Wednesday cyber surfing: Wilson watch

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, August 22.

After Tuesday’s practice head coach Pete Carroll announced rookie Russell Wilson as the starting quarterback for Friday night’s game at Kansas City. Here’s the reaction:

Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times calls the move high-risk, and one only a coach like Carroll would make, “This competition could define Carroll’s legacy in Seattle. This is the high-risk game he loves to play. This call by Carroll is the undisputed heavyweight of wows. This is Carroll telling critics to bring it on. This is a coach willing to take gambles few in his profession will take. Carroll works without a safety net. This game of quarterback roulette only can be played by coaches who are secure in their jobs and supremely confident in what they do. Carroll is both. He’s going to do it his way. It’s daring and risky and off-the-charts against the grain. But this is who Carroll is, and he revels in his unorthodoxy.”

Danny O’Neil says Wilson has his story on Wilson being named the starter on Friday night, “So this third exhibition game, which is universally held to be the most important of the four practice games NFL teams play every August, will become an audition. It is unconventional, it is unorthodox, and Carroll said it is entirely consistent with the equal-opportunity approach he’s tried to instill in this team. The decision was solely about competition, he said, calling Wilson’s start on Friday ‘a great competitive opportunity to watch.’ And now Carroll has to wait like everyone else to see how Wilson does.”

O’Neil also has his notes from Tuesday’s practice.

John McGrath of the Tacoma News Tribune has a different take on the decision to start Wilson Friday night at KC, saying that Carroll is just following the emerging NFL trend of starting young, talented quarterbacks, “As a third-round draft choice, the bar wasn’t set quite so high for Russell Wilson. Seahawks fans presumed he’d show up at camp, do his thing, but pretty much stay out of the way of free-agent veteran Matt Flynn. Then came two exhibition games that revealed Flynn as pretty good and Wilson as, uh, maybe much better than pretty good. If Carroll ends up handing the Seahawks’ offense to a rookie, the coach stands to be blistered by critics whose deepest thoughts are steeped in 1983. Nonsense. The game has changed, and the league has changed. The players have changed. Their contracts have changed. If he’s convinced a rookie has the chops of a starting quarterback, Pete Carroll will exude a wisdom best described by one word. Conventional.”

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune has his story on Wilson, which includes notes from Tuesday’s practice, “Wilson has a chance to be the fifth rookie quarterback to open this season as a starter, joining Andrew Luck in Indianapolis, Washington’s Robert Griffin III, Cleveland’s Brandon Weeden and Miami’s Ryan Tannehill. Of course, all those names mentioned besides Wilson were drafted in the first round. If Carroll does name Wilson the starter, he would be the first, third-round pick in the NFL to start a season opener as a rookie since Joe Ferguson for Buffalo in 1973.”

Scott M. Johnson of the Everett Herald catches up with notable figures from Wilson’s past, who say they are not surprised that Wilson is being given an opportunity to win the starting job in Seattle, “If it feels like Wilson is quietly wrapping the city of Seattle around his finger, well, that’s because Russell Wilson does just that everywhere he goes. ‘It didn’t take long,’ University of Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez said Tuesday morning when asked about Wilson’s ability to win over the Badger faithful. ‘He won over the players right away. He was here a month when they voted him captain. He was outstanding the minute he stepped on the field.’ ”

Matt Bowen of the National Football Post tells us what we should be looking for in Wilson’s start against the Chiefs on Friday, “Identify and execute vs. pressure:  Remember, in the third week of the preseason teams will game plan for opponents. That means film study, scout -team work and an advanced playbook. Wilson will see some pressure from the Chiefs, plus some different looks in the secondary. The key for the rookie is to identify blitz schemes, work the ball to his “hot reads” and step into throws with pressure at his feet. Wilson has to recognize where the blitz is coming from and read coverages in the secondary vs. starting defensive talent. Not easy as a rook.

Brock Huard of mynorthwest.com admires Carroll’s decision to start the rookie Wilson in Week 3 at Kansas City in this short video.

Mike Sando of ESPN.com has his take on Wilson getting the start at quarterback in Week 3, “Carroll and Seahawks general manager John Schneider have kept an open mind about the position. They liked Flynn, but their commitment to him did not preclude the team from using a third-round choice for Wilson, another quarterback. And if there was evidence Wilson might be the better quarterback, Carroll wasn’t going to stick to the script with Flynn. There was no script, anyway. The best player was going to play.

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth comments on Wilson getting his chance to start, “Now, Wilson will get the No. 1 reps against the Seahawks defense in practice this week and then face a Chiefs defense that features the Pro Bowl trio of safety Eric Berry and linebackers Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson. ‘It definitely helps to go against our defense,’ Wilson said. ‘Our defense is pretty spectacular. They fly around. We’ve got a great defensive line, great linebackers and, obviously, some great DBs, as well. So it’s a good experience for me throughout the week to go against our No. 1 defense. Kansas City has a great, great defense, and they’re going to be flying around. So I just have to be very, very precise with my decision-making and just make the right decision at the right time.’ ”

Farnsworth also has his notes from Tuesday’s practice in his latest ‘Hawkville’, with a nugget on wide receiver Sidney Rice, “The on-the-mend wide receiver had his first “real” day of practice, as he caught several passes and took a couple of hits in the process during the full-pads practice. Rice had surgery on each of his shoulders during the offseason. ‘He had a great day today. This was Sidney’s first full-speed, all-out, one-on-one, everything today. It’s the first time he’s had a full-go day,’ Carroll said. ‘This is the first day that I really feel like, ‘OK, he’s in it now.’ ‘ ”

Finally, Tony Ventrella wraps up our Wilson coverage in his Seahawks Daily.


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