May 27, 2014; Renton, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) passes during organized team activities at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Russell Wilson not yet a top 12 quarterback says former NFL general manager


Russell Wilson helped guide the Seattle Seahawks to the Super Bowl in his second season in the NFL and has been a tremendous leader on and off the field since the club drafted him in the third round out of Wisconsin, but that’s not enough for a former NFL general manager to consider him among the top quarterbacks in the NFL.

Charley Casserly who was the GM for the Washington Redskins and most recently the Houston Texans before moving to the NFL Network wasn’t kind when ranking the quarterbacks in the league and gave Marshawn Lynch and the stout Seahawks defense the credit for their success.

“I do not consider Russell Wilson a Top 10 quarterback, let alone one who belongs in the top five,” Casserly wrote. “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.”

Part of what Casserly writes is true. Lynch is one of the top runners in the NFL and the Seahawks have the top defense in the league with Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas arguably the best at their positions, but is Casserly being too harsh in his assessment of Wilson?

The top-five is not in his reach yet with Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers in no particular order a lock for the top-four, but is there room for him to be in the second tier?

Not yet according to Casserly.

“In no particular order, I would rank these AFC signal-callers ahead of Wilson: Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck, Tom Brady and, possibly, Joe Flacco,” Casserly wrote. “And the NFC quarterbacks I would rank ahead of him: Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Eli Manning (despite his poor 2013 season), Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford, Tony Romo and Nick Foles.”

If you were to play a game this Sunday, how many quarterbacks are you taking ahead of Wilson?

I’d have him behind Manning, Brady, Rodgers, Brees and Luck. Wilson is the sixth best quarterback in my opinion, where does he rank on your list?

Wilson, a two-time Pro Bowl selection passed for 3,357 yards and 26 touchdowns with a 101.2 quarterback rating last year.


Tags: Charley Casserly Football Russell Wilson Seattle Seahawks

  • nogdolan

    I don’t necessarily have a problem with this guy not thinking Wilson is elite, what I have a problem with is that this yahoo has not watched Seattle games! Just like the dolts on MNF who were shocked when Seattle destroyed NO. This is your job either do it right or shut up!

  • JohnPaul Sein

    Let’s start with wins: 24 so far in his first two years. That’s a lot, right? Got to compare favorably with anyone, right?

    Yep. The All-time wins leaders through two regular seasons:

    Wilson 24

    Andrew Luck, 22

    Ben Roethlisberger, 22

    Dan Marino, 21

    Matt Ryan

    Joe Flacco 20

    Now let’s shift to playoff games started. This will be Wilson’s fifth in two years. More rarified air. Most playoff games first two years:

    Roethlisberger 6

    Mark Sanchez 6

    Joe Flacco 5

    Wilson 5

    Now let’s shift to passer rating (min. 25 starts). Surely Wilson can’t be on this list as well. After all, he’s a “game-manager”! But there he is. Best passer rating, first two seasons:

    Dan Marino, 104.5

    Wilson, 100.6

    Roethlisberger, 98.3

    Robert Griffin III, 91.5

    Carson Palmer, 90.2

    Wilson may be seen my some as a game manager. But he gets the ball down field as well as any second-year QB in history. Best average per pass attempt, first two season (min. 500 attempts):

    Ben Roethlisberger, 8.89

    Kurt Warner, 8.61

    Dan Marino, 8.48

    Y.A. Tittle, 8.19

    Wilson, 8.09

    Oh, did we mention that he’s one of the greatest running threats ever to play the position? Most rushing yards by QB, first two seasons

    Cam Newton, 1,447

    Robert Griffin, 1,304

    Michael Vick, 1,066

    Wilson, 1,028

    Vince Young, 947

    Five wildly different disciplines: scrambling, passing efficiently, downfield ability, winnng games, staying alive in the playoffs.

    Wilson has not only been good at all five, he’s been among the best ever.

    And keep in mind that he’s been doing it in the NFC West, the division with the best defenses in the NFL.

    And yet when the 2011 Seahawks were playing the defense was ranked 24th and offense was ranked 28th.. then Russel Wilson comes in and offense jumps up to 17th but defense took a hit and was 29th.. Now in 2011 the record for the Sehawks was 7-9 and in 2012 Seahawks with Slightly better stats became 11-5.. and in 2013 the seahawks went 13-3 and its because of the DEFENSE???? the coaching staff has been the same since 2010… Wilson is without a doubt a leader on a grand scale… He is a great QB… but im sorry he is on a large margin better than Andrew Luck and Nick Foles…

    • silus

      If you had a mind of your own you wouldn’t accept that “wins” is a QB stat.

      • Erockalypse

        And that dismisses the rest of those tiers he is in? Go away half wit

        • silus

          Who said I was dismissing everything else? Try reading my exact words next time.

      • JohnPaul Sein

        it isnt a stat… its a RECORD.. That has been broken by the current Seahawks QB.. I dont see many current 2-3 yr QBs on this list do you?

        • silus

          A record is a stat. And it is a stat for the team, not an individual. Because ESPN wants to throw it out there, people like you take it as the gospel. It’s kind of sad, really.

          • JohnPaul Sein

            Actually that wasn’t espn.. but if you want to we can take out that stat.. and he still out does everyone else…

          • johntheonly

            Well then your problem is with ESPN, right? We didn’t make up the “QB wins” stat record. It IS a record and whether anyone likes it or not, it will be referred to as such. Nobody questions the wonderful Rothliesberger’s claim to fame on his win %, nor Marino’s on their first two years…..? We won the Super Bowl, and our quarterback was awesome in that game….accept and enjoy.

          • silus

            My problem is with anyone that thinks a win in a TEAM sport can be attributed as a stat to one individual. The fact is that no QB has ever “won” a game. The Seahawks win games. Those are indisputable facts. Furthermore, it’s just pathetic to hear the contribution of greatest secondary of all time being dismissed for the sake of this ridiculous fabricated stat.

          • johntheonly

            That is a problem-irrelevant stats, some of them are so crazy sounding that I wonder if people are getting royalties after inventing them. It makes it difficult for some people to see the forest through the trees when it comes to deciding how a game was won. I prefer watching the game and then seeing how the cards fall with statistics-stats are a result of, not a driver of victories and defeats. And to support your point, the secondary may come up with mediocre statistics for a game, and yet be instrumental in the victory.

    • Erockalypse

      Couldn’t agree more. Wilson is by far and away the best QB from that draft. Go ahead, be my guest and take Andrew Luck. He’s on no level compared to Wilson. Sure he helped a dismal Colts team turn around, but on the same hand Wilson took a dismal hawks team and won a super bowl. Better LUCK next year haters!

    • atyler2011

      Very good observations. You are the first one to “recognize” that our defense is very good but not that dominance to carry a team. Basically the same roster, prior two seasons before RW came on-board, with an exception in MB and CA on defense. Everywhere else is the same. Consecutive 7-9 record. Here are some nuggets, for the 9 losses RW incurred, we were leading in 7 games going to the 4th quarter, which means the defense blew the leads (i.e. Atlanta, Colts etc.) RW has 8 comebacks that translate to almost 30% of the 28 wins come in the way of comebacks, which means the defense was not that good for those particular games. Yes, we have a very good defense but not dominant as the 85 Bears, 2000 Ravens, or 2002 Bucs who actually carried the team w/ a very mediocre offensive unit. RW’s presence added almost a full touchdown to the offensive unit compared to the two previous years. He has never lost a game by more than 7 points (41 combined points in 9 games), which means he always keeps the team in close to compete (smart and intelligence play) But I believe his greatet asset is his leadership skill and how he makes other players better. That is a true indication of a winner and great player (love it when he gives credit to others they in and taking the blame when they lose). And the scary thing is he is getting BETTER. Go Hawks.

  • Michael Wandler

    Wait, the former GM for the Redskins and Texans has an opinion? It MUST be right, because there is a guy who obviously can spot talent!!

    • Jim Q

      Casserly is very much “old school”, he lives in the past. He is no longer a GM for good reason. The current NFL is pass happy so any QB that doesn’t get 4500-5000 yards just isn’t an elite QB in his opinion. I think he’s going crazy because of that stupid WIG he has sitting on top of his brain. The NFL is different now than in old Charlie’s day. Wilson will be considered elite in a couple more years after winning 3 consecutive Super Bowls, ————————-> Guaranteed.

      • johntheonly

        They say that if you overheat your cranium, you will be unable to think clearly…I will still listen to the old guy, but will weigh his opinion against anybody else’s in the meantime, as he needs to reaffirm his so-called credibility with some fans…

      • atyler2011

        Don’t forget this is the same guy who used two number one picks to have the “great” Heath Shuler and the “unstoppable” David Carr. So I guess he knows better than the rest of us.

  • Michael Wandler

    I understand the argument, but I would counter that we don’t yet know what RW3 can do. He’s put up great, if not godly, numbers, but the guy is also crazy smart. In other words, it is the chicken and the egg question. Seattle has one of the best defenses of all time and a phenomenal running back, and Wilson does everything necessary from the QB position to win. If Seattle were built differently, though, Wilson might be the guy throwing for 300 yards per game. He’s got an absolute hose, so it’s possible. The only thing we know right now is he’s a winner. And I’ll take that over a 400 yard/five TD loss any day. You know what he does have in common with Manning, Brees, and Rodgers? The same number of Super Bowl wins. We’re coming for you next, Brady.

    • atyler2011

      Very true. How do measure “success” as a qb? Everybody is “enamored” w/ passing
      yards, number of tds, etc but forget to factor in the actual productivity rate (i.e. efficiency and effectiveness) Yes, it is true that he plays on a well-rounded team but people tend to forget they had TWO LOSING seasons w/ basically the same roster on defense w/o MB and CA and the same players on offense prior RW came on-board. They won a freaking SB in his second year. Only 3 other qbs have achieved the same feat in the history of the NFL. In every advanced metrics, he
      is ranked in the top-5 or top-10 in all categories, especially the mother of them all- ANY/A. Based on all statistical outputs, only Dan Marino has a better numbers than RW for the first two seasons. He has never lost a game by more than 7 points. In the 9 losses, during this short career, the team was leading, going to the 4th quarter, in 7 games. He has 8 comebacks and 10 GWDs. Seattle has a great defense but it is not a DOMINANT one like the 85 Bears, 2000 Ravens, or 2002 Bucs. They can be had too at times as indicated by how many games they had blown during his two years. Put it this way, almost 30% of his total wins come in the way of bringing his team back. That tells me the
      defense IS NOT dominance as people have portrayed them to be. They are very good but not great enough to carry the team like the ones I mentioned. So don’t buy into that argument. And that does not factor in his greatest asset- leadership skills and he makes players around him better. But as the story goes, people tend to believe what they see w/ their own eyes and listening to the supposedly pundits w/o having any knowledge or empirical evidence to back up their argument. With RW, there is a lot of empirical evidence to argue that he is one of the best right now but people are too lazy to do the homework to see how great this guy is. But who cares, let people continue to doubt the guy.
      As the 12th man, we are going to enjoy this ride for a while and we’ll have the last laugh. Go Hawks.

  • http://www.gjscherzinger.com/. Gregory Scherzinger

    I think Russell Wilson’s W-L, stats, and achievement records speaks for itself. I can’t think of any QB I’d rather root for. (I also remember when a 3,000 yd. season passing was an achievement too,) Great RB: yes. Great D: yes. If any one was counting in the Super Bowl, the offense scored on their first 5 possessions … 2 FG and 3TDs.
    He is far more than a game manager. His completion percentage is among the best, and he averages more yards on fewer passes. He’s accurate and smart. Put him in the top five … as good as he’s been, I believe we’ll see some improvement in his third year too.

  • DRRL

    Playing with the best defense helps to explain why Wilson has 29 wins in his first two seasons. Having a great defense, or even a great running back, does not explain why only one quarterback in all of NFL history has ever thrown more touchdown passes in the first two years of his career. Nor can you give Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Michael Bennett, inter alia, credit for Wilson putting together back-to-back seasons of 100+ quarterback rating. And don’t forget that Wilson has done so behind a substandard NFL O-line, and with “pedestrian” receivers.

  • johntheonly

    I would have swallowed most of Charlie’s east coast enthusiasm except when he ranked Nick Foles ahead of Russell Wilson. I would have said that he was hedging his opinion according to longevity, or something like that-and that Wilson had not been in the league long enough to rate him higher than # 10. But then Charlie steps out on the limb which immediately breaks off, and he plummets headfirst into the hard ground of realism, by putting Tony “snakebit” Romo ahead of Wilson. When you are a commentator, you don’t have to be 100% correct on every dissertation which is bestowed upon the public. While he correctly identifies Marshawn and the defense as major factors in our best-ever Super Bowl winning season; it is really tough to overlook the comeback win at Chicago, the dismantling of Houston in Houston, and a whole lot of other clutch, crunch time performances which not only propelled the Seahawks to victory on those afternoons, but contributed to the home win, (as opposed to a road win), against the forty-niners before the biggest victory in Seattle sports history; a victory in which our QB excelled at what he does. Now, when did Romo or Foles do that? On the tenth of Never, that’s when. When you look at isolated stats; whether from a game or from a season, you are often misled by them. Charlie! Try watching about 4 games in a row from the “season that was” and re-think your position. You may have a change of heart…

    • atyler2011

      Nick Foles? One good season, really? Oh, I forgot this is the guy who really “has” an eye talent in evaluating and picking quarterback. Do the names of Heath Shuler and David Carr ring a bell? Number one picks too. Actually, Tony Romeo is a pretty good qb, just not a “closer”. So if you just want to be
      “teased” then he is your quarterback. I have to disagree w/ you about AL? Can you share with me how you arrived in believing that AL is better than RW? Based on what metrics?

      • johntheonly

        I personally think Luck is good, but I prefer Wilson-I think though that you were responding to the article on that one, not me.

        • atyler2011

          Sorry, my bad. Yes, I was responding to the article. Friendly fires- the 12th man division. Go Hawks.