By CJ DONALD – COLUMNIST
The case could be made that the Seattle Seahawks franchise is currently in the juvenile stage of what could be a full-fledged football dynasty.
The process began four years ago when the Seahawks owner, Paul Allen, hired head coach, Pete Carroll, formerly the head honcho for the University of Southern California football team. During his time in Los Angeles, Carroll led the Trojans to 83 wins over nine seasons and finished all but two of those seasons as the top team in the Pacific-10 Conference.
The hire of Carroll led to an improved win-loss record, but it was not until the team drafted Russell Wilson in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft that the Seahawks became a tour de force in the National Football Conference (NFC).
I argue that hardcore sports fans, as well as casual onlookers, should care a great deal about the future of this young quarterback. Wilson, a relatively new household name, has quickly become one of the top field generals in the National Football League (NFL).
Since the moment he unseated Matt Flynn and Tarvaris Jackson and was named the first-string quarterback for the Seahawks, Wilson has provided a new type of energy to an otherwise boring ball club.
Although Wilson was only a rookie in 2012, he led Seattle to eleven victories and an undefeated home record for only the third time since 1975. With him under center, the team achieved their first road playoff win since 1983 by beating Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins, a young icon that was picked 73 spots ahead of Wilson.
Not only was Wilson able to tie the record established by Peyton Manning for most touchdowns thrown by a rookie (26), he surpassed Ben Roethlisberger’s rookie record of 98.1 with a 100.0 passer rating for the regular season.
Furthermore, Wilson finished last season with a Total Quarterback Rating ahead of perennial superstars such as Eli Manning, Drew Brees, Tony Romo, and eventual NFL Champion Joe Flacco.
We should care about Russell Wilson’s success for two reasons. First, Wilson could conceivably be the League’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) at the end of this season.
His team is currently 9-1, ranked first in the NFC West, and at this time, he is responsible for 2,362 passing yards.
Wilson is an intelligent, shifty quarterback and he seems to be avoiding the sophomore slump that plagued other greats like Cam Newton and Griffin III. If there is any one player that deserves the MVP award based on how valuable they are to their team, it is Wilson.
Barring injury, Wilson could possibly finish this season with more than 3,000 passing yards and over 270 completed passes. The Seahawks have yet to lose a game in their division and could finish the year with a record of 15-1. Doing so would give Seattle the most regular season wins in franchise history.
Second, we should care about Russell Wilson’s success because, if this Seattle team turns itself into a true powerhouse, Wilson will be an iconic quarterback for quite some time.
There is nothing the media loves more than to credit one person with glory for a team’s success. Wilson’s case is no exception.
The Seahawks have suffered three fairly significant injuries to their offensive line but, to be fair, they have a really good team. Marshawn Lynch is a determined, rugged running back who regularly puts the team on his back when opposing defenses focus on shutting down Seattle’s air attack. Wide receivers Golden Tate and Percy Harvin provide Wilson with reliable targets down field. And, as mentioned previously, head coach Pete Carroll provides the team with good direction.
Despite this, the Seattle Seahawk’s success will rest on the shoulders of 24-year old Russell Wilson from Cincinnati, Ohio. If there is a dynasty to be had, it will be because Wilson caused it to happen.