Any chance Wilson has a sophomore slump?

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  • I've always thought of sophomore slumps as defenses catching up to special athletes that defenses and coaches simply hadn't seen before or weren't prepared for or decent rookie quarterbacks who benefit from other aspects of their offense or coaching that caused opposing defenses to focus elsewhere. A lot of guys can coast in on their initial abilities, being something new and different, not as many can adapt.

    I don't see that as being the case with Russell. He runs on his football IQ, his ability to read defenses, and his preparation just as much as his athleticism. You can't say that about many QBs who break out in their first year. I think Russell and Luck are the only 2 guys I'd be so confident as to bet money not dropping off or struggling a bit more following their breakout year.
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  • Absolutely not.

    nah, ain't going to happen.


    I would worry about the run defense more then that.
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  • pinksheets wrote:I've always thought of sophomore slumps as defenses catching up to special athletes that defenses and coaches simply hadn't seen before or weren't prepared for or decent rookie quarterbacks who benefit from other aspects of their offense or coaching that caused opposing defenses to focus elsewhere. A lot of guys can coast in on their initial abilities, being something new and different, not as many can adapt.

    I don't see that as being the case with Russell. He runs on his football IQ, his ability to read defenses, and his preparation just as much as his athleticism. You can't say that about many QBs who break out in their first year. I think Russell and Luck are the only 2 guys I'd be so confident as to bet money not dropping off or struggling a bit more following their breakout year.


    Have to agree with Pink here. Wilson seemed to rely on his athleticism and unique style of play early in the season but progressed into a traditional pocket passer as the season went on. His knowledge of defenses will likely do more for him than defenses knowledge of him.

    I don't see any tendencies that defenses can really latch onto unlike Kaepernick who struggled to get through multiple reads and relied heavily on his athleticism all year. The teams that beat the Niners were good defensive teams that reduced Kaep's running ability and kept him in the pocket. In the pocket his awareness was not elite and with him defenses can focus on exactly that. Wilson's pocket presence is elite and that is not something that goes away, it is based on instinct and film study. Even if you contain him he will beat you with his arm.
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  • Aros wrote:
    volsunghawk wrote:Peyton Manning.

    Jerry Rice.

    They had legendary work ethics, too. And while they didn't suffer sophomore slumps, they had down years later in their careers (at least, compared to their own excellence).

    I think the reason you see "sophomore slumps" is that teams catch up to special rookies eventually - usually after a season when opponents have had more time to study them and really work on plans to counter their skills. It happens to everyone. The key is how those sophomore players respond to the inevitable down games. Sophomore players tend to still have a bit of immaturity, and allow themselves to get in a funk or press too hard. Wilson should have the maturity to counter that. But nothing is guaranteed. Not even for Wilson.


    Whatever buzz kill. ;)

    Personally I think you are wrong but we shall all see soon enough.


    Which part am I wrong about? The part where I said that Manning and Rice had legendary work ethics, like Wilson? The part where I said that immaturity often played a role in sophomore slumps, and that I thought Wilson's maturity should counter that?

    Holy hell, folks. I was big on the Wilson bandwagon early on... I think you can find plenty of threads where I was hard-headedly arguing for Wilson starting over Flynn. But the kid's not perfect. He WILL still make mistakes here and there. And that's why I said it wasn't a GUARANTEE that Wilson doesn't have a sophomore slump. But the awesome part is that he seems to learn from EVERY mistake he makes.
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  • SalishHawkFan wrote:Sophomore slump is not our real worry. The odds of a QB staying healthy all season long is 4-1 against. Wilson did it last season. It's extremely unlikely that he'll not miss any games this year.


    Out of curiosity, where did you get the 4-1 odds that a QB won't stay healthy all season long? Seems to me that at least half the league's teams last season had starting QBs who played all 16 games.
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  • With the talent they keep putting around Wilson, the chance of a slump is slim. Our QB put the screws to some pretty good pass defenses last year, so I kind of doubt he goes backwards now.

    Slumps are usually tied to injuries, new teammates, a lack of dedication to the craft, and new coaching. Kurt Warner had a mid career slump from a thumb injury and concussions, Rivers had one the last two years because his GM let his team get old around him and let his receivers leave town, Josh Freeman slumped because he had to learn how to be a better leader, and Alex Smith slumped for 4 years after a promising rookie year because he kept getting new offensive coordinators.

    The new teammates one is the only one that could affect Wilson, but it doesn't seem likely as his new teammate is Percy Harvin. Russell even seemed impervious to a constantly shuffling offensive line.

    One thing to watch this season for Wilson: In the SB, the Ravens put a hit on Kaepernick after nearly every option handoff. Now, I had heard this was supposed to be a penalty, but in the SB it was not. I am curious to see if defensive coordinators noticed and use that against Wilson. I remember Bevell talking about how the option is such a good tool just because in the NFL you can't smoke the QB when he doesn't have the ball. If we get into games where the ref crew is as reluctant as the Boger crew was to pull the hankie in the SB following QB hits, it could force us to drop the option play just to protect Wilson. And no option for Wilson could be a bit of a slump cause.
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  • Probably not, but yeah, there's a small percentage possibility.

    :229031_shrug:

    Lack of faith? Hell, I'm a Seahawks fan. I don't know how to handle success.

    Yet.
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  • There's always a chance. There have been many players who had as good of a stretch as Wilson only to revert. Hell, look at Derek Anderson. I don't think it will happen, but saying it couldn't is silly.
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  • volsunghawk wrote:
    SalishHawkFan wrote:Sophomore slump is not our real worry. The odds of a QB staying healthy all season long is 4-1 against. Wilson did it last season. It's extremely unlikely that he'll not miss any games this year.


    Out of curiosity, where did you get the 4-1 odds that a QB won't stay healthy all season long? Seems to me that at least half the league's teams last season had starting QBs who played all 16 games.

    Yeah, that 4-1 odds against number isn't close to accurate. Last year, 20 teams had QBs who started all 16 games and 5 more had QBs who started 15 games. 3 more (SF, KC, Jac) had QBs leave with minor injuries and stuck with the backups for performance reasons. That leaves 4 of 32 teams (Pit, Phi, Ten, Ari) whose QB situations were derailed by injuries in 2012, and all of those teams had starting QBs with an injury history prior to the season.
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  • No, because Wilson doesn't have to be the best player on the team for the team to win.

    Sophomore slumps usually seem to hit teams that were crappy so drafted a QB high in the first round who comes out and has a good year and then the next year the team doesn't do enough to put pieces around him and suddenly the entire team takes a step back including the QB.

    So in other words, no offense to RG3 but I see him having a sophomore slump more than wilson, or luck, because the Seahawks and Colts and put a team around their guys, whereas Dan Snyder in WA is just going to pray RG3 doesn't get hurt and then burden him with doing EVERYTHING to get their team to win.

    That isn't happening here. You could probably start Flynn and we'd still be a great team headed to the playoffs.
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  • The traditional "sophomore slump" is due to one of two things: relaxation on the part of the player, who believes he no longer has to work as hard and opposing teams scheming a way to counterattack their particular skill set.

    The first reason just really cannot apply to Wilson because it is not in his makeup to ever believe he no longer needs to be better.

    As far as the second reason, every time in his career (college and last year) that a problem has been identified that lets the opposing D have an angle to attack, he studies it and finds a way to counter it. I see no reason that will change now. What one hears now is that D coordinators will find a way to counter the read option because of Wilson and the other young QBs using it. However, the RO is only a small part of the offense and in no way defines Wilson's abilities as a QB. His quickness, fastness, awareness and arm, combined with the addition of Harvin to his target list are going to be extremely difficult to scheme against.

    If the 'Hawks regress this year (which I seriously doubt), it won't be because of a Russell Wilson slump. I am not sure the guy is capable of a real slump because challenges just make him better.
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  • There is always a chance for a sophomore slump if a player doesn't prepare to for it. Every player has a weakness that others plan to exploit. For RW it is his height. Defenses will plan to contain RW and 'crowd him' in the pocket limiting his passing lanes and vision. Sure he has escapability and the athleticism to extend plays outside the pocket but this year RW's progress will be measured by how much fewer of those plays will be necessary to continue drives.
    Having said this I don't foresee RW having a sophomore slump. RW will likely improve his timing patterns and quick hitters now that he will have an entire offseason to work with his receivers ala Brees and Brady. Also he will have Percy the playmaker and a potentially better offensive philosophy. There is no doubt RW can get the ball out quickly, easily and with good accuracy.
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  • Aros wrote:
    Tech Worlds wrote:What if he does have a slump and it appears as if defenses have figured him out?

    What ya all gonna do then?


    Punch you in the nuts. :2:


    or ovaries :th2thumbs:
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  • The whole idea of a sophomore slump is overblown and based on a players' performance compared to the perceived expectation of what he should do. A rookie is expected to play at a C level but actually plays at a B level, generating a ton of hype about how great he was. Then everyone assumes he will progress and play at an A level in his second year, but instead he plays at a B+ level so he is considered a disappointment despite being better than he was as a rookie.

    Consider these two QBs:

    Player A: 6.24 ANY/A, 7.8 Y/A, 0.16 EPA/P, 84.5 Rating, 3.3 INT%, 404 DYAR, 0.8% DVOA; 706 rush yards, 5.6 rush Y/A
    Player B: 6.65 ANY/A, 8.0 Y/A, 0.21 EPA/P, 86.2 Rating, 2.5 INT%, 422 DYAR, 2.0% DVOA; 741 rush yards, 5.8 rush Y/A

    Player A is rookie Cam Newton; Player B is second year Cam Newton. He is the most recent poster child of sophomore slumps despite being better in his second year than in his rookie year.

    It's possible that Wilson will be worse in his second year than he was as a rookie, but it's unlikely. Most players are better in their second years than they were as rookies.
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  • I hope the sophomore slump resembles the freshman wall he was suppose to hit around Chicago.
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  • Bottom line, there are some QBs that just don't get "figured out". Brady, Manning, Rodgers--they are the great ones at this game, and Wilson is a great one already. You don't lead the league in QB rating for 1/2 of your rookie season and give your team it's first road playoff win in 30 years unless you are great.

    No chance he slumps.
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  • The reason I don't see him slumping is because he has even more weapons than he had last year.
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  • WestcoastSteve wrote:The reason I don't see him slumping is because he has even more weapons than he had last year.



    and an offseason to prepare as the starter

    and (hopefully) no question marks at receiver going into the year..remember the revolving door at last year's training camp? Winslow, Owens, Lockette was still in the picture, that Bryant guy from Tampa(forget his first name).

    Now you know...Rice, Tate, Harvin, Baldwin, Miller.

    Unless there are any changes, but you know pretty much what you'll have.
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  • With more talent around him and a full training camp and preseason, learning the receivers, etc. RW will be better, not worse. We still haven't seen the best of DangeRuss. I expect he will put up stats that will get him to nearly the level of Rodgers, Brady & Manning. In my opinion, Wilson's leadership and work habits are starting to effect the whole team. The other players on the team have now - after year one, "bought in" to Wilson as their undisputed leader and the teams confidence is at an all time high and will only get higher as they follow Wilson and win more games.

    Sophmore slumps are for all of those ordinary, average QB's not RW. And, he will still have upside even beyond this coming season! I'd be willing to bet that there is a league MVP in Wilson's near future. However good y'all think Wilson was last year, that was just the start of his career and he will get a whole lot better.-IMO.
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  • RW won't let it happen. Teams can plan and have planned for him and as rookie he prevailed in most of those situations. He is so versatile and well schooled. He relies on so many talents that when one isn't an option, another one is.

    Early the season, with a trimmed down playbook he figured out a way. Problems on third down? Immediate improvement next game. Red zone scoring? Again, rectified in a game or two. In the RARE instance that he makes a mistake, he doesn't repeat it.

    The majority of his few picks were flukes, while the stats show something like 12, only a few of those were ones that RW just blew it and I am talking about like 4. There were at least two that they knew would likely get picked at the end of a half where he heaved one downfield and the last play in ATL.

    The kid is so mentally strong, he has poise that few QB's, even old school vets carry. He is constantly looking for a way to be better, he is known for studying ridiculous hours.

    I remember the experts saying that he couldn't throw from the pocket, yet in every game he did that very thing frequently. They were supposed to knock his passes down. Nope... RW made a fool of every doubter around.

    Once he was allowed the playbook, it was extremely difficult to stop him and he always figured out a way. RW is a man amongst boys and played like a seasoned vet in his rookie year. He will be running the offense and calling all the plays very soon with input coming from the staff at times. In one season at Wisconsin, he became the leader and played in the Rose Bowl, nearly beating an extremely talented Oregon team.

    In one season he led the Hawks to 11-5, won their first road playoff game in nearly 30 years and came 25 seconds of bad defense away from winning another.

    Just imagine what he will do with the only changes to his surroundings being the addition of one of the most explosive players in the NFL.

    No slump here..
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  • IMO, sophomore slump is due to two factors: (1) "I got this, I get it, I can do this" + (2) The bar is raised. (I speak from experience, in college.)

    RW can't avoid #2 -- the bar IS raised, and defenses will have tape, and so on. But I don't think he'll fall prey to #1.
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  • jewhawk wrote:The whole idea of a sophomore slump is overblown and based on a players' performance compared to the perceived expectation of what he should do. A rookie is expected to play at a C level but actually plays at a B level, generating a ton of hype about how great he was. Then everyone assumes he will progress and play at an A level in his second year, but instead he plays at a B+ level so he is considered a disappointment despite being better than he was as a rookie.

    Consider these two QBs:

    Player A: 6.24 ANY/A, 7.8 Y/A, 0.16 EPA/P, 84.5 Rating, 3.3 INT%, 404 DYAR, 0.8% DVOA; 706 rush yards, 5.6 rush Y/A
    Player B: 6.65 ANY/A, 8.0 Y/A, 0.21 EPA/P, 86.2 Rating, 2.5 INT%, 422 DYAR, 2.0% DVOA; 741 rush yards, 5.8 rush Y/A

    Player A is rookie Cam Newton; Player B is second year Cam Newton. He is the most recent poster child of sophomore slumps despite being better in his second year than in his rookie year.

    It's possible that Wilson will be worse in his second year than he was as a rookie, but it's unlikely. Most players are better in their second years than they were as rookies.


    Cam is a bad example.

    Player A: 134-235; 57.0%; 1902 yards; 6 TDs; 8 INTs; 77.7 QB rating; 347 rushing yards; 4 rushing TDs; 8 fumbles (3 lost)
    Player B: 146-250; 58.4%; 1967 yards; 13 TDs; 4 INTs; 94.2 QB rating; 394 rushing yards; 4 rushing TDs; 2 fumbles (0 lost)

    That's Cam Newton for the first 8 and last 8 games last year.
    Newton was going through a very real sophomore slump last year, and although I've split it into two even 8 game sections, really it only lasted 9 games before he realised he had to keep working at it and hadn't "made it" already.
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  • Well, yeah, if you go by his statistics. After all, he's only going to be playing the first half of every game next year because we've seen how much NFL teams complain when those nasty mean old Seahawks "run up" the score.
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  • Of course there's a chance, but I think it's heavily diminished with Russ. We saw him progress and learn, he didn't have flukey games or "by the butt-hair wins" like another certain rookie QB did all year...He is grounded in the "why" he was successful and has the proper support around him to continue his method. He knows why he was successful and he doesn't just expect to win because he did his rookie year - he expects to train and prepare properly in order to earn the wins.
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  • I have little concern of the "tape" on Wilson. The guy adjusts his style in the middle of a drive a variety of ways. Other teams might be able to keep his passing numbers down at times, but at the expense of other options.
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  • I think Russell Wilson has the least chance of a sophomore slump than any other player in nfl history. His work ethic, self confidence and drive is unparalleled, this is especially true considering the sophomore slump is most noticeable with QBs WRs and DBs.
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  • O ye of little faith. Blinded by your own underachieving and low expectations. By Russell Wilson's standards last year was average at best i.e. learning the game at the NFL level. On his scale you can't slump from average. This year is when we start to see the magic unfold... Behold for unto you a champion is in the making. Damn I just sounded like Moses right there.
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