Russell Wilson – I think this guy (former Badgers’ QB, in the draft this year) could be a pretty good NFL QB. I’ve said this before but simply want to say it again. He doesn’t throw the most amazing passes and he’s not very big. But he very much reminds me of a player who has turned out to be the second best QB in the NFL behind Aaron Rodgers – Drew Brees. They are both a bit on the short side, but both stand tall in the pocket, don’t get rattled easily and are way more mature than their ages. Wilson still stands as the most poised college player I have ever watched. He is unflappable as a player and he delivered several times down the stretch in impressive fashion. He just doesn’t get rattled. He even dealt with losing in a professional, far-more-mature-than-22-years-old way. While his arm is probably considered average, his mobility is definitely better than most QBs – he could be a dangerous running QB. He makes very good decisions – he rarely makes boneheaded mistakes. He also won’t have any issues grasping complicated NFL offenses. While Paul Chryst’s offenses at Wisconsin weren’t super complicated, Wilson picked it up no problem from the get-go this past year. Don’t be surprised to see him sneak up draft boards, get on a team somewhere and get a crack at playing when the starter goes down. He will impress when he has his opportunity. (He apparently just had what some scouts are calling the most impressive pro day by a QB they have ever seen – completing 62 of his 65 passes – making all sorts of different throws.)
It was interesting for me to see Peyton Manning so emotional at his press conference. I liked seeing that side of him and importantly, I THINK THIS WHOLE THING WILL MAKE HIM BETTER. Peyton Manning needed to be knocked down a peg or two. This whole getting released thing despite being cleared to play, has been difficult for him to take. Even though some believe that the Colts were essentially showing mercy for Manning by cutting him from what might be a terrible team, I don’t think Manning sees it that way. I really believe he wanted to finish up a Colt. But the bottom line is that this whole thing has brought him back down to earth a bit. Manning had become WAY too comfortable there in Indy – to the point where he felt just fine yelling at his players and frankly, being a wanker on the field. Remind you of someone? Dan Marino? Guys like this won’t win the big game too often because they are too self-focused in a team sport. Peyton Manning has won 1 Super Bowl – but for the number of times the Colts have gotten into the playoffs, that’s actually not too good. Teams rally around QBs that are more connected to the team – and Manning has always seemed to place more importance on his own image. Don’t get me wrong. I think Peyton Manning is one of the best QBs to ever play the game. And winning the number of games he’s won as a QB is remarkable – even if he’s only won 1 Super Bowl. And his career stats are amazing. And I think if his neck is truly OK, teams with even decent QBs would be crazy not to try to bring him in. He will make whatever team he goes to instantly better. But I would submit that the whole exercise of having to join a new team, make new friends and earn their respect as a leader will bring him back to a place mentally that will be healthier for him. And this again, could make him an even better player over the next couple years. I think Manning’s best fit would be in Arizona. They play on turf, indoors, good coach with a reasonable ego, have Larry Fitzgerald and a couple other decent WRs (Early Doucet), the path to the playoffs may not be too tough, and I just see that as a place that would be a good fit. That said, I still think Miami is the most likely destination with Seattle close behind.
I totally agree with the AZ take and watch out if Reggie Wayne comes with him. Does it say anything about Matt Flynn that both the Dolphins & the Seahawks,the two teams which have close ties with Flynn, are so agressive in going after Peyton? I understand that they both want to win now but I would think that if Flynn is all he’s cracked up to be that at least one of them woiuld be thinking long term. Then again, since Peton is saying he wants to decide within a week I suppose they’ll still have their shot at Flynn should they not land Manning.
good point 56 – local talk radio was talking about this very thing yesterday. what does all this manning stuff mean for flynn? i think it comes down to the likelihood that manning has the talent to take a mediocre team and turn them into a playoff team instantly – whereas flynn, as impressive as he’s been, would likely need a few years to build toward this. i also think there remains some skepticism, fair or not, about whether flynn will really turn out to be as good as his apparent reputation.
One reason P.Manning might not want to come to the Cardinals: their o-line kinda sucks. A lot. One of the things I saw quite often was Kolb and Skelton running for their lives from various pass rushers.
The Cardinals gave up a combined 54 sacks, which is really not good. Of course, Manning is (presumably) a lot quicker than Kolb or Skelton at reading coverages and finding an open guy, but I would think a guy who is coming off multiple neck surgeries would think twice about the idea of lining up behind that line…
very solid point dave. the cards did have problems with that last year and it’s one of the reasons why i thought kolb really wasn’t as bad as it seemed. manning does get the ball out almost instantly on most plays, but he might be far more comfortable in a place like miami with Jake Long watching his backside than in az. good point.
…and now that I’ve thought about it some more, there’s a real good reason why the Cardinals might be on Manning’s short list.
The Cardinals have a solid D, good special teams, and an adequate running game. They made it to the Super Bowl in the 2008 season, and could easily be one good QB away from making another run deep into the playoffs.
And unlike the Dolphins, they have an established coaching staff, and unlike the Jets, their HC isn’t a flake. The Broncos might be one of the few clearly better choices: they’ve got a good defense, and a good running game, and with a solid QB they’d easily be the favorite to win the AFC West again.
Russell Wilson is a talented QB, if he was 2 inches taller he wouldn’t make it past the 2nd round. I feel like he will make some team very happy that they took a chance on him. His accuracy, his mobility and his decision making are top notch, that usually translates well to the pros.
As to the Flynn vs Manning debate well, if it a choice between the two then its a no brainer. Manning is one of the best to ever play the game, Flynn is a big question mark still.
Miami’s pursuit of Manning likely comes from the top and not so much from Philbin so anyone that thinks its an indictment of Flynns ability is jumping to conclusions.
Now if Miami doesn;t land Manning and they still don’t pursuit Flynn then people can start talking about the red flags it sends up.
I disagree that Manning over Flynn is a no brainer. We don’t even know if Manning can actually play this year or ever or if he plays whether he will be the same guy (arm strength; accuracy;etc). Or how soon he’ll be back on the sidelines with his 5th serious neck injury. Flynn offers lots of upside but the sample is really small 2 and half games is not a lot to go on.
Another reason teams might not want Manning–even if he is healthy, and can throw, he’s going to be 36 in just a couple of days. Best-case scenario, he’s healthy and as a Favrian late-career resurgence and plays 4 or 5 more seasons at a reasonably high level.
There’s a lot of scenarios (many that seem to me more likely) that aren’t so rosy: maybe he gets hurt again, or maybe he just doesn’t have the stamina to make it through a 16 game regular season + 3 or 4 playoff games. Is it worth it to sign him if he can only play one or two more seasons?