The 2020 NFL season is under way and there’s a whole different look. One of the biggest adjustments the players are going to have to make is playing in front of a very limited amount of fans. Many teams won’t have any fans during their season opener. For Seattle Seahawks Pro Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson, that adjustment won’t be too difficult to handle.
Russell Wilson was a steal in the 2012 NFL draft
The talk of the 2012 NFL draft was the top two quarterbacks. Andrew Luck was the clear-cut No. 1, while Robert Griffin III was the next best thing. Luck was taken first overall by the Indianapolis Colts, while the Washington Redskins traded up to grab Griffin at No. 2.
Russell Wilson, a 5-foot-11 quarterback coming out of the University of Wisconsin, was the sixth quarterback taken in the draft. Wilson was also taken behind Ryan Tannehill, Brandon Weeden, and Brock Osweiler. The Seattle Seahawks grabbed the mobile Wilson in the third round with the 75th overall pick.
Prior to the last preseason game of 2012, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll announced Wilson as the team’s starting quarterback. Wilson started all 16 games that season, guiding the Seahawks to an 11-5 record. He hasn’t missed a start since.
Wilson entering his ninth season with the Seahawks
Russell Wilson is the epitome of durability. Wilson has started every game at quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks since the first game of his rookie season. Not only has Wilson been durable, he’s been outstanding. In his eight years in the NFL, he has never had a losing season.
Aside from guiding the Seahawks to an 11-5 record in his first season in the NFL, Wilson threw for 3,118 yards and 26 touchdown passes. He was named to the first of his six Pro Bowls. Wilson made a return trip to the Pro Bowl in his second year by putting up relatively similar numbers (26 TD passes, 3,357 passing yards).
In 2017, Wilson led the league in touchdown passes when he threw 34. He followed that up by tossing a career-high 35 touchdown passes in 2018. Throughout his career, Wilson has also shown his versatility. Wilson has rushed for 19 touchdowns and 3,993 yards during the regular season in his eight seasons.
Wilson likens the 2020 season to his baseball career
Russell Wilson began his college football career at North Carolina State, where he also was a member of the baseball team. While he was playing for North Carolina State in 2011, Wilson said he was going to report to spring training with the Colorado Rockies. The decision caused some friction between Wilson and Wolfpack coach Tom O’Brien. Wilson transferred to Wisconsin for his final year of football.
Wilson played two seasons of baseball in the minors. He hit .229 in his two seasons with the Tri-City Dust Devils and the Asheville Tourists. It’s clear Wilson made the right decision to pursue a pro football career. When the topic of playing in front of no fans during the early part of the 2020 NFL season came up, Wilson said he’s comfortable with it.
“I played minor league baseball,” he said, according to Gregg Bell of The News Tribune. ‘I’ve been in stadiums with no fans around. This is OK for me.”
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.