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Published: Friday, May 11, 2012, 11:41 p.m.

Rookie QB Wilson 'remarkably sharp'

  • Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson throws a pass during Friday's minicamp in Renton.

    Associated Press

    Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson throws a pass during Friday's minicamp in Renton.

RENTON -- It's probably fitting that Russell Wilson spent some time playing professional baseball, because by the end of this weekend, the Seahawks may be concerned about his pitch count.
Wilson, the former North Carolina State and Wisconsin quarterback picked by Seattle in the third round of last month's NFL Draft, was a very busy man Friday as he and the rest of Seattle's draft class kicked off their first rookie minicamp.
And he figures to keep up a heavy workload for the rest of the weekend.
Once veterans are on hand for minicamps and organized team activities in the summer -- this weekend's practices are for rookies and tryout players only -- Wilson will be hard pressed to get reps as Tarvaris Jackson and Matt Flynn battle for the starting job. But this weekend is all Wilson's. Head coach Pete Carroll estimated Wilson got more than 70 plays as he took every rep in team drills.
"It's important for me to understand the offense and continue to grow," Wilson said. "I'm trying to learn all the nuances of the quarterback position here. I know the plays enough, but I'm trying to learn the ins and outs and whys of football. That's something that I have to do every day I wake up and in the meeting rooms -- just try to learn as much as I can."
And, Wilson said, making as many throws as he did Friday shouldn't be a problem.
"To be honest with you, I used to take every snap at Wisconsin pretty much," he said. "So I'm pretty used to it and it was pretty much the same thing at N.C. State."
Wilson comes to Seattle as one of the more intriguing players in his draft class. He is an exceptional athlete, someone gifted enough to spend two seasons in the Colorado Rockies' farm system and four years as a star quarterback at two major-college programs. There is a lot to like about his arm, his accuracy, and his leadership ability, but there is one big -- or more to the point, not so big -- knock on Wilson: he is, at 5-foot-11, short by NFL quarterback standards.
And Wilson's critics surely will point out that he did have a few passes batted down at the line of scrimmage during his first NFL practice, but despite a few hiccups, he first day in a Seahawks uniform was quite impressive, especially considering he was working with a group of receivers with whom he is unfamiliar, and who are for the most part long shots to make the team. Wilson looked very accurate aside from missing on a few long throws, he showed good anticipation despite being unfamiliar with his targets, and he showed off his arm strength on one beautiful 50-plus yard bomb that hit undrafted free agent Lavasier Tuinei in stride.
"He did a beautiful job for his first day out," Carroll said. "He did a very, very good job. I don't think he had a missed assignment. We called him back one time on a huddle call, but other than that, he didn't have anything that stood out. ... He's really busted his tail to figure it out so that he could come in here. He knew what the installation was going to be and he was right on it. He was remarkably sharp for the first day. He took every rep in the walk-through, or just about it, and every rep today and that all helps him. He was not overloaded at all."
Wilson said he has spent hours each day learning his new playbook since the Seahawks drafted him, which helped make his first day go more smoothly. And really it should come as no surprise that Wilson was ready to make an impact right away; after transferring to Wisconsin for his final season, he won the starting job almost immediately and was named a captain within a month of joining the team.
"It was great today," he said. "There was so much rhythm out there in practice. The offense did a great job and great tempo. I felt really comfortable knowing the plays and knowing the terminology and getting in the huddle. I think the transition going from N.C. State to Wisconsin, I think that definitely helped me too. I think going to a new situation, I just feel comfortable."
Notable
While most of the tryout players at this weekend's minicamp are rookies or players with little to no NFL experience, there was one exception in offensive tackle Alex Barron. A first round-pick in 2005, Barron spent his first five seasons in St. Louis, mostly as a starter, then was traded to Dallas in 2010. He lasted only one season there, then was signed by New Orleans prior to last season, though he landed on injured reserve before the start of the season. . . Sixth-round pick Winston Guy, a safety from Kentucky, was unable to practice as he recovers from offseason shoulder surgery.
Herald Writer John Boyle: jboyle@heraldnet.com.
Story tags » Seahawks

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