Anatomy of A Touchdown

I came across an interesting website that breaks down plays and aspects of a team into great detail. On the surface, it has a cool article on a Cam Newton touchdown (and how he read the defense, made adjustments, and it really went into to great detail about the play on both the offensive and defensive sides).

Dig deeper, and you’ll find articles on every team (including things for you niners fans). But anyways, give it a look; I found it to be a good read and hope you do as well

http://presnapreads.com/2014/06/05/cam-newton-to-brandon-lafell-pre-snap-reads-favorite-plays-of-the-2013-nfl-season/

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Article: “Auburn Icon Cam Newton is Still Smiling”

Check out this quick article on Cam by Auburn’s senior sports writer Phillip Marshall

When Newton stopped his scooter to chat with an old sports writer Tuesday, he said he thought the ankle had bothered for longer than even he realized.

“I think you kind of just get used to it,” Newton said. “You don’t realize how much it is affecting you. I think it affected more than I knew it did. Hopefully, now I’ll be better and it will show up where it needs to show up.”

The surgery, he said, was successful.

“It went good,” Newton said. “I think I’ll be a lot better off for it.”

Draft Prospect Meetings

As of May 6th, these are the prospects scheduled to or have visited with the Panthers

QB – Tahj Boyd – Clemson (Combine) W
QB – Garret Gilbert – SMU (Private) H 1 2 3
QB – Brett Smith – Wyoming (Private) O 1
QB – Stephen Morris – Miami (Private) 1
QB – Keith Wenning – Ball State (Private) O 1

WR – Jordan Matthews – Vanderbilt (Private, Proehl w.o. on campus) H 1 2
WR – Jared Abbrederis – Wisconsin (Senior Bowl) W
WR – Kevin Norwood – Alabama (Pro Day/Private) H 1 2
WR – Corey Brown – Ohio St. (Private) W
WR – Brandin Cooks – Oregon St. (Private) O 1
WR – Cody Latimer – Indiana (Private & Proehl/Gregory had dinner w/ him) H 1 2 3
WR – Matt Hazel – Coastal Carolina (Private, Proehl w.o. on campus) H 1 2 3
WR – Marqise Lee – USC (Private & Proehl w.o. on campus) O 1 2
WR – Davante Adams – Fresno St. (Proehl w.o. on campus) O 1
WR – Robert Herron – Wyoming (Worked out on campus / Proehl campus) H 1 2
WR – Willie Snead – Ball State (Proehl w.o. on campus) H 1
WR – Odell Beckham Jr. – LSU (Proehl w.o. on campus) O 1
WR – Jarvis Landry – LSU (Proehl w.o. on campus) O 1
WR – Kelvin Benjamin – FSU (Proehl w.o. on campus) O 1
WR – Donte Moncrief – Ole Miss (Private and w.o.) H 1
WR – Martavis Bryant – Clemson (“Met with”, Private?) O 1
WR – Paul Richardson – Colorado (“Worked out”) H 1
WR – Josh Ford – U. of Kansas (Shown interest) O 1
WR – Allen Robinson – Penn St. (Last minute visit) H 1

TE – Eric Ebron – North Carolina (Private) W
TE – CJ Fiedorowicz – Iowa (Shown Interest) H 1 2
TE – Xavier Grimble – USC (On Campus) O 1 – To Giants UDFA

OT – Morgan Moses – Virginia (Private) W
OT – Brandon Thomas – Clemson (Very Interested/Senior Bowl) H 1
OT – Billy Turner – North Dakota St. (Private) W
OT – Cameron Fleming – Stanford (Met at Pro Day/Very Interested, Worked out) 1
OT – Cyrus Kouandijo – Alabama (On Campus?) O 1
OT – Joel Bitonio – Nevada (“High on” w/ 2 visits) O 1

OG – Dakota Dozier – Furman (Private workout) H 1 2
OG/C – Marcus Martin – USC (“Met with”, Private?) H 1
OG – Kadeem Edwards – Tenn. State (“Met with”, Private?) O 1
OG – Trai Turner – LSU (“Visited with”) O 1

DT – Justin Ellis – Louisiana Tech (East-West) W
DT – Zach Kerr – Uni. of Delaware (Scouts attended Pro Day) O 1

DE – Larry Webster – Bloomsberg (Met and Worked out atPro Day/did TE drills) H 1 2
DE – Kony Ealy – Mizzou (Worked out on campus) O 1 2
DE – Scott Chrichton – Oregon State (Worked out for, can’t confirm private) O 1
DE – Kareem Martin – UNC (Private) O 1
DE – Zach Moore – Concordia (Private) O 1

LB – Chris Borland – Wisconsin (Senior Bowl) W
LB – Adrian Hubbard – Alabama (Senior Bowl) W
LB – Steven Kurfehs – UTSC (Scouts attended Pro Day) O 1
LB – Jordan Tripp – Montana (Pro Day/Worked out with) O 1
LB – Telvin Smith – FSU (Private) O 1
LB – Trevor Reilly – Utah (Worked out on campus) H 1
LB – Nate Askew – Texas A&M (Visited) O 1
LB – Ryan Shazier – Ohio St. (Visited) O 1

CB – Jason Verrett – Texas Christian (Private) W
CB – Pierre Desir – Lindenwood (Private) H 1 2 3
CB – Kyle Fuller – Virginia Tech (Private) O 1 2
CB – Ross Cockrell – Duke (Private) W
CB – L.J. Jones – Fresno St. (Worked out, Visited) O 1 2
CB – Jaylen Watkins – Florida (Private) O 1
CB – Chris Davis – Auburn (Pro Day) H 1
CB – Brandon McCladdie – Citadel (UDFA interest?) O 1

SS – Brock Vereen – Minnesota (Private) W
FS/SS – Jestin Love – Central Arkansas (Scouts attended Pro Day) H 1 2
FS – Marqueston Huff – Wyoming (Private or Worked out on campus) O 1 2
FS – Dion Bailey – USC (“Met with”, Private?) H 1
FS – Ha’sean Clinton-Dix – Alabama (Private) O 1
SS – Jimmie Ward – No. Illinois (Private) O 1

Sources: WalterFootball.com *W CarolinaHuddle.com *H  Other *O

Future Panther Dead Money

  • Stew (cut in 2017, yes he’s here that long) Saves 3.31 on the cap with 2.19 Dead
  • Dlo (contract ends in 2016) Saves 0 on the cap with 2.26 Dead
  • Olsen (contract ends in 2016) Saves 0 on the cap with 1.2 Dead | Yes you can cut in 2015 to save 2.25 in cap, but I think he stays
  • CJ (contract really ends in 2016 with 0 Dead, but can be cut/extended in 2015) Cut in 2015 Saves 11.42 on the cap with 6.0 Dead
  • Kalil (contract runs out in 2017) Saves 0 on the cap with 3.35 Dead
  • Godfrey – look for him to be June 1’d for a savings of ~5 now and 3.2 Dead in 2015. BUT he could take a pay cut and hold off any Dead hits
  • Tolbert – not underwater with his contract
  • TD (contract ends in 2016) Saves 0 on the cap with 3.0 Dead

2014 total dead money to this point: 23.0

Scheduled 2015 dead money:

  • Smitty: 4.0
  • If June 1’d Godfrey 3.2
  • If CJ cut out right 6.0
  • Total: 13.2

Scheduled 2016 dead money:

  • Dlo 2.26
  • Olsen 1.2
  • TD 6.0
  • Total: 9.46

Scheduled 2017 dead money:

  • Stew 2.19
  • Kalil 3.35
  • Total: 5.54

 

Cap Space Perspective

Here’s something to help put the Panther cap space into perspective (note: these calculations have the cap at $7,263,215)

In cap, you only count the top 51 cap hits. Right now at the bottom of the list is FB Michael Zordich with a cap hit of 421k. As we add players like Derek Anderson back to the roster (assuming), he’ll only count 570k towards the cap (he’ll get paid 855k but we get the minimum salary benefit that takes 285k off his cap hit).

When you add Derek to the roster for 570k, it kicks Michael Zordich’s 421k salary out of the top 51. Signing Derek adds a SMALL cap hit of 149k. Colin Cole, Garry Williams, Chris Scott, Ben Hartsock, Jordan Senn, Richie Brockel, Jeff Byers, James Dockery, Jason Williams could all fall into this category of the minimum salary benefit (not a sure thing, but you get the point).

The point i’m making is that as we add contracts we also gain money.

Same goes for the draft. As we add 7 new contracts, we no longer count the 7 bottom contracts they would replace (6 and 7 round might be the 52nd and 53rd contract, but the $ diff is tiny). The money needed for the 7 drafted players is 4.457M (OTC proj.). Money gained as the 7 bottom contracts fall out of top 51 is 3.055M. That means we only need 1.402M in new cap space to sign this year’s draft.

You really can’t say if we sign someone to a $1M contract, we lost $1M in cap. Just keep that in mind as the Panthers add contracts; the money isn’t running out as quickly as you would think.

Mike Mayok’s conference call

Film room guru and Notre Dame broadcaster Mike Mayok shared his initial thoughts on this year’s draft  yesterday. The conference call lasted a staggering three hours where media members asked about prospects, position groups and matches for certain teams. For those interested, you can find the full NFL communications transcript here.

I didn’t bother to read all of it; instead, I found media tweeted highlights compiled in a post here (via http://www.carolinahuddle.com) Feel free to look at both, but these were the pieces that interested me most (for the Panthers):

  • “You can go three or four rounds deep this year and get a starting offensive tackle.”
  • Mike Mayock prefers Brandon Thomas at tackle (instead of guard.) Projects him late 2nd round.
  • Nevada OT Joel Bitonio is a likely second round pick.
  • “My favorite nickel CB in the draft is Jason Verrett from TCU. He’s ideal for the slot. Quick-footed, tough.”
  • “Dennard and Fuller, the two corners, I think they’re awesome but my concern with both is long speed.”
  • DE Kony Ealy: “He’s not as athletic as Aldon Smith, but a little more physical, better against run. 4-3 end.”
  • “Chris Borland (LB) is one of my 2 or 3 favorite players in the draft. He could be this year’s Kiko Alonso.”
  • WR Jared Abbrederis: Understands routes better than most receivers. Needs to get stronger. 3-4th round.
  • “Calvin Pryor (S) is a bigger Bob Sanders; more of a box safety” while HaHa Clinton-Dix is a “complete” safety.
  • “I think Kyle Fuller (CB) is a first-round talent and a first-round lock with sub-4.5 40.”
  • “TE Amaro would be logical at 29 (NE). So would DT Hageman. Other top guys (at DL/TE) will be gone.”
  • Thinks South Carolina’s Victor Hampton (CB) has second round talent but may not go that early.
  • Utah Keith McGill (CB) has the ability to be a second or third round pick but needs to be more consistent.
  • DE Scott Crichton is a “poor man’s Chris Long.”
  • “Zack Martin, Cyrus Kouandjio, David Yankey (OL) makes sense at No. 27 for Saints right now.”
  • CB Darqueze Dennard is a top-15 pick. “My favorite corner in draft.”
  • Seantrel Henderson (OT) one of biggest boom-or-bust guys in draft. Probably a fourth-round pick this year.
  • “One of my favorite players in draft is LSU’s Jarvis Landry (WR). Reminds me a little bit of Hines Ward.”
  • “Jimmie Ward (S) is one of my favorite safeties in this draft. I don’t see him getting out of the second round.”
  • Colt Lyerla (TE) a 1st or 2nd round talent. Because of character concerns, he’ll get picked on third day of draft.
  • Cyrus Kouandjio (OT) up and down last season. Had bad Sugar Bowl. Combine meetings are important for him.

As Tackle is one of the biggest needs for the Panthers, the first statement feels reassuring about the possibility of getting a prospect, although not as polished, as  Kouandjio or Martin landing to us at 28.

Secondary is another need, whether it’s at safety or cb, but I haven’t taken a look at anyone yet. I have trouble evaluating these posititions especially if nothing jumps out about somebody. Kenny Vacarro (the first safety taken last year) was an obvious talent that you could see. Reid, Elam and Cyprien you could tell were starters but someone like Rambo falling into the end of the 6th round I didn’t see happening. He didn’t have a great year either, but my guesses were 4th-5th round.

The tight end position at 28 is intriguing; Amaro could very well be there. But something to take note of. Dave Gettleman mentioned Ben Hartsock’s importance to our run game and that if we didn’t resign him due to his age and injuries that his replacement (inline blocker / adequate pass catcher) might be found in this year’s draft. He mentioned Martellus Bennet’s name and how he impacted the run and pass game with the Giants; so someone early in the 2nd or 3rd like ASJ, Niklas, or Fiedorowicz would be more likely.

Thanks and look out for upcoming posts regarding the draft!

Initial 2014 Draft Season Thoughts

Welcome to the newest section of the website (NFL Draft Talk). In the remaining 11 weeks until 2014 NFL Draft I will use this section to share links, media and some thoughts on the prospects set to enter the league. Admittedly, I am not a scout who could definitively tell you that player X should go in round Y  (i.e. I had Jake Long in the 2nd round last year). What I do enjoy is watching player’s footage at http://www.draftbreakdown.com (compressed game footage) and comparing players of the same position to determine which are better others. That’s generally what I’ll write about here.

There are many sites out there that I visit each day that produce good content that I will be referencing:

NFLDraftScout (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft)
Draft Breakdown (http://draftbreakdown.com/)
RotoWorld Draft (http://www.rotoworld.com/sports/cfb/nfl-draft)
SB Nation (http://www.sbnation.com/nfl-draft) along with the sub-category..
Mocking the Draft (http://www.sbnation.com/nfl-mock-draft) (podcast here)
Draft Countdown (http://www.draftcountdown.com/) (podcast here)

And I also try to listen to a few draft based podcasts as well:

Mocking the Draft and Draft Countdown (links above this)
The Audible
 (http://subscribers.footballguys.com/podcast/)
NFL.com’s CFB 24/7 (https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/nfl-college-football-24-7/id494673224?mt=2)
TFY Draft Insider (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/draft_insider)

I find the draft evaluation interesting even though at the end of it all, each team only gets 1 out of every 32 players. But for me – it’s just a lot of fun. Perceiving the “value” of a player who is still there just a few spots ahead; everything lining up for them to fall in the laps of your team; it is just a rush. Draft night is definitely a highly anticipated event for me now that the NFL has me in a firm grasp.

But anyways; check those sites and podcasts out and look for new posts in the coming weeks.

Bay and Feez’s Week 1 Match-up Predictions

Here is quick look at our week 1 match-up predictions. We’ll tally the results in next week’s blog to see who wins! We’ll even keep a weekly and year long running score to see who wins!

Match-ups Da Bay Bomber Panther Feez
BAL @ DEN  BAL BAL
NE @ BUF  NE NE
CIN @ CHI  CHI CIN
MIA @ CLE  CLE CLE
MIN @ DET  DET DET
OAK @ IND  IND IND
ATL @ NO  NO ATL
TB @ NYJ  TB TB
TEN @ PIT  PIT PIT
SEA @ CAR  CAR SEA
KC @ JAX  KC KC
ARI @ STL  STL STL
GB @ SF  SF SF
NYG @ DAL  DAL NYG
PHI @ WAS  WAS PHI
HOU @ SD  HOU HOU

Bay and Feez’s Week 1 Power Rankings

Welcome to the new season (can’t believe it took so long to get us here!). Here’s a quick look at how Bay and Feez feel the teams rank. Our tops and bottoms matched up pretty well but all of the middle is few and far between. Here’s to the new year!

Rank Da Bay Bomber Panther Feez
1  SF SF
2  SEA SEA
3 ATL DEN
4  DEN ATL
5  BAL GB
6  NE NE
7  NO HOU
8  GB BAL
9  HOU NYG
10  CHI WAS
11  WAS PHI
12  DET CIN
13  MIN NO
14  NYG STL
15  IND CHI
16  DAL MIN
17  PHI DAL
18  CAR KC
19  CIN TB
20  TB DET
21  PIT IND
22  STL CLE
23  MIA MIA
24  ARI CAR
25  KC PIT
26  CLE BUF
27  TEN ARI
28  BUF TEN
29  SD JAX
30  NYJ SD
31  OAK NYJ
32  JAG OAK

The day before 53

Where will the Panthers have a hard time deciding who to cut? Funny enough, because we lack a lot of higher end talent in several fields, it makes decisions rather difficult as the talent is pretty even.

Offensive Line

At center we have Byers vs Folkerts. Both UDFA’s have a ceiling of career backup, but I think Byers makes the 53 in his second year here while Folkerts is stashed away on the practice squad as a reserve center.

At guard, Hicks is ahead of Mobley, but realistically they are battling for a practice squad spot with Silatolu, Wharton, G. Williams and Scott well entrenched. Hicks has the advantage.

At tackle, we have Chandler vs Brown vs Chisolm. Gross, Bell and swing G/T G. Williams & Wharton it could leave just one more position open. I think Chandler has the upside because he’s shown excellent pass protection that continued in last night’s 4th preseason game. Brown could wind up on the PS.

Wide Receivers

Smitty, LaFell, Ginn, Gettis, Hixon and AE should all make the team. The others (Shaw, Ikharo, Berson) are left to battle a possible PS spot.

Running Backs

If Stew, Barner and Tolbert (“FB”) were all fully healthy, we’d be set to go for the year. But as of right now, either A. Smith or T. Poole will likely make the 53 (at least until/if Stew makes a return this season). I’m not sure on PS eligibility for these guys (i’m leaning towards they both ARE) so we’ll just have to see how things play out.

Tight Ends / Full backs

I would hate to see Brandon Williams miss the cut since he’s so raw, but every fan would agree we don’t have much in Brockel and Hartsock. Both don’t offer much to our offense. If Williams reverts to the PS, I think someone will swoop in off his potential alone.

Quarterbacks

I can’t really tell if it’s for sure, but Rivera made a lot of excuses for Jimmy last night. DA has solidified the #2 for another year but I don’t know if the plan is to eat up Jim’s dead money ($950k) to add a back end talent. There are more talented players that deserve the spot over him, but I can’t tell if they will roll with 2 qb’s this year per the talk around the community.

Defensive Line

For the DT’s it’s really Fua by himself and whether there is a spot left on the 53 (probably not if we carry a 5th DE). Walker could find a spot on the PS.

The DE’s have shown well in preseason and we have a solid 4 man rotation. You could see either Horton or Roh grabbing a 5th DE spot since both have shown good promise for UDFA’s. If both ended up on the PS, at least one (if not both) will likely be grabbed by other teams by the end of the season.

Defensive Backs

For the CB’s it’s down to M. White vs Moore vs Dockery. I’m a fan of Dockery but he has been out played by the “two Joshes” as well as Captain and Florence. However, I think he might be the odd man out. White is still a young project that can be stashed on the PS. Moore has shown to have good instincts but hasn’t been given a big amount of play time; but I think he squeezes in to the 53.

The safeties have to be the weakest part of our defense right now. Godfrey continues to whiff on runs and Mitchell can be quite random. To back them up, it’s down to Nakamura vs Jones vs Campbell. Campbell’s injury to his hamstring might determine his roster status. Colin Jones was traded for last year and is suppose to be a special team’s ace, but injuries kept him off the field. Naka is Naka, but he is likely to make the squad (with his fully guaranteed contract) and Jones has a chance to get in as well. I think Campbell might be PS eligible and if so should revert there.

Linebackers

Keek, Beas, TD, Blackburn, Senn and Klein are sure to make the 53. Jason Williams of the best of the remaining 3 on the 75 man roster. I think he likely makes the squad because of Beas & TD injury concerns, but he is not a sure lock.

Conclusion

This will really come down to special teams play for those who make it. I think Colin Jones vs Jason Williams could be the final 53rd spot battle but we typically already keep more DB’s than LB’s so if we keep Jones, we’d have to be comfortable with only 6 LB’s. Jimmy Clausen will also be considered as he likely will bring nothing to the team where but his contract is 95% guaranteed. I would be happy to part ways with him even though it likely results in signing another person that won’t dress on game day. Look for the results to be posted early to late afternoon tomorrow.