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BeerBaron 08-13-2012 10:22 AM

BeerBaron's Early Preseason Thoughts
 
After shaking off about 6 months of rust, it's that time of year again to start rolling out some of my thoughts each week.

First, as always, the music:



1.) General Preseason Disclaimer

Before going into detail about anything else, I wanted to put this thought out there. We are in the PREseason. I put only a tiny bit more stock into what happens here than I do in the training camp reports that come out.

That's not to say we can't take anything form what we see happen here over these next few weeks. It's better to perform well than poorly, but but we're never going to get the full story on any player or team based on their preseason performances.

Most teams are holding out players with injuries, running simple game plans, and, particularly for the younger players, getting most of their playing time against the opposition's backups. So while it's nice to see, for example, Andrew Luck have a good performance, one has to remember that he did it against a Rams team that wasn't playing optimal football.

Likewise for players who have particularly bad games. While it's not a good sign to go out there, put up single digit points, and generally get beat up (as what happened to several teams this weekend,) it's not the end of the world. A great example here is that the Saints and Patriots scored a combined 13 points against eachother. If this were the regular season, and both teams were full on playing for the win, I'd expect that game to bring about 13 combined points a quarter.

So let's not get overly excited or panicky as these next 3 weeks of preseason football play out. And above all else, try to avoid...

2.) INJURIEZZ

The bane of every team in the preseason. If you can come through with all of your starters and key backups healthy, you've had a successful preseason. I'd rather lose every preseason game than have even a single key player go down with an injury, even a relatively minor one.

The Ravens have lost their top 2 TEs for the rest of the preseason at minimum, the Packers lost starting ILB Desmond Bishop, the Bengals lost starting guard Travelle Wharton for the year and DE Carlos Dunlap for at least the rest of the preseason...I could go on for a while.

And we're only through the first week of the preseason where, generally, the starters don't stay in for more than a drive or two. It's only going to get worse headed forward.

Such it is with every preseason. Everyone just holds their breath and hopes that no one else gets hurt.

Ideally, we'd shorten the preseason. If not to two games, than at least to three. But the teams still see preseason games as a means to make money, so that's never going to happen unless they find a way to recoup the lost income.

3.) Replacement Officials

I've seen plenty of complaining both here, from those associated with the league, and from the media on this front. And yes, it is a legitimate concern as we get closer to the regular season. I managed to catch a few of this weekends games and there were definitely a few officiating errors.

However, if no one told me that the officials were replacements before watching the games, I don't think I would have noticed that big of difference from the mistakes the regular officials make anyway, especially in the preseason.

Calling penalties on the wrong players, missing calls, making bad calls...all of this happens all the time anyway.

As some of you may know, I'm generally very picky about officiating anyway. So maybe I just pick up on the mistakes and missed calls of the regular officials anyway.

Now, I didn't see every game, but realistically, if we do end up having these replacement officials into the regular season, I don't feel like we'll see that drastic of a decline in the quality of officiating.

It's something I'll try to keep a close eye on over the remainder of the preseason.

4.) QB Competitions

QB competitions are always one of the more interesting story lines of any given preseason. There are always a few and each, depending on how it shakes out, may have a big impact on that teams chances in the coming season. Here are my thoughts on a few of them:

Titans - Hasselbeck vs. Locker
I've given my thoughts on this one repeatedly already, but I'll touch on it again. I feel like Locker is the way to go this season. Yes, the team takes a bigger risk with him because, if he struggles, they'll have a lower floor in 2012. But, by starting Locker now, it gives them a higher ceiling than they'd have with Hasselbeck and is also better for Locker's long term development. With Hasselbeck managing the offense, I feel like they'll end up within a game of .500, similar to last season. If they go with Locker and he struggles, they could potentially end up worse than that. However, allowing him to start games now and take his lumps early will only help in his future development. I would start Locker from Day 1 and let him play the full season.

Browns - Weeden vs. McCoy
Is there any question that Weeden starts day 1? This isn't so much of a competition as it is a showcase for the potential trade of McCoy following training camp. They have another quality backup in Seneca Wallace already, and whatever they can get for McCoy now...even a conditional late round pick...is better than the nothing they'll get for him when he's eventually cut. I understand that they're keeping him for right now as injury insurance, but once camp is over and the final roster is taking shape, trade him to the team making the best offer.

Green Bay makes a lot of sense in my opinion. Obviously, if Rodgers were to go down with a long term injury, they're pretty much screwed. But, if Rodgers only goes down for a few games, having a quality backup may be the difference between, say, a playoff bye week and being a wildcard team. My rule of thumb for backup QBs is that, if my starter goes down for a short time, the backup should be able to go .500 in his absence to keep the team afloat. Very rarely a Kurt Warner or Tom Brady will pop up, but those cases are extremely rare. Far, far FAR more often, you end up with a Caleb Hanie or a Curtis Painter who is just terrible. Furthermore, I think that McCoy would be a good fit in Green Bay. The Browns surrounding cast while he was a starter was terrible. Green Bay's surrounding cast is worlds better. And McCoy is sort of like a zero calorie version of Rodgers. He's not even close to an Aaron Rodgers Lite, but he has some of the same basic qualities boiled way down. If Rodgers went down for any four given games and Colt McCoy were forced to start, I think he would be able to go 2-2 to keep the team afloat.

Dolphins - Tannehill vs. Moore

With Garrard falling out of the competition due to injury, it's down to these two. And I definitely think Tannehill has the inside track given his familiarity with the offensive coordinator and the fact that he has a much higher ceiling. Now, the surrounding talent in Miami...particularly the primary pass catchers...is downright ugly. They've got a group of 2's (at best) and mostly 3's at WR, with their best pass catcher possibly being Reggie Bush. So, regardless of who is starting this year, I don't expect the offense to be particularly pretty...

Seattle - Flynn vs. Wilson vs. Jackson

This is probably the most wide open of the bunch. I think that Flynn starts the season, and, as of right now, Wilson is just playing to show that he can be the team's primary backup this season over Jackson.This is also the one of the bunch I see as most likely to be changed during the season if it plays out the way I think it will. I could see Flynn starting early, but if the Seahawks start to fall out of contention, Wilson could be inserted to get his chance. By the way, I don't think much of Jackson. The fact that he's still on an NFL roster is impressive.

Cardinals - Kolb vs. Skelton

I've given my strong opinion on Kevin Kolb several times already, but I'll just refresh your memory here: he sucks. I've never seen him as a guy with a particularly high ceiling and right now, he's not even playing at the level of a game manager. He's oft-injured and just plain doesn't inspire much confidence when he is on the field. It's not so much that I think Skelton is good, I just think he's better than Kolb. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, I think the coaching staff/front office feel compelled to jam Kolb into the starting role and pray that he gets better in order to justify their ludicrous investment.

Jets - Guess Who

All side are saying this isn't a competition...but as I said when the trade first happened, I think Tebow will be the team's starting QB by week 6 barring injury or the extraordinarily unlikely event that Mark Sanchez plays incredibly well. It may not be the choice of the front office or coaching staff, but I think that is what happens. Remember, I don't think they wanted Tebow in the first place, but they have an attention ***** owner who probably forced the move to bring in Tebow in the first place. As I've said before, if you have Tim Tebow on your roster and a less-than-stellar starting QB, be reading for the fan and media reaction whenever that starting QB has a bad game. If, for instance, the Patriots had brought in Tebow, it would be a different story. For one, Brady rarely has "bad" games and for two, even if he did, everyone knows that Tebow wouldn't be any better. But Mark Sanchez isn't Tom Brady, and he's far, far, FAR more prone to having bad games.

5.) Cutting Chad Johnson

We all know by now what he was accused of and what the end result was (getting cut.) Some dislike the move, citing "innocent until proven guilty" and all that. That's fine, you're entitled to your opinion. But so are the decision makers of the team he plays for.

And they decided to cut him. And they're completely within their right to do so. The NFL is not the American justice system. If you're accused of doing something, you're guilty until proven otherwise. The commish can hand down suspensions for just about anything, and the teams can cut their players for any reason. They don't like your face? Cut. Have bad breath? Cut. Hit a woman? Ohhh man, you're cut.

It may not seem fair, but that is how it is. You'd think that you'd all be used to that by now, but every time it seems like the NFL or one of the teams does something "unfair," the whiners come out to complain about it.

6.) Random Thoughts

Just some little things that didn't need a full item to discuss.

- The Eagles could be the most dangerous team in football in 2012. Go ahead and make your "dream team" jokes now but I'm legitimately afraid of them this year. They have multiple dynamic playmakers on offense and defensively, I think they'll be vastly improved. Even without their top two pass rushers, they wrecked the Steelers starting o-line this weekend. They've got some sick depth when it comes to the d-line and if DeMeco Ryans can help solidify their LB corps, their run defense should improve as well. The Wide 9 they ran last year worked in that it got sacks, but they got eaten alive by opposing run games. If that issue is even partly solved this year, look out.

- Speaking of the Steelers, that o-line was awful. And while I'd normally say they still have some camp time and 3 more games to improve before the games count, Mike Adams sprained his ACL and will miss it all. They're looking at yet another year with chaos/inexperience on Ben's blind side. He's going to be nothing but scar tissue by the time they get that position figured out.

- I just wanted to get this in writing again somewhere in the event that I'm right about it: I think Sam Bradford will start to hear the dreaded "b" word in association with his name by the end of this season. And the word I'm talking about is "bust." "Oh but BeerBaron, surrounding cast blah blah." Yeah, the surrounding cast is pretty awful. What of it? It'll still be another year where he's less than stellar.

- Let's see...I've covered most of my big predictions already. I've got one more: The Panthers make the playoffs. The Saints have a lot of chaos surrounding them, the Falcons seem to have hit their ceiling at "first round playoff loss" and the Bucs....nah. As long as Cam Newton doesn't experience a sophomore slump, I think the Panthers play in the post season this year.

Enjoy. Discuss. Yell at me and tell me how wrong I am. ***** that I didn't bring up your favorite team. Whatevs.

K Train 08-13-2012 10:28 AM

take it easy on the steelers oline. Ramon foster was the starting LG which would be awful in a real game.

Gilbert loves playing on the left and is gonna get reps there with adams out, adams didnt look bad in the run game and his problem with the pass blocking was he wasnt engaging good enough, he showed quick feet and the ability to get a hand on them, he just never finished. Starks is set to be ready by seasons start in the worst case scenerio, decastro looked good (a little confused, but it was his first game and im sure these guys dont get to practice against a good replica of the wide 9 very often). When willie colon starts at LG i expect huge improvements

BeerBaron 08-13-2012 10:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by K Train (Post 3088080)
take it easy on the steelers oline. Ramon foster was the starting LG which would be awful in a real game.

Gilbert loves playing on the left and is gonna get reps there with adams out, adams didnt look bad in the run game and his problem with the pass blocking was he wasnt engaging good enough, he showed quick feet and the ability to get a hand on them, he just never finished. Starks is set to be ready by seasons start in the worst case scenerio, decastro looked good (a little confused, but it was his first game and im sure these guys dont get to practice against a good replica of the wide 9 very often). When willie colon starts at LG i expect huge improvements

You may expect huge improvements, but continuity and getting a lot of reps playing together is key for an o-line. With everyone shuffling around due to Adams and Starks being injured, that is going to be hampered significantly.

Another issue for the Steelers is that the only running back they have currently healthy who I think belongs on an NFL roster is Chris Rainey, and he's just a scat back. Redman, Dwyer, Batch.....blah, blah, and meh.

SolidGold 08-13-2012 10:39 AM

Nice write up BB.

I don't think Schottenheimer is going to help Bradford's cause much either. If Kendricks develops some he might be a nice weapon for Bradford. Also the offensive line is probably going to be one of the worst - Saffold and Smith both are both mediocre garbage (Dahl and Wells are solid on the interior).

In terms of shortening the season to prevent injuries - I just think the easiest and most obvious solution is to only play starters minimally (if at all) - the rosters have expanded to 90 players - just let the guys who won't make the team play more. Preseason should be used to evaluate rookies/younger players. If the diluted product is put out on the field and fan reaction is unfavorable it will get the NFL's attention. If they do shorten preseason though I am not a fan of an expanded regular season schedule.

Giantsfan1080 08-13-2012 10:43 AM

I thought the Browns already announced Weeden as the Week 1 QB?

K Train 08-13-2012 10:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BeerBaron (Post 3088085)
You may expect huge improvements, but continuity and getting a lot of reps playing together is key for an o-line. With everyone shuffling around due to Adams and Starks being injured, that is going to be hampered significantly.

Another issue for the Steelers is that the only running back they have currently healthy who I think belongs on an NFL roster is Chris Rainey, and he's just a scat back. Redman, Dwyer, Batch.....blah, blah, and meh.

individual efforts looked good, but they werent on the same page. Colon/Pouncey/Decastro is going to be a sexy interior. Gilbert on either side will be fine. It will ultimately come down to starks and adams for the last tackle spot and the coaches love adams, he had a rough debut but id hardly condemn him for his rookie year off that. His injury is minor.

And yes, the RBs are pure ****. I love rainey and think hes gonna do some good things but Redman is abysmal and Dwyer getting hurt was a huge blow to an already mediocre group, but dwyer did look real good on his few carries, best shape hes ever been in since being on the team by far. If redman is the work horse, they are a bottom 5 rushing team, hopefully they can get dwyer back and carry the load til mendenhall comes back week 6. Batch is ****

BeerBaron 08-13-2012 10:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SolidGold (Post 3088087)
Nice write up BB.

I don't think Schottenheimer is going to help Bradford's cause much either. If Kendricks develops some he might be a nice weapon for Bradford. Also the offensive line is probably going to be one of the worst - Saffold and Smith both are both mediocre garbage (Dahl and Wells are solid on the interior).

In terms of shortening the season to prevent injuries - I just think the easiest and most obvious solution is to only play starters minimally (if at all) - the rosters have expanded to 90 players - just let the guys who won't make the team play more. Preseason should be used to evaluate rookies/younger players. If the diluted product is put out on the field and fan reaction is unfavorable it will get the NFL's attention. If they do shorten preseason though I am not a fan of an expanded regular season schedule.

Yeah, Schotty definitely won't help. If he continues to coach like he did in NY, I expect the run game to be abandoned frequently (even if it's working) while Bradford is left to struggle and the offense flounders. They need Brian Quick to have a rookie year like Anquan Boldin for them to have anything at WR too. Not a good situation.

And yeah, on the shortening preseason front, it would have to be without an expansion of the regular season. That's why I don't think the NFL does it. They won't cut one or two profitable preseason games without replacing that lost income somehow.

So we're going to continue seeing a month long preseason where teams are just hoping like hell to come out unscathed by injury.

BeerBaron 08-13-2012 10:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Giantsfan1080 (Post 3088090)
I thought the Browns already announced Weeden as the Week 1 QB?

If they did, I must have missed it. I think it's what everyone was assuming was going to happen anyway.

Quote:

Originally Posted by K Train (Post 3088091)
individual efforts looked good, but they werent on the same page. Colon/Pouncey/Decastro is going to be a sexy interior. Gilbert on either side will be fine. It will ultimately come down to starks and adams for the last tackle spot and the coaches love adams, he had a rough debut but id hardly condemn him for his rookie year off that. His injury is minor.

And yes, the RBs are pure ****. I love rainey and think hes gonna do some good things but Redman is abysmal and Dwyer getting hurt was a huge blow to an already mediocre group, but dwyer did look real good on his few carries, best shape hes ever been in since being on the team by far. If redman is the work horse, they are a bottom 5 rushing team, hopefully they can get dwyer back and carry the load til mendenhall comes back week 6. Batch is ****

Right, he may not miss any regular season time, but missing most of your rookie training camp and preseason is going to be rough.

And I've never gotten the love affair that the team apparently has for Redman. He seems below average all across the board to me. I don't see anything in his game that stands out and says that he should be on an NFL roster, must less getting carries as a primary backup. Why nothing was done to address the position (other than drafting Rainey) this offseason is beyond me.

K Train 08-13-2012 10:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BeerBaron (Post 3088093)
If they did, I must have missed it. I think it's what everyone was assuming was going to happen anyway.



Right, he may not miss any regular season time, but missing most of your rookie training camp and preseason is going to be rough.

And I've never gotten the love affair that the team apparently has for Redman. He seems below average all across the board to me. I don't see anything in his game that stands out and says that he should be on an NFL roster, must less getting carries as a primary backup. Why nothing was done to address the position (other than drafting Rainey) this offseason is beyond me.

Hes that blue collar work horse that steeler fans love. He has zero explosion, decastro could get from the backfield to the handoff faster than redman. He runs hard, he has sensational balance, but hes really a painfully average RB overall. hes no better than carey davis or gary russell were years ago for us. Dwyer could be the real deal, even 30 pounds overweight and poorly conditioned he was better than redman.

steelernation77 08-13-2012 12:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by K Train (Post 3088096)
Hes that blue collar work horse that steeler fans love. He has zero explosion, decastro could get from the backfield to the handoff faster than redman. He runs hard, he has sensational balance, but hes really a painfully average RB overall. hes no better than carey davis or gary russell were years ago for us. Dwyer could be the real deal, even 30 pounds overweight and poorly conditioned he was better than redman.

Ike Redman is certainly better than Carey Davis and Gary Russell. I agree he's not a full time starter but that is a gross exaggeration. He is the best option currently on the roster and while he lacks burst he does have plus power and unless contacted deep in the backfield, he rarely loses yardage.

Dwyer has shown nothing to suggest he is the "real deal." He ran through a huge hole for his big run in the preseason game, which any of the RBs on the roster could have done. He still could become a viable option, but he has not
shown enough to warrant such hype.

bigbluedefense 08-13-2012 12:33 PM

The Steelers OL needs time. When you go against a sick DL that sells out to rush the passer and you have 2 rookies on the OL in their first PS game, it's going to get ugly. They need time.

As for the Eagles, I saw the PS game. Some notes:

- The DL is sick and relentless in pass rush. There's no question about that. They are deep too. I'd say behind the Giants DL, the Eagles have the 2nd best and deepest DL in the league.

- However, we saw the same issues vs the run. They got gashed. And it's not the DL's fault bc they open up the holes, it's the LBs fault bc they have to be very instinctive and shed blocks/get around blocks to make tackles. And that's still a problem. I've long held the belief that DeMeco Ryans is extremely overrated and still do. He looked very mediocre in this game and that wasn't surprising to me at all. He was notorious in Houston for being a tackle compiler who would make tackles 5 yards beyond the LOS. He didn't and won't solve anything. And Kendricks is still a rookie and he wasn't exactly an instinctual player in college, he was a downhill guy with speed.

Here's the thing that ppl need to know about Wide 9 LBs:

1. They need to be very instinctual to make up for the large gaping holes they'll go against.

2. They need to have the ability to shed blocks and make tackles bc they will see blockers often.

None of the Eagles LBs are capable of this bc they either lack the instincts, or don't have the size. They still have a bunch of midgets playing LB. That's a problem. Can't have that. And their only instinctive LB is Ryans, and he's just a mediocre tackle compiler.

So unless they really get it together and work on some chemistry in that front 7, they're going to continue to struggle vs the run.

- Nmandi looked mediocre. He's turning into the most overrated FA signing of 2011. I've said this before about Nmandi and have gotten trashed for it, but he was overrated in Oakland. He only played 1 side of the field, and didn't even go against the opponent's #1 WR half the time bc the opposition would just move him. Nor did he go against great Qbs in the AFC West, outside of Rivers. It's a lot easier to look good for 20 snaps vs a ****** qb than 40 snaps vs a franchise qb.

And the most ridiculous notion was that they had to choose him over Asante bc Asante is old and his skills are diminishing. Really? Asante is only 1 year older than Nmandi. What difference does age make?

I've long held the belief that Asante was their best CB, and they made a mistake letting him go. And I think we'll see that this year.

Now don't get me wrong, I never thought Nmandi was going to play like this, I still thought he was a hell of a CB. But so far, looking back in hindsight, the evidence was all there. He was more hype than substance.

Todd Bertuzzi 08-13-2012 12:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bigbluedefense (Post 3088149)
The Steelers OL needs time. When you go against a sick DL that sells out to rush the passer and you have 2 rookies on the OL in their first PS game, it's going to get ugly. They need time.

As for the Eagles, I saw the PS game. Some notes:

- The DL is sick and relentless in pass rush. There's no question about that. They are deep too. I'd say behind the Giants DL, the Eagles have the 2nd best and deepest DL in the league.

- However, we saw the same issues vs the run. They got gashed. And it's not the DL's fault bc they open up the holes, it's the LBs fault bc they have to be very instinctive and shed blocks/get around blocks to make tackles. And that's still a problem. I've long held the belief that DeMeco Ryans is extremely overrated and still do. He looked very mediocre in this game and that wasn't surprising to me at all. He was notorious in Houston for being a tackle compiler who would make tackles 5 yards beyond the LOS. He didn't and won't solve anything. And Kendricks is still a rookie and he wasn't exactly an instinctual player in college, he was a downhill guy with speed.

Here's the thing that ppl need to know about Wide 9 LBs:

1. They need to be very instinctual to make up for the large gaping holes they'll go against.

2. They need to have the ability to shed blocks and make tackles bc they will see blockers often.

None of the Eagles LBs are capable of this bc they either lack the instincts, or don't have the size. They still have a bunch of midgets playing LB. That's a problem. Can't have that. And their only instinctive LB is Ryans, and he's just a mediocre tackle compiler.

So unless they really get it together and work on some chemistry in that front 7, they're going to continue to struggle vs the run.

- Nmandi looked mediocre. He's turning into the most overrated FA signing of 2011. I've said this before about Nmandi and have gotten trashed for it, but he was overrated in Oakland. He only played 1 side of the field, and didn't even go against the opponent's #1 WR half the time bc the opposition would just move him. Nor did he go against great Qbs in the AFC West, outside of Rivers. It's a lot easier to look good for 20 snaps vs a ****** qb than 40 snaps vs a franchise qb.

And the most ridiculous notion was that they had to choose him over Asante bc Asante is old and his skills are diminishing. Really? Asante is only 1 year older than Nmandi. What difference does age make?

I've long held the belief that Asante was their best CB, and they made a mistake letting him go. And I think we'll see that this year.

Now don't get me wrong, I never thought Nmandi was going to play like this, I still thought he was a hell of a CB. But so far, looking back in hindsight, the evidence was all there. He was more hype than substance.

Letting go of Asante was more of a scheme issue than an age one. Asante can still play at a high level, there's no doubt about it. The fact remains though that Nnamdi is an great man corner, whereas Asante is a great zone corner. Castillo had a hard time last year getting both of them comfortable and part of the reason Nnamdi struggled was because we did play a lot of zone which he isn't as comfortable in as man. This year we cut ties with Asante and we're shifting more towards a man tendency with DRC moving from nickel to the #2 spot. Watching the short sample from the preseason game it was hard to tell how things are coming along but I'm very interested to see how this defense responds this year with a full offseason under their belts.

coordinator0 08-13-2012 12:47 PM

For what it's worth missing the rest of the preseason is the maximum projection for Dickson and Pitta. I'd be very surprised if Dickson wasn't back with time to spare for week 1. Pitta is a bit trickier with his hand surgery though. This also forces Cameron to run more 3+ WR sets in camp. Almost all the Ravens fans are pretty happy about that. At least there's a tiny bit of silver lining here. Let's just hope that play-calling carries over into the regular season...

RufusMcDaniel 08-13-2012 12:53 PM

If Locker doesn't start the year, its evident that Munchak is showing mercy to the rest of the league.

Hell, I'm surprised they unleashed Darius Reynaud so early.

bigbluedefense 08-13-2012 12:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Todd Bertuzzi (Post 3088154)
Letting go of Asante was more of a scheme issue than an age one. Asante can still play at a high level, there's no doubt about it. The fact remains though that Nnamdi is an great man corner, whereas Asante is a great zone corner. Castillo had a hard time last year getting both of them comfortable and part of the reason Nnamdi struggled was because we did play a lot of zone which he isn't as comfortable in as man. This year we cut ties with Asante and we're shifting more towards a man tendency with DRC moving from nickel to the #2 spot. Watching the short sample from the preseason game it was hard to tell how things are coming along but I'm very interested to see how this defense responds this year with a full offseason under their belts.

I understand that. I can't necessarily fault the logic behind it, but if we don't see any improvement from Nmandi this year and Asante continues to play at a high level in Atlanta then in hindsight we can go back and say it was a bad move and they let go of the wrong guy.

I think the switch to man coverage should work, the problem I have is you can't run man all game long, you're gonna run some zone. Even if it's just 30% of the game, it's still gonna be there. And in that scenario, if Nmandi is still vulnerable than he's vulnerable.

I also think Asante's man skills are underrated. He's not a press man guy, but he can stick his man.

Todd Bertuzzi 08-13-2012 12:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bigbluedefense (Post 3088161)
I understand that. I can't necessarily fault the logic behind it, but if we don't see any improvement from Nmandi this year and Asante continues to play at a high level in Atlanta then in hindsight we can go back and say it was a bad move and they let go of the wrong guy.

I think the switch to man coverage should work, the problem I have is you can't run man all game long, you're gonna run some zone. Even if it's just 30% of the game, it's still gonna be there. And in that scenario, if Nmandi is still vulnerable than he's vulnerable.

I also think Asante's man skills are underrated. He's not a press man guy, but he can stick his man.

Plus it's hard to justify paying Asante and Nnamdi all that money, especially when you're seeing mixed results. I'm not worried at all about of CBs though, what worries me is our inexperience at safety.

bigbluedefense 08-13-2012 01:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Todd Bertuzzi (Post 3088163)
Plus it's hard to justify paying Asante and Nnamdi all that money, especially when you're seeing mixed results. I'm not worried at all about of CBs though, what worries me is our inexperience at safety.

I think the scheme switch will work in a sense that the overall coverage of the team improves bc now 2 of your CBs are more in their element. And you have quick LBs that can run and chase.

I'm honestly not concerned about your pass D. It will be very good. I still don't think Nmandi is going to be an NFC version of Revis, but I do think this overall pass defense will be very good.

Those LBs on run plays would be my concern. That's the true test. You need LBs and safeties who can tackle.

And Michael Vick. I just don't believe in Michael Vick. Vick is gonna really have to step it up this year. Also we're playing the AFC North this year. With Vick's injury history and that shakey OL, I'd be very concerned about those games.

ATLDirtyBirds 08-13-2012 01:10 PM

My biggest concern with Bradford is that he's turning into David Carr. He looks very gun shy to me.

Todd Bertuzzi 08-13-2012 01:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bigbluedefense (Post 3088164)
I think the scheme switch will work in a sense that the overall coverage of the team improves bc now 2 of your CBs are more in their element. And you have quick LBs that can run and chase.

I'm honestly not concerned about your pass D. It will be very good. I still don't think Nmandi is going to be an NFC version of Revis, but I do think this overall pass defense will be very good.

Those LBs on run plays would be my concern. That's the true test. You need LBs and safeties who can tackle.

And Michael Vick. I just don't believe in Michael Vick. Vick is gonna really have to step it up this year. Also we're playing the AFC North this year. With Vick's injury history and that shakey OL, I'd be very concerned about those games.

Vick's health, red zone offense and run d are the big question marks. Mudd's done a great job with the oline so I'm not too concerned there, although losing Peters was a huge loss(thank god it's not Vick's blindside). Pass D will be great with our outstanding CB/D line combo and the offense will be explosive as always. I don't know why we didn't really do anything to address our dismal red zone offense though. They still think Cooper is going to be the go to guy there but I'm not so sure of that even though I'm a big fan of his. Jackson and Maclin are amazing talents but their games almost get neutralized somewhat(especially DJax) once we get into the redzone because they can't stretch the D anymore and neither really have the size to go up and get the ball over a corner. In any case we should see an improvement over last year's team which means playoffs. Once you get in anything can happen as I'm sure you're well aware haha. Of course everything hinges on Vick staying relatively healthy.....

bigbluedefense 08-13-2012 01:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Todd Bertuzzi (Post 3088176)
Vick's health, red zone offense and run d are the big question marks. Mudd's done a great job with the oline so I'm not too concerned there, although losing Peters was a huge loss(thank god it's not Vick's blindside). Pass D will be great with our outstanding CB/D line combo and the offense will be explosive as always. I don't know why we didn't really do anything to address our dismal red zone offense though. They still think Cooper is going to be the go to guy there but I'm not so sure of that even though I'm a big fan of his. Jackson and Maclin are amazing talents but their games almost get neutralized somewhat(especially DJax) once we get into the redzone because they can't stretch the D anymore and neither really have the size to go up and get the ball over a corner. In any case we should see an improvement over last year's team which means playoffs. Once you get in anything can happen as I'm sure you're well aware haha. Of course everything hinges on Vick staying relatively healthy.....

I'm surprised you guys aren't going after Burress. It just makes a lot of sense for what you guys need.

Todd Bertuzzi 08-13-2012 01:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bigbluedefense (Post 3088179)
I'm surprised you guys aren't going after Burress. It just makes a lot of sense for what you guys need.

Ya there was lot's of speculation about it from the media for that very fact, but the team doesn't seem to be interested for whatever reason. I always liked Plax but after last offseason I think they're trying to stay away from any big headline signings for one reason or another.

K Train 08-13-2012 01:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by steelernation77 (Post 3088139)
Ike Redman is certainly better than Carey Davis and Gary Russell. I agree he's not a full time starter but that is a gross exaggeration. He is the best option currently on the roster and while he lacks burst he does have plus power and unless contacted deep in the backfield, he rarely loses yardage.

Dwyer has shown nothing to suggest he is the "real deal." He ran through a huge hole for his big run in the preseason game, which any of the RBs on the roster could have done. He still could become a viable option, but he has not
shown enough to warrant such hype.

redman has a little more experience than dwyer (dwyer lived in tomlins dog house for 2 years) but dwyer has shown more raw ability imo. I had dwyer as a solid second or third round pick that year and getting him in the 6th was a steal even though he was notoriously out of shape until now. Every time hes on the field he seems to have a huge gain at some point. He looks lean and fast, hes got great acceleration and footwork for a big-ish back. Redman is a nobody, ill never understand the love affair many steeler fans have for him, his AMAZING ypc average (very sarcastic) will plummet if hes a full time guy. I dont mind him on the team, hes a decent role player. Good short yardage back, decent receiver out of the backfield, and decent pass blocker (especially out of a FB position)...and like i said, he has great balance, that is his one attribute that makes him a marginal NFL talent. We will forget about redman just like weve forgotten about davis and russell, hes just very very average

jrdrylie 08-13-2012 02:39 PM

I'm not going to pretend to know a ton about the Steelers and I'll admit that I am a Georgia Tech fan so I have a little bias but Redman should not be starting over Dwyer. Redman just has no upside due to his complete lack of speed. I remember watching a Steelers game with my wife last year (might have been the Jaguars game) and my wife thought they were letting an offensive lineman carry the ball because of how fat and slow he is. If Dwyer is in shape, he can be a very good running back with the ability to break off some huge runs every now and then.

Redman might be the more experienced back but if I'm the Steelers, I'm rolling with Dwyer and Rainey as my top two backs. Dwyer could be an every down back with Rainey playing a poor-man's Darren Sproles. Then make Redman your short yardage goaline guy.

WCH 08-13-2012 03:15 PM

McCoy just makes so much sense for Green Bay. Rodgers isn't exactly an iron man and McCoy would be the perfect backup for him. I'd feel comfortable with him as the starter for a few games.

bigbluedefense 08-13-2012 03:30 PM

McCoy sucks.

If they want a ****** quarterback as their backup, they might as well get one who isn't a high profile whiner with entitlement issues.


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