Aug 11, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) on the line during the 2nd half against the Tennessee Titans at CenturyLink Field. Seattle defeated Tennessee 27-17. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE
One of the many things that stood out in Saturday's game was the play of rookie QB Russell Wilson, who is envisioned by some as a legitimate starter/QBOTF and others as merely a perennial backup for years to come. However or whatever you see him as, the fact is that Wilson posses above average tools, athleticism and instincts as a player - traits that were showcased immensely and distinctively whenever Wilson had the ball. There was no doubt that Wilson's style of play also carried a sense of excitement and a big-gain mentality, and this was also highlighted in the preseason game as well.
With that said, Wilson is just a rookie, and just like any other rookie, prone to mistakes. We also saw this Saturday, and if you bring both ends of the spectrum together, Wilson ends up being just like what you expected out of a 3rd round pick: highly dependent on development, with tons of promise. Still, I know this vague analysis is not enough for you and I, so let's get down to the nitty gritty with breaking down the play piece-by-piece. I choose one highlight of Wilson's day that I think is a accurate representation of what we can see of him in the near future. Of course, I'm talking about the 39 yard TD pass to Braylon Edwards.
Well, here we are again. I already mentioned in the comments earlier, that this play is more of a Braylon Edwards highlight than a Russell Wilson one, but let's not discount the things Wilson does do well.
One notable thing about Wilson on the play was his pre-snap read. We've seen, all along, the necessity of making the right audibles on the field, and yet Wilson must've known that either Phil Bates or Braylon Edwards would be covered man-to-man after the snap.
I liked his poise in the pocket. Tennessee was rushing with five on the line with the potential for both their linebackers blitzing, but Wilson must've known that he had a total of seven blockers with the OL, the RB and the FB. I know this because he does not even flinch (nor scanned his protection) after the ball is snapped - his eyes are downfield all the time. In contrast to other rookie QBs that are a bit nervous about who's coming after them on the line, Wilson exhibits a eerie and calm sense of confidence. Even with his mobility, WIlson doesn't use it to run or scamper at the first sight of trouble here - which is important, because good QBs like Aaron Rodgers and 2010 Michael Vick used their mobility as an asset to buy time, rather than a physicality.
The image at the top shows how all eleven men on the Titans defense were visible on-screen, with five men on the line ostensibly rushing, and six would be covering the field. Both Phil Bates and Edwards are running deep nine-routes down the sideline while McCoy is running a post down the middle of the field. When the ball is snapped, Wilson first looks towards the right side of the field - not to shake of the read by the MLB, but rather to see if Bates is being single covered or not.
Both Bates and Edwards are singled covered, and Wilson throws the ball to Edwards accordingly as the safety in the middle of the field drifts to the right. A pretty basic play, but one that definitely highlights some of the underrated strengths we see towards his ability. There was nice zip on the ball and it's pretty accurate to the point where it's just a couple inches off the sideline, even if it was a bit behind him and misplaced. Take it what you will I suppose - there's plenty more of Russell Wilson to be seen, but I can definitely take more plays like this in the future.