- 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.