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A critique of Darnold through 4 games


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All seems more than fair. I’m sure part of it is his internal timer freaking out when he has the ball more than 2 seconds and this isn’t a bad thing (you don’t want him hanging out too long with the ball in his hand), but he has to learn how to handle that. He seems way more comfortable rolling out and throwing off the run. I wouldn’t mind seeing more QB roll outs designed in our offense (especially since out line sucks). Kind of make the defense guess where he is going to be and keeps his legs moving. Hopefully he will keep developing and process quicker as he spends more time with this offense. So far I’ve been pleasantly surprised by him. 

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7 minutes ago, Jon Snow said:

I knew this was coming after the first loss.  I've never seen fans hope a player fails more the our fans. It's sad and pathetic. 

Look, the OPer has probably thousands of posts deriding Darnold.  This post lists good and bad.  Saying Sam needs to speed up his TT a bit is not hoping he fails.  

I want Sam to succeed.  If he gets his TT down to 2.6, he has a better chance.  

Now, not ALL of that is on Sam.  The OC has to scheme the WR to quick routes, the WR's need to hit those routes with at least some separation and QB coach has to train it.  But until we get a line, Sam can protect himself be getting rid of the ball. 

Edited by SBBlue
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I think these are valid points from op. I also think Darnold is exceeding everyone expectations. Even yesterday as bad as that third quarter was, Darnold still looked like took another step away from the filth and stink that the Jets left on him. In years past, that a 4 int. 50% completion game. 

The fact that Darnold was able to reset in the fourth, even more so after that wide open miss to Anderson and put us back in that game is progress and promising. I for one think there is still a lot of growth to be seen in Darnold, and he won't be missing those deep shots as much as the year goes forward.

Edited by Jaxel
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12 hours ago, LinvilleGorge said:

Don't get triggered now. Read through it all if you're going to react. I'm going to try to be fair.

So far, Darnold has far exceeded my expectations. He's looked good under pressure. He's been much more of a threat with his legs than even his most ardent supporters would've expected. Sam Darnold running the football has shockingly been our biggest red zone threat, though that's something I would look for defenses to take away from us going forward now that it's established - but, that should also open up other opportunities forcing defenses to account for Darnold running.

Now for the triggering... Sam Darnold has processing issues in the pocket. I said it in the game thread today, it's weird but he actually seems to play better when pressured into making a quick decision. It's when he gets a clean pocket that the issue shows up. He's slow to process when given time and has a tendency to make a bad decision and/or throw when given time. I don't know why. It's weird. Just think back to today's game. He had two open downfield opportunities. Both from a clean pocket. Neither were even close. His two INTs and one should've been INT all came when he had time. The danger ball he tried to force to (I think Marshall) came when he had time. Almost every time when he threw to a blanketed WR (the throw to Robby on the near to the camera sideline comes to mind) came when he had time to scan the field. My observation has been that the better the protection and the more time he has, the worse he tends to play. His worst throws came when he had time. Oddly enough, our shoddy OL seems to actually be helping Darnold in our offense by forcing him to unload the ball earlier than he would like to on a lot of our passing plays.

All of the above are just my knee jerk reactions watching the games. So, I went to look at the numbers to see if they told the same story.

Darnold is ranked 25th in average time to throw at 2.87 seconds (Teddy's average time to throw last year was among the league's fastest at 2.6 seconds). That's wild considering how often he's forced to dump it off quickly due to immediate pressure.

And it's not because he's going down the field. He's ranked 23rd in average intended air yards at 7.9 yards per attempt. He's also 23rd in the league in average air yards differential at -2.5 indicating a lack of success on deeper pass attempts. He's 17th in the NFL in air yards to the sticks on 3rd down with his passes on 3rd down coming up an average of -0.7 yards short of the marker (Bridgewater's number here was -1.7 last year for comparison, so he's still not nearly as bad in this department as Teddy was last year much to our chagrin causing much teeth gnashing).

If we're going to have more consistent success on offense behind this porous OL we have to find a way to speed up Darnold's processing time. When he isn't pressured, he's simply too slow to read the field. I think he can do it. Like I said, oddly enough he seems to play better when early pressure forces him to make a fast decision. We just have to find a way to get him to make these decisions without the defense forcing his hand.

 

A very Fair and Objective post.

We all seem to forget, though, that Sam had zero development and coaching for 3 years prior to coming here. 

So this year is actually his "rookie season" if you think about it.

It's up to Rhule, Brady, and Sean Ryan to help him improve on the processing issue aspect.

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Darnold is better than I thought. I didn't really know what to expect but knowing the Panthers i was expecting a poo show. The fact that he has been good to serviceable is bonkers to me so i'llt ake it. 10TDs to 3 INTs is some poo you can win with. Get CMC back and better OL(ol will help the run game regardless of his timing issues or w/e). We just need a fuging OL...we have alway sbeen a running team anyway and Sam can obviously even do that so just run the god damn ball and have Sam only be throwing maybe 25 times a game.

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12 hours ago, TLGPanthersFan said:

You can keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel better. Sam has been an NFL QB for almost 4 years. If I kept making excuses like that in my job I’d get fired due to incompetence. 
Sam may or may not get better or it is just who he is. 
Eventually people are gonna need to stop making excuses. 
But Sam still has 13 more games to do something but I have a feeling he is who he is. A QB that flashes occasionally but for the most part isn’t a long term starter. 

And you are sooo rooting for him to fail so you can say "Ha Ha! See? SEE??  Now let's go get DeShaun Watson!!!"

 

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Far outplaying my expectations this early in the season, and more than worth the investment.

If he continues to just get a little better, day by day, and we get CMC back...we will have something.

I cannot imagine a single 2nd rounder playing as well as Sam has so far.

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11 hours ago, Mother Grabber said:

he looked amazeballs in the 4th when the defense backed off and he had a cleaner pocket. they were hurrying more, so he didn’t have to make reads or progressions.

next season, after a year in the offense, i hope to see him have a more complex playbook and make better decisions and progressions on the fly. if he doesn’t show much improvement, then we may be seeing his ceiling.

But doesn't it feel like they are doing this for his benefit? When they open things up the first couple of weeks here come the turnovers. For example the play where Tremble ran the wheel route and Darnold threw into blanketed double coverage on a wheel route. And he made that decision with time in the pocket. We did everything right but get a young QB to groom. Darnold is our Andy Dalton. I think he is doing better because Brady is scheming better than Nagy, but I fear this is the best we are going to get from Sam. I mean look at the weapons! He left so many points on the board. We could have legit been up 28-7 if he would've hit on wide open throws with clean pocket. I just don't want to waste the time waiting. That is essentially two years of wasted time for our great young(cheap) defense.

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I think this was thoughtful and accurate. If you've watched closely.. even with games where Christian was available... Sam was looking downfield. Sam has also missed a few wide open guys because he keys in on one side of the field. Yes, he doesnt have a lot of time, but alot of those routes are going to get jumped if he keeps this up. I like that he's not automatically trying to dump the ball... but there are alot of instances where the better play is to dump it to your RB... even if its Chuba. 

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1 minute ago, NorthTryon said:

But doesn't it feel like they are doing this for his benefit? When they open things up the first couple of weeks here come the turnovers. For example the play where Tremble ran the wheel route and Darnold threw into blanketed double coverage on a wheel route. And he made that decision with time in the pocket. We did everything right but get a young QB to groom. Darnold is our Andy Dalton. I think he is doing better because Brady is scheming better than Nagy, but I fear this is the best we are going to get from Sam. I mean look at the weapons! He left so many points on the board. We could have legit been up 28-7 if he would've hit on wide open throws with clean pocket. I just don't want to waste the time waiting. That is essentially two years of wasted time for our great young(cheap) defense.

Lottery ticket mentality...

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9 hours ago, RJK said:

My biggest critiques of Darnold is he throws hospital balls to TEs and seems to miss a couple open receivers a game

He threw ONE hospital ball and all of a sudden it's "he throws hospital balls" often apparently.  Jesus Christ...the Takes around here....🙄

Edited by glenwo2
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13 hours ago, LinvilleGorge said:

 

If we're going to have more consistent success on offense behind this porous OL we have to find a way to speed up Darnold's processing time. When he isn't pressured, he's simply too slow to read the field. I think he can do it. Like I said, oddly enough he seems to play better when early pressure forces him to make a fast decision. We just have to find a way to get him to make these decisions without the defense forcing his hand.

 

First year in this offense for Darnold as well. That may be affecting processing speed a bit. Truth be told, however, the kid has the "it" factor, though. He's got a winner's mentality. Pair that up with a year in Brady's system and there will be some fireworks.

Actually, it might come sooner than that. We're a team that's still learning its way, from QB on down. Yesterday's game might be just what the doctor ordered to bring things around.

Bring on the Eagles, we'll see the Cowboys again someday.

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