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Old 10-27-2009, 12:53 AM    (permalink
BlindSite
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Default Week 7 Thoughts

Bit more free form this week. Enjoy!

The Rebirth of Alex Smith
For nearly his entire career Alex Smith has suffered in the eyes of the media, at the hands of his coaches and it appeared his career was going to be resigned to a backup under Mike Singletary. After years of being in his corner I’m ridiculously happy to see him receive another shot at the starting gig after turning in a tremendous second half performance against the Houston Texans.

After coming in for a struggling Shaun Hill the 49ers offense received a jolt of electricity that brought them within reach of the impressive Houston unit.
Smith was named the teams starter against Indianapolis and although it’s a tough task for him to face the NFL’s hottest quarterback right now, the way the offense rallied around him on Sunday it looks as if it’ll at least be a fight.

Jason Campbell
Jason Campbell is not the problem in Washington. Campbell was under pressure all night from a seemingly endless tirade of blitzers but still managed to complete a little over 67% of his passes, all the while being sacked six times and having at least four passes, from my count, dropped by his receivers had he been kept upright, and his receivers held on to the ball this may have been a closer game. The redskins defensive performances are right now being wasted by what is quickly becoming an abhorrent offensive line.

Zorn’s game plan appeared solid, though his late management in the fourth quarter was at least questionable, the Redskins could have had a chance if not for costly penalties which came almost as consistently as sacks. If Campbell can get out of Washington this offseason when his contract expires (which I’d sincerely advise him to do) we might see a very good quarterback emerge early next season.

Jake Delhomme
Jake Delhomme in three games has literally handed opposing teams thirty-five points. The tight ends as a trio, the running backs and the wide receivers are coming alive on the back of excellent performances from an under strength defense but unless the reigns are handed over to Matt Moore or something miraculous happens, the Panthers are destined to go into what will quite possibly be the deepest draft in recent history without a very high first round pick, or two of their second day selections. The franchise is in serious trouble of falling fast.

Will Witherspoon
I long considered Will Witherspoon to be one of the premier linebackers in the league. In Carolina he paired with Dan Morgan to create a fearsome tandem running free behind a dominant defensive line, in St Louis he turned in solid performances but seemed to drop off the radar in light of the franchise’s woes. Enter the trade to Philadelphia. Witherspoon played with a renewed vigour and fire against Washington registering a pick six, a sack and a forced fumble in the first half alone flying constantly around the action now in the scheme and on a team that fits his free playing style. This might not be remembered toward the end of the year as one of the Eagles best moves, but the smart money is on Witherspoon continuing to help turn around a defense that showed some early struggles.

Minnesota
Facing the Steelers showed some flaring deficiencies on the Vikings unit. For the first few weeks they managed to stave off certain teams resurgent comebacks and won some games on their own freakish Brett Favre magic, all part of the formula for winning games, but the Steelers are a different kind of animal to NFC West or divisional rivals and their attacking defensive and offensive style highlighted some of the Vikings weaknesses. Favre can still be rattled into causing turnovers and the defense still has some large holes defending the pass. The Steelers were obviously bolstered by the return of Polamalu and the linebackers credit with two touchdowns and three sacks clearly made a huge difference but if the Vikings cannot figure out how to patch up protection schemes against blitzers it’s going to be a longer year than first thought.

Darren Sharper picked up his 60th career interception.

Cedric Benson managed nearly 200 yards in what was a very motivated performance, though he receives a lot of credit for keeping the offense moving it has to be recognised what an impact his performance is having on Carson Palmer. After 2 Pretty bad years following his break out in 2006 Carson Palmer finally appears back to his wining form. The last time he played well the team had a dominant back in Rudi Johnson, who accounted for 12 TDs and 1300 yards of offense. In 07 not one back made it over 800 yards, in 08 the same story. The offense, now healthy is firing on all cylinders and the match up of Benson and Palmer is clearly a winning one.

Remember when the St Louis Rams were dangerous?

The unsung contributor in Arizona is Calais Cambpell, coming out of Miami the massive end was considered a risky prospect due to his height and concerns about his footwork. The Cardinals took him anyway, based likely on what they saw in the film room and the move is undoubtedly paying off now. While he's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination in consecutive weeks that I've watched arizona play I've been impressed with just how disruptive he is in all facets of the game.

Although he registered just two tackles against the Giants he did force a sack and more than once was able to put Eli under pressure and force a bad throw resulting in a turn over.

The credit gets passed around to Adrian Wilson to Antrelle Rolle and Dominique Rogers Cromartie, but at least in my opinion it all starts on the line and if his development continues, we could be watching a future cornerstone of what is becoming a quality defense in Arizona.
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Old 10-27-2009, 01:09 AM    (permalink
TonyGfortheTD
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Jason Campbell
Jason Campbell is not the problem in Washington. Campbell was under pressure all night from a seemingly endless tirade of blitzers but still managed to complete a little over 67% of his passes, all the while being sacked six times and having at least four passes, from my count, dropped by his receivers had he been kept upright, and his receivers held on to the ball this may have been a closer game. The redskins defensive performances are right now being wasted by what is quickly becoming an abhorrent offensive line.

Zorns game plan appeared solid, though his late management in the fourth quarter was at least questionable, the Redskins could have had a chance if not for costly penalties which came almost as consistently as sacks. If Campbell can get out of Washington this offseason when his contract expires (which Id sincerely advise him to do) we might see a very good quarterback emerge early next season.
Not quite. While a lot of problems in Redskins isn't because of Campbell, it doesn't help he's playing like a check down MVP. The offensive line blocking poorly is a contributing factor, but at a point he just has to man up and take more shots down the field.

As for Jake Delhomme, benching him in favor of McCown or Matt Moore won't solve anything. On a lot of Delhommes picks, the targeted receiver blew it big time. The entire Panthers offense is a gigantic disaster.
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Old 10-27-2009, 01:27 AM    (permalink
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Yeah, Jason Campbell is a pathetic excuse of an NFL quarterback. No pocket presence whatsoever, doesn't protect the football, is captain check down, and he can't read the field. That whole team is in big trouble. Doesn't help that Portis finally looks like his high number of carries in Washington are affecting him. In a year or two he's gonna be what Larry Johnson is now.
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Old 10-27-2009, 01:27 AM    (permalink
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Darren Sharper=DPOY.
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Old 10-27-2009, 01:33 AM    (permalink
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Not quite. While a lot of problems in Redskins isn't because of Campbell, it doesn't help he's playing like a check down MVP. The offensive line blocking poorly is a contributing factor, but at a point he just has to man up and take more shots down the field.

As for Jake Delhomme, benching him in favor of McCown or Matt Moore won't solve anything. On a lot of Delhommes picks, the targeted receiver blew it big time. The entire Panthers offense is a gigantic disaster.
Campbell doesn't play captain checkdown, he took a lot of medium to long shots on the offense tonight and his receivers kept dropping the ball. Also, there is a difference between designed short plays to get the ball out quickly to battle a pass rush and playing captain checkdown and that difference was obvious tonight. At least four drives stalled because the line blew coverage allowing him to be sacked or allowed committed penalties, often both on the same drive. No QB can drop back five or seven steps and wait for receivers to get 20 yards down the field when the pass rush is in their face after 2 seconds.

Blaming a quarterback for taking quick passes when their line has given up 6 sacks and committed 6 penalties and two more on offense on 3rd downs that were declined. The line was terrible tonight and the blocking from the tight ends was appalling.


On the Panthers you could not be more wrong, and McCown has been out for the season for a while now...

The running game and the offensive line are playing extremely well, as are the receivers most of the time. Sure one or two of the picks on Delhomme were caused by miscommunication or on one occasion receivers going freelance on timing routes, but he's taking shots at terrible times and he's missing wide open players. I counted five plays yesterday where Jarrett was wide open waving his arm and Delhomme looked to Smith or Williams or tried to force the ball into a bad spot.

The offense cannot be any worse with Moore starting.
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Old 10-27-2009, 01:36 AM    (permalink
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Yea, Campbell is a whole is less than the sum of the parts guy. He doesnt pick up blitzes before the snap, he doesnt elude pressure well, he doesnt get rid of the ball quick enough

Washington has much larger issues than him, but he's not going to blossom into a franchise QB. If he was put on a team that is good otherwise he wouldn't make them bad, but that's about it.

Alex Smith's return tour is much more interesting, though I'd like to see him play with defenses game-planning for him. Couldve just been a fluke like the performances Shaun Hill had when he replaced Smith at various times in the past couple years

Carolina's problem is that Delhomme is finished, Smith has regressed (he's still really good, but I can tell you - he's lost something this year, and it's not just a QB who can get him the ball. I said a couple years ago that he'd wear down faster than other WRs because of his size and playstyle and I really hope this isnt the beginning of it) and they have no other WRs. Dante Rosario is the closest thing they have to a 2nd option and that's like saying Matt Moore is closest thing they have to a QB.

The team desperately needs some talent at those positions, too bad they've wasted 2nd round picks on busts from USC and traded away all their first rounders. Oh, except the one they used to take an injury prone back up with the 13th pick. Just a horrible use of resources. If the Redskins weren't enough proof that only planning for the short term with no remorse for long term effects is an awful management strategy, take a look at the downfall of the Panthers.
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Old 10-27-2009, 01:57 AM    (permalink
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Good writeup on Smith. He actually looked like an NFL QB out there. I was surprised at how good he looked. 3 TD's in a half is elite. He's got to keep it up for more than one half though.

I was also happy with Crabtree's immediate impact (converted several 3rd downs) as well as Vernon Davis continuing his breakout year.
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Old 10-27-2009, 02:20 AM    (permalink
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I'm going to keep telling people that the vikings should have won that game. But a stupid call changed the game.
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Old 10-27-2009, 02:34 AM    (permalink
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I really like Arizona, especially if they get Beanie Wells going. Wells looked awesome Sunday night, running with acceleration and power; what a stiff arm! Their pass defense struggled against Manning and Schaub, but other than that they've played well. The run defense is legitimately elite. I like that they took falling talent like Darnell Dockett, Alan Branch and Calais Campbell only to have them dominating the trenches for them. Right now they are behind the Saints and right up there with Minnesota for me.
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Old 10-27-2009, 02:46 AM    (permalink
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Here's an idea: Maybe the Panthers bring in Jason Campbell next season. He's still young enough, will be behind a solid OL, will have an explosive WR and two excellent running backs that would help him out. It would give Carolina a veteran QB who they could sign for cheap that's not as turnover prone as Delhomme.
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Old 10-27-2009, 02:51 AM    (permalink
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Here's an idea: Maybe the Panthers bring in Jason Campbell next season. He's still young enough, will be behind a solid OL, will have an explosive WR and two excellent running backs that would help him out. It would give Carolina a veteran QB who they could sign for cheap that's not as turnover prone as Delhomme.
I posted about this a while ago on some other forums. I think he'd be fine as a game manager type that could run the offense effectively. Right now all the team is lacking is a guy to put the ball somewhere accurately at least half the time. Anyone is better than Delhomme at this point.
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Old 10-27-2009, 02:59 AM    (permalink
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I posted about this a while ago on some other forums. I think he'd be fine as a game manager type that could run the offense effectively. Right now all the team is lacking is a guy to put the ball somewhere accurately at least half the time. Anyone is better than Delhomme at this point.
I'd rather do that than try to develop a QB
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Old 10-27-2009, 03:09 AM    (permalink
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I'd rather do that than try to develop a QB
Being that they traded their first round pick (which in hindsight would probably be taken on a QB in the upcoming draft), they don't have much of a choice.
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Old 10-27-2009, 04:39 PM    (permalink
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Being that they traded their first round pick (which in hindsight would probably be taken on a QB in the upcoming draft), they don't have much of a choice.
We've never used higher than a fourth round choice on a QB and apparently Fox has prevented Hurney from doing so.
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Old 10-27-2009, 08:04 PM    (permalink
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Remember when the St Louis Rams were dangerous?
Or could score more than 10 points a game? I miss those days.
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Old 10-27-2009, 08:16 PM    (permalink
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Jason Campbell is a play not lose QB whose final stats are misleading after games. Yes he completes a high percentage of passes, but rarely are any of them downfield. Campbell is a 5th year QB and still doesn't realize that single coverage in the NFL means a WR is O-P-E-N.

He's the second coming of the Bills Rob Johnson, which is not a good thing.

IMO he's the consummate backup QB in that on a good team he won't lose the game for you, but he won't make the 4th quarter plays to win any games either.
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Old 10-27-2009, 08:24 PM    (permalink
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I really like Arizona, especially if they get Beanie Wells going. Wells looked awesome Sunday night, running with acceleration and power; what a stiff arm! Their pass defense struggled against Manning and Schaub, but other than that they've played well. The run defense is legitimately elite. I like that they took falling talent like Darnell Dockett, Alan Branch and Calais Campbell only to have them dominating the trenches for them. Right now they are behind the Saints and right up there with Minnesota for me.
I haven't seen any Cards games this year. Has Branch been playing well? I thought he'd be a great pickup for them, but he had dealt with injuries/underperforming since then.

Calais Campbell is starting to look like the player people thought he could be at the start of his senior year.
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WWWWWWWWWTTTTTTTTTTTTFFFFFFFFFFF!!!

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Old 10-27-2009, 09:07 PM    (permalink
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Here's an idea: Maybe the Panthers bring in Jason Campbell next season. He's still young enough, will be behind a solid OL, will have an explosive WR and two excellent running backs that would help him out. It would give Carolina a veteran QB who they could sign for cheap that's not as turnover prone as Delhomme.
I agree. The biggest problem for Campbell in DC besides the Oline is that he is not a WCO QB. I think Carolina would be a good place for him.
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Old 10-28-2009, 12:54 AM    (permalink
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We've never used higher than a fourth round choice on a QB and apparently Fox has prevented Hurney from doing so.
Being that I don't think Fox will be there after the season, I don't see that point being relevant.
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Old 10-28-2009, 06:41 AM    (permalink
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Being that I don't think Fox will be there after the season, I don't see that point being relevant.

Which is a shame really, he's had a lot of bad luck as a head coach.

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I agree. The biggest problem for Campbell in DC besides the Oline is that he is not a WCO QB. I think Carolina would be a good place for him.
I've always thought the WCO was a bad fit. Not only that but keep in mind until Zorn, he never had more than one season under the same offensive coordinator from being a starter in High School till the NFL. That's not a lot of good for a developing QB.

He's not perfect, he needs to work on things like keeping his feet settled, reseting and firing and keeping his eyes downfield, but it's not like he can't read a defense, gets inaccurate in the redzone or lets bad plays get in his head.

I still don't buy the argument "he doesn't look down field" and I'll repeat, no QB in the NFL could pass deep when there's no time in the pocket and it's rediculous to expect them to.
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Old 10-28-2009, 09:18 AM    (permalink
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Campbell can't read a defense, period, they showed quite a bit of film broken down on him where he missed wide open reads deep in the secondary for big scores. He's unsure of himself, he never sets his feet properly, I see alot more problems with him more then just the wrong offense or wrong team.


He doesn't need to start for anyone anymore, but I also think he'll be a solid back-up for a good team if he had a chance to sit for awhile and not have the pressure that he has now...He's a really poor QB though, with some nice physical skills, if he keeps passing up open deep looks for check downs to the short routes he'll never be worth anything more.
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Old 10-28-2009, 09:42 AM    (permalink
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Which is a shame really, he's had a lot of bad luck as a head coach.



I've always thought the WCO was a bad fit. Not only that but keep in mind until Zorn, he never had more than one season under the same offensive coordinator from being a starter in High School till the NFL. That's not a lot of good for a developing QB.

He's not perfect, he needs to work on things like keeping his feet settled, reseting and firing and keeping his eyes downfield, but it's not like he can't read a defense, gets inaccurate in the redzone or lets bad plays get in his head.

I still don't buy the argument "he doesn't look down field" and I'll repeat, no QB in the NFL could pass deep when there's no time in the pocket and it's rediculous to expect them to.
Jason Campbell is the poster child for not being able to read an NFL defense and he doesnt get inaccurate in the redzone because 90 percent of the time they take the ball out of his hands down there because the coaches dont trust him. Campbell takes shots down the field but he just misses on them most of the time because if the pass is longer than 8 yards he has no accuracy. He is the reason we lost to the eagles, i dont wanna hear about offensive line. You cannont take a 3 step drop and then take 3 seconds to throw the ball. He is in no way a starting QB in the NFL
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Old 10-28-2009, 12:56 PM    (permalink
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Not quite. While a lot of problems in Redskins isn't because of Campbell, it doesn't help he's playing like a check down MVP. The offensive line blocking poorly is a contributing factor, but at a point he just has to man up and take more shots down the field.
Campbell is also the reason that Mike Sellers got lit up. He waited to long to throw the ball and stared him down, the LB saw it coming a mile away.
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:40 PM    (permalink
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My week 7 thoughts? Benson> Forte and Orton> Cutler.

* waits for Oline/supporting cast comment*
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:41 PM    (permalink
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My week 7 thoughts? Benson> Forte and Orton> Cutler.

* waits for Oline comment*
Orton didn't even have an incompletion in week 7!!!
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