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Originally published Monday, December 22, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Big plays snowball for Wilson

Weather forecasters may have to add one more type of precipitation to this week's Snowpocalypse: pigskins. Cornerback Josh Wilson had the proof tucked into the crook of his right arm as he left the set of Mike Holmgren's postgame television show on Sunday.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Weather forecasters may have to add one more type of precipitation to this week's Snowpocalypse: pigskins.

Cornerback Josh Wilson had the proof tucked into the crook of his right arm as he left the set of Mike Holmgren's postgame television show on Sunday.

"It was snowing footballs today in my hands," Wilson said.

Wilson picked off two of Brett Favre's passes Sunday. The first kept the Jets from capitalizing on a second-quarter fumble recovery and the second sealed Seattle's victory with 1:16 to play. The Seahawks led by 10 points when Wilson picked off a pass intended for Laveranues Coles at the Seattle 15-yard line. Wilson ran to the snowbank in front of the south end zone and added to the blizzard by tossing up a few handfuls of snow.

"It's Christmas time," said the 23-year-old Wilson, who was born in Texas and played college football for Maryland. "I'm used to the snow. I love playing in the snow."

He drew a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct and an eyeroll from his coach for celebrating his second interception.

"Normally, I would yell at him," coach Mike Holmgren said. "But I'm not going to yell at him. I'll just talk to him as a father would do."

Funny, because this season Wilson has really grown up. He was a rookie last year whose locker was so messy the other defensive backs kicked him out of their row. Someone stuck a 10-pound weight in his backpack before one road trip and defensive tackle Rocky Bernard made a habit of taking all the clothes hanging in Wilson's locker and depositing them on the floor.

Wilson became a starter after the season began, but has four of the team's eight interceptions.

What kind of growth has he shown?

"Well, he's still 5-6," linebacker Lofa Tatupu said. "I'm just kidding. I don't think it's growth, I think it's just opportunity. It's tough to get a rhythm when you're coming in once every three downs."

Wilson began this season as Seattle's nickelback, called on only when an extra defensive back was needed. He became a starter in the second month and has proved competitive enough to overcome the fact that he's not quite as tall as his listed height of 5 feet 9.

Wilson gave up a 23-yard completion to Laveranues Coles in the first quarter, went to the sideline to get his ankle retaped and came back to play one of his best games of the season.

It was so good, Wilson didn't consider either of his two interceptions his favorite play of the afternoon. That distinction belonged to his second-half sack of Jets quarterback Brett Favre.

"It's not many times you get your name called [for a sack] as a defensive back," Wilson said.

Wilson had his name called quite a bit with that sack and the interceptions, and when he walked out of Qwest Field he had one of those footballs tucked under his arm as a souvenir from one snowy afternoon.

"They don't come very easily," Wilson said of the footballs. "Whenever they come, I'm going to take them home with me."

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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