SEATTLE - It didn’t take long for Darrell Bevell to fall in love with Russell Wilson.
About three days, maybe?
The Seattle Seahawks’ offensive coordinator talked exclusively with Q13 FOX this week about the rapid evolution of the team’s quarterback from third-round draft pick to bona fide superstar.
“When we came to camp and started doing the rookie camp (in 2012), he had two days that were kinda rough,” Bevell said. “And then all the sudden he started to shine, and then you started to see what he did in the preseason games.”
The first part of the interview will air Wednesday night on Q13 FOX.
Bevell arrived in Seattle a year before Wilson, when he was hired by coach Pete Carroll after a career in which he worked his way up through the coaching ranks with Green Bay and Minnesota.
In fact, Bevell was reportedly a big proponent of drafting Wilson out of North Carolina State: “It was Bevell’s project,” Carroll once said of the decision.
Though the coaches quickly decided to ditch newly signed quarterback Matt Flynn in favor of making Wilson the starter, Bevell said it was a 23-17 overtime win in Chicago on Dec. 2, 2012 that showed the Seahawks they had something special on their hands.
“He came in and kind of changed the dynamic of things with his ability to run and some of the run game that we asked him to do,” Bevell said. “It was an overtime game, and he started getting out on the edge and making some really great plays with his feet and that kind of helped propel us to where we are.”
So how do you do about making somebody as talented as Wilson even better? It’s harder than it sounds.
Bevell said he and quarterback coach Carl Smith have found they key is to challenge Wilson. A lot.
“I think you want to keep feeding him,” Bevell said. “I think you want to keep challenging him. Russell wants more and more and more, and there’s a little balancing act there to see how much we can handle as an offense as whole. There are certain guys that can handle the whole encyclopedia, but then there’s others that you need to cut it down for.”
Bevell said he’s watched Wilson progress – especially when it comes to the technical stuff that can mean the difference between mediocrity and the Hall of Fame in the NFL. He said Wilson’s mastered things like checks, alerts and progressions over the course of the past four seasons.
“We like to think we’re helping him out a little bit, but he’s a tireless worker – he really is,” Bevell said. “He comes in and he works really hard at his craft and he tries to learn the things as best he can that we’re asking him to do. He really does that at a high level.
“He’s a self-made guy. He’s really driven in his own right and he will just do anything to be successful and be his best.”