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View Full Version : how does being too short hurt a rb?


swollja
03-20-2008, 04:07 PM
for example, why on earth would you say mjd is too small when he's 217 lbs, therefore thicker and more able to be an everydown back than the generic 6' 215 lbs back that gets drafted top 5 if they have all the skills mjd has, plus a couple inches of height?

wouldn't being short actually help because lb's can't see you behind the line? and it makes you run lower and more compact.

i'm just using mjd as an example because the guy is thicker and in my mind more durable than the average every down back but yet they knocked his size coming into the draft

jared
03-20-2008, 04:12 PM
I think height is pretty irrelevant as long as the weight and the agility and athleticism are there. Unless my physics is mistaken, mass and speed should be the only things that really affect an RB's power, not height. I think the lower center of gravity that a shorter back posesses would be helpful as well. The only places a guy's height would become a liability are in stretching for extra yards, throwing a stiff arm, or maybe pass blocking. That's what I would think though.

bored of education
03-20-2008, 04:16 PM
Because it distorts vision and the ability to see a play develop and opportunities for those one or two cuts near the line of scrimmage.

case closed.

close thread

swollja
03-20-2008, 04:17 PM
yeah that's why like 6'3" gets knocked as much as sub 5'10"

but really, the sub 5'10 shouldn't be a knock on any hb as long as he carries enough weight

Addict
03-20-2008, 04:20 PM
I can imagine when it comes to corners it's a pretty big deal...

In a jump ball situation, where a 6'5" WR faces a 5'11" corner, once they jump, say the WR jumps up 35 inches, the CB will have to jump 41 inches just to get on the same height, since he's six inches shorter.

BeerBaron
03-20-2008, 04:23 PM
pros of being short - lower center of gravity, harder to bring down (as long as the mass is still there)

cons - harder to see over the line of guys a good 6-10 inches taller than you in front of you

fenikz
03-20-2008, 04:23 PM
Height is definitely an advantage when playing any position in football and most sports for that matter, there are just a ton of advantages of being tall

bored of education
03-20-2008, 04:26 PM
Too tall is different. 5'9-6'0 is fine. 5'6 and 6'3 arent.

Staubach12
03-20-2008, 04:26 PM
Vision is an issue, but other than that, not much. The little stuff jared mentioned, as well. It's very apparent that Jones-Drew has been an effective RB, so I don't know why this issue is being brought up. Plus, Jones-Drew had other issues coming out. He had good not great numbers, he was a so-so blocker, and some had questions about durability. There were also some questions about power. So, top 5 pick? Doubt it.

swollja
03-20-2008, 04:32 PM
pros of being short - lower center of gravity, harder to bring down (as long as the mass is still there)

cons - harder to see over the line of guys a good 6-10 inches taller than you in front of you


that con cancels out though because they can't see him either

jared
03-20-2008, 04:33 PM
Because it distorts vision and the ability to see a play develop and opportunities for those one or two cuts near the line of scrimmage.

case closed.

close thread

You ignored the benefits of being short and having a low center of gravity. Not being able to see over the line works both ways. Distorts vision...? I don't think you explained enough to say "case closed".

TheBuffaloBills
03-20-2008, 04:33 PM
I would rather be trucked by a 6'5" 210 pounder rather than a 5'7" 210 pounder

fenikz
03-20-2008, 04:34 PM
who is to say that a tall player can't run as low a a small one, naturally this just gives him more of an explosion when he needs it


no 6'5 210 guy is ever gonna play RB

draftguru151
03-20-2008, 05:12 PM
Height gets a bit overrated (not the word I'm looking for really) in terms of running backs. Being too short is a problem even if you have the necessary bulk and when you get into that 5-8 range it gets a bit iffy. 5-9 for a running back for the most part. Injury issues come into play with guys that are so much smaller. Also even if a 5-8 guy has the same bulk as a 6-0 guy, it's still less weight which is an issue. While shortness is a bit overplayed (still not the word I'm looking for) the maximums to each side (being too tall is just as much of an issue) are a bit of an issue.

JT Jag
03-20-2008, 05:35 PM
Height is important, but it's far from critical.

5'10 to 5'11 is an ideal height for a RB, because it's both compact enough to avoid leg injuries and give good power, but long enough to give a frame that can gain more weight.

6'2 and beyond is too tall--- guys that big often run upright, which makes them prone to injuries.

And I think Maurice himself is proving why 5'7 isn't ideal either--- he had to drop 10 pounds during the last offseason so that he'd have a better weight for his height.

Weight is the most important factor. 205-215 pounds is the best weight to allow for speed and quickness while also giving enough size to be powerful.

DragonFireKai
03-20-2008, 05:37 PM
It's also a matter of body metrics. Height, while not a sure fire method of prediction, it's a cheap way to get a feel for how long his arms and legs are, and how big his hands are. Having short arms impedes blocking and evasion, Short legs limits stride length, which correlates to top speed. Hand size is an indicator of potential for ball security. Typically the shorter you are, the more deficient you are in those catagories. When you're 5'8" to 5'10", it's an issue, but some people have different builds that keep them in the acceptable range of body metrics. Once you drop below 5'8", pretty much everyone's gonna be deficient in every metric. Vision isn't as big an issue as long as the player has a good feel for the blocking scheme.

JT Jag
03-20-2008, 05:37 PM
Because it distorts vision and the ability to see a play develop and opportunities for those one or two cuts near the line of scrimmage.

case closed.

close threadAlternatively, many experts say this is the exact reason why Maurice Drew is such a threat. Linemen and linebackers can't see what he's doing behind the tall Jaguars O-line until he hits his hole.

bored of education
03-20-2008, 06:57 PM
Alternatively, many experts say this is the exact reason why Maurice Drew is such a threat. Linemen and linebackers can't see what he's doing behind the tall Jaguars O-line until he hits his hole.

How many great RBS are their that are under 5'7 ever? 2-5?


MJD is an exception to every rule

FA1
03-20-2008, 07:02 PM
I have by no means read through this whole thread yet, but I feel I must throw my two cents in already.

Vision is an issue, but not for the runner. While in traffic, RBs either will run to daylight or cut off of the backs of their blockers, so height makes no difference. For the defenders, however, it's an entirely different story. They are the ones that need to see through the traffic to find the ball carrier. The smaller the back, the harder he is to find. Height makes no difference to me if the back has the necessary bulk, strength, athleticism, vision, natural running ability, etc.

Iamcanadian
03-20-2008, 07:05 PM
As a runner, I don't think it is significant but when you ask that RB to go out as a receiver, it is far more difficult for a QB to find him quickly over the higher DL. It is the reverse of what you hear when they talk about LB's having problem recognizing just where a short RB is and taking the proper angles to stop him. Short RB's are usually but not always a bit of a liability in the passing game.

JT Jag
03-20-2008, 07:05 PM
MJD is an exception to every ruleSigged tencharacters.

fenikz
03-20-2008, 07:22 PM
As a LB you don't actually follow the RB, generally speaking you read the guards the fact that he is short and thus maybe harder too see is irreverent

DragonFireKai
03-20-2008, 07:26 PM
As a LB you don't actually follow the RB, generally speaking you read the guards the fact that he is short and thus maybe harder too see is irreverent

And if he cuts back, you're up the proverbial creek. It's much easier to track a larger back than track a short back by trusting him to follow the obvious blocking scheme.

Iamcanadian
03-20-2008, 07:28 PM
And if he cuts back, you're up the proverbial creek. It's much easier to track a larger back than track a short back by trusting him to follow the obvious blocking scheme.

I totally agree.

MaxV
03-20-2008, 08:05 PM
How many great RBS are their that are under 5'7 ever? 2-5?


MJD is an exception to every rule

How many great RBs are over 6' tall???? Height is NOT an advantage for a RB. I've been saying this for YEARS.

Most top RBs have a stocky build (see Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith, etc.)

One thing EVERY defender gets taught is that NEVER try to tackle a ball-carrier around the shoulders. Which means you always need to get your shoulders lower then the ball-carrier's shoulders.

This is exactly why RBs are thought to run as low to the ground as possible, with their shoulders leading the way.

Lower center of gravity is an advantage.

FA1
03-20-2008, 08:06 PM
Overall pros, assuming the shorter back has all other necessary tools to play: harder to find in traffic, lower center of gravity usually equals better balance

Overall cons: generally smaller hands, which affects receiving and ball protection, usually a liability in pass protection, and as was mentioned earlier, harder for a QB to find if he goes beyond the LOS on a pass route.

Everything equal, I would still take a 5'10 215 lb RB over a 5'7 205 lb RB, but if the 5'7 RB is simply the better player, I have no problem taking him.

Iamcanadian
03-20-2008, 08:20 PM
Overall pros, assuming the shorter back has all other necessary tools to play: harder to find in traffic, lower center of gravity usually equals better balance

Overall cons: generally smaller hands, which affects receiving and ball protection, usually a liability in pass protection, and as was mentioned earlier, harder for a QB to find if he goes beyond the LOS on a pass route.

Everything equal, I would still take a 5'10 215 lb RB over a 5'7 205 lb RB, but if the 5'7 RB is simply the better player, I have no problem taking him.

I agree. Actually 5'9" in height and about 210-215 has proved to be a very solid build for a pro RB. Many have succeeded with these dimensions. However there is only one Jones-Drew, making drafting a 5'7" guy a high risk.

etk
03-20-2008, 09:17 PM
Two words: It doesn't. 5'9" is my optimum height for a RB.