(Reuters) - New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick isn’t one for throwing around accolades lightly but he clearly believes opposing Super Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson is something special.
Talking to the media on Tuesday, Belichick compared Wilson to former Dallas Cowboys great Roger Staubach when praising the Seattle quarterback’s ability to evade pressure.
“Wilson’s just got an instinctiveness. He just knows where people are,” said Belichick, who is seeking his fourth Super Bowl triumph. “It looks like he’s going to get tackled and he doesn’t. It kind of reminds of watching Staubach.
“He’s got an uncanny sense of awareness of what’s around him – good or bad.
“I don’t know how, I can’t really define it. I don’t know how you coach it; it’s just an awareness that all great players have.”
Staubach was a two-times Super Bowl winner with the Cowboys, enjoying victories in the 1971 and 1977 seasons and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985.
Known as ‘Roger the Dodger’ for his scrambling abilities Staubach was also dubbed ‘Captain Comeback’ - a title that could certainly be applied to Wilson after Seattle’s fourth quarter heroics against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.
“It’s just the way I remember a lot of Staubach’s spectacular running plays where it looked like he was about to get tackled by three-or-four guys and he would Houdini it out of there somehow. Wilson did some of the same things,” said Belichick.
What makes Seattle’s offense so difficult to defend against is that Wilson’s dual-threat capability is backed up by the powerful running of Marshawn Lynch.
But Belichick says the unpredictability of Wilson’s decision-making is a key to the puzzle that the Patriots will need to solve.
“Some of Wilson’s plays come on bootlegs, so he’s kind of running out of the pocket and you’re concerned about him running and then you stay back and he runs,” explained the Patriots coach. “Then you try to come up on him and the receiver uncovers and he throws it.
“He’s kind of trying to create that two-on-one fast break type of situation. They’re really good at it.
Reporting By Simon Evans. Editing by Steve Keating.