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ESPN The Mag - Having a good young QB is just a start. So teams went shopping

Discussion in 'American Football' started by wrbanwal, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

    Dec 27, 2005


    by Jason Langendorf, Scouts Inc

    It took David Garrard five years to nail down the starting job. Derek Anderson didn't win a full-time gig until a teammate lost it. Even Eli Manning's job was in jeopardy when Giants GM Jerry Reese called him "skittish" three months before winning Super Bowl XLII. Developing QBs isn't easy, so it's critical to surround them with talent. Did these teams spend wisely?

    THE GOODS: Santana Moss and Antwaan Randle El are quick and skilled, but also Smurfy. So owner Dan Snyder went big, selecting WRs Devin Thomas (6'2'') and Malcolm Kelly (6'4'') and TE Fred Davis (6'4'') in April's draft. Now Campbell can see who he's throwing to.

    GOOD ENOUGH? New coach Jim Zorn has the essentials for his West Coast scheme receivers with size and RAC ability. But rookie receivers rarely make an impact, and Campbell needs reps to get comfortable. Wait until next year.

    THE GOODS: Free agent WR Bernard Berrian is an upgrade, and FB Thomas Tapeh can pick up the blitz and provide a safety valve for Jackson.

    GOOD ENOUGH? With the running game in good hands (yo, Adrian), the Vikings' playoff hopes rest on the 6'2'', 232-pound Jackson's broad shoulders. Berrian has the speed to go deep, but Jackson could still use a receiver to work the middle when the pocket gets hot.

    THE GOODS: Free agent WRs Javon Walker (if he's healthy) and Drew Carter have the speed to be the downfield weapons of Al Davis' dreams. And RB Darren McFadden's 4.3 speed will draw LBs to the line.

    GOOD ENOUGH? Though Russell reportedly ballooned to nearly 300 pounds this winter, coach Lane Kiffin said the QB was down to 270 at minicamp. With his size and Favre-like arm strength and the influx of talent, Russell should thrive in a vertical offense. Most important, he has McFadden to hand off to.

    THE GOODS: Second-round WR James Hardy (6'6'', 220 pounds) is the complement to Lee Evans (5'10'', 197) that the offense has been missing. And new TE Courtney Anderson (6'6'', 270) provides a huge target in the red zone.

    GOOD ENOUGH? Although Edwards completed 67.9% of his attempts in the red zone (third in the NFL), only 17.9% hit pay dirt (25th). Two new big targets should help.

    THE GOODS: Free agent TE Alge Crumpler is a potential game-changer for VY, who's had to improvise too often. Crumpler consistently gets open and runs the right route. RB Chris Johnson (first-round pick) and WR Lavelle Hawkins (fourth-rounder) could help immediately, but that says more about the talent the team has returning.

    GOOD ENOUGH? Crumpler is the key. His ability to create mismatches and force LBs to commit in coverage will make Young a more prolific passer and runner.


    Vernon Davis is learning new Niners O-coordinator Mike Martz'S scheme by watching tape of WRs Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce, whom Martz coached from 1999 to 2005. Martz plans to use the 6'3'', 253-pound TE split wide this season, taking advantage of his 4.4 speed. Says Martz, "I don't know of anyone in the league at his position who can run like him."

    If the Bills don't get off to a fast start (their first five opponents had a combined 36-44 record in 2007) before their Week 6 bye, it won't be because of poor planning. Coach Dick Jauron has already scripted the first 12 days of training camp, beginning July 25.

    Though future HOF tackle Jonathan Ogden retired in June, his replacement on the Baltimore O-line, Jared Gaither, is the same height (6'9'') and five pounds heavier (350). And scouts say the 22-year-old has shown quick enough feet to protect the blind side of Ravens QB-of-the-future Joe Flacco.

    Let's face it, unless Browns QB Derek Anderson is injured, backup Brady Quinn will spend a second season riding pine. Which is why the pressure is on the Browns' backup O-line to protect Quinn in preseason games. If Quinn shows he can run the offense, GM Phil Savage's phone will be ringing off the hook. The Bears, Dolphins, Chiefs and Jets all need a starting QB.

    While Philip Rivers and LT are on schedule to return from playoff injuries by the start of training camp, TE Antonio Gates, rehabbing a dislocated toe, has yet to take part in team activities. One option to replace Gates is Scott Chandler, but he was inactive for 15 games as a rookie last year, which leaves a gaping hole in the Chargers' passing game early in the season if Gates can't go.

    A troubled defensive player is making noise in Big D, and it's not Adam Jones. Tank Johnson has impressed Wade Phillips so much that the team is giving NT Jay Ratliff reps at DE so it can play Johnson in the middle of the 3-4 scheme. All this for a player who made only 11 tackles in eight games last season.

    Denial, party of one, your table is ready. Yes, QB Daunte Culpepper is still searching for a starting job after rejecting the Packers' one-year, $1M offer to back up Aaron Rodgers. "If anybody is looking for a three-time Pro Bowler, give me a call," he says. What the 6'4'', 260-pound vet fails to mention is that he is coming off two knee injuries and has thrown 13 TDs and 20 INTs the past three seasons.

  2. boltmanbz

    boltmanbz Well-Known Member

    Oct 16, 2006
    i have a feeling naanee will step up while Gates is gone and manu can just block and he has hands too
  3. Showmeyourbolt

    Showmeyourbolt Well-Known Member

    Sep 17, 2007

  4. vegasboy

    vegasboy BoltTalker

    Sep 8, 2006

    If Gates isn't able to go early, look for a number of players to fill the void. Look for Norv to devise packages for Naanee, Chandler, and Hester.

    The old Fullback pass for 1 yard will now be something teams will have to defend. Hester has great hands and is tough to bring down in the open field.

    Also, don't forget LT. He is super dangerous coming out of the backfield. Gates certainly will be missed but the rest of the guys will come together until he gets back.:abq2:
  5. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

    Aug 3, 2006
    Naanee will fill in nicely while Gates is still recovering. Vincent Jackson has the size and height to run a lot of the Gates patterns. Chandler will also have the opportunity to take starters reps in TC and practices. The first part of our schedule is not the tough part, after that Gates will be back for the rest of the season after the game experience further seasons the young guys on the roster. In the end, I figure the experience will make us a better team down the stretch.

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