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As RG3 runs less, Luck and Wilson run more

Andrew Luck, Jordan Hill AP

The three rookie quarterbacks who took the NFL by storm last season — Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson — are all excellent athletes who can beat teams with their feet as well as with their arms. But last year, Luck and Wilson were somewhat overlooked as running threats while people marveled at the running ability of RG3.

A former track star who might have become an Olympic hurdler if he hadn’t decided to focus full-time on football, Griffin is probably the best athlete ever to play quarterback in the NFL. As a rookie, he ran the ball 120 times for 815 yards and seven touchdowns. He led all quarterbacks in rushing yards, and his average of 6.8 yards a carry was the best for any player in the league, at any position, with more than 50 carries.

Griffin, of course, ended his season getting carted off the field in the playoffs, and it’s unsurprising that after reconstructive knee surgery, he’s not the same runner this season. Although his rushing totals are still better than most NFL quarterbacks (38 carries for 233 yards), he’s on pace to finish this year with about 200 fewer yards this year than last year, his average yards per carry is down more than half a yard to 6.1, and he has yet to score a rushing touchdown this season. Griffin isn’t running as often as he did last year and isn’t making as many big plays when he does run.

But in an interesting aspect of Luck and Wilson’s progression as NFL quarterbacks, both of them have been running more often in their second seasons than they did in their first. Some young quarterbacks learn to rely less on their feet and develop into more classic pocket passers after their rookie seasons, but if anything Luck and Wilson appear to be finding more opportunities to hurt opposing defenses on the ground.

Last year Luck carried 62 times for 255 yards, an average of 4.1 yards a carry, and he scored five rushing touchdowns. This year Luck is on pace to have more carries, more yards and more touchdowns, with 28 carries for 183 yards and three touchdowns through seven games. And at 6.5 yards a carry this season, Luck is actually averaging more yards per carry than Griffin.

And it’s Wilson who is leading all NFL quarterbacks with 323 rushing yards this season — that’s more rushing yards than Luck and Griffin as well as more than Michael Vick, Terrelle Pryor, Colin Kaepernick, Cam Newton, Alex Smith and all the other quarterbacks who make plays with their feet. Wilson is on pace to finish this season with more carries for more yards and a higher yards per carry average than he had last season.

The new breed of NFL quarterbacks are running the ball far more often and far more effectively than the pocket passers of old. Even if the best athlete of them all still doesn’t look like he’s back to full speed.

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65 Responses to “As RG3 runs less, Luck and Wilson run more”
  1. nyyjetsknicks says: Oct 26, 2013 11:44 AM

    Having 2 acl surgeries will do that to you.

  2. allday420ap says: Oct 26, 2013 11:45 AM

    fun fact

  3. demolition510 says: Oct 26, 2013 11:53 AM

    Shanarat sold him out. Unfortunately RG3 will never be the same

  4. f1restarter says: Oct 26, 2013 11:54 AM

    The difference is, Luck and Wilson would still be good quarterbacks without the ability to scramble. RG3, on the other hand, would be selling insurance.

  5. mf1849 says: Oct 26, 2013 12:03 PM

    Go HAWKS!

  6. harrisonhits2 says: Oct 26, 2013 12:06 PM

    f1restarter says:

    The difference is, Luck and Wilson would still be good quarterbacks without the ability to scramble. RG3, on the other hand, would be selling insurance.
    _______________________

    Lol you think this guy is smart enough to sell insurance ? More like “would you like some fries with your big mac sir?”.

  7. thebirdofprey2 says: Oct 26, 2013 12:07 PM

    I have been impressed with Andrew Luck’s mobility. I always heard he was a good athlete and I watched him scramble a few times this year and thought defenses have to be aware of his legs on 3rd downs. Wilson is running more this year because the offensive line isn’t holding up like last year because of injuries. When he does run you can tell he knows when to get down and out of bounds without taking a hit. RG3 even though he isn’t as mobile as last year, still looks fast and learning not to put himself at risk (less Vick-like).

  8. skinsfan91 says: Oct 26, 2013 12:07 PM

    Umm, did you not see the Redskins last game. Griff ran for 86 yards on the Bears on I believe 12 carries. Give the guy some time,he’s just getting his burst back.

  9. assuredmutualdestruction says: Oct 26, 2013 12:10 PM

    Wilson is magic.

  10. xlichamps says: Oct 26, 2013 12:11 PM

    Luck 4 MVP!

  11. seahawksbmx says: Oct 26, 2013 12:18 PM

    Pretty sure RW’s increased rushing numbers are largely due to the offensive line injuries. He often has defenders in his face as soon as the ball is snapped so he finds a lane and bolts. Thankfully, he’s good about getting out of bounds or sliding to avoid the big hit.

  12. tennesseeoilers says: Oct 26, 2013 12:26 PM

    I’ve actually been a huge fan of dual threat QBs since I was a kid. My first faves were Joe Theismann (pros) and J.C. Watts (college). From there my fandom followed Steve McNair and now Jake Locker.

    (Sidenote: It was actually Locker who led the entire NFL last season with 7.1 yards-per-carry on 41 attempts. He’s matching that same rushing average so far this season.)

  13. wheeln69 says: Oct 26, 2013 12:33 PM

    f1restarter says:

    The difference is, Luck and Wilson would still be good quarterbacks without the ability to scramble. RG3, on the other hand, would be selling insurance.
    _______________________

    Lol you think this guy is smart enough to sell insurance ? More like “would you like some fries with your big mac sir?”.

    What turnip truck did you two morons fall off of? Griffin is extremely intelligent…Griffin graduated in three years with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a 3.67 GPA, while appearing on the dean’s list twice…Now, I suggest you two do some research before you bash him…and oh, go cash your own paychecks at the penny arcade…idiots!

  14. logicalvoicesays says: Oct 26, 2013 12:34 PM

    #RGIIIWannabes

  15. mightyminer says: Oct 26, 2013 12:36 PM

    The difference is that Luck/Wilson run to compliment their passing game.

    RG3 runs to supplement his passing game (or lack of).

  16. bmore55 says: Oct 26, 2013 12:37 PM

    RG3 is just now getting back to himself he will take over Wilson by seasons end

  17. commonsensedude says: Oct 26, 2013 12:51 PM

    Such foolish comments about RG3’s abilities and intellect – most likely coming from trolls who themselves don’t quite have what it takes to either sell insurance or make fries.

  18. allday420ap says: Oct 26, 2013 12:51 PM

    The difference is, Luck and Wilson would still be good quarterbacks without the ability to scramble. RG3, on the other hand, would be selling insurance.
    _______________________

    Lol you think this guy is smart enough to sell insurance ? More like “would you like some fries with your big mac sir?”.

    ———————————
    Come to think of it, RG3 could get a job at goodburger as Kel.

  19. sweetnlow44 says: Oct 26, 2013 12:56 PM

    rg3 was a good hurdler so that makes him a better athlete? Wilson played minor league baseball and have you seen him play? He’s every bit the athlete rg3 is, if not even more athletic.

  20. jbaxt says: Oct 26, 2013 12:57 PM

    Best athlete to ever play the position? Based on what? His speed? Call him the fastest, fine. But right now he’s Randall Cunningham without the accuracy, so Cunningham would be a better “athlete” in my opinion. As would Luck, Wilson, and Kap is as good of an athlete based on speed. What about Flutie, McNabb, even Tebow could all be argued as “the best athlete” to play the position. And since all the before mentioned QB possess some high level of quickness or speed. Many would take a strong arm over legs. Then you have to mention Elway, Mannings, and several others. Then there’s the most accurate types like Montana.

    In the end, right now, as early in his career as he is, Luck is the best overall “athlete” to ever play the game in my opinion. RG3 would be about 10th unless his arm and accuracy get better.

  21. thereisfootballwestofjersey says: Oct 26, 2013 1:04 PM

    Lil’ Russ Wilson CAN NOT beat you throwing from the pocket. He’s a running back who can throw. #Truth

  22. skinsfan91 says: Oct 26, 2013 1:09 PM

    I don’t care if RGIII is worse at reading defenses from the pocket. He’ll get healthy and put up better numbers than those other two by the end of the season.

  23. 1billsnation says: Oct 26, 2013 1:10 PM

    Griffin is running less because he is just now starting to get the confidence back in his knee. You are starting to see him do things on the field again like he did last season. Griffin’s talent is uneniable. Does he have flaws in his game? Sure he does, but this is only his 2nd year in the league and he is coming off of his second major knee operation in 4 years. How long did it take Drew Brees to become the Drew Brees we all know is one of the best QB’s in the NFL? Peyton threw like 26 INT’s his 1st year. It took Stafford a couple of years to get it going and shake the injury prone stigma. Bradford seemed to be coming into his own, 4 years in, before his knee injury. Luck is probably the best all around QB of them all because he just seems like he was bred to play the position, but Wilson and Griffin are excellent QB’s in their own right not to mention the fact that Luck/Wilson are not that far ahead of Griffin if at all. .

  24. skinsfan91 says: Oct 26, 2013 1:11 PM

    He’s talking about athleticism, not passing skills. And you’re saying RGIII has a weak arm? Wow, there goes your credibility.

  25. dstep24 says: Oct 26, 2013 1:14 PM

    I think we can stop mentioning Griffin in the same sentence as Luck and Wilson at this point.

    You have two quarterbacks with great athleticism, and one great athlete who occasionally looks like a quarterback.

  26. henryjones20 says: Oct 26, 2013 1:15 PM

    luck will be out of the league and in jail/broke in 3yrs

  27. btietz2013 says: Oct 26, 2013 1:20 PM

    The difference is, Luck and Wilson would still be good quarterbacks without the ability to scramble. RG3, on the other hand, would be selling insurance.
    ____________________________________

    2012 PASSING Stats:

    RGIII: 65.6% comp, 8.14 yds/A, 20td, 5int, 102.4 Rating

    Wilson: 64.1%, 7.93, 26td, 10int, 100.0 rating

    Luck: 54.1%, 6.98, 23td, 18int, 76.5 rating

    Do you even watch football?

  28. seattlecvd says: Oct 26, 2013 1:25 PM

    The difference is, Luck and Wilson would still be good quarterbacks without the ability to scramble. RG3, on the other hand, would be selling insurance.
    _______________________

    Lol you think this guy is smart enough to sell insurance ? More like “would you like some fries with your big mac sir?”.

    ———————————
    Come to think of it, RG3 could get a job at goodburger as Kel.
    ________________________

    The three of you are so funny…but not for the reasons you think. RG3 is easily smarter, and I would guess more employable than the three of you put together. He will make millions a year even after he is done playing football. Whether that is next year or 10 years from now, he will live a life that you could only sit around and be envious of.

  29. allday420ap says: Oct 26, 2013 1:36 PM

    “Welcome to goodburger, home of the goodburger, can I take your order?”

    -Rg “Kel”3

  30. larrydavid815 says: Oct 26, 2013 1:39 PM

    RG3 is much smarter than you think. He won’t be selling insurance when he is done.

  31. whatwhat2013 says: Oct 26, 2013 1:40 PM

    Should cut losses and convert to a possession WR type.

  32. nickbrezzy says: Oct 26, 2013 1:42 PM

    Wow it’s so funny how everybody hates Vick but when you really look at the new era of QBs you see a lot of mick Vick in there games

  33. tennesseeoilers says: Oct 26, 2013 1:43 PM

    When fans of RG III, Andrew Luck or Russell Wilson criticize the other quarterbacks, they almost always come off as uninformed fanboys. The truth is all three of them are immensely gifted. All three are also very intelligent, devoted students of the game. The real deals, who could potentially end up in the Hall of Fame.

    Please guys, show some objectivity. For instance, of the three, I like RG III the best and Luck the least. But I’m willing to admit that Andrew Luck is the safest bet to go to the Hall.

  34. hyprcaffeinated says: Oct 26, 2013 1:47 PM

    Shouldn’t that be Braveheart’s QB Robert Griffin III?

  35. devildog911 says: Oct 26, 2013 1:58 PM

    Come on guys, he won’t be selling burgers, he will be making subway sandwiches….next year.

    Bob – “Welcome to subway, my name is Bob, what can I make for you today?”

    Skins fans – “I’m a skins fan, can I get a discount?”

  36. assuredmutualdestruction says: Oct 26, 2013 2:07 PM

    thereisfootballwestofjersey says:Oct 26, 2013 1:04 PM

    Lil’ Russ Wilson CAN NOT beat you throwing from the pocket. He’s a running back who can throw. #Truth
    —————————————————-
    You’re right. He’s Barry Sanders with Dan Marino’s arm. #MagicWilson

  37. griffy410 says: Oct 26, 2013 2:12 PM

    Griffin didn’t get carted off he walked off and remained on the sideline the entire game. His accuracy was top notch last year. His running ability as well as his accuracy has been effected by the injury thos year but he’s coming around. Just look at numbers the last 2 games.

  38. skinsfan91 says: Oct 26, 2013 2:18 PM

    Also, the Redskins O-line is built for a read option QB. Hence, when the Redskins do straight up drop back pass plays with no misdirection, RGIII often has his linemen in his lap right after he hikes the ball. Offense is built for a mobile pocket, smaller, quicker linemen

  39. thebirdofprey2 says: Oct 26, 2013 2:22 PM

    btietz2013 says: Oct 26, 2013 1:20 PM

    The difference is, Luck and Wilson would still be good quarterbacks without the ability to scramble. RG3, on the other hand, would be selling insurance.
    ____________________________________

    2012 PASSING Stats:

    RGIII: 65.6% comp, 8.14 yds/A, 20td, 5int, 102.4 Rating

    Wilson: 64.1%, 7.93, 26td, 10int, 100.0 rating

    Luck: 54.1%, 6.98, 23td, 18int, 76.5 rating

    Do you even watch football?

    ————————————
    Ask yourself that question.

    Now put up the 2013 stats and win/loss records.

  40. channer81 says: Oct 26, 2013 2:33 PM

    I guess we can fail to mention Bob has run for more yards and attempts in the last two games than the first 4 combined.

  41. jh500 says: Oct 26, 2013 2:33 PM

    Meanwhile 33 year old Vick is average 9.3 yards per carry, which is shattering the all time previous record.

  42. harrycanyon says: Oct 26, 2013 2:41 PM

    10 years from now, Luck and Wilson will still be starters in this league. Griffin will be lucky to make 5 years in the league. All that hype, and I just don’t see longevity. He isn’t smart enough to not get himself hurt again.

  43. stuartscottslazyeyeball says: Oct 26, 2013 2:49 PM

    RG3 was a one year wonder. Dude will be lucky to play another 5 years.

  44. fnf417 says: Oct 26, 2013 2:59 PM

    I would like to see the numbers for the 2013 season myself now that you mentioned it

  45. fnf417 says: Oct 26, 2013 3:04 PM

    I’m guessing that’s why Peyton Manning told Colts owner he would pick Luck over Wilson or RG3 before they traded him…I can see Wilson and Luck playing longer in the NFL

  46. f1restarter says: Oct 26, 2013 3:46 PM

    LOL…

    Looks like my comment about RG3 truly hit a nerve with these delusional Redskins fans. They can’t handle the truth that their savior is not only a mediocre (at best) QB, but is not even the best QB on his own team.

    Mission accomplished!

  47. tennesseeoilers says: Oct 26, 2013 3:55 PM

    This is one of my favorite topics in all of football. I thought you might enjoy considering which of today’s young dual threat QBs are actually faster than the others. Here are the official combine times for the 40 from NFL.com:

    Robert Griffin III: 4.41
    Russell Wilson: 4.55
    Colin Kaepernick: 4.53
    Cam Newton: 4.59
    Jake Locker: 4.59
    Geno Smith: 4.59
    E.J. Manuel 4.65
    Andrew Luck: 4.67

    Terrelle Pryor and Ryan Tannehill did not take part in the NFL combine, and like the quarterbacks above, have unofficial 40 times that are much faster than most of the speeds above.

  48. chawk12thman says: Oct 26, 2013 4:13 PM

    Everyone can nickpick….but all three QB’s are very good, entertaining and likely to be playing against each other for years to come.

  49. kuranda84 says: Oct 26, 2013 4:16 PM

    Every QB needs to adjust their play depending on the situations that present themselves. I think all three have done a good job of that. RG3 needs to get totally healthy, but starting to look like his old self. Luck is a freaking beast – I knew he had decent speed, but he’s very strong as well. And Wilson is MacGyver in getting out of situations, and his making something out of nothing ability is borderline magical.

    I have tons of respect for all three of these 2nd yr QBs. It’s interesting to dissect their play, but kind of unfortunate for them that they will all be compared to each other throughout their careers. Any of these three would be the top of their class if they were drafted in a different year, but since they all came out together, it’s every analyst saying this one is better or this one is better. All are intelligent, hard working, and have amazing character. Best of luck to them all.

  50. scoobaj says: Oct 26, 2013 4:17 PM

    “Welcome to Good Burger, home of the Good Burger, can I take your order”

  51. obmig says: Oct 26, 2013 4:25 PM

    Watch out Luck fans, running qbs never last lol

  52. commonsensedude says: Oct 26, 2013 4:31 PM

    “Insurance” … “Fries” … “Good Burger.” Now I recognize you guys! Weren’t you three in “Dumber and Dumberer?”

  53. realitycheckbaby says: Oct 26, 2013 4:41 PM

    thereisfootballwestofjersey says: Oct 26, 2013 1:04 PM

    Lil’ Russ Wilson CAN NOT beat you throwing from the pocket. He’s a running back who can throw. #Truth
    ===========================

    And Krap can’t beat you throwing at all (unless you’re Greenbay and decide to play spectator).

  54. dstep24 says: Oct 26, 2013 5:05 PM

    The problem with RG is not that he lacks intelligence. It’s that he lacks the ability to decipher information fast enough to be a pocket passer in the NFL.

    Everyone can stop blowing smoke here, and just look at the facts. The facts are, that when he’s been forced to throw from the pocket, he has thrown more interceptions, has completed passes at a much lower percentage, has struggled with location, has locked-on to his target, and has exhibited poor footwork. Regardless of what both sides of fans think here, those are the facts. On tape.

    He was successful last season because he ran more. He ran more because WAS ran a lot of first-read passing plays, where he could essentially tuck and run if his first target wasn’t open. Coming off the injury, he’s not afforded that luxury. And even when he was afforded that luxury, he couldn’t slide to save his life. He got clobbered.

    With Luck and Wilson, both have extremely high ratings INSIDE the pocket. Wilson only spins out of the pocket after cycling through ALL progressions, but keeps his eyes down field. When he’s in the pocket, he’s calm, poised, and exhibits really consistent technique – arm mechanics and footwork.

    With Luck, you get a guy who buys time with his feet but thrives in the pocket, when he can set his feet and sling it.

    Both Luck and Wilson are simply more accurate than RG, despite RG arguably having the strongest arm of the three.

    Fandom aside, there’s a technical, mechanical, statistical and instinctual case to be made for Wilson and Luck sustaining much more consistent and successful careers as QBs, than RG.

  55. casualcommenter says: Oct 26, 2013 5:33 PM

    “Griffin is probably the best athlete ever to play quarterback in the NFL.”

    Michael Vick is the best pure athlete to play QB in the NFL.

    And I say that as someone who really likes RG3 and really dislikes Michael Vick.

  56. fnf417 says: Oct 26, 2013 6:46 PM

    I also agree that all the QBs stated are good QBs and on the speed topic that was posted is that what RG3 is running now(4.41) or before he injured his knee?

  57. cmgww says: Oct 26, 2013 7:33 PM

    People often overlook the fact that Luck is built like a linebacker. Wilson and RG3 are not. Luck has popped right back up from hits that would sideline most QBs (not that it’s a good thing though). He is built for the punishment and sneaky fast. The reason I think he is the best of the new bunch is his pocket awareness. He slides, steps up, avoids the rush IN THE POCKET and only runs when he has to or sees an opportunity. But being 6’4″ and 240 has its advantages

  58. obmig says: Oct 26, 2013 8:16 PM

    “Griffin is probably the best athlete ever to play quarterback in the NFL.”

    Michael Vick is the best pure athlete to play QB in the NFL.

    And I say that as someone who really likes RG3 and really dislikes Michael Vick.
    ====================================

    Griffin is much bigger than Vick and almost as fast with about the same arm. Why would you pick Vick over in as an athlete? Vick isn’t the best athlete to play the position for the Eagles, Cunningham holds that title.

  59. kwickett85 says: Oct 26, 2013 8:22 PM

    How does RG3 run less? He’s had 20 carries for 161 yards in the last two games alone.

  60. indywilson40 says: Oct 26, 2013 9:16 PM

    RG3 is deceptively intelligent.

  61. skinsfan91 says: Oct 26, 2013 10:55 PM

    RGIII is a badass and has a lot of haters hoping he fails.

  62. boyshole25 says: Oct 27, 2013 5:38 AM

    All are great players that the league and its fans are lucky to have hopefully for a long time

  63. dualprime says: Oct 27, 2013 11:52 AM

    I would take any of the three plus a few others to be my QB. But the more you run the more apt you are to get clocked. Long term, the most successful QB’s leave the running to the RB’s.

  64. laserw says: Oct 27, 2013 2:08 PM

    Wilson and Luck can run more because they are REAL QB’s which have the strength of the pass and then the threat of the run ADDS to their resume.

    The Rusty Prima Donna in Washington is ONLY a running back who THINKS he can throw. When he runs, that is what he does. When he doesn’t run, that subtracts from his game. Make no mistake, no one in the NFL fears Rusty Prima Donna’s passing – he is slow in decision-making, can’t read defenses, is easy to sack, oblivious to anything around him, lazy, and has no on-field leadership qualities. RPD’s effective passing range is 15 yards or less and ONLY can complete deep balls to WIDE OPEN receivers or when a defender falls down at the last minute. RPD’s stats are padded by HUGE yards after the catch numbers.

    RPD brings NO DIMENSION to Washington’s offense – eight men fronts are so effective because this jerk holds onto the ball so long that eventually the run defense turns into a pass rush and can easily nail his lazy statue butt.

    Please stop mentioning RPD when you discuss quarterbacks – he is one in name only and should be dismissed as having his first game of his pro career being his best and it has been downhill ever since. He is a gimmick, a fraud, and not a particularly charming person when off camera.

  65. jimmyjames65 says: Oct 28, 2013 5:08 AM

    Manning spotted RG3 two TD’s and destroyed him. RGWho?

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