What has the Seahawks interested in star XFL quarterback P.J. Walker?
Seattle may have seen the next Seahawks quarterback in action last weekend when the Seattle Dragons faced the Houston Roughnecks in Week 5 XFL action.
The QB in question is not the Dragons’ B.J. Daniels, a former Seahawks player himself who did a solid job in his first full game since taking over the starting job from Brandon Silvers. It would actually be Houston’s P.J. Walker, who has led Houston to a 5-0 record and is the front-runner for the new league’s MVP award. The Seahawks reportedly sent scouts to see Walker up close, signaling that they may be considering Walker to be Russell Wilson’s next backup.
Why would the Seahawks have interest in Walker? Brock Huard, co-host of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock and Salk podcast and a FOX sideline reporter for XFL broadcasts, explained Monday morning on Danny and Gallant.
“Because he is a winner, and I think that that’s very important to this organization,” Huard said of the 25-year-old Walker.
When in doubt, look for Cam Phillips 👀
— Houston Roughnecks (@XFLRoughnecks) March 7, 2020
Kind of sounds like the Seahawks’ franchise QB, doesn’t it?
“(The Seahawks have) watched their quarterback lead and win at all costs, whatever it takes,” Huard said of Wilson. “Doesn’t matter what the numbers are or how much he gets to cook. He doesn’t complain. He just wins ball games at a rate really higher than anybody else has ever done through eight years in the NFL. … P.J. Walker was a winner at Temple. He turned (the program around).”
Huard went as far as to say Walker had a big hand in the rise of Matt Rhule, who was Walker’s coach at Temple and recently became head coach of the Carolina Panthers after three years at Baylor.
“He was the reason that Matt Rhule got the job down at Baylor – because of double-digit-win seasons at Temple, and P.J. was the catalyst.”
Not only is Walker leading the lone undefeated team in the XFL – or the only team with less than two losses, for that matter – but he has MVP-caliber stats to go with it. He leads the league in several key passing categories, including yards (1,338), touchdowns (15) and completions (119). Only L.A.’s Josh Johnson (106.3) has a higher rating than Walker’s 104.4 mark, and Walker is also third among QBs with 99 rushing yards.
“You’ve got almost a dozen different guys (who have played quarterback in the XFL this season), and who’s out front? Who has just set himself apart with his team by winning and doing whatever it takes?” Huard asked. “Well, if the season ends today halfway through, P.J. Walker would be the league MVP. And I think that as much as anything, other than just his running ability, creativity and plenty of arm strength, that guy’s will to win is a very attractive trait at that position.”
Besides his knack for winning, Huard noted that a similar playing style to Wilson could be another reason why the Seahawks are keeping tabs on Walker.
“You always hear coaches say this: ‘We don’t have to change anything when the backup comes in. He can rep everything the starter can rep.’ I do think that’s important, especially in a run/play-action scheme like Seattle has,” Huard said. “And then having the arm and the creativity that P.J. has with his legs is also an added benefit.”
There’s one other thing that may be beneficial for Seattle if it brings the 5-foot-11 Walker into the mix.
“Russell could finally have a quarterback in his room that he’s taller than,” Huard quipped.
You can hear the full conversation between Huard, Paul Gallant and guest co-host Michael Bumpus in the Blue 42 segment in this podcast.