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Early Positions of Concern: Or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love The Draft


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#1 Delhommey

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 01:00 AM

Not surprisingly, most of these are on the defensive side of the ball. All positions contain a lot of youngsters, so I understand each could just as easily be a position of strength as of weakness depending on the coming reality of the unknown.

1. DE - If any of you are now doubting my FSU homership, don't. I love Brown to death, but we've lost a huge, HUGE part of the team with Peppers. All those late games where we took out the big dogs? 50-70% Pep. Hell, I might say 80% for the Minny game.

Our current crop are by far the biggest unknowns on the team. I like the gambles we took in the draft, but it takes a while to develop pass rushers and as it stands, nobody we're bringing back scares anyone.

Sure Brown could do this and CJ could do that, but "could" is not a foundation for a franchise. The Titans brought a bevy of young stallions at DT to replace Haynesworth and we saw how that turned out.


2. S/CB - Yes, I'm cheating. By themselves these are both further down the list, but together they could make #1

I actually like both safeties (and I've been called to task, rightfully so, for my support of Godfrey right out of the draft). But with both starting together, talk about untested... Martin looks to be fine with some expected growing pains, but Godfrey at SS? Not exactly what you call an obvious fit.

CB depends entirely on what Marshall does and obviously health. There is little in proven depth. El Capitan went above and beyond, but an overperforming rookie nickel turns into a disappointing second year starter several times a year in the NFL. Then behind him we have a crowd of late round size/speed guys and special teamers? Hope everyone's wearing their lucky socks.

Throw in the fact that if Marshall, a tackling machine, is missing or his performance suffers due to a hold out, the Cover 2 starts to look Downy soft without a quantum leap by Munnerlyn.


3. DT - This lovable ragtag group would make for a great Disney sports movie, but they're just a bunch of guys in the National Football League. Our run stopping fat guy showed promise in the game he played...before he got hurt. Our Uptackle got a little penetration in the backfield...before he got hurt.

I can make a case against this unit is six simple words: Nick Hayden is still a Panther.

With Beason and Davis behind them, all these guys have to do is not suck, but seeing what we have, that could prove too much. As a whole our D-line is starting to look like a 4 team parlay.


4. WR - Smitty is a stud we know, but a one man wrecking crew that throws his body out there even in pre-season like an East European porn starlet in need of cash always gives one pause. Lest we forget, guy has two broken bones on his scorecard.

LaFell has well documented drop problems but also tended to LaFall off the face of the earth against primetime SEC defenses like Bama and Florida. DJ always looks like a stud...unless he's playing against first stringers. Edwards could be the real deal but can't be expected to be more than a roll player having not played WR fulltime since he was 17. After that we have guys in a full blown battle to win the 3rd WR spot.

Again, a lot of unknowns here, even considering single high coverage.


5. QB - From what I've re-watched of Moore, I just don't know. He has a chance of being very good. Not great, mind you, but very good. Say what you will, but that's all that's really needed. It may seem like blasphemy to question his stats and record but I challenge those of you who are 100% behind him to find me one game where you can say, "I don't care who you are, Matt Moore won us that ballgame."

Behind him we have a young guy with a great arm that could be the chosen one. Behind him we have a young guy that may be the next Billy Volek. Behind him we have a guy that has a live arm and one year experience in our system. Regardless, behind him we don't have one guy that's taken a snap in a regular season game in the NFL.



Honorable Mention:


- OL - Our starters are solid, but some of the back ups are suspect. I'm happy with one pick up: No Steve Justice, no peace. Kalil's too important to not have a true C behind him. Bernadeau could do it, but I suspect he'll be busy elsewhere.

Schwartz cannot play RT, and I'm glad Pettiti's out there (even with Dallas fans snickering in my ear). May not sound like much to some, but Otah's yet to play a full season, he seemed overweight at minicamp, and our run game is dependent on that position.


- FB - I will miss Hoover in the 10 games he could have started this year. We've got two talented guys slotted to take his place, but it's a position that takes time to learn. Regardless, I think there will be plenty of FA FB talent out there this year if we need it.

#2 Delhommey

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 01:13 AM

PS: Easy joke concerning Smitty, broken bones and scorecard is there for the taking.

#3 mj4life

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 06:49 AM

d line is the main question mark IMO but our ends should get single blocking most of the time which could open opportunities for them

#4 CatMan72

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 06:52 AM

Good write up, I'm gonna go hang myself now. LOL

#5 CatMan72

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 06:57 AM

To me, DE and DT are by far the biggest concerns. Good D-line play will make mediocre DB's look great. I think Brown will be good this year, but CJ will have a breakout year.

I'm REALLY concerned about our ability to stuff the run. I know Louis Leonard looked good for the extremely short window of time he played, but playing a whole season is a totally different can of worms. I disagree with you on one point, the DT's need to do more than just not screw up to allow Beason to perform. DT's have to keep him clean so he can go make plays.

#6 Wither

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 07:02 AM

Doesn't Munnerlyn play as the #2 when he is on the field? I thought that had been pointed out many times.


Also, "roll player"? Is it not: role player?

#7 Cyberjag

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 07:32 AM

At DT the biggest concern for me is injury. If Tyler and Leonard stay healthy, I think we'll get good play out of that position. Not great play, but good enough, and better than we need given who's behind them.

The DE position is where I worry. It's all about pressure, and I don't see us getting much from our current crop. Brown may turn it on, CJ may play like we all seem to think he will, and Hardy could get healthy and remind everyone why he was once thought of as a top 10 pick. But it could just as easily go south, and the odds favor that.

I like the move of Martin to FS and Godfrey to SS. I think Godfrey was a poor match for Trgovac's system. That required too much thinking and it showed his rookie year. Once he figured out Meeks' system he really seemed to come alive, and that's something to build on. And our subs are good enough to provide quality play in bursts, which is what we need there.

So I'm not really worried about the defense once you get past the line.

On offense I worry about Moore and how he reacts when we HAVE to get a score and the other team is making him win it. Once upon a time, Jake was one of the best in those situations, he really rose to the occasion. And that's why the team believed in him for so long. But Moore hasn't shown that yet, and I don't remember reading about his late-game heroics in college either. Clausen looks like a shiny new franchise QB, but even the best suck their rookie year. God help us if we even have to discuss Pike or Cantwell.

I don't worry about WR this year. I've watched LaFell play as much as anyone, and really believe he's going to work out for us. I also think the Edwards gamble will pay off. And with our backs, three is all you need.

The best part about the coming season is the schedule. Just as last years' was a killer, especially right out of the gate, this one is forgiving and should give us several chances to catch our breath while the youngsters develop.

I think it should be a pretty good year. :)

#8 Jase

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 07:57 AM

The question is do more or less than 5% of huddlers get the Dr. Strangelove reference.

#9 thefuzz

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 08:01 AM

Honestly you can almost sum up my concerns in one sentance.


We do not have a very good D line, especially from the DE position, and since it seems that we will not be creating much pass rush, our thin and young secondary is a serious liability.

We either control the ball very well for the length of the season, or we can easily get ourselves into some shootouts with a very inexperienced QB, and thin WR corps.

#10 CharlotteBeer.com

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 08:09 AM

The question is do more or less than 5% of huddlers get the Dr. Strangelove reference.


I got it.

;)

#11 monstercat

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 08:32 AM

Everybody keeps pointing out the D-line as a big weakness all of a sudden, but we haven't had a superstar DT since Jenkins left anyway, so this year is really no different than last year or the year before, as far as talented DT's go. Peppers was the only big loss on that whole unit and most Panthers fans were never happy with his effort anyway.

I just don't see Louis Leonard and Tank Tyler being a big let down from Kemo and Damione Lewis. Hell, Kemo was undrafted and had only started for one season before he came here and Damione Lewis was considered a 1st round bust who was a back up in the Rams porous run defense. If we're gonna worry about our DT's, we should be worrying about who comes in for Tyler and Leonard when they need a breather. If there's a big problem, it's depth.

#12 Leeroy Jenkins PhD

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 09:24 AM

All the draft experts would disagree. apparently TE was a big need for us.

#13 Delhommey

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 12:41 PM

Doesn't Munnerlyn play as the #2 when he is on the field? I thought that had been pointed out many times.


Also, "roll player"? Is it not: role player?


Calling someone a nickle doesn't necessarily refer to if the player covers the slot or outside receiver. It just means the CB comes in only on nickle or other formations with 3 + DB's.

And yes, but I don't care enough to correct.

#14 rayzor

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 12:51 PM

so did you like the draft or not?

are you worried or not?

#15 Scrumtrilescent

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 02:26 PM

The question is do more or less than 5% of huddlers get the Dr. Strangelove reference.

It'll be Slim Pickens.


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