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Russell Wilson: My height isn’t a factor

New England Patriots v Seattle Seahawks Getty Images

While there have been plenty of good things said about him since he was drafted by the Seahawks in April, there’s been a consistent chatter about Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson’s ability to succeed without having the ideal height for an NFL quarterback.

Those doubts have not stopped after Wilson’s first six games. During a conference call with San Francisco writers ahead of Thursday night’s game against the 49ers, Wilson was asked if his mobility is enabling him to play well in spite of his perceived inability to ride all the rides at the county fair.

“My height’s not a factor at all. My height does not define my skill set,” Wilson said, via Grant Cohn of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat. “I try to have a high, quick release, throw the ball on time. Sometimes I may have to find a lane just like any quarterback who might be 6-2. Some of these guys are 6-7 on the other side of the ball, so sometimes you’ve just got to make a play and find ways to be on time with the football. You know where your guys are and where they’re going — you just have to deliver the ball accurately and on time.”

When Wilson has struggled this season, it hasn’t looked like his height was the reason. He has looked like young quarterbacks of every size who have to adjust to a game that’s faster than the one they’ve played before. Doug Flutie said months ago that he thinks there’s a bias against shorter quarterbacks, a group that he was a part of in his playing days and one that the 5-foot-11 Wilson joined when he hit the league, that leads to coaches benching them when they struggle. Pete Carroll hasn’t done that yet and it’s unlikely that he will make a move as long as Wilson keeps leading the team to wins.

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40 Responses to “Russell Wilson: My height isn’t a factor”
  1. yelix says: Oct 16, 2012 4:58 PM

    This kid will have a good career. He played great against New England because they opened up their playbook more. If they can get a true #1 receiver and a better offensive line, they’ll be one of the best teams in the league.

  2. sictransitchris says: Oct 16, 2012 5:01 PM

    The old scouts and their bias are dying off.

  3. t16rich says: Oct 16, 2012 5:05 PM

    Drew Brees has an inch on him and does fairly well at the position last time I checked. Sure height can be beneficial, but it isn’t a must.

  4. vegagreenleaf says: Oct 16, 2012 5:20 PM

    Height is, and should be, one of many factors taken into consideration by NFL teams. By no means should it be the most important or end all of the decision makers. Wilson looks like a legitimate NFL QB. The sky’s the limit with him.

  5. bjamesa says: Oct 16, 2012 5:23 PM

    Such a liar… he is a liability for his team. With that defense, if they could move the ball at all they would be a contender. Russell Wilson’s height IS a factor in that they have to change and simplify the playbook for him. He can’t see over his linemen and doesn’t see/throw to open recievers because of it. This team will be on the verge of making the playoffs and thanks to a gift (Green Bay game) they might get in, but that’s a championship calibur defense and the quarterback is gaaaarbage.

    People like to compare him to Drew Brees but it isn’t even close. The kid is EASILY the worst starting quarterback in the NFL…

  6. jprcox says: Oct 16, 2012 5:33 PM

    Im a Seattle fan and if you watch the games close you see he is effected by his height in CERTAIN situations. One of those situations is in the red zone when the OL struggles to open passing lanes he needs to see. If you notice very few 3 second passes – its takes him 1-1.5 more seconds, but he also has better feet than most QBs.

    I think Wilson needs to work on timing routes that are less determined on passing lanes down in the end zone, but it is a problem however you look at it.

    I’ll say in other situations I think DB’s cannot read his shoulders since he sits below the line – so that is a plus.

  7. bishop1025 says: Oct 16, 2012 5:35 PM

    YELIX: Sidney Rice is a #1 receiver. The line, when healthy, is dominant. And this team is a contender.

    And as Russell Wilson would end this…… GO HAWKS!

  8. jprcox says: Oct 16, 2012 5:38 PM

    The other major problem I see is:

    IS HE REALLY 5′-11″? I have stood next to Brees who calls himself 6′, and I am taller. The problem is that I am only 5′-10 3/4″.

    If Wilson was really 5′-11″ why wouldn’t they fudge to 6′? Something tells me he is really 5’9″.

  9. trollhammer20 says: Oct 16, 2012 5:42 PM

    I think it has been a factor. There have been a few plays where he’s short enough to duck under a defender and escape pressure so he can make a play with his arm or his feet.

    bjamesa, that may be the worst single football-related take I’ve ever seen in my entire life….and with the advent of the internet’s “everyone can express their opinion equally” capabilities, that’s really saying something.

  10. mlander12 says: Oct 16, 2012 5:56 PM

    His overall statistics are at least as good or better than Luck, Tannehill and Weeden (All first rounders), only RG3 has obviously better, but he’s got at least 1 win more than all of them. Yes, it “might” have been a gift depending on which rule you try to apply to the play, but every Quarterback gets at least one gift every couple years, his just happened on MNF against the Packers.

  11. schmittsgay says: Oct 16, 2012 5:58 PM

    Sidney Rice is 55th in the league in receptions, 64th in receiving yards, 83rd in ypc, and 58th in receptions of 20+ yards.

  12. caseyanthonymunoz says: Oct 16, 2012 6:08 PM

    No, but his lousy QB play is a factor.

  13. bjamesa says: Oct 16, 2012 6:09 PM

    mlander12 says:
    Oct 16, 2012 5:56 PM
    His overall statistics are at least as good or better than Luck, Tannehill and Weeden (All first rounders), only RG3 has obviously better, but he’s got at least 1 win more than all of them. Yes, it “might” have been a gift depending on which rule you try to apply to the play, but every Quarterback gets at least one gift every couple years, his just happened on MNF against the Packers.

    ——————-

    He isn’t comparable to Luck or Tannehill! You’re CRAZY. Imagine what Andrew Luck would do with the best defense in the NFL and being able to throw to Sidney Rice and Braylon Edwards? Not even mentioning being able to hand it off to Marshawn Lynch 25 times a game. You Seahawks fans might be the most ignorant in the whole NFL… Get outta here with that trash!

    And name one other quarterback in history who has thrown a game winning interception. You say it depends on which rule you apply (Ha!) no, sorry, it only depends if you’re a Seahawks fan or not. Everybody else in the country knows it was an interception… You’re as full of it as Russell Wilson.

  14. headonaswivel says: Oct 16, 2012 6:15 PM

    Yes it is.

  15. donnymacjack says: Oct 16, 2012 6:18 PM

    What matters here? Wins. That’s right…wins. Which team in the league starting rookie QB has the most wins? How about the only one with a winning record? Oh yeah Seattle.

    Everything else is second.

  16. buffedwhiteman says: Oct 16, 2012 6:21 PM

    49ers great defense will expose “fraud” midget Russell Wilson.Prediction SF 45 Seattle 10 …..

  17. hehateme2 says: Oct 16, 2012 6:26 PM

    Tannehill> wilson russell terrier

  18. thegreatgabbert says: Oct 16, 2012 6:54 PM

    Historical researchers have determined that Napoleon was likely driven by a Russell Wilson Complex.

  19. seahawks4alltime says: Oct 16, 2012 6:56 PM

    Russell Wilson is currently ranked 17th in the league. He has a higher rating almost half the leagues quarterbacks. Tannehill is ranked 27, Luck is ranked at 30, and Weeden is ranked at 32.

    Russell Wilson has thrown 8 touchdown passes and 6 interceptions. Only RG3 has thrown less interceptions (with 2) but he has also thrown only 5 touchdowns. RG3 brings his rushing TDs to the table and that’s what makes RG3 so great.

    Wilson is greater than Tannehill, Luck, and Weeden.

  20. rockoutwithyourhawkout says: Oct 16, 2012 7:04 PM

    @bjamesa

    What planet do you live on???

  21. seahawksbmx says: Oct 16, 2012 7:15 PM

    Russell is a great guy and a great QB, but he is too short. He will likely need one of those step stools from IKEA when giving his HoF acceptance speech in Canton. Eventually you doubters in and out of Seattle will learn that you don’t bet against this guy. He’s likely to have a few clunkers here and there; he’s a rookie for crying out loud – but he will be lighting the league on fire within 2-3 years. Not homer talk…I felt that LONG before the ‘Hawks drafted him and was elated when we got him in the 3rd. If you thumb me down now, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.

  22. brian1mahoney says: Oct 16, 2012 7:27 PM

    As Mr. Davis used to say, just win baby.

    Here is what R. Wilson did after the game against the Pats:

    After his sixth NFL game Sunday, a 24-23 win over the Patriots at home, Wilson told Tom Brady on the field, “I have so much respect for you as a player and a person. It’s great to play against you.” He walked through the Seattle locker room, shaking hands with every player. He stopped to share a few moments with owner Paul Allen. In his post-game press conference, during which he deflected any praise about himself toward the team, he finished the way he finishes interviews broadcast live to Seattle fans: “Go Hawks!”

    Good teammate. Good politician. Good guy. And a very quick study as a quarterback.

  23. beedubyatoo says: Oct 16, 2012 7:35 PM

    He isn’t comparable to Luck or Tannehill! You’re CRAZY. Imagine what Andrew Luck would do with the best defense in the NFL and being able to throw to Sidney Rice and Braylon Edwards?
    —————————–
    Reggie Wayne is better thsn anyone you mentioned.

    What Wilson has is a brilliant mind and leadership ability.

  24. slugbaitspace says: Oct 16, 2012 7:51 PM

    Oddly enough, we haven’t heard anything from Mel Kiper lately…

  25. randallflagg52 says: Oct 16, 2012 8:06 PM

    bjamesa says:Oct 16, 2012 5:23 PM

    Such a liar… he is a liability for his team. With that defense, if they could move the ball at all they would be a contender. Russell Wilson’s height IS a factor in that they have to change and simplify the playbook for him. He can’t see over his linemen and doesn’t see/throw to open recievers because of it. This team will be on the verge of making the playoffs and thanks to a gift (Green Bay game) they might get in, but that’s a championship calibur defense and the quarterback is gaaaarbage.

    People like to compare him to Drew Brees but it isn’t even close. The kid is EASILY the worst starting quarterback in the NFL…

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

    Have you seen that offensive line that Wilson played behind at Wisconson? An O line where every player will be or has been (Konz, Zeitler) drafted in the first two rounds of the draft. I think the shortest person on that line was Peter Konz and he is 6ft 5, and he was the center! I’m pretty sure that offensive line is bigger than Seattle’s.

    If Wilson can throw for 3175 yards, 33TDs and only 4 INTs against the defenses he faced in his last year in college, I don’t see why he can’t be a success in the NFL.

  26. beastmode5150 says: Oct 16, 2012 8:50 PM

    All of you hating on him, how many Seahawks games have you actually watched? I am leaning towards zero, or one (vs Green Bay). Do me, and you “knowledge” a favor and do a google search for “hall of game qb’s in their rookie season” you will find a wealth of info and may be shocked how horrific some of those guys were. Now, once you see that, don’t get mad, ask yourself, “if I was a fan of these qb’s teams back then, what would I be saying?” You would t say, “he’s losing and throwing a ton of INT’s, bit he is 6-2″, so he will be just fine. Shall we reel off a list of qb’s over 6’2″ that have flopped? Grow up people…

  27. liddogg33 says: Oct 16, 2012 9:44 PM

    how can you not love this kid!!! i couldnt be more elated for what the next 5 years is gonna look like with russell at the helm of this OLD SCHOOL SMASH MOUTH football team!! this kid is tebow with a laser arm and pure pinpoint accuracy!! the nfl is exceptionally hard on rookie quarterbacks and with wins over brady, romo, and rogers (thanks replacement refs ;) id see he is handling it pretty well!! point is allbu haters are about to reckonize the fact that russell is the REAL DEAL!!! 12TH MAN GET READY CUZ NO ONE IN THIS LEAGUE WANTS COMES TO OUR HOUSE AND KICKS US AROUND… NOONE

  28. bjamesa says: Oct 16, 2012 10:20 PM

    Hahahahaha!!! Awww… did I touch a nerve? One of you asked what planet I live on and another questioned how many Seahawks games I’ve actually watched. Well, I live in Tacoma, WA so I’ve seen exactly six Seahawks games this season, in other words – All Of Them! I’ve seen Russell Wilson fail on three drives with the game on the line this season, throwing an interception in two of them (they incorrectly counted one them as a touchdown).

    One point I’d like to make is that I listen to 770 ESPN every morning on the way to work (Bob & Groz) and after each of the first five weeks of the season -with the exception of the Cowboys game- the fans of the ‘Hawks were calling in asking for Russell Wilson’s head. Even after the wins against the Packers and Panthers, the fans knew he wasn’t getting it done.

    Now, he has one solid game and he’s better than Andrew Luck and he outgunned Tom Brady. You’re all a bunch of hypocrites. If you look at it objectively, you’d know that he is hurting this team. The defense and running game are outstanding and the little guy is holding them back.

  29. bjamesa says: Oct 16, 2012 10:21 PM

    *710 ESPN

  30. ibboydb says: Oct 16, 2012 10:26 PM

    The only thing holding RW back is Bevell’s inept play calling. The only QB to win in his system was Farve, because he didn’t listen to Bevell. If the ‘Hawks win it won’t be beacause of Bevell’s play book!

  31. rockoutwithyourhawkout says: Oct 16, 2012 10:33 PM

    @bjamesa

    What team do you root for?

    The answer to this question should be interesting…

  32. bjamesa says: Oct 16, 2012 10:34 PM

    Admittedly, Bevell is pretty bad. His play calling at the end of the Rams game was atrocious. You have Marshawn Lynch, a guy the Rams couldn’t stop all day and with the game on the line on 3rd and long you line up in a no-back set? Confusing…

  33. scoobaj says: Oct 16, 2012 11:11 PM

    bjamesa- you must be 12 years old or you have very limited football knowledge, probably both. Russ is a rookie, judge him as such, his ability and upside is tremendous, if u don’t see that, u don’t have a football savvy mind

  34. enmity01 says: Oct 16, 2012 11:14 PM

    bjamesa

    You live in Tacoma WA or as everyone around you calls it Tacompton.

    I doubted Wilson too, but no more, everytime I did he came through for us. There will be flops, games we should win and we don’t win. It’s going to happen he’s a rookie.

    However if you like the Seahawks(fine if you dont ) stand behind your team and give him a chance. He will not always be the reason we win and he will not always be the reason we lose.

    Go Hawks! We’re all in! 12th man!

  35. beastmode5150 says: Oct 16, 2012 11:41 PM

    Wow, so you base your opinion on sports radio. Well, at least we don’t have to factor in your opinion now.

  36. themackstrong says: Oct 17, 2012 1:16 AM

    bjamesa says: Oct 16, 2012 5:23 PM

    Such a liar… he is a liability for his team. With that defense, if they could move the ball at all they would be a contender. Russell Wilson’s height IS a factor in that they have to change and simplify the playbook for him. He can’t see over his linemen and doesn’t see/throw to open recievers because of it. This team will be on the verge of making the playoffs and thanks to a gift (Green Bay game) they might get in, but that’s a championship calibur defense and the quarterback is gaaaarbage.

    People like to compare him to Drew Brees but it isn’t even close. The kid is EASILY the worst starting quarterback in the NFL…

    ———————————————

    I won’t even address your spelling because your football knowledge is even more atrocious! The playbook wasn’t adjusted because of his height, it was adjusted to be conservative for a rookie QB. Simple reads & low risk with the goal not to turn the ball over and have him manage games. PC/Bevell have made adjustments to teams loading the box against Lynch as fans started to see in the Panthers/Pats games. His college o-line was probably just as big as any NFL o-line. Maybe Cam Newton has a league height problem too because Red Bryant and Mebane were batting his balls throughout that game.

  37. kuya206 says: Oct 17, 2012 1:55 AM

    The guy hasn’t fully sold me until we open up the playbook and see if he continues to make plays. But when you beat Romo, Rodgers, Newton, and Brady… It’s hard to argue that, and you’re definitely on the right track.

    It’s funny how everyone, including ppl who live in Seattle doubt this team. Picking us to lose every single big game, yet we come out on top. We didn’t win because our defense is great or Lynch had beast game, we won cause the other team’s QB had a bad game. BS! I like being the underdog and staying under the radar… Realistic fans firmly believes that this team is heading in the right direction. Oh and his height does affect him, but I think we’re gonna learn how he’s able to overcome that the next few games!

  38. joetoronto says: Oct 17, 2012 5:19 AM

    kuya206 says:
    Oct 17, 2012 1:55 AM
    The guy hasn’t fully sold me until we open up the playbook and see if he continues to make plays. But when you beat Romo, Rodgers, Newton, and Brady… It’s hard to argue that, and you’re definitely on the right track.
    **************************************************
    I’m going to use your logic here, kuya.

    If he loses to Alex Smith he’s no good, right?

    Look, he’s obviously a good kid, he has a strong arm and he can really move. He’s really winging it though and against bad defenses like the Pats, he can have success.

    What happens when he plays a good defense, a defense that stops the run and puts the game on his shoulders?

    We’re about to find out.

  39. bjamesa says: Oct 17, 2012 4:04 PM

    beastmode5150 says:
    Oct 16, 2012 11:41 PM

    Wow, so you base your opinion on sports radio. Well, at least we don’t have to factor in your opinion now.

    ———————————

    I said I listen to them on the way to work and have had to listen to ‘Hawks fans call in and complain about Wilson for the last month and a half. That’s all I said about listening to the radio. None of my opinion of him comes from the radio, just the six games I’ve watched him play. I don’t think he’s very good, I do think he is too short and the funniest part is that SO DO ALL OF YOU! I’ve heard the talk around town for almost two months but now that he has a solid game it’s like all of you backtracked and I’m the crazy one. Sorry, one game does not trump the previous five. This is why fans of other NFL teams don’t respect Seattle, the fans are football ignorant…

  40. bjamesa says: Oct 18, 2012 11:26 PM

    Just watched the 49ers game and the ‘Hawks got 6 points.

    Russell Wilson completed three passes for 20 yards… IN THE ENTIRE SECOND HALF!!!!!!

    …Yeah, you guys were right all along – Russell Wilson’s height is a non-factor, he just isn’t good, period. My bad…

    Go ahead, give me the “thumbs down” but you know I’m right. You should also know that I’m laughing…

    Hahahahhaaahahahahahahaahahhaa!!!!!

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