Ever since Russell Wilson came into the league, there have been detractors. People have called him a game manager, people have said he just benefits from a great running game and people have said he just benefits from an elite defense. In other words, Wilson’s play has nothing to do with Wilson and everything to do with those around him.
Well, over the last month, that has changed – or at least it should change. Wilson has accounted for 17 touchdowns (16 pass, one rush) over his last four games – all Seattle wins. He has almost single-handedly taken the Seahawks from a suspect 4-5 to a dangerous 8-5.
So, is the book on Wilson finally changing? Are people finally giving him the credit he’s always deserved?
“Well, I’m probably the wrong guy to ask too because I’ve been championing Russell for a long time,” CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “I don’t know if it’ll change for everybody. I think there’s a certain segment out there when it comes to some of these guys – whether it be Russell or Cam or let’s say Kaepernick comes back next year and starts paying well – I think there will always be people who are skeptics, who are doubters, who are haters, who just aren’t going to wan to give those guys their due or won’t accept them as being the elite quarterbacks (that Wilson and Newton are).
“The whole thing with (Wilson) had always been, ‘Oh, it’s too much of that improvisation and not enough in the pocket,’” La Canfora continued. “Well, no, he’s been a pocket (player). What he’s doing inside the pocket the last four or five weeks is more amazing than anything he’s ever down outside the pocket. The accuracy and the third-down decision-making and the placement of the ball and how he’s spreading it around and using all quadrants of the field – I mean, you look at what Tyler Lockett and what Doug Baldwin have done the last four or five weeks.”
Baldwin has 515 yards and nine touchdowns over his last five games, including 321 yards and eight touchdowns over his last three. Lockett, meanwhile, has 280 yards and four touchdowns over the last four games.
“That’s not exactly John Taylor and Jerry Rice,” La Canfora said. “They’re putting up those kind of numbers and that was with Thomas Rawls – an undrafted rookie free agent – running the football, and now he’s even hurt. And it’s with a reconfigured and gerrymandered offensive line that they just kind of threw together. Yeah, the defense has been a little better, but there’s absolutely no doubt in that locker room why they turned their season around: It’s because Russell Wilson is playing the position about as well as it can possibly be played.”