Future of short QB’s rests in Russell Wilson
The future of short quarterbacks in the NFL rests in Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks and particularly the career of Kellen Moore of the Detroit Lions. Never since Doug Flutie, has there been a quarterback come into the NFL with such an illustrious winning background out of college who was never given a true shot as a starter in Kellen Moore of the Detroit Lions. Moore came from a college career with Boise State finishing 50-3 as a starter, becoming the all-time quarterback in NCAA Division 1 FBS with the most wins. However the number one issue holding Moore from even being drafted in the NFL was his height at 6 foot and small stature. Now Moore is on the Detroit Lions as the second backup and presumably the reason for Moore on the squad is more for trade bait down the line. If Moore develops over the next couple years, but the true predictor if Moore will get a shot lays with Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks.
It’s not like Wilson has enough pressure as it is to be the savior of Seattle including saving Pete Carroll’s job as Head Coach this season, but Wilson is one of the shortest quarterbacks in NFL history other than Doug Flutie to be given a shot in the NFL. Wilson at 5’11’’ is only 2 inches taller than Doug Flutie was, when he made a name for himself in 1998 with the Buffalo Bills to a Pro Bowl appearance. Flutie bounced around the USFL, NFL and CFL for most of his career from 1985-2005, because of front office executives that couldn’t accept that, a 5’9’’ quarterback could be a winner in the NFL. However Wilson is a short quarterback who fought his way to the top of the Seattle Seahawks in his first year as a rookie. Now the main criticisms Wilson is facing revolve around his height and the fact that he will have trouble seeing over offensive linemen.
Those are the same arguments that were made against Kellen Moore and yet Wilson has a chance in the next couple years including this season to start to prove the naysayers wrong. Drew Brees, who is 6 foot tall on a good day, is an example of a quarterback who is shorter and was given a shot to be a stable quarterback for the San Diego Chargers. However when push came to shove, the Chargers went with Philip Rivers who is 6’5’’ and the front office released Brees because of a shoulder injury risk in 2006, but Rivers was drafted in 2004 as the number 4 overall pick. The Chargers obviously could not believe a 6 foot Brees would become elite and yet Brees went to the New Orleans Saints and won a Super Bowl in the 2009 season. Short people can become elite football players and win championships.
Flutie won three Grey Cups in the Canadian Football League which are the equivalent of the Super Bowl in the NFL. However even with all of the success shorter quarterbacks are showing to the NFL, they aren’t being taken seriously. Wilson still has his doubters and Moore wasn’t even drafted, not even in the seventh round. However if Wilson can put up strong performances in 2012, than shorter quarterbacks like Moore will get more credibility and chances to start on another team in the NFL. Kellen Moore definitely won’t be out playing Matthew Stafford yet, but if Wilson has a strong 2012, then Moore will at least have a shot in the future at proving all the doubters wrong.
James Cobern is a Featured Journalist for TPF and can be contacted at JCobern@ThePenaltyFlagBlog.com.