NFL Talk

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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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

Who Really Wins The Offensive ROY Award

The Offensive Rookie Of The Year Award is giving out yearly to the top offensive player in the NFL.  To my surprise the position that wins this award the most is not the quarterback but the running back.  The award has been given out 46 times by the NFL since it been introduced in 1967.

Only 7 quarterbacks have every received this award:

cam
  1. 1970 – Buffalo Bills – Dennis Shaw
  2. 2004 – Pittsburgh Steelers – Ben Roethlisberger
  3. 2006 – Tennessee Titans – Vince Young
  4. 2008 – Atlanta Falcons – Matt Ryan
  5. 2010 – St. Louis Rams – Sam Bradford
  6. 2011 – Carolina Panthers – Cam Newton
  7. 2012 – Washington Redskins – Robert Griffin III

Only 8 Wide Receivers have every received this award:

boldin
  1. 1968 – Detroit Lions – Earl McCullouch
  2. 1976 – Minnesota Vikings – Sammy White
  3. 1984 – Pittsburgh Steelers – Louis Lipps
  4. 1985 – Cincinnati Bengals – Eddie Brown
  5. 1992 – Cincinnati Bengals – Carl Pickens
  6. 1998 – Minnesota Vikings – Randy Moss
  7. 2003 – Arizona Cardinals – Anquan Boldin
  8. 2009 – Minnesota Vikings – Percy Harvin

And for the Running Backs, the position that’s dominates this award:

barry
  1. 1967 – Detroit Lions – Mel Farr
  2. 1968 – Dallas Cowboys – Calvin Hill
  3. 1971 – Green Bay Packers – John Brockington
  4. 1972 – Pittsburgh Steelers – Franco Harris
  5. 1973 – Minnesota Vikings – Chuck Foreman
  6. 1974 – San Diego Chargers – Don Woods
  7. 1975 – Washington Redskins – Mike Tomas
  8. 1977 – Dallas Cowboys – Tony Dorsett
  9. 1978 – Houston Oilers – Earl Campbell
  10. 1979 – St. Louis Cardinals – Ottis Anderson
  11. 1980 – Detroit Lions – Billy Sims
  12. 1981 – New Orleans Saints – George Rogers
  13. 1982 – Los Angeles Raiders – Marcus Allen
  14. 1983 – Los Angeles Rams – Eric Dickerson
  15. 1986 – New Orleans Saints – Rueben Mayes
  16. 1987 – Miami Dolphins – Troy Stradford
  17. 1988 – New England Patriots – John Stephens
  18. 1989 – Detroit Lions – Barry Sanders
  19. 1990 – Dallas Cowboys – Emmitt Smith
  20. 1991 – New England Patriots – Leonard Russell
  21. 1993 – Los Angeles Rams – Jerome Bettis
  22. 1994 – Indianapolis Colts – Marshall Faulk
  23. 1995 – New England Patriots – Curtis Martin
  24. 1996 – Houston Oilers – Eddie George
  25. 1997 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Warrick Dunn
  26. 1999 – Indianapolis Colts – Edgerrin James
  27. 2000 – Denver Broncos – Mike Anderson
  28. 2001 – Chicago Bears – Anthony Tomas
  29. 2002 – Denver Broncos – Clinton Portis
  30. 2005 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Cadillac Williams
  31. 2007 – Minnesota Vikings – Adrian Peterson

Now with the rule changes favoring the offense, the last ten years we have seen a new position start to take over in winning the Offensive ROY award.  Quarterbacks! QBs have won this award 6 times the last 10 years.  The reason for this is that rookie quarterbacks are now giving a change to play their rookie year without having to worry about losing their heads out there.  The rule changes also help the game develop into more of a passing, high scoring; you can’t hit me kind of game.

0523-brady_full_600

The True Offensive Rookie of the Year

colts stadium

How unlucky was Andrew Luck to have to start his NFL football career in Indianapolis?  At the time Indianapolis seemed like that famous ship that hit that enormous iceberg and was in the process of getting swallow whole by the great blue sea.  With a record of 2-14, a young quarterback and a new head coach most veteran and young talented players bum rushed life boats trying to get out, before their ship sank.  But not all the superstars decided to abandon their team.  Reggie Wayne was one of the few who decided to stay loyal to the Colts, the team that drafted him in 2001.  This is an important fact because Wayne served as this young quarterback’s safety blanket.

First of all let’s look at the competition, quarterbacks only because this year was a strong quarterback class which had five of them starting on NFL teams.  To be honest this was an excellent class of quarterbacks with Russell Wilson, Robert Griffin III and the true Offensive ROY Andrew Luck.  As a reminder this is the first time three rookie quarterbacks took their NFL football teams to the playoffs in the same year.  The first time two rookie quarterbacks dual against each other in the playoffs.  In other words it was a good year for bad teams to become good.

I will break down all three elite quarterbacks so everyone can have a better understand why Luck should have been the ROY.

wilson3

Russell Wilson, 24 Years Old – 5’11” – 206 Pound – 3rd Round / 75th Pick 2012
Wilson the Seattle Seahawks quarterback was the biggest surprise this year. He took advantage of opportunity and rose up to lead his team to the playoffs.  Out of all rookie quarterbacks this year, Wilson was the one who advancing the furthest in the playoffs.   But we have to realize he didn’t have to do it on his own.

The Seahawks had the 3rd best running games in the league, rushing for 2,579 yards.  The best scoring defense allowing only 15.3 points a game.   Not trying to take anything from the young talented quarterback but trying to give credit to one of the best defenses and one of the best running backs in the league.  My only question is would Wilson be able to make the playoffs with a less talented team?

Wilson’s 2012 Stats: 3118 Passing Yards, 393 Pass Attempts, 252 Pass Completions, 26 Touchdown Passes, 10 Interceptions, 100.0 Passer Rating, 489 Rushing yards and 4 Rushing Touchdowns.

rg3postdraft2

Robert Griffin III, 23 Years Old – 6’2” – 217 Pound – 1st Round / 2nd Pick 2012
RGIII the Washington Redskins quarterback was a young man who shined like diamonds under pressure.  This kid was very accurate and made smart choices on and off the field.   With speed and the ability to sit in the pocket and delivered the ball.  This young man made Washington’s decision to trade away multiple draft picks seemed worth it.  But RGIII also had a lot of help to appear in his first playoffs appearance.

The Redskins had the best running game in the league, rushing for 2,709 yards.  Their 6th round pick, rookie running back Alfred Morris was also a candidate for the offense ROY.  Morris was responsible for 60% of the running yards with 13 rushing touchdowns.  This great running game limited the amount of times RGIII was require to throw the ball which took pressure off of him having to dictate his offense.

RGIII 2012 Stats: 3200 Passing Yards, 393 Pass Attempts, 258 Pass Completions, 20 Touchdown Passes , 5 Interceptions, 102.4 Passer Rating, 815 Rushing Yards and 7 Rushing Touchdowns.

0912-LUCK-SPREAD

Andrew Luck, 23 Years Old – 6’4” – 234 Pound – 1st Round / 1st Pick 2012
Luck the Indianapolis Colts quarterback was not only a leader the first time he stepped onto the Clots football field, but he was also a gunslinger that didn’t need a horse to plow the way.  This kid could do everything; come from behind at home or away, take command over the offense, run the hurry up offense and scramble just as good as any other quarterback.  Luck not only demonstrated why he was picked first over all but also proved why RGIII was selected second.  It’s plain and simple; Luck took a rebuilding team that was the worst in the NFL to the playoffs with his arm.

The Colts hardly had a running game and what they accomplish running the ball was off the success of Luck throwing ability.  The Colts rushed for 1,038 yards less than the Redskins.  The Colts had to depend on Luck’s arm so much that he set the rookie record for most passing attempts in a rookie season at 627.  Which lead him to set the record for most passing yards in a rookie season at 4,374, passing Newton’s last year’s record by more than 300 yards.  Luck also set the rookie record for most passing yards in a game at 433.  By far this one man show should have won the Offensive ROY, which the NFL ended up giving to RGIII.

luck and RGIII

Then a couple of weeks ago NFL.COM’s, Around The League Editor Gregg Rosenthal released the “Top Ten NFL Quarterbacks 25 or Under” and to no one’s surprise Luck sets on top at number one.  I want to congratulate RGIII for his outstanding year and playing in the playoffs on one leg.  But regardless of what RGIII accomplish, Luck is the True Offensive ROY.

Luck 2012 Stats: 4374 Passing Yards, 627 Pass Attempts, 339 Pass Completions, 23 Touchdown Passes, 18 Interceptions, 76.5 Passer Rating, 255 Rushing Yards, 5 Rushing Touchdowns.

If you are still question why Luck should be the Offensive ROY then go back and watch the video of Lucks comeback game against the Green Bay Packers.  This kid came back in the second half from a score of 3 to 21, by running the hurry up offense.  Luck’s touchdown driven drive ends up winning the game by 29 to 27 with seconds on the clock.   But what made the game so impressing was that everybody knew the colts were going to throw the ball with Luck.  Everybody knew the ball was going to Wayne, but yet Green Bay couldn’t stop them.

Side Note:
This was all done without bring up the name of that guy who left Luck some big shoes.

peyton

How will the Niners bounce back in 2013 without Crabtree?

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crab...

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree at training camp in Santa Clara, California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Passing Game

Lets be honest here, Michael Crabtree is a great player who lead the Forty Niners in receiving yards with 85 receptions, 1,105 yards for 9 touchdowns last year. But with Boldin in town, Manningham back on his feet and Davis running wild, the Niners are not in trouble when it comes to the passing game. That’s not including all the young receiving talent who’s foaming from the mouth waiting for an opportunity.

Lets Keep In Mind

What makes a passing game so great? A great running game!

Who has one of the best running games? The Niners!

The Niners are the best dual threat team in the NFL when it comes to the passing and running game. With that being said, the Niners have one of the best running teams in the NFL with Frank “The Tank” Gore, LaMichael James and don’t sleep on Kendall Hunter.  Lets not forget that the running backs have good hands which allows them to catch out of the back field.  Throw in a great offense line that futures two Pro Bowlers Mike Iupati and Joe Staley.  Still leaves you with a team that is very dangers, even without Crabtree.  We have to remember that this is a team that rush for 2,491 yard last year.

Special Weapon

Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive able to leap tall buildings in a single bound…  Move over Newton it’s Colin Kaepernick!!!  This young man is really good who beholds an arm that’s like a rocket.  This will be his first full off-season to building chemistry with his teammates as the starting QB.  Is he that good, I don’t know go ask a Green Bay fan.  They will tell you not even with Kryptonite could you stop this guy.

The point I’m trying to get across is the Niners will do more then just bounce back.  Maybe this year they will take another step forward and pull off a Superbowl win.  But what do we know, we are only Just 2 Fans?  And the only thing us true fans can do is kick back with our feet on our table, eat some wings while watch Sunday football and cheer for our favorite team.

Give me your thoughts on Crabtree being gone?