we can go off for now is the pre-season tape, and Wilson has shown veteran qualities in the three games so far. He’s earned this chance.

More importantly, he’s shown playmaking qualities. And that is what the Seahawks are crying out for at quarterback. You get the feeling Wilson is capable of making things happen, that he’ll be an asset to this offense rather than just the guy pulling the strings. Teams will be working out ways to stop him, rather than working out ways to stop the guy he hands the ball off to. Wilson brings a dynamism to the quarterback position not often seen in Seattle’s history over the years.

And who knows… maybe he won’t be a flash in the pan. Maybe – just maybe – this is Seattle’s next franchise quarterback? Perhaps this is the beginning of an era, the moment we’ll look back on in a decade and recall the day Russell Wilson was given the starting job. Instead of looking at a variety of different college quarterbacks this year in a vain search to find that elusive starter, maybe we’ll be looking for a complimentary receiver, tight end or offensive lineman? Instead of debating that big move up the board ‘because we have to’, Seahawks fans will be debating who is the best player available?

The 2012 season may be a year early for this team to fully deliver on its promise. Even so, nobody can deny that Carroll and Schneider have injected so much energy into this franchise. People are talking about the Seahawks, not just in Seattle, but nationally too. The players appear hungry for success, they have the kind of swagger usually associated with Ray Lewis’ Baltimore or Tom Brady’s New England. And maybe, just maybe, the most important question mark remaining on the team was answered today. Whether you think Russell Wilson is the long-term answer or not, it’s going to be exciting finding out what happens next.


  1. Rob Staton

    Just dug out this piece I wrote on the old blog… raised a smile:

    • Hawksince77


      Nice scouting Wilson at NC State. One quick question about this:

      “…the sophomore QB threw 17 TD’s and only one interception last year after recovering from injury.”

      Do you know anything about the injury? I have never heard about a Wilson injury, and have noticed that he plays extremely safe. I have never seen him take a hard hit, or run recklessly. He seems to go with the hit, to collapse away from it, minimizing the impact. When he runs, he avoids contact and takes it out of bounds with yards to spare.

      Anyway, that’s the only thing I worry about in terms of his future success. He has made himself what he is, and will continue to improve. He will never be good enough, or accomplish enough, and never be satisfied no matter how many championships he wins. Just the opposite of the guys who consider themselves a success with the draft (Ryan Leaf, JaMarcus Russell come immediately to mind). Wilson will always be the guy who was too small to play professional football; the guy every team passed on at least twice in the draft; the guy just lucky enough to get drafted by the one team that would give him a legitimate shot at starting.

      His character has always been his ultimate advantage, and barring injury (back to my original concern) he will make himself one of the best QBs in the league.

      • Steen

        Dial it back a bit please, your man crush makes nearly everything you write about Wilson laughably ridiculous. Calm down already.

        • peter

          why shold anyone dial any of this enthusiasm back? After Months of listening to fans split their camps into two and make the same retread arguments over and over again for which ever QB they like blocking out all logic, I for one think it’s perfectly acceptable and commendable in fact to be stoked on a. The guy that hawksince77, Kip, and others liked as a draft pick and b. taking nothing away from Matt Flynn, being excited about the possibility that the Seahawks are going to start their own pick for the first time in forever as opposed to some other teams FA or trade aquisition.

        • Hawksince77

          Everything I have written about Russell Wilson has been absolutely correct, so if that is your definition of “laughably ridiculous’, whatever. Anyway, I don’t understand the point of this kind of comment. You are not even talking about football – you are throwing insults at me. To what purpose? Does it make you feel better, superior somehow?

          Not only that, I think you have a reading comprehension issue. I was speaking about his character, his attitude, something we have seen first hand. I was referencing the big ol’ chip on his shoulder, and suggesting it may never be removed. All of this can be seen first hand, and shouldn’t strike anyone as controversial.

          Next time read the comment with more care, and if you choose to comment, please attempt to add something of interest to other Seahawk fans, as it is better to keep your mouth shut and let people wonder if you are an idiot, than to open it and remove all doubt.

        • Scott

          Steen has been railing on Wilson over at Fieldgulls for some time now. He is one of the entrenched Flynn fanboys who will be popping out of the woodwork for every mistake Wilson makes.

          Sad fact is, Flynn seems to be a good QB. He doesn’t need fanboys to defend him, he will get his chance to play.

          • Joe the Jarhead

            Yeah this is just sour Flynn fandom come home to roost. Why root for a real Hawk who is Blue from jump street when we can cheer on another average GB back up? Ludicrous, I say!

  2. Cameron

    Thanks Rob. Can’t wait to read Kip’s reaction, whenever he comes back down from the stratosphere, that is.

    • glor


  3. dmason24

    Really exciting times for Seahawk fans. The last time I was this excited about a team was back when a younger Hasselbeck and young Seahawks team were starting something great back in 2003 (the year when Hasselbeck made the infamous ‘we want the ball and we’re gonna score’ call).

    Really excited about this team because it is a different type team that is built on grit, toughness, and a lot of confidence. If Russell can be that missing piece who knows what the ceiling will be for this team? I am just really excited for Russell because he’s proving all the doubters/haters (i.e. Greg Cosell, Hugh Millen) wrong. His faith and hard work has brought him this far and will take him to great places.

  4. Michael

    any idea how much time Wilson will see in preseason game #4? Will the rest of the time be split between Flynn and Portis?

    • Rob Staton

      I would guess two drives.

  5. A. Simmons

    I’m excited. If Wilson stabilizes the position this year, next year we can focus on finding him some great receivers and an interior pass rusher.

    • Nick in Pullman


  6. Jim Kelly

    I didn’t think that Russell Wilson was a true steal in the third round, but I did think it was a good pick. When I saw that he was the worst pick, I was ready to dismiss whomever said it. Then I saw that it was bleacher report, and I was ecstatic. Basically, they get everything backwards. It’s like a father telling thier kids the opposite of what they want them to do. If they think he sucks, then Russell Wilson has truly arrived, and will be a great success.

  7. James

    I admit that I had never heard of Russell Wilson when he was at NC State. It wasn’t until last year at Wisconsin that I saw him play, first when watching an ESPN show on the battle for the starting QB job at Wisconsin where they were following the “other” QB and we saw how his expected winning of the job (sort of like Matt Flynn) was blown up by the transfer Wilson in just a matter of a couple of weeks of practice. Then, when we all knew that the Seahawks would be selecting a QB in the draft, and we reviewed the main candidates, it was obvious to me that Russell was a special talent, even more with the intangibles than with the tangibles. The fact that his senior season last year at Wisconsin is the highest rated efficiency season for a QB in football history, college or pro, and the added fact that his QB rating for this preseason is the highest in the NFL, is objective proof of his superior production on the field, and I have been mystified that everyone (Mel Kiper, John Clayton, Walter Football, etc) could not see what I was seeing. Thank goodness that John and Pete did. Given the strength of the Seahawks defense and running game, and hopefully adding one more stud WR along the way, Russell will be the final piece of the puzzle toward a Seahawks Super Bowl in a couple of years.

  8. Matthew Baldwin

    Admittedly, I was one of the RW doubters and thought the notion of him starting year one, let alone week one, was naive.

    My crow needs some ketchup. This kid is impressive.

    • Michael (CLT)

      Crow is tasty, eh 🙂 I am chowing down.

  9. Stuart

    Russell Wilson “tilts” the field. There may not be a harder working player on our team. Come game day he is relaxed and confident because he is prepared. Sure he has strikes againts him but he has overcome all of them.

    Russell Wilson is the type of player that will only get better! And he’s great now:).

    Rob, what is up with that injury? I alrady get concerned when RW gets his in the pocket.

  10. Stuart

    “hit” in the pocket.

  11. Meat

    I have been excited for this kid since his transfer to Wisconsin and seeing some tape from NC State. I was happy to see him picked, and loved watching Gruden defend Wilson to Kiper on draft day. His playmaking ability and stats in preseason is fantastic, and him winning the starting job sends a clear message that PC and JS are serious about competetion. I wonder how declaring Wilson the starter impacts Flynn and his development? I think ‘everyone’ assumed Flynn was the starter, perhaps Flynn thought this as well. I hope Flynn is every bit of a professional as I hoped he would be and continue to push for the starting roll making both QB’s on the roster that much better.

  12. Jim

    Russell Wilson seems to be “ready to be great”. A prime example of what hard work, dedication and self-confidence can accomplish. I’m excited to see him get even better and win a lot of games. I do think that he is going to be great and IMO his physical capabilities are only exceeded by his mental makeup and desire to be the best. I think he’s got a damn good shot at greatness before too long.

    I think the Seahawks need to pick out about 4 or 5 still shots from the game footage where Leon Washington demolishes Berry. Starting with the low block, a couple of Berry flipping through the air like a rag doll and finally Berry’s face plant in tbe turf (loved that!). With a caption something like “this is what the Seahawks call a block” or some such and post it on a bulletin board in the locker room. That play (block and run) was my favorite of the preseason, so far and I can’t help thinking there are going to be a whole lot more favorite plays in the very near future. I guess I’m pumped and jacked for the season to come so we can show off our bright new toy and piss off all of the “know it all doubters”.

    • Mtjhoyas

      Totally agree. RW just looks so calm on the field and all his actions are smooth and slow (in a good way). He’s not herky jerky and he never looks surprised.

      Perhaps my favorite thing is, good play or bad play, he acts like he has been there. He celebrates TDs, but not over the top. After his terrible pick in Week 1, you could see frustration, then all of a sudden, no emotion. I love it. The guy is an assassin. Stone cold.

  13. Colin

    That video above is hilarious… another reason why these small sports outfits who try and cover all 32 teams are shams… almost as laughable as the article from about how Seattle has a “questionable” secondary…

    as Kid Rock would say, ‘I’m going HAHAHAHA on the way to the bank, B****!”

    • rich

      So according to the clown in the video, Seattle picking RW was a worse pick than Jacksonville using the 7 pick of the 3rd round on a punter..yes, hilarious!!
      I really hate all the comparisons to Seneca too, no way they’re even in the same conversation.

      • Colin

        The Seneca comparison was the best… Seneca was just a phenomenal athlete with the ball in his hands… the fact that Holmgren made him a decent QB shows what a hell of a coach he is.

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