Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll is going with the hot trend: he’s starting a rookie quarterback Friday night in a preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Russell Wilson will start the team’s third preseason game and has a chance to get the job for the season opener, Carroll said Tuesday. Matt Flynn, the former Green Bay backup whom the team acquired as a free agent, had started the first two games.
“He's an impressive kid,” Carroll said of Wilson, a third-round pick out of Wisconsin. “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."
Four other teams will start rookie QBs on Week 1, the first time with more than two since the AFL and NFL merged in 1970, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. (If you’re keeping score it’s: Robert Griffin III in Washington, Andrew Luck in Indianapolis, Ryan Tannehill in Miami and Brandon Weeden in Cleveland.)
“Carroll says the competition is ongoing and could last until the week before the opener, but it certainly appears now that this is Wilson's job to lose,” Kelley writes. “He wouldn't be starting if Carroll didn't think he could be the opening-day starter. This battle wouldn't have gone this far if Carroll didn't think Wilson could win it.
“This competition could define Carroll's legacy in Seattle. This is the high-risk game he loves to play. This call by Carroll is the undisputed heavyweight of wows.
“This is Carroll telling critics to bring it on. This is a coach willing to take gambles few in his profession will take.”
Wilson will play with the starters for at least the first half. Flynn may play with starters at the start of the second half. Against second-teamers, Wilson has completed 22 of 33 passes for 279 yards in preseason games with three touchdowns and one interception. He also has rushed for 92 yards and a touchdown. Flynn is 17 of 26 for 102 yards with no touchdowns and one interception.
“I definitely imagined myself always being successful. I knew one thing, I was going to do everything I could to be successful,” Wilson said (via the Seattle Times). “That's what I always do no matter what the situation is.”