It is a travesty of a mockery of a sham that Russell Wilson has never received a single MVP vote.
This is the year.
This is the year he might very well win it.
“I’m sure in his mind, he would never maybe say it, but in his mind, he wants to be regarded as the best guy in the league, and I don’t blame him,” Seahawks tight end Greg Olsen told Serby Says.
Patrick Mahomes will, of course, be in any MVP conversation, and Aaron Rodgers has served early notice that he will have a say in the race as well.
But Wilson, with 14 touchdown passes in three games, is on the fast track to breaking Peyton Manning’s single-season record (55).
What makes Wilson (one interception, 76.7 completion percentage, 139.0 passer rating) a legitimate threat is Pete Carroll giving longtime ground-and-pound offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer the license to unleash DangeRuss’ nuclear strike capacity. Wilson threw 11 deep ball TDs (20-plus air yards) in 2019; he already has six this season.
The emergence of deep-threat, second-year receiver DK Metcalf (12-297-3) opposite Tyler Lockett (24-259-4) and the addition of the wily Olsen should embolden the Seahawks to keep the ball in Wilson’s hands as often as possible … but especially when it is winning time in the fourth quarter.
“The thing about him is, it’s no different than the first quarter,” Olsen said. “He doesn’t change based on the circumstances, and I think that’s something that Pete really stresses here, and something that a lot of the guys embody, but obviously Russ. There’s no turning it on, turning it off based on the situation. It’s always the most important play, it’s always the most important drive. That way when you find yourself in those situations, nothing changes. Nothing feels different that what we’ve been doing the whole game.”
Wilson was a third-round pick in 2012 only because there were concerns his height of 5-foot-11, if that, wouldn’t cut it in the NFL. Carroll coveted him anyway, and Wilson promptly beat out $26 million free agent Matt Flynn.
“I think if I could really just try to sum him up as quickly as I could, he’s always on,” Olsen said. “Whether it’s Sunday or whether it’s Tuesday, he’s always locked in, he’s always on, every single rep regardless of the tempo of the period. It’s full speed in his mind, full speed in his prep, his communication … that approach just allows you to build such great habits.”
Olsen broke down various categories that make Russell Wilson who and what Russell Wilson is:
“Whether it was a touchdown, a drop, a bad throw, a missed block, a pressure, whatever it was, by the time that next play gets called in the huddle, you can’t tell what happened the play before. And I think that’s a great quality for all players, especially for a quarterback, to be able to just continue to be present, continue to move forward regardless of the circumstances.”
“When guys are running deep routes, you’re waiting for them to develop. As good as our O-line does giving him time, every once in a while, there might be a guy who kind of squeezes through late, and he knows as soon as this ball comes out of my hand, a 300-pound D-lineman’s gonna hit [him] in the chest. But he’s gonna let it rip on time, and he’ll take the touchdown with the hit.”
“I think the biggest thing is just his communication skills, his ability to relay information, just get the important points across to whatever person he feels needs to hear it. His communication throughout the entire week, game day, it never changes. It’s really good.”
“His deep ball accuracy is kind of crazy. Turn on any game we’ve played so far and get a pretty good feel for what that looks like. The way he kind of puts that arc on the ball and the ball almost seems it’s dropping straight down. He’s very confident in it, but that’s how he throws his deep ball in walk-through, that’s how he throws his drop ball in pre-practice warm-ups … it’s not by accident.”
“Today’s NFL, quarterbacks have to be able to avoid pressure, extend plays with their feet, and a lot is extending plays with your eyes, feeling pressure, moving in the pocket, knowing when it’s time to abandon the pocket or stay in there. Those scramble drills, he has a great feel for where guys are gonna be and how guys are gonna react. He can scramble as a runner, but most times he’s gonna scramble as a passer. It’s very hard to play against a quarterback that can extend a play four, seconds, it puts a lot pressure on the back end to hold up.”
“There’s not a spot on the field that he can’t get the ball to sideline to sideline, all the way down as long as the field is on that snap, you have to defend it.”
It is easy to believe in a quarterback like this.
“It is. He’s unique, there’s no question about that,” Olsen said. “I saw it for years from afar, now I’ve had the ability to see it up close and personal.”
Wilson has one Super Bowl ring and was one yard from another when he threw that ill-fated end zone pass that was intercepted by Malcolm Butler, when a handoff to Marshawn Lynch was the only sane play call.
“I think he’s just really internally motivated,” Olsen said. “I think outside factors don’t really come into play too much with him. His desire to be great, his desire to win, is all internal. The truly special players, that’s how it works. They take a lot of pride in their performance, in their consistency. They take a lot of pride in what guys expect out of them.”
Wilson was asked over the summer by CBSSports.com about never receiving an MVP vote.
“For me, the number one and important thing is the winning part,” Wilson said. “The MVPs and stuff like and hopefully the votes — maybe I’ll get one, one day — but the reality is that I wake up to win it all and I wake up to be the best, too. I’m not going to shy away from that. If I do win MVP, it’s because we’re going great as a team and guys are making plays and we’re all doing it together.
“Hopefully, we can do that this year.”
Serby says don’t bet against him.
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