Oh, I thought Matt Moore had potential. (I never saw him play that much, though.)
I think Moore is a pretty good quarterback. He was put in a tough spot in Carolina, but he played well in Miami last year. He’s not really exceptional in any one regard, but I’d take him over Kevin Kolb if I were Arizona, for example. But Miami took Tannehill high in the draft and his old college coach is now the Dolphins offensive coordinator, so it’s going to be his job sooner or later.
I think it’s already his job. Everyone says he looked good and Moore was barely average. Why not turn the page in Miami?
Other Miami news, Chad Johnson arrested for domestic battery. He head-butted his wife and cut her on the face. Still in jail and waiting to appear in court on Monday. Only one pass was thrown his way in the game last week and he dropped it. We already saw the end of Ochocinco this summer. Is this now officially the end of the player known as Chad Johnson?
Looks like Plax is headed to New England. He’s 35, but he still had 45 catches for 612 yards and eight touchdowns last season. I think this will work out better than the Chad Johnson/Ochocinco experiment last year. New England will have three huge red zone threats if they end up signing him.
The Cowboys are looking at former Eagles center Jamaal Jackson. As much as I dislike the Cowboys, it would be a wise move for them to sign him. He didn’t play last season, due to the fact that Howard Mudd prefers smaller, more athletic linemen for his scheme and decided to develop Jason Kelce instead. Jackson was a true professional and didn’t complain one bit, despite the fact that he was the better, more polished center at the start of the season, and a fan favorite. If he is in shape, the Cowboys should pull the trigger without any hesitation. Their situation at center is almost comical right now. With Jackson, they would get a talented leader to anchor their offensive line.
Patriots, eh? With Welker, Brandon Lloyd, Deion Branch, Jabbar Gaffney, and Dante Stallworth it didn’t really seem like they needed another receiver, but I guess in that offense you can’t really have too many.
Plax is a cut above the rest. Even at 75% he is a serious red zone threat, just like when Brady had Moss. In this day and age, you can’t have enough receivers or defensive backs.
News flash. Johnson just got released by the Dolphins. Ouch. If this isn’t the end, it is very, very close.
Burress would be a situational guy in that offense, but he’d be a pretty good one.
Thought this article might interest some of you, in light of our recent discussions.
Somebody with shoddy depth at receiver (which is almost everybody) will have a WR go down in practice in the next couple of weeks . . .
Lee Evans just got released by the Jags, so he’s out there too.
Wow. That’s not good news. It isn’t like the Jags are overflowing with offensive talent.
Seems to me that the position has really changed in recent years. It used to seem that a good receiver could be relatively productive virtually anywhere in the league, now a lot of times it seems like guys kill careers by choosing the wrong team. Evans had a nightmare season with the Ravens last year, missing much of the regular season with injuries and then dropping a critical ball in the postseason.
The Jags have Laurent Robinson and Mike Thomas, but apparently they’re bumping up their first-rounder Justin Blackmon to the #2, and have signed Demetrius Williams for depth. Still, you’re right, that’s not a whole lot to work with. Especially when their QB had the worst QB rating of any regular starter in the league last year.
Maybe that’s a side effect of the league turning pass-happy. Lot of complex offenses out there. Anyway, as they say, receiver is the hardest position to learn besides quarterback.
That explanation probably makes sense given the proliferation of complex schemes, increased use of slots, etc.
Matt said, It used to seem that a good receiver could be relatively productive virtually anywhere in the league, now a lot of times it seems like guys kill careers by choosing the wrong team.
Hmm, choosing the wrong team never occurred to me as an explanation. I tended to think that the shelf life for a receiver just got shorter, just like running backs. I’m not sold on this explanation, but that has been my knee-jerk thought.
The shelf life on running backs is shorter because running backs are a dime a dozen. True, it’s maybe the most physical position on the offensive side of the ball, but there are talented kids coming out every year.
But great running backs aren’t a dime a dozen, right? Running backs either don’t have the staying power or there aren’t that many great running backs. But I wonder the degree to which this relates to the emphasis on passing. The productivity of a running back depends on the committment of a team to run the ball. That sounds obvious, but I think it’s an important point. If you’re not building a team to run or giving the RB carries, even when the RB doesn’t seem to gaining a lot of yards, you’re not going to have a lot of great RBs. (Mike Ditka used to always talk about being committed to the run, and he was correct, imo.)
“I tended to think that the shelf life for a receiver just got shorter, just like running backs.”
I’m sure that’s a factor overall, as the average career for a receiver is a shade under three years, but I was thinking more in terms of good-to-excellent receivers in recent years who have gotten beyond the average career span and then seem to go to a new team and suddenly are complete busts.
…but I was thinking more in terms of good-to-excellent receivers in recent years who have gotten beyond the average career span and then seem to go to a new team and suddenly are complete busts.
Yeah, I know what you mean. Do you think it’s really the complexity or impact of the different styles of offense? I just thought some other reason crept in—like player just got burnt out or something. (But that’s not a great answer, either.)
I’m sure it’s a combination of a number of factors, but I do think it’s partly a matter of particular schemes in some cases.
No truly great player is a dime a dozen. But for a dime you can get plenty of backs to do the job by committee. If I need a thousand yards of rushing a season what does it matter if one person or three get it for me? The committee is probably cheaper, and maybe gives me more flexibility and security. Besides, the day of the dominant back is over. Where are all the superb backs in the NFL right now? Languishing on horrible teams. What was the last Super Bowl team to have a dominant superstar back? Marshall Faulk in 2000? Emmit Smith in 1996?
“But for a dime you can get plenty of backs to do the job by committee. If I need a thousand yards of rushing a season what does it matter if one person or three get it for me? "
Except that, while it’s relatively common for a back-up to have success, it’s also relatively rare for a true committee system (with more than one back sharing the load more or less equally) to be really effective running the ball. The best example of a by-committee approach in Carolina (#3 in the league last year in team rushing), who had DeAngelo Williams get 155 carries for 836 yards, Jonathan Stewart got 142 carries for 761, and Cam Newton had 126 carries for 706 yards. The next most legit committee is probably New Orleans’.
Except that, while it’s relatively common for a back-up to have success, it’s also relatively rare for a true committee system (with more than one back sharing the load more or less equally) to be really effective running the ball.
And the committee system never seemed to be successful. Are there really fewer great backs or are they not being developed? Or is the phyiscal pounding much worse than any other time? Remember when great RBs used to get stronger as the game progressed? What happened to that? Either the RBs aren’t as tough, the physical pounding is much more severe or maybe the lack of emphasis and committment has killed off the spirit and mentality of the great running backs. ?
Languishing on horrible teams.
Or teams that aren’t really committed to the run.
“Languishing on horrible teams.”
Ray Rice was the second-leading rusher on the Ravens last year, a division winner that won twelve games and came damned close to making it to the Super Bowl last year. Frank Gore was the 6th leading rusher in the league and the 49ers were pretty good last year. Michael Turner was the 3rd leading rusher and played for a playoff team. Arian Foster plays for a playoff team. LeSean McCoy—the Eagles probably should have been to a playoff team too if they played up to their potential.
None of those players are superstars and/or dominant backs. They are pretenders to the throne. I was thinking of people like AD, CJ2K, Pocket Hercules. I don’t know that we have any other stars in the backfield in the NFL. Maybe Rappin Forte comes close, but he is more of an all-around craftsman rather than a true dominant running force. He doesn’t gobble up carries like a monster.
“Superstar” is subjective, though, and often a function of factors other than on-field performance. If Rice, for example, had carried the ball as many times as Jones-Drew, he likely would have finished with as many yards. But the Ravens have significantly more offensive talent to compliment Jags pretty much HAD to ride Jones-Drew for everything they could get in order to move the ball, so he gets significantly more carries then anyone else in the game, so the back on the bad team is more likely to put up gaudy numbers.
Forte is a superstar. Before he suffered the injury, he was averaging 4.9 yards per carry, and finished the season 16th in the league in rushing, even though he only got a total of 203 carries, and despite going out early, had more 20+ yard carries than anyone in the league other than LeSean McCoy (who had 2 more in 70 more carries).
Coulda, woulda, shoulda. Yes, superstar is subjective, but I also mean it in the sense of a back that can dominate a game, regardless of how many carries he gets. Someone who is a home run hitter. I don’t believe Forte or McCoy fit the bill. They’re good, but not special. If Forte was a superstar, they would not have hesitated to pay him like one.
“If Forte was a superstar, they would not have hesitated to pay him like one.”
Obviously, you’re not familiar with the McCaskey family. They tried to lowball even Walter Payton. And I’m pretty sure HE was a superstar.
Being at the top of the league in 20+ yard carries isn’t being a homerun hitter? And we haven’t even talked about contributions in the passing game. Sproles caught 86 balls in NO (and Pierre Thomas caught 50 more), Rice caught 75 balls in Baltimore, Johnson caught 57 balls in Tenn, Mike Tolbert caught 54 balls in SD (and Ryan Matthews caught another 50), Arian Foster caught 53 balls in Houston, Forte caught 52 in Chicago (these are all bigger totals than some guys who are considering quality starting WRs in the league).
Yes, superstar is subjective, but I also mean it in the sense of a back that can dominate a game, regardless of how many carries he gets.
Can a RB really dominate a game without gaining significant carries? My sense is that this doesn’t happen, not consistently, anyway.
“What was the last Super Bowl team to have a dominant superstar back?”
Just so we don’t forget…
Corey Dillon ran for 1635 yards and 12 touchdowns in the 2004 Patriots Superbowl season. And he rushed for 292 yards and 2 touchdowns in the playoffs.
Also, Foster isn’t a superstar? Really? The last two seasons he’s played in 29 games (26 starts), has 2840 yards and 26 touchdowns. Plus he has 1221 receiving yards. Meaning he’s totaled 4061 yards and 30 touchdowns in just 724 touches.
In Peterson’s best years (his second and third), he had a total of 3704 yards, 28 touchdowns, 741 touches and 32 games.