[Update/Disclaimer: For people coming from the Tribune, I think you’ll have to agree, too. For people coming over from Q13FOX, three quick things: 1) This link showed up in the comments of that article as a backtrack, not because I put it there. 2) If you’re looking for serious Russell Wilson analysis, this is not the place. 3) That said, you might enjoy this one about how not to measure ROTY.]
Sunday’s playoff game between the Seahawks and the Redskins was billed as the matchup of dynamic first-year running quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Robert Griffin III. The two obviously have a lot in common, but this post will highlight their widely-lauded decision-making abilities, with a critical focus on those of Wilson. I’m certainly not the first one to note his decision-making ability:
That success has plenty to do with the coaches and plenty to do with Wilson. It would not work without accuracy, athleticism, and excellent decision-making.
Wilson has sparkled in his rookie season, showing the kind of decision-making ability that belies his neophyte status.
By mobile QB standards, Wilson has a phenomenal health record and that’s largely based on his decision making when running.
“We have a front-line, first-rate quarterback going out there in these games and you’re seeing it,” Carroll said. “He’s balling. We trust him in his decision-making because he’s proven worthy of that.”
RGIII also received his share of accolades. After Washington’s victory over Philadelphia in Week 16, former Redskins GM Charley Casserly said of RGIII, “The thing that impressed me is decision-making.” I’m too lazy to find more quotes — over the past couple days, they’ve been buried under a deluge of quotes to the opposite effect — but they were definitely out there right until I started looking for them.
That all changed Sunday.
Ever since Trent Williams punched Richard Sherman in the face [link to the entire encounter from up close, with audio], Wilson has continued to garner praise from all corners. His jerseys are selling out all over Seattle. Meanwhile, RGIII’s decision-making has been questioned, to put things generously: He’s been hammered for staying in the game. He’s been hammered for his physical style of play. He’s been hammered for manipulating his coach. And all this after being hammered up and down FedEx Field by Bruce Irvin.
But that narrative — that Wilson is a great decision-maker, while RGIII is somehow suspect — is all wrong. Or at least, football decision-making ability does not necessarily translate to civilian decision-making abilitity. Turns out, Wilson’s not a guarantee to make the responsible decision either.
I recently came across an interview of Wilson included in the October issue of ESPN Magazine. One question in particular — really, his response to it — caught my eye:
ESPN: If you could go to dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
RW3: Michael Jackson. I’d go to Neverland.
He may still look like a teenager, but according to my calculation (and feel free to double-check that math), by the time Michael Jackson moved out of Neverland, Wilson was just barely seventeen. Come on, minor Russell Wilson. You should have known better than to follow Michael Jackson anywhere — much less to Neverland, given the nature of his legal troubles there.