Pretty good season for Russell Wilson in 2012, huh? Expectations are high heading into 2013 and although it's often smart to curb heightened expectations, Pete Carroll doesn't have a whole lot of interest in doing that.
In fact, Carroll said that Wilson is "a million miles ahead" of where he was at this point in 2012.
“He's threw a couple of balls today, things that we talked about over the offseason that he'd like to take a shot at, and he did it today just to see what would happen with full awareness of why he was doing it,” Carroll said via Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News-Tribune. “We were talking about trying to throw the deep ball last year over guys' outside shoulder; we're just a million miles ahead of where we were. He's the kind of player that will affect other guys -- he affects everyone around him -- and hopefully that will help everyone play better and faster."
It's pretty easy for even the best of quarterbacks to "regress" in their second season. Defenses have more film on them, more time to prepare, there are heightened expectations and, as is the case of Wilson, sometimes teams will get their opponent's best shot.
There's also a belief that Wilson could struggle as teams adjust to the read-option offense. (I think this is poppycock; the Seahawks success wasn't predicated on Wilson running the ball in 2012.)
And even though Wilson would probably agree with my sentiment on his running game, he's also spent the offseason working on his legs.
“I've worked on my legs a lot more,” Wilson said. “That's kind of the main thing that I've been working on all offseason in terms of squatting a lot more and doing a lot more of movement stuff on my feet just to have that strong base. I've gained a couple of pounds here and there in my legs."
Durability was an underrated factor for the Seahawks rookie last year. But Wilson has been durable most of the time he's spent playing football (I believe he missed just one game during his four years of playing at NC State and Wisconsin), so that's an advantage.
Another advantage for Wilson is not having to compete against Matt Flynn and Tavaris Jackson. Wilson's only competition at this point is himself -- being able to focus using all of the first-team reps to improve should result in Wilson absolutely being ahead of where he was last season and likely being prepared for another outstanding year in 2013.
“Compared to where we were last year, compared to where we were last week, I think we're miles and miles ahead," Wilson said. "The thing is can we continue to grow tomorrow, and I think that is the key.”