Is Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks an “elite” quarterback? Does it really matter?
Apparently it does. Recently, former NFL general manager Charley Casserly suggested that Wilson is not necessarily in the “elite” category. Casserly does not appear to be a big fan of the Seahawks QB.
I do not consider Russell Wilson a Top 10 quarterback, let alone one who belongs in the top five. The Seahawks win because they have one of the NFL’s best defenses and an outstanding running back in Marshawn Lynch. Wilson — who I think is a good, but not elite, passer — operates in an offense that takes a lot of pressure off him, meaning the Seahawks don’t have to rely upon his arm to win games.
These discussions are always interesting, but ultimately they are impossible to solve. Is Russell Wilson the best QB in the NFL? Not too many people will make that argument, even after he led the Seahawks to a Super Bowl victory. Is he the worst? Clearly not.
In other words, he falls somewhere in between. Great, I’m glad we solved that problem. By the way, I think a few people might put him in the top ten, even if Casserly would not.
Is this a numbers thing? In professional sports, we tend to measure a player’s performance by applying one or more quantitative variables. The NFL has its share of metrics, and when it comes to quarterbacks we often look at yardage, TDs, INTs, competition percentage and QB rating.
Now, does Wilson put up gaudy numbers for the Seahawks? Not particularly. His numbers are very good, but if you are looking for a fantasy quarterback, there are clearly better choices.
To be fair to Casserly, there is some credence to his argument, but it is certainly not the whole picture. Wilson does benefit from having an elite defense and a bruising running back in Marshawn Lynch. Who wouldn’t?
And yet, it would be foolish to suggest that the Seahawks won in spite of Wilson. Casserly seems to disregard the work ethic, the attitude and the intangibles that Wilson brings to the job.
Wilson didn’t just hand the ball to Beast Mode last season and watch him run. He didn’t set up a lawn chair on the Seahawks sideline and kick back while the defense took care of business on both sides of the ball.
There were a few clutch throws in there. A few savvy scrambles to extend a drive.
Whenever you measure a player in comparison to his supporting cast, you are getting into a theoretical world of scenarios that can never be answered. Would Wilson be as effective if he were quarterback of the Jacksonville Jaguars? Probably not, but we’ll never know so it doesn’t really matter.
The bottom line is that Wilson just won a Super Bowl. He led this team, won big games and rallied the team when it needed to come back. Seems like a good definition of “elite” to me.
As winners will sometimes say…”scoreboard.”
Again, if I’m starting a fantasy team I probably pick someone over Wilson. However, if I’m starting a real football team, I just might be inclined to give Wilson a look. Just sayin’.