Posted 19 November 2012 - 09:48 AM
I think you can point to a couple of things that have made a difference. Some out of Cam's control and some that you can point to Cam and wonder why he hasn't made strides.
I think coming in as a rookie on an awful team, Cam probably didn't feel too much pressure to win right away. He came and played loose and the numbers showed. He impressed many people in the way he actually stood in the pocket and was able to deliver the ball. He wasn't just a runner. But, one thing about last year that I noticed was that he wasn't afraid to run. He took off and was decisive when making the decision to run. But, again, he was successful throwing the ball as well. Although you saw several things that needed improving in the passing game, namely his footwork. His footwork was the cause of high throws and inaccurate passing when throwing off the back foot. But as a rookie you expected him to smooth those things out as the year and his career went along.
Coming into this year, there likely was more pressure on Cam. He had to back up his great rookie year and there was much higher expectations as far as team goals. I think this year, he has tried too hard to become that perfect pocket passer. Whether that's by coach's design or him, he doesn't take off as much when he should. He tries to stay in there and that usually will result in a sack or errant throw. His offensive line doesn't help but he has shown very little pocket awareness. There are plenty, and I mean plenty, of times where he can step up in the pocket and buy himself more time. You blame the OL for the lack of protection but you have to help them out a bit. Also, his footwork really hasn't seen much improvement. He still throws off his back foot. I think partly this is due to him being able to muster balls in there with his upper body strength. But, I think he needs to be able to make reads faster. It seems he's "late" when deciding where to throw and tries to fire it in there off his back foot. Again, you could point to the lack of separation created from the WRs but it's nice to have some touch every once and a while and "throw the WR open". And damn, Cam needs to learn how to throw the screen pass. He's so lackadaisical with it and it's inaccurate far too often.
I still think if we put a good team around him and he plays loose and free like he did his rookie season, he will be a successful QB. He will have to mature as a player and learn how to deal with adversity. Next season will be the the best opportunity to show that as he is coming off his "slump" and the team has failed to meet expectations.