What happened to RGIII?
Several years ago I attended the Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year Awards and RGIII was there as one of the presenters. He was riding high as a high draft pick after the Redskins had mortgaged their future by trading a boatload of draft picks. Meanwhile, as a Browns fan, I had to hear about how the Browns blew it by not offering even more for the right to draft him.
Several years later things have changed quite a bit. The Redskins are a mess and RGIII has been benched by Jay Gruden. Meanwhile, Kyle Shanahan is the offensive coordinator for the Browns who are 7-4 with Brian Hoyer as the starter.
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Bizarre Percy Harvin trade
The NFL world was pretty shocked yesterday with the news that Seattle traded Percy Harvin to the Jets. It started to make more sense, at least from Seattle’s point of view, when reports started to surface that Harvin was a cancer in the clubhouse. In fact, the move seems brilliant all of a sudden from their point of view. Pete Carroll has established himself as one of the best football coaches out there, and he doesn’t tolerate players that don’t buy into his culture. When you have references to “anger management” issues connected to Harvin, it’s no surprise that Seattle decided to move him. The Seahawks have some issues this year as the rest of the NFL seems to be figuring out that you need to punch them in the mouth if you want to beat them. Carroll obviously concluded he didn’t want to put up with Harvin’s bullshit.
Still, even though Harvin’s production wasn’t that impressive, just having him on the field posed a real problem for defenses, and even as a decoy he was extremely valuable to an offense that relies heavily on scheme and misdirection. Let’s see how this affects Russell Wilson’s production going forward.
Turning to the 1-6 Jets, this deal seems to make a lot less sense. Does adding a talented player who has trouble getting along with others make any sense for a bad team? Sure, Idzik has taken heat for not giving Rex Ryan enough weapons, but this seems like a desperation move.
Perhaps Harvin will react better to the Rex Ryan atmosphere over the intense Pete Carroll approach. Also, if you look at the schedule for the rest of the year, the Jets should be in every game. Maybe this sparks a turnaround? It just seems like a move that bad franchises make. Getting a couple more wins in a season where many expect Rex Ryan to be fired seems pointless, and Harvin has a ridiculous salary for a player who has been dumped by two franchises for being a malcontent. The circus in the New York media won’t help much either.
At the very least we have a story worth following for the rest of the year.
Is Russell Wilson an elite quarterback?
This question is being debated quite a bit since Russell Wilson dazzled recently in prime time against the Redskins. Frankly, Wilson is capable of making some incredible plays, and he’s definitely one of the best improvisers in football.
I was never high on Wilson and he’s made me and other critics eat my words. That said, he’s in the perfect situation with a great defense and a dominant running game. Like Big Ben before him, his situation has allowed him to grow into his role.
But now the hype is in full force as to where he ranks among the best quarterbacks, and this week against the Cowboys we saw many of Wilson’s limitations. If you keep him in the pocket and force him to beat you with just his arm, then Wilson can struggle particularly when his team is playing from behind.
Also, even if you go back to a game where he seemingly played well, his reliance on running from the pocket makes him pass up some big passing plays as pointed out by Pete Prisco.
Much of his success can be traced back to the scheme, giving him easy running lanes and open receivers. Then he excels by making plays when he leaves the pocket, and his vision downfield is very impressive when he’s moving.
Yet in the pocket he’s very inconsistent, so when comparing him to someone like Andrew Luck it’s not even close at this point in my opinion. Luck can do so much more and he can do everything Wilson does well.
So while Wilson is definitely a very good quarterback, let’s not put him in the elite category just yet.
Is Jay Cutler the next Jeff George?
Brian Billick made an interesting comparison today, wondering if Jay Cutler is the next Jeff George. Naturally, bears fans should be terrified by the prospect, though many of them were dumbfounded when the Bears gave him a monster contract extension.
The comparison may be appropriate in that both men have great arms along with a gunslinger mentality when playing the position. But that often leads to disaster of course unless you’re Dan Marino or Jim Kelly, and even those guys didn’t win Super Bowls.
With Cutler, we’re seeing way too many mistakes, and you have to wonder what’s going on in Chicago.
Desmond Howard and Aflac Team Up
Heisman Trophy Winner, Desmond Howard, partnered with Aflac to celebrate the launch of their new ad, “The Paymaker,” and teach the Aflac Duck a thing or two about the game.
The video offers a humorous look at the Aflac Duck and highlights that, while the Aflac Duck may not be good at football, he pays claims fast.
Are you the ultimate college football fan? If so, Aflac has an #AflacSweeps is for you. Three lucky fans will win a trip for two, a pair of tickets to one of three college football games in early November, a chance to meet Desmond Howard and more.
To win the Ultimate College Football Experience Sweepstakes, enter once per 24 hours on Facebook; for bonus entries, share on Twitter.
Enter here: http://afl.ac/ANis9