Jan 13, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) runs the ball in the fourth quarter of the NFC divisional playoff game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons won 30-28. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Defining Expectations For 2013: Russell Wilson

The Seahawks enter the 2013 season in a position that haven’t been in since the 2008 season: one with absolutely no questions regarding their starting quarterback.

If funny how different things are now from a year ago. Matt Flynn was the presumed starter, and there wer serious worries that Tarvaris Jackson would manage to outplay Flynn in training camp and hold on to the starting job. Russell Wilson, a third round pick, was an afterthought in terms of being a possible starter in 2012.

Wilson wasn’t to be denied though. He fought and won the job in training camp, and never looked back. After his slow start to the season, Wilson just kept getting better. He ended the season with stats that ranked him among the the very best in the NFL.

Despite my initial reaction to the draft selection of Wilson, (I’ve already eaten enough crow for that article that I’m working on a “to serve crow” cookbook) you’re not going to find a bigger fan of Wilson than me. I’m a true convert, and I’m simply not going to tollerate those who ignorantly hate on Seattle’s superstar in the making.

But what should we expect from Wilson in 2013? That’s a question I’ve been considering for some time now.

On one hand, Wilson isn’t likely to have any noticeable sophomore slump. There isn’t a player in the league who spends more time in the film room than Wilson does. By the time the season rolls around, its unlikely that there will be any wrinkle a defense can throw at him that he wont be ready for.

On the other hand, how much room in there for growth, at least statistically. No matter how much better Wilson plays, he’s still going to be playing in Seattle’s run-first offense. Wilson is unlikely to get more than 25 pass attempts per game. That’s no knock on him, it’s just the way that the Pete Carroll and the Seahawks want to play the game.

30 passing TDs might be all we see from Wilson in 2013. In fact, it might be better if we don’t see too many more than that. That would mean that the defense and running game are doing their jobs, and the Seahawks don’t need Wilson to throw a lot.

One thing I do expect us to see more of this season is Wilson changing the play at the line. The Seahawks gave him very little control to audible in 2012, and it lead to Marshawn Lynch running the ball into stacked defensive fronts more than any other RB in the league.

Wilson needs to be given the option to change those plays, and put the team in a situation where they’re more likely to be successful. Given Wilson’s affinity for studying in the film room, I don’t see any reason for the Seahawks not to give him that power.

Overall, I think the Russell Wilson we saw in the final 8 games of 2012 is likely the Russell Wilson we’re going to see in 2013. He might be a little more efficient. Hopefully he’ll run a little less because the team wont need to do so. Ultimately though, I don’t expect the stat sheets to look much different.

And that’s not a bad thing. Wilson was already a top 5 QB during that stretch. If Wilson continues to play at that level in 2013, the Seahawks will be very happy. I think that, as fans, we’ll all be very happy as well.

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