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Similar Starts For Wentz, Wilson


Carson Wentz is off to an all-too-familiar start. Seahawks dual-threat quarterback Russell Wilson lived the same scenario in 2012.

Both started as rookies with not much notice. For Wentz, it was the Sam Bradford trade eight days before the season opener that sealed the deal for the starting job. Wilson was named the starter after competing against fellow quarterbacks Matt Flynn and Tarvaris Jackson in Training Camp and the preseason.

At the end of Wilson's first nine regular season games, the Seahawks stood at 5-4. Wilson threw for 1,639 yards and had 13 touchdowns. The Eagles with Wentz are 5-4, and the quarterback has 2,121 passing yards and nine touchdowns on his résumé.

When it came time to adjust to being the Seahawks' starting quarterback, Wilson relied on his experience from when he transferred his senior year to Wisconsin from N.C. State. Between his attendance at both schools, Wilson started 50 consecutive games, gaining a significant amount of playing time under his belt.

"I think, first of all, playing a lot of games in college obviously helped with having the opportunity to play a good amount," Wilson recalled during his conference call with Philadelphia reporters Wednesday. "I think also, too, playing in the ACC and having to transfer to Wisconsin and then having that experience as well."

It wasn't just the time on the gridiron that helped Wilson.

"I also think playing professional baseball helped. Being around professionals and understanding what it takes to prepare at a high level and great teammates around me too as well as a great coaching staff," Wilson said. "I always say though, experience is only necessary for those who are unqualified. At the end of the day, if you're unqualified you can be prepared. So I think that it takes hard work. It takes a lot of dedication. It takes a lot of preparation. It takes love and passion for the game."

The similarities between the two quarterbacks continue as they both faced setbacks on the road. Like Wilson in 2012, Wentz began his career 1-4 away from home. The Eagles have capitalized on their homefield advantage, whereas the rhythm is harder to find away from Lincoln Financial Field.

"No matter what year it is in the National Football League, anytime you play on the road it's always tough. I've been fortunate enough to watch Carson this year and see a few of his games and he's playing great football," Wilson added.

"He's going to be a great football player for a long time. He's athletic. He can make all of the throws. He's a smart guy and he's competitive. I have a lot of respect for him as well. He's a great football player and you guys have a good one in him."

Wilson finished his rookie season leading the Seahawks to the NFC Divisional Round of the playoffs, where they fell to the Atlanta Falcons. How will Wentz finish?

He and Wilson will go head to head as the Eagles travel to Seattle for a Sunday 4:30 PM showdown on CBS.

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