Russell Wilson: “If I didn’t want to get hit, I’d be playing tennis”
Few quarterbacks in the NFL face more pressure in the pocket than Russell Wilson.
Despite all of Seattle’s success, their offensive line has been flat-out bad the last few years. They’ve been bailed out, time and time again, by Wilson’s elusiveness and creativity.
This season, avoiding pressure has become more difficult for Wilson thanks to an ankle injury. He’s had to become more realistic about protecting himself from potentially dangerous hits. Wilson believes it’s on himself, not the officials, to avoid these plays.
The NFL’s handling of player safety has recently become a hot debate thanks to Cam Newton. The reigning MVP claims that he doesn’t feel safe on the field anymore, thanks to officials not penalizing players for taking illegal shots at him. He even spoke with commissioner Roger Goodell, who conceded that a flag should’ve been thrown this past Sunday on a hit to Newton’s knees.
While talking with NFL.com’s Brooke Cersosimo, Wilson took a different approach to the issue:
I think, first of all, you gotta play the quarterback position in a smart way. Obviously, if we didn’t want to get hit, we’d be playing a different sport. That’s just the truth. If I didn’t want to get hit, I’d be playing tennis. But I think that in terms of being smart on the field, you gotta get down and protect yourself. I haven’t seen all the hits, so I don’t know if some of them are illegal. I don’t really know, because I haven’t really seen [Cam Newton] play this year as much.
But for me in particular, I just try to play the game in a smart way. I try to get down early and protect myself as much as I can.