Most days, pulling comparisons to modern-day NFL players from the mouth of Patriots coach Bill Belichick is a longshot.
Ahead of New England's first visit to Seattle since 2012 this weekend, Belichick on Thursday heaped praise on Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson as one player in the league who is beyond compare.
"Honestly, I think he's in a way underrated by the media or the fans, I don't know. But I don't really see anybody better than this player," Belichick said Thursday morning at his first press conference since the death of his mother. "This guy is a tremendous player."
Wilson led the Seahawks to a convincing victory at Atlanta in Week 1. Seattle was an underdog to the Falcons, but Wilson completed 31 of 35 passes for 322 yards and four touchdowns in the 38-25 win.
The trouble with Wilson, Belichick said, is this week he might rush for 100 yards or find another way to beat the Patriots. It presents the unique challenge of having to defend "every inch" of the football field.
"He can do everything. He's got obviously great leadership, playmaking skills. He plays very well in the most critical situations in the game. His decision-making, running, passing," Belichick said. "His passing numbers are extraordinary. You can put him up against anybody since he's been in the league -- literally anybody, in almost any category. His winning percentage is impressive. He's there for every game. Never missed a game. He's got a great ability to do the right thing at the right time. He has tremendous vision, and sees the field extremely well.
"I don't think there's a better deep-ball passer in the league, in terms of decision-making and accuracy. He attacks literally every inch of the field."
Many changes have occurred on either side of this matchup since their last meeting. That took place in Glendale, Ariz., and ended with Wilson being intercepted by Malcolm Butler to prevent a game-winning touchdown in Super Bowl XLIX.
The constants for the Seahawks remain Wilson, head coach Pete Carroll and linebacker Bobby Wagner. Belichick referred to the trio as Seattle's Big Three.
"You can't really find a game that they don't epitomize everything the Seahawks stand for and the success they've had," he said. "I think the team really runs through those three guys. Their consistency and mental toughness and passion for the game is real impressive."
--Field Level Media