Renton – Looking back over the scouting profiles on Russell Wilson coming out of college, the negatives involved his size, of course, and the positives extolled his maturity, his intelligence and his arm strength.
But no one mentioned his durability, or hinted that the guy actually might be indestructible. Now that he’s played 18 regular-season games, two playoff games and two preseasons, it’s timely to point out that he appears to be bionic.
Two games into his second season, Russell Wilson’s name has never graced a Seahawks injury report — not for a strain or a sprain or a hangnail.
He has never once limped back to the huddle after a play, never even gotten up slowly. I’m not sure he’s been seen breathing hard or sweating.
Wilson took another couple wicked shots in Sunday night’s landmark 29-3 rout of the San Francisco 49ers. In each case, he bounced up and headed back to the huddle without negative effect.
The most visible on Sunday night came on a read-option run when Wilson clearly had handed the ball off to Marshawn Lynch, but 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks took the opportunity to put his helmet into Wilson’s chest and take him down.
Wilson did not complain to the officials, did not mime reaching in a back pocket to throw an imaginary flag into the air the way almost every receiver does whenever a defender is within three feet.
Coach Pete Carroll talked about it Monday morning on
the radio, and it shouldn’t surprise you that Wilson’s resilience excited him.
“I was so fired up for Russell (I was) just jumping off the ground,” Carroll said. “I was jacked that he took the hit and got back up and didn’t care, just to show the competitor he is, and how tough he is and how he can handle it.”
In his Monday afternoon press conference, Carroll said he saw Wilson and “he was feeling it a little bit, but he was all right.”
Wilson got taken down and rolled on once on the San Francisco sideline in what seemed like a dangerous collision, too. No problems.
At Carolina in Week 1, on one of his more remarkable completions, Wilson couldn’t even see receiver Doug Baldwin because 290-pound defensive end Greg Hardy was plowing into his face. Another Panthers defender, meanwhile, had him around the legs.
But again, Wilson somehow completed the pass to Baldwin and Hardy’s best shot left no dents.
Wilson has been sacked 39 times in regular-season games, and been exposed to hits on 109 rushes. But Wilson is smart-tough, and avoids taking on somebody in a short-sighted attempt to gain an extra yard or two. And he seems to have a knack for eluding contact.
But sometimes, like the Brooks hit, there’s no avoiding it.
“He’s a really good athlete and he seems to have a real good sense of going with the hit,” Carroll said. “It’s not at all what we want, but we’re fortunate he knows how to get out of trouble.”
But every time he gets hit, Carroll said, is a little bit of “rolling the dice.”
Wilson is made of steely stuff. Sunday, he started off completing one of nine attempts with an interception. He was sacked four times and had seven quarterback hits.
But his composure never wavered.
His Niners counterpart, the gifted young Colin Kaepernick, is considered another prodigy mature beyond his years in the league. But on Sunday, the Seattle defense backed by a raucous crowd seemed to rattle Kaepernick.
Kaepernick continued to “compete like a maniac” as his coach, Jim Harbaugh, said is his way. But he was harried and clearly out of sync.
The evidence was in the three interceptions he threw, as many as he threw during the entire 2012 season.
To this point, Russell Wilson hasn’t shown that look in his eyes.
And that’s a brand of toughness that might be even rarer.Dave Boling: 253-597-8440 firstname.lastname@example.org @DaveBoling