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  • Show Me Guys

    Show-Me Guys: Ten breakthrough players who need encores by Pete Prisco

    Let's face facts: When a player has a breakout season, there are always doubts as to whether he can do it again.

    We consider if he is destined to join the many in one-year wonderland.

    A year ago, some were racing to anoint Cleveland Browns quarterback Derek Anderson and Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback David Garrard as the next great things under center. Both landed new contracts because of their big seasons in 2007.

    Now both are coming under great scrutiny and there is talk both might have been one-year wonders, although in fairness to Garrard his team's offensive talent was woeful last season in large part due to injuries.

    Breakout seasons can mean breakout stars, but not always.

    That's why we play the show-me game. Let's see it again. Until then, there will be doubts.

    Michael Turner understands. He had his breakout season in 2008 for the Atlanta Falcons after signing as an unrestricted free agent. Turner came to Atlanta as a high-profile backup to LaDainian Tomlinson.

    Some, including me, wondered if Turner was worth signing to a big contract. As it turned out he was, and I was wrong, something I've admitted many times to Turner and the Falcons front office.

    Turner finished second in the NFL in rushing with 1,699 yards and scored 17 touchdowns to help Atlanta to the playoffs. Now the talk is he needs to prove he can do it again.

    "It's going to be a big challenge every year," Turner said. "Now people know what I can do. Coaches will know better what to do to try and stop me. Everybody is going to be looking to see if you can repeat it. The more accolades you get, the bigger the target is on your back. I know people want to see if I can have another year like I had last season."

    Turner went to his first Pro Bowl last season, but he carried the ball a league-high 376 times. The Falcons want to cut that number down, so his rushing totals might not be as high. As quarterback Matt Ryan develops, the passing game will become more of a factor than it was last season. Turner's totals probably will be lower, but the per-carry average is what will tell the story. He was at 4.5 last season, and needs to keep it near there. If it drops down closer to four, he could hear the one-hit wonder talk.

    As it is, he headlines our list of the show-me players heading into 2009. These are all players entering at least their third season -- no rookies from 2008 -- who are coming off their best seasons.

    They better hope like heck they aren't the NFL version of Dexys Midnight Runners and Come on Eileen.

    Matt Cassel, QB, Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs traded to get him from New England after his impressive first season as a starter playing for the injured Tom Brady. Cassel never started a game in college, but seemed confident and sure of himself last season for the Patriots. But was he a product of the offense, or a legitimate NFL starter? The Chiefs must not be so sure since they are playing a wait-and-see game with him, not giving him a long-term contract extension. His play against the good teams last season might give them cause for concern. He threw 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions last season, but against playoff teams it was just seven touchdown passes and six interceptions.

    Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers: He stood tall in the face of all the Brett Favre talk last summer and turned in an impressive first season as a starter. Rodgers threw for 4,038 yards, 28 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He was not the reason the Packers missed the playoffs. But it will take a repeat of last season to put the Favre talk truly to rest. I, for one, think he's up to it.

    Stewart Bradley, MLB, Philadelphia Eagles: In his first full season as a starter Bradley led the Eagles in tackles with 108. He was the star of the Eagles' linebackers. In his third season out of Nebraska, he has a chance to possibly move to the Pro Bowl level in 2009.

    Lance Moore, WR, New Orleans Saints: After catching 32 passes in 2007, Moore had 72 last season. He also had 10 touchdown catches. Now that teams know him better, it might be tougher to repeat. He isn't a big receiver, but he knows how to get open in the middle of the field.

    Steve Breaston, WR, Arizona Cardinals: He had eight catches as a rookie in 2007, which had many thinking he would be nothing more than a return man. Then he went for 77 catches for 1,006 yards last season, and he's now considered a real receiving threat. He did get more time because of injuries to Anquan Boldin, but with the Cardinals using a lot of three-receiver sets he should still get his chances in 2009. The numbers just might not be as good.

    LaMarr Woodley, OLB, Pittsburgh Steelers: He flashed as a rookie in 2007, getting four sacks, but he wasn't a starter. He started 15 games last season and responded with 11 sacks. Woodley is a physical pass rusher who will get only better as he develops more moves. He might end up with more sacks this season than teammate James Harrison, who led the Steelers with 16 in 2008.

    Harvey Dahl, G, Atlanta Falcons: The NFL's nastiest player -- as selected by this writer -- surprised a lot of people with the way he played last season. Dahl is a very good run blocker, but to truly become a great guard he has to improve his pass protection. If he does that, he will be in the Pro Bowl sometime soon.

    Jared Gaither, T, Baltimore Ravens: When Jonathan Ogden retired, Gaither stepped in and started 15 games and did a good job in both pass protection and in the run game. Gaither started slow last summer, but quickly developed into a top player on the Ravens' line. With a little more seasoning, he could develop into an elite tackle for a long time.

    Ryan Harris, T, Denver Broncos: While rookie Ryan Clady received loads of attention on the left side, and rightfully so, Harris developed into a good right tackle in his first year as a starter. The third-year player out of Notre Dame was one of the bigger surprises in the league last season. The right tackle spot isn't a strong one in the NFL, and Harris made a move toward being one of the best last season after not starting a game in 2007.

    Thoughts? How many other guys can be added to this list and who?

    I can add Tramon Williams and Nick Collins.

  • #2
    basically any rookie that did good. We dont want to see the Vince Young phenomenon


    • #3
      Originally posted by *** Ork Wang View Post
      basically any rookie that did good. We dont want to see the Vince Young phenomenon
      Well obviously, but how about some 3rd, 4th year players who "broke out" last year? One year wonders or here to stay?


      • #4
        DeAngelo Williams
        Phillip Rivers
        James Harrison


        • #5
          Harrison has had 2 great years, same thing with Phillip (with an average year inbetween). Not to mention both of those guys has produced in huge moments so I don't think they belong on that list. Maybe Harrison soley because of his contract.


          • #6
            Phillip Rivers has been consistently good from what I remember
            Originally posted by SunTzu_22
            Just let it go RWO.
            We as Ravens fans are clearly scum of the earth, and should just be happy that these great people, who cheer for nothing than the finest, morally impeccable players, playing on the finest, most morally impeccable teams, will grace us with their presence, and words of wisdom.

            John Wall


            • #7
              He has been up and down 2 years ago mainly with the running game behind him. I feel like he needs to show another year like the one he had and he will be considered a top5-8 QB


              • #8
                CB Chris Houston, Atlanta Falcons.
                OL, Atlanta Falcons
                Virginia Tech.
                ACC Champions 2004, 2007, 2008, 2010

                Next Up: 2012


                • #9
                  Parys Haralson for San Fran.
                  Originally posted by 49erNation85
                  I dunno even half of those guys why did we sign them jeez.


                  • #10
                    The title made me think this was another shirtless players thread.
                    Originally posted by STARHEATHER
                    the only hot actreeses are adult
                    Originally posted by A Perfect Score
                    players intsimy latieres are sutpdi. the players areat all unituw/ o dpmt ebem aer about wat the lpater aare calling themeslves of whatever, terhera will Its sutpid/ neever be anothe said playerm. rscj p;syhyrt uniyeee, snf rhyrtrgotr, each player autntiwue for each syste,. /
                    Alcohol+Draft Forum= Fneuniest timez evverzzz


                    • #11
                      Chris Johnson, teams will adjust to him and slowly break down his game. (i.e Devin Hester) who knows if he will always be the break away threat he was last year. He'll be a great speed back, but I think teams will start to figure him out. Other names -

                      Joe Flacco - Him and Ryan did what probably no other rookie QB will do for a while. They gotta prove their forreal.

                      Matt Ryan - ^^

                      Marques Colston - he had a great rookie year, but last year was injury riddled, can he bounce back?

                      can't think of any more...


                      • #12
                        usually, when i think about players that fit this criteria are players that nobody expected to do well, but did and we want to see it again. For players like Michael Turner, Aaron Rodgers, we expected greatness from them. Guys like Derek Anderson, David Garrard, Matt Cassell came out of nowhere and they have to prove again that they are the real deal

                        Go Ravens!


                        • #13
                          Santonio Holmes. He showed he could be great in the postseason after being pretty average during the year.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by *** Ork Wang View Post
                            Phillip Rivers
                            James Harrison
                            I consider both of these guys waaaay proven.


                            • #15
                              Corey Webster - He's been one of the best corners since our playoff run two seasons ago, one more season playing at that level will solidify Webster as one of the very best corners in this league.

                              Carlos Rogers - Rogers had a break out year for washington, finally showing the great cover skills he got drafted so highly for. Another year from him to establish himself as washington's go to corner for years to come.

                              Quentin Mickell - Mickell has had his troubles in coverage during his career but last year was a tremendous breakout season for the big safety, he finally proved he was not only a good in the box safety, but a playmaker and a guy capable of covering deep.

                              Jason Peters - Went from one of the best LTs in the game to one of the worst starting LTs in the game, now that he's gotten that contract he's been whining about and traded out of buffalo he needs to get back to that level of play two years ago that got him so much notoriety.



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