Wisconsin quarterbacks are big in Seattle
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 3:09 PM
The Seattle Seahawks are at it again, and they hope their formula for success is good for another decade.
The 36-year-old NFL franchise will have a starting quarterback with strong ties to Wisconsin for the fourth time when former Badger quarterback Russell Wilson starts next week's opener for the Seahawks.
Wisconsin quarterbacks have worked well for the Seahawks in the past. In fact, the top two quarterbacks in Seahawks franchise history came from Wisconsin. Former Milton College Wildcat, Dave Krieg, started 119 games for the Seahawks between 1981 and 1991. Matt Hasselbeck backed up the legendary Brett Favre in the late 1990s and then started 131 games for the Seahawks from 2001-2010.
Krieg holds several franchise passing records and he led the Seahawks to their first playoff appearance. He was raised in Iola, Wis., and played high school football at D.C Everest High School in Schofield, Wis. He was not recruited out of high school but hooked up with the smallest of colleges in Milton, Wis., in the late 1970s just prior to the school's permanent closing in 1982.
Hasselbeck holds all the franchise quarterback records not held by Krieg. Like Krieg, he led the Seahawks to the playoffs. He also took them to a Super Bowl.
When this preseason started, it was thought that Wilson would back up yet another quarterback from Wisconsin. With an incredible preseason performance, Wilson beat out former Packers back-up quarterback Matt Flynn to earn the starting nod in the upcoming opener.
Some are surprised by the decision to start the former Badger over the former Packer. After all, Flynn was one of the top quarterback free agents on the market this winter and he signed a $26 million contract with the Seahawks in the off-season. Prior to signing the three-year deal with Seattle, he backed up Aaron Rodgers for three seasons and performed at a high level when he filled in for the NFL's best quarterback.
Badger players, coaches and fans are not surprised with Wilson's early success in Seattle. In his one season as Wisconsin's quarterback, Wilson led the Badgers to the Rose Bowl and was the top quarterback in the Big Ten Conference. Badger Nation witnessed Wilson do in Madison what he has done so far in Seattle-catch on quickly and perform amazingly.
With the Seahawks acquiring both Wilson and Flynn in the off-season, they gave up on yet another quarterback with strong Wisconsin ties. Charlie Whitehurst, son of former Packer quarterback David Whitehurst, started four games for the Seahawks in 2011. Maybe the Seahawks coaching staff realized that Whitehurst never actually played football in Wisconsin. He was born in Green Bay but he grew up in Georgia and played college football at Clemson.