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Russell Wilson shows promise in preseason debut

Russell Wilson Pic Getty Images

Plenty of people doubt that Russell Wilson, the Seahawks’ 5-foot-10 rookie quarterback, has the makeup to be an NFL passer. But when Wilson made his preseason debut on Saturday night against the Titans, he showed all the skills that made him one of the best quarterbacks in college football last year.

Wilson came in at the start of the second half and marched the Seahawks down the field on a five-play, 73-yard touchdown drive, culminating with a 39-yard touchdown pass to Braylon Edwards. On that pass, the ball traveled about 50 yards in the air, and Wilson put it exactly where Edwards needed it to be.

But it was the pass before that one that may have been an even better indication of what Wilson is capable of doing in the NFL. With the Seahawks facing third-and-6, the pocket collapsed and Wilson was being pressured. But he looked like a poised veteran in escaping the pass rush, rolling to his right and firing the ball downfield to receiver Charly Martin for a 14-yard gain to keep the drive alive. Those are the kinds of plays an NFL quarterback needs to make.

Wilson did a lot of things right, completing his first six passes, showing nice athleticism on a 23-yard run (which was called back by a penalty), and generally looking like a playmaker. That doesn’t mean the Seahawks’ coaches will think he’s ready to start Week One, but he did a lot of things right.

Matt Flynn started the game for the Seahawks and completed his first eight passes, but most of them were short, totaling just 50 yards. And his ninth pass was a bad interception in which he didn’t seem to see Titans linebacker Colin McCarthy. Flynn also seemed to struggle with the Titans’ pass rush, getting sacked twice and looking a little skittish under pressure at other times, although he said afterward that he thought he played well.

“I think it was alright. I think it was a good start,” Flynn said on the television broadcast. “I think overall it went well. There were some miscommunications here and there but overall a good start.”

Tarvaris Jackson, last year’s starter, was not active for the game, as Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said he wanted to see what Flynn and Wilson could do. Wilson showed he can do plenty, and the Seahawks’ quarterback competition just got more interesting.

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78 Responses to “Russell Wilson shows promise in preseason debut”
  1. hulkhogansays says: Aug 12, 2012 12:33 AM

    He’s a good QB. I wish him well…the only other QB outside of RGIII that I think will have a good career brother.

  2. skoobyfl says: Aug 12, 2012 12:34 AM

    Wait until the first 6’8″ guy jumps in front of his pass, it’ll be a new story.

  3. unprovenprophet says: Aug 12, 2012 12:37 AM

    I’m telling you right now – if the Seahawks want to win sooner than later, they’ll start Wilson. I watched 99% of Wilson’s snaps last year and he’s the real deal. He will be a starting QB in this league.

  4. transam7816 says: Aug 12, 2012 12:38 AM

    Wilson will be one of the best

  5. rollteal says: Aug 12, 2012 12:40 AM

    Wilson looks like a Boss

  6. jimmygrahamchrisivory says: Aug 12, 2012 12:40 AM

    Wilson needs to be the starter if he continues to outplay Flynn the next 3 preseason games. It’ll be unfortunate if they go with Flynn just because they’re paying him $6 million a year and not go with the guy that gives you the best chance to win, regardless of salary.

  7. fumblenuts says: Aug 12, 2012 12:42 AM

    Seattle defense will be top 5 this season…mark it.

  8. thehelmutt says: Aug 12, 2012 12:44 AM

    Badgers Proud. This guy’s a BEAST.

  9. ctiggs says: Aug 12, 2012 12:46 AM

    Headlines should have read Russell Wilson is Balling in his Debut. As a Niner fan this guy looks to be a force for a while. I know its preseason , i know its against back up , but they are still in the NFL.

  10. bleedburgandyandgold says: Aug 12, 2012 12:52 AM

    Wilson looked pretty good I was impressed except that one terrible throw in the end zone that got picked was overall good play of course it’s just the preseason and it really doesn’t mean squat lol but fun to watch and I’m extremely pumped football is back! Lol

  11. jimmygrahamchrisivory says: Aug 12, 2012 12:59 AM

    On another note, Seattle’s looking like they’ll be a force to be reckoned with this season on both sides of the ball.

  12. qdog112 says: Aug 12, 2012 1:07 AM

    Flynn might start, but if he leaves the field, he’ll never get the team back from Russell Wilson.

    I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, he’s the best QB to come out this year. He does everything better than Luck and only RGIII throws a better deep ball.

    BELIEVE THE HYPE.

  13. mrplow3 says: Aug 12, 2012 1:07 AM

    Russel Wilson is the real deal.

    NFL scouts get too caught up in the measurables. If those were all that matters Jamarcus Russel would be the best QB in the league today.

    Like Doug Flutie before him, Wilson will be a successfull starting QB in this league. Just watch.

  14. beastup22 says: Aug 12, 2012 1:09 AM

    Wilson>Flynn

  15. aaroncurryisbust says: Aug 12, 2012 1:10 AM

    Flynn’s performance was a lot better than you’re portraying it as. He was poised and didn’t force any bad passes, looked accurate, and had good command of the offense, and he didn’t even have his top 3 receivers playing. The only mistake was the INT.

  16. citynative says: Aug 12, 2012 1:12 AM

    Those uniforms are hideous. Go to the Arena League with those. Really embarrassing.

  17. FinFan68 says: Aug 12, 2012 1:15 AM

    I still think Wilson will be/is the best QB on the Seahawks roster. Yep, he is short for a QB, but he makes big plays, is poised and is very smart.

  18. jeffesky says: Aug 12, 2012 1:18 AM

    Its early but its obvious both flynn and wilson have far more upside than tjack. Wilson could be the real deal and i see a real battle between he and flynn.

  19. savannahrose44 says: Aug 12, 2012 1:18 AM

    Wilson takes the win for QB competition game 1 preseason. I’m loving this kid.

  20. hawksfanallday says: Aug 12, 2012 1:18 AM

    Flynn played pretty well against first string for not having baldwin, rice, owens, and lynch.

  21. norcalmafia says: Aug 12, 2012 1:23 AM

    Matt Flynn =Kevin Kolb
    Russel Wilson=John Skelton
    Pete Carrol=cheater

  22. acdc84 says: Aug 12, 2012 1:26 AM

    I like Flynn and hope he succeeds, but Im sure its a harsh reality dropping back and not seeing GB-quality receivers running free.

  23. therealskippyhandelman says: Aug 12, 2012 1:34 AM

    This kid is special, he will transition nicely to the bigs. Draft day steal.

  24. covercorner says: Aug 12, 2012 1:41 AM

    When will Tavaris Jackson be out of the league already!?

  25. darknessspreads says: Aug 12, 2012 1:41 AM

    He looked good. He moved well, sold fakes well, and had very good accuracy. He stepped up in the pocket and made plays on the run, both by design and by evading pressure. He was only beating up on backups, but it was promising. Even his pick was just underthrown and not necessarily a bad decision (he claimed the ball slipped). Won’t be surprised to see him get the start next week.

  26. chuckyd317 says: Aug 12, 2012 1:45 AM

    I may be converting to a Seahawks fan with all the firmer Packers and a Badger QB…

  27. larrydavid815 says: Aug 12, 2012 1:54 AM

    Russell is able to extend the play and get guys open to make plays. And he can run. Some rookie mistakes, including his first pass and the lob in the end zone, but overall great night for him.
    If Flynn doesn’t make magic happen, then Russell will quickly take over

  28. mgifford15 says: Aug 12, 2012 1:57 AM

    Wait…..so you’re telling me Seattle has an nfl team?

  29. scoobaj says: Aug 12, 2012 2:03 AM

    Wilson reminds of Drew Brees, he just has that “it” factor… Hawks are poised to make a splash this year and take back the division.

  30. telergy says: Aug 12, 2012 2:09 AM

    Albeit preseason, I was VERRRRRY impressed with Russell Wilson out there tonight. He just looked like an NFL QB. Great athleticism, poise, confidence, throws…you name it he had it. Couldnt even tell dude was 5’10. That naked was a work of art. WOW

  31. Andre's Johnson says: Aug 12, 2012 2:14 AM

    When I first saw Wilson play last year (one of the Saturday night ESPN/ABC games) I thought he’d make it as an NFL player. He just seemed to be poised and had no problem makig big throws. I hope he gets a serious shot and capitalizes on it.

  32. jshawaii22 says: Aug 12, 2012 2:31 AM

    Good, bad or otherwise, the Seahawks QB’s tonight look a whole lot better in PreSeason 2012 than PreSeason 2011… Good by Tavaris, it was fun while it lasted.

    And Matt F outplayed Matt H.

    Pete and JC don’t get enough credit. By the end of this year the NFL fans will have a different opinion on the Seahawks.

    js

  33. ferdfteenthousand says: Aug 12, 2012 2:49 AM

    Duh? Wilson>Flynn

  34. sincityhawk says: Aug 12, 2012 3:00 AM

    Hey ESPN, are you going to proclaim Russell Wilson a future Hall of Famer and move all of your studio’s and cameras to Seattle after that performance? I mean, you (ESPN) shove Tebow down our throats and his numbers pale in comparison to Wilson’s and that was Russell’s first NFL game.

  35. bleedburgandyandgold says: Aug 12, 2012 3:15 AM

    So why don’t u ever post my comments MDS all the others do but I’ve noticed that you don’t there not offensive I don’t use foul language so what’s the deal

  36. Dusty Grey says: Aug 12, 2012 3:31 AM

    A very impressive start for a Rookie not many teams thought had what it took to make it in the NFL. I was impressed with him in Grudens QB Camp (more than any of the others).

    That being said, his height is still an issue. He had a screen pass batted down. Seattle may have to ditch RB screens all together, otherwise he may be prone to throwing floaters that could easily be picked for 6. With a strong run game they can stick to roll outs and play action and he could be pretty good.

    Dare I say, he could be what we always wished Vick could have been.

  37. itssocoldinthed says: Aug 12, 2012 3:47 AM

    Having watched every snap he played for the badgers last year, there was no doubt in my mind this kid could make it as a pro. Height be damned, just give him the ball and he’ll prove it.

  38. claymatthewsisonsteroids says: Aug 12, 2012 4:53 AM

    Wilson will be starting by mid-season. I watched almost every game he played at Wisconsin and the kid is legit. Has an arm, great athleticism, and a playmaker. I’m no fan of Seattle’s, but Carroll will look like a genius for taking a chance on him.

  39. discosucs2005 says: Aug 12, 2012 5:05 AM

    The Cardinals are in trade talks now.

  40. eventhorizon04 says: Aug 12, 2012 5:23 AM

    Wilson looked good, with the usual two caveats of:
    1. He was up against the backups
    and
    2. Defensive coordinators are using vanilla defenses, not wanting to reveal their blitz packages in meaningless games

  41. rickastleydancemoves says: Aug 12, 2012 5:59 AM

    Tiger Woods love child.

  42. sask9999 says: Aug 12, 2012 6:35 AM

    Flynn was very good in this game. His ‘bad’ int was all the fault of the RB not knowing the play and going the wrong way. Watch the entire offence playfake to the right, Flynn turns to fake the handoff to a RB whos not there because he goes the wrong way. That alerts the LB and he steps back into the passing lane for the pick. QB’s get blamed for everything, but not all picks are their fault. Note Flynn’s comment after the game about ‘miscommunication here and there’. That was his way of nicely saying ‘dumba$$ RB’. Fans and media aren’t smart enough to figure these things out, but I’ll assume Seattle’s coaches will.

  43. bigjim50010 says: Aug 12, 2012 7:01 AM

    What and the Big Ten D linemen were tiny? Wilson had no problem with the 6’6″ guys from Nebraska.

    The guy is a baller, no doubt about that. He showed it at Wi last year. It will be interesting to see how much the big cash outlay to Flynn influences who plays and who backs up.

  44. hodag54501 says: Aug 12, 2012 7:05 AM

    Having seen BOTH Matt Flynn and Russell Wilson last year, the Seahawks are in pretty good shape at QB.
    Wilson is a phenom. He played at a pro level last year at Wisconsin. Forget the height hype. He’s so good on his feet that never was a problem, AND IT WON’T BE IN THE PROS EITHER(just to anticipate the next statement). Joe Theismann and Doug Flutie did ok, no?

    Flynn is cool as a cucumber and has an arm just slightly less than Aaron Rodgers.

    I suspect Flynn wouldn’t have signed with Seattle if he knew they would draft a prospect that will be pushing him for the starter’s job.

  45. randallflagg52 says: Aug 12, 2012 7:18 AM

    This kid is going to be a beast. Also he is a good person that you can’t help but root for. I’d be very, very surprised if Russell Wilson’s name ever pops up on the police blotter. I wish him well, I always like it when an underdog proves everyone wrong, and if he can shut up a 49er’s fan or two that’s just an added bonus. Those guys let one good season go straight to their heads and deserve to be knocked down a peg or two.

  46. broncosnative says: Aug 12, 2012 7:22 AM

    If Wilson could use his height as an advantage like doug flutie, this guy could make some noise and the seahawks would have a steal. Outside of luck and RG3, I think he and brock would be the next best two to start for a team and have success.

  47. rip4gehrig says: Aug 12, 2012 7:37 AM

    I know this isn’t what this story is about but Robert Turbin is a beast!!

  48. greyhawk9 says: Aug 12, 2012 7:55 AM

    I feel a lot better about the Seahawks qb situation now that I got to see both of them in live game action. They are both very accurate..Wilson looks like he’s got the ” IT factor ” he looked really sharp for the most part.

  49. randallflagg52 says: Aug 12, 2012 7:58 AM

    broncosnative says:Aug 12, 2012 7:22 AM

    If Wilson could use his height as an advantage like doug flutie, this guy could make some noise and the seahawks would have a steal. Outside of luck and RG3, I think he and brock would be the next best two to start for a team and have success.

    ==================================

    Oswwiler sucks bro, that guy will not make it in the NFL.

  50. peytonsneck18 says: Aug 12, 2012 8:13 AM

    Give it a rest hulk

  51. tatum064 says: Aug 12, 2012 8:39 AM

    skoobyfl says:
    Aug 12, 2012 12:34 AM
    Wait until the first 6’8″ guy jumps in front of his pass, it’ll be a new story.

    ========================

    haters gonna hate. Why don’t you go pee on the sun already?

  52. roadbiscuit says: Aug 12, 2012 8:43 AM

    It’ll take NFL DC’s about 5 games to figure out how to snuff Wilson’s college QB game.

  53. suhdidntstompanyone says: Aug 12, 2012 8:45 AM

    He wasn’t even the best quarterback in the big 10 last year.
    He’s listed at 5′ 1o” which means he’s probably not even that tall.
    He will never be a starter in the NFL.

  54. sakatak says: Aug 12, 2012 9:19 AM

    Wilson is a player, he is comfortable inside the pocket and outside of it. Good arm and great head, this is one NFL player you won’t see on any police reports.

  55. musicman495 says: Aug 12, 2012 9:19 AM

    Wilson was the best QB on that Seahawks roster the minute he was drafted.

  56. qdog112 says: Aug 12, 2012 9:22 AM

    Flynn didn’t play terrible, but he played more like the rookie, trying not to make an error, while Wilson took command like he “owned” the situation. Flynn threw for 5.4 yards per pass and Russell threw for 7.5 per pass. Blend the ability to run for 59 yards and it’s pretty clear.

    Forget about the 1st team-2nd team argument, because, although Wilson played against the 2′s, he also played with the 2′s on his team. It’s not like he was running with the 1′s. Bogus argument.

  57. buffedwhiteman says: Aug 12, 2012 9:39 AM

    Preseason, second string = not impressed (Russel Wilson)

  58. seatownballers says: Aug 12, 2012 10:25 AM

    Its the first week of preseason with half the starters in street clothes.calm down people

  59. ripseau says: Aug 12, 2012 10:25 AM

    I think charlie whitehurst is available again
    /beingadick

  60. yelix says: Aug 12, 2012 10:34 AM

    @suhdidntstompanyone

    Russell Wilson WAS the best QB in the Big 10 last year, dude. Not even close. Cousins was good and Braxton Miller showed flashes, but that’s about it.

  61. seahawksgirl says: Aug 12, 2012 10:35 AM

    I like what I am seeing from both quarterbacks, but before we all over react and annoint Wilson, let’s give it a few more weeks. I mean Charlie Whithurst looked real good in the preaseason too…just sayin’. Go Hawks!

  62. nflprincess says: Aug 12, 2012 10:50 AM

    Wilson is short but has huge hands and can run. He plays big in the pocket.

  63. cliffordc05 says: Aug 12, 2012 10:50 AM

    Flynn and Wilson both looked competent and the quarterback position is definitely improved over last year. That being said, it might be worthwhile to keep Jackson as a backup. He is not great but he is not terrible either, despite what many of the bloggers claim (he would have been a better option than anything Chicago came up with last year). The big difference between this year and last year is the play of the offensive line. Last year’s line was totally incompetent throughout the preseason and the beginning of the regular season.

  64. beedubyatoo says: Aug 12, 2012 11:10 AM

    skoobyfl says:Aug 12, 2012 12:34 AM

    Wait until the first 6’8″ guy jumps in front of his pass, it’ll be a new story.
    —————————–
    Name all the 6’8″ pass rushers in the NFL,

    I’m waiting…

    67

  65. weekendwarriorko says: Aug 12, 2012 11:24 AM

    Wilson looked good for the most part, but I disagree with the perfection on that deep touchdown to Braylon. Braylon made a great mid-air adjustment to snag it away from the defended, much more accolades to the receiver on that play.

  66. dilberry says: Aug 12, 2012 11:41 AM

    He was playing against guys that won’t make the team playing vanilla defense. Lets go easy on putting him in the Seahawks Ring of Honor already.

    I would like to see him with the first team though to see how how he handles that.

  67. joetoronto says: Aug 12, 2012 11:44 AM

    No, TJack was just misused, remember?

    Pete said so.

  68. derrickbrooks4president says: Aug 12, 2012 12:07 PM

    Gradkowski all over again. If Seattle can’t compete in that weak a– division then they need to be relegated to arena ball.

  69. minkheel says: Aug 12, 2012 12:09 PM

    Wilson will be solid – a bright guy and crazy athletic. Many of the knocks on Wilson were also directed at Drew Brees once upon a time, and Drew has done Ok.

  70. jeffesky says: Aug 12, 2012 12:43 PM

    Its so early but it looks like in the end tjack will get released with flynn the starter and wilson the number two. portis at number of course. release tjack or trade him by the 53 man cut down so the hawks can keep another wide out. i thinkvthey are getting sore on Durham seeing as he cant catch. A goid chance they want are going to need to keep T.O. and Edwards. then the locks are Rice,baldwin,tate with everyone else fighting for a sixth or seventh spot if they keep seven. more than likely they only keep six so they can hang on to an extra O lineman.

  71. savannahrose44 says: Aug 12, 2012 1:37 PM

    derrickbrooks4president says:
    Aug 12, 2012 12:07 PM
    Gradkowski all over again. If Seattle can’t compete in that weak a– division then they need to be relegated to arena ball.

    Says the guy who’s team went 0-1 against the NFC west last year losing 48-3.

  72. liddogg33 says: Aug 12, 2012 1:47 PM

    i been saying this all year!!! Wether its flynn or wilson with this defense and added weapons like winslow, to, edwards and ohhh the best weapon of all the Oline Seattle is set to take THEIR division back!!!

    John Schneider Executive of the year
    Pete Carroll Coach of the year

    ALONGSIDE THE NFLS GREATEST FANS AND GREATEST HOMEFIELD ADVANTAGE!!!!!!!

    its great to be a hawk!!!

  73. realfootballfan says: Aug 12, 2012 1:47 PM

    Flynn will start the season (Jackson didn’t even play), but you can clearly see he’s too physically limited to be a long term solution.

    Besides his height, Wilson looks like an intriguing option though and should get his chance sometime this season when Flynn shows he’s incapable of being much more than a care taker.

    The Seahawk defense is actually pretty good, so it would be an ideal situation to groom a young QB in.

  74. theboysofdallas says: Aug 12, 2012 2:22 PM

    Hey hulk, what about luck?

  75. jomochiefsfan84 says: Aug 12, 2012 2:46 PM

    OMG it’s one preseason game & you hawks fans think your going to take the division! Good luck with beating the niners, no chance in hell they win the division 7-9 or 8-8 at best & IF they do make it to the playoffs they will flounder in the wild card

  76. rickyspanish says: Aug 12, 2012 2:48 PM

    norcalmafia = scared of the Seahawks.

  77. packerfanfordecades says: Aug 12, 2012 6:44 PM

    I’m from Wisconsin and I don’t know who to root for: Mr. Flynn or Mr. Wilson.

    I’m hoping both of them have an off-day when they play the Packers on the 24th next month. But, other than that, it would be great if they both end up as reliable/competent starting quarterbacks somewhere in the next couple of years.

    I don’t want it to turn out that one guy implodes the other guy’s NFL career. There oughta be a rule that one NFL team can’t acquire all Wisconsin-developed QB talent.

  78. seahawksbmx says: Aug 13, 2012 3:32 PM

    Just Google “Jon Gruden Russell Wilson” and watch the 25 minute QB Camp. I knew after seeing that this kid has an incredibly advanced football brain. There will be growing pains (shut up), but I believe he’s destined for greatness. And I can say I saw his first game from the stands :)

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