The third-round pick from Wisconsin won the Seahawks' starting QB job by completing 63.5% of his passes and throwing five TDs and just one interception in the preseason.
DAN PATRICK:How tall are you?
RUSSELL WILSON: Right under 5'11". Weighing in at a full 210 pounds.
DP:So you're under 5'11"?
RW: That's what people say, but I don't believe 'em.
DP:How many times did you hear, We love everything about you, but you're not tall enough?
RW: Quite often. But I wasn't going to let that discourage me. The Seattle Seahawks went against the grain and drafted me. I'm just going to keep running with the opportunity.
DP:How surprised are you that you're the starting quarterback?
RW: I'm not surprised at all. I've done everything I can to be the best that I can possibly be.
DP:How's the relationship with fellow Seahawks quarterback Matt Flynn?
RW: It's a good relationship. We're working for one goal and that's to win. We're very, very competitive in the sense that we just want to win every game that we play.
DP:What was the scene like when you found out you were the starter?
RW: Coach [Pete] Carroll was dribbling a basketball. I go up and talk to him; he gives me a hug and says, "You know, Russell, you've done a great job. You've come here, been a leader, you've done everything you can in terms of preparing the right way. And you've competed at a very, very high level, and I just want to let you know that you're the starting quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks." I was fired up. Everybody said I was too short or I couldn't play in the National Football League. The fact that I put in all this hard work and all the things I've gone through in the past.... It's a dream come true.
DP:At any point while he's telling you that stuff, did you think he was going to end with Flynn as the starter?
RW: I wasn't really worried about it either way. I knew at some point I'd get the chance to play. I knew that I was ready to start.
DP:How did it go down when you told your wife you were starting?
RW: I pretty much slow-played it on her. I acted normal.
DP:What did you say to her?
RW: "Hey, I didn't know what you were up to, but I'm just calling to let you know that I'm the starting quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks."
DP:How much grief do you give her for her over-the-top reaction on draft day?
RW: She was excited. She was glad we were going to Seattle. The crazy thing, we were at [the] IMG [agency] about a month before the combine, and we put all the teams in a hat. I said, You know, I'm going to shake all the teams up and pull a team out just for fun. Sure enough, Seattle Seahawks. How crazy is that?
DP:When you get introduced for the game, are you going to be referred to as a former North Carolina State or Wisconsin player?
RW: I need someone to tweet me some ideas. I've thought of WolfBadger and different things.
"I try to have a conversation with him every day. I try to get a feel for where his mood is every day. You just have to make him feel wanted."
RON WASHINGTON, Texas Rangers manager, on his relationship with outfielder Josh Hamilton
Former Buckeye Eddie George weighed in on Allen Pinkett's suggestion that Notre Dame should have a couple of "criminals" on the roster to give the program more of an edge, a practice the Irish radio analyst said was common at Ohio State. "Criminal is not the word that I would use," George said. "I haven't played with criminals. We did have edge guys—in terms of, I would go to war with this guy." ... Dodgers G.M. Ned Colletti talked about the new ownership group's approach to making trades. "They are huge-picture people," Colletti told me. "They're not just looking at who's going to hit fourth in the Dodgers' lineup." ... Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema isn't worried that running back Montee Ball will suffer any lingering effects from his assault by a group of men in Madison on Aug. 1. "Any time football has been taken away from [Ball], he's come back with a vengeance," Bielema said.... Robin Ventura, who's led the White Sox to the AL Central lead in his first year as an MLB skipper, reminded me that he did have previous managing experience—in Little League: "Little League prepares you for the pitch count. I was all over it. I was good. I can count that high."
MICHAEL J. LEBRECHT II/1DEUCE3 PHOTOGRAPHY (PATRICK)
JUSTIN EDMONDS/GETTY IMAGES (WILSON)
JOHN BIEVER (VENTURA)
JOHN BIEVER (BIELEMA)
PAUL BUCK/EPA (COLLETTI)
KEVIN BROOKS/ADMEDIA/SIPA PRESS (GEORGE)