Settle down people, there is no reason to sit Russell Wilson. He’s a rookie quarterback. He will have bad games. It is going to happen and there is nothing that can be done about it. He needs time to adjust to the league, and it could take all year before we see what he can really be. Besides, if you sit him down, whom are you turning to? Matt Flynn? Russell has twice as many NFL starts as Flynn. All you’d be doing is trading one guy who’s trying to adjust to a new offense and a starting job for another. After the week two game against a fairly solid Dallas Cowboys defense, we were all convinced Russell had what it takes. Now two weeks later we’re questioning him? Why? Are we doing it because he threw three picks? Were any of those picks really his fault? On one, the defender took it off the receiver’s hip; on another, Russell’s arm was grabbed during the throw, causing the ball to come out wonky; on the last, his receiver fell down running his route. What gets lost is that on that last interception, if Anthony McCoy could have kept his feet, that pass would have been completed for a first down that would have extended a potential game winning drive. There is no reason to give up on Russell Wilson as of yet.
Still don’t believe me? Let’s compare Russell to some other Seahawks quarterbacks in their first four starts. In Jim Zorn’s first four games, he only completed about 46% of his passes for 831 yards, with 5 touchdowns against 7 interceptions. The Seahawks had a record of 0-4 in those games. Dave Krieg? He completed almost 60% of his passes for 892 yards, with 6 touchdowns against 5 interceptions. His Seahawks were 2-2 in those four games, which spanned the end of his second season and the beginning of his third; he had had some NFL play time before appearing as a starter. Now we move on to Matt Hasselbeck. Matt completed almost 52% of his passes for 637 yards, with 2 touchdowns against 3 interceptions. This was in his third NFL season and over his first four games as a starter he led the Seahawks to a record of 1-3. Wilson has led the Seahawks to a record of 2-2 over his first four games, while completing 60% of his passes for 594 yards, with a 4 touchdowns against 4 interceptions. Wilson’s numbers are comparable to or better than the Seahawks’ top three quarterbacks over their first four games. One of them, Hasselbeck, had numbers that were worse than Wilson’s across the board; he eventually led the Seahawks to a Super Bowl. It is not time to give up.
Here’s one more thing to remember about Russell before I go: everything the Seahawks and the media have said about him leads us to believe that the more that is thrown at him, the better he does. So reports that the Seahawks are trying to run a simpler offense, so as not to put their rookie quarterback in bad situations, are frankly disturbing. You have a guy who thrives when he’s given the reins and you’re taking them away from him? Now don’t think for a second that I’m saying the Seahawks need to go away from their fantastic running game. That would be ridiculous; the running game needs to be the backbone of this offense. You have to let Russell put himself in a situation where he can succeed. You can’t scare your quarterback away from taking shots by telling him that all he needs to do is avoid turnovers. It doesn’t matter if the quarterback is matt Hasselbeck, Russell Wilson or Tom Brady; if he’s scared to throw picks, he’s not going to put himself in good situations. You have to be willing to take risks to play the game. Don’t give up on Russell, let him play. He might just surprise you.