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Everything posted by nine

  1. See, that's the thing: "the book" on Mariota seems to change every time they change the playbook. Marcus' pocket presence took a noticeable and significant step backward last year....it was bad. If you'll go back and watch film of 2016-2017, he was much better at keeping his eyes downfield and extending plays. In 2018, his first instinct was to drop his eyes, tuck the ball and run. And it had a significant negative impact on his game as a whole. (As I've mentioned before, I suspect coaching was partially to blame for this regression. From his first day on the job, Vrabel emphasized the importance of utilizing Marcus' athleticism and mobility...but nary a word about his continued development as a passer. That very same year, Marcus' pocket presence regresses significantly and he shows far more of a "run-first" mindset than previous years. Does anyone seriously believe this was a coincidence?) I don't have a problem with the occasional designed QB run as long as Marcus protects himself; as mentioned earlier, he did an excellent job of this under Mularkey in 2017. We also saw similar plays in 2018....but Marcus was far more reckless, resulting in a number of big hits. The plays aren't the problem....he just has to get back to avoiding the big hits. But Marcus' running ability is ultimately just so much window dressing....an added-value feature. Like any other QB, his career is and always will be defined by his ability to function and be productive from the pocket. He's got to be able to get the job consistently with his arm....and if that means dialing back or eliminating his role as a runner, then so be it.
  2. A bit late to the party, here..... Compare the video of Mariota's deep throws to this video of Aaron Rodgers' deep throws in 2018. First, at the risk of stating the obvious: Aaron Rodgers is a much better passer than Mariota. Rodgers' pocket presence, arm strength, accuracy, and his ability to make any throw from any angle are simply ridiculous. He is without a doubt one of the greatest passers the game has ever seen. But as great as he is.....the film also shows Rodgers isn't perfect. It shows a good number of balls that are thrown high, low, or slightly behind the target.....but his receiver adjusts and makes it work. We see throws where the ball isn't perfectly placed or delivered perfectly in stride .....balls where his receiver gets turned around, has go up high or down low, or while getting hit by a DB. But despite the less-than-perfect throw, the receiver helps his QB and makes the play. Such plays are conspicuously absent from the Mariota video. Mariota is obviously the common denominator for the Titans' struggling passing game; he has to be better. But Marcus can only do so much...and if Aaron Rodgers isn't perfect, we sure as hell can't expect perfection from Marcus. Pretending every throw should be delivered perfectly in stride is ridiculous....even Rodgers can't do that. And likewise, the receivers can't expect every play to be an easy, routine catch. There will be times/plays where they have to step up and help him....but as the film shows, those plays were very few and far between. The deep passes only worked when Marcus delivered a perfect or near-perfect throw.....and even then it was hit-and-miss proposition with several blown opportunities.
  3. I doubt JRob signed Humphries and drafted AJ Brown to encourage a more conservative offensive mindset. They simply want Marcus to do a better job of protecting himself and avoiding unnecessary hits. One area where I'll give Mularkey props: he emphasized the importance of the QB protecting himself...and by year three (2017) Marcus was very, very good at it; in fact, 2017 was the only season of Marcus' career where he didn't miss a game due to a contact-related injury. (The pulled hamstring at Houston was a non-contact injury.) In 2018, Marcus took a big step backward in terms of self-preservation. Whenever his protection broke down or he couldn't find an open receiver, his first instinct was always to run...which often resulted in sacks. And instead of sliding to avoid big hits, he ran more like a RB than a QB, routinely taking tacklers head-on....and far too many big hits. By no means am I saying he should avoid running; he just has to be smart about it. If the protection is breaking down and there's a clear opening or escape route....by all means, take it. But far too often he tried to run with defenders all around him and no escape route...which led to a ton of sacks. (This happened repeatedly in the Ravens game). In situations where there's simply nothing there....instead of trying to make something out of nothing, he's better off just throwing it away.
  4. Dan Orlovksy suggested that McVay/LaFleur system was also pretty rigid in terms of the QB's read progression and where his eyes should be as the play develops. Mariota's a pretty passive guy; I doubt he ever questioned or second-guessed LaFleur's play design or play calls. Rodgers strikes me as the opposite; I suspect he has a strong "smartest guy in the room" mentality. He'll take the coach's play call and play design into consideration....but ultimately, Aaron is gonna do whatever the F he wants in terms of play call and execution. He's a spectacularly talented player....but I suspect his personality is a bit much to take. It'll be interesting to see whether they manage to find common ground or if Rodgers ends up resenting and undermining LaFleur's authority.
  5. I disagree with several of Simms' assessments.
  6. I seem to recall Peyton Manning having similar conversations with Gary Kubiak in Denver. Peyton was accustomed to being the field general with complete control over the offense; Kubiak wasn't willing to hand it over and give him free reign. Seems like they worked it out.
  7. Peyton's arm faded down the stretch in 2014 and was completely shot in 2015 ....but before that, he was still playing and producing at an HOF level. His second season in Denver (5477 yards, 55 TDs, 115.1 passer rating) was among the greatest (if not THE greatest) single-season quarterbacking performances in NFL history. He was nearing the end of his career at that point...but suggesting he was past his prime is more than a bit disingenuous.
  8. Every member of the 2018 receiving corps not named Corey Davis is either being pushed down the depth chart or off the roster entirely in 2019. This will be easily the strongest supporting cast Marcus has seen as an NFL player; hopefully this is reflected in his performance. If not...the next guy will be coming into a solid situation where most or all of the pieces are already in place.
  9. "Flanker"? Man, talk about a blast from the past! That term hasn't been part of the NFL vernacular since the 1970s.
  10. I've argued for years that WR is the single most overrated position in football. Despite all the exciting highlight-reel plays, their individual production rarely has a significant and direct impact on the team's W/L record....and their production is highly dependent on QB performance, making it more of a secondary/supportive role as opposed to a primary position. Yet despite the inherently dependent nature of the position, WR is one of the most hyped positions with fans and media alike and WRs consistently rank among the high-paid non-quarterbacks in the league. Go figure. However, with all that being said.... With the way the game is played today and the ever-increasing emphasis on the passing game, teams really have no choice but to treat WR as an impact position. Much like the QB position, teams can no longer expect to field a productive and competitive offense with mediocre, inconsistent WR play; they need at least one guy who's dependable and consistent and who poses a threat to opposing defenses. IMO, top WRs have become to NFL offenses what commercial advertising is to business: they're expensive as hell and their production on paper may or may not offer an immediate and direct correlation to the team's success....which can make it hard to justify a huge investment. But in this day and age, you just have to accept that huge investment as the cost of doing business....because if you don't, you're probably screwed.
  11. Davis is a stud, for sure. However, after watching his all-22 film and comparing it to the top-tier WRs in the game, I do have a one criticism: he needs to be more aggressive and explosive with his initial release from the LOS. If you watch film on guys like Deandre Hopkins, Julio Jones, OBJ, etc....man, their first 2-3 steps are explosive. At the snap, those guys explode off the ball and they're on top of the DB in an instant, forcing him to commit very quickly; if the DB is indecisive or shows any hesitation whatsoever, they're flying past him. Davis doesn't show that same elite initial burst...not yet, anyway. It's not that he's slow, per se....he's just not particularly aggressive with his first 2-3 steps. Whereas the top-tier guys explode off the ball and force the DB into a snap decision, Davis often allows the DB an extra half-step before committing...and that half-step can spell the difference in the DB turning and running with him rather than chasing him and trying to catch up. But in fairness, Davis was still a relatively inexperienced player in 2018. It was his second season in the NFL and his first year in a brand new system. He goes into year three with far more experience than last year and he should be far more comfortable; rather than reading coverage and processing, he'll be able to identify and react instantly and instinctively....which should allow him to play faster and more aggressively as compared to last year. Davis is by far the best receiver on the roster....and he's only gonna get better.
  12. A prediction of 3-13 is no more or less meaningful than a 13-3 prediction.
  13. Taylor and Sharpe are obviously very different players, but I’d say their value is fairly similar...just in different ways. The acquisition of Humphries and Brown obviously pushes them down the depth chart, but I suspect they both make the roster. Whether both guys are active on game days will depend on their contribution and the game plan from week to week.
  14. Are you guys seriously debating Deandre Hopkins' contributions and value in the Texans' offense? Hopkins by himself accounts for almost as many yards and touchdowns as the rest of the Texans' receiving corps combined. Last year, Hopkins had almost 1600 yards and 11 TDs; their next most productive receiver was Fuller with 503 yards, 4 TDs (albeit in only seven games). IMO, Hopkins has a more pivotal role in his own team's success than any other WR in the NFL. Edit: By no means am I trying to downplay Watson. QB performance is obviously far more important than any other position on the field....as with any QB, Watson is the straw that stirs the drink in their offense. But as WRs go, you won't find one who's more important to his own team than Deandre Hopkins.
  15. Wait....there were issues with last year's offense? Someone oughta create a thread about it. Gosh, I wonder what that discussion might look like.
  16. As long as you’re ready for camp...
  17. The groundswell of hype building around Hooker feels very similar to Cortland Finnegan’s rookie season. I’d be okay with that.
  18. Accuracy hasn’t been an issue; Marcus just needs to be a bit more aggressive with it and be willing to cut it loose. Taywan has his ups and downs as the team’s primary threat, but he showed significant progress from year one to year two. I’d expect to see thst progress continues It’s interesting that Davis was clearly #1 WR but he was rarely targeted deep. Hopefully that changes this year. I also fully expect AJB to play a prominent role in the downfield passing game.
  19. I plan on doing a Lewis review when I get some time. I suspect the OL play will be pretty similar to the Henry videos in terms of breakdowns and hits in the backfield...but where Henry has the size/strength to power through tackles for 3-4 yards after contact, Lewis relies more on quickness and agility. He can bounce off tacklers...but if a guy wraps him up, he’s done. It’ll be interesting to see whether the tape backs this up or if it changes my opinion. I also recall an analyst (Greg Cosell, maybe?) mentioning that Lewis became somewhat predictable in terms of his cutbacks. Once defenses realized this and started defending those cutback lanes, his production and effectiveness dropped off a cliff.
  20. Ehhh...i don’t care about the overall views; I guess I just expected a bit more interest in the X’s-and-O’s aspects of the game...reviewing and dissecting what made plays work and where breakdowns occurred.
  21. Here's another interesting point: Of the All-22 videos I posted for Henry, the two most-watched videos were weeks 1 & 2....two of Henry's worst games of the entire season. These two videos account for almost as many views as the rest of the videos combined. (Henry's record-setting Tecmo-Bowl performance against the Jags was a rather distant #3.) A few weeks back, I also posted a series of All-22 videos showing every one of Mariota's sacks in 2018. Of the videos I posted, the two most-watched by far were the one that included the 11-sack Ravens debacle and the video of weeks 11-12 where Mariota was sacked 10 times against the Colts and Texans. Fans say they want players do well....but when reviewing and assessing player performance, most of them look only at the very worst performances of the season. And we wonder why there's so much negativity about these guys.
  22. Fans form opinions based on television broadcasts shot from a single limited camera angle. TV viewers can follow the ball...but the angle often makes it difficult or impossible to see plays develop and analyze individual player performance and the game's inner workings. The television broadcast alone doesn't give all the information. Fans like to believe they have an informed opinion....but the fact is, this is just an initial impression based on a partial and incomplete data set. (This is why coaches and players are constantly saying "we'll have to wait until we've reviewed the film" in their post-game comments. They understand all too well that initial impressions aren't necessarily accurate or reliable.) All-22 footage offers two additional camera angles (overhead and end zone) to create a far more comprehensive data set. These camera angles tend to be rather dry with minimal entertainment value....but what they lack in flash and excitement, they make up for with substance. They capture every single player on the field and routinely show critical details that are missed by TV camera angles, which makes them much better tools for X's-and-O's analysis and assessment of individual player performance. (Commonly referred to as "coaches' film", this footage is rarely seen by fans....but coaches and players rely on them heavily for film study and scouting/grading purposes since they provide a far more comprehensive view than the TV angles.) As far as what people missed: these clips show exactly what happened on every single play at every position on the field with zero regard for any personal opinions, agendas, hype or criticism....they show absolutely everything that happened, exactly as it happened. People can decide for themselves whether to review the film and get all the information....or perhaps a knee-jerk response to a partial first impression is all the information they need.
  23. Butler struggled badly on the outside but was nails as the 3rd corner...which is still a critical position in today’s game. I doubt they keep him at $12M/year....but I could them trying to renegotiate at $8-10M/year.
  24. I see little point in pondering "what if". Had the Titans not drafted Mariota....would Whisenhunt have been fired at midseason for failing to protect the team's #1 investment? Or would he have been allowed to finish the season? It's hard to imagine Wentz or Goff having the same success under Mularkey/Robiskie...but then again, would Mularkey have been the hire? Or would the organization have gone in a different direction? Too many variables and what-ifs.
  25. Circling back around on this.... Two months after posting videos of showing every carry of Henry's 2018 season, I decided to see how many people actually watched the videos; the results are interesting.....and I must say, a bit disappointing. With all the passionate discussions that took place throughout the season, I figured surely at least a couple dozen people would want to review and break down the X's and O's....but apparently that wasn't the case. (Just for awareness: the videos were posted to YT as "unlisted", so they don't show up in any searches. TR is the only place these links were posted...so we can safely assume any page views came almost exclusively from members/readers of this forum.) Views as of 6/16/19: Week [email protected] Dolphins 48 views. Week 2 vs Texans 14 views Week 3 @ Jags 8 views Week 4 vs Eagles 6 views Week 5 @ Bills 4 views (This game was a *really* strong performance by Henry; recommended viewing) Week 6 vs Ravens 3 views Week 7 @ Chargers 2 views Week 9 @ Cowboys 7 views Week 10 vs Patriots 5 views Week 11 @ Colts 4 views (Another really strong RB performance, albeit in a blowout loss). Week 12 @ Texans 4 views Week 13 vs Jets 7 views Week 14 vs Jags 15 views Week 15 @ Giants: part 1 11 views part 2 2 views Week 16 vs. Redskins 3 views Week 17 vs Colts 3 views
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