Daily Archives: January 5, 2013

Tale of the capes: supermen RW vs RG3

Comparing the incredible feats of the NFL’s rookie supermen:

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Still doubt all that RG3 and Russell Wilson hype? This will cure ya.

Both rookie QBs are far more than ultra-dangerous running threats.

Not only are they the two highest-rated rookie throwers in league history, but by any measure, of any era, both have been simply spectacular NFL passers after 16 games …

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RussellRUSSELL WILSON

 

BACKGROUND

BORN: Nov. 29, 1988

AGE: 24

RAISED: In Richmond, Va. – 174 km south of Washington, D.C.

PARENTS: Harrison Wilson III (died 2010) played football and baseball at Dartmouth and became a lawyer. Mother Tammy a legal nurse consultant.

COLLEGE: Played three years at North Carolina State, graduating with a BA in communications. Played a fourth year at Wisconsin and led Badgers to a Big Ten championship, thanks to a late TD drive kept alive by Wilson’s cross-field, 36-yard pass completion on 4th-and-6. Finished 9th in Heisman Tropy voting.

SECOND SPORT: Baseball. Drafted by Baltimore Orioles before college, played three years at NC State, re-drafted by Colorado Rockies in 2010 and played Class-A minor-league ball in 2010 and ’11.

 

ROOKIE PROSPECTS

HEIGHT, WEIGHT: 5-foot-11, 206 pounds

NFL DRAFT: Seattle Seahawks, 3rd round, 75th overall, 5th QB taken.

TRAINING CAMP: Unexpectedly won the starting job from two veterans – $26-million free-agent signee Matt Flynn, and 2011 starter Tarvaris Jackson. Flynn became a high-priced backup; Jackson was traded to Buffalo at the end of camp and never dressed all season.


PASSING STATS

* Season: 64.1%, 3,118 yds, 26 TDs, 10 INTs, 100.0 passer rating (4th in NFL)

* Last 8 games: 67%, 16 TDs, 2 INTs, 120.3 PR

* At home: 8-0 record, 17 TDs, 2 INTs, 123.6 PR

* On road: 3-5 record, 9 TDs, 8 INTs, 83.1 PR

* In red zone: 18 TDs, 0 INTs, 107.5 PR

 

RUSHING STATS

* Season: 489 yards, 5.2 yards per carry, 4 TDs.

 

RECORDS

* Most TD passes by a rookie (26, tied with Peyton Manning in 1998).

* With RG3, first rookies to end season with a triple-digit passer rating (100.0).

* First rookie QB ever to lead his team to 8-0 record at home.

* 30 total TDS (26 passing, 4 rushing) 2nd only to Cam Newton’s 35 last year among all NFL rookie QBs.

* Most game-winning drives in final 2:00 or OT by a rookie QB (3).

* 1st NFLer ever to run for 3 TDs and throw for 1 TD in the first half of a game (Dec. 16 vs Buffalo in Toronto).

* 1st rookie QB to have 3 consecutive games with a 125-or-better passer rating.

* Most consecutive completions by a rookie (16, at Miami).

 

HONOURS

ROOKIE OF THE WEEK: 1 time

ROOKIE OF THE MONTH: December

N.F.C. OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Week 13

 

ASSESSMENT

Coming out of college, NFL talent evaluators said Wilson had all the makings of a good pro quarterback – he was just too short. Two inches too short, at least.

He has quickly proven wrong all those who looked down on him. His height hasn’t hampered him in the least.

Wilson is a savvy playmaker with a strong enough arm to make all throws. He has an uncanny sense in the pocket to know when to hang in there and fire a pass, and when to bail.

The athletic spin moves he makes to buy himself more time to throw aren’t supposed to work at this level, against such supremely athletic pass rushers. But he makes them work with his speed and elusiveness, while always looking for an open receiver upfield.

On designed runs, Wilson surprises with his speed and ability to make tacklers miss.

Nothing fazes him. He has pulled out three victories in the final two minutes or overtime.

And work ethic? The Seahawks had New Year’s Day off, but guess who showed up at the team’s football complex early in the morning to prep for the Redskins? You got it.

Finally, because of all the snubs, RW plays with a chip on his shoulder. So, bottom line, he’s not short on anything.

 

PLAUDITS

“I can’t even come up with enough descriptive words to define what this kid is all about. He’s just off the charts.” — Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll

“A lot of it is his preparation. The amount of film study he does, and just how he acts as a professional, is just light years ahead of a lot of rookies I’ve played with.” — Seahawks TE Zach Miller

“In the beginning, he was learning the offence. Now he’s running it like it’s his own. At this point, he’s so developed into the offence that he can freestyle at times.” — Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin

“When you’ve got a guy that you know you can depend on back there who’s going to make the right decisions, and right reads, it’s huge for the offence.” — Seahawks WR Sidney Rice

 

WHAT HE SAYS:

“Definitely, the sky’s the limit.”

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RG3ROBERT GRIFFIN III

 

BACKGROUND

 

BORN: Feb. 12, 1990

AGE: 22

RAISED: Spent his first seven years in Japan, Tacoma and New Orleans before his family settled in Copperas Cove, Tex.

PARENTS: Both his dad, Robert Griffin Jr., and mom Jacqueline were U.S. Army sergeants. Thus, he has said he was raised in a strict “Yes sir, no sir,” “Yes ma’am, no ma’am” environment.

COLLEGE: Attended Baylor University in Waco, Tex. After two years of starting, burst onto the scene in 2011. Was far and away the nation’s top player after completing 72% of his passes for 37 TDs, and running for 699 yards and 10 TDs. Won the Heisman Trophy. Graduated with a BA in political science with a 3.67 GPA.

SECOND SPORT: Track and field. As a freshman placed 3rd in NCAA 400-metre hurdles, and reached semis at U.S. Olympic trials.

 

ROOKIE PROSPECT

HEIGHT, WEIGHT: 6-foot-2, 217 pounds

NFL DRAFT: Washington Redskins, 1st round, 2nd overall, 2nd QB taken.

TRAINING CAMP: Head coach Mike Shanahan and his son, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, informed him at the get-go that they would model a new offensive attack around his special talents.

 

PASSING STATS

* Season: 65.6%, 3,200 yds, 20 TDs, 5 INTs, 102.4 passer rating (3rd in NFL)

* Last 8 games: 64.1%, 12 TDs, 2 INTs, 109.0 PR

* At home: 5-3 record, 8 TDs, 1 INTs, 98.4 PR

* On road: 5-3record, 12 TDs, 4 INTs, 106.1 PR

* In red zone: 10 TDs, 0 INTs, 105.4 PR

 

RUSHING STATS

* Season: 815 yards, 6.8 yards per carry, 7 TDs.

 

RECORDS

* Best passer rating by an NFL rookie (102.4).

* Most rushing yards by an NFL rookie (815).

* First NFLer to have four 60-yard passing TDs and a 60-yard rushing TD in a season.

* First NFL rookie to pass for 200 yards, pass for 4 TDs and rush for 75+ yards in a game.

* First NFL rookie QB in Super Bowl era to rush for 100 yards and 2 TDs in a game.

* First NFLer to throw for 300+ yards, 2+ TDs and 0 INTs in his first game.

* First Redskin ever to pass for 4 TDs in consecutive games, and first NFL rookie ever to have multiple 4-TD games.

 

HONOURS

PRO BOWL: Named to NFC team

ROOKIE OF THE WEEK: 7 times

ROOKIE OF THE MONTH: September, November

N.F.C. OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Weeks 1, 11

 

ASSESSMENT

Unlike Wilson, RG3 didn’t sneak up on anybody.

I attended his ‘pro day’ at Baylor University in March – along with dozens of anxious NFL scouts, GMs, coaches and other talent evaluators. RG3 did not disappoint.

Griffin does indeed possess talents previously unseen in a single NFL quarterback. He has a fast, snappy release. His arm is a rocket – that TD bomb he threw at Dallas in November was 60 yards in the air and he appeared to throw it normally.

His accuracy is not fully appreciated, either. Griffin led the league in yards per throw (8.14) and was fourth in completion percentage (65.6). That means he’s completing more passes than most, despite throwing more deeper passes than most.

And of course as a runner, Griffin is electric. How many NFL QBs ever ran in an Olympic trials semi-final? He just has to learn to slide more, and run out of bounds earlier. He can’t long sustain running injuries (concussion, sprained knee) at this rate.

With the creative, cutting-edge schemes the Shanahans are dreaming up for him – pistol packages and option plays, with deep vertical passes cleverly mixed in – it’s clear RG3 is changing NFL football as we know it.

 

PLAUDITS

“One of the first guys in, and one of the last guys to leave. He leads by example … He understands the responsibilities that the team needs. He can pick a guy up, and at the same time demand perfection. For a young guy, not a lot of people can do that. — Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan

 

“Everybody gets in line behind him and says, ‘Take us to the promised land.’ I know it sounds funny saying that, but he shows what it takes every day to get to where he’s trying to get by how he prepares. It shows up on the field on Sundays. There’s no question you want that guy to be a captain.” — 12-year WR Santana Moss

 

WHAT HE SAYS:

“If you have a mindset that, ‘Hey, it’s going to take me a year,’ then it’s hard for you to go out and be successful. I don’t have that mindset.”