NFL: QB Wilson beats odds to become Seattle's starter
Renton, Wash. • Russell Wilson walked on the sun-drenched practice field Monday as the freshly minted starter for the Seattle Seahawks.
Wilson was named the Seahawks' starting QB on Sunday night after beating out Matt Flynn for the job and seeing incumbent Tarvaris Jackson traded to Buffalo for a future draft pick. The decision means that Wilson will be one of five rookies to start at quarterback in the regular season, joining Indianapolis' Andrew Luck, Washington's Robert Griffin III, Miami's Ryan Tannehill and Cleveland's Brandon Weeden.
But those other four were all first-round picks.
Wilson? The idea of the third-round pick out of Wisconsin earning the starting job was thought to be a stretch and that his task was to compete with Jackson for the backup job to Flynn. Seattle guaranteed Flynn $10 million as part of a three-year deal this offseason.
But the last time Wilson wasn't a starting quarterback: the first game of his redshirt freshman season at North Carolina State against South Carolina.
"This is an extremely competitive person and it drives him in the way he prepares. He just tirelessly works at it as he worked through the summertime, he was here throughout. He's the last guy to get out of the building. He has done everything he could possibly do to get ready," Seattle coach Pete Carroll said.
Wilson has wowed everyone during the preseason with his numbers in production making up for the measurable numbers that made him a third-round pick instead of a first. His 5-foot-11 stature hasn't shown to be a problem while completing 35 of 52 passes (67.3 percent) for 464 yards, five TDs and a league-leading 119.4 QB rating.
Carroll told him Sunday that he would be the starter.
"Was I surprised? I was more-so excited about the opportunity," Wilson said.