Seahawks fine with Wilson’s height, QB surplus
Apr 29, 2012, 10:58 PM | Updated: Apr 30, 2012, 9:49 am
By Liz Mathews
With the selection of former Wisconsin star Russell Wilson in the third round, the Seahawks now have four quarterbacks.
“That’s what we want,” Seahawks general manager John Schneider said Friday. “That’s an ideal situation.”
Wilson, selected 75th overall on Friday, is the first quarterback the Seahawks have drafted since Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll took over in 2010. He joins a group that includes incumbent starter Tarvaris Jackson, free-agent acquisition Matt Flynn, and Josh Portis, an undrafted free agent who spent his rookie season in 2011 as the No. 3 quarterback.
The Seahawks drafted quarterback Russell Wilson with the 75th pick. (AP)
“We’ll figure that out in time,” Carroll said of where Wilson fits into that group.
The decision on which quarterbacks make the final roster is not an imminent concern. Teams can carry up to 90 players until they must trim their rosters to 75 after the third preseason game, and eventually to 53 after the final preseason game. Under the new guidelines, the 90 players can include active, inactive, and practice squad-players, as well as those on the exempt and reserve lists, unsigned draft choices and franchise-tagged free agents.
“It’s going to take him some time, certainly,” Carroll said of Wilson. “But he’s a great learner, he understands the game. Our guys have been extremely impressed with all of that. He’ll pick it up as fast as a guy can pick it up.”
Carroll and Schneider said other teams had expressed serious interest in Wilson before the Seahawks selected him, both thinking that would be their last chance to do so.
“So we did what we thought we had to do to get the guy that we thought was an extraordinary player,” Carroll said. “He knows how to play football. Just think of the transition he made to show up at Wisconsin and after two weeks they make him the captain of the football team and they go on to be two plays away from winning the national championship.”
And neither Carroll nor Schneider are worried that at 5-foot-11, Wilson will come up short.
“It’s been an issue all along for him since he was a little kid,” Carroll said. “He’s always been the smaller guy playing since he was a freshman at N.C. State and he was the first guy in the history of the ACC to be an all-league quarterback as a freshman. He started right from the beginning of setting records and doing things that people can’t imagine. We know that he’s found his way.”
Carroll noted that Wilson only had four passes knocked down at the line of scrimmage last season. Schneider referred to Wilson’s feet, agility and natural ability to find the passing lanes as keys to his success in college. Wilson also possess the long arms and big hands the team covets in a quarterback.
“My height doesn’t define my skill set,” Wilson said in a conference call following his selection. “I believe I have all the skills and I believe that you have to work at it every day. I know that I’m 5-foot-11, but I have to stay tall in the pocket, I have to make accurate throws, I have to deliver the ball on time with arc and pace and just play great football, be great on third down, be great in the red zone and do all the things that I can possibly do.
“One thing I can control is my work ethic. I can also control my knowledge of the game, how I study and how I get into the film room and how I just try to learn as much as I possibly can to give me that much more of an advantage.”