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Russell Wilson says J.T. Barrett is ‘as…

3 min read
Russell Wilson says J.T. Barrett is ‘as...


Quarterback J.T. Barrett, who the Seattle Seahawks signed two weeks ago after Geno Smith had surgery to remove a cyst in his knee, was nearly a Seahawk right out of college.

“I got a call from somebody from the Seahawks in the later rounds [of the 2018 NFL draft],” Barrett said after practice on Thursday. “It was ‘hey we wanna bring you in’ cuz they’d already figured out what they wanted to do with their sixth and seventh round picks. They took a quarterback in the seventh round, and so I ended up not coming.”

That quarterback was Alex McGough, who spent that offseason competing with Austin Davis before the Seahawks decided to trade a sixth-round pick for Brett Hundley, who served as Russell Wilson’s backup all year.

Barrett ended up in New Orleans instead, spending a year and a half bouncing off and on the team’s practice squad. Although he never appeared in a game, Barrett’s time spent under the wing of veteran superstar Drew Brees was invaluable to his learning curve as an NFL quarterback.

“I learned a lot,” Barrett continued. “I’d probably say one of the biggest things was just understanding and embracing the routine and the grind of being a professional quarterback. Also, embracing the grind of football. The process of going through it week to week, understanding game plans and really taking the time and work ethic into each and every week, knowing how critical each week was. So, like I said, a thousand things but I really saw that last year which was honestly a blessing.”

That lesson in embracing the grind and putting in the work has helped Barrett become a more professional football player – despite being just 24 years old and having yet to appear in his first NFL game.

That professionalism has not gone unnoticed, catching the attention of his new teammate, Russell Wilson.

“He’s only been here for a week and a couple days so for him to learn all the terminology, he’s done a tremendous job,” Wilson said on Thursday. “He’s as professional as can be, he’s a winner, you think about all those games that he’s won in college. He has that for sure.”

Barrett was a four-year starter at Ohio State University, where he was teammates with Jamarco Jones, Demetrius Knox and Nick Vannett.

“It’s always good to see family as far as the Buckeye brotherhood,” Barrett said. “We’re all over the place.”

As for being a winner, like Wilson described, Ohio State had a ridiculous 49-6 record in Barrett’s four years behind center.

Smith is recovered from surgery, but Seattle’s other backup quarterback, Paxton Lynch, is still recovering from a vicious hit in Sunday’s preseason game against the Vikings, and won’t play on Saturday.

That may give Barrett an opportunity to prove himself against a good Chargers defense, which is his best chance of sticking around on this Seahawks roster into September.

Knox is on the injured reserve and Jones is banged up, and it’s unclear if he’ll suit up on Saturday. If he does, Barrett may have a familiar face protecting his blind side and a familiar face in Vannett running routes in front of him, which might give the young quarterback an extra boost of confidence.

“When I saw them in the locker room they was like ‘oh we back at it again’,” Barrett smiled. “It’s always good to see Buckeyes.”

Russell Wilson says J.T. Barrett is 'as professional as can be'

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