Former Falcons WR Roddy White isn’t afraid to fire off a hot take every now and then. He was back at it this week with a series of tweets that made a compelling point on the whole, but the larger point was overshadowed by him taking a bit of a shot at Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, which will never sit well with Seahawks fans, no matter how legitimate the criticism may be.
Here’s what White had to say…
(Before you “Joe Flacco is Elite” truthers get all ornery, just know he’s probably referring to Trent Dilfer in 2000 and not Flacco.)
White is making a point that should be obvious, but, for some reason, isn’t. Quarterbacks are one of 53 players that make up a roster. Is it the most important position on the field? Yes. But a quarterback does not have as much control over whether his team wins or loses as we like to think. That’s the point White is making here: With an awesome team around him, even a mediocre quarterback can lead a team to the top of the mountain.
But nobody is going to consider White’s astute argument because he decided to lump Wilson in with Dilfer and Brad Johnson. Wilson is obviously a good quarterback now, but he has evolved quite a bit from that 2013 season. Even so, I’d still put 2013 Wilson closer to the “good” category than the “bad” one.
That said, the Seahawks illustrate White’s point beautifully. Wilson is much better than he was in 2013 (back then he wasn’t nearly as proficient before the snap and routinely missed wide open receivers downfield) yet the Seahawks have won less games and failed to get back to the Super Bowl since Wilson made the proverbial leap.
The Seahawks haven’t gotten much worse around him, either. The line has regressed but it wasn’t very good even back then. The running game isn’t nearly as dangerous without Marshawn Lynch barreling over defenses but it’s still effective. The defense may not be historically dominant any longer, but it’s still very good. If quarterbacks were as important to winning as we make them out to be, Wilson’s improvement should have made up for those small downgrades; yet, it hasn’t.
Yes, most Super Bowls have been won by great quarterbacks, but those guys had great teams around them. And how many of these great quarterbacks have won after getting their big money deals, which make it harder to put a good team around them? Aaron Rodgers hasn’t. Eli Manning hasn’t. Flacco hasn’t. Wilson hasn’t, either. Peyton Manning won in 2015, but was an objectively bad quarterback by that point.
Tom Brady consistently wins but look at his contract. He signed a three-year, $27 million contract in 2013, which allowed New England to build up a good roster around him. Elite quarterbacks don’t usually sign deals like that. Hell, mediocre quarterbacks don’t even sign deals like that. Brady’s case is a unique one.
Good quarterbacks tend to win more games than bad quarterbacks. That’s true. But great teams with a mediocre quarterback will always beat a great quarterback with a mediocre team. And that’s the point White was trying to make.