Wilson's smaller stature not a focus of Belichick


Wilson's smaller stature not a focus of Belichick

FOXBORO -- Russell Wilson is listed at 5-foot-11. Compared to most NFL quarterbacks, that's not very tall.

He'll be the shortest quarterback on the field Sunday, as the Patriots travel to Seattle to face the Seahawks.

But does height matter, when game planning for another quarterback? As Bill Belichick points out, not all short quarterbacks are failures in the NFL.

"There are plenty of guys that are good quarterbacks, like the Drew Brees' of the world, that arent 6-4," said the Patriots coach in Tuesday's conference call.

Don't confuse Wilson with Brees. One is a Super Bowl MVP who just set the record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass. The other is a rookie that's thrown five touchdowns and six interceptions in just five career NFL games.

Wilson represents the latter. And while his height might put him at a disadvantage with his vision over his fellow lineman, Belichick pointed out at least one advantage for shorter quarterbacks: speed.

"Although, generally speaking, shorter guys are a little quicker than taller guys at every position, generally speaking," said Belichick. "Its like anything you give up something to get something. I think the decision-making and throwing mechanics and accuracy are a lot more important than height."

So as the Patriots prepare for Wilson, they'll prepare as if there's an exception to every "rule" about height and weight.

"There are players that are speed deficient, theyre below the speed standard, theyre below the height standard, they might be below the weight standard, but that doesnt mean theyre not good football players," said Belichick. "Then again, when you take into consideration the overall percentages, there are a lot more big, strong, fast players than there are short, small, slow ones. But there are exceptions to everything.

"Our thing is, always to try to evaluate the guy as a player, not just look at just strictly his height, weight, and speed. Were certainly aware of it, but thats not the final determining factor. Its how good of a football player is he? Or, how good of a football player do we think he can be? Certainly if you can find a guy thats a good football player that physically has at least the average or hopefully above average measurables -- relative to everybody else at his position in the league -- then thats, I think, going to improve your overall success rate."