By John Boyle Herald Writer
Russell Wilson will be the Seahawks starting quarterback when the regular season begins, Pete Carroll announced Sunday night.
“Russell Wilson will start against the Raiders and he’ll start the opener for us,” Carroll said on a conference call with Seattle-area reporters. “It’s been a very exciting competition that’s gone on, and Russell has taken full advantage of his opportunities and has done everything we could ask for on the field, and more than you guys can know what he has done off the field in meeting rooms and with our players and how he’s represented. He’s earned this job. It was a legitimate competition like we said from the beginning, and with the opportunity that he’s taken advantage of, he deserves to start.”
Wilson, a third-round pick out of Wisconsin, entered the Seahawks quarterback competition seemingly as a long shot to beat out Matt Flynn, who Seattle signed in free agency, and Tarvaris Jackson, last year’s starter. But Wilson impressed in training camp, and playing in the second half of the Seahawks’ first two preseason game. That earned Wilson the start in preseason game No. 3, and after another very impressive showing, Carroll decided to hand the job to the rookie.
“He is so prepared, he just does not seem like a first-year player,” Carroll said. “He seems like he’s been around, he gets it, and he understands. He’s a tremendous leader in that way. He doesn’t do anything but the right thing in all of his work and preparation, and his competitiveness has just been demonstrated again.
“Every number that you look at, you look at third-down conversion numbers, you look at drives, you look at efficiency, completion percentage, taking care of the football, his ability to be allusive and make yards with his legs, decision making, has just been excellent. This isn’t just based on the quarters that we’ve seen him play. We’ve seen this happen in practice and the challenges that he’s undertaken here on our practice field. We’ve combined everything, and he won this opening challenge here. We made the decision and we’re going with it.”
Of Course Wilson getting the job means Flynn, who left Green Bay hoping to become a starter, will begin another season as a backup.
“He’s disappointed,” Carroll said. “Matt came here to be the starter, and he took it exactly the way I would think a great competitor would. He still wants it, and that’s going to help us, it’s going to help him to. He will not back down from this challenge… It just makes us stronger. I’m disappointed for him too, because I know how much he wants this, but Russell likewise does as well. Knowing that you had two great kids, it came down to them battling it out and with the information that we have, this is the way we’re going.”
The Seahawks are also putting the finishing touches on a trade that will send Tarvaris Jackson to Buffalo. Jackson had been the odd man out in the Seahawks’ quarterback competition the last couple of weeks, and it had been expected for a while that he would be traded or released before the start of the season.
“It’s not completed yet in that it’s not all signed,” Carroll said. “It has been agreed upon, but there’s still a little bit of paper work to do.”