July 15, 2014

Cauz: Getting to know Drew Willy through Twitter


I’m not emotionally ready to write about the Toronto Argonauts, or any team from the East Division for that matter. Instead I would rather write about one of my favourite topics, young quarterbacks succeeding. Last week I did a 30,000 foot view of the under 30 years old quarterback landscape. This week I want to focus on Drew Willy.

From Andrew Harris’ crazy 58-yard touchdown run, to Bo Levi Mitchell’s dissection of the Argonauts secondary (la, la, la, la I see nothing!) to Adarius Bowman’s three-touchdown day, there were numerous individual performances in Week 3 that could be highlighted here.

Follow Drew on Twitter!

But Willy’s heroics late in Winnipeg’s come-from-behind 34-33 win over Montreal stood out for me.

Before I go into what he did on the field, I figure we all should get to know Drew Willy the person. And what better way to learn about someone than through their twitter account? Oh sure I could use this assessment on Willy from a scouting reporting I found: “His ability to stand tall and poise in the pocket helps him to deliver strikes to his receivers.

Willy is a relaxed QB and I have not seen him get too rattled he stays calm under duress and uses his feet to buy him time” and relate it to his game winning drive against the Alouettes, but really how much fun is that?

So here’s what I learned about Drew from snooping around @Drew_Willy.

(1) The guy is a massive sports fan. I expected all the football related tweets but I was shocked by the amount of NBA ones. I suspect the man has every cable sports package available. Quick message to Drew, when you start tweeting about the Pro Bowl, that does not make you a football fan that is a cry for help. No one should watch that game, let alone tweet about it! Seriously when was the last time you watched that dreadful game?


(2) He seems like a genuinely nice guy. By my unofficial mathematical calculations I pegged about 29 per cent of his tweets as shout outs to former teammates, current teammates or a variety of fan bases.

(3) I can’t decide how I feel about his taste in film. One negative he retweeted a tweet by Jerry Ferrara (Turtle from ‘Entourage’) announcing the ‘Entourage’ film was a go. But on the plus side Drew does follow Lloyd Christmas (‘Dumb and Dumber’ character) so that has to count for something? I know many of you love ‘Entourage’ I just never got into the show. Characters were fairly one dimensional, the acting was inconsistent and the show lacked much arch to it. While I’m sure we can all agree that the adventures of Harry and Lloyd was comedic genius.  

(4) Unlike a lot of athletes Drew’s Twitter account is not filled with questionable follows. Beyond @athletic_babes (which is quite tame and does celebrate women staying healthy) I didn’t see any accounts involving anything that might be deemed as eye-brow raising.

(5) In terms of follows I’ll give Willy this, the man has range. From the Real Donald Trump, to the NY Times to Piers Morgan you really can’t peg Drew for following a certain type. However I do question just how much one gets out of following Donald Trump.

Back to what we saw on the field on Friday night. It is one thing to lead a team on a touchdown drive in the first quarter when you have plenty of time to set up and scan the field. It is quite a different thing altogether to accomplish that same act when you’re getting beat up on almost every play with your team down by five and time is not on your side.

Drew was sacked four times during the game and took countless other shots throughout. Winnipeg’s offensive line was in tough against Montreal’s impressive defensive front. You could see it in the fourth quarter with Montreal blitzing on just about every play. That final drive is what all coaches are looking for from their quarterback.

Can you rally your team and deliver a game winning touchdown pass? Can you do it when you are being treated like a blue and gold piñata? Can you deliver on 3rd down when everyone knows you’ll be passing. Drew accomplished all these things on Friday, completing two passes on 3rd down including the game winning 18 yard touchdown pass. With each week Drew continues to prove his mettle as a legitimate starting quarterback.

One final thought. It was in that five second period between when Chad Johnson caught that 46-yard touchdown and when replays 100 per cent confirmed he had possession that I realized I was rooting for him to succeed.

During those five seconds I found myself hoping the play would stand. I wasn’t so sure how to feel about Johnson signing with Montreal. Was it a publicity stunt? Was it done to try to stay relevant or because he had no other option? In the end who cares? If he is on the team than he earned his spot and has much right to success as any other player.