Seattle’s short, Bible-quoting quarterback

Sports | Zachary Abate

Seattle’s short, Bible-quoting quarterback

Seattle head coach Pete Carroll talks to quarterback Russell Wilson during Sunday's playoff game against Atlanta.
Associated Press/Photo by Dave Martin

All season long Seattle Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson thanked God in his post-game interviews and used his Twitter account to offer Bible verses and words of encouragement. Yesterday, the day after a last-second playoff loss to the Atlanta Falcons, Wilson tweeted a daily Bible verse that looks ahead to a bright hope far more important than a Super Bowl ring: “You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. (James 5:8 NKJV)”

On Sunday, Wilson had manufactured the greatest comeback in recent NFL history—rallying his team from a 20-point deficit in the fourth quarter of the NFC playoff game and giving his team a slim lead with 31 seconds to play—only to see Atlanta kick a field goal to win at the very end. Wilson told reporters the outcome was “obviously very disappointing,” then said he was already looking forward to next season: “The greatest thing about it is, we get to look forward to the next opportunity.”

Wilson’s overwhelmingly positive post-game talk focused on his team’s resilience, the lessons he learned in his rookie year, and his excitement about growing as a player. Drafted in the third round—75th overall—the University of Wisconsin star entered the season without much fanfare or attention. He won the starting quarterback job after convincing Seattle coach Pete Carroll he could do it, even though at 5 feet, 11 inches, Wilson is notably short for an NFL quarterback—the primary reason many teams passed on drafting him last April. “It’s pretty unbelievable how the Lord works,” Wilson told ESPN earlier this year.

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In his initial months as Seattle’s signal caller, reporters constantly asked Wilson questions about his height. One journalist jokingly asked Carroll if his quarterback would be fitted for lifts. But Wilson’s play eventually led the Seahawks (11-5) to an NFC West Division title and a playoff victory over the Washington Redskins before falling short against the Falcons, all of which gives Seattle fans something to look forward to next year.

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