Brandon Tierney has an interesting take on Seattle’s final offensive play of Super Bowl XLIX. Specifically, he believes that the outcome of that play – or better yet, the reaction to it – is more of an indictment of Russell Wilson than Pete Carroll or Darrell Bevell.
Think about it. If Tom Brady or Peyton Manning or John Elway or Joe Montana throws that interception, people probably aren’t questioning the play call as much as the execution of that play call. Yet, because it’s Wilson, we lambaste the head coach and offensive coordinator.
Does this mean Wilson just isn’t that great of a quarterback? Does it mean he’s more so a product of what’s around him?
“That’s interesting,” former NFL linebacker Cato June said on Tiki and Tierney. “I’ve thought about that as I’ve tried to overanalyze (what happened). My thing is, most quarterbacks – if they get a play call or they see something that (doesn’t feel right, they audible to something else). I’m just trying to wonder why (Wilson didn’t think that). I didn’t like the formation. I didn’t like where they were on the field. Typically when you throw the ball down there, you’re not in a stack formation or doing a slant combination off of that. You’re at least going to be under center, play-action . . . and hit the tight end or receiver in the back of the end zone. I guess that’s in hindsight, but I’m still trying to figure that one out.”
Tierney then took the discussion in a completely different direction – and for good reason. June, 35, is in the unique position of having played college football with Brady at Michigan and also winning a Super Bowl with Manning in Indianapolis.
So, which quarterback is better?
“That’s not fair, man,” June said, laughing. “That’s an unfair question. I have an allegiance to Peyton, but also to Michigan. My Michigan ties are very strong. To say who’s better, I don’t know. They’re both great. I think they do different things great.”
Unsatisfied, Tierney tried to spin it a different way: which player has more pure talent?
“Well, I think (Manning) has more what you would call ‘quarterback talent,’” June said. “But to me, there’s more to playing quarterback than having a strong arm and being able to move. Nobody, in my opinion, has more pocket presence than Brady. It’s amazing. He’s not fast, he’s not quick, but he moves and he keeps his eyes down the field. His shoulders are square, and he’s able to move in the pocket without moving far and still being able to make the throw and look downfield better than anybody, in my opinion.”
Even better than Big Ben?
“Well Big Ben is Big Ben,” June said, laughing again. “He’s throwing people off of him. Brady doesn’t get touched. Brady doesn’t get touched. He moves in the pocket without being touched, and he also this ‘it’ factor. He has this winning spirit about him that, ‘The game’s never over. I always have a chance.’ And I think that may give him an edge in (this debate).”
June said he saw flashes of greatness from Brady in Ann Arbor.
“We had a lot of games where Brady was the semi-comeback kid,” June said. “Look at the Alabama game in the Orange Bowl (in January 2000). We were down 14 twice in that game and came back and won. So it was always there. I think the guys that played with him at least in college (knew) this guy could be something special.”