RGIII, Andrew Luck, and Russell Wilson Excel as Rookies

Three Rookie Quarterbacks Show the Appeal of Potential

12/3/12 in NFL   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Blog Photo - RGIII, Andrew Luck, and Russell Wilson Excel as RookiesPotential. Youth. The next big thing. In the sports world, it's a never ending search for just that. The lure of potential is why baseball superfans obsess over prospects in A-ball. It's why middle school basketball players are scouted and followed around by shady characters, and it's why the NBA and especially the NFL Draft are such popular television programs. For fans of teams that are bad in the here and now, potential, or even the potential of gaining potential (if that makes sense) is all they have to cling on. The drafting mechanisms in sports attempt to ensure that those bad teams get the first crack of the best of that particular generations.

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.
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12/4/12   |   kobe_lova   |   61224 respect

JenX63 wrote:
and I can't, only because I have only seen Cam play in one game and that's really not enough to know anything. I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop or the draft, when three new flavors will be offered up to the media nation.

Psssh, I doubt next year will have these type of rookie qb sensationistas. We shall just hope that Griffin doesn't end up like Cam. He has talent, but he is quite the selfish jerk, and I don't dig him at all. I don't want that for your team.

12/4/12   |   JenX63   |   32444 respect

kobe_lova wrote:
K. I see. Yeah, my Cam comment/comparison(ishness) are more about how Griffin is a media superhero right now, but style of play-wise, idk :)

and I can't, only because I have only seen Cam play in one game and that's really not enough to know anything. I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop or the draft, when three new flavors will be offered up to the media nation.

12/4/12   |   kobe_lova   |   61224 respect

JenX63 wrote:
No Maam, things I have seen written elsewhere on the site and some other places, announcers. The only thing you have said, was in some of the reckless things he has done, more an observation. This was meant , only for me to get it off my chest, since I have let it fester for so long.

K. I see. Yeah, my Cam comment/comparison(ishness) are more about how Griffin is a media superhero right now, but style of play-wise, idk :)

12/4/12   |   JenX63   |   32444 respect

kobe_lova wrote:
(no need for me to say it twice :|)

No Maam, things I have seen written elsewhere on the site and some other places, announcers. The only thing you have said, was in some of the reckless things he has done, more an observation. This was meant , only for me to get it off my chest, since I have let it fester for so long.

12/4/12   |   kobe_lova   |   61224 respect

JenX63 wrote:
I really dislike Griffin being compared to Newton. In his rookie year (this one) Griffin has surpassed Newtons stats for this season.  They may be similar in some of the reckless moves, but honestly, Griffin is a far better QB. Am I biased? Hell yes, and that"s all I can say, because he plays for the Skins and there is no telling what he would of done some where else. In all his interviews, the question most asked: Can you keep up this type of playing for the next 10 years. He always answers yes, it's his job to win games, and sometimes "he has to take one for the team". Would the Skins be where they are right now with a different QB? I honestly can not answer that, because I have no clue. Griffin fits, the team, the fans, the game.

If this is to me, I didn't compare him to Newton. Did someone else? Also, I think if Wilson was on the team, the wins would be about the same.

also, Newton isn't a bad qb, per say, lol.

12/4/12   |   kobe_lova   |   61224 respect

Eric_ wrote:
The QB is the most important position, but they still get a disproportionate share of the credit or blame for the team's success or failure. Andrew Luck is not 8-4, the Colts are 8-4. Luck's been good, but he's thrown quite a few picks. It's a big reason why the Colts have had to relay on some insane comebacks. That gets forgotten in the rush to call him "clutch" like it's a repeatable skill.

This whole thing gave me an idea for a future post: What (Most) Stat Geeks Think and Why.

I'd probably agree, if the media wrote this article and not you. Everyone knows by now that I am one of the few people who doesn't simply bitch about the mess known as the media, I no longer watch, read, or listen to them if I don't have to. I don't call him "clutch", YOU don't call him "clutch, and that's what's relevant here. "Clutch" has to be earned. You know it and I know it, but the media is in the business of sensationalism. So though every Colts player is 8-4, they will call the "biggest" name to make you look. But, I don't think any of that goes unnoticed by actual fans*... and that's all I was really saying.

*actual fans = the ones who draw their conclusions from game watching not Skip Bayless, Espn, and google.

12/4/12   |   kobe_lova   |   61224 respect

JenX63 wrote:
I really dislike Griffin being compared to Newton. In his rookie year (this one) Griffin has surpassed Newtons stats for this season.  They may be similar in some of the reckless moves, but honestly, Griffin is a far better QB. Am I biased? Hell yes, and that"s all I can say, because he plays for the Skins and there is no telling what he would of done some where else. In all his interviews, the question most asked: Can you keep up this type of playing for the next 10 years. He always answers yes, it's his job to win games, and sometimes "he has to take one for the team". Would the Skins be where they are right now with a different QB? I honestly can not answer that, because I have no clue. Griffin fits, the team, the fans, the game.
(Edited by kobe_lova)

(no need for me to say it twice :|)

12/4/12   |   JenX63   |   32444 respect

I really dislike Griffin being compared to Newton. In his rookie year (this one) Griffin has surpassed Newtons stats for this season.  They may be similar in some of the reckless moves, but honestly, Griffin is a far better QB. Am I biased? Hell yes, and that"s all I can say, because he plays for the Skins and there is no telling what he would of done some where else. In all his interviews, the question most asked: Can you keep up this type of playing for the next 10 years. He always answers yes, it's his job to win games, and sometimes "he has to take one for the team". Would the Skins be where they are right now with a different QB? I honestly can not answer that, because I have no clue. Griffin fits, the team, the fans, the game.

12/4/12   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

kobe_lova wrote:
"but we know how the media and QBs work"  They have nothing to do with this really. QB position is heralded because it IS key.  

Luck is leading them well. I actually had the lowest expectations of him. He's done far better than Painter (PAINTER!). Anyway, he's also not the most rookie-like IMO. They all make rookie mistakes. Griffin's are often overlooked, being the most athletic of the 3 helps with that (people have their Cam Newton goggles on). I think up until the last 2 games, Wilson was the one that had me dropping me and head and saying "Wtf is he doing?" most often. He made bad decisions in chunks which tends to back a team into a corner. But, it's getting better. All 3 franchises are lucky to have rookie qb's playing so well, and improving weekly..this is unheard of (<--ugh but I'm not fixing it). The more you watch them, the more fun it becomes. Next 3 years should be exciting.

The QB is the most important position, but they still get a disproportionate share of the credit or blame for the team's success or failure. Andrew Luck is not 8-4, the Colts are 8-4. Luck's been good, but he's thrown quite a few picks. It's a big reason why the Colts have had to relay on some insane comebacks. That gets forgotten in the rush to call him "clutch" like it's a repeatable skill.

This whole thing gave me an idea for a future post: What (Most) Stat Geeks Think and Why.

12/4/12   |   kobe_lova   |   61224 respect

"but we know how the media and QBs work"  They have nothing to do with this really. QB position is heralded because it IS key.  

Luck is leading them well. I actually had the lowest expectations of him. He's done far better than Painter (PAINTER!). Anyway, he's also not the most rookie-like IMO. They all make rookie mistakes. Griffin's are often overlooked, being the most athletic of the 3 helps with that (people have their Cam Newton goggles on). I think up until the last 2 games, Wilson was the one that had me dropping me and head and saying "Wtf is he doing?" most often. He made bad decisions in chunks which tends to back a team into a corner. But, it's getting better. All 3 franchises are lucky to have rookie qb's playing so well, and improving weekly..this is unheard of (<--ugh but I'm not fixing it). The more you watch them, the more fun it becomes. Next 3 years should be exciting.

12/4/12   |   Jess   |   34415 respect

(Edited by Jess)

It's funny to see how the tides have turned in Seattle and how they are directly related to the point in the season at which Bevell opened up the playbook and they started letting Wilson do his thing. Throughout the first few weeks, fans were calling for Flynn. But, when Pete Carroll congratulated Matt Flynn on the coin toss in the locker room speech after the Bears game was the first time I've heard his name in weeks. 

Excited? You bet.

I was even skeptical of Wilson at first. He's made me a believer. The guy is a student of the game - he's so smart. I'm sure you've all heard the story of him watching game tape on other teams and taking notes and giving them to his receivers. Carroll joked about him maybe taking 3 hours off at most out of the entire week he gave them leading into bye week. And it's so great to see the entire team drinking the kool-aid. Tate said the receivers are confident in his ability to extend the play. Robinson talks about how it's not like he's a rookie out there - it's like a veteran in the huddle. KJ Wright and Bruce Irvin praised him immediately for "winning the game for us" on twitter Sunday. They love RW. They trust him implicitly, and it shows.

Regardless of how the Hawks finish this season, I am thrilled to know that we've found our franchise QB. And I am not doubting how great RG3 and Luck are, I'm not trying to act like Sherman here and say he's better than either one...but I've gotta say, I wouldn't take either of one them over Wilson. He just fits here, and it seems he loves Seattle and the 12th Man as much as Seattle and the 12th Man love him. 

12/3/12   |   Trokspot   |   65 respect

Dan_B wrote:
Not sure I'd call Luck the most rookie-like. He is being asked to throw the ball 50 times a game in a down-the-field offense, meaning his throws are 20-40 yards in the air, with no running game or offensive line. The 16 picks come with that, no matter who is playing QB. 

Not to mention he is 6-1 in games won by 8points or less.  That's awfully veteran-like, to know how to win those close games when it matters (I believe that he has 5 game-winning scoring drives as well). 

12/3/12   |   JenX63   |   32444 respect

Excellent Eric. Enjoyed the read and agree, as far as this fan is concerned, since RGIII came to Washington I have a new hope for my beloved Skins.

12/3/12   |   Dan_B   |   1067 respect

Not sure I'd call Luck the most rookie-like. He is being asked to throw the ball 50 times a game in a down-the-field offense, meaning his throws are 20-40 yards in the air, with no running game or offensive line. The 16 picks come with that, no matter who is playing QB.