Russell Wilson wonders whether the rules apply to him differently than other quarterbacks

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There’s a belief that some quarterbacks get treated differently than others. That belief was bolstered by the alleged remark from now-retired referee to Ed Hochuli to Panthers quarterback Cam Newton that he wasn’t “old enough” to draw a penalty for a late hit.

On Thursday, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who is now 31, was asked whether he thinks the rules apply differently to him.

“I don’t know,” Wilson said in response to the question at his midweek press conference. “I don’t want to get into that too much with all the stuff behind it. I definitely try to get down. I try to slide. I try not to take wicked hits or anything like that. Sometimes, you get a little elbow or a little extra. I don’t know. I want to play the game tough. I’m going to play it tough and also try to play it smart. It’s their decision to make it. Those are a couple in there that seemed a little bit late.”

So “I don’t know” basically means “yes.” And it’s odd that there does indeed seem to be a seniority-driven effort to protect certain quarterbacks, while letting others fend for themselves.

For Wilson, the next test of a possible double standard comes Sunday, when the Seahawks face the Eagles in the wild-card round of the playoffs.

37 responses to “Russell Wilson wonders whether the rules apply to him differently than other quarterbacks

  1. Most people think RW slides too late. The problem with the sliding rule is it’s very difficult in traffic. Is everyone supposed to get out of your way so you can slide? I think sliding was meant to be done in the open field.

  2. He also plays differently. Even in the 80’s and 90’s, Steve Young and John Elway took more hits without flags than Marino or Montana. When the QB runs, they’re going to get hit more.

  3. He is a very fast runner ,then he slides 10 or 20 feet and the defensive player is slid into,and Russel is upset ?

  4. Last game he got hit 2-3 times after he slid,no penalty called earlier in day saw the qb from green bay do same thing guess what he got penalty called, Wilson is right !!!

  5. I have seen plenty of defenders getting called for roughing the passer penalties after they hit Russell Wilson. Does not seem like he is treated differently than others. We do know that Seahawk defensive backs were treated differently than others in 2013, when the league did not call defenseive holding for a whole season, even though the rule against defensive holding has been in the rule book for decades.

  6. Rodgers gets a flag everytime and he even waits to slide last possible second to make sure he draws a penalty. Wilson slides early, takes shots, and never gets a call.

  7. The rules apply a little differently to Wilson when it come to rating his performance against other QBs. He’s never had a good offensive line to protect him. He’s often had to make due with lesser receivers.

    Brady and Rodgers have always had good offensive lines, and until recently a full complement of good receivers.

    In this respect he is under appreciated. And the other two overrated. If Brady or Rodgers had the Seahawks’ offensive line, they wouldn’t have nearly the stats they have today – or nearly as good as Wilson’s today.

    I say this as a Vikings fan indifferent at best to the Seahawks, and actually find Wilson a bit annoying personally.

    But he’s under appreciated in terms of what he’s accomplished with the relatively poor OL and WRs he’s had to work with over the years.

  8. To be more objective I found a web site that lists the number of times defenders have been called for roughing the passer after they hit a quarterback. Between 2009 and 2019, 28 defendeers have been given roughing the passer penalties after hitting Wilson. The numbers are similar for Drew Brees (29), Tom Brady (28), Aaron Rodgers (31), Cam Newton (30), Jay Culter (30) and Matt Ryan (39).

    If we count the number of times defenders have been called for roughing after sacking quarterbacks, Wilson has been sacked 386 times. That translates into 1 roughing the passer penalty every 13.15 times Wilson was sacked. Aaron Rodgers have been sacked 445 times, and that translates into 1 roughing penalty called every 14.4 sacks. So, if anything, Wilson is more likely to get a roughing the passer penalty than Aaron Rodgers if he is sacked. Tom Brady has been sacked 334 times, so that translates into 1 roughing penalty every 11.9 times he was sacked, slightly higher than Wilson. Numbers do not lie. Wilson is not treated any differently by referees than other quarterbacks around the league.

  9. The late slide is Rodgers go to move. If he does that kind of crap in the playoffs, teams are going to make him pay for that kind of crap. The give up slide, which is not just for QBs, in principle is a nice edition to help with unnecessary hits. But when you wait till the very last second to where a defender will hit you no matter what, the runner, QB or any other player, should give up the give up slide in the eyes of the referee and just be a runner… just my 2 cents

  10. The rules apply to each player the same from their point of view which is badly. I’m sure each player and coach would agree.

  11. linemanguy74 says:
    January 2, 2020 at 8:02 pm
    Last game he got hit 2-3 times after he slid,no penalty called earlier in day saw the qb from green bay do same thing guess what he got penalty called, Wilson is right !!!


    Packers fan here and dislike the Seahawks strongly due to annoying friends. I thought exactly the same thing you did. They looked like identical slides and Rodgers got the flag and RW didn’t. Said annoying friends complain a lot about RW calls and I don’t watch him much, but it’s plays like that compared to A-Rod that lend credence to what they’re saying.

  12. Russell is an outstanding QB. His style of play dictates opposing teams hitting him as often as possible lessening his throw it up and hope for pass interference approach when trailing in the 4th quarter

  13. I watch all his games. He’s a great slider, but sometimes he waits too late. I’m seeing Russell receive the same respect that other HOF QB’s get from the refs. I’m also starting to notice that it looks like Russell has lost a step, so he might need to start his slide a little later to get the same yardage he could get a couple years ago. By the time he’s going into his slide, it’s too late for the defender to pull up. If anything, that’s what’s changed.

  14. Officials treat Stafford like a Full Back.
    The NFL’s officiating is a joke, quite honestly. Now, with Vegas in the equation, the line between the NFL and WWF is more than a little blurred.

  15. How about we just do away with the stupid sliding crap altogether! If a QB or any player for that matter decides to run the ball then they shouldn’t be allowed to just give up because they don’t want to get hit. Either run out of bounds or get tackled by a defensive player. I am all for player safety and am fine with penalties for hitting in the head and hitting below the knees and believe that since those rules are in place that there’s no need for anyone to have to slide in order to not get injured.

  16. It’s pretty simple really. If you’re a running qb who’s game is predicated on using your running ability to extend plays or to gain additional yardage whenever possible, then you’re expected to get hot more often. Defenses cant always be at such a disadvantage and cant afford to give a running qb the benefit of the doubt, allowing them to run all over the place gaining yardage and first downs. They have to be able to stop them and with that comes hitting them or as most would say- tackling them. If not, running qbs will keep running and putting them in position to score. The whole objective is to stop the drive, make the tackle, in some cases, hit the qb.

  17. Next he’ll be crying about how the play clock is different for other QB’s as well.

  18. With the protection of quarterbacks now, they are now trained to literally slide at the very last moment to INTENTIONALLY draw contact causing a thrown flag. I don’t feel bad for these QBs one bit. If you’re clearly in your slide and get hit, sure, there should be a penalty. However, if a defender has committed to taking you out and at that time you decide to slide, you deserve the hit with no flag.

  19. When will people realize that the NFL sometimes puts a thumb on the scales of justice? This replay stuff has been for the birds this year and the officiating gets progressively worse. Ever since Tim Donaghy outed the NBA, I’ve been suspect of officiating in all the sports.

  20. Just check the 2nd half of the Steelers-Seahawks game. Bud Dupree takes a clear and very late head shot and no flag, he was latter fined for the hit so it was very clear that it was a dirty shot….That’s any of the “OLD BOYS QB’s” and there’s no question Laundry EVERYWHERE. Russell Wilson is the least protected QB in the NFL

  21. Yes Russ there is a double standard and you are not going to get the full protection. If you are a pocket passer who only runs when the pocket breaks down then you are going to be protected to the nth degree and that is just what the NFL wants. But if you are a guy who sticks the ball into the running backs belly and pulls it out and then takes it and runs downfield like a running back and then slides and says protect me, well just maybe you might get the odd flying over the top elbow not called. And it shouldnt be unless you get really pile drived.

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