By Alex Bigelow
Special to 710Sports.com
Jeffri Chadiha of ESPN.com doubted Russell Wilson’s ability to win games on his own accord.
Wilson led the Seahawks to an 11-5 record and within 30 seconds of the NFC championship game in his rookie season, but Chadiha saw Seattle’s quarterback as a game manager who was effectively told to not lose games.
That was three months ago, but apparently that is all the time it took for Chadiha to change his opinion about Wilson.
“I think that after talking to people, I have become a bigger fan of his because there are parts of his game that I was overlooking,” Chadiha told “Brock and Danny” on 710 ESPN Seattle Wednesday. “The biggest two things you have to have to have a phenomenal career are intelligence and accuracy, and he has both.
“I stand corrected.”
Chadiha wasn’t short with his praise of Wilson, either, going so far as to mention Patriots quarterback Tom Brady when discussing Wilson’s potential.
“I do believe there are a lot of similarities in their careers early on in that both were not first-round picks,” Chadiha said of his comparison between Brady and Wilson. “Both were really hard workers that played to their strengths.”
Chadiha still holds the Colts’ Andrew Luck and the Redskins’ Robert Griffin III in higher regard when comparing the next generation of young quarterbacks, but Wilson has vaulted San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick in his rankings. The reason being: Kaepernick has all the physical tools, but right now Wilson is more developed as a leader and a thrower.
“Wilson is certainly more accurate than Kaepernick at this point, and certainly his smarts are probably a little better than Kaepernick’s at this point,” Chadiha said. “Russell’s greatest skill is leadership. Well, two things, leadership and maturity. He brings to a team a real sense of, ‘I am going to do whatever it takes to succeed, to make you better. Make sure I am doing my job, and I am not going to do it in a way that is obnoxious or is full of bravado or I am not going to get down on myself – I am going to be consistent.’ I think a team needs that in a quarterback.”
Through 17 regular-season games, Wilson is 12-5 while throwing for 3,438 yards and 27 touchdowns and rushing for four more. Whatever questions remain of Wilson, it is safe to say that he is more than merely a game manager.
“I can see it now,” Chadiha said.