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Old 05-03-2009, 03:29 PM    (permalink
etk
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Default Your Draft Grades

Why did I forget to do this? At least the week gave me some time to clear my head.

1. Josh Freeman - I haven't been this excited as a Bucs fan since we beat the Eagles in the NFC championship game. Freeman is relatively unproven for a #17 overall pick, but there's a lot to like about him:

-size
-elusiveness and escapability
-arm strength. a deep ball that drops right in the bucket
-good composure. eloquent speaker. leadership potential
-decent accuracy

If our coaches do their job he will be a great QB. He stares down his targets, makes some bad decisions and has inconsistent mechanics, but those are things that can be fine-tuned from a mental and fundamental perspective.

It's unfortunate that we weren't able to add an elite pass rusher in this draft, but the QB position was our most crucial need this offseason. We all overrated McCown, Johnson and Leftwich as none of them are part of our future plans. I'm not as high on next year's QB class as most so without Freeman I think we'd be stuck with (guaranteed) mediocrity for the next while. Even if you think he'll be a bust, you still can't deny that he has potential and tools to work with. We have a shot with Freeman.

I'm still split on whether or not he will be a successful QB, but you can say that about any rookie QB. We did the right thing in drafting him. If you hate the pick, blame Gruden for digging us a nice fat hole at the QB position.

2. Kellen Winslow - SWEEEEEEEET.

3. Roy Miller - I like the fact that our coaches went after a stocky run-stopping type like Miller, and not some big, fat slob that can't move. Miller always impressed me with his athleticism as a FB on offense and he has the right frame and skillset to help us on the interior.

4. Kyle Moore - Similar pick to Miller in that he has the right frame and skill set for the position. Moore will set the edge for us on 1st and 2nd down and provide a small pass rush. If you wanted a pass rusher instead of him....too bad. It's up to Adams and White to get that going. Moore is a nice complementary role player in the middle rounds.

5. Xavier Fulton - Similar to Zuttah last year, Fulton is an athletic backup who's versatile. He's not a consistent pass protector, but he can be a spot starter for us.

6. Josh Freeman trade. Wasted movement?

7. EJ Biggers - Still don't know about him as a player aside from his measurables and accolades. There were some CBs available in Round 6-7 that I know of that have potential. We'll see.

7. Sammie Stroughter - It's rare that you find a multi-talented slot WR in the 7th round. Stroughter is everything Dexter Jackson was supposed to be. As long his head's alright, he'll produce for us.

A-

We filled our needs well with safe picks, but there's a decent chance that none of these draft picks become major factors on our team. Freeman is the only one who's more than a complementary player but he has a high bust potential.
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Old 05-03-2009, 07:14 PM    (permalink
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I agree with the vast majority of your assessment etk.

With no second round pick it was always going to be a reasonably tough job filling all our needs. (although we definitely strengthened our offense with K2. Can't wait for 2 TE sets near the goal line this season).

Roy Miller is solid. Provides some good run-stuffing potential and hopefully turn into a Chris Hovan type (but with more sacks :| ) Kyle Moore is a book end plain and simple. His lack of sacks in college concerns me, also concerning is the fact that he admitted the weakest aspect of his game is run-stopping (something most assume he was drafted for, especially on 1-2 downs). The rest of the guys are role players who I hope all make the roster. Particularly Stroughter given the absolute piece of crap we got last year in Dexter Jackson.
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Old 05-03-2009, 07:44 PM    (permalink
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Kyle Moore led USC in sacks last season?

Not knowing to much about the players we drafted this season, (been in Hospital) I initially gave our draft a C+, however, after doing some homework (better late than never) I'd be happy to change that to a B or B+.
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Old 05-04-2009, 05:33 AM    (permalink
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I bought into the pre-draft ripping on Freeman a little bit, after I bit hard on the Leftwich smokescreen (aha), but the thing that has surprised me the most, is this kid's work ethic.

Nobody was talking about it, he was made out to be some incredibly physically talented kid with minimal activity in between the ears - poor man's Jamarcus Russell, etc. I'll be honest, I think I'd prefer Freeman to Russell, from what I've seen and heard of both so far. Russell's work ethic has been continually brought into question in his first two years - remember all that crap about 'teaching him how to be an NFL quarterback' a year after he entered the league? Whereas Freeman seems confidant, and more importantly, all he talks about is working his butt off to earn his teammates respect.

He might have slightly less physical tools to work with than Russell (which isn't saying much since based on physical tools Russell would a HOFer), but I actually like Freeman better - he's slightly taller, much much leaner, I'd say slightly more athletic, carries himself like a leader but isn't being a cocky Leaf-like rookie, he's putting all his emphasis on intangibles as what makes QBs great, and working their asses off.

I feel good times are ahead.
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Old 05-04-2009, 07:51 AM    (permalink
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I bought into the pre-draft ripping on Freeman a little bit, after I bit hard on the Leftwich smokescreen (aha), but the thing that has surprised me the most, is this kid's work ethic.

Nobody was talking about it, he was made out to be some incredibly physically talented kid with minimal activity in between the ears - poor man's Jamarcus Russell, etc. I'll be honest, I think I'd prefer Freeman to Russell, from what I've seen and heard of both so far. Russell's work ethic has been continually brought into question in his first two years - remember all that crap about 'teaching him how to be an NFL quarterback' a year after he entered the league? Whereas Freeman seems confidant, and more importantly, all he talks about is working his butt off to earn his teammates respect.

He might have slightly less physical tools to work with than Russell (which isn't saying much since based on physical tools Russell would a HOFer), but I actually like Freeman better - he's slightly taller, much much leaner, I'd say slightly more athletic, carries himself like a leader but isn't being a cocky Leaf-like rookie, he's putting all his emphasis on intangibles as what makes QBs great, and working their asses off.
This. I completely agree.

Freeman is not a JaMarcus Russell clone. It goes beyond attitude and work ethic as well. Freeman is a passer who has experience working the short-intermediate throws and mixing in some deep balls. He uses touch and zip effectively. Russell is a thrower...

The Big Ben comparisons are spot on for Freeman. They look almost identical in the pocket and have the same playing style. Big Ben obviously has innate intangibles that are rare for the position. Freeman just needs to lose the tunnel vision and then the game should come easy.
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Old 05-05-2009, 11:25 AM    (permalink
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This. I completely agree.

Freeman is not a JaMarcus Russell clone. It goes beyond attitude and work ethic as well. Freeman is a passer who has experience working the short-intermediate throws and mixing in some deep balls. He uses touch and zip effectively. Russell is a thrower...

The Big Ben comparisons are spot on for Freeman. They look almost identical in the pocket and have the same playing style. Big Ben obviously has innate intangibles that are rare for the position. Freeman just needs to lose the tunnel vision and then the game should come easy.
And he's got that crazy escapability too, making something out of nothing. It don't think it will be like Garcia's apparent incapability to stay in the pocket, Freeman stands tall in there. And I can envisage him making throws after spinning out of tackles by DEs and just finding a way to get the ball to his receiver with people hanging off him, just like Big Ben.
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:19 PM    (permalink
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1. Freeman: B-. I have no clue how to feel about this. On one hand, we finally have a guy who has all the tools to be a franchise QB. On the other, we got someone who is somewhat of a project and needs work on his decision-making and accuracy. I'd love to buy into the Big Ben comparisons, but Freeman's much faster and not nearly as accurate. Big Ben has looked like he's running in mud the past few years, I remember him as being faster at Miami. I didn't like trading up for him, but we did only give up a 6th. It's good that we could be getting the most out of this pick; a franchise caliber QB in a really weak draft. Or we could just be letting our need dictate our draft and letting Rah go with someone he's very familiar with. Huge risk/reward, but I'm glad we did it. The last regime here left without making many big moves and with a complete lack of talent at the QB position.

2. Traded for K2. Loved it, especially given that Cleveland picked up Massaqoui at that pick. I think he's a decent WR, but his upside is roughly 1/10th of K2's.

3. Roy Miller: B+. I didn't really like it at first, but I'm buying into the hype. I'm still not a fan, but if he can be a strong anchor in the middle like Hovan was a while ago while providing some rush, I'll be happy. I didn't think he deserved to go this high, but the DT class left a lot to be desired. He needs to make an impact on this team immediately though with how we got gashed up the middle last year. If he can't beat out our lackluster DTs for a good amount of PT this year, I'm going to be severely disappointed.

4. Kyle Moore: C-. I don't get it. I'll love to be wrong about the guy, but I'm seeing someone who wasn't a noticeable pass rusher or run DE. Bates looks for more rush off the edge. I think he would have been a better pick at LDE under Monte to be developed into a Spires type.

5. Xavier Fulton: C-. I like Fulton actually. I got a lot of friends who go to U of I and I've seen him a lot. But I think he's fighting an uphill battle to make the roster, and the need isn't really there. Our line is our strongest and deepest unit. It was also very frustrating seeing Marcus Freeman go one pick before, as I think we really could have used him at LB. Good in coverage, would have been solid competition in camp for Geno, given us more size at LB especially with this talk of Flip at LB. I didn't really understand this pick.

7. E.J. Biggers: I. I don't know anything about him other than A) He's likely not going to make the roster and B) Raheem liked him a lot. Maybe Raheem's onto something and he works his way up from the PS like Mack, but I'm not expecting anything. Reminds me of Justin Phinese.

7. Sammie Stroughter: A-. Loved this prospect before the draft, I think he has a lot of pro potential even though he isn't the most impressive athlete. Dexter was supposed to be our future slot guy with his timed speed, but wasn't a very good football player. I think Stroughter is the opposite. Won't wow you with his timed speed or agility drills, but he can catch and run solid routes.

Overall, I give us a C. I think it's safe to say that we could have done better overall, but if Freeman pans out, this draft is going to be remembered as a very good one regardless. I guess thats something to hang our hats on.
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Old 05-06-2009, 02:39 AM    (permalink
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7. E.J. Biggers: I. I don't know anything about him other than A) He's likely not going to make the roster and B) Raheem liked him a lot. Maybe Raheem's onto something and he works his way up from the PS like Mack, but I'm not expecting anything. Reminds me of Justin Phinese.
I disagree.

Other than Mack, Barber and Talib we have no sure fire guarantees. Combine that with the fact that we usually carry 5 corners and I think he has a great chance. Raheem really likes him and I think that this could really help Biggers too.

Oh and Elbert Mack was not on the practice squad last season. He spent some time on the injured/reserve list but that is all.
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Old 05-06-2009, 08:24 AM    (permalink
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I disagree.

Other than Mack, Barber and Talib we have no sure fire guarantees. Combine that with the fact that we usually carry 5 corners and I think he has a great chance. Raheem really likes him and I think that this could really help Biggers too.

Oh and Elbert Mack was not on the practice squad last season. He spent some time on the injured/reserve list but that is all.
Yeah, we weren't going to risk Mack by sending him to the PS after what happened with Marcus Hamilton. I read that the Bucs had higher than a 7th round grade on him, probably early 6th, so they do really like him. He's a physical corner with great speed, and he plays bigger than his size. I think he makes it as the dime cb.

I'll write up some grades later. I'm thinking a early grade of B+/A- for this class.
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Old 05-06-2009, 02:31 PM    (permalink
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1. Freeman: B-. I have no clue how to feel about this. On one hand, we finally have a guy who has all the tools to be a franchise QB. On the other, we got someone who is somewhat of a project and needs work on his decision-making and accuracy. I'd love to buy into the Big Ben comparisons, but Freeman's much faster and not nearly as accurate. Big Ben has looked like he's running in mud the past few years, I remember him as being faster at Miami. I didn't like trading up for him, but we did only give up a 6th. It's good that we could be getting the most out of this pick; a franchise caliber QB in a really weak draft. Or we could just be letting our need dictate our draft and letting Rah go with someone he's very familiar with. Huge risk/reward, but I'm glad we did it. The last regime here left without making many big moves and with a complete lack of talent at the QB position.

2. Traded for K2. Loved it, especially given that Cleveland picked up Massaqoui at that pick. I think he's a decent WR, but his upside is roughly 1/10th of K2's.

3. Roy Miller: B+. I didn't really like it at first, but I'm buying into the hype. I'm still not a fan, but if he can be a strong anchor in the middle like Hovan was a while ago while providing some rush, I'll be happy. I didn't think he deserved to go this high, but the DT class left a lot to be desired. He needs to make an impact on this team immediately though with how we got gashed up the middle last year. If he can't beat out our lackluster DTs for a good amount of PT this year, I'm going to be severely disappointed.

4. Kyle Moore: C-. I don't get it. I'll love to be wrong about the guy, but I'm seeing someone who wasn't a noticeable pass rusher or run DE. Bates looks for more rush off the edge. I think he would have been a better pick at LDE under Monte to be developed into a Spires type.

5. Xavier Fulton: C-. I like Fulton actually. I got a lot of friends who go to U of I and I've seen him a lot. But I think he's fighting an uphill battle to make the roster, and the need isn't really there. Our line is our strongest and deepest unit. It was also very frustrating seeing Marcus Freeman go one pick before, as I think we really could have used him at LB. Good in coverage, would have been solid competition in camp for Geno, given us more size at LB especially with this talk of Flip at LB. I didn't really understand this pick.

7. E.J. Biggers: I. I don't know anything about him other than A) He's likely not going to make the roster and B) Raheem liked him a lot. Maybe Raheem's onto something and he works his way up from the PS like Mack, but I'm not expecting anything. Reminds me of Justin Phinese.

7. Sammie Stroughter: A-. Loved this prospect before the draft, I think he has a lot of pro potential even though he isn't the most impressive athlete. Dexter was supposed to be our future slot guy with his timed speed, but wasn't a very good football player. I think Stroughter is the opposite. Won't wow you with his timed speed or agility drills, but he can catch and run solid routes.

Overall, I give us a C. I think it's safe to say that we could have done better overall, but if Freeman pans out, this draft is going to be remembered as a very good one regardless. I guess thats something to hang our hats on.
Agree on Freeman, Winslow, Stroughter and Miller.

Kyle Moore is a 4th round pick. He has a good frame with room to grow, long arms and is a solid athlete. He can develop into a good run stopper and decent pass rusher. In the months before the draft I kept saying that Bucs fans are overrating Bates' need for pass rushers. The Colts are the only team I know that start 2 undersized pass rushers at DE. We needed a guy to replace Carter regardless of the scheme. The pass rush will come from White and Wilkerson for now. An upgrade would've been nice but we spent our 1st 2 picks on positions with "starters in place" and made no moves in FA. Drafting a pass rusher was a luxury we couldn't afford in the first 4 rounds.

Who do you think will make it over Fulton and what gives you the idea that our line is deep? I don't see much depth or competition. Marcus Freeman is a guy I like, but again I'll say....in the months prior to the draft I kept saying that we won't take a LB. We're set at the position: Crowell, Flip, Ruud, Koutouvides, Black, Hayward, Hayes and a couple camp bodies. I don't agree with moving Phillips but that's the plan and we don't have room for a LB. We have enough young guys there for competition.

Biggers could make the roster. He's not competing with much. Biggers was drafted to be a nickel/dime guy and cover kicks. Phinissee was purely a return guy (and a terrible one at that).
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Old 05-06-2009, 08:44 PM    (permalink
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Agree on Freeman, Winslow, Stroughter and Miller.

Kyle Moore is a 4th round pick. He has a good frame with room to grow, long arms and is a solid athlete. He can develop into a good run stopper and decent pass rusher. In the months before the draft I kept saying that Bucs fans are overrating Bates' need for pass rushers. The Colts are the only team I know that start 2 undersized pass rushers at DE. We needed a guy to replace Carter regardless of the scheme. The pass rush will come from White and Wilkerson for now. An upgrade would've been nice but we spent our 1st 2 picks on positions with "starters in place" and made no moves in FA. Drafting a pass rusher was a luxury we couldn't afford in the first 4 rounds.
I understand we weren't looking at much in the 4th round of a really lackluster mid-round group of prospects. But I still expect more than what I believe we are looking at in Moore. There's dozens of guys out there with long arms and good frames that we could have looked at. Just like I look at any other part of him as a prospect and see nothing that makes him look like a good niche player or a higher upside guy. If he were a good run stuffer ALREADY, I wouldn't have much of a problem with it. But there are guys out there who had size and the ability to play the run or pass rush upside and Moore doesn't look to have much in either facet right now. I think with the terrible DE class, we would have been better off avoiding the position altogether.

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Who do you think will make it over Fulton and what gives you the idea that our line is deep? I don't see much depth or competition.
Lee, and the fact that we have a starting caliber guard on our bench? I'm not saying it's the deepest in the NFL, or anything stupid. But look at our CBs. Looks at our DTs. Look at our DEs. Look at our WRs. Look at FS. Look at Mike. I hate to group the offensive line as a whole, but we've spent more on that position than we have ANYWHERE else on the entire field and it's probably our biggest strength. So we add another player there instead of someone who could actually break through at CB or be a shoe-in to back-up Tanard, etc. I don't get it.

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Marcus Freeman is a guy I like, but again I'll say....in the months prior to the draft I kept saying that we won't take a LB. We're set at the position: Crowell, Flip, Ruud, Koutouvides, Black, Hayward, Hayes and a couple camp bodies. I don't agree with moving Phillips but that's the plan and we don't have room for a LB. We have enough young guys there for competition.
Hayward's about worn out here. I didn't even think he'd make it this long, but I can't really see him in the league much longer. Koutouvides is a ST ace, always has been. And while thats fine, so are Black and Hayes. I don't think we plan on doing much with him at the LB position. I know everybody has high hopes for Crowell, but no one really knows what we're getting there. And Hayes was tiny for the C2, with us trying to get bigger, I really don't know if he's going to be in Bates' plans as much as he was in Monte's.

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Biggers could make the roster. He's not competing with much. Biggers was drafted to be a nickel/dime guy and cover kicks. Phinissee was purely a return guy (and a terrible one at that).
I don't ever see Biggers being a nickel CB. And I was comparing him to Phinesee in that people keep hyping his speed and that was Phin's calling card. I think he gets overrated in that regard as all we have are notoriously, wildly inaccurate pro day times to go by. Hell, I think I could run a 4.5 with some of these guys clicking the stopwatch.
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Old 05-07-2009, 01:02 AM    (permalink
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I understand we weren't looking at much in the 4th round of a really lackluster mid-round group of prospects. But I still expect more than what I believe we are looking at in Moore. There's dozens of guys out there with long arms and good frames that we could have looked at. Just like I look at any other part of him as a prospect and see nothing that makes him look like a good niche player or a higher upside guy. If he were a good run stuffer ALREADY, I wouldn't have much of a problem with it. But there are guys out there who had size and the ability to play the run or pass rush upside and Moore doesn't look to have much in either facet right now. I think with the terrible DE class, we would have been better off avoiding the position altogether.
Like who? Your argument is lacking without evidence. Plus, I'm to lazy to look.

We're not looking for Moore to be an instant starter. He's a 4th round pick. He may have starting potential in a few years, until then, Carter will probably start. Maybe he works out, maybe he doesn't. That's what you usually get with 4th rounders.

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Old 05-07-2009, 03:44 AM    (permalink
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Like who? Your argument is lacking without evidence. Plus, I'm to lazy to look.
My argument is lacking evidence because you're too lazy to look? Really, 6'4 guys with long arms are a dime a dozen at DE. Be realistic.

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We're not looking for Moore to be an instant starter. He's a 4th round pick.
My argument about him has nothing to do with him not being an instant starter, I don't get the price tag for him and his limited skill set. Also, you're the 2nd guy to mention he's a 4th round pick. Thats not news, but last year we got Dre Moore in the 4th. The year before, we got Tanard. I think their talent level is vastly superior to Moore's.

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He may have starting potential in a few years, until then, Carter will probably start. Maybe he works out, maybe he doesn't. That's what you usually get with 4th rounders.
I don't know why you guys are thinking that I'm expecting some all star player at that pick. I'm not, I don't see where you guys are drawing that conclusion from. I UNDERSTAND the guy was a 4th round pick, pretty basic idea there. But I don't think he was worth that pick. It's not rocket science.
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Old 05-07-2009, 05:05 AM    (permalink
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Hayward's about worn out here. I didn't even think he'd make it this long, but I can't really see him in the league much longer. Koutouvides is a ST ace, always has been. And while thats fine, so are Black and Hayes. I don't think we plan on doing much with him at the LB position. I know everybody has high hopes for Crowell, but no one really knows what we're getting there. And Hayes was tiny for the C2, with us trying to get bigger, I really don't know if he's going to be in Bates' plans as much as he was in Monte's.
I think it is hard to say that guys like Black and Hayes are special teamers only. Particularly due to the fact that they have received very little playing time behind a hall of famer in derrick brooks and a guy like Cato June who really suited the system we were playing. Both of the guys are young and as of right now are really unproven. I think before dismissing them altogether they should at least get a chance to prove their ability on the field.

With Ruud, Black, Crowell, Hayes, Phillips, Hayward and Koutovides I think we have a decent group of guys and adding a fourth young player would be overkill.
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Old 05-07-2009, 12:07 PM    (permalink
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I don't think it's fair to discount all of our young linebackers. All are athletic and have potential. Your (dbtb) point about the lack of depth at WR, CB and S is valid, but I'm happy with our depth at the LB position and I think the position will settle itself soon enough.
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Old 05-07-2009, 04:31 PM    (permalink
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I think it is hard to say that guys like Black and Hayes are special teamers only. Particularly due to the fact that they have received very little playing time behind a hall of famer in derrick brooks and a guy like Cato June who really suited the system we were playing. Both of the guys are young and as of right now are really unproven. I think before dismissing them altogether they should at least get a chance to prove their ability on the field.
Thats not what I said at all, Caddy. I said that their ST prowess made Koutouvides expendable because he's been a ST maven his whole career. We don't need that at LB because we have two guys who are worlds more athletic than him, younger than him, and arguably better on ST than him. Black is an outright stud on ST and Hayes was too before he got injured, having our only blocked punt in years.

I'm not writing them off by any means. I like Black for the future, and Hayes looked decent last year but (as I mentioned) I don't know how much he fits into Bates' newer, bigger scheme when he was thought of as really small even for Monte's under-sized T2.

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With Ruud, Black, Crowell, Hayes, Phillips, Hayward and Koutovides I think we have a decent group of guys and adding a fourth young player would be overkill.
I think we're looking at Black at SSLB and, obviously, Ruud at Mike. Crowell is the wildcard, as he could come in and be a quality LB or he could be a highly touted FA flop like we've seen all too many. On weakside, you're looking at Hayes and Flip, one of whom might not be big enough to be an every down LB and one of whom is a Pro Bowl caliber safety on a tryout at the position who may not stick, ESPECIALLY if Sabby doesn't play up to par in his spot. I think Freeman would have been much better value and been an ideal LB to groom at weakside. But alas he went to Chicago, so it's a pretty moot point. But you can't discuss enough moot points in the off-season. ;)
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Old 05-07-2009, 09:02 PM    (permalink
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What makes Freeman a moot point is the fact that we're moving Flip to LB. It's a number crunch and we have enough depth at the position. I'd be very happy if we kept Phillips at SS and drafted Freeman, but the coaches seem fixated on moving Phillips in the box even though he's done fine for himself in coverage. He also provides a huge boost in run support and we downgrade 2 positions by moving him to WLB and starting Piscitelli.

In short, I'm happy with the way the draft went but I'm extremely confused and disappointed with our offseason moves prior to it.
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:56 AM    (permalink
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What makes Freeman a moot point is the fact that we're moving Flip to LB. It's a number crunch and we have enough depth at the position. I'd be very happy if we kept Phillips at SS and drafted Freeman, but the coaches seem fixated on moving Phillips in the box even though he's done fine for himself in coverage. He also provides a huge boost in run support and we downgrade 2 positions by moving him to WLB and starting Piscitelli.

In short, I'm happy with the way the draft went but I'm extremely confused and disappointed with our offseason moves prior to it.
I thought we did a good job in the off-season, at least on offense, defensivly I can see your point, bringing flip upto the LB position is undoubtedly a risk, at least to us the fans, but look at it this way, if anyone knows about player personnel in our secondry, it's Rah, and am I right in thinking that last season was Sabbys first real season after getting injured his rookie year? I know both players were on the field together at times, and Sabby spotted flip "as and when".

I have every confidence in both players, and alot of it comes from our HC and DC.
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Old 05-08-2009, 07:18 PM    (permalink
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What makes Freeman a moot point is the fact that we're moving Flip to LB. It's a number crunch and we have enough depth at the position. I'd be very happy if we kept Phillips at SS and drafted Freeman, but the coaches seem fixated on moving Phillips in the box even though he's done fine for himself in coverage. He also provides a huge boost in run support and we downgrade 2 positions by moving him to WLB and starting Piscitelli.

In short, I'm happy with the way the draft went but I'm extremely confused and disappointed with our offseason moves prior to it.
I agree. I just don't think the move is as permanent as you make it out to be. I think it's just that we took Sabby when Flip wasn't playing well, we like the guy and want to see him on the field. BUT, if he doesn't develop immediately into a quality safety who can make a few plays then what good is it to have a better strong safety NOT at that position? It'd be like moving Talib to free safety and having a corner who wasn't his caliber move up into his spot.

I think this is a tryout, as the staff thinks the risk/reward is worth it. What do we risk really by trying it? If Flip doesn't catch on at weak-side over the course of the off-season, I'm sure he'll be ready to go at safety when we're playing a lot of the same coverages and his responsibilities will be the same. We don't risk messing with Sabby's head because he's always been behind Flip and we're making him move to try and get Sabby PT. And a big reason we did the move in the first place was because we were thin at LB. You gotta remember that teams tryout a lot of ideas in the off-season that don't catch. Remember when we were going to use the rocket backfield all the time? I'm just saying I'd rather have:

Black/Crowell
Ruud Don't really care
Freeman Hayes

at LB with Flip back to his natural position going forward than what we're looking at now.
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Old 05-08-2009, 09:44 PM    (permalink
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I hope you're right about the tryout point.

And I would prefer the scenario you listed at the bottom, but I think you're overrating Freeman a bit. He's like Lance Briggs, but a good notch below. Solid backer but an average athlete. Hayes has more upside and Crowell is probably more reliable from the start.

I know you bring up the point about size (lack thereof) with Flip and Hayes, but Freeman is a better fit for our old defense, moreso than any LB on the roster. He would've been a good replacement for Brooks had we kept Kiffin and the T2.
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Old 05-08-2009, 10:11 PM    (permalink
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How about PT who just got released from the Rams, he plays weakside, would he fit in with our "new scheme"? if he did, he might be good insurance for flip?
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Old 05-08-2009, 10:25 PM    (permalink
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I hope you're right about the tryout point.

And I would prefer the scenario you listed at the bottom, but I think you're overrating Freeman a bit. He's like Lance Briggs, but a good notch below. Solid backer but an average athlete. Hayes has more upside and Crowell is probably more reliable from the start.

I know you bring up the point about size (lack thereof) with Flip and Hayes, but Freeman is a better fit for our old defense, moreso than any LB on the roster. He would've been a good replacement for Brooks had we kept Kiffin and the T2.
I do think he can become a poor man's Lance Briggs of sorts. Hayes has more upside, but until he gains about 15 lbs, I don't know that I can buy him as an every down linebacker in ANY scheme. I think he definitely has higher upside, and IIRC he's younger than Freeman, but the guy is tiny as it stands now. The size isn't so much of a concern for Flip, more so that we'd end up caving and using him at SS because he's (simply put) the best one on the roster.

Freeman has very good bulk, and we're going to be using our WSLB for a lot of 1-on-1s with TEs and RBs like every other team now, as opposed to so much zone, so Freeman's abilities come in handy there. Plus, guys have an easier time coming from bigger programs. So while I believe he would have started behind Crowell had he come here, he would be ready to go quicker than some rooks. I just think he'd be a safer bet than the guy who weighs less than both our SSs and another guy who IS one of our SSs. If Hayes works out, great. But he's very young and very under-sized. I'd just want us to hedge our bets, get the best players, and not resort to moving our best players left on D to new positions...
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Old 05-10-2009, 09:29 AM    (permalink
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I have a feeling Raheem saw first hand Sabby was ready to get more playing time, the guy is built like nobody we've ever had in our secondary, he's a big fast ballhawk who's had two years to learn - and that this was a factor in the move for Flip. He's finding a way to get his best players on the field, at the same time as giving younger players a chance to show what they've got. I think it's a pretty good coaching move. Remember Flip is 30 I believe. I like the competition brewing at LB - if Crowell returns to his pre-injury form, we're completely set at MLB and SLB, with a bunch of big athletic youngsters ready to fight for a spot.

I've seen people pigeonhole Black into the SLB spot, but if Crowell plays like he can, Black won't be getting too much time there, and he's got too much upside to sit behind Crowell, so I think he's going to be in the mix for WLB too. Between him, Hayes, and Flip, I like the idea of the position battle winner starting. Hence no need for LB in the draft, since it would also go against the sentiment that Raheem expressed, namely that there are some young talents who've been languishing down the depth chart who could benefit tremendously from getting quality playing time. I think so far they've done a great job balancing evaluating and giving opportunity to those already on our roster, with putting some extra pieces in place for the future.

Couple of thoughts about our 4th and 5th rounders. Kyle Moore led USC in sacks last year, let's not forget that. And he has a big frame to grow into if he needs to. I like the idea of a rotation between him, White and Wilkerson at LE, with the added versatility of moving Moore inside on passing downs with White/Wilkerson still outside. I don't think it's horrendously inappropriate to hope for a poor man's Justin Tuck. Imagine if the light continues to stay on for our previous 4th rounder, Dre Moore - our future D-line could look like Adams, Moore, Miller, Moore/Wilkerson on 1st and 2nd down, which looks pretty good to me. Throw into the interior rotation the new bulked up Greg Peterson (~310lbs) with Dre Moore's athleticism and Kyle Moore sliding in on passing downs and White/Wilkerson keeping each other fresh rushing the passer off the edge - I like how this could look a couple years from now. Remember everyone there except for White is relatively young.

Regarding Fulton, the 5th rounder, people are kidding themselves if they think we have depth on our O-line. We've got talent, sure, but Zuttah can't play more than one position at the same time. We are spoiled with having such a talented and versatile backup as him, but there are 5 positions on the O-line, and drafting an athletic big guy in the 5th who seems to really fit the ZBS we're trying to install seems to make sense to me.
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Old 05-10-2009, 11:14 AM    (permalink
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Couple of thoughts about our 4th and 5th rounders. Kyle Moore led USC in sacks last year, let's not forget that.
Let's also not forget that he benefited tremendously from USC's blitzing LBs. Almost all of his sacks are covered on DraftParty's highlight video and he's usually unblocked or tackling the QB in pursuit. He doesn't beat his man 1on1 often in game situations.
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Old 05-10-2009, 11:22 AM    (permalink
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Let's also not forget that he benefited tremendously from USC's blitzing LBs. Almost all of his sacks are covered on DraftParty's highlight video and he's usually unblocked or tackling the QB in pursuit. He doesn't beat his man 1on1 often in game situations.
Yeah I think you hit the nail on head with his pursuit abilities.
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