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Old 08-25-2009, 03:20 PM    (permalink
bigbluedefense
Tom Haverford
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Originally Posted by Xenos View Post
Blue, I was wondering how you would rate Rivers' ability to read defenses. I was wondering if you could give me your analysis of his strengths and weaknesses. I know Eli does a very good job in this regard (he has to when he has to deal with the defenses of the NFC Easts).
Before I post my evaluation, I don't want people to assume that Im making a comparison of him vs Eli, bc the post will come off that way. Im just stating certain things to provide a background on how its difficult to compare the 2 in an absolute sense.

Having that said, I think he does a great job. Its hard to compare honestly, bc their responsibilities are different.

Eli makes a lot of presnap reads, adjusts the pass protection, and comes to the line with 2 plays, so he is running a pseudo no huddle in a sense. A lot of his game comes from presnap reads, then going through his progressions.

Phillip doesn't do the presnap adjustments Eli does. Its not that he can't, I just think they don't ask him to do it. I think he's very capable of doing so if asked to do it. The offense is also different, its more based on timing and precision of simple routes, whereas the Giants offense is more option route oriented, where the route changes upon the defense presented, and the qb and WR must read it the same way.

So having that said, all we can really do is evaluate his ability once the ball is snapped, bc thats whats asked of him. I think he does a tremendous job. He looks off the safety, makes his progressions, almost always hits the right man, is great at putting just the right amount of touch on the ball, he's clutch, he's an excellent quarterback. I think the world of him.

If I have to critique him, my only knocks on him are

1. Pocket presence: he can do a better job moving around in the pocket. His pocket presence isn't bad by any stretch, but it can be better.

2. Arm strength: he's got zip on the ball, but he'd have a hard time with consistency in windy conditions like Jersey or Chicago, maybe even Boston for that matter.

He can zip it for the deep ball, but those intermediate slants, and out patterns, he can't zip it as well as youd want him to. He gets around this with incredible anticipation skills, so his floaters don't hurt him as much as you'd think it could. But in windy conditions, those patterns won't be executed with as much success bc of how he throws it.


Thats about it though. He's solid. He'll get you guys a SB by the end of his career.

I hope that answered your question.
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Old 08-25-2009, 03:24 PM    (permalink
Xenos
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LOL. No disrespect to BBD, but how in god's name would he know? BBD do you have the chargers playbook on you? It's impossible to answer that question because:

1. He doesn't have the playbook, which has the plays, progressions, and WR & TE section with routes and reads in it. He also doesn't know the hand signals that Rivers might give a WR without having to change the whole play.

2. He doesn't have the coach's tape to see ALL the routes and what the defense is playing

3. He doesn't have a head set to know what the exact play is, being called..



I could be wrong, but if BBD has all these things at his disposal then he very well can answer that question very, very accurately.
Actually, I'm glad you showed up because you're another person I wanted to ask. It's not that you need the SD playbook, but how he does against the overall defense ie. is he quick to recognize and exploit a particular defense? I mean see BBD talk about Ben's inability to read defenses very well last season so I'm curious about his take on Rivers.
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Old 08-25-2009, 03:24 PM    (permalink
bigbluedefense
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LOL. No disrespect to BBD, but how in god's name would he know? BBD do you have the chargers playbook on you? It's impossible to answer that question because:

1. He doesn't have the playbook, which has the plays, progressions, and WR & TE section with routes and reads in it. He also doesn't know the hand signals that Rivers might give a WR without having to change the whole play.

2. He doesn't have the coach's tape to see ALL the routes and what the defense is playing

3. He doesn't have a head set to know what the exact play is, being called..



I could be wrong, but if BBD has all these things at his disposal then he very well can answer that question very, very accurately.
This is also true.

But Shock, there are some things you can piece together if you know the basics of the scheme being run. Rivers is running the Norv Turner offense, its schematics are pretty well documented. I don't know specifics of it, but I know a little bit on it.

So I guess you can say that Im making assumptions as I see him making his progressions on tape, so its not entirely accurate. But you can get an idea of who makes progressions and who doesn't by watching the games.

Thats the difficult part of studying offenses. You don't know the playbook. You kind of have to wing it as an observer, and even then we probably only know half of what really is going down.

I prefer defense. :) So much easier. :)
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Old 08-25-2009, 03:33 PM    (permalink
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Question: Does Cutler get over $100M?
I say Cutler gets 50% ownership of the Chicago Bears franchise.
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Old 08-25-2009, 03:37 PM    (permalink
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Before I post my evaluation, I don't want people to assume that Im making a comparison of him vs Eli, bc the post will come off that way. Im just stating certain things to provide a background on how its difficult to compare the 2 in an absolute sense.
And that's why I really brought up Eli in the first place because you have more firsthand knowledge of him as a QB, and that's probably the best thing to use as a comparison for Phil.

Having that said, I think he does a great job. Its hard to compare honestly, bc their responsibilities are different.

Eli makes a lot of presnap reads, adjusts the pass protection, and comes to the line with 2 plays, so he is running a pseudo no huddle in a sense. A lot of his game comes from presnap reads, then going through his progressions.

Phillip doesn't do the presnap adjustments Eli does. Its not that he can't, I just think they don't ask him to do it. I think he's very capable of doing so if asked to do it. The offense is also different, its more based on timing and precision of simple routes, whereas the Giants offense is more option route oriented, where the route changes upon the defense presented, and the qb and WR must read it the same way.

Interestingly enough, there was an interview with Dan Patrick going over something similar to what you've just said.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/dan...681/index.html


So having that said, all we can really do is evaluate his ability once the ball is snapped, bc thats whats asked of him. I think he does a tremendous job. He looks off the safety, makes his progressions, almost always hits the right man, is great at putting just the right amount of touch on the ball, he's clutch, he's an excellent quarterback. I think the world of him.

If I have to critique him, my only knocks on him are

1. Pocket presence: he can do a better job moving around in the pocket. His pocket presence isn't bad by any stretch, but it can be better.
Funny you should mention this. His pocket presence last season was actually very good IMO. Which tells you just how horrible it has been the previous two seasons (particularly in 2007). He did a much better job of moving up in the pocket and making plays on the run. I believe some pundit mentioned he was the most accurate QB after being touched last season (or the most improved).

2. Arm strength: he's got zip on the ball, but he'd have a hard time with consistency in windy conditions like Jersey or Chicago, maybe even Boston for that matter.

He can zip it for the deep ball, but those intermediate slants, and out patterns, he can't zip it as well as you want him to. He gets around this with incredible anticipation skills, so his floaters don't hurt him as much as you'd think it could. But in windy conditions, those patterns won't be executed with as much success bc of how he throws it.


Thats about it though. He's solid. He'll get you guys a SB by the end of his career.

I hope that answered your question.
As for the last comment, he was able to finally strengthen his arm a bit more in 2008. The ACL injury actually helped him out because he had to strengthen those important core muscles. I'm hoping that a year after the injury, he's able to get even stronger in the throwing area.

His release might be another reason he might not get as much as zip as other QBs. It's a tradeoff unfortunately. It gives him one of the quickest releases in the NFL, but I think it causes certain longer throws to float more.
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Old 08-25-2009, 03:48 PM    (permalink
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This is also true.

But Shock, there are some things you can piece together if you know the basics of the scheme being run. Rivers is running the Norv Turner offense, its schematics are pretty well documented. I don't know specifics of it, but I know a little bit on it.

So I guess you can say that Im making assumptions as I see him making his progressions on tape, so its not entirely accurate. But you can get an idea of who makes progressions and who doesn't by watching the games.

Thats the difficult part of studying offenses. You don't know the playbook. You kind of have to wing it as an observer, and even then we probably only know half of what really is going down.

I prefer defense. :) So much easier. :)
Yeah the scheme is the Air Croyell scheme which was ran with Aikeman, and Martz. I know the scheme, very good passing offensive scheme. I actually prefer that to the non sexy offense we run. But what can you do? It is what it is.

I have the Air C. playbook by the way. I have the Mike Martz system of version of it. It's a great system, and I love the terminology of tagging routes. Dallas uses that in their system, which I like a lot. Every route is tagged and so it makes it easier for all the players and Romo to get the play in and out quickly.

I hate defense, I never took interest in it other than front and coverage. Those are the only two elements I care about.

But in general, a question like that, for someone not on the staff is impossible to answer.


Quote:
Actually, I'm glad you showed up because you're another person I wanted to ask. It's not that you need the SD playbook, but how he does against the overall defense ie. is he quick to recognize and exploit a particular defense? I mean see BBD talk about Ben's inability to read defenses very well last season so I'm curious about his take on Rivers.
Yeah, but you have to know what the front is, and coverage being played.. With the tv angle view a lot of that is hard to get unless you know what to look for and piece it together. Even then, next step, you need to know what concept is being run in the Air. C. scheme. Turner's version of it is tailored differently than Martz's version. So you need to be able to see the whole play, which you need the wide shot. Then from there you can get the routes, and concept, and then perhaps can guess the reads. It's a pain of a process if people don't know what to look for.

But answering a question like that accurately is damn near impossible without the right aides to help.
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Old 08-25-2009, 03:48 PM    (permalink
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That was interesting what Rivers said to sports illustrated. He makes great points.

Yeah, Rivers pocket presence has greatly improved. I just want to see him more fluid in there. He still looks a little stiff doing it. He's lucky to have a checkdown like LT, it definitely helps when youre in trouble as a qb to have a guy like that to throw it down to and watch the YAC.

I also have noticed his arm strength has improved. He looks like he's getting more power from his feet on those long throws these days. Those out patterns though, it could be an issue in windy conditions. But he plays in SD, theres no worries there unless he gets a tough break on the road.

All in all, I think he's a stud qb. I think all 3 qbs from that class are great.
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Old 08-25-2009, 03:54 PM    (permalink
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That was interesting what Rivers said to sports illustrated. He makes great points.

Yeah, Rivers pocket presence has greatly improved. I just want to see him more fluid in there. He still looks a little stiff doing it. He's lucky to have a checkdown like LT, it definitely helps when youre in trouble as a qb to have a guy like that to throw it down to and watch the YAC.

I also have noticed his arm strength has improved. He looks like he's getting more power from his feet on those long throws these days. Those out patterns though, it could be an issue in windy conditions. But he plays in SD, theres no worries there unless he gets a tough break on the road.

All in all, I think he's a stud qb. I think all 3 qbs from that class are great.



Rivers will always have things going for in that he had Cam Cameron early on develop him, and Brees and now Flacco, and he is in a good Air C. system which is not a big risk taking system by nature. It's the same system they used in Dallas when they won superbowls, and it made Aikman, Smith, Irving, Jay N. and so on. As long as that system and Turner is there, Rivers will be golden. He is a good QB, and you add a QB friendly system like that and he will continue to be very productive.
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Old 08-25-2009, 03:57 PM    (permalink
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Rivers will always have things going for in that he had Cam Cameron early on develop him, and Brees and now Flacco, and he is in a good Air C. system which is not a big risk taking system by nature. It's the same system they used in Dallas when they won superbowls, and it made Aikman, Smith, Irving, Jay N. and so on. As long as that system and Turner is there, Rivers will be golden. He is a good QB, and you add a QB friendly system like that and he will continue to be very productive.
*sigh*

if only we had a system like that....
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Old 08-25-2009, 04:03 PM    (permalink
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*sigh*

if only we had a system like that....
Yup.. Pretty much. We screwed the pooch from day 1.

Rivers ----> Air C. with Cam Cameron. Now with Turner

Big Ben ------ > Ken W. developing him

Eli ------> John Hufangel! So good.. he got fired before the season ended, and booted out of the NFL into the Canadian league! Yippeeee!


I am still very bitter over that hiring! Let's throw the ball 557 times instead giving it to Tiki Barber! Best way to help a young QB, in his first full season, throw A LOT of passing attempts to rank you # 3 in the NFL, and not use your pro bowl RB. But then again, offensive guru's like Huffy, tend to not stick in the NFL after following inept philosophies like that.

I hated him more than MR. zone Defense himself, Tim Lewis!
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Old 08-25-2009, 04:09 PM    (permalink
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I love Rivers, he's probably my second favorite QB in the league behind Romo (of course, homer), and he deserves every cent of this contract.

Also, for the Aaron Rodgers talk, come back to me when he wins more than 6 games in a season. Rivers has won playoff games and been to conference championships. So, it isn't even a discussion, for me.
Of all people, I thought you would have seen this counter argument coming. Talk to me when he has a defense that can hold leads. Again, I'm not comparing the two from previous seasons, but going forward I would rather have Rodgers. If the Packers would have stopped one touchdown and turned it into a field goal, they would have won 5 more games and sent two to overtime. How is that Aaron's fault?
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Old 08-25-2009, 04:17 PM    (permalink
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Of all people, I thought you would have seen this counter argument coming. Talk to me when he has a defense that can hold leads. Again, I'm not comparing the two from previous seasons, but going forward I would rather have Rodgers. If the Packers would have stopped one touchdown and turned it into a field goal, they would have won 5 more games and sent two to overtime. How is that Aaron's fault?
What does Rodgers do better than Rivers?
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Old 08-25-2009, 04:24 PM    (permalink
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What does Rodgers do better than Rivers?
absolutely nothing. there is no valid argument that Aaron Rodgers' body of work is better than Phil Rivers' body of work.

Rivers is one of few QBs that had a better statistical season than Rodgers and also won more games. granted Rivers did have the advantage of playing in the Mountain West Conference, but still...there is no argument.
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Old 08-25-2009, 04:26 PM    (permalink
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What does Rodgers do better than Rivers?
from a physical standpoint?

there are some things he does better. he's not more proven however. both of em are damn good if you ask me.
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Old 08-25-2009, 04:28 PM    (permalink
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Of all people, I thought you would have seen this counter argument coming. Talk to me when he has a defense that can hold leads. Again, I'm not comparing the two from previous seasons, but going forward I would rather have Rodgers. If the Packers would have stopped one touchdown and turned it into a field goal, they would have won 5 more games and sent two to overtime. How is that Aaron's fault?
I'm not completely putting it on Rodgers, believe me, i understand, i'm just saying that Rivers has accomplished A LOT more, and is a more polished and developed quarterback than Rodgers is. One year starting is not much of a sample to really compare against a QB like Rivers.
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Old 08-25-2009, 04:29 PM    (permalink
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from a physical standpoint?

there are some things he does better. he's not more proven however. both of em are damn good if you ask me.
I could see the arm-strength argument, but that's probably it. Even then, Rivers has more than adequate strength to make all throws, and has beautiful touch on his deep balls.
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Old 08-25-2009, 04:29 PM    (permalink
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from a physical standpoint?

there are some things he does better. he's not more proven however. both of em are damn good if you ask me.
They still play the WCO offense in GB right?

So Rodgers in the WCO and River's in the Air C.? Those are pretty damn good systems, different, very different, yet very proven.
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Old 08-25-2009, 04:33 PM    (permalink
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They still play the WCO offense in GB right?

So Rodgers in the WCO and River's in the Air C.? Those are pretty damn good systems, different, very different, yet very proven.
Yup. Ive fluctuated on my preference between them. I don't know anymore. Both are great systems.

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I could see the arm-strength argument, but that's probably it. Even then, Rivers has more than adequate strength to make all throws, and has beautiful touch on his deep balls.
I was actually thinking more of mobility, but yeah, arm strength is another.

Rivers would actually have a more difficult time in a WCO oddly enough.
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Old 08-25-2009, 04:39 PM    (permalink
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Throwing on the run, and arm strength would be what I would rate Rodgers higher than Rivers on although their systems are completely different and require slightly different skill sets. It's not as lopsided as a lot of you seem to think but that may be because I'm optimistic that Rodgers will improve greatly this year. I understand there is a small sample size out on Rodgers right now and Rivers is proven but I guess it comes down to personal preference. I'll trust the non-homer's judgement on this one, though. That is until Rodgers makes the pro bowl this year, then I can say I told you so.
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Old 08-25-2009, 04:40 PM    (permalink
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What does Rodgers do better than Rivers?
Well from what little I've seen of him, Rodgers does have a stronger arm and is much more mobile. Plus he's got that cool psuedo beard going on that Rivers could never pull off.

As for the defense argument, I can definitely see that holding weight seeing as how I witnessed it firsthand last year with Rivers and our defense. We could have been at least 11-5 if it wasn't for our defense.

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Old 08-25-2009, 04:41 PM    (permalink
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Yup. Ive fluctuated on my preference between them. I don't know anymore. Both are great systems.



I was actually thinking more of mobility, but yeah, arm strength is another.

Rivers would actually have a more difficult time in a WCO oddly enough.
I'd take the Air C. That's the "real" WCO! Plus you can get some sick, sick QB numbers from it. Just look at the Rams, Dallas and now SD with it. Previously Vermiel and his KC offense was studly as well.

Obviously the Walshian WCO is proven and been around a long time, I still have a lot of respect for it. The reads are easy in that system, and it requires specific personnel to execute it.

Personally though, from a coaching point of view, I love the Air Raid system. I am a big fan of Mike Leach, and Hal Humme and those guys. A lot of HSs in the country run that. Easy to teach to HS kids, and very easy to install as well. Very specific, and easy pass protection schemes, and the reads are the opposite of the WCO. In the WCO you normally read bottom to top, and in the Air Raid you read top to bottom, so it's very manageable for a HS kid to pick up.

It won't ever be an NFL system, but just an easy and great system.
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Old 08-25-2009, 04:44 PM    (permalink
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It won't ever be an NFL system, but just an easy and great system.
What's holding it back from the NFL? Aside from potential money and management issues, why wouldn't a team implement something like that?
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Old 08-25-2009, 04:55 PM    (permalink
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What's holding it back from the NFL? Aside from potential money and management issues, why wouldn't a team implement something like that?
I think because it's so cut and dry... It's basically going 4 to 5 wide most of the time. Not a lot of running plays, and the system is a bit different..

For instance, Wes Welker is your X wr.. The job of the X in this system is running screens, and being that shifty guy which he is in the NFL.. Your Z, is basically Crabtree. That's your Z and he is the guy who goes deep. Your Y, which in a traditional system, is your TE, in this system since it's mostly 4 wide, is your big WR, who is your possession WR. So think TE/Hybrid, H back type thing. So our Beckum, who is 6'4 or something would be the "slot" or Y. He is your possesion guy.

Your pass protection is very, very simple. It's BOB pass protection, with a back in tow, or he can go out on the route, via check-release or just free release.

And your reads are very simple.. Top to bottom, deepest route, down to the HB.

And within that scheme you have very specific passing concepts, like Y cross, Y Sail, Mesh.. and so on.

You need more to this system for it to be an NFL system. If the run and shoot comes back, I am sure that would be a good time to take a lot of these concepts and add it to the run and shoot. But who knows, maybe someone brave enough can make this an NFL system, and add other concepts it.

I love it because it's easy to coach and teach to anyone, and just simple. If it did become an NFL system I'd love that. The QB production would be sky high, like Warren Moon type production in the run and shoot. If someone had the balls to bring it to the NFL, and can get the right personnel maybe it may work. I would also supplement it with run and shoot concepts as well, so it's somewhat balanced.

If Texas Tech, Mike Leach becomes an NFL OC, then watch out, that would be fun to see if his system can translate to the NFL.
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Old 08-25-2009, 05:39 PM    (permalink
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Wow, love the depth to that post. I don't see anyone having the balls to installing it in the NFL anytime soon. It would change the landscape of the league, though.
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Old 08-25-2009, 05:53 PM    (permalink
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Danny Amendola, in his rookie camp with the Cowboys said he could write out the entire Tech playbook on the back of a napkin because it was essentially 4-5 WRs running around trying to get open.
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