After rewatching some of Russell's plays from last night, my only concerns left are his short to intermediate throws; they seem to sail high and require the WR to make a great play. I noticed that his deep ball is pretty nice, but you can tell that he makes up for his height by the trajectory he puts on the ball. I read in a game thread someone say his deep ball is on a rope.... and I would say that is not accurate. A big, fast and loopy lasso maybe, but not a taut rope.
Something that I personally felt was missing were slant routes. I can only remember one attempt and it ended in an incompletion to Rice. I'd put the blame on both Wilson and Rice for that. It wasn't the best throw but it was catchable. The majority of Wilson's throws went towards boundary lines and they went high. Either our receiver was going to make a great catch or it was going out of bounds.
- The first toss of the game to Rice? High and to the sideline (and a bit late and I swear to God I though Rice was going to stay down).
- Edwards catch? A bit long and to the sideline but Edwards makes a huge play.
- The touchdown to Winslow? Teardropped and to the sideline despite being completely wide open. A rope would have been better. We almost had a Whitehurst to Rice connection.
- The touchdown to Martin? High and to the back of the endzone.
- The throw to TO? Looped up high, behind and to the sideline
There is nothing terribly wrong with any of these plays. They were all positive plays and showed great ability by our receivers and Wilson. And in some cases they were the only plays that could be made due to the lack of separation. and that brings me to one of my main points:
With the fairly slow, big-bodied receivers we have, wouldn't it make more sense to have more slants and let them use their big bodies to shield the ball from the defender? I am just worried that these deep, high balls to the sidelines with no separation won't make for consistent plays in the regular season. They worked against Kansas City, but that doesn't mean they will work against actual good teams.
Also, did anybody else notice that Butler disappeared? Was he active? He had been one of our most consistent players thus far. He (and Baldwin upon returning) is short and makes his money in the middle of the field in short to intermediate routes. I don't have the coaches tape so I am purely guessing, but I find it hard to believe that Butler or Tate for that matter never got open on a short route. If you have proof otherwise, please let me know that I'm wrong. It would make me feel better about Wilson as a starter.
I don't want to sound too much like a negative Nancy here. I love Russell. I moved to Seattle from Wisconsin. The dude is a winner and you can tell it just from hearing him speak. I love that he has gained 110 yards on the ground the preseason. But some teams will be able to take that away from him. On all of his big runs, the middle of the field was pretty wide open. Why? Maybe the defense was realizing that all of his throws went to the sideline and they were taking it away. or maybe they were a shitty defense. I'm not faulting Russell, he took what was given. But what happens when they don't give him the middle of the field and they take away the sideline routes?
So what about Flynn? We would definitely lose the scrambling ability which comes in handy when shit goes down. But we would gain the ability to throw better short to intermediate routes in the middle of the field from the middle of the pocket. Flynn also has the ability to place the ball low so his receiver doesn't get lit up. Wilson could be capable of doing that but he'd really have to work hard with geometry and physics against him. Flynn can throw a pretty deep ball. We have seen it. Both of our QBs have that area of the field covered. I'm not worried about either of them in that department.
I'm glad we got to see the Seahawks destroy a team... but I was kind of hoping for a defensive struggle. I wanted to see Russell deal with that kind of game because God knows we are going to find ourselves in a few of those this year. I know he can make plays. We've seen him do it in Wisconsin and in other games this preseason. I don't think we learned anything new that we already didn't know about him.
So who should be the starter week one? Let's make a list:
Poise and pocket presence: Flynn
Srambling and play extension: Wilson
Short and Intermediate routes: Flynn
Deep Ball: Draw
Have fun Pete!