Russell Wilson was a guest on ESPN’s Mike and Mike last week. Of course I missed it, since I don’t tend to listen to that East Coast hype nonsense, but luckily someone was nice enough to point me to a podcast of the interview.
It’s mostly the usual meaningless sounds bites, but Wilson had some very interesting things to say about being a running “running QB” that I felt to be worth mentioning. (Here’s a link to the actual audio.)
To be honest with you, I don’t really like running. I’d rather throw the ball to guys and let the true playmakers make the plays.
Part of this is just Wilson being Wilson. He’s a humble guy, and one that knows it’s best to praise your teammates instead of yourself. He’s just gets it, and always looks for every opportunity to talk about how awesome the other Seahawks are.
That said, I don’t think he’s lying either. The tape shows that he’d prefer not to run. His eyes are always downfield looking for an open receiver. Wilson isn’t like Cam Newton or Robert Griffin, who seem to always being looking for opportunities to pull the ball down and take off. Wilson is a passer first.
Yet we all know that Wilson can run, and he does when he has to. It is this next part that shows why it’s not a bad thing:
When I have to run to get a first down, I’ll do that. If something extra happens, that is always good, too. But the key is protecting yourself — getting down, being smart in certain situations, getting out of bounds, not taking any extra hits. I avoided a bunch of hits last year in terms of running once I got downfield. That is the decision making you have to have when you are running the football.
Wilson is being a little bit modest here. He avoided a ton of hits by juking people out of their shoes. He knows he can, and he uses it to his advantage. He has a knack for avoiding hits. His lateral agility, vision, and instincts will serve him well in terms of his ability to stay healthy.
Put all of that together, and you’ll see why I don’t mind that the read-option is part of Seattle’s offense. With most QBs, designed QB runs are just asking for a QB injury. Wilson’s mindset and abilities make such an injury much more unlikely.
I guess this makes Wilson the “running QB who doesn’t like to run.” He simply continues to defy all conventions, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.