Both Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston have now talked with the media at the NFL scouting combine.
These two press conferences are basically these two players in a nutshell. Nothing they said was particularly interesting -- they were both well-coached and knew what to say to create a minimum of controversy. You can see Marcus Mariota's press conference here, but Winston's has not been uploaded yet.
Marcus Mariota was boring, structured and rehearsed. That's who Mariota is, off the field and on the field. Jameis Winston, on the other hand, was entertaining, loose and off-the-cuff. He joked with reporters, including one quip about knowing he looked good. He was confident and charismatic. And that's who Winston is, both on and off the field.
Both of these styles have their problems. Mariota will probably never get you in trouble off the field. He won't be involved in any controversial incidents. And he'll be careful with the football, avoiding risky throws -- which also means passing up on opportunities for big plays. That's the Russell Wilson style of quarterbacking, off and on the field.
Putting aside the rape accusations, which can't be lumped in with everything else and deserves its own treatment, Winston has fun off the field -- which leads to some mostly benign headlines. If you're bothered by the benign headlines, you see a series of immature decisions that a franchise quarterback can't make. If you like Winston, you can write it off as just a college kid who will grow out of that stuff. And we see the same thing on the field: Winston's confident with his throws at times, which leads to big plays -- but also to a few too many interceptions. This is the Brett Favre style of quarterbacking -- on and off the field.
While there's discussion about who is the better quarterback, there isn't enough discussion about the difference in style between these two players. They represent two fundamentally different approaches to the game, and to a large extent the question of which player you prefer boils down the type of quarterback you prefer, rather than the ultimate quality of either player.
So who do you want? The charismatic quarterback who will alternate headaches with brilliance, or the boring quarterback who will do what you ask him to do, but will be limited by his less aggressive approach?