Saturday, February 12, 2011

Some random draft thoughts

Thanks to the, watched some film on Justin Houston, the defensive end from Georgia as a potential pick for the Hawks Leo position on defense. I liked Chris Clemons at the Leo position this year, as well as Raheem Block, but some depth is needed and Clemons is a bit of a one trick pony. The Hawks need more depth at their specialized positions, the Red Bryant anchor position and the LEO. Houston is a great athlete, very light on his feet, great burst off the ball and had a good build and long arms.

I'm always hesitant about players from Georgia because of effort issues. Houston is no different. He doesn't play as hard against the run, especially interior running plays. Teams ran a lot of read option to his side and he wasn't terrible, just a little slow at decision making at times. If he's not directly involved in the play his effort just isn't there. He doesn't have a lot of pass rush moves at this time, most of the time he just tries to run around the tackle, and occasionally tries to power back inside. He doesn't use his hands particularly well, but he has strong hands and could excel as a pass rusher over time.

I'm slowly becoming more of a believer that the Hawks shouldn't draft a quarterback in the first round unless they've been blessed with a qb dropping. I think we should do one more year of Hass, draft a mid round qb and have him get groomed by Hass next year.

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Want To Know Why

Yes, I know its been almost a year since I've posted. But I'm kickstarting this blog again. The more I read about the draft or peoples views on football in general, the more I realize that the vast majority of football fans, don't actually understand the game that they love so dearly. Do I look down upon them for this? Only if they propogate these ideas as the truth, rather than a fairly uneducated opinion. But first, a little rant.

Just like in baseball, there has been a flailing attempt at a statistical revolution in football. These statisticians use their "advanced metrics" to compare players across decades as well as current players, eschewing the changes in the game and its philosophy in the sake of "comparison". These analysts, I believe, use numbers in place of football understanding. I am not saying that fans should know the wide varieties of play calls coverages and scheme, but they should understand, if nothing else, technique.

Technique, in order to understand technique, you must first understand correct technique and the fact that certain physical attributes enable better technique than others. You want a stout center with quick hands and tremendous natural strength. You want a defensive end with strong hands. You want a tackle with long arms, thin ankles, big hands and a fat ass. Why? Because he needs to be light on his feet, good balance, have long arms to hold at bay pass rushers and strong hands to control their opponent in run blocking.
40 times are irrelevant. Acceleration is far more important. How often during the course of the game does a player run forty yards unimpeded in a straight line?
If your watching game tape on a potential prospect, ask yourself questions, "How well does the tackle move his feet?" "How often does a defensive linemen drop his arms?" On the flip side, "How well does he use his hands?" "What angles does a linebacker take to the ball? "How is his gap containment?"
Look at a quarterback, look at his release, how does it vary depending on the throw. Watch his feet. Where does he release the ball? How tight is the throwing motion?

It is one thing to know that something happened, it is an entirely different thing to know why it happened? Why are most of Drew Brees interceptions off deflections? Why is Mark Ingram such a stud? What makes James Harrison such a great pass rusher?(great balance, acceleration and hand technique) Why does Matt Hasslebeck struggle throwing the deep ball(It goes beyond arm strength). Figure out the answer to these questions, and talent assessment is much easier.