Seahawks rookie QB Russell Wilson believes he can be an NFL starter

Wilson, right, believes he can be a starting NFL quarterback. Can he beat out Flynn, left, and Jackson to do so? (US PRESSWIRE/AP/Getty Images)

Seattle’s incumbent starter Tarvaris Jackson didn’t play in the Seahawks preseason opener last week, and coach Pete Carroll already has said that, once again, Matt Flynn will play the first half of Saturday’s contest against the Broncos and rookie Russell Wilson will take over for the second.

In the past, Carroll has said he knows what Jackson can do for him, but as’s Jason La Canfora reported Wednesday, the Seahawks likely will try to trade Jackson next week following the second preseason game (they won’t beforehand, presumably for insurance in case Flynn or Wilson get hurt).

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But Wilson was so buoyed by what he accomplished in his first game, a 27-17 win vs. the Titans in which he went 12 for 16 for 124 yards, a touchdown and an interception (along with a team-high 59 rushing yards and another score on three carries), he feels confident enough to say he’s moved closer to becoming an NFL starter.

“You take one step at a time, one day at a time, one rep at a time and you just improve,” he told KJR in Seattle (via “You respect the process and that’s the biggest thing is just respecting the process and taking one day at a time and just learning as much as I can. I’m on a constant quest for knowledge and just trying to gain as much knowledge as I can so when I do get that opportunity I just keep growing. I know there’s going to be ups and downs, it’s a process like I said, and always in a process there’s ups and downs but as long as I keep moving forward, that’s the key.”

Coming out of the draft, in which the Seahawks surprisingly picked him in the third round, the biggest knock on Wilson was that, at 5-foot-11, he was too small to be a competitive quarterback in the NFL. Obviously, Wilson disagrees with that notion.

“That was the thing -- I played in two great conferences,” Wilson said. “I played in the ACC and played against a lot of great defensive players, played with a lot of offensive guys and then going to Wisconsin where the offensive line is averaging six foot six and 325 pounds. It doesn’t get any bigger than that. Like I said, 100 yards is 100 yards. We’re playing football and my job is to facilitate the ball to the right guy at the right time and there is no certain variable on height. My height doesn’t define my skill-set and I believe I just have to keep working and keep improving every day and that’s why I come up here every single morning when I wake up.”

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