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Russell Wilson proving to be the latest young gun in NFL

August 25, 2012|By Dan Loumena
  • Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson gets set to pass against the Chiefs on Friday night.
Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson gets set to pass against the… (David Eulitt / Kansas City…)

Russell Wilson, the dynamic but undersized rookie from Wisconsin, is the latest young quarterback to set the NFL abuzz.

Wilson got his first start with the Seattle Seahawks on Friday night and led the offense to scores on six conseuctive possessions in a 44-14 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. Wilson was drafted in the third round after Seattle had signed veteran Packers backup Matt Flynn to take the helm this fall.

Wilson, who passed for 185 yards and two touchdowns Friday, could become the fifth rookie starter at quarterback if the Seahawks choose him over Flynn.

“I don't surprise myself, I think because I prepare in the right way,” said the 5-foot-11 Wilson. “I try to visualize myself being very, very successful, and just positive self-talk, I guess.”

Wilson was given the start after completing 22 of 33 passes for 279 yards playing against second- and third-stringers in two previous preseason games, when he had three touchdown passes with only one interception. He also has rushed for 92 yards and a touchdown. Flynn had completed 17 of 26 passes for 102 yards with no touchdowns and one interception playing primarily against starters.

The 2012 season will be the first since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970 to feature more than two rookie quarterbacks starting in openers, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Andrew Luck was drafted No. 1 overall this spring by the Colts to take over for Peyton Manning in Indianapolis, with three more quarterbacks selected in the first round and likely to start their openers: Robert Griffin III at No. 2 by the Washington Redskins, Ryan Tannehill at No. 8 by the Miami Dolphins and Brandon Wheedon at No. 22 by the Cleveland Browns.

And rookie Nick Foles filled in admirably Friday night for Michael Vick in the Philadelphia Eagles' 27-10 victory over Cleveland by completing 12 of 19 passes for 146 yards and one touchdown. Wheedon was nine-of-20 passing for 117 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions.

Tannehill struggled Friday night in Miami's 23-6 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. He completed only 11 of 27 passes, although four were dropped including a potential scoring strike, for 112 yards with one interception.


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