Three Rookie Quarterbacks Show the Appeal of Potential
Potential though does not come without risk. The development of young talent is almost never linear and never ever predictable. The factors that go into player development as a professional are so numerous they can not all be mentioned here. Teams must perfect that process as best they can, all the while knowing that most of their fans don't care about the how. They care about if that player actually fulfills that potential. The stakes are high, as every bust increases the chance that a team's rebuilding just goes on and on with no end in sight.
Three quarters of the way through the NFL season, three rookie quarterbacks are showing why everyone drools so much over potential. You know exactly which three: Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, and Russell Wilson. Each of them are in different situations, but all three have electrified their cities and amazed the rest of the country. RGIII has the best stats of the three, ranking 3rd in the league in QB rating, and showing seemingly endless talent with both his arm and his legs. His poise and attitude have also taken the league by storm. Here in the Washington DC area, it's a maelstrom. Griffin became the most popular athlete in DC the day the Redskins traded for the 2nd pick. Read that sentence again, then realize that nothing has happened since to quell the madness.
Meanwhile, Andrew Luck has his Colts at 8-4 (not that that's all him, but we know how the media and QBs work). He's actually been the most rookie-like of the three, with 16 picks already, including 3 yesterday against the Lions. However, watch the comeback he engineered in that game and you'll see why he was the #1 pick. Through IndyCar, I follow a good bit of people on Twitter from the Indianapolis area. Their excitement is just as palpable, if not quite as loud, as DC's affection for RGIII. Luck has been the most mistake prone of the three, but no one doubts the Colts decision to let go of Peyton Manning anymore.
Finally, in Seattle there is one Russell Wilson. He's had the lowest expectations of the three due to his draft position and his size. In the early part of the season, it showed as he was handled with the kid gloves normally expected of rookies. Lately though Wilson has been excellent, with four straight 100+ rated games. Yesterday he essentially led Seattle to two game winning touchdown drives. Nationally, we've heard hosannas to Wilson's intangibles so often one could gag, but don't let that hide his improvement as a quarterback over the season. Are Seattle's 12th Man faithful excited? One only needs to talk to our Community Manager to see that's very much the case.
The success of Griffin III, Luck, and Wilson show why we as sports fans, as well as executives, covet potential. The risk is obvious as it is large, but if it works, everything about a team and its present and future takes on a whole new outlook.