Live Game Notes Week 8 Browns vs Chargers

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CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 23: Wide receiver Jo...

CLEVELAND, OH – SEPTEMBER 23: Wide receiver Josh Cribbs #16 of the Cleveland Browns is tackled by wide receiver Brad Smith #16 and and strong safety Da’Norris Searcy #25 of the Buffalo Bills during the second half at Cleveland Browns Stadium on September 23, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Bills defeated the Browns 24-14. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

Live game notes Week 8 Browns vs Chargers

Marecic is a healthy scratch.  Maybe the coaching staff is finally waking up to the fact he can’t block, run or catch.

The only way deferring on the coin toss helps is if the D can stop the Chargers and get good field position for the O.

JMJ is playing well but Maiava is too slow to be a starter on a good team.

Three straight runs give the Chargers a first down.

Haden missed the tackle on Floyd but the WR went out of bounds anyway.  THAT is why he will not be a top WR.

The first drive is right down the Browns throats.

The Chargers got greedy and it cost them.  TJ Ward is much more valuable at the LOS than in coverage.   He came in unblocked to stop the 4th down play.

The play calling by Shumur is no better.  The 1 yard pass was stupid.

The Browns got bailed out by the penalty.  Otherwise it would have been 3 and out.

TRich is running hard and the bigger WRs are doing a nice job blocking down field.

The O line is not punch blocking to allow the quick slant to get through.  That is a coaching issue.

Weeden did a great job finding Ogbonnaya with the pass on 3rd and long.  Weeden is keeping his eyes down field under pressure which is critical to his future development.

The wind is playing havoc with both passers.  It knocked down the pass to Gordon in the endzone.

TRich showed why they drafted him with the 3rd pick.  Great run for the TD.  Lauvao helped a lot by rebalancing him as he broke free.

=CL 7 SD 0

 

Bad challenge by Shurmur.  You don’t challenge a 5 yard pass.  Challenges are way too valuable.

Good defensive effort to get the punt.  Stevens is out with a neck injury.

After an 8 yard pass the Browns go 3 and out failing to get 2 yards in 2 tries.

=

Weddle is an outstanding S and got a great punt return.

MLB Jackson got a good hit on the ball and the Browns get the TO.  DT Winn is having an outstanding year.  He recovered it.

The Chargers are weak on the edges and the Browns need to attack them more than the middle.

The double reverse blows up in Shurmur’s face.  Too cute by a half.  Why would you call a double reverse between guys that had not practiced together in this kind of weather?

The team ended up wasting the TO.

=

Bad punt followed by a sack by Winn and a tackle for loss.

Young knocks down the pass and the Chargers go 3 and out.

The Throw back jerseys are perfect for Pitts.  They all should be wearing prison stripes.

A bad punt by SD gave the Browns good field position.

A penalty gives the Browns a 1st in SD territory.

Ogbonnaya took his eyes off the screen pass on 3rd and 7.  Browns drive ends with a decent short punt OB at the 12.

=

Two runs give SD a first.

Ward is playing too close to the LOS.  Watch for a long pass to TE.

Young takes the RB out of the screen pass and 2nd down pass fails.

DQ Jackson struggles in coverage.  He failed to get Brown in time to prevent the 1st down.

Young covered Floyd well preventing the long completion.

Ward gets to Rivers and the pass is incomplete.  SD got some yards and a couple of firsts but did not get past their 40.

The Browns commit yet another special teams penalty and lose field position.  This happens WAY too often.

TRich is again sent up the gut for no yards.  All his best runs against SD have been on the edge

Nice catch by Cameron.

Gordon gets open again.  Makes the first and YAC.  Weeden is showing much stronger arm than Rivers.  I wonder if there is something wrong with Rivers’ arm.

TRich’s runs show his patients and vision.  Outstanding 2 runs in a row.

Greco has proven he is an OK backup but he struggles to get the outside blitzer across the formation.  The O line is playing better now than early in the season.

=

Browns fail to jam on the 1st down throw.

Rivers has thrown a lot more this year to the RBs than to either TEs or WR.  I do think he has an arm issue.  You would expect that the D would be paying a lot of attention to the RBs but they don’t seem to be.

Brown runs to the Browns’ 33 for a 1st .  SD is driving right down the field.  The Browns tend with 2 minutes left to play too loose.

The Chargers get a FG to cut the half time score to 7-3 CL.

=

Another good return called back by a penalty.  When will special teams coach Tabor get canned?

Again the Browns are trying to run up the gut rather than going to the edge.  Bad choice

Little with a catch.  He did much better last week than he had earlier in the season.

Another unnecessary batted pass.  TE Watson was open but the ball was blocked down by the DE.

Just as I complement Little he drops a 3rd and 10 pass.  I should know better than to give him some love.

=

OLB Robertson is doing a good job covering TEs.  He was on Gates for the 3rd down pass.  Gates dropped it.

The Chargers get a 59 yard punt.  Sign the guy next year for the Browns.

The Browns are 2 of 9 on 3rd down.  Make that 2 for 10.

3 and out for the Browns and they punt from the endzone.

At least Hodges got a good punt off for 50 yards.

=

JMJ again on the tackle.  He is playing well.

Meecham was WIDE open and he dropped the ball.  Again Ward was late on coverage in a blitz situation.

But another great punt puts the Browns on the 8.

Good run by TRich for a 3rd and 2.

The Browns fail to covert and give the ball back inside their territory.

=

The Chargers are running right down the throats of the Browns D.

A brain cramp by the playcaller allowed the Browns to stop them.  They tried to do a reverse that lost 6 yards.  That was the only thing that prevented a TD.  I wonder if the Browns’ game plan blew over to the Chargers like it did against the Bengals.

CL7 SD 6

After another pass that is knocked down (and almost picked) the Browns get a 1st down on a 22 yard complete to Little.  He is showing more FB IQ.  But then he holds a LB and you know he is not getting smarter.

Gordon gets the 1st on a crossing route.  Nice pattern.

Browns are forced to call a TO because the play was late getting in.  In a one point game that is ridicules.

Weeden gets sacked which takes them out of FG range.

Good punt and great ST play gets the ball down to the 3.

=

Another pass to an RB gets the ball to a 3rd and short situation.

A tough run goes for the 1st at the 13.

The supposed weak O Line of SD steadly pushes the Browns back on runs.

Miava fails to cover the WR and SD gets another 1st.

Ward makes a tackle but after the hit Mathews gets 4 more yards.  Ward does not rap up.

Good coverage by Haden allowed a stop.

Shumur was too busy arguing with the official to call the play and the team had to call a TO.

Hardesty fumbled but got the ball back.  That would have been the end.

The Browns move the ball a little but had to punt.  Now is when we see the BIG screw up that costs them a game.

=

The Chargers continue to throw to the RBs and move the ball from deep in their territory to the Browns’ 40.

DQ Jackson is just too slow recognizing a RB release and lacks the foot speed to cover effectively.

Rivers missed on a wide open TE at the 20.

Skrine makes the play of the day by tipping the ball away from the receiver on a 4th down pass.

The Browns hold on to get the win.

 

Analysis

A win is always better than a loss.  But this game was won more by luck and a couple of good plays by the team than by planning of the coaching staff.  The Charger staff is as good as gone.  Turner should have been fired a couple of years ago when they still had a top D.  It is too late now to get a good coach and take the team to a title.  That ship has left the dock.

This win will not change the decision on keeping Shurmur by the new owner.  Jimmy Haslam realizes that it was due more to luck and a bad opponent than skill by the coaching staff.  The only thing that can save Shurmur would be to win 4 of the 8 games left on the schedule.  There is very little chance that will happen.

The win does hurt the chance for the Browns to get a top 2 draft pick.  That would be very valuable for a monster trade like the Rams got.  There will be several teams desperate to get a top QB prospect in the 2013 draft.  Two extra first and second round picks would help fill the holes in the roster.

Conclusion

This win is not a turnaround.  As I said after the win over the Bengals, this team is not ready to turn around.  It is getting better.  Weeden is improving more because of his game play rather than coaching.  He is a smart guy and seldom makes the same mistake twice.

The WRs are beginning to improve.  Gordon is emerging as the number one guy for the Browns.  He has a long way to go to become a legitimate NFL #1 guy but is developing.  He has the speed and athleticism to achieve that.  The O line is also improving.  One sack in the last 3 games is a vast improvement over the first 5 games.  The line has a long way to go blocking the run but it was no accident that the running game was better with Smith at H-back rather than Marecic.

The D is suffering with the injuries to the DTs.  Having both starters out hurt the team against the run.  Winn is going to be a star as I predicted before the draft.  The 3rd round pick Hughes has played better than I expected.   But any team needs to have quality players to rotate into the line.  With the starters hurt the team lacked rotational players.

The LBs are playing better as well.  I am not a big fan of Maiava because he is too slow to cover in the zone effectively.  I do like both the young guys JMJ and Robertson.  Both show real potential.  Jackson is fine but is not getting any faster.  He lacks the speed to cover the new fast TEs down the seam of the 2 deep zone.

The D backfield is also improving somewhat.  Brown is doing his best but lacks the speed to play man coverage much.  The young guys are showing a little improvement.  Skrine has the speed but often struggles to make the tackle on big WRs.  The one star is Haden.  One of the top draft needs of the team is a top CB across from Haden.  That would have a huge impact on the pass coverage.

Overall the win was nice but it doesn’t mean a whole lot in terms of the season record.

That’s what I think.  Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com.  He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/.

He edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/. Also listen to the best Sports Talk anywhere on the Internet and hear his sports show Monday-Thursday 6-7:30 PM EST on or http://mooheadradio.com/2.5/?page_id=21.  You can catch any interviews you missed on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

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Notes and thoughts on week 2 of the NFL preseason.

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AZ @ TN

This game was a “Tale of 2 QBs.” Titan QB Young and Card QB Leinart both must have good seasons to stay on their respective teams.

Young looked better in replacing QB Collins last year than ever before. However, he has to take another major step forward to become an NFL quality starter. He has reportedly worked hard to learn the O. His footwork seems better than in previous years. But still when is pressured, his improved mechanics break down. But he is still a remarkable athlete. If he ever gets “it” he can become an outstanding QB. He did make better reads than he did even last year.

RB Johnson is the best back in the game. The O line is capable of opening small holes and Johnson squeezes through them. He has outstanding speed and can break any catch or run for 6 points.

The Titan D was blitz crazy despite being in the preseason. The LBs were getting to the QB and the coverage for the most part was good. Anderson hit on one long play vs the blitz.

Leinart’s problem has been accuracy. He is not a blitz killer like Warner was and as a result, will get blitzed a lot. He also does not process information as quickly as is necessary. He tends to throw a lot to his safety valve receiver short of the line to gain even on 3rd down. That tends to generate 3 and outs.

Ex-Brown QB Anderson looked much better this week than last. He drove the ball down the field after Leinart went 3 and out on every possession he had in the 1st quarter. But Anderson showed why he is not still in Cleveland. He fired a pass to a wide open WR in the end-zone on 2nd down too high and too hot. On 3rd down he threw behind the slanting WR and the team had to kick a field goal.

Neither Cards QB got much protection. They were under a blitz or heavy pressure almost every pass. The team’s best WR Fitzgerald was out of the game with an injury.

The Cards D lost a lot in the off season but will likely be called on to do more with less. The Cards had a lot of WRs running wide open in the D Backfield. They lost a S and CB in the off season.

MN @ SF

It was the debut of QB Farve. He threw 1 swing pass and 4 snaps and took a 1 sack. That’s all folks!

QB Jackson has a great arm but the touch of a cruise missile. The Vike running game died in the middle of last year despite having one of the best backs in the league. RB Peterson has great speed but not much ball security. He cost the team a Super Bowl spot with his fumbles in the playoffs. He also struggled due to below average play from the O line. The line has name brands but did not create much running room for AP. 3rd down RB Taylor is gone and that is hole to be filled. They will try rookie RB Gerhart in that role. The team is also missing 2 of their top 3 WRs. Rice is out with a hip and Harvin with migraines. They signed Javaun Walker to fill in for Rice who could be out half the year.

The Viking D will have the Williams’ boys despite the NFL’s desire to suspend them. The courts have enjoined the league from imposing the suspensions until the case is heard. The D will also have MLB Henderson. He has recovered from a broken leg last year and is a critical part of the zone coverage. He has the speed to cover the deep middle in the 2 deep zone.

The 49er O has some issues in the O line but former #1 pick overall in 05 QB Smith looks like he may make it. He has to have a good season or he will be gone next year. He has always had “potential” but it is time for him to show it. He has had a lot of changes in O systems because the team has fired several O Coordinators after just a year. The 9ers were in 3rd and 8+ more than any other O last year. They need Smith and RB Gore to be more effective on 1st and 2nd down. Against the Vikes, the O looked OK. Gore did not play. Replacement RB Dixon has looked good.

The 9ers took 2 O linemen with their 2 first round picks in the 2010 draft. Both will get a chance to start.

The 49er D got a lot of practice last year because they were on the field a lot. They were in the top 5 in most categories and held up as well as could be expected. The D has some stars and it is capable of taking a step up in 10.

MI @ JK

The Fish looked good on O, but they were in water so they should have. As in their first game, the rain was a factor in the first half. QB Henne has enough arm strength to stick the ball into tight coverage. He has shown better accuracy and has better receivers now that 2nd year Bess had developed into a reliable 3rd down back and with the addition of WR Marshall. TE Fasano is Henne’s favorite target in the red zone. QB Pennington is an outstanding backup.

The Dolphin D is a work in progress. It ranked in the 20’s in most ratings last year. If the Dolphins are going to challenge for the AFC East title, it will have to play better than that. The team focused on D in the draft and have a couple of rookies that can help but need to develop.

The Dolphins special teams are bad. They have allowed 2 punt blocks so far and have given up return yardage like Congress hands out cash–in bunches.

The Jags are a mess and things didn’t get any better when starting QB Garrard went down with an injury. The pressure is on both him and his HC Del Rio. Both will be gone in 2011 unless the Jags can turn the team around. Back up McCown is capable. WR Thomas is developing well and should have a good year. The O line has talent but other than LT Monroe and LG Manuwai have yet to develop. RT Britton has potential.

The Jag D looks soft as well. DEs Kampman and Harvey are solid but the DTs need to help with a pass rush. Thus far in the preseason that has not happened. The rest of the D are nothing special.

KC @ TB

TB QB Freeman continues to stare down his target. That is why he threw 10 TDs last year and 18 picks. He got hurt in the game. Freeman has broken the tip of his thumb on the passing hand. He was replaced by QB Johnson who played well but it was against the TB D.

TB needs RB Williams to stay healthy. He has had knee injuries in 07 and 08. There is very little behind him. FB Graham is a high effort guy with very little athleticism or speed.

TB WR Mike Williams looks really good so far. He has above-average hands and FBI (Football Intelligence).

The pressure in on KC QB Cassel and the O line in front of him. Cassel has developed some bad habits like the classic stare down of the WR. That happens in part because he doesn’t have enough confidence in his protection.

KC ex-Jet RB Jones will help the O but fumbled on his first carry in this game. Jones is still a RB Charles is exciting but is not a 300 carry back. One rookie to watch is RB/WR/KR McCluster from Mississippi St. He is very quick and very tough to tackle because of his size. Despite that, he was a starting RB in the Southeast Conference.

For other games check out my article on NFL News, notes and rumors on

Technorati Tags: nfl,preseason,Dolphins,Jaguars,Chiefs,Buccaneers,Cardinals,Titans,Vikings,49ers,Browns,nfl draft,Young,Smith,Freeman,Leinart,Garrard
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Analysis: The Cavs take 2 steps up and 1 step back.

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nbaDraft

The Cavs took 2 steps up with the trade for C Shaquille O’Neal. Most of the experts are saying that Shaq won’t impact the Cavs that much. That is both true and false. But then they threw away their 1st round pick by drafting Christian Eyenga of the Congo via Spain. One step WAY back.

False: The thing that Shaq gives the Cavs is an inside scorer. Shaq is also a better passer than almost any other C in the league. When the Cavs get the ball inside and the D begins to collapse on him, he can pass to the perimeter for a 3 point shot. That will work if anyone other than LeBron James is capable of hitting a 3 in the playoffs. Mo Williams was brought in to be the other outside scorer and take some pressure off LeBron. That worked well in the regular season and the first two rounds of the playoffs. However, in the series against Orlando, Mo became one of the statues standing watching LeBron take on the entire Magic team. Add to that the fact that Mo couldn’t have hit the Mississippi River from the middle of a bridge and the Cavs get blown out of the playoffs.

The older C Zydrunas Ilgauskas gets the farther away from the basket he seems to play. Over the last couple of years, no one doubled Z. And most of his points have come from 10 feet and out. He has not been an inside scoring force that LeBron needs. He has never been physical. Given the ability of Shaq to catch the ball and score inside, he is a major improvement in the middle over Z.

True: The addition of Shaq does nothing to help pick and roll D which was half the reason that the Cavs lost to the Magic. The Cavs needed the addition of one more outside shooting threat that can also play D against the opponent PF or SF with some quickness. Don’t even think that Cleveland can play Z at the PF against teams like the Magic. Forward Richard Jefferson that was traded to San Antonio from Milwaukee is EXACTLY the kind of player that could have made the Cavs much more effective against the Magic. He also would have helped against the Celtics. By getting Jefferson, the Spurs can challenge the Lakers in the west.

That brings us to the draft. ESPN NFL draft guru Mel Kiper said of a team during one draft “They clearly don’t understand what the draft is all about.” He was right then and it applies to the Cavs’ 2009 NBA draft as well. Eyenga is supposed to be very athletic. Ok, that’s nice. But any prospect that has a highlight tape that looks like it was taken by a $9 cell phone is not worth a 1st round pick—even the 30th pick. I admit I had never heard of Eyenga. I have a list of 150 players that I have seen and Eyenga is not on that list. He was also not on the lists of any website I have been able to find.

The point that Kiper was making is that having a good draft is a product of getting value with each pick. Do the Cavs really think that Eyenga wasn’t going to be there at 47, their other pick in the draft? He would have been there in September of 09 as an undrafted and unknown FA. With that 30th pick, the Cavs could have gotten DeJuan Blair (PF Pittsburgh 16th on my ranking) who is a good defender and rebounder and can score a little. The Spurs will work Blair into the rotation immediately and he will develop into a starter down the line. They could have gotten Sam Young (SF Pittsburgh) or Dante Cunningham (F Villanova). Even Richie Cunningham would have been a better pick. He played for his high school team on Happy Days didn’t he?

I did like the pick of Danny Green (SF North Carolina). He is as ready to contribute as anyone picked around him (47 overall).

So what do the Cavs do now? Get into the Hedo Turkoglu (F FA from Orlando) sweepstakes. Turk could be the guy they need to fill that other F position opposite LeBron. Turk as I predicted has opted out of his Magic contract. The Cavs need to spend the money now to get Turk and pay the luxury tax. If they fail to win it all in 09-10, they will lose LeBron and 90% of the value of the franchise.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

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Saturday Niblets for 6/6/09

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nib

Today is the 65th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. My Dad was the first American on Omaha Red beach 2 hours before the invasion. Today, we salute all those that risked or gave their lives to help free Europe from Hitler.

Best Email of the last 2 weeks: from James on “The Cavs are a 1972 Comet with a Ferrari engine.” too bad Lebron and the Cavs failed to reach the championships… was rooting for them! I just do not know what will happen of the team if Kobe comes in… the dynamics of team will likely change, but if they get past that they’d get a huge chance in grabbing the title next year…

James: The chances of Kobe coming are very slim. But you are exactly correct in that the team is going to have to have a rebuild this off season to become a championship caliber team in time to win a title for LeBron next season. Thanks for your comment.

Updates on previous columns:

Mangenious and his Magical Bus trip

The NFLPA is investigating the Magical Bus trip of 10 hours each way to the football camp outside of Hartford Conn. that Eric Mangini forced on the 19 Browns rookies. Of course Mangini flew to Hartford and was planning to fly back until someone smarter than him suggested how bad that would look. Let’s hope the league fines Mangenious a couple of hundred thousand dollars and gives it to those that took the bus.

LeBron is LeGone

Lebron James was fined $25,000 by the NBA for failing to speak to the media after the loss to the Magic in game 6 of their Eastern Conference Finals. Initially, the league announced that he would not be fined. In an interview on ESPN Radio, Comm. Stern the day after that announcement was made, Stern said he was looking into the issue.

What do you do with a young benched starting QB?

Titans coach Jeff Fisher told the press that “eventually” Vince Young will be the starting QB. Fisher told the press that Young has been spending time in the weight room.

My Advice: Vince, get out of the weight room and camp in the film room. The problem is your understanding of the playbook and reading coverage not your arm strength.

Niblets fresh off the cob:

The NFLPA reaches a settlement with retired players

Retired NFL players had filed suit against the NFLPA to get a part of the money flow of the various marketing deals that the NFLPA gets. According to ex-Packer and Hall of Fame DB Herb Adderley who filed the suit, the settlement gives retired players 26.25 million dollars. This is only one issue between current and retired players.

Exec. Dir. DeMaurice Smith told a meeting of active and retired players that benefits for retired players would be reduced by 80% if the NFL Owners lock the players out after 2011. This will be one more potential suit for Adderley to file against the NFLPA.

The Lakers win game 1 by 25.

The Lakers looked good Thursday night against the Magic. According to several sources, the Lakers are much more focused in the finals because of their loss last year to the Celtics. We will see. If they play the way they did against the Nuggets, the Lakers will lose again. Magic C Dwight Howard is not going to score just 12 points often. Neither returning all star PG Jameer Nelson or Rafer Alston played particularly well. Nelson, coming off an injury, should get better with more practice to shake off the rust.

The NHL series is all tied up.

After Pittsburgh won the first two games at home, many pundants wrote that the series was over. Not so fast. The Red Wings looked tired and slow compared to the younger Penguins. The scheduling of back to back games has helped the Pens. But to win, the Pens are going to have to win game 5 at Detroit. I don’t believe that they can win a game 7 in hostile territory against a seasoned team like the Wings.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

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Saturday's Niblets from around the net for 02/28/09

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Fryingpan Sports

Saturday’s Niblets from around the net.

nib

By Bill Smith

Best comment of the week:

By 2009 Taxes on “My impressions of the first 2 days of the NFL Combine.”

It’s good to see Robiskie do well at the combine. He came to Ohio State as a 2 or 3 star recruit out of high school and took over the starting role after Ginn and Holmes left. He’s been underestimated at every stage.

That is an excellent point. Many other great receivers have been overlooked because they didn’t have “elite” speed. Robo will become a top receiver and whatever team gets him will be able to move the chains just as OSU did. He will become indispensable on 3rd down and in the red zone.

Updates on previous articles:

Introducing the United Football League:

The UFL has raised another 30 million in seed money to go with the first 20 mil put in by the primary investors. The group now includes a familiar name Paul Pelosi—husband of the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

My Advice: That should give the league enough money to get started. But to field 6 teams, they will need another 50-60 million. The league should keep politics out of their way. I will try to keep you up to date on the league.

Will Vince Young ever be an NFL quality QB?

Evidently, the Titans believe that Young is not an NFL starting QB yet because they announced yesterday that they had resigned Kerry Collins to a 2 year deal. He wasn’t signed to be a backup. He had said that he would retire unless he was given assurances that he would be the starter.

My Advice: Give Young some wild cat work to get him involved in the O. That will help you find out for sure if he will ever be capable of taking over the position.

Niblets fresh off the cob:

Jerry Jones implements a gag order on the Cowboys.

Don’t think he did that to prevent leaks about the team. Don’t expect the Boys to be the HBO Hard Knocks subject this year. But don’t worry. Jones says everything in Cowboy land is just peachy.

My Advice: Jer, gag orders don’t work on teams in the 7-9 year old league, so don’t think for a minute they will work for the Boys. You lose in December because your team is a soap opera titled “As the Stomach Churns.” You don’t think that team chemistry is important and every year it blows up in your face.

NT Shaun Rogers wants out of Cleveland

According to several sources, Cleveland Browns DL Shaun Rogers has had his feelings hurt. He is so hurt that he wants the Browns not to pick up the $6 million option-bonus payment due to him next month. Rogers is owed $15 million more in guaranteed money.

He is hurt because new head coach Mangini ignored Rogers twice at the Browns practice facility in Berea. The Browns have no intention of releasing Rogers due to the hit they would take against their salary cap of more than 9.7 million.

My advice to Mangini: You need to stop the Belichick act. You haven’t won anything yet. When you have a collection of Super Bowl rings, you can snub your best players. Until then, the only thing you have in common with Belichick is that you were both fired from your first head coaching job.

My advice to Rogers: You played like a pro bowler last year and led by example. Having skin this thin below you. Forget about Mangini, the Browns fans love you and respect how hard you played last year.

Tiger Woods drops his second match.

Tiger is coming back from a really tough surgery and a 8 month break. It could be that it will take him some time to get his stamina and touch back.

My advice: Fear not Tiger fans, he will be a force come Masters time.

The Patriots are still shopping for talent at the dollar store.

The Pats added more leadership to their team (as if they needed it) by signing former Jag RB Fred Taylor. Given the injury history of Laurence Maroney this was a great move at a usual great value for the Pats. The rich get richer.

The Redskins sign Haynesworth to a 100 million dollar deal—kind of.

DT Albert Haynesworth got a 7 year 100 million deal from Redskins owner Daniel Snyder to start the free agency period off with a bang. Snyder’s record with high dollar free agents has been more thuds than bangs.

My analysis: This is not going to be typical of the deals made in the free agency period. It is a giant risk with very little up side and a huge downside. Snyder wanted to make a splash and he did. Only time will tell if his bet will pay off or if it will not.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

My email is [email protected]

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  • Published: Jan 30th, 2009
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  • Comments: Comments Off on Will Vince Young ever be an NFL quality QB?

Will Vince Young ever be an NFL quality QB?

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Fryingpan Sports

Will Vince Young ever be an NFL quality QB?

T1 t

Kerry Collins and Vince Young

By Bill Smith

Technorati Tags: Collins,Young,Titans,NFL FOotball,Fisher,Texas,Longhorns,college football,NFL Draft

This week head coach of the Titans Jeff Fisher said that he wants Kerry Collins, the 36 year old free agent, back as the starter in 2009. That was bad news for Vince Young.

Collins played well but not spectacularly in 08 leading the Titans to the best record in the AFC with a QB rating of 80.2. He threw 12 TDs and 7 interceptions but managed the game very well taking maximum advantage of one of the top running games in the league. He had threatened to retire unless he was “promised” a starting job. He has never been a top QB and has a career passing rating of only 73.8.

Young was the 3rd overall pick in the 06 draft. He took over the starting QB spot in the 4th game of 06 and led the team to an 8-5 record including 6 wins in a row. The wins overshadowed a less than acceptable performance by Young. He had a QB rating of just 66.7 with 12 touchdowns but 13 interceptions. In 07 he started 15 game missing only week 7 against Houston due to injury. However, he was relieved by Collins in 4 other games. He took the Titans to an 9-6 record but again was only able to manage a 71.1 passer rating with 9 TDs and 17 interceptions. That is not acceptable in the NFL.

By the start of the 08 season Fisher decided that Young needed a little more seasoning. He sat and Collins started.

So why couldn’t a top draft choice like Young beat out a weak armed transient veteran like Collins? Right now the Titans are wondering if Young will ever become an NFL quality quarterback.

Young can’t read defenses. At Texas, he never had to. He would look for his primary receiver. If that guy was covered, he would run. There wasn’t much of a play book which suited Young just fine. Young was so good an athlete that he didn’t need one. He and the Longhorns used his athleticism to win games. In the NFL, he makes bad reads that result in interceptions. Coaches who let a QB throw more picks than touchdowns get fired.

In the NFL, Young struggled with his footwork and that led to inaccuracy. In Texas, he worked from a shotgun most of the time. While all young QBs coming from a college spread offense have a learning curve, Young never seemed to turn the corner. He made exactly the same read mistakes in game 17 that he made in game 1. He also tended to stare down a receiver. That leads to picks.

He also won’t throw the ball unless the receiver is open. In the NFL, you have to throw a receiver open. You throw the ball to give the receiver a chance to make the play. Players in college are wide open most of the time. In the NFL, the weakest CB is better than the best CB on any college team. Receivers don’t get that open. Young never developed the anticipation necessary to make big plays in the NFL. Watching Kurt Warner will show what great anticipation can do for a QB and a team.

The NFL uses much more complex defenses than college. Most colleges use man and zone and some use a zone blitz. In the NFL, there are combination man/zone defenses, rotating zones, and dozens of multiple blitzes. An NFL QB must be able to learn what an opponent does and adjust to it on the fly. He has to process this information, determine who will be open based on the coverage and get rid of the ball in no more than 2.5 seconds. Young has not been able to do that and worse yet, he may never be able to.

There are indications that he may be too emotional to ever be a successful NFL QB. When a team wins, the QB is loved by everyone. When a the team loses, too often the QB is the goat. Young never had to experience that much in high school or at Texas. He has not taken it well in the pros.

The truth is that the biggest problem might be that Young just isn’t smart enough to be an NFL QB. He scored 6 on the Wonderlic Test. If you can’t learn the playbook, and remember the tenancies of the opponent, you won’t win in the NFL. You have to have reviewed so much that you can anticipate exactly what coverage you are going to see. If they change coverage just before the snap, an NFL QB needs to have seen enough film to know what they will do and where the gaps in coverage will be. Young just can’t do that.

In my opinion, Young will never make it as a starting NFL QB. He is such a great athlete that he could be spectacular as the wildcat QB. He would be better off as a slash type QB along the lines of Kordell Stewart. The sooner that the Titans realize that and make other arrangements for a QB of the future, the better off they will be in the long run.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for NFLDraftDog.com and edits fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

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