The Pro Bowl is a meaningless exhibition. But when players like Russell Wilson make a point of doing something special, the game is made special.
Russell Wilson owes much to Drew Brees. Brees, a clear future Hall of Famer, is short as far as NFL quarterbacks go. Brees is 6 feet tall, a whole inch taller than the Seahawks’ Wilson. But Brees just finished his 19th season in the NFL and is mulling retirement once the season is complete. To honor Brees during Sunday’s Pro Bowl, Wilson gave up his elected starting spot for the NFC to Brees. There used to be a time when short quarterbacks weren’t wanted, but Brees changed that and led way for Wilson and now Wilson leads the way for others, like Kyler Murray.
Of course, 12s shouldn’t be surprised by Wilson’s being a great human being. Wilson is a class guy and is a good individual. Since he entered the league in 2012, he has never failed to visit Seattle’s Children’s Hosptial every Tuesday during the season. Wilson doesn’t just fake it; He spends time with kids who are struggling with illness. Russell Wilson can’t make them physically better but he can make them happy and that is what it is all about.
Brees, of course, isn’t ill but he might be thinking of not playing football anymore. Actually, his starting in place of Wilson on Sunday in the Pro Bowl might be the last start of his NFL career. He isn’t as good of a quarterback currently as Russell Wilson is. But that doesn’t matter and Wilson knows that.
To players who care more about themselves than Wilson seems to, a move like letting Brees be the starter might not have crossed their minds. But that isn’t how Wilson operates and 12s and the Seahawks are fortunate to have a person of his character as their starting quarterback for the next several seasons.
As far as the game goes, Wilson did play and completed 5 of his 11 passes for 78 yards and a touchdown. His quarterback rating was 99.8. Brees went 4 of 7 for 95 yards and a touchdown.