“Vernon Adams is just like Russell Wilson” NOT!


While there are definitely physical and ability similarities between Vernon Adams and Russell Wilson, when he played at Eastern Washington, Adams’ passing game was much more comparable to Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M.

There were a lot of “What are you doing??  Great pass!!” moments. Passes that looked like they shouldn’t be thrown — to covered receivers — off the wrong foot — with unorthodox arm actions — that almost always were successful. If you stopped the film just before the ball arrives, you’d very much doubt its success, but then you’d almost always be celebrating another spectacular, big-play, completion, usually resulting in a touchdown. I used the word “incredible” continually while watching Adams’ highlights.

If any of you watched Manziel, at A&M, you saw many similar passes. Wilson, at Wisconsin and Seattle, would never dream of throwing those passes; he’s just not programmed that way.

Is Adams like Russell Wilson?

From Video

Is Adams like Russell Wilson?

Adams has incredible [there’s that word again] vision of the field, and the incredible ability to release a pass at the exactly the right moment the completion window is briefly open. He also has incredible accuracy at getting the pass precisely to the right/only place where it could be completed — no matter what body position he is in, or arm action is needed at that moment.

Oh, Vernon can definitely step up in the pocket and step into perfectly precise basic passes with the best of ’em. He’s got great footwork and a wonderfully quick orthodox release. But it’s his improvisational ability that’s so unusually incredible. At EWU, Adams completed a whole lot of passes most QBs wouldn’t have even attempted. By the time most “conventional” QBs realized there was an open window and got themselves in position to make the pass, that window would have been closed and/or they’d have been sacked.

Aren’t there awful risks that come with these wonderful rewards? Damn right. But Adams had to play that way/take those risks for EWU to be successful. With his mediocre defense and lack of a running game, Adams had to make things happen. Should OC Scott Frost and Helfrich now rein him in?

Is he a better match?

From Video

Or is Johnny Manziel a better comparison?

Should Adams, now, be more like Wilson than Manziel? I’m pretty sure your answer will vary as the season goes on. There might be a lot of times you shake your head, both positively and negatively, at the pass you just saw Vernon throw. The Ducks can win most games with their QB not doing anything bad, but winning the big games invariably requires the QB to make improvised, “incredible” plays.

My conclusion after watching most of Vernon Adams’ games is that his greatest attribute is his football I.Q. He’s kind of “savant-like.”  I think geniuses have to be allowed to do their thing. Guided and advised, but definitely not tightly controlled. Maybe, Vernon can combine the best of Manziel and Wilson. The yin and the yang. As Duck fans we’re very fortunate to have the opportunity to see this adventure unfold.

Top Photo from Video 

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Coach Morris

Coach Morris

Coach Mike Morris spent 30 years coaching at seven different high schools throughout Southern California. He coached many players who went on to Pac-12 programs including Oregon, such as Saladin McCullough. He is a writer, Football analyst and a good friend of the Principal of the site.

  • worldwidewebfoot

    Not to be too harsh on Russell Wilson, but in the Rose Bowl third quarter he dropped back, surveyed the field, stepped up, and with perfect form threw the ball to Kiko Alonzo.

    • Chileduck

      Give Kiko some credit… He baited Wilson and broke perfectly to the ball… Kiko just made it LOOK easy.

      • Christopher Carr

        Yeah. Kiko is, you know, really damn good. No shame in that for Wilson.

        Will be fun to watch him at Philly if he’s fully healthy this year.

  • Anthony Joseph Gomes

    for once i really have nothing to add. i think that the best comparison you can make to VA is johnny football without the drinking problem and attitude.

  • Michael Oaks

    I definitely respect your knowledge coach Morris. From the throws I watched Vernon throw, I definitely felt like he is not a Mariota for sure, but how many out there are. From what I witnessed, I felt the same way. VA is a scrambler and not a scripted one at that. I wish him well as he tries to unseat our starting QB, but he just might not get the job done. And if he wants to play Pro ball, I have a feeling that the Manziel comparison will come up, unless Frost can help him. Height wise, he is comparable to Drew Brees. I wish him luck. Go Ducks!

  • DaProphet

    Too much negative talk on Vernon Adams and he may decide to not pass the math test and stay at EWU, Lockie is no Adams… Be careful what you wish for.

  • DaProphet

    Adams is not going to be admitted to Oregon if the math prof can give him a tough test… Lockie looks like half speed of Mariota, never seen him run.

  • TristonBruh

    I’d like to see him play against better competition before we compare him to Johnny Football. Manziel was absolutely incredible against SEC defenses as a Freshman. Not saying Adams won’t be good, but I hate articles like these that overhype players too early.

    • You should check the analysis article Tuesday about Adams; proof is offered about Vernon and I think you will find it an amusing read. The writer went “all-in.”

  • GoDucks

    Vernon, if he beats Lockie, is going to evolve a lot during his one season with us. He won’t be close to knowing the playbook by the end of September, meaning that in the early part of the season it’s likely that he’ll be more conservative, and perhaps more limited in his risk taking.

    If this guy is what people say he is, I won’t be surprised at all to see the improvising start to steadily ramp up, if he has a good start. How knows, maybe he’ll land a Quad in the end zone during the Civil War !

  • duckified

    VA is Manziel and Wilson all rolled into one, with all the pluses and none of the minuses. He’s almost as much fun to watch as MM was. I hope he gets to enroll before the start of fall practice.