Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson may only be in his third season in the NFL, but after watching him play or hearing him speak, it becomes apparent that he is wise beyond his years. Wilson not only shined in the spotlight in Wisconsin, but has excelled every time Seattle has needed him to step up. No situation has been too big for him.
Wilson has seemed like a veteran quarterback since he first started in the NFL, beating out Matt Flynn for the starting quarterback position in the preseason. One does not need to look back too far to pinpoint the moment that Seattle fans began to believe they had found the answer at quarterback.
Week six of the 2012 season, the Seahawks were home against the New England Patriots. With his team down 23-10 and facing fourth down, Wilson fired a pass in the end zone to Braylon Edwards to bring his team within six at 23-17. Later in the fourth quarter, with 1:18 left in the game, Wilson hit Sidney Rice with a 46-yard touchdown pass to take the lead 24-23. Seattle’s defense was able to hold on and get the win.
The Seahawks would finish the 2012 campaign with a record of 11-5 thanks in large part to the defense, and to Wilson’s poise in the pocket and his presence on the team. In his first playoff game as a pro, Wilson led the Seahawks back from 14-0 and knocked off the Redskins, whose starting QB was one of the four quarterbacks picked before him in the draft – Robert Griffin III.
Even since he began his career in Seattle, he made an immediate impact on the community. Every Tuesday, he is at Children’s Hospital visiting sick kids. If you happen to be one of his one million followers on Instagram, you see his pictures with kids whose day he has brightened by being there.
In September of 2013, an 11-year-old patient, Allison Christiansen, gave Wilson a wallet she made for him solely out of duct tape. Wilson carried the wallet with him all season long, and has said on numerous occasions that the wallet is his good luck charm. After meeting Wilson and giving him the wallet, Allison underwent successful heart surgery, and her parents accredited Wilson with being her good luck charm.
Wilson was picked in round three of the draft – 75th overall. Many teams thought he had great upside, but was too short to be an effective NFL quarterback. The Seahawks picked Bruce Irvin with their first-round pick, followed by Bobby Wagner in the second. Knowing that the quarterback position was an issue, coupled with the fact that General Manager John Schneider was very high on Wilson, the Seahawks jumped at the chance to snag Wilson.
In his first three seasons as a starter, Wilson has racked up more wins than any quarterback in NFL history. While his individual statistics do not immediately jump off the page, he will be the first to let you know that numbers are not what is important to him. It is about winning for his teammates around him and being a role model.
The Seahawks are just days away from playing in their second straight Super Bowl, and Wilson has shined during all of his media appearances. In one appearance, he said that he is normally at the hospital every Tuesday and apologized to the kids for not being there.
The last team to win back-to-back Super Bowls was the New England Patriots. It just so happens to be the same Patriots team that helped catapult Wilson into the superstar he is today, and the same Patriots team that the Seahawks will play in Super Bowl XLIV on Sunday.
Commentary by Andy Lapic
Photo By: Karen –Flickr License