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Old 02-12-2014, 06:18 AM    (permalink
Jas
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Default Morris Claiborne come back player or bust?

Just wanted to get your opinions on an interesting topic, top 10 draft pick most considered to be the best CB in that draft with two less than stellar seasons on the cowboys. He has dealt with injuries and a change in scheme but what say you all? Does he recover and become a solid starter or is he a bust?
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Old 02-12-2014, 06:31 AM    (permalink
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Are the Cowboys keeping their defensive scheme?
If thats the case, I could see him continue too struggle, as he looked pretty lost playing off-zone in the games I watched last year.
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Old 02-12-2014, 06:46 AM    (permalink
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Are the Cowboys keeping their defensive scheme?
If thats the case, I could see him continue too struggle, as he looked pretty lost playing off-zone in the games I watched last year.
Marinelli being promoted to Def Coordinator may help in that there are adjustments that need to be made, the overall scheme won't change much but I would hope he adjusts the corner coverage back to more press man. As it's painfully obvious neither of the corners we have excels at cover two zone technique.

Although Claiborne plays better in that role he was having some struggles in man the previous season as well.
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Old 02-12-2014, 06:56 AM    (permalink
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Marinelli being promoted to Def Coordinator may help in that there are adjustments that need to be made, the overall scheme won't change much but I would hope he adjusts the corner coverage back to more press man. As it's painfully obvious neither of the corners we have excels at cover two zone technique.

Although Claiborne plays better in that role he was having some struggles in man the previous season as well.
True. I have a tendency to give CBs who start as rookies the benefit of the doubt, when they are struggling in their first year. Its just one of those positions, where growing pains are to be expected.
Anyways, I hope Marinelli makes the right adjustments, and lets Claiborne (and Carr) do what they do best. If thats the case, I expect Claiborn to have a bounceback year. He is still a very talented CB when it comes to press-man, and he should be playing with a chip on his shoulder in 2014, given how bad he played this year.
Its a terrible waste to have that many ressources invested in a premium position, and then not let the players play to their natural strengths.
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:53 AM    (permalink
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By "struggling" do you mean he's not playing at a Revis/Sherman level or that he's actually playing below average for a starting CB? A lot of fans seem to expect their team's CBs to shut down every WR, which is just not realistic in today's NFL.
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:32 AM    (permalink
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By "struggling" do you mean he's not playing at a Revis/Sherman level or that he's actually playing below average for a starting CB? A lot of fans seem to expect their team's CBs to shut down every WR, which is just not realistic in today's NFL.
I agree with you to a degree, part of it maybe due to expectations created by the hype and draft position and the term "shutdown corner".
That being said, I would say his play to this point hasn't been below average, perhaps merely average and I was hoping for more than that.

You'd think pro bowl level wouldn't be setting the bar too high for the sixth pick in the draft.

Injuries maybe hampering him some but at this point, being a solid dependable starter would suffice.

Was everyone wrong on this player or does he just need more time and to be put in a position that maximizes his skill set, i.e. man coverage?

Just wondering what people think, will he be a bust or will he come back and be a good player?

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Old 02-12-2014, 09:50 AM    (permalink
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True. I have a tendency to give CBs who start as rookies the benefit of the doubt, when they are struggling in their first year. Its just one of those positions, where growing pains are to be expected.
Anyways, I hope Marinelli makes the right adjustments, and lets Claiborne (and Carr) do what they do best. If thats the case, I expect Claiborn to have a bounceback year. He is still a very talented CB when it comes to press-man, and he should be playing with a chip on his shoulder in 2014, given how bad he played this year.
Its a terrible waste to have that many ressources invested in a premium position, and then not let the players play to their natural strengths.
I guess that's the best case, let him play the way you drafted him to play and give him another season to evaluate his performance. Thanks for your input.
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Old 02-12-2014, 10:03 AM    (permalink
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Oddly enough, when he came out of college he was supposedly better in off coverage than press man. Now he's struggling in off coverage in the NFL.

I thought he had potential, I think he's an open book. I'd give him 2 more years for the light to come on, but I'd still aggressively look for CBs if a good one falls to you bc like pass rushers you can never have too many CBs.
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Old 02-12-2014, 01:36 PM    (permalink
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Oddly enough, when he came out of college he was supposedly better in off coverage than press man. Now he's struggling in off coverage in the NFL.

I thought he had potential, I think he's an open book. I'd give him 2 more years for the light to come on, but I'd still aggressively look for CBs if a good one falls to you bc like pass rushers you can never have too many CBs.
Interesting, I wasn't aware of that as I didn't see a lot of his college film but according to this scouting report it does state that he was good at both and perhaps better in cover 2 zone, which is very strange. As all of us cowboys fans and the player himself seems to feel he's better in man. As he blamed the change on his lapses this past season..Mind boggling to read this...

"Again, he has a chance to excel for a team that plays primarily zone."

http://fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com/2...ype=blogs&_r=0

After viewing the film you see both the positives and negatives, but what you see and what really seems to be lacking at the next level is the confidence and swagger he played with in college. It's almost like the game is too big for him now and he's intimidated. Certainly he has the measurables, whether he has the instincts and the attitude, IDK.
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Old 02-12-2014, 01:52 PM    (permalink
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Those CBs in that defensive scheme is a waste.

That's Jerruh for you though
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Old 02-12-2014, 01:55 PM    (permalink
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Those CBs in that defensive scheme is a waste.

That's Jerruh for you though
That seemed to be the consensus of opinion but did you read the posts above?
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Old 02-12-2014, 02:00 PM    (permalink
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In theory they actually have CBs who are built to play zone. Carr is physical and can make tackles as can Clairborne at the LOS. Carr played plenty of zone in KC before he came to Dallas. Clairborne played primarily off coverage and ball hawked at LSU.

The problem is they don't have the safeties to play Cover 2. Which kind of defeats the purpose.

They also had a ton of injuries that was catastrophic to their system on defense. I think a combination of all of that led to their demise on defense. I expect somewhat of a bounceback year for them defensively.
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Old 02-12-2014, 02:12 PM    (permalink
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In theory they actually have CBs who are built to play zone. Carr is physical and can make tackles as can Clairborne at the LOS. Carr played plenty of zone in KC before he came to Dallas. Clairborne played primarily off coverage and ball hawked at LSU.

The problem is they don't have the safeties to play Cover 2. Which kind of defeats the purpose.

They also had a ton of injuries that was catastrophic to their system on defense. I think a combination of all of that led to their demise on defense. I expect somewhat of a bounceback year for them defensively.
Appreciate the input it's an interesting look at the other side of things because everyone believes the system is bad for the corners. I understand and agree with your point about the safeties as well, we don't really know what we have at FS.

Yeah, the injury bug on defense hurt us badly the past two seasons. And when you're last in the league in defense I guess the bright side is it couldn't possibly be any worse in 2014. lol
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Old 02-12-2014, 02:14 PM    (permalink
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After viewing the film you see both the positives and negatives, but what you see and what really seems to be lacking at the next level is the confidence and swagger he played with in college. It's almost like the game is too big for him now and he's intimidated. Certainly he has the measurables, whether he has the instincts and the attitude, IDK.
Thats odd. I need to go back and check my old scouting report on him, but I'm pretty sure I had him pegged as a much better man to man type of CB. Iirc really liked his quick twitch, fluid hips, and his ability to turn and run with recievers. Furthermore he was really good at jamming recievers at the LOS, and disrupting routes.
Anyway, the point you bring up about instincts and attitude is very interesting. Like I mentioned previously, I was assuming that his poor performance this year was mostly related to playing in zone, as well as playing hurt, but maybe he just doesn't have the mental make-up to be a top notch CB in the pros. Guess only time will tell, but for now I'm standing by Claiborne. I was way to high on him as a prospect, to give up after just two years.. :)
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Old 02-12-2014, 02:21 PM    (permalink
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Thats odd. I need to go back and check my old scouting report on him, but I'm pretty sure I had him pegged as a much better man to man type of CB. Iirc really liked his quick twitch, fluid hips, and his ability to turn and run with recievers. Furthermore he was really good at jamming recievers at the LOS, and disrupting routes.
Anyway, the point you bring up about instincts and attitude is very interesting. Like I mentioned previously, I was assuming that his poor performance this year was mostly related to playing in zone, as well as playing hurt, but maybe he just doesn't have the mental make-up to be a top notch CB in the pros. Guess only time will tell, but for now I'm standing by Claiborne. I was way to high on him as a prospect, to give up after just two years..
I'm not giving up either, I mean as a cowboy fan I'd love nothing more than for him to have a comeback. Just looking for peoples views and perspectives on the player.
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Old 02-12-2014, 02:32 PM    (permalink
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We'll see. It might be something as simple as him losing his confidence this year, due to battling injuries himself. (As well as the whole defensive unit being plagued by the injury bug almost all of last season.)
As a Ravens fan I've seen an extremely talented CB in Jimmy Smith playing below his talent due to confidence/injury issues his first couple of years, only to vastly improve later on. Hopefully Mo can do the same.
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Old 02-12-2014, 02:48 PM    (permalink
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I loved Jimmy so much in that draft. I was hoping we'd draft him instead of Prince :(

Prince is still pretty good but Smith had shut down potential and is starting to play like it.
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:21 PM    (permalink
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Are the Cowboys keeping their defensive scheme?
If thats the case, I could see him continue too struggle, as he looked pretty lost playing off-zone in the games I watched last year.
I agree, Jerry Jones made a huge deal out of getting two solid cover corners in Claiborne and Carr then he switches schemes to a Cover 2 where CB's aren't asked to do a lot of man coverage. Typical Jerry move that screwed up a lot of his defensive personnel.

Clairborne and Carr need to go to another team where their style of play suits their skills.
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:56 PM    (permalink
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Speaking of the Cowboys secondary, how did JJ Wilcox look as a rookie? I've only watched like a handfull of Dallas games this year, and didn't really notice him at any point.
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:25 PM    (permalink
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Typically, even the top CB prospects will struggle early in their careers. Very rarely do they succeed off the bad. I'm not giving Claiborne excuses but he has also been dealing with nagging injuries 2 years in a row. The injuries worry me more than anything else because they start to diminish a player's potential. Next season will be a huge year for him being his 3rd in the NFL. No more wet behind the ears... no concern about a new scheme. Time to man up.

He has showed flashes of what he can do but he's yet to put together a consistent string of games in a row. He openly admitted that he was uncomfortable with what Kiffin was asking him to do. Intelligence is critical for a zone cover corner and I honestly don't think Mo is the brightest tool in the shed. However, his natural athletic ability helps him better in man and that's where I think he needs to be used.

When Kiffin came in he had good intentions... ya know... telling our DBs to study up Seattle's cover scheme... then he came here and realized...umm.... we don't have the personnel to do that. We don't have Earl Thomas and Barry Church is strictly an in-the-box safety... not an all around SS like Chancellor. Not to mention, the pressure that SEA can generate in their front 7 is miles better than what Dallas put out there. Spencer and Crawford being hurt wasn't supposed to happen before the season even started.

So Kiffin revered to his old style and our problems in the secondary were compounded by several reasons 1) Nobody has success with the Tampa2 in it's pure form anymore. Parts of it, yes... occassionally, yes.... but nobody uses it all the time and gets away with it. New rules that put harsh penalties on vicious hits have killed basic Tampa2 concepts. 2) We paid a premium for "man cover" corner backs and asked them to play zone. The results showed failure. 3) Our safeties suck. Better safety play can do wonders. Church can't cover, but he's good in the box. Wilcox started getting fans excited until he got hurt and never returned to full health. We need a FS and I would LOVE Lamarcus Joyner.

Marinelli should help fix things. He'll get some help through the draft that is expected to be defensive heavy, but the scheme he ran in Chicago is more Lovie influenced and different than what Kiffin called so we should start to see more press man coverage.

If we get some safety help and some DL help and the people earning the big pay checks stay relatively healthy, then I think not only will we see a better Claiborne, but a better defense overall.
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:32 PM    (permalink
Bert Macklin
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Mo struggled his freshman year at LSU too. Just wait until it clicks. He's legit.
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:40 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by SunTzu_22 View Post
Speaking of the Cowboys secondary, how did JJ Wilcox look as a rookie? I've only watched like a handfull of Dallas games this year, and didn't really notice him at any point.
Due to injuries and lack of experience, it was hard to get a read on Wilcox, he's a work in progress as a guy who hasn't had a ton of time at safety.
They knew that, but they took a chance on him developing and learning on the job.

The injuries hindered him too, he seemed okay at times, but still has a way to go. Not sure how skilled he is in coverage, so the juries still out till we can get another look.

It seemed late in the year like they lost a little confidence in Wilcox and starting using Jeff Heath more which wasn't a smart move as he's another in the box type who seems lost in coverage, even when in position he fails to make plays on the ball.

I agree with D-units overall evaluation, we get better up front, maybe add a FS type, get luckier with our health isssues, things should change. But the players also have to do a better job in this defense.
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:12 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by Iamcanadian View Post
I agree, Jerry Jones made a huge deal out of getting two solid cover corners in Claiborne and Carr then he switches schemes to a Cover 2 where CB's aren't asked to do a lot of man coverage. Typical Jerry move that screwed up a lot of his defensive personnel.

Clairborne and Carr need to go to another team where their style of play suits their skills.
Yah, they screwed the pooch on that one. They should move one of them to FS. That or they should trade Claiborne. I bet they can still get something decent. I traded him for Derek Wolfe in a mock offseason I did, with a conditional '15 pick involved pending Wolfe's health.
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Old 02-13-2014, 08:00 AM    (permalink
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Mo's been steady he just hasn't had the splash plays I think most of us were expecting. I think the nagging injuries and missing time has stunted his development and affected his confidence but there's no reason why he can't have a breakout season this year.

BBD also has a good point about our safety play. That was the real weakness in out pass D, Barry Church is effective when he can play in the box but he has very limited range in coverage. Opposite him we had Jeff Heath as our best option, who doesn't belong on an NFL roster and was just physically outmatched week after week on 50-50 balls.
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Old 02-13-2014, 02:48 PM    (permalink
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As a 49ers fan, I would have no problem trading my first second round draft pick for Claiborne. Still under a cheap rookie contract for two more years with an option for a fifth year and still young enough to become good. With the Cowboys, I would say that it has more to do with their defensive scheme, horrible safeties and that its changed the first two years of his career.

Better chance though of seeing Carr get released than Claiborne getting traded.
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