Pete Carroll is an idiot for starting "JaMarcus" Russell Wilson: A revisit.



On Wednesday, September 5th, 2012, I had some extra time. I was excited about the upcoming Seahawks' season. Russell Wilson had been named the starter.

A few days earlier, I'd been puttering around the internet, and came across an article on It annoyed me to no end. The author of said exasperating article basically stated how Pete Carroll was going to lose his job as Seahawks' head coach because Carroll was starting Wilson over the immensely more qualified Matt Flynn. As someone that defends my team, I needed to destroy his "opinion". I armed myself with facts, and sent a short e-mail to Danny Kelly detailing this. His reply was that he sensed a fan post. (In other words, get off of your bum and contribute to the site.)

I know that there are too many wrongs to right when it comes to the internet. Yet this was so blatantly offensive that I had to do something. I decided that if I commented on the aforementioned post, all I'd be doing was feeding the fire. I didn't want to let it slide, so I decided to post my thoughts on an intelligent forum: Field Gulls.

So, on September 5th, I Started writing my first Field Gulls' fan post. And I quickly wanted to throw my desk through a window. I can't think of a more frustrating thing, concerning writing, then avoiding writer's block, getting all your thoughts organized, sounding intelligent and articulate, and having the web site continuously erase your work. I'm sure that since this was my first fan post that it was simply user error, but I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. Eventually, I was able to get my words to stay on the page, but I was in such a hurry that I didn't even include a picture.

I did something right. I received many comments. Even one from John Morgan! (John Morgan commented on a post of mine!)

I've thought of this post many times. Not because of my ego, that's big enough without adding pseudo-literary genius, but because of how Russell Wilson has proven everyone wrong. 17 days ago was the ultimate "nyah-nyah" moment. Wilson's doubters will now eat crow, or scream louder about "other" reasons that he's been successful.

It's been 17 months since Russell Carrington Wilson stepped onto the field at University of Phoenix Stadium and led our favorite team for the first time. Because of that, I'm going to repost this article in its near entirety.

Here is Pete Carroll Is An Idiot For Starting JaMarcus Russell Wilson in it's original form.

I'm not going to include the link to the offensive article that inspired my diatribe. Only because the more views that the author gets, the more prestige he receives. As J. L. White so eloquently wrote in the comments section:

"That's why it's a bad idea to write a fanpost in response to a schmuck.

I understand the joy of FJM-ing a putrid article based in nonsense, but unless the writer is already well-established and has a large readership, all a fanpost like this is going to do is give said schmuck a lot of free attention. Best to leave the roach behind the fridge, out of sight."

So, I'll follow J. L's advice, and not even mention his link. I included the link to my original post because there are some great, well thought out comments. They're worth a read.

Here's my original post, with some more information added on afterwards:

Sorry. I just used that title to get you to read my response to a Cleveland Browns' fan post about Pete Carroll making the worst mistake of his Seahawks' tenure.

Joseph Fell wrote an article for "The Cold Hard Football Facts" ( just CHFF) about Pete Carroll's "mistake" of naming Russell Wilson over Matt Flynn entitled, "Icy Issue: Pete Carroll's big mistake starting Russell over Flynn."

Normally CHFF bases their articles on facts. Many times they use satire and mockery to get their point across. This article was so rife with opinions and gross inaccuracies that it could single handily destroy their credibility.

I began by looking into their archives, and contributor page to get a feel for Fell's previous work. He wasn't listed on their about us page entitled, "Meet the trolls." Normally, they use the troll moniker as a reference towards anyone that believes in the facts about football, rather than opinion. Unfortunately, this time it comes across in the more common internet usage for the art of trolling. This may be his first foray into the cold hard football facts realm. Previously he has been a major contributor on Most of his non-playoff articles deal with the Cleveland Browns and the AFC North. The only article that he's written on the Seahawks for Football Nation dealt with last year's game (2011) against Cleveland. The oldest article Football Nation had of Fell's was from August 31, 2011. Google only had six links to his work. He has contributed 68 articles to Football Nation.

I don't know if he has anything against the Hawks, but it is obvious that he hasn't seen any of the preseason games. In addition, this article makes it look like he would prefer to regurgitate pundits' opinions, rather than stating the facts. Let's get to his inability to even pantomime facts before we counter his opinions.

"But here's one take on Carroll you can take to the bank: his decision to name rookie Russell Wilson the starting quarterback ahead of Matt Flynn will prove Carroll’s worst move during his tenure as Seattle's head coach"

CHFF has a tendency to state outrageous claims at the beginning of their articles. I guess that they do this to get people to read their articles, or just like to have fun. I honestly cannot tell you why they prefer to write this way, I can only guess at the reason. They normally do back up their claims with facts though. This article followed the first tendency, but deviated from the second. CHFF has had controversial articles, such as Jim Brown not getting credit for one more 1,000 yard season, Ken Anderson not being in the Hall of Fame, and the Seahawks getting jobbed in XL, but all were backed up with facts. Fell states an opinion, then tap dances around his argument with pseudo facts and conjecture.

"Flynn became the second coming of Tom Brady in many general managers’ eyes after he threw for 480 yards and 6 touchdowns against the Detroit Lions in the last game of the season, and he was the most highly sought-after quarterback in the free agent market during the past offseason."

Has Fell ever heard of Peyton Manning? Matt Flynn did receive $19.5 million for three years, but Manning nearly equaled that for 2012 alone. If Flynn was the second coming of Tom Brady, wouldn't he have received a better offer from a Miami team that has needed a QB for more than a decade, after he visited the Seahawks? Wouldn't Flynn have visited more than two teams, if he was a true franchise quarterback?

"Flynn: 27 of 26, 65.4%, 102 yards, 3.92 YPA, 0 TD, 1 INT, 56.9 rating"

I guess Flynn should start when you consider that he's completed more passes than he's attempted. I'll chalk this one up to Fell's inability to see Seahawk games, and editor inattentiveness. The yards per attempt are not good at all.

"A closer look at Seattle's 3-0 preseason reveals that Carroll’s decision to start Wilson is at best foolhardy and at worst dangerous to the short-term future of the franchise"

Let's look at his arguments for this statement:

"First, Wilson was given more opportunity to prove himself than Flynn, who didn’t even play in Seattle's third preseason game, a 44-14 win at Kansas City Chiefs. Would Flynn have made up the difference in yardage and touchdowns? Probably not. Could Flynn have shredded the Chiefs’ defense like Wilson did? Possibly. Is it sensible to hold a quarterback competition in which one quarterback has three games to prove himself and the other quarterback only has two games to prove himself? No."

Fell never mentions anything about Flynn being injured. Fell actually does state some honest to goodness facts as he futilely tries to argue this latest point:

"In the first two preseason games, Flynn passed the ball only 26 times, while Wilson attempted 33 passes"

I guess that Fell feels that a disparity of seven attempts over two games is just not fair. (I know that this is conjecture on my part, I just wanted to see how it feels. Not that great, actually.) When comparing the three games that both men played in, Wilson has five more attempts, one fewer completions, and 72% more yards. In addition, Wilson's passer rating was nearly 30 points higher, and his yards per attempt was significantly higher than Flynn's (8.50 versus 5.23).

"Wilson feasted on defenses consisting largely of backups and inexperienced young players, while Flynn faced the first-team defenses of the Tennessee Titans and Denver Broncos. The 2011 Titans ranked fifth among all NFL defenses in CHFF’s Defensive Real Passing Yards Per Attempt, limiting opposing quarterbacks to an average of 5.86 yards per pass."

These are facts, but they fail to compare the three defenses. KC was fifth, but Flynn also faced Denver's starters, which were 21st, at 6.44 yards per attempt. Flynn actually did worse against Denver than Kansas City. Wilson did start against KC (79.06) and Oakland (81.27), which were #7 and #11 in defensive passer rating, respectively. Flynn started against the #18 Titans (85.06) and #28 Denver (93.12) defenses. Nor does Fell state that Wilson faced second and third team defenses with second and third team offenses. Tennessee's final defensive DVOA was 15th, Denver's was 19th, and Kansas City's was 13th (without Eric Berry). Those are last year's statistics, but will the teams remain the same? We'll have to assume so, because until the regular season starts, we won't know for sure. Except in KC's place; they will be better with the return of Berry.

"Third, there is no pressing reason to start Wilson immediately. This isn’t Cleveland, where the Browns imported a 28-year-old rookie quarterback who needs to play right away. Wilson is only 23 and has at least 10 years of productive football ahead of him. Flynn is 27. Why not start the older, more experienced quarterback, and if he fails, turn the reigns over to the rookie quarterback? Unexplainable."

Wilson does not need to start immediately. That actually is a fact. It's sound reasoning. The only problem is that Pete Carroll has stated his reputation, and entire coaching philosophy, on why he needs to start Wilson: Always compete. If Carroll were to announce Flynn as the starter, it would undermine everything that he has said, and done for over two years. Politicians flip-flop. Employees that do the same thing are fired. If Carroll were to lie to his employer and subordinates, he would be gone. Plain and simple. Pete Carroll cannot afford to lose control of the Seahawks, he needs to keep his word, and "stay the course" under all circumstances.

Wilson is a rookie, but in one season at Wisconsin, he attempted more passes in games than Flynn has since high school. Flynn has been in the NFL longer, but the experience argument is moot.

Fell is not a fan of Seattle, that's why I included the part about starting Wilson immediately. Since he isn't a Hawks fan, he does not understand Carroll's stance on competition. That's why this situation is "unexplainable" to Fell.

"A fan base whose energy shook the Earth with earthquake-like force during the 2010 playoffs deserves better than a coach who treats the Seahawks’ roster like his own personal Madden 13 franchise.

Perhaps Carroll will have the opportunity to sit with those fans in 2013. His experiments with reclamation projects at wide receiver have had limited success, and his inability to maintain continuity at the quarterback position resulted in a lost 2011 season with the inept Tarvaris Jackson behind center.

Starting Wilson will most likely lead to another wasted season, and this move may be the one that leads owner Paul Allen to fire Carroll."

These three paragraphs sum up Fell's lack of ability to understand the Seahawks. You'd think that someone that watched the Seahawks play with Charlie Whitehurst, against his own team, would understand why Carroll stuck with Tavaris Jackson over Whitehurst. An injured Jackson gave the Seahawks a better chance of winning than a healthy Whitehurst. Case closed. Fell is a fan of another team, so he didn't know that one simple fact. Fell ended his article with a restating of the general topic, unfortunately he failed to have substantial facts in between his opening and closing statements.

Now for some new thoughts.

We all know how Wilson had growing pains. The first eight games of his career are his weakest. Not only statistically, but it's the only time that he's gone less than 6-2 in a specific half of a season. 4-4. His most horrible stretch as a starting NFL quarterback resulted in a non-losing record over a span of eight games. How many fans wish their QB could play like that?

"But here's one take on Carroll you can take to the bank: his decision to name rookie Russell Wilson the starting quarterback ahead of Matt Flynn will prove Carroll’s worst move during his tenure as Seattle's head coach"

Russell Wilson's statistics (As per :

QB record Comp Att Comp% Yards TDs TD% Int Int% Y/A AY/A Y/C Y/G Rating

2012 11-5 252 393 64.1 3118 26 6.6 10 2.5 7.9 8.1 12.4 194.9 100.0

2013 13-3 257 407 63.1 3357 26 6.4 9 2.2 8.2 8.5 13.1 209.8 101.2

career 24-8 509 800 63.6 6475 52 6.5 19 2.4 8.1 8.3 12.7 202.3 100.6

Wilson has also set some NFL records in his first two seasons:

  • Most career regular season wins by second year QB (24).
  • Most career wins, including playoffs, by second year QB (28).
  • Most TDs thrown rookie season (26).
  • First rookie to finish with 100 QB rating (Robert Griffin III would finish four hours later with a higher rating.).
  • First rookie to win eight home games.
  • Most yards (385) by rookie QB in playoff game.
  • First QB to post 100+ QB rating first two years.
  • Rookie record for TD passes to interceptions (+16)

Some notable achievements:

  • 15-1 home record over first two years.
  • Second most TDs (52) first two seasons.
  • Third in NFL in game winning drives (5) in 2012.
  • Led NFL in game winning drives (5) in 2013.

These are a few of Wilson's achievements since entering the NFL. If Russell Wilson's appointment as the starting quarterback for the Seahawks is Pete Carroll's "worst move", then I can hardly wait to see what his best move is.

Matt Flynn seems like a decent guy. He never complained to the media about being passed over. Flynn never would of been promoted by Wilson to call the overtime coin toss if he were a locker room cancer. Yet Flynn never seemed to inspire other players like Wilson has. Nor did he show the leadership (Skills camp in California) that has come to be accepted as part of Wilson's nature. Since being anointed the "second coming of Tom Brady", Matt Flynn has been turned down by one franchise (Miami), traded by the Seahawks, and released by two more clubs (Oakland and Buffalo). Just by looking at Flynn's travel plans over the last year is proof enough that Carroll didn't make a mistake putting the Hawks' future on Wilson's capable shoulders.

Looking back on the last 17 months, Russell Wilson has done a great deal for Seattle. Of all of the things that Wilson has accomplished, two stand out:

4-1 in the playoffs.

And this:



Thank You, Russell.

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