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 QB Shuffle 2005 
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League MVP

Joined: February 11th, 2005, 3:01 pm
Posts: 3629
Location: WSU
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QB situation

Others have mentioned that cutting Harrington would not be wise. I will break this down a bit more and see what the other thoughts out there are.
Before we can look at outside Qbs we should look at what we have.

Statistically- Joey "improved" last year. However, he still ranked 22nd in rating, 28th in yards per attempt, and 29th in completion percentage despite being labeled as "an extremely accurate passer!" The team ranked 25th in points scored despite 5 special teams tds (4-drummond and 1-bracy walker) and 18th in points allowed despite 3 Joey turnovers that went for tds. He is 14-30 as a starter, finished the season 2-8, and will be a $10 mill salary cap charge in 05. Good things were that he threw 13 td in the 1st half when the WRs were somewhat healthy and catching, threw less INTs than Tom Brady, and played in all 16 games (not injury prone).

Observations:
Joey has only average arm strength, this is evidenced by his continual problems with out routes dropping well short of WRs, awful performance in windy GB, and inability to throw balls on a line between defenders. Instead he throws jump balls to short WRs like Az Hakim in the middle of the field when he should be threading the needle.

Joey is NOT accurate. Sadly he gets credited as accurate while this seems to be a big argument against his backup. Dropped passes are a big part of this but Joey doesnt help the cause. Under no pressure this year he had Stephen Alexander wide open 5 yards deep in the end zone and threw a pathetic loft that almost got into the stands. It was only a 10 yard total distance throw. He had poor timing with WRs rarely hitting them in stride on quick slants and posts which aren't considered difficult passes. Multiple times Roy Williams slipped way past DBs and Joey underthrew him enough that it allowed the defender to catch up and prevent TDs. Later in the season he even lost his touch on screen passes, too ofetn forcing the RBs to turn awkwardly to even touch the ball.

Joey lacks necessary toughness. When the rush is on him he will not stand tough make the throw and take the hit. Usually he will throw off his back leg to lessen the blow also diminishing pass accuracy and strength. When receivers are not initially open he does 2 things. #1 He throws to safety valve rather than waiting for the WR break free. #2 He will go into his crazy foot shuffle even with no imminent pass rush. He exclusively looks for an escape route while taking his eyes off of the receivers. On top of the fat he is a subpar runner despite decent speed for a QB. Tom Brady had more rushing 1st downs than Joey (12-9) despite being outgained (28-175). On 3rd downs especially Joey gets exposed and the Lions were worse in '04 at 31% than in '03 (35%). This is one of the most important situations where he needs to improve. He continues to throw short of the FD marker and to RBs who are stationary with a defender spying them. Vs MIN this year he scrambled on a 3rd down late in the game on a key drive only to slide a yard short as two defenders closed in. He might not have been able to get it but then again he might have been able to. He did not try even though his team needed it. After the game he spoke about how instead of playing conservatively he would rather play more aggressively, saying "I'm sick of coming close." Puzzling. Which takes us to -

Leadership- Joey doesnt point the finger at teammates but he doesnt take the blame either. During the big losing streak this year he claimed he had not made a bad decision in weeks despite several poor individual outings! Instead, he repeatedly mentions that the team is young. He sounds like a politician not a football player. He will never embarass the team with off the field issues but it is no secret that he is not well liked by teammates either.

Assessment- Drew Brees was the NFLs 3rd rated passer last year and will likely make around $8 million. Griese was rated 6th and now may get cut unless he agrees to take less. Joey at $10 millions is clearly overpaid based on his production. Sure there is the thought that he could have a break out year. Still he doesnt seem to have the physical tools to ever be a guy to carry the team on his back.

Hasselbeck, Griese, Garcia, Warner, and Bledsoe have all accomplished more than Joey. Warner and Bledsoe have both been in Super Bowls but are more of classic drop pack pure pocket passers not West Coast types. Still I think they could work well in developing Roy and Rogers but would require big changes by the coaching staff to accomodate either of them. More likely to fit in with familiar coaches in CHI and DAL.

Hasselbeck, Griese and Garcia have all been Pro Bowl QBs in West Coast Offenses. SEA will probably resign Hasselbeck but have many FAs and some front office changes. Griese is coming off an outstanding season. If either become available I would go after them, drop Joey for the $8 million cap savings and keep McMahon as the backup. Garcia is older and coming off 2 injury plagued seasons with maligned teams. If he could be had for less than $3 million I'd bring him in to compete with Joey for the starting nod, and restructure Joey's contract. Hopefully this would either spark Joey or revive Garcia. If this doesnt work it probably decreases the leverage to restructure Joey's cap charge. Decision would then be who to have as the backup McMahon or a veteran. Gannon, Fiedler, Kelly Holcomb, Brad Johnson and hopefully not Kordell. In any situation I could see the Lions taking a young QB in the middle rounds, I like Jason Campbell and Andrew Walter and am intrigued by Adrian MacPherson although I dont know much about him.

Sorry for the length of this...Got carried away I guess.


February 20th, 2005, 1:40 am
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Heisman Winner

Joined: February 10th, 2005, 6:52 pm
Posts: 805
Location: Linden, MI
Post individual plays
"Under no pressure this year he had Stephen Alexander wide open 5 yards deep in the end zone and threw a pathetic loft that almost got into the stands. It was only a 10 yard total distance throw."
Also under no pressure (wide open) I saw Mr Alexander drop two touchdown passes in seperate games that were decided by less than 7 points. Mr Hakim came to the Lions with suspect hands, enough that the M & M boys commented on how they were unconcerned about them. How many drop does Hakim make on plays that should keep drives alive? Or don't as the case most often is. Its too many to count. If those guys make some of those plays, the Lions make the playoffs, everybody is excited for next year and we are not talking about this. Harrington is NOT as accurate as he needs to be. I think he will be in the next couple of seasons. We'll see, one way or another. This is starting to remind me of Chuck Long, where a guy with reasonable talent is throwing to guys who can't catch. A new coach comes in, wants a different style QB and wham! start over. We'll find out alot of things this year coming up. First of which will be whether or not the Lions have a #2 receiver. If Mr Rogers can't stay on the field next year, we'll be having the same money conversation about him as is happening regarding #3. My guess is also that if CRog is hurt again, the Lions will be changing QB's in the next offseason. They have too much $$ in the WR spot to go get another high priced guy for the bench. If Hakim stays, one injury makes him a starter again and we've seen that move 3 times now. All of this would add up to two top 5 BUSTS in two years, as well as the cap troubles this might cause. As it stands now, I think the cap hit is alot more favorable if #3 is released for 2006 if he doesn't get any better. That's most likely why they don't want to re-do his contract.


February 20th, 2005, 3:12 pm
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Heisman Winner

Joined: February 10th, 2005, 6:52 pm
Posts: 805
Location: Linden, MI
Post Scouting reports from Sportng news.
Intersting things said on TSN about some QB's, some of which I agree with and some I did not expect to see..

on #3 :2004 scouting report
Strengths: Is mobile and throws well on the run. Gets zip on deep outs. Can fit the ball into tight spots. Shows good downfield touch. Sees the entire field.

Weaknesses: Rushes decisions; needs more pocket patience. Tends to tip off safeties with his eyes. Throws into coverage. Must learn to dump off the ball and take sacks. Needs to find the open man faster.

Bottom line: Harrington sometimes tries to make too much happen, but he has the arm strength and intelligence to develop into an elite starter this season.

On Matt Hasslebeck:2004 scouting report
Strengths: Has good touch and pocket presence and is athletic enough to buy time. Goes through progressions and sees the entire field. Has good arm strength, excellent intensity and is a leader. Secures ball or gets rid of it when the pocket starts to collapse.

Weaknesses: Forces the ball into coverage at times. Has problems beating the blitz and doesn?t have great speed.

Bottom line: Hasselbeck still makes a few costly mistakes and doesn?t have the arm strength to throw downfield consistently, but he is a good fit for Seattle?s version of the West Coast scheme.

On Brian Griese:2004 scouting report
Strengths: Has decent mechanics. Can set up quickly and has good feet. Can move around the pocket and buy time.

Weaknesses: Doesn?t make good decisions or play with confidence. Doesn?t read entire field. Will zero in on one guy, allowing defensive backs to jump routes. Has poor leadership qualities. Gets injured a lot.

Bottom line: Griese is only 29, but his career appears to be in freefall, and this might be his last chance.


February 20th, 2005, 5:06 pm
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