Hartman: Seahawks' Carroll found a keeper in QB Wilson

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 18, 2013 - 6:59 AM

Bud Grant influenced the Seahawks coach to take the undersized QB last year, a decision that has paid off nicely.

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Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson got pursued by Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams as he scrambled around right end for a 12-yard gain that set up a fourth-quarter touchdown.

Photo: Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune

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Pete Carroll, the Seattle Seahawks coach who was on the Vikings staff from 1985 to 1989, said he confers with Bud Grant on a regular basis.

Grant was the Vikings coach in 1985 before Jerry Burns took over the following year. Grant and Carroll became what you might call father and son during that time.

One of the things that Carroll consulted with Grant on was the drafting of quarterback Russell Wilson, asking Grant whether Wilson, who is listed at 5-10, could be a success in the NFL.

Well if there was any doubt about the height problem, Grant reminded Carroll that a quarterback named Fran Tarkenton was 5-10, and he did pretty well.

Apparently that word from Grant removed any doubt by Carroll about taking Wilson in the third round. In fact, Carroll said last week he wanted Wilson in the second round but the team decided to wait.

What a pick that has been. Wilson continued his perfect record against Minnesota football teams with the Seahawks’ 41-20 victory over the Vikings on Sunday. In the past three seasons, Wilson has beaten the Vikings twice and the Gophers once, a 42-13 trouncing during his one season at Wisconsin in 2011.

Wilson completed 16 of 17 passes for 178 yards and four touchdowns in that game for the Badgers. Then in 2012, his rookie season with Seattle, he completed 16 of 24 passes for 173 yards and three touchdowns while rushing nine times for 27 yards as the Seahawks beat the Vikings 30-20 last November.

Sunday, Wilson continued his perfect streak, completing 13 of 18 passes for 230 yards and two touchdowns in a 41-20 victory over the Vikings.

Put it all together and since 2011 Wilson has completed 45 of 59 passes for 581 yards and nine touchdowns while not throwing a single interception.

Last season, Wilson posted a 100.0 quarterback rating for Seattle, throwing for 3,118 yards and 26 touchdowns to 10 interceptions. This year he has been even more efficient with a 105.2 rating, 2,362 yards passing and 19 touchdowns to six interceptions for a team that leads the NFC with a 10-1 record.

No doubt Carroll believes that he has in Wilson what Grant had in Tarkenton, a franchise quarterback.

Knows Badgers

Jerry Kill and the Gophers football coaching staff watched both the broadcast and the tape of Wisconsin’s dominant 52-3 victory over Indiana on Saturday.

And Kill said there’s going to be a lot of challenges as his team gets ready to face the Badgers on Saturday.

“We’ve watched,” said Kill. “The big thing is we’ve had an opportunity, the way things work in the video world is we get things pretty quick, and it’s always good to watch and be able to run it back on what you’re doing.

“Watching on TV, you get one look at it and you move on, but yeah we’ve watched them on film and the Indiana game. They’ve done a good job, I don’t think there’s any question about that.”

Kill said Badgers defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, who worked for new coach Gary Andersen at Utah, brought in his particular 3-4 defensive scheme to Wisconsin and found a perfect player for that system in Chris Borland, whom Kill called maybe the best linebacker in the country.

“He’s a great player. They utilize him and what he does, they’re strong up front and I think they’re better on defense than they’ve been and offensively they haven’t missed a beat,” Kill said. “They are who they are. They’ve been that way since coach [Barry] Alvarez was coaching, and they’re not going to change. They’re going to run that scheme and be physical and [receiver Jared] Abbrederis, if you stop the run, then he beats you with the play-action.”

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