The two rookies worked out together at IMG, a training facility in Bradenton, Fla., under the tutelage of former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Chris Weinke. There they became fast friends, preparing for what was then an uncertain NFL future.
In a conference call with the South Florida media, Wilson said that the two had talked about what it would be like to play against each other in the NFL.
Now that the game has arrived — perhaps more quickly than either imagined — Wilson said focus is squarely on how the result affects the two teams, not on what it means personally for the two personally.
“More than anything, we’re not really playing each other in terms of that; we’re trying to help our football teams win,” Wilson said. “And that’s the focus I have, and I believe he has too, as well.”
Wilson, a third-round pick (no. 75 overall), was not seen as the favorite to start heading into the season. He beat out free agent signing Matt Flynn during training camp, however, and has led the Seahawks to a 6-4 start. Though he is undersized — by NFL standards, at least — Wilson’s mix of athleticism and solid decision making has made him a more-than-adequate caretaker in Seattle’s system, picking his spots nicely.
For Wilson, the results have been tangible — he has a 15-8 INT/TD ration and has posted a 90.5 passer rating — but he doesn’t gauge his progression in that context; at this point, he’s trying to prepare as if he’s been in the league several years.
“I try not to look at it that way, “Wilson said. “When you play the quarterback position, whether if I am a rookie or a ten-year vet, you’re still leading your troops, you’re still leading your guys in that huddle.
“So every day I get here, I get jokes and stuff like that, in terms of rookie jokes. But more than anything, in terms of my leadership, I don’t treat myself as a rookie—I try to lead these guys and try to be a great teammate and try to put my best foot forward all the time.”
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