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The Problem with "Rudys"


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#1 Mr. Scot

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 11:46 AM

*
A WHOLE PIE!

Said elsewhere that I think one of Rivera's biggest failings as a coach is his talent evaluation and depth chart building. 

 

Here's a little something within that same vein.

 

Fans love "underdog" players, guys who overcome limitations to become great at their position.  They're the "Rudys", the ones nobody thinks can be good enough, yet somehow they manage by hard work or sheer force of will to mold themselves into great players who make their teams better.

 

Two guys like that are beloved by all Panther fans, namely Steve Smith and the late Sam Mills.  Neither came into the league with expectations they'd be world beaters, but both proved better than anyone imagined they could be.

 

Those stories are always fantastic...

 

...but the reality is they're also fairly rare.

 

More often than not, "effort" guys make their way onto practice squads and maybe lower tiers of depth charts, but the reality is that ultimately they're just not good enough to be starters or impact players.  You love their heart and their drive - and sometimes you wish your more talented players had even half as much of those qualities - but in most cases, the fairy tale ending you'd absolutely love to see just doesn't happen.

 

Unfortunately, I think head coach Ron Rivera has a real soft spot for the "Rudy" type players.

 

And sadly, I think it's clouded his judgment when it comes to some positions on this team.

 

I love the effort that Byron Bell gives every Sunday, but let's be real.  He just isn't an NFL starter.  And kudos to Sione Fua for giving it his all, but his all isn't enough.  He shouldn't even be on an NFL roster, but thanks to the injury hampering Dwan Edwards right now, here he is.

 

And then there's Captain Munnerlyn,  I absolutely love Captain and would be happy to have him as a nickel back, but he shouldn't be a starting corner.  Rivera once called him a "Sam Mills" in the secondary.  When I heard that, I winced.  That statement, while a great compliment, is sadly some of the best evidence that the theory I'm putting forth here is true.

 

No doubt there are other names I could add to this (Armond Smith comes to mind) but the bottom line is that Rivera has allowed his coaching decisions to be affected by sentiment for players who try really hard, but just don't have the talent.  In a vacuum, it'd probably be an admirable quality to want to reward the guys who try the hardest to make themselves, and the team, better.

 

But Rivera doesn't coach in a vacuum.  He coaches in the NFL, the most competitive football league in existence.  And in the NFL, you win or you go home.

 

Thanks to his sentiment, Rivera will probably be doing the latter come January.



#2 Bishop

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 11:49 AM

I believe your spot on about the soft spot he has for rudys.



#3 Fox007

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 11:52 AM

Yea....Rivera is a shitty coach....we know this man.

 

Evaluate Talent? nope (see Fua)

Game Plan Well? nope

Adjustments? nope

Calls stupid timeouts? yup

Discipline? nope (hey another flag)

 

I honestly don't think the players really respect him or his abilities.



#4 Mr. Scot

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 11:58 AM

I think it's safe to say the vast majority of this board has strongly negative feelings about Julius Peppers.  And to some degree, those may be justified (not really gonna get into that here).

 

But if we're being realistic, when you have a choice between a Julius Peppers - super talented, but maybe not the most motivated guy in the world - and, let's say, a Wes Horton or a Mario Addison - not as talented, but giving it all they've got all the time - the vast majority of coaches are going to take Peppers.

 

Mind you, that's an oversimplified comparison/example, but you get the general idea.

 

 



#5 SgtJ00

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 11:59 AM

I think it's safe to say the vast majority of this board has strongly negative feelings about Julius Peppers (and to some degree, those may be justified).

 

But if we're being realistic, when you have a choice between a Julius Peppers (super talented, but maybe not the most motivated guy in the world) and, let's say, an Antwan Applewhite (not as talented, but gives it all he has) the vast majority of coaches are going to take Peppers.

 

Mind you, that's an oversimplified example, but you get the general idea.

 

I liked Applewhite, hah.



#6 Mr. Scot

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 11:59 AM

I liked Applewhite, hah.

 

I switched my examples up after you quoted me :lol:

 

 



#7 SgtJ00

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 12:04 PM

I switched my examples up after you quoted me :lol:

 

Nice.

 

I think even those guys shine in our system though. Eric Washington is amazingly good at developing talent on that line.



#8 Mr. Scot

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 12:09 PM

I'd add one thing...

 

Some are gonna take this as an endorsement of the notion that character doesn't matter.  That's simply not true.  There are reasons you don't fill your team with criminals, thugs  and locker room cancers.  On a practical level, those guys are generally stupid, irresponsible and often do as much harm as good.  Major character flaws should still be avoided, especially those related to criminal/violent behavior.

 

But setting those things aside, you can't always give the starting spot to the "nice guy"' or the guy who's "doing his best".

 

It's a sad truth in the NFL that sometimes the guy who's best for the job might be a bit of an ass, but if you don't want your ass sitting at home watching the playoffs, you put that guy in.



#9 panthers55

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 02:37 PM

Everyone likes the Rudy's.  And if you pick them up for next to nothing then you have nothing lost as long as they don't take up a roster spot for someone else.  But lets be real here.  This is not a decision to take Peppers or a Wes Horton. Peppers was the second pick in the 2002 draft while Horton was a nobody we got as a UDFA.  No one would pick him over Peppers, that is ridiculous. At least your comparison to Fua compares a third rounder to the best player in the draft in 2002.  Not a strong comparison but at least a drafted guy.

 

As for Bell, he was never picked up as a starter, he was designated as depth but due to injury he was thrust in a starting role when Otah couldn't play.  The fact he is still starting at this point could be due to being a favorite or more likely because we haven't found anyone better.  Truth is that Gettleman is really the culprit there.  If he is such a great judge of talent and knows linemen like he does, then why didn't we draft a right tackle or at least pick a strong free agent in that position?  If the answer is that there were no guys better than Bell when we picked in the third or fourth round and that we were so cap strapped we couldn't afford anyone better, then that is your answer.  It wasn't a Rudy situation at all but the best guy we could find on the cheap or when we deemed it that important to look at right tackles (which is again Gettleman's area)



#10 CPF4LIFE

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 02:45 PM

I agree with this.



#11 carolina-chuck

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 03:02 PM

Gotta be one of the worst thread I've ever read on here!

 

Rivera favors the "RUDYS"????? LMFAO.



#12 Delhommey

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 03:30 PM

Gotta be one of the worst thread I've ever read on here!

 

Rivera favors the "RUDYS"????? LMFAO.

 

I mean I like their brisket ok, but there's better in town. 

 

rudys-bbq-meats-xl.jpg



#13 blak-n-blu

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 03:32 PM

Back in 2003, when carolina went to the superbowl... they had a bunch of 'rudys' on the team.. you wasn't complaining then, was you?



#14 Mr. Scot

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 03:56 PM

Everyone likes the Rudy's.  And if you pick them up for next to nothing then you have nothing lost as long as they don't take up a roster spot for someone else.  But lets be real here.  This is not a decision to take Peppers or a Wes Horton. Peppers was the second pick in the 2002 draft while Horton was a nobody we got as a UDFA.  No one would pick him over Peppers, that is ridiculous. At least your comparison to Fua compares a third rounder to the best player in the draft in 2002.  Not a strong comparison but at least a drafted guy.

 

As for Bell, he was never picked up as a starter, he was designated as depth but due to injury he was thrust in a starting role when Otah couldn't play.  The fact he is still starting at this point could be due to being a favorite or more likely because we haven't found anyone better.  Truth is that Gettleman is really the culprit there.  If he is such a great judge of talent and knows linemen like he does, then why didn't we draft a right tackle or at least pick a strong free agent in that position?  If the answer is that there were no guys better than Bell when we picked in the third or fourth round and that we were so cap strapped we couldn't afford anyone better, then that is your answer.  It wasn't a Rudy situation at all but the best guy we could find on the cheap or when we deemed it that important to look at right tackles (which is again Gettleman's area)

 

I said in the post it wasn't meant to be a 'real life' comparison between Horton and Peppers.

 

As to Bell, whether he began as a starter, he came into this year as one.  And to be clear, it's the head coach and his stafg that determine the depth chart, not the GM.

 

So why hasn't Gettleman gone out and got someone better?  I'd say it's his 'collaborative approach'.

 

Gettleman has said numerous times that the draft and free agency were a collective effort.  how's that work?  he says "Ron, where are you good and what do you need?"  Rivera tells him, and he goes with it (hence, why more effort gets paid to defense than offense).

 

Unfortunately, Rivera isn't a good judge.  And I'd say it's a pretty solid guess that Gettleman has probably figured that out at this point.

 

Truthfully, I think a 'team effort' between GM and coach is a good idea, as long as both parties know what they're doing.

 

When one of them doesn't... :unsure:



#15 Razeyfingers

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 04:30 PM

I mean, I think there was a lot of drama in the draft room. Looked like to me Gettles did a lot of "Fine, you want em, thats your grave"




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