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D94W's "Young QBs Review" - Looking back on 2011
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Dallas94Ware


Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 4589
Location: Queens, NY
PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:01 pm    Post subject: D94W's "Young QBs Review" - Looking back on 2011 Reply with quote

I posted this a while back, mid season last year or so, and I thought it would be fun to bring it back up and look back on all of our old posts on last season's rookies after getting to watch them for a whole year/2 seasons of football


Some of you may remember me and all of my Football FAQ posts, X and O related info and what nots. I don't browse the forums as often as I used to now that I've gotten married and brought a little D94W into the world...but I've had some time off from work, and used it to do some of the football study I used to enjoy. THis round, I studied closely every throw of some of the more high profile young QBs to start this season.

I hope you guys find this information helpful, or interesting, or have it spark some friendly football debate and chatter!

-D94W, the original "coach" of FF!
--------------------------------------------

Cam Newton: Stat line - 3,093 P-yds, 12 TD, 14 INT; 464 R-yds, 10 TDs

Cam Newton continues to impress, and silence all of his pre-draft critics. But upon review - and I mean close, extensive review of every possible throw and run - I found some things in his game that remain true to what the critics worried about.

-First and foremost, this guy throws one of the best deepballs of any young quarterback in the league right now. It is almost always delivered on time, in the perfect spot between the coverages, dropped right into his target's hands. You could not ask for better deep ball placement from a young QB. And of course, this guy has the arm to get it there consistently. It's no wonder Steve Smith wanted to stay in Carolina.

-However, Cam continues to show that he is, through all the hype, a college style quarterback. I will explain what I mean in the following few bullet points:
*Cam throws the ball with far too much hesitation on the shallower throws. This could be attributed to decision making and his ability to process coverages, but I think it's more about the following bullet point.
*He relies far too much on his arm and the velocity in which he can throw the ball. When the window is small, he hesistates on his throw, winds up far too much, and elongates the throwing motion to push the ball harder. This has resulted in too many of his 14 INTs.
*His legs can sure make some nice plays, but he relies on them in situations where he does not need to. He has the potential to get the ball down the field in many situations where he opts to take off running. Many college styled QBs do this - and while not always a bad thing, it could be considered a major reason his TD count is so low for someone who can throw the deep ball so well.
*The playcalls in which he seems to thrive are also the playcalls that are very similar to what you'd see in college. Very vertical based passing routes that rely little on timing or progression reads, with an option to run - he may thrive in these playcalls, but it's not going to last. Look at the "wildcat" or the "run and shoot", which worked well for a bit in the NFL, but ultimately ended up on the burner when NFL teams made small adjustments to shutting them down.
*Newton can throw the ball pretty well on the run, but he loses a lot of the touch and accuracy he needed on those upfield throws when he takes off, which limits his bootlegs and waggles to shallow routes.

-He is one tough cookie, especially while running the ball. Someone so strong and physically imposing is difficult to tackle, and if you add in his knack for slipping a tackle or three, he can easily become his team's best runner.

-He has the arm to make all the throws. Deep outs across his body, down the sideline vertical throws, cross-wheel patterns to the tight end - you name it, this kid can throw it.

Overall, Cam Newton reminds me very much of Vince Young in terms of ability. He can potentially become everything Young should have been, and possibly more. There is no reason he can't overcome the downsides to his game to become a real star in this league for a long time to come.

Andy Dalton: Stat line - 2509 yds, 16 TDs, 12 INTs

Andy Dalton has the makings of a real pure passer at quarterback. Everything he does is the spitting image of a prototype passer in the NFL. He protects the ball, he makes his receivers look fantastic, and he is my #1 young QB - if I were starting a franchise, this is the kid I'd want.

-He throws his receiver open, plain and simple as that. When his man looks well covered, Andy delivers the ball to a spot where only his receiver can break off and try to make the play. He leads his target as well as just about any quality veteran in the NFL.

-He takes care of the football. He's made some errand throws or poor decisions that led to picks, same as any young QB or even veteran QB. But he consistently opts for the check down when the deeper throw is not there, he doesn't fret to throw the ball away, and understands that a sack is sometimes the better option.

-He has a fast release and delivery that gets the ball out on time every time. Little hesitation once his decision is made. Get a step on your man, and he'll get you the football.

-There are, of course, some downsides which are glaring holes in his game. SOme worse than others, most are fixable, some simply aren't.
*He is very Chad Pennington like in terms of getting the ball up the field. He isn't going to make those tough throws across his body, or throw those beautifually delivered down the side line vertical tosses, at least not consistently.
*he doesn't fight against his short comings to try for a play when it's needed. All QBs know what their weaknesses are, and try to play away from them rather than play to them. But all Qbs need to push the play into their weakness at times, but Dalton - perhaps because of inexperience - is all too quick to throw the ball away than try making those tough throws he isn't quite cut from the mold to make regularly.
*He doesn't feel the pressure very well, but rather, he sees it. He tends to keep his eyes shallow after being hit a little bit, and doesn't continue to look up field in times of heavy heat from the defense, and ends up checking down or taking a sack when he could have made a deep play had he kept his eyes upfield.

All said, Dalton is the prototype passer. He is clearly the ideal replacement for Palmer, and a perfect fit for a progression based offense. There is no reason that Dalton can't be everything Pennington was prior to his shoulder tears - and for those of you who don't remember, Pennington was the top redzone QB in his time as a starter pre-surgery, who rarely threw clearly avoidable picks and always made awesome reads. I really, really like this kid Dalton.

Christian Ponder: Stat line - 1141 yds, 6 TDs, 6 INTs

Ponder is a bit of two-sided coin. On one hand, you have the most accurate of the young QBs I've studied - on the other hand, you also have the most inconsistent.

-Ponder is astoundingly accurate. Not the perfect placement type of accuracy, but the type of accuracy where the ball hits the target dead on. This could carry over into better placement, but has yet to do so.

-He's got that high release point you like to see, but he has a bit of an odd throwing motion. I like the high release point though - it usually bodes well for future success at the position.

-Slides away from the pressure fairly well. Keeps his feet "happy" underneath him and plants his foot very well for a young passer.

-Can make all the throws pretty well. I don't think anyone can doubt his ability to get the ball to any point on the field.

-Has some strides of amazing accuracy, but his show of work is hindered by a few factors I hope he overcomes:
*Poor decisions against the blitz. He rushes his throw and is off the mark, despite displaying the accuracy to get the ball where it should go.
*Inconsistent ball placement. For someone who is so accurate with the football, he should have better skills with placing the ball correctly for his receiver.
*Tends to end the play too early by checking down, when it is very possible to extend the play a little with his feet to make the larger play.
*One bad throw or a couple bad throws seems to set him off on a horrible collapse for the rest of the half. He doesn't seem to display the moxy a QB needs to keep his head up and try again, and instead, lets that one bad throw or so turn into a slew of them.

Ponder reminds me a lot of Tony Romo in terms of all the basics, including letting that one bad throw turn into several bad throws sewn together. But the upside here is, his basics are very good - and could easily develop into a larger plate of food for dinner, if you get my analogy. If he can learn to better place the ball, and grow just a bit of confidence, I'm fairly certain he'll become something impressive.

Blaine Gabbert: Stat line - 1371 Yds, 6 TD, 6 INT

Gabbert is hard to gauge well. Unlike Newton or Dalton, Gabbert isn't working with a true number 1 target at receiver or operating an offense ideal for his strengths. He's got potential, and he could certainly blossom, but his early struggles are reminiscent of one David Carr.

-He can make the throws, physically anyway. He has the right release and velocity you look for in a young passer. He may not have the over powering arm, or the rapid delivery, but he certainly isn't lacking here by any measure.

-He is careful with the football, even to his detriment. He avoids risky throws under all circumstances, and while it keeps him from turning the ball over too often, it also keeps him from making the plays that he could potentially make. At some point, you have to gamble at least a little bit.

-While having a guy like MoJo is great, it makes Gabbert seem all too comfortable to check the ball down - sometimes, before the play even has time to really take shape. While taking what is there can also be a good thing, which is why I consider it a bit of a positive, he needs to gain some confidence in getting the ball out to a man with a chance for a first down.

-He steps through the pressure pretty well for a young guy. It's rare to see him neglect stepping up when it's there, but at this same token, he holds the ball too long or tries to step up or side step too much - resulting in a 4.5 sack per start average.

I think Gabbert can develop. But unlike Newton or Dalton, he really should not have been thrust into the reigns so soon. He clearly needed more time to sit back and watch, and learn the offense, more than the aforementioned two guys. All of his positives are quickly becoming his negatives, because teams can too easily key in on shutting them down. Bad move to start him so early, and I hope it pans out because he can really become the first quality starter in Jacksonville since Brunell - but if history is any teacher at all, the rattled confidence of a QB being thrust into the starting role too early usually overcomes any positives or potential for that young passer.

Ryan Fitzpatrick

I know this is his second season as a true starter, and his seventh in the league. But as he's only really begun to be noticed this year, I figured breaking him down would be good.

-He makes smart decisions. He plays smart. He makes smart throws. He is as simple as the statement goes, a smart QB.

-He throws one of the best slants in the league right now. It's always a sharp, tight spiraled throw, precisely where it should be, and directly in the hot zone on time for the slant. It's too bad that his best receiver, Steve Johnson, struggles so heavily in beating shallow zone coverage to make this a main staple in the Buffalo offense.

-He has the vision up the field under pressure that is ideal for beating the blitz and making a defense pay for being aggressive. It can be one of his biggest assets.

-He has the real makings of a game manager, do enough to win type of QB. But with this comes some negatives that are simply glaring issues in his game:
*Too inconsistent in his delivery. I don't know if he's trying to make up for a lack of real throwing velocity, or if he just over extends himself in how fast he has to release the ball, but he is far too inconsistent in getting the ball where it needs to go in a timely fashion
*He lets some of his deep throws sail; especially the ones where the route takes the receiver from near the hash out toward the sidelines. Arguably a testament to his less than stellar arm, this is the main reason his yardage total seems so low for someone with over 360 passing attempts, and why his INT totals have soared over the past few weeks.
*He tends to put too much mustard on throws where the receiver only wants a little bit of ketchup - a bit of a funny way of saying, he puts too much power into throws that sometimes require just a bit of touch and not a slingshot to get it there.

Fitzpatrick is not going to be some super stud. But he's the best thing Buffalo has had since their glory days int he 90s, and that includes Bledsoe's stint there. He's not going to lose you too many games, and he's not going to win you too many with the game on his shoulders - but he will run the offense, he will help the team get in position to win, and he will keep his team in the game by not making horridly putrid decisions - which is what plagued the team under the reigns of Losman, Brohm and other previous starters. Buffalo fans should rejoice at that fact alone.

Mark Sanchez: Stat line - 2513 Yds, 18 TDs, 11 INTs

Mark had a fast start to his career for a young guy. He has rallied his team to wins late in the game, he's made it to conference championship games, and played like a real winner - but critics can argue that his running game, and defense, were what had him looking good. And they'd be right - to a point.

-Mark has ice water for blood. Under pressure - both proverbial and physical - he continues to display a confidence to make the throws he needs to make to win the game in spite of it. You can't argue against confidence and it's ability to make a good passer.

-Sanchez can surprise defenses with his mobility and ability to throw on the run. Whether it's a bootleg to the perimeter to throw the ball down the field, or escaping pressure to dive into past the goal line, Mark makes defenses have to keep an eye on him when deciding to attack him.

-He has a great release against the blitz - in fact, by the numbers, you're better off playing full coverage against Mark and the Jets, rather than trying to get after him. His completion percentage against the blitz is 18% higher than against no blitz.

-Sanchez is surprisingly accurate in tight coverage. He gets the ball into those coverages with great placement and timing.

-He can protect the ball with smart decisions, despite the perceivement of him as a turnover machine. A large chunk (almost half) of his 44 INTs in the last 3 years came in his rookie reason (where he threw 20 picks).

-He plays well when the team is playing well. He can in fact shoulder the offense from time to time, but he's not going to be Peyton, Tom, Drew or Phillip out there:
*Throws a flailing football from time to time, with an awkward release that resolves in far too many pass deflections - even when his receiver is open.
*Is arguably one of the worst starters at throwing a fade route. Highly inconsistent on ball placement on such routes - the times he's completed them, it's often a poor throw where the receiver was able to extend himself just enough to barely come in with it.
*Throws one mean fast ball up the seam - to his detriment. He relies on that hard, tight spiral up the seam to Keller to the point where he overlooks lurking safeties that can quickly undercut Keller for the pick or deflection.

Sanchez, despite all the criticism he gets (likely from playing in NY), is playing well. While his completion percentage (under 60 percent all 3 of his seasons) is low overall, he makes all the throws he needs to make. He can easily shoulder the offense, but isn't the ideal QB for a heavy passing attack. That is however, not a knock - some QBs with that same quality are wearing one or more super bowl rings; Troy Aikman being the major comparison in that regard.

Matthew Stafford: Stat line - 3119 Yds, 26 TDs, 13 INTs

Stafford displays a real knack for having a launch point that can altar based on pressure and coverage, and still complete the throw. He is one of the top scorers of the young QBs I researched, but one can make the argument - as I will - that a major contributing factor to him finding the endzone so often is Calvin Johnson being bigger, faster, stronger, and being able to jump higher, than his competition.

-Has the accuracy and velocity you want at QB. he places the ball well, he gets the ball there tightly, and doesn't hesitate.

-While his windup can be a little longer than it needs to be, he has the release speed that gets the job done without any issue.

-Feels the pressure well, and avoids it within the pocket without stepping into further trouble. He can really shine in this area.

-He throws a pretty good deep ball, but with this, comes the C.J. factor:
*Johnson is simply bigger, faster, stronger and more athletic than most DBs. He can outjump all of them, out reach all of them, and with he new rules, DBs can't plow him for going up to make those grabs without drawing a flag - DB's simply have little defense against C.J. So Stafford tends to rely on toss ups to Johnson down the field that are thrown to coverages he simply should not be throwing into.
*Doesn't seem to spot the safety well, and continues to rely on Calvin Johnson being able to go up and make the play than throwing to the route that has pulled the safety out of position.
*Elongated release, while more than acceptable, sometimes results in sacks that are very avoidable.
*Throws the ball with too little care when the blitz is on. He rushes the throw under the pressure, and while often completing the throw, almost half of his 13 picks were thrown because he rushed the throw under the blitz.

Stafford will be great for as long as he has Calvin Johnson. I foresee some heavy struggles if Johnson goes down or somehow ends up on another team - similar to the struggles Eli showed throwing downfield when he first lost Plaxico, or the same struggles Culpepper had when he lost Randy Moss. Having those big, fast, strong targets up field where you can throw jump balls and have consistent long gains starts to become too much of an outlet. But he has the makings of a real star at the position, with all the ideal qualities one could want. I could see him touching 40+ TD tosses somehwere in his career - if he stays healthy.

Tim Tebow: Stat line - 858 Yds, 8 TD, 1 INT, 455 R-Yds, 3 TDs

Tebow, Tebow, Tebow. Where to begin. I guess I can start with the obvious: this kid wins games. When the pressure is on his shoulders, he seems to be at his best - reminiscent of one John Elway in that manner. But unlike Elway, prior to that two minute warning, Tebow plays about as awful as any out-of-the-league first round bust.

-He wins. You can't argue against it. He just wins. Whether it's with a fate looking over him TD toss, or a sheer determination first down run, Tebow wins.

-Plays hard. I don't think there is any QB out there that plays with the raw determination that Tebow plays with. This kid is committed to all he does, and determined to make the plays when they are needed most.

-He's fast, tough and athletic - he can escape almost many defender in any situation to extend the play.

-Throws amazingly well on the run for someone who lacks the pure accuracy out of the pocket.

-Escapes rather than throws risky balls for picks. He can move the chains for a first down with his legs instead of throwing a ball that could become six for the other team.

-He makes the plays when they're most needed, but you can't always win playing this bad:
*He pushes the ball rather than throws it. He puts his whole body into the throw, and his entire body into the wind up - makng the throw come out slow and off target.
*Awfully innaccurate. He tends to throw at his receiver, instead of to them. The slow release and innaccuracy makes one wonder how he hasn't thrown twice as many picks as scores.
*Takes off at the slightest glint of pressure - a QB needs to make a defense pay for pinning their ears back and rushing hard by getting the ball up the field, not rely on his ability to escape and gain 4 or 5 with his feet. 4 or 5 may add up each time, but not gaining 10 or 15 when you can adds up to even more, except for the defense.
*Much like Newton, Tebow plays far too much like a college QB - except on a much much more grander scale than Newton. He tries too hard to play in the NFL like he did in college, and doesn't seem to want to play NFL football - much too set in what got the job done for him in college.

Tebow, again, wins games. You want a winner - and in this regard, Denver should be happy. He could potentially become the winner at QB that could restore the Broncos to glory. But only if he can improve his 45% completion percentage to at least around 55%, and show just a small amount of improvement in getting the ball to his man with more consistency. Because, at some point, he's going to need to throw the ball to get the job done - more than once, too. And at this point, he's just not able to do that regularly.

Colt McCoy: Stat line - 2524 Yds, 14 TD, 9 INT

McCoy looked like he was going to develop into the real "answer" for Cleveland last season. But then again, so did Derek Anderson.

-Has a bit of an underwhelming velocity, but it's capable of getting the job done. You don't need a big arm to succeed.

-Can really deliver a beautifully timed throw on those really west-coast like routes, such as the cross, the wheel, the sluggo, etc. He definitely fits the system well and plays like it is intended for him to succeed in.

-Although this can be said of just about any QB in the history of QB, he seems to play much better when his running game is going well. The difference here though, is that some of the better QBs - the ones who typically have nice long careers - can still make things happen despite the run game being taken away by the defense. McCoy has been average in this department, maybe a bit below average, even.

-Doesn't have the pure accuracy you want of a pocket passer, but makes up for it very well with awesome timing and placement. Which again, goes back to the system - the system asks for timing and placement, and McCoy is more than on par for it.

-While the term 'system QB' tends to annoy the heck outta me, as all QBs need a system that plays to their abilities and hides their weaknesses, McCoy epitomizes the term:
*If the timing of the play is pushed off, either by a good blitz or a nice jam at the line, McCoy has a hard time improvising or finding an alternative to taking a sack or throwing a risky/bad pass.
*Tends to stare down the target the play is designed for, and throws the ball to the target regardless of coverage - albeit with the perfect timing and placement asked of him. Still though, you need to improvise in such a system under that situation.
*Refuses to divert away from the designated hot route and all in all just doesn't divert away from the system. While this is typically a good thing, you also need your QB to have some balls and make a throw outside of what he's told to do - else you end up with a very average, very basic, very rudimentary offense. But with that defense and running game (when Hillis is back to going full force), I guess such a bland passing attack works fine.

McCoy has some of the basics a coach loves - particularly how he plays to the play call and play design so firmly. But the things that make him great, are the same things that are going to keep him relatively pedestrian throughout his career. On the bright side (as if knowing you have a stable QB isn't 'bright' enough), with that defense, and two runners capable of topping 1100 yards on the ground, all you really need to survive is a pedestrian passing attack that can just extend drives and not turn the ball over.

Sam Bradford: Stat line - 1971 Yds, 6 TD 5 INT

Bradford puzzles me. I know he was working through injury earlier this season, and struggles to learn a more progression based passing attack under McDaniels. But he hasn't shown any of the greatness and promise this season that he did last season.

-He has a fabulous release speed and release point. Peyton-esque. Truly amazing. Too bad he don't decide as fast and holds the ball far too long

-He plays with great footwork which helps keep his timing in sync with the playcall. Too bad his offense is no longer purely timing based and he holds the ball too long.

-Probaly the tops in all the young QBs with pure, spot on accuracy - he could likely knock the wings off of a fly 25 yards away if he had a small enough football to do so without killing the fly.

-He can make all the throws. He can hit his man anywhere on the field without a hiccup. It's just too bad he's holding the ball so long and missing those throws.

-He has that real Rodgers and Brady like habit of putting the ball where only his target has a chance to make the catch, even if it's not pretty, and far from a simple catch. But again, it's too bad he misses out on even more of this by holding the ball so long!

-He's got some real star power behind him, with Jackson running and Lloyd catching. He's got the spices, he just has to start making the meal again:
*He's shown he can make the plays, but this new system is kicking his rear end pretty badly. He's not making decisions, and holding the ball far too long
*Bradford spends too much time patting the ball anticipating his throw, and not enough time just trusting his gut and letting it rip.
*Very bad timing on his look-offs. WHile it's great to see a young QB making an attempt at a very veteran move such as looking off defenders, he's looking off a moment too late and then rushing the throw with diminished accuracy.
*Every QB at some point goes through a learning phase that changes all they understood of their team's passing attack. Some more deep than others, but still should not result in such a drastic change in performance. I'm starting to question his mental fortitude - perhaps he's just one of those guys who's too stubborn to accept change.

Bradford has all one could ask for. He could probably be "the next big thing" at Quarterback - the ones with all the numbers, who make average receivers look like stars, and takes an offense of near nobodies to championship games. He's accurate, he's got that jet fueled arm, he's got that lightening release, he isn't easily rattled...but he just can't decide what to do with it, it seems. maybe it's the change in offense, maybe it's stubbornness, maybe last year was an abberation...who knows? What I do know, is that this kid, if he puts to back together, is going give defensive coordinators of NFC playoff contenders heartburn every January for about a decade.

Matt Moore: Stat line - 1765 Yds, 9 Td, 5 Int

During the NFL draft the year Moore was coming out of college, I remember listening to my favorite guru on X's, O's, and of course, QB's - Ron Jaworski - talk about Moore displaying things at the college level that only veteran professional QBs usually show. He caused me to waqtch some footage of Moore, and I had to agree with jaws: it's a wonder how Moore wasn't drafted.

-Matt Moore looks of the defenders like a wiley veteran. He times the look off well, and comes back to his read quickly just as he's planting and throwing - there is no loss of velocity of accuracy. This just seems to come naturally to him, as it was something Jaws talked about too when Moore was just coming out of college.

-He doesn't have that rocket arm, nor does he have that bullseye accuracy: but he's got just enough of both to be deadly if he finds his man and makes his read - he'll get the ball there quickly and on target asap.

-He stands tall under pressure, but also seems very much at home slipping out of the pocket to keep looking up the field for a target: he's done this since college, which is surprising, as it's usually only something guys learn after a couple years in the NFL.

-Moore isn't without nuance though, as he's still got those quirks that likely had teams opt to pass on him through seven rounds of the NFL draft:
*Very awkward footwork. His timing can be completely thrown off if his footwork don't stay in rythm, and he often misfires the ball because his feet weren't ready to be planted when he was ready to make the throw based on the read.
*Hyperextends for deep throws, winding up far too much and pushing the ball too much. This leads to too many hits, near sacks, sacks, and poorly timed deliveries on vertical tosses. This is a major reason why he's got an average of nearly 4 sacks per game in his 8 starts this season.
*he seems to not mind one bit throwing on the run. The problem is, he's just not very good at it - he underthrows when he does so, and these underthrows can turn into costly picks. He needs to set his feet and throw when he rolls out, not try to fire it on the move like Roethlisberger or Romo; Moore just isn't made for that.
*Some of the picks he's thrown are clearly overwhelmingly bad decisions, something that has always plagued him. It's different between making a bad read, or seeing something you realize wasn't there and thus making a poor decision. Moore just blatantly throws the ball where it has no business going - and makes the same bad decisions each time. I guess however, it's kind of like the star hitter in baseball who strikes out on the "high ones," but loves how tempting they are for the big knock that he can't stop himself from swinging on it anyway.

I've always thought highly of Moore. Since the first day I heard Jaws speak of him before the start of day 2 of the Draft (back when the 3rd round started bright and early Sunday), and I always will think highly of him. He's got the makings of a quarterback who can have an outing that just simply wins the game for your team, or an outing that can really fudge your hopes at victory. Very Favre or Romo like in that manner. But that passer with the balls to try regardless of the heat, and with the little extras Moore has to aid him in making sure the good happens more than the bad, is someone you just absolutely have to root for IMO.

Josh Freeman: Stat line - 2715 Yds, 12 TD, 16 Int

Freeman, last season, was an absolute phenomenon. He swept the NFL and it's fans up in his arms and threw you on his shoulder everytime it was the 4th quarter and the Buccs were down a score. He seemed to be one of those rare breeds of QB where you just kind of expect a big play everytime your team is going to lose unless they get one. But every hero has their villain...unfortunately for this hero called Josh Freeman, his villain is himself.

-Josh's story begins and ends with how he handles the blitz: with inconsistency. He can make a D. Coordinator regret blitzing half the time he drops back under the blitz; but he can also make them grin happily the other half. He can release well and he makes a fast read to throw it past the blitz - but he can also throw it into the coverage away from the blitz. I'm wondering how much of this is scheme oriented, though.

-Typically, he takes very good care of the football. He doesn't make many risky throws when he has options, and tends to make good reads. But his tendency to throw away from the rush or blitz has cost him far too many picks this season. Ideally, you want to throw at or behind the blitz, to where the lapse in coverage due to the removal of a defender for an extra rusher can be exploited.

-Steps up under pressure to deliver the ball, and doesn't let the pressure ruin the play until it actually has done so with a sack. He just needs to go back to throwing past the pressure to exploit the gaps and windows.

-The kid has that winner in him. I don't know what you want to call it. Maybe it's a bit of moxy, or determination, or will power. Maybe it's all three. Maybe I should just call this feature "Tebow." Whatever you want to call it, Freeman has it: He wins games. Fourth quarter, down by 4, minute and thirty to go, and Freeman will put you in a position to rally to a win. If you were in a supermarket, and that 'winner' quality was a canned food, you'd buy whats on the shelf and ask the stock boy to bring you up some more.

-He's pretty darn mobile within the pocket, and throws well from outside of it. These two qualities make for a QB who is pretty hard to stop on third down...as long as his mistakes and lack of a running game havent put you in a third and ten or more almost all of the time:
*Continues to make the ill fated mistake of throwing to the field side opposite of the blitz, making a bad throw a worse throw that many people call an interception.
*Tends to throw his deep tosses blindly. He sees his one on one down the field and lets it go. This can be an awesome quality in a QB with a deep field monster like C. Johnson, R. Moss, P. Burress (pre-jail time) - you know the types, the ones who can just outrun, out jump, and out muscle most of the DB's they're up against. But if you don't have one of those, you need to be more judicious with tossing it down field just because it's one on one. Otherwise, you end up doing what I tend to call "throwing a punt." Basically, a change of possession 30-50 yards up the field - a punt.
*Even when he had a running game, his play action fakes left much to be desired. He is easy to read, and doesn't get his back to the defense to make a fake believable: by my count, 4 of this season's picks came due to a poor fake that not a single DB seemed to bite on.
*Doesn't throw a very tight spiral. Yeah yeah, I know - Eli doesn't either, nor does Big Ben, and both have a ring. I get that. But how many centerfield picks have they thrown in their careers because of it? Well, Freeman is going the same route. Spiral on a football is like rifling in a modern firearm: the spiral action works with aerodynamics to create a more accurate projectile. Without those tight spirals, balls across the center of the field (where much of the traffic is) can easily become picks by guys who really aren't supposed to be making picks.

Freeman can win you games. He's competitive, he's strong, he's mobile, he makes good reads...he should have no problem returning to last year's form sometime soon. He isn't lacking in ability and his play style isn't really changed from a year ago. Teams are just attacking his weaknesses more, and it's showing in the form of more picks than scores. This is a hump all quarterbacks have to go through at some point when teams learn how to attack you - the good ones make it past this hump and make defenses pay. The bad ones fall hard into mediocrity and back up roles. My opinion? Freeman will get through it. And he'll be better because of it. All the signs point that way, anyway.

--------------
I hope you all enjoyed. This took a couple hours to write, and many hours a day to research and compile the information and break downs within all those words. I'll do my best to check back regularly and reply to all the (hopefully) fun football talk it (again, hopefully) inspires.[/b][/i]

Updates

Cam Newton is still running college plays, still throwing one hell of a deep ball, and showing that college offenses can work with the right players in the NFL. The problem for Cam has been his supporting cast, for the most part, but I still see him making poor reads and rushing throws.

Andy Dalton still looks like the golden suprise of the QB class of last season. He's throwing the ball like a well coached, smart, quick thinking passer that I and most of you thought he'd continue to be. The only knock I could give to him, is staring down A.J. Green a little too often. But when you have a guy like that on the outside, sometimes staring him down doesn't really matter. Just ask Stafford...

Speaking of Stafford. Have I mentioned lately how overrated I feel he is? His throws are often way too high, way too off the mark, and sometimes a bit too "sail-y" for someone with an arm as powerful as his. And he stares down his intended target for way too long. If you know he's going to be open in about 2-bounces, check your eyes to the other side before coming back with the throw. Staring down your man that hard is something that drives me nuts even with my high school level passers. Staffords stats are bloated because of C.J.2k version 2.0, and beyond that, he hasn't got much else going for him. Though, I once said almost all that about Eli manning..and now that mouth-breathing buffoon has 2 rings. So ::SHRUG::

Freeman has returned more to form, showing he's still got that rally ability he displayed his first season. He's got an arm, he's got speedy playmaking YAC guys around him to throw to, and a good running/play-action game working for him too. Expect big things out of him and his offense next year - pencil them in for an NFC Conference Playoff if Freeman can continue to play well.

Bradford has shown he has some life in him, and his glimpses of greatness do manage to give a sparkle under all the manure thats been dropped on him - manure being slang for a bad line, subpar receivers, and an average/aging running game. I think he can be something, i truly do. He seems to have that Jake Delhomme release. it's a little funny and awkward, but it's fast and really puts some mustard on the ball.

Sanchez has proven something to me after these last two seasons. The guy is a very, very average player. Average velocity, average release, average decision making, average footwork, average accuracy. Now, you can win with average quarterback play. A quarterback does not need to shoulder his team to win games or even rings. However, you will not win with an average quarterback playing with average and subpar receivers, runners, linemen and offensive coaching. There needs to be some improvements all across the board, or one big improvement made at the QB position.

Ryan Fitzpatrick has verified something to me as well over the last two seasons. Ivy league near-genius's are some stupid people sometimes. Fitzy's got a pretty decent arm and he makes some good throws. He's got good placement and he knows when to check down. Yet you'll see him fire into double and triple coverages over, and over, and over throughout the course of a game. Why, Fitzy, why would you throw that??!

Blaine Gabbert has about as much chance to succeed as I did playing on 2 shredded knees. Not only is he lacking anything resembling a cast around him when MJD went down, he downright plays awful. The only thing consistent about him is how poorly he throws the ball. His only real bright spot is his much improved release speed, but it's not doing any good when he's still throwing it to the wrong colored jerseys.

Ponder does indeed make me ponder. He has these streaks where he'll make you think he was a smaller, faster version of Big Ben - avoiding a guy or two, sweeping left or right, or up or back, and buying just enough time for a good hard throw to the man who got open in those precious extra seconds. Othertimes, he'll make you think you're watching a college game of some little known team with a quarterback who'll be an accountant in another few months.

Tebow...well, at least he's not from Canada? (Major League reference for the win)

[/i]
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Last edited by Dallas94Ware on Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:33 am; edited 5 times in total
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MaddHatter


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Surprise appearance from D94W Shocked
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steferfootballd


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very well done. These type of posts make this site better imo.
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Dallas94Ware


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MaddHatter wrote:
Surprise appearance from D94W Shocked


hey man. Yeah, I've been pretty off and on. I was last here around the week of the DAL/SF matchup, then got busy again. Marriage and a newborn, as well as two jobs, will do that to a guy. Razz
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Gavin Escobar will have more catches than Cole Beasley.

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Dallas94Ware


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

steferfootballd wrote:
Very well done. These type of posts make this site better imo.


Thanks! I try. And I put a lot of effort into assembling all the info I could for the post - if you remember me from a couple years back, I've always kind of been that OCD. Some people grew up wanting to play in the NFL, I grew up wanting to coach in it...and I think that shows often in my posts. Razz
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Gavin Escobar will have more catches than Cole Beasley.

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Stunnaboy


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amazing analysis, agree with everything you wrote even though you were critical of the great Timmy.

Also glad someone else thinks Sanchez is not as terrible as people try to make him out to be.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad you could stop by again DW. Another great post from you.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't really like your Cam Newton analysis.
He is not like Vince Young at all, and the calls are the way they are due to the Coryell offense, a downfield passing attack. Also, he does not run when he does not have to, if anything, he has not run as much as many expected, he has been a pocket passer.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess Christian Ponder isn't a starter?
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your Alive.... Shocked
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usdvikes


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A little curious why Ponder is not on this list. Sample size?
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great Post, Wish you would have been more intricate in your Blaine Gabbert Analysis, but everything other then stepping up I agreed with. of the Quarterbacks i have watched that you did a analysis of I thought they were spot on, which made you credible in analyzing the others, so I'm thinking I learned somethings bout some guys.

Andy Dalton Is making me look extremely smart in my Simulation GM League.

One tip, I'd Stay away from Comparisons, People get their feeling hurt for no reason.
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.AirMcNair.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Panthers11 wrote:
I don't really like your Cam Newton analysis.
He is not like Vince Young at all, and the calls are the way they are due to the Coryell offense, a downfield passing attack. Also, he does not run when he does not have to, if anything, he has not run as much as many expected, he has been a pocket passer.


I agree. I have to say, at least when watching him vs the Titans, he was against running the ball a lot more than I thought he'd be. There were several times I saw where he could have took off and got some yards but stayed with the pass instead.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats on getting married D94! It's good to have you back. Looking forward to more of these.
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TheOleBallCoach


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great post, although my Gabbert analysis would be much, much tougher.
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