Super Bowl XLVIII: Bevell Confident SB Isn't Too Big for Wilson
Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

by Steve Rudman

Russell Wilson of the Seahawks was somewhat rattled in the fourth quarter of the NFC title game against San Francisco and now takes his game to football's biggest stage

Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of Russell Wilson's two-year tenure as quarterback of the Seahawks is the unflappable manner in which he has gone about his business. While Wilson has said often that he refuses to let his emotions get the better of him, regardless of circumstance, he seemed to get the jitters in the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship game.

Seattle's offensive coordinator, Darrell Bevell, confirmed that was the case prior to the Seahawks' departure for Super Bowl XLVIII. Asked if Wilson finally displayed "nerves," Bevell, in a roundabout way, said yes.

"There was definitely something," Bevell said. "When you look at him or you talk to him, I don't know if it was nerves, but obviously we didn't function well in those situations. We fumbled on fourth-and one, and then we fumbled another snap, then we came out the wrong way.

"There were a number of things late in the last 10-15 plays where we didn't function as well as we needed to. I'm not putting it all on him because there were other things going on, but we're still talking about a second-year player and that's the first time he has been in that situation."

Wilson controlled his emotions enough that he was able to thread a beautiful 35-yard touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse that provided the Seahawks with the winning points in a 23-17 victory over the 49ers.

The question is whether Wilson can avoid the creeps when he assumes football's largest stage. As Bevell said, Wilson has done a lot of remarkable things, but he's still a second-year player who will be 25 years, 65 days old on Super Sunday. No telling how he'll react to the pressure. But if Wilson wins, he will become the third-youngest starting quarterback to claim an NFL title.

Year SB Quarterback Team Age SB Result
2005XLBen RoethlisbergerPitt23 yrs, 240 daysDef. Seattle 21-10
2001XXXVITom BradyNE24 yrs, 184 daysDef. St. Louis 20-17
1968IIIJoe NamathNYJ25 yrs, 226 daysDef. Baltimore 16-7
1981XVIJoe MontamaSF25 yrs, 227 daysDef. Cincinnati 26-21


Of the four, only Namath, winner of Super Bowl III, did not go on to claim multiple Super Bowl titles, Montana ultimately quarterbacking four, Brady three and Roethlisberger two, the first (following the 2005 season) at Seattle's expense. Montana and Namath are already in the Hall of Fame and Brady and Roethlisberger will be one day.

On Sunday, Wilson becomes the sixth member of an elite club of quarterbacks to start a Super Bowl in his first or second year in the NFL. Three of the five who did it came away Super Bowl winners while two, Dan Marino following the 1984 season and Colin Kaepernick last year, did not.

Year SB Quarterback W/L Performance
1984XIXDan MarinoL318 yards, 2 INTs in 38-16 loss to 49ers
1999XXXIVKurt WarnerW414 yards, 2 TDs in 23-16 win over Titans
2001XXXVITom BradyW145 yards, 1 TD in 20-17 win over Rams
2005XLBen RoethlisbergerWRan for TD in 21-10 win over Seahawks
2012XLVIIColin KaepernickL302 yards, 1 TD in 34-31 loss to Ravens
2013XLVIIIRussell WilsonTBD26 TDs, 101.2 rating in second season


The question was put to Bevell: "Is there a game that's too big for Russell Wilson?" Bevell's response marked the first time that hesitation crept into an answer from a Seattle coach about the Seahawks quarterback.

"I think we need to keep that in mind," he said. "We're working with a second-year player. He's fabulous in everything that we've asked him to do. He does a great job of managing all of the situations, and he's come up big in just about every one of those for us.

"We don't want to push the limit and push it over and ask him to do too much and have that show up in his play or anything. We haven't done that. I don't know if you could do that to him because he is so well prepared and he puts so much pressure on himself to do the right things all of the time. But he's showed up big in all of the situations for us."

But make no mistake: The next situation is different.

Article Courtesy: Sportspress Northwest

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Super Bowl XLVIII: Bevell Confident Super Bowl Isn't Too Big for Russell Wilson

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