What a role reversal for Russell Wilson, Geno Smith


For only the second time in his 11-year career, Denver QB Russell Wilson didn’t make the Pro Bowl while his Seattle successor, Geno Smith, made his first in 10 seasons. Call it a big win for Seattle’s organization.

The role reversals of Smith and Wilson validate the notion that a talented QB needs a stable organization to thrive and that same environment can also revive the career of another. 

In Wilson’s first 10 seasons in Seattle, he posted a passer rating of over 100 seven times. It’s a stark contrast from his career-low 85 rating over 12 starts in Denver. 

Smith never posted a passer rating above 100 until he arrived in Seattle, but he’s the league’s second-highest-rated QB (105.3) this season. 

Before the season, ESPN’s experts figured Smith’s Seahawks would regress and Wilson’s Broncos would ride back into playoff contention.

The quarterbacks changed for both teams, but the organizations didn’t. 

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider have been together for 13 years. The pair guided the organization to its first Super Bowl victory (XLVIII) and eight playoff appearances.

Broncos second-year general manager George Paton and rookie head coach Nathaniel Hackett are trying to restore a franchise’s pride. Denver has missed the playoffs for seven consecutive years.

The teams’ different stages aren’t the only reason Smith and Wilson flip-flopped, but it’s hard to ignore.

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