The Seattle Seahawks made a strong commitment to improving their quarterback position this offseason. It started with the signing of Matt Flynn. Despite a small sample size, Flynn showed in Green Bay that he was ready to take the next step in his career and run an NFL offense. Then, when the draft rolled around, the Seahawks used a third round pick on the diminutive but talented Russell Wilson.
The competition started in training camp with three QB’s and it’s still going on but it appears to be just a two-man race now with Wilson on the heels of Flynn. After his first preseason game in the NFL, Wilson did nothing but help his cause. It was just one preseason game and Wilson wasn’t playing against the Titans’ starters but he was efficient and scored two touchdowns, one of them running and one throwing. He may not win the QB battle this offseason, but Wilson has taken steps to show that he belongs in the NFL.
Russell Wilson joined KJR in Seattle with Ian Furness to talk about his first game experience in the NFL, how different the NFL is from college, what happened on his interception in the preseason game, if he thinks his height is a legitimate issue in the NFL, on the quarterback room and if he feels like he has moved closer to being ready to be an NFL starter.
On his first game experience in the NFL:
“It was definitely different because it was a new uniform. I’m excited to be a Seahawk wearing number three and everything and it’s a great opportunity. That’s the way I look at it. At the same time it is 100 yards, it’s the same game, guys move a little bit faster that’s for sure but it was exciting. The crowd was electric even though it was a preseason game, it was pretty unbelievable and to win the game was big.”
How different the NFL is from college:
“In terms of the games and practice I wouldn’t say it’s different because we have one of the best defenses in the National Football League. To go against the ones and twos every day on our football team, you’re playing some Pro Bowl type defensive backs and linebackers and everything so you have to move quickly. The only thing is you get tackled now in the game so you have to be smart with your decisions and get rid of the ball quickly and slide when you have to.”
What happened on his interception in the preseason game:
“I just didn’t throw it hard enough. That’s one of those throws you throw hard, back shoulder type of throw and I just kind of lofted it up but you learn something new. That’s what preseason is for, to learn and understand things. It’s my first game in the National Football League but I’ve definitely played a lot of games before so just something I recognize right away and you fix it. You keep playing though. That’s the thing, playing this position especially in this league, you have to have amnesia and forget about things and move on. That last four minutes my goal was to find a way to win the game and make sure you’re conscious of the clock, move the ball, get first downs and we obviously came up with the big play with that touchdown with Charley Martin’s block.”
If he feels like his height is really an issue:
“No not at all. That was the thing I played in two great conferences, I played in the ACC and played against a lot of great defensive players, played with a lot of offensive guys and then going to Wisconsin where the offensive line is averaging six foot six and 325 pounds, it doesn’t get any bigger than that so like I said 100 yards is 100 yards. We’re playing football and my job is to facilitate the ball to the right guy at the right time and there is no certain variable on height. My height doesn’t define my skill-set and I believe I just have to keep working and keep improving every day and that’s why I come up here every single morning when I wake up.”
On the attitude in the Seattle quarterback room:
“There’s no greater and more important room than the quarterback room so we have to bond together and we have to work together because when you’re out there playing, whoever is out there, we want to support that person because it’s a tough job and we all know that. We’ve all been there, we’ve all been through the fire and that’s something that we all understand and so when we’re in that quarterback room we’re obviously competing but we’re not competing against one another necessarily, we’re competing to be the best that we can be but also we’re competing against all the other quarterbacks in the National Football League. Our goal is to help the Seahawks win. That’s the main thing that we have to do no matter who is out there, whose name is being called and so it’s a great room, it’s good, we have a great vibe in there, we’re all friends, we work hard together, we always communicate well so that’s the great part about it.”
If he feels like he has moved closer to being a starting QB in the NFL:
“I definitely believe I’ve moved closer. You take one step at a time, one day at a time, one rep at a time and you just improve. You respect the process and that’s the biggest thing is just respecting the process and taking one day at a time and just learning as much as I can. I’m on a constant quest for knowledge and just trying to gain as much knowledge as I can so when I do get that opportunity I just keep growing. I know there’s going to be ups and downs, it’s a process like I said, and always in a process there’s ups and downs but as long as I keep moving forward, that’s the key.”