When our number three begins his cadence under center, players listen and linemen keep their head on a swivel. By his word alone, the ball is snapped and the undersized ball of fire drops back in the pocket like a wind-up toy loading his springs. Then, as if by accident, his dynamic attributes of being able to be a threatening quarterback in the air and on the ground are tested. He flips and spins out of the pocket like he is running for his life and he transforms into the field general Seattleites and Seahawk fans country-wide have been waiting for. In those vulnerable seconds, with three-hundred pound players with 4.4 second forty yard dash times bearing down, wanting to decapitate him, we all remember one thing:
In Russ We Trust.
Last weekend’s comeback win against the Houston Texans that no one saw coming had Russell Wilson quietly carrying his team in a fashion reminiscent of late last season. Oh yes, this team is already in playoff form a quarter of the way through the season as they march behind their diligent and driven quarterback. His poise and play in clutch situations is beginning to set him apart from stylistically similar quarterbacks in the conference – specifically Colin Kaepernick and Robert Griffin.
But what exactly is it that Russ does that we trust?
Well, to be honest, he does whatever the team needs and that’s exactly what you want your quarterback to be humbled enough to do. Whether by ground or by air, he seems to always make the right decision. It’s as if he is controlled by the law of psychics to have a positive, calculated reaction to every action the defense takes to thwart the play.
Retrace the season to week one against the Carolina Panthers. Not the prettiest of wins for the Seahawks but when the running game stalled, Russell Wilson stepped up and had his first three-hundred yard regular season passing game of his career. While the running game produced the fewest amount of yards under Wilson’s tenure, he countered with the most passing yards.
When the San Francisco 49ers crept into town only to leave without a sound, Russell didn’t even complete half the passes he threw; he had little over a third of the amount of yards he threw the week before against Carolina. However, the offensive line and that dastardly Marshawn Lynch ran roughshod over the entire Niners defense by posting the most rushing yards the 49ers had given up since the last time these two teams met.
I am sensing a theme here.
Of course that leads me to the overtime thriller against Houston. Russell had his strongest game on the ground this season. He scrambled for 77 yards, surpassing the total he had on the ground against the Chicago Bears in the last over time debacle the Seahawks found themselves in (71 yards rushing). It was also the first time he had gotten over seventy yards on the ground since the crushing win over the Buffalo Bills last year.
The rushing yards were intangible in the Houston game. They always continued plays, got first downs and kept drives alive. Just like in the Bears game, they were calculated. He only completed twelve of his twenty-three passes for a little over one-hundred yards but when it counted down the stretch, he made the plays they needed to win. He had only fifty more yards passing than rushing but he never gave up.
It was poise and stability when the Seahawks needed it most.
Ok, I know what you’re thinking and no, Russell Wilson doesn’t call the plays but that is what is so remarkable! It doesn’t matter what the other team throws at the Seahawks because the dynamic abilities of Russell Wilson allow the offensive coaching staff to trust him with adjustments or pretty much anything they see fit to win the game.
This is the same trust, equilibrium and bond that Russell Wilson has radiated onto the fans and his teammates that directly correlates to the success of the team.
Without stability or trust, there is no progress.
No forcing squares into round pegs or remaining one dimensional under center. When an adjustment is made, everyone trusts one another and it has led to progress in the form of wins.
So far, the Seahawks adjustments are making them one of the most feared teams in the land. They have outscored opponents 71-20 in the second half. Last weekend they didn’t give up a single point against the red hot Texans in the third, fourth and overtime quarters.
Russell has proven that you don’t need to throw five thousand yards, have the best QBR, be over six feet tall or have the most prolific read option to be a great quarterback in the NFL. So, how about instead of trying to fit Russell Wilson into a mold of what it means to be great, we all need to slow down and see what Russell is trying to tell us through his play:
You don’t need a ton of yards to win the game; you just need the right ones.
Consistency is the name of the game and Russell is as even keel as they come. Russ takes the quarterback position literally; he directs the offense in the way that best stabilizes the team for victory. Dependably, Russell distributes the ball to his running backs, throws to his receivers or takes over the game with his feet when the situation calls for it. As director, producer, captain, composure, executive producer or whatever you want to call him, Russell Wilson has made us confident of the Seahawks abilities through his smooth uniform play.
So when the ball is in his hands and the clock is ticking down, stop clutching your Rosary, hop off the pew, open your eyes and just trust Russ.