Jacksonville coach Doug Marrone said he'd vote for Russell Wilson as NFL MVP
Football coaches at all levels are famous — or maybe infamous — for pumping up that week’s opponent.
So maybe you’d expect nothing less than for Jacksonville coach Doug Marrone to heap platitudes on Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson as the Jaguars prepare to host the Seahawks on Sunday.
If so, Marrone delivered on cue, saying in a conference call with Seattle media that he’d vote for Wilson as the NFL’s MVP.
Marrone noted he has never been in a game against Wilson — the Jags and Seahawks haven’t played since 2013 when Marrone was with Buffalo — and that taking his first real extended look at Wilson on film has made him even more appreciative of what the Seattle quarterback can do.
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“This is the first time I’ve got a really good look at him,’’ Marrone said. “In watching him play and watching all those snaps I really look at him as an MVP-type candidate in the league. I know he would have my vote. He does so many things well, not just from a standpoint of the command of the offense and directing the offense (but) the ability to escape, the ability to extend, the ability to make all the throws.’’
“. … I’d never really studied him and he’s much more impressive when you study him and you watch every single game and everything that he does. It’s a credit to him. He’s an outstanding football player.’’
Wilson is on pace for career-highs in touchdown passes (he has 26 and is on pace for 35, which would be a Seahawks team record) and yards (he has 3,256 and is on pace or 4,341, which would also be a team record) and also is averaging 6.1 yards per rush, which would be the second-best of his career.
“I don’t if you can ever go in there and say ‘hey, we’ve got to stop this player,’’’ Marrone said of Wilson. “I don’t think he’s a player you can stop. I think he’s someone that you’ve just got to try to contain and try to limit the big plays that he is going to make.’’
The Jacksonville game on paper stands as one of the biggest tests of the season for Wilson and the Seattle offense as the Jaguars are first in the NFL in both fewest points allowed (14.8 per game) and yards allowed (282.5 per game).
And while it’s secondary to winning a game Seattle needs to stay in the hunt for the NFC West division title, another chance for Wilson to bolster his case for MVP.