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 Rookie evaluation 
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ST Coordinator – Danny Crossman
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Post Rookie evaluation
I know it's a small window of what they have done so far, but we might as well get things started now. How do you guys think the rookies are holding up so far?


Ansah: The pick was fun to watch but you can't count on those happening very often from an end, but whats was VERY posative was to see him know his assignment, recognize the screen and get in the way.Ffor a guy that hasn't played much he looked like he was playing pretty smart. Smarter than I expected right out of the gate anyways.

Slay: I didnt see a single ball tossed his way, unless it was zone coverage and it (looked like) it was his job to peal off and give his guy to another Db. But i only saw it on TV, so i couldn't see how tight his coverage was. at least it appears that he won't let anyone play wide open, which is an improvement over last year.


Martin: looked good, he showed why we were interested in picking him so far.

While he's not a rookie, it is his forst year starting at LT, Reiff didn't look bad at all holding up at LT. (the middle of the line looked AWFUL though in the 1st quarter. There was a huge push by the Jets on most plays)
I didnt notice much else as I had a houseful of people show up 1/2 through the 2nd quarter.

what did you guys see?

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August 15th, 2013, 11:36 am
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Post Re: Rookie evaluation
Ansah: I already consider him an upgrade over what we had last year. Can't wait to see how well he plays the run vs. the Vikes. T. Rich should be a good test for him.

Slay: Hopefully will be tested tonight. Did a good job when pulling when he had to.

Martin: Awesome job

Rugland: I hope he keeps up the good work. He miss kicked the 50 yarder and it still went straight down the middle.

Devin Taylor: I thought he did great considering the small sample size. I'd like to see him vs. the 1s at some point during preseason

BTW
Stafford: It looks like he still hasn't learned to step up in the pocket. He once again was missing on easy throws and failed to complete a pass to anyone not considered the best WR on the planet. If he does it again, I hope Cle makes him and the coaching staff pay for that bad pocket presence. At this rate, we will never know if we have a capable #2 WR on the roster.

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August 15th, 2013, 2:15 pm
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Post Re: Rookie evaluation
I was impressed with Slay's coverage. He didn't get any balls thrown his way, but IMO it was for good reason. He looked good. The Ansah pick was alright, but how about some Qb pressure? He didn't seem to get around the edge very well, and that's his job. Martin did well. IMO Reiff looked horrible, and over matched, much like he did last year. I don't know what you guys see in him, and again, everyone believes the cornbread and koolade surrounding Dom, and he still sucks, 12 years in a row... :roll:

I wasn't impressed with Warford, but I believe he has it in him. I think he'll be fine, but I'm worried about Reiff.

I liked Rugland a lot.


August 15th, 2013, 4:44 pm
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Post Re: Rookie evaluation
I would have to go back and watch the tape, but I thought Reiff was doing pretty well with the rest of the first teamers. Once the jobbers came in along the O-line, he started to have problems.

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August 15th, 2013, 5:38 pm
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Post Re: Rookie evaluation
thelomasbrowns wrote:
I would have to go back and watch the tape, but I thought Reiff was doing pretty well with the rest of the first teamers. Once the jobbers came in along the O-line, he started to have problems.


IMO he looked rough from the start, as did Stafford. I didn't like the production out of the first team offense.


August 15th, 2013, 6:43 pm
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Post Re: Rookie evaluation
wjb21ndtown wrote:
thelomasbrowns wrote:
I would have to go back and watch the tape, but I thought Reiff was doing pretty well with the rest of the first teamers. Once the jobbers came in along the O-line, he started to have problems.


IMO he looked rough from the start, as did Stafford. I didn't like the production out of the first team offense.


You said you didn't start watching the game until the end of the 1st, how can you make that statement? The tackles played solid in the 1st when it was starter vs starter. The interior struggled all game long.

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August 16th, 2013, 9:29 am
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Post Re: Rookie evaluation
regularjoe12 wrote:
wjb21ndtown wrote:
thelomasbrowns wrote:
I would have to go back and watch the tape, but I thought Reiff was doing pretty well with the rest of the first teamers. Once the jobbers came in along the O-line, he started to have problems.


IMO he looked rough from the start, as did Stafford. I didn't like the production out of the first team offense.


You said you didn't start watching the game until the end of the 1st, how can you make that statement? The tackles played solid in the 1st when it was starter vs starter. The interior struggled all game long.


It was still starter vs starter through most of the 2nd quarter. I didn't see an instance where he looked solid on any consecutive basis. I haven't since he was drafted.


August 16th, 2013, 12:30 pm
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Post Re: Rookie evaluation
I sure hope that we were just working on a few things and went into that game not caring about winning. Because, if Calvin gets hurt in the regular season, it will get ugly quick. But, then again, the Browns are a way better team than last years record indicates.


August 17th, 2013, 9:08 am
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Post Re: Rookie evaluation
BillySims wrote:
I sure hope that we were just working on a few things and went into that game not caring about winning. Because, if Calvin gets hurt in the regular season, it will get ugly quick. But, then again, the Browns are a way better team than last years record indicates.


I think we're starting to see my point in the Stafford extension thread... IMO he's just not that great. He's good, and deserves to be paid well, but he's not the most important part of our offense, by far. Hill has looked a ton better than Stafford thus far, and you guys can talk about Stafford's work ethic all you want, and how this news agency reports that he's in Allen Park at 5 am... He still looks out of shape, he still looks unprepared, he still looks lost, he still makes bad reads, and he still seems to behave like a party kid in his early 20's, rather than an NFL professional.


August 17th, 2013, 10:46 am
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Post Re: Rookie evaluation
to wjb's Stafford comments: Stafford looked better than Hill in the 2nd preseason game. Stafford made the correct reads and his passes were accurate even into tight windows. Not having Calvin is a big factor in that untested guys like Patrick Edwards were matched up with Joe Haden. Nate Burleson dropped 2 balls, Pettigrew 1. Hill is a good backup and maybe could start for some other teams but he s not better than Stafford now and he doesnt have Stafford's upside in the future.

Rookie's and position battles:

Ansah: He s doing better than I thought but in game 2 he did get fooled by screen plays and didnt get pressure. He is slow to recognize pass vs run to either move into a passrush move or to squeeze down the edge. He s got a lot of work to do. He s certainly not an immediate upgrade over Cliff Avril right now but he does have a great motor, hustles and is already better than KVB was last season.

Slay: He s done a nice job in coverage and should start. He could do a better job with the ball in the air but he s been tested as such maybe once where it looked like he could ve broken up the pass but instead secured the tackle. I think he is on pace to beat out Bartell for a starting spot. Bill Bentley to me is more of a slot covererage corner.

Warford: He has been worse than I thought he would be. Seems to have slow feet, doesnt stick on his blocks and plays pretty soft in general. Maybe much of it is confusion. He was better in the 2nd game but he s not looking like he will start. Jake Scott seems to have the inside track on the RG spot and Gandy is right behind him. Warford will be on the team but unlikely to play much based on what I ve seen so far.

Taylor: He s also done better than I have thought he would while Willie Young has struggled. Taylor might not be active a lot but he comes hard around the edge and seems to have decent power. Needs to work on using his hands to keep lineman off of him and getting his hands up to try to disrupt the throwing lane.

Martin: As good as he was in Week 1 he was as bad in Week 2. Clingan isnt beating him out though. Martin's kickoffs have been good.

Fuller: Seems to be a cut candidate or a practice squad candidate. Really not showing that he will make an impact in any way this season.

Williams: Doing an okay job blocking but playing a lot with the first teamers so he likely has a spot on the team.

Hepburn: The linebackers ahead of him like T. Lewis and T. Whitehead have been downright awful and probably dont belong on a responsible GMs roster so maybe Hepburn has a shot to make the team if he can do something on ST.

Reiff: I agree with wjb that Reiff is playing poorly in both games to date but there is really no other option behind him.
Fox: He s been better than Hilliard but just playing okay not dominant and also plays pretty soft. I cant help but think that the Lions are looking for a LT this offseason and moving Reiff to either guard or to this spot depending on how Fox holds up this year.
J. Scott: He seems to be slightly better than Peterman a year ago. He s a decent stop gap until someone else can move into this spot.
Palmer: He hasnt been good at OLB but he s better than the other candidates by far.

Steven Miller: looks like he still has a shot to be the KR but given the % of touchbacks probably not enough room unless he can also return punts. Lions might be going with Spurlock or just asking one of the WRs like Patrick Edwards to do this.

Fauria: getting a lot of PT, maybe has a shot to stick.


August 17th, 2013, 12:41 pm
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Post Re: Rookie evaluation
The Legend wrote:
to wjb's Stafford comments: Stafford looked better than Hill in the 2nd preseason game. Stafford made the correct reads and his passes were accurate even into tight windows. Not having Calvin is a big factor in that untested guys like Patrick Edwards were matched up with Joe Haden. Nate Burleson dropped 2 balls, Pettigrew 1. Hill is a good backup and maybe could start for some other teams but he s not better than Stafford now and he doesnt have Stafford's upside in the future.

Rookie's and position battles:

Ansah: He s doing better than I thought but in game 2 he did get fooled by screen plays and didnt get pressure. He is slow to recognize pass vs run to either move into a passrush move or to squeeze down the edge. He s got a lot of work to do. He s certainly not an immediate upgrade over Cliff Avril right now but he does have a great motor, hustles and is already better than KVB was last season.

Slay: He s done a nice job in coverage and should start. He could do a better job with the ball in the air but he s been tested as such maybe once where it looked like he could ve broken up the pass but instead secured the tackle. I think he is on pace to beat out Bartell for a starting spot. Bill Bentley to me is more of a slot covererage corner.

Warford: He has been worse than I thought he would be. Seems to have slow feet, doesnt stick on his blocks and plays pretty soft in general. Maybe much of it is confusion. He was better in the 2nd game but he s not looking like he will start. Jake Scott seems to have the inside track on the RG spot and Gandy is right behind him. Warford will be on the team but unlikely to play much based on what I ve seen so far.

Taylor: He s also done better than I have thought he would while Willie Young has struggled. Taylor might not be active a lot but he comes hard around the edge and seems to have decent power. Needs to work on using his hands to keep lineman off of him and getting his hands up to try to disrupt the throwing lane.

Martin: As good as he was in Week 1 he was as bad in Week 2. Clingan isnt beating him out though. Martin's kickoffs have been good.

Fuller: Seems to be a cut candidate or a practice squad candidate. Really not showing that he will make an impact in any way this season.

Williams: Doing an okay job blocking but playing a lot with the first teamers so he likely has a spot on the team.

Hepburn: The linebackers ahead of him like T. Lewis and T. Whitehead have been downright awful and probably dont belong on a responsible GMs roster so maybe Hepburn has a shot to make the team if he can do something on ST.

Reiff: I agree with wjb that Reiff is playing poorly in both games to date but there is really no other option behind him.
Fox: He s been better than Hilliard but just playing okay not dominant and also plays pretty soft. I cant help but think that the Lions are looking for a LT this offseason and moving Reiff to either guard or to this spot depending on how Fox holds up this year.
J. Scott: He seems to be slightly better than Peterman a year ago. He s a decent stop gap until someone else can move into this spot.
Palmer: He hasnt been good at OLB but he s better than the other candidates by far.

Steven Miller: looks like he still has a shot to be the KR but given the % of touchbacks probably not enough room unless he can also return punts. Lions might be going with Spurlock or just asking one of the WRs like Patrick Edwards to do this.

Fauria: getting a lot of PT, maybe has a shot to stick.



Legend, in no way was I trying to say that Hill is "better" than Stafford. I do think Stafford is the better Qb, but I think Hill is much, much more professional in his approach to the game. You can blame it on Stafford's immaturity if you want to, but when I look at guys like Luck, and even Bradford (Brandford doesn't have the ability Stafford has, but IMO his approach to the game is more sincere) Stafford doesn't compare. Stafford looks to be unprepared for the start of the preseason, and IMO that says something about where he is mentally, especially after just signing a huge extension. I really think we're feeding a beast, and enabling a guy that will never take his position seriously, or at least not take it seriously for the next 2-3 years.

I agree with you 100% on everything you posted in your rookie analysis. Here are some notes and further thoughts:

Ansah, I agree, nothing new to add, only that, it wouldn't take much to be an upgrade over KVB last year. Really, Taylor is an upgrade over KVB last year.

Slay/Bently, agree...

Warford, agree. I really bought into the hype of that guy, and it helped mitigate my frustration with not taking a true compliment to CJ at that pick in Terrence Williams or Allen Keenan. Hopefully he can work his issues out. IMO the lack of a true #2 on this team is killing this offense, as I have said for the last 3 years, and on top of that, it shows us how HORRIBLE we'd be if CJ ever missed significant time.

Taylor - I really thought this guy was going to be cut, he's impressed me so far.

Martin - Meh... We still shouldn't have picked him until the 6th round regardless. We needed a punter, I'm happy that we have him, but he wasn't a 5th round pick, sorry.

LBs - as I predicted, our LBs have been awful. Lewis and Whitehead are garbage, plain and simple. I don't know why people think that we have these "gems" in our depth that NEVER get any playing time. If they were as good as people on here thought/think they would at least get some 4th Q cleanup duty. We have a HORRIBLE record at developing talent, and it kills this team.

Reiff - my frustration with this team is that Reiff looked bad last year, and yet we STILL decide to rely on him at LT this year. it's putrid management, plain and simple. He should have been moved to RT or OG, and hoped he succeeded there. Even with the added 20lbs he seems over matched physically, and he looks lost in space... \:D/

Furia - all I've seen of him is that one drop last game that he should have had. The announcers made excuses that the ball was thrown behind him, but he failed to come back to it, got two hands on it, and muffed it. I wasn't impressed, but I won't give up on him over it. Also, why 45? Are they looking at him as a possible FB?


August 17th, 2013, 1:39 pm
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Post Re: Rookie evaluation
Ansah will probably have some decent production this year, with the attention that the middle of the Lions DLine gets. But being green, he'll probably be giving up some big plays too. That's part of the deal, with a high-potential but green DE.

Slay looks like a nice pick.

I haven't watched the other guys too much - but find the lack of consensus on how the picks are performing to be interesting. Some fans probably know more about technique than others, is my guess.

On Reiff... that is a concern. The guy needs to face Jared Allen, Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers, in 6 big games. Who is going to help him out over there?


August 17th, 2013, 3:05 pm
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Post Re: Rookie evaluation
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Legend, in no way was I trying to say that Hill is "better" than Stafford. I do think Stafford is the better Qb, but I think Hill is much, much more professional in his approach to the game. You can blame it on Stafford's immaturity if you want to, but when I look at guys like Luck, and even Bradford (Brandford doesn't have the ability Stafford has, but IMO his approach to the game is more sincere) Stafford doesn't compare. Stafford looks to be unprepared for the start of the preseason, and IMO that says something about where he is mentally, especially after just signing a huge extension. I really think we're feeding a beast, and enabling a guy that will never take his position seriously, or at least not take it seriously for the next 2-3 years.


I agree with you that Hill is a true professional. His head is into the game at all times, moreso than one would think for a backup. If you watch Hill on the sidelines while you are at a game he truly is prepared to enter on the very next play virtually at all times. I think he knows the gameplans and Linehan's offense inside out and probably knows it better than Stafford given Linehan had him earlier in his career and that Stafford had some injury time during the time here in Detroit - so Hill has been exposed to Linehan's schemes for a longer amount of time. Still though, I seriously disagree with what you perceive as insincere preparedness by Stafford. I see Stafford as a hard worker with poise who really isnt flappable mentally and has been prepared for being a starting pro QB for some time. I dont think he s affected by the extension the same way a "chip on the shoulder"/"ego" maniac type would be (Justin Verlander = classic case) where he would change his approach. Stafford just has a down to earth personality, but to me he s well grounded and doesnt take things for granted. I think Stafford's reads on where he s going with the ball so far this preseason is a lot better than it was last preseason and really most of last season. I agree with you that the offense is being held back by not having a No 2 WR but also by other factors - a TE that gets open but isnt reliable and gets very little after the catch, a weak o-line, no move the chains possession type runners, a defense that isnt going to win many field position battles, poor special teams that seem to still be below average and most importantly a toxic team environment that is a direct reflection of the type of attitude the head coach wanted his team to have.


August 17th, 2013, 10:46 pm
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Post Re: Rookie evaluation
The Legend wrote:
I see Stafford as a hard worker with poise who really isnt flappable mentally and has been prepared for being a starting pro QB for some time. I dont think he s affected by the extension the same way a "chip on the shoulder"/"ego" maniac type would be (Justin Verlander = classic case) where he would change his approach. Stafford just has a down to earth personality, but to me he s well grounded and doesnt take things for granted. I think Stafford's reads on where he s going with the ball so far this preseason is a lot better than it was last preseason and really most of last season. I agree with you that the offense is being held back by not having a No 2 WR but also by other factors - a TE that gets open but isnt reliable and gets very little after the catch, a weak o-line, no move the chains possession type runners, a defense that isnt going to win many field position battles, poor special teams that seem to still be below average and most importantly a toxic team environment that is a direct reflection of the type of attitude the head coach wanted his team to have.



See, I can't agree with that. From his flabby body, to him laughing off ints and bad plays, and just flat out coming out unprepared and out of sinc with virtually everyone not named Calvin (and Calvin hides a lot of his errors), I can't agree that Stafford appears to be a hard worker at his position, that takes his job seriously.


August 17th, 2013, 11:44 pm
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Post Re: Rookie evaluation
I know the Lions would never do it, but I wonder sometimes if they shouldn't just swap Reiff and Fox. Reiff could be a much better RT and Fox was always being developed as the LT and hasn't started on the right since the first half of his Freshman year of college. I haven't seen much of the preseason so Fox could just not belong on the field, but if he showed any kind of ability in pass protection or quicker feet than Reiff I think it could help the line.


August 18th, 2013, 1:10 am
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