That gives the charismatic Wilson a chance, which is all he's ever wanted. I spent 20 minutes with him Sunday, and I was ready to run extra routes for him after listening to him.
"I refuse to be average,'' Wilson said on the field after practice. "I refuse to be good. All I want to do is work to excel every day.''
It's very difficult to make any judgments on a player, or a team, watching a pad-less practice, with players in helmets and shorts. But Wilson's arm looked every bit as strong, and maybe slightly stronger, than Flynn's in this practice. On one snap, Wilson was flushed from the pocket, scrambled right ("He scrambles to throw; he doesn't scramble to run,'' Carroll said) and launched a slightly wavering 32-yard strike down the right side to a covered Ben Obomanu, who came down with the ball. Good play, the kind of play he's going to have to make in the NFL when the pocket breaks down.
That's what he told me he was happiest about at Wisconsin -- the ability to show scouts and NFL teams he could play in the land of the giants (the Badgers offensive line is annually one of the nation's largest) and get clear passing lanes to complete passes. The stuff about how Wilson's sure to have trouble completing balls in the NFL because they'll be batted down seems specious. In the NFL last season, according to Pro Football Focus, 1.9 percent of all pass attempts got batted down or deflected at the line of scrimmage. At Wisconsin last year, Wilson had two of 309 batted down -- 0.6 percent.
I asked sports statistician John Pollard, at Seahawks practice Sunday, to help me with college stats on batted passes. Pollard works with STATS LLC as general manager of its Sports Solutions Group. He came up with numbers that supported Wilson's belief that he'll find a way to complete balls in the bigger, faster NFL.
"I've been told a ton of times if I was just two inches taller, I'd be a great prospect,'' Wilson said. "But I played behind a huge offensive line last season, and I think what I proved is I'm not going to have any trouble getting the ball out.''
The obvious comparisons to Drew Brees will be there for however long Wilson plays in the NFL. "I really would love to get a chance to meet him and spend time with him,'' Wilson said. "That's my guy, the guy I really look up to. I've read his book two or three times. I've watched so much tape on him. Maybe I can get Nick Toon [a Wisconsin teammate drafted by the Saints] to help me meet him.''
Cool kid. The quarterback competition is the best story in Seattle's camp, and the charismatic Wilson makes it that way.