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Old 10-16-2012, 02:12 PM    (permalink
Tom Haverford
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Default Some Thoughts Through Week 6

Is Geno Atkins the best DT from the 2011 draft class?

The popular opinion is Suh is the best DT from this class. And McCoy has potential of becoming #2 on the list. But as much love as Geno gets, is he getting enough love? The guy is as dominant a DT as you can ask for. He's a great run defender, and at this point in all their careers, the best pass rusher hands down of the bunch.

If you want a 4-3 UT, I don't see how we should pick anyone other than Geno Atkins. I love Suh, and I think he gets a little too much **** these days, but his flaws are noticeable. He washes himself out of too many plays and is way too undisciplined. Too often falls in love with his bullrush. I understand the wide 9 they play in Detroit is a big reason for that, as they're not taught to care about gap discipline, but you still expect more from Suh.

And you can make an argument that Geno would be better than Suh in that kind of scheme anyway because of his quickness.

Every bad quarterback has the same excuses

We hear it all the time. Whenever a qb is playing like crap, we hear the same excuses every single time: It's the OC's fault, the OL isn't blocking, he has no weapons.

Every. Single. Time. It's some kind of combination of those excuses. Look at every single bad qb in this league. Every time, they have a combination of those excuses. And what we fail to realize is this:

If he's a franchise qb worth keeping to begin with, he will elevate the play of the players around him, so none of these excuses should matter. Think about it, if your qb needs everyone around him to be great, then guess what? He's not a great qb and not worth building around. That's the whole point of drafting a qb, so he can elevate the rest of the team. If he can't be that guy, then he's not a qb you should build your team around.

In the salary cap era, you need a quarterback who elevates the players around him. You can't afford to constantly build a perfect team around a qb bc the salary cap just won't allow for it. Once guys start coming off their rookie deals, you're gonna lose some of them and you're gonna need your qb to pick up the slack.

So the lack of talent around him shouldn't matter. A good qb overcomes that. Look at Tannehill. Not much difference btw the talent around him and the talent around Sanchez. But it's clear as day who the better qb is, it's clear as day who makes the players around him better. Quarterbacks are expensive. If you're gonna commit to a qb and pay him a bunch of money, he better be a guy who can elevate those around him. If he's not, then you're wasting time and money by keeping him around.

Matt Stafford is regressing

Matt is regressing. He's just staring down Megatron all the time. And his play is dropping off a lot because of it. Against the Eagles, he looked absolutely awful the entire game, the only reason why his play elevated in the 4th was because Calvin was getting open in the 4th. He's not making his progressions.

I've watched 3 Lions games this year: Vs St. Louis, Vs the Eagles, and Vs the 49ers.

In all of those games, he left a TON of plays on the field bc he's just not making his progressions. Many times, he had guys open underneath, or even down field but he just locked in on Calvin and tried forcing it to them. He has to take what the defense gives him, and make his reads.

Read the defense, hit the guy they're giving you. He's not doing that this year, instead he's stubbornly thinking he can always just fit it into Calvin, and his play is suffering because of it.

The blueprint is out. Everyone is giving him the same coverage shells. Theyre basically completely blanketing Calvin and daring Stafford to go to someone else. And so far it's working. He's not making his reads.

John Abraham: An interesting player to evaluate for this generation's HOF credentials

John Abraham has 115 qb sacks. In the past, that might have been enough to warrant HOF consideration. I think its safe to say however, that Abraham isn't a HOF caliber player. That makes us reevaluate the baseline for DEs and sack totals to become a HOF caliber player.

In today's game, its just easier to get sack totals. Teams throw more than ever, your opportunities for sacks are just greater. Look at how sack totals are skyrocketing around the league, its only a matter of time before the single season sack record gets broken. We have guys with 9 sacks through 6 games. Multiple guys in that ball park. And last year we had 3 guys who had a legitimate shot at breaking the record.

With sack totals increasing, I think we need to set a higher barometer for pass rushers and their sack totals. In the past, 150 sacks basically made you a lock for the HOF (unless you're Kevin Greene). Heck, a lot of guys who have 130 sacks are in the Hall.

But players from this era, I think you need a minimum 150 sacks to be considered, arguably more.

DeMarcus Ware could potentially break the sack record with over 200 sacks by the end of his career, but I don't think any of us will give it the same weight as Reggie, LT, or Deacon's sack totals bc the eras are just different. Not to take anything away from the guy, I think he'll wind up being a top 5 pass rusher of all time by the end of his career, but it's just a different era and should be treated as such.

QB Friendly League?

Is it really a quarterback friendly league? We make this assumption because more rookie qbs start than ever before. But is this really true? The amount of busts from the qb position are relatively the same as back then. The only difference is teams are finding out sooner instead of later.

And this is maybe homerish of me, but I need to get this off my chest. I'm tired of every ****** quarterback and their fans saying "Well Eli sucked his first 4 years so maybe he can turn it around too"

That's such a blatant misconception its not even funny. Eli always had it. He just lacked consistency. But anyone who saw him play regularly could see that he had the stuff early in his career, and saw his potential. Alot of these guys, they just look bad. And you know they suck pretty quickly.

It's not like a qb can just wake up one day and not suck anymore. That's not what happened with Eli. And to think that QB X can just wake up in year 4 and not suck bc that's some believe happened with Eli is just silly.

I was so wrong about Mark Barron

I'll keep this one short. I thought that was a bad draft pick. I was wrong. He looks like a stud.

Nmandi sucks

The big story today is Juan Castillo getting fired. And Nmandi called him out yesterday saying why did we switch up our coverages. Listen Nmandi, I know Juan isn't perfect, but you should be the last person to talk. You are not living up to your contract, you get burned routinely, can't play zone, can't even play the other side of the field or the slot, you're not even the best CB on your own team. DRC is better than you.

And don't ignore the fact that Calvin was beating you in the 4th quarter. You were brought in to be a shut down CB, and you're not even playing like a top 10 CB. This guy has easily been one of the most overrated FA pickups of the last 3 years.

They're trying to adjust their defensive coverages to accomodate Nmandi, and its not doing them any good. Because he's just not that good. He's just as much to blame on defense as anyone. Juan was a scapegoat. Juan inherited the wide 9 that leaves gaping holes in the run game. Juan inherited a diva CB who can only play man coverage on one side of the field. Juan inherited average safeties.

And on top of all of that, the Eagles had a pretty good defense. It wasn't Juan's fault. I'd blame Nmandi before I blame Juan if we're looking for scapegoats on defense.

Speaking of overrated CBs, Hi Brandon Flowers

Wake me up when this guy isn't getting burned every week.

Oh and about that Cromartie guy being top 6 in the league...

Held Andre Johnson to one catch and had an INT.

Shut down Reggie Wayne and had an INT.

Doing pretty well so far...I've been telling you guys, the Cromartie that the Jets have isn't the same player weve seen in SD. He's improved a lot under Rex, who knows how to use him. His talent gets overlooked bc he's an idiot and an easy joke, and an easy guy not to like, but he's a damn good CB.

Don't ice the kicker on long field goals

This is something I've been thinking about for a couple of weeks now. If the opponent needs a game winning 48+ yarder, don't ice the kicker. It makes no sense. You're giving them an extra chance to gauge how much power they need to kick it accurately.

It hurts you because the first try gives them the opportunity to know that they either need to

A) Take some leg off the kick so they can kick it more accurately
B) Or put more mustard on it

Why give them the chance to figure it out? Yeah I understand they should have gauged that in pregame warmups, but muscle memory is a lot easier when the reps are just 2 minutes apart vs 2 hours ago.

I would only ice kickers on easy kicks. Because you never know. Maybe you can see how their protections look the first time and get a 2nd chance to attack that blocking scheme. But in terms of icing the kicker on long kicks, DON'T DO IT.

Alex Smith left a lot of plays on the field

The Giants/49ers game wasn't even close. And Alex Smith is largely to blame for that. Not because of the 3 INTs though. That's the easy thing to blame.

What Alex Smith failed to do was pull the trigger the entire game. He had guys open downfield MANY times in the first half, and he just didnt have the guts to throw those passes. He had Walker wide open on PA pass down the field 4 times by my count for passes that would have been easily 20 yards apiece, he had Moss open for a big gain twice by my count, he had Mario Manningham open for a TD but didn't throw it accurately downfield. He easily left a minimum of 14 points on the field from those plays alone.

His problem is he's a captain checkdown. He will not throw it down field unless you are WIDE OPEN. And that's not a good qb. He's holding this team back. You can't expect to win a SB with that kind of qb play. There's a reason why Harbaugh looked at Peyton in the offseason. He knows what he has in Smith. He has an average qb who can ride the bus.

I'm intrigued by Kaepernick's potential. I'd love to see him play more, but you can't do that unless Smith gets hurt bc I don't think he gives the 49ers a better chance to win at this moment.

And as for Randy Moss, he still has it. He's not washed up. He just needs a qb who can get him the ball down the field. Smith isn't that guy.

I don't believe in Matt Schaub

Simple as the headline. I don't think Houston makes the SB because I don't think Schaub is capable of beating the other qbs who will be there in the playoffs.

You can make a strong case that Schaub will be the worst qb in the AFC in the playoffs. Ben will be there, Brady will be there, Peyton will probably be there, Rivers might be there.

In the playoffs, it often comes down to who has the better qb. It's a qb league, and the overall talent of all the teams in the playoffs are relatively equal. It's qb play that determines who advances. I don't know if Schaub is good enough to beat out some of those qbs to advance to a SB.

The blueprint to win in the playoffs

The blueprint to have a successful playoff team is simple:

1. You need an franchise qb. Without this, don't even bother. You can make some noise, but you're not going to the SB without one.

2. You need wide receivers. Forget OL. Look at the last 4 teams in the SB: Packers, Steelers, Giants, Patriots. None of them had great OLs. You need weapons. Weapons make plays, they dictate coverages, they dictate scheme. You need weapons for the qb to throw to. And you need cover guys to cover them. Which leads to item 3:

3. Pass rush. Pass rush is a relative term. It can be guys up front, it can also be the result of having a good secondary that allows you to bring more pressure. Regardless, you need pressure on the qb.

If you have those 3 items, you are a team built to succeed in the playoffs. If you don't, you are a regular season team.

Which is why I view teams like the Steelers, Broncos and Patriots as teams more probably to represent the AFC in the SB than the Texans.

It's why I view the Falcons as a regular season team until I see more out of their defense. They have the qb and WRs, but they lack the playmakers on defense to get the pass rush component they need to be a SB team.

Last edited by bigbluedefense : 10-16-2012 at 02:22 PM.
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