“Most people didn’t expect him to get the hang of it that quick,” said wide receiver Sidney Rice. “Once he got the hang of it, though, he continued to roll from there.”
The Seahawks gave Wilson the job in August and by the regular season’s midpoint, the offense was clicking. Coaches kept adding to the playbook, and Wilson would often come to them with suggestions.
This play from the Dec. 3 Giants game illustrates how the Redskins offense can befuddle a defense.
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“Sometimes he’ll see something and he’ll come to us and ask, ‘Can we just do that?’ ” said offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, “and we’ll say, ‘Okay.’ ”
Wilson tied Peyton Manning’s NFL record for touchdowns by a rookie (26) and finished the season with a passer rating of 100, fourth in the NFL.
“Really, I can’t stop talking about him once you get me going because there’s so much to accentuate,” Carroll said in the days leading up to Sunday’s playoff game. “The cool thing is he’s going to go out today and practice and he’s going to work his butt off. He’ll be the first guy out there and he’ll be the last guy off. He’ll be the first guy in the film room and he’ll be the last guy to leave the building. That’s just what he is.”
It’s a mentality instilled by his father. Family members say Harrison III passed along so much to his youngest son: resilience, faith, a strong work ethic, a positive attitude. “You can’t watch Russell play and not see his father,” said Ben Wilson, the quarterback’s uncle.
The childhood lessons are still evident, even as Wilson prepares to walk onto the biggest stage of his career. It’s difficult to remain under the radar in the playoffs, and Wilson says he’s ready for the attention and scrutiny.
“My dad used to always tell me, ‘There’s a king in every crowd,’ ” Wilson said. “What that means is, with my faith, God is always watching me. With my dad passing away, he’s always watching me — a big smile on his face, watching every snap on the 50-yard line. And then you never know what coach or GM is watching you. And the main thing that always stuck with me, you never know what kid is watching you, what kid wants to be like you.”