Can You Be A 5’10” QB For An NFL Team?

Tiny Russell Wilson
(AP Photo/Joe Mahoney) Altered by Doc Goodie

When Seattle Seahawks signed Terrell Owens a few weeks ago, conventional wisdom believed that T.O. would be the talk of the preseason. That lasted only a few days.
Third Round Draft Pick QB Russell Wilson is now the talk of the town, as he competes with Matt Flynn to start at QB for the Seahawks. He’ll be starting Friday night for the team vs. the Kansas City Chiefs.
Standing all of 5’10”, if he does make it, he’ll be the shortest NFL QB since Doug Flutie. Though Wilson has been coming off the bench vs. second-teamers in the preseason so far, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is impressed enough to give the kid the start in the third preseason game. A game usually reserved for starters to play three quarters in. Carroll gushed of Wilson, “An extremely impressive kid, with a tremendous background, and he has not blinked here. Not blinked for a second, and he’s worked so hard to give himself this opportunity.”

So is Carroll desperate or is he really on to something? On Tuesday Carroll explained,

“This is about competition. This is what we’ve always been about and if somebody doesn’t see it that way then they don’t understand us and I can’t do anything about that. This is a great competitive opportunity to watch and for me to oversee as a coach and it’s exciting and it’s been fun to see it through and we’re going to finish it up the next couple of weeks.”

It won’t be easy. With this being the third game, KC will game plan and Wilson will have to recognize and handle the blitz while reading coverage. Some QBs do better with that than others. Eli Manning did not have it easy as a rookie while Matt Ryan and Jim Flacco had more success. It can be done, but only being 5’10” makes it tougher.
But like the aforementioned Flutie, Wilson can beat you with his legs. He’s an exciting player that offers a wider dimension than you can get with Flynn, who is more of a pocket passer.
This preseason, Wilson has completed 22 of 33 passes for 279 yards, with three touchdowns and one interception, and rushed for 92 yards and a touchdown. Flynn is 17 of 26 for 102 yards with no touchdowns and one interception.
Not everyone is anointing the kid as king though. Keith Myers from the blog, 12th Man Rising gives some interesting reasons for Wilson NOT starting in week one for the team.
Here is an extended interview with the kid from the Seahawks website, where he discusses the situation.
When questioned about this being a big moment for him, he says, “I’m never afraid to excel.” He handles himself like a first-round pick, seems confident and ready for the opportunity. This should be interesting.
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