Theyve warmed up: now they must put up
They've warmed up; now they must put up
Posted: May 31, 2005
Thanks to a bit of chance with Philip Rivers holding out, Drew Brees made the most of his last best chance with the Chargers last season.
This season, a new bunch of disappointing young offensive players are entering the put-up-or-be-shut-out portions of their careers. Here are six face judgments on the 2005 docket.
Joey Harrington, QB, Lions
Prosecution: Despite having good young receivers, a good running back and a good line around him, Harrington has not displayed the poise and skills needed to thrive in Steve Mariucci's West Coast offense.
Defense: A high-character player, Harrington has the smarts to turn things around quickly.
Verdict: The Lions need a quarterback who is ready to make good on their playoff potential. Given his experience playing for Mariucci, backup Jeff Garcia might be a better option.
Patrick Ramsey, QB, Redskins
Prosecution: He has a strong arm, but his intangibles need considerable work.
Defense: The team's decision last year to sign and start Mark Brunell was a big blow to Ramsey's confidence and development.
Verdict: Ramsey will be playing for a shot at a job elsewhere. In Washington, he's only a stopgap until first-rounder Jason Campbell takes over.
Kevan Barlow, RB, 49ers
Prosecution: As the team's feature back last season, he produced only two 100-yard rushing games and was an uninspired bust.
Defense: He received little help from a bad line and an inconsistent passing game.
Verdict: First-year coach Mike Nolan has the challenge of lighting a fire under Barlow. If the spark doesn't take, don't be surprised if rookie Frank Gore gets plenty of playing time.
William Green, RB, Browns
Prosecution: Off-field troubles and overall inconsistency have put the 2002 first-round pick on thin ice with the Browns.
Defense: The Browns haven't exactly been a stable team to play for, and health issues have limited Green.
Verdict: Green will show more for new coach Romeo Crennel, but that won't be good enough to help him beat out Lee Suggs and Reuben Droughns.
Koren Robinson, WR, Seahawks
Prosecution: It's hard to drop the case against him when he drops ball after ball and gets lost in routes.
Defense: Robinson has great speed and poses a dangerous downfield threat.
Verdict: Catch him while you can because if he can't catch the ball more consistently, this season will be his last in Seattle.
Leonard Davis, T, Cardinals
Prosecution: At 6-6, 384, he should be more intimidating to pass rushers.
Defense: Davis has been shuffled between guard and tackle, and the linemen around him also have been moving parts.
Verdict: Davis never will be the dominant player some thought he could be, but he finally will stay put and make his way as a solid left tackle.
Vinnie Iyer is a projects editor for the Sporting News. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org