On First Take: Russell WIlson of the Seattle Seahawks



It’s impossible to impress today. When Robert Griffin III comes out of the womb wearing sunglasses and Size 12 Sperry’s, you won’t knock anybody out when you’re just kicking and screaming.

For Russell Wilson, today was ordinary. Well, not ordinary, because he’s never started an NFL game before, but Russell Wilson didn’t knock anybody out, or crush Arizona’s dreams. No, to really hurt Arizona, you’d need to be a same-sex couple.

Wilson’s day was – to be completely honest and that’s what’s necessary – average. After four quarters of big league ball, Russ was a career 18-for-31 passer, with one touchdown, uno interception, 153 yards, and a QB Rating of 68.3

His counterpart, himself a first-time started named John Skelton, was even more pedestrian (14-for-28, no touchdowns, and a 51.0 Rating) and the next Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck, threw more to the Chicago Bears than he did to his own Indianapolis receivers.

For Russell Wilson, he made it through his maiden voyage without walking the plank. He wasn’t Griffin III, who’s already captaining the ship, but he’s earned his job for Week 2.

Say what you will about Pete Carroll, but his honesty and loyalty is legendary. He honours his players for their efforts, and his convictions are strong. He doesn’t reach for something he doesn’t have, but he cultivates his resources. There are better running backs than Marshawn Lynch, there are probably nine teams or less that can defend better than Seattle, and Braylon Edwards is not the No.1 receiver you dream about when you’re earning your stripes coaching rugby teams in Delaware, telling them that there’s another sport out there that allows you to throw forward.

Well, listen to John Gruden, even if you haven’t before (and who could blame you?). He’s said more than once, “The kid can play.”

Wilson’s vision, his maturity, and his overwhelming skill and leadership – he was the captain of two different NCAA Division I schools and took Wisconsin to an impressive Rose Bowl berth in 2012 – is not far off any of this year’s pivot picks, including Luck, Ryan Tannehill, Brandon Weeden, and even RGIII.

If he gets his shot, and if the City of Seattle can put as much behind him as they do into garlic fries, overpriced coffee, and lace-less shoes, Wilson will thrive.