Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
While Andrew Luck in Indianapolis and Robert Griffin III in Washington were handed the No 1 quarterback spot with their respective teams, the Seattle Seahawks' quarterback Russell Wilson had to earn the starter's job in the pre-season.
While Andrew Luck in Indianapolis and Robert Griffin III in Washington were handed the No 1 quarterback spot with their respective teams, the Seattle Seahawks' quarterback Russell Wilson had to earn the starter's job in the pre-season.

Russell Wilson proves he has game enough in the NFL

Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III have gotten more publicity but Seattle's Russell Wilson deserves consideration for Rookie of the Year honours, too, explains Mike Tierney.

From the opening bell, it shaped up as a two-horse race for Rookie of the Year. Now a third party is nipping at the heels of Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck, and one more burst of brilliance from the Seattle Seahawks' Russell Wilson may thrust him in front while igniting some serious holiday partying in the Pacific Northwest.

Sleepless in Seattle, again?

A significant subplot in Seattle's game Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers is Wilson's rare exposure to a prime-time television audience that, if his current form holds, will be awestruck.

Should Wilson discombobulate the 49ers with his unusual blend of skills, he will give pause to any voter planning to flip a coin to determine the premier rookie. Until three-sided coins are minted, another option would be required.

Unlike Luck and Griffin, who were bequeathed starting roles, with the Indianapolis Colts and the Washington Redskins respectively, as the ink on their contracts dried, Wilson earned his spot in training camp.

Teams sense no urgency to deploy a third-round draft pick, especially a quarterback whose unimposing height (5ft 11ins) seems more suited to having passes batted down.

To better evaluate Wilson, his coach Pete Carroll loaded him up with responsibilities and plays called aggressively in the pre-season, and "that brought out the best in him," Carroll said. Wilson promptly was elevated to starter.

Wilson's stature, short by NFL standards, might keep him from mingling in the company of Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and the Mannings as pure passers.

But none of them could excel at the read option, whereby the quarterback takes the snap, rolls out, "reads" the defence and elects to pass, pitch to a tailback or carry it himself.

The option has broadened the offence so much that the Seahawks have piled up 118 points in two games.

Most impressive to his teammates, many of whom were initially sceptical, are his leadership and poise.

"He doesn't carry himself like a rookie," Sidney Rice, the wide receiver, told the Seattle Times.

"He's never shown a sign of being scared."

Each week, Wilson texts or emails notes to receivers on the upcoming opponent, many in great length and detail.

Of a young quarterback's myriad challenges, none stands greater than winning over veterans in the locker room, but Wilson's record there is even more impressive than the Seahawks 9-5 on the field.

"There's a lot of people in here who were [doubting Wilson]," Carroll said. "And not just in here. But keep watching him go. He's going to make a lot of people that might have said something else change their mind a little bit."



twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Al Rayyan's Yakubu Ayegbeni, left, tries to escape the attention of Jazira's Khamis Ismail. Karim Jaafar / AFP Photo

Late strike puts Al Jazira on verge of qualifying for the last 16 of Asian Champions League

All to play for across East Asia during final round of group phase.

 Manchester City's Vincent Kompany reacts after being sent off by referee Lee Mason during their English Premier League soccer match against Hull City at the KC stadium in Hull, northern England March 15, 2014. REUTERS/Nigel Roddis

Man City’s Manuel Pellegrini says Vincent Kompany is an important player

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini defends team captain and talks about team's injuries ahead of clash with Sunderland at home on Wednesday night.

 Supporters of China during the Asian Cup Qualifier match between Iraq vs China at Sharjah football stadium in Sharjah. Iraq won the match by 3-1. Pawan Singh / The National

Asian Cup expanding to 24 football teams in 2019

As part of a regional shake-up, the 2019 Asian Cup will climb to 24 teams but next month’s Challenge Cup in the Maldives will be the last, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced.

 Latifa Ali Al Shamsi of UAE fights compatriot Boshra Ghanem Al Zadjali in their 38.5kg match at the Junior World Jiu-Jitsu Championship. Christopher Pike / The National

Competitors at Abu Dhabi Junior World Jiu-Jitsu Championship target world domination

All of Wednesday’s winners at the tournament, being held in the UAE capital, are ambitious enough to target a black belt and reach the pinnacle of the sport, Amith Passela reports.

 Jacques Kallis top-scored with 72 for Kolkata Knight Riders against Mumbai Indians at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. Pawan Singh / The National

Kallis kicks off IPL 7 with fifty as Kolkata thrash Mumbai

South African legend shows class is permanent as Knight Riders beat defending champions by 41 runs. Osman Samiuddin reports from Abu Dhabi.

 Amir Khan, during a workout at the Gloves Community Centre on March 24, 2014 in Bolton, England, says his fight will be the real main event in Las Vegas on May 3. Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Amir Khan says bout with Luis Collazo ‘will steal the show’ in Las Vegas on May 3

British-Pakistani boxer Amir Khan says his fight with Luis Collazo will be the main attraction on same fight card led by Floyd Mayweather Jr and Marcos Maidana, writes Omar Al Raisi.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National