Friday, January 11, 2013

Rookie or Not, Here We Come

By Greg Suttich

The Seattle Seahawks have stormed into the NFL playoffs on an incredible roll that has seen them win 6 straight and eight of their last nine. At one point in December, the Seahawks put up 150 points in three games against Arizona, Buffalo, and San Francisco. The amazing factor in all of their success is that Seattle is doing it with a rookie quarterback. Russell Wilson was a third-round pick and many thought would never play in this league.

Russell Wilson won the starting job in preseason despite the offseason acquisition of Matt Flynn from Green Bay. Pete Carroll named Wilson the starter in Week 1 and has never looked back. Wilson struggled in some early season games, but has gotten better each week. Carroll started expanding the playbook for Wilson and things started to take off for the rookie sensation.

What makes Russell Wilson so special is his unusual poise for a rookie quarterback. He is a natural leader that commands a huddle like no rookie quarterback is supposed to do. By Sunday night, Wilson is already studying the next week opponent and sharing his notes with his teammates. "The separation is in the preparation," is the motto that Wilson lives by. His critics said he was too small to play in the NFL. If you tell Wilson he can't do something, it will only motivate him to prove you wrong. Russell Wilson has already proved it to his teammates who have embraced him as their leader. He has also proved it to the Seattle fans that are feeling like the finally have the franchise quarterback they have never had.

Coach Pete Carroll and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell studied what the Washington Redskins were doing with RGIII and the read option. Since implementing the read option into the Seattle offense, the team has taken off presenting multiple problems for opposing defenses. Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson together make a two-headed monster that nobody wants to face. Couple this with the league's No. 1 scoring defense and arguably the most physical brand of football in the NFL, sky is the limit for this Seahawks team.

Can a rookie quarterback lead a team to the Super Bowl? Remember, Wilson is not your average rookie quarterback. Wilson tied Peyton Manning's rookie record with 26 touchdown passes and has the league's third leading rusher in Marshawn Lynch. I have not even mentioned the fact that the Seattle offensive line boasts two Pro Bowlers. This team believes that they are going to win. The rest of the league is believing it, too. Wilson has learned how to win games in the fourth quarter and the confidence is high going into this weekend's divisional playoff against Atlanta. Russell Wilson has beaten Brady and Rodgers and we might just see him facing off against Manning in the Super Bowl.

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