Browns coach Mike Pettine says Russell Wilson not quite elite

1:01 | NFL
Mike Pettine: Russell Wilson not in top group of QBs
Thursday December 17th, 2015

Browns coach Mike Pettine says he wouldn’t put Russell Wilson in the league’s top tier of quarterbacks, but that the Seahawks quarterback is in the next-best group.

Ahead of Cleveland’s matchup with Seattle on Sunday, Pettine discussed the Super Bowl-winning Wilson, currently on one of the hottest streaks of his career with 16 touchdowns and no interceptions in his past four games.

"Would you put him there with the guys that can transcend their supporting cast?" Pettine said, according to ESPN. "The (Tom) Bradys, whether it's Aaron Rodgers, (Drew) Brees, (Ben) Roethlisberger, the ones that you would consider the two, three, four elite guys? No. But he's certainly played himself into that next tier."

• FARRAR: Growth of Wilson, mobile QBs, Q&A with Pettine and Manziel​

Wilson was understated in his response to Pettine’s comments.

“I don't worry about that,” Wilson told ESPN. “I think it comes down to winning games...that's the only thing I care about.”

Wilson, 27 and a third-round pick in 2012, has led the Seahawks to the past two Super Bowls, winning in 2013. He has made 60 consecutive regular-season starts, with the Seahawks 44–17 in those games over the past four seasons. He holds a career passer rating of 101.3.

Pettine had praise for Wilson otherwise, calling him “very productive” but also acknowledging that he plays in a terrific system for his talents, and that Seattle has done a great job of tailoring its offense around him.

SI’s Doug Farrar spoke with Pettine earlier this week about Wilson with regard to Cleveland’s young, similarly mobile quarterback Johnny Manziel.

Jeremy Woo

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.