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.