Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Just. "Woeful".

So as I took my daily wander around the web, I came to NFL.com and found their video section packed with clips of various players at the combine. And it never hurts to watch a bit more tape: -- Before we even get onto any players I want to mention the catching drill at the combine for the RBs. Basically they place two cones about 10 yards apart and have the backs start at one, run across to the other and catch a pass in the process (including tucking it away), then ditch the ball, turn and catch another going back, tuck it, ditch it, then catch a thrid ball and turn upfield and make a sprint for the finish. This drill, with maybe a few more catching reps, would be much better for the Receivers than that artifical piece of junk they do now where they're basically encouraged to catch balls and dump them straight away. -- And talking of the receivers, out of all the tape I watched, I saw two guys... two... among all those receivers who actually watched the ball into their hands properly. That's pretty bad. -- There was also something surprising which I never picked up the first time and that's the amount of guys who, on the vertical jump, were rocking back on their heels and then starting their motion from there. What they ended up doing was using a lot of energy and momentum built up with their arms to simply push their toes into the ground. Needless to say, those that didn't posted disappointing vertical leaps. -- Finally onto some players. There'll be a lot of RB on this list because I catch much of their workouts during the Combine, so this is the first time I've had a chance to see some of them. And we start with Stafon Johnson, who displayed some great footwork, excellent cutting ability; was really quick on the turns and put a lot of effort into the drills, finishing all of the hard. -- RB Joique Bell next. Did nothing of real note during the drills but I had to mention him for no other reason than his awesomely bizarre shout at the end of the 40 yard dash. It was like halfway between a 'woo' and a 'damn it'. Just odd. -- RB LeGarrette Blout. I have one word written down here and it reads "woeful". -- WR Carlton Mitchell. Impressed with the way he watched the ball into his hands, had good fundamental technique and some great breaks on his routes. -- RB Anthony Dixon. Another guy who showed great determination, some real hard running and again, excellent footwork, nice cuts. -- RB Keith Toston. I'm not sure if he realised there were scouts in the stands, but the guy looked terrible, just very sluggish and bored. -- FB Rashawn Jackson. Not the fastest and not the quickest, but for his size, he was pretty darn good. Showed some very nice cuts, better than a lot of the RB on display. Projected as a 5th rounder, would be a bargain at that level by the look of it. -- WR Kerry Meier. I have one word written down here and it also reads "woeful". -- SS Barry Church. Great feet, just a superbly smooth change of direction and attacking the ball at its highest point. -- RB Jahvid Best. Another ball watcher, concentrating on it right down into his belly. His agility and footwork was so smooth it would have made Sinatra look like John Candy. -- RB Dexter McCluster. Talk about speed and agility, this kid is probably worth man than being projected at number 5 among all RB. -- CB Dominique Franks. Truly excellent footwork, hip movement and change of direction. Has the tools to be a good pass defender. Maybe a little under rated right now. -- WR Kyle Williams. Very good route running style, good breaks and solid hands. Better workout than Golden Tate by far. And now, having looked at some of the new breed, let's turn our attention to some of the older breed, namely, free agents: -- David Carr has agreed a deal with the 49ers. God help us. We already have Smith, Hill and Nate Davis, why Carr as well? -- Philadelphia have wrapped up Jason Avant with a new contract. For me, Avant is an important piece in the Eagles puzzle, always coming up with timely catches. -- Fred Robbins, formerly of the Giants has now shifted to the Rams. Rams Head Coach Steve Spagnolo is already familiar with Robbins and with Robbins being a DT, it just nudges the suspicion meter even further across towards the Rams using pick 1 to take a QB, at this moment in time likely to be Sam Bradford. -- The Steelers have morphed into something of a passing team of late (to their detriment in my view) and so they've been shopping in free agency, picking up WR Arnaz Battle, previously of the 49ers. As well as being a capable number 3 receiver Battle also often contributes on special teams returns. He doesn't contribute much but hey, he gives it a go. They also scooped former Redskin WR Antwaan Randel El and former Bucs FS Will Allen. -- The Lions managed to get TE Will Heller re-signed as well as taking WR Brian Clark from Tampa. Didn't fancy Antonio Bryant then? -- Talking of Bryant, he's due to visit the Bengals soon as Cincinnati looks to boost it's receiving corps. Speaking of which, I'm not happy with all the negatives being thrown at Andre Caldwell. Caldwell was probably the most clutch guy on that offense last season, so Caldwell sure as hell isn't to blame for the poor performance of the Bengals passing attack. -- The Kansas City Chiefs have wrapped up receiver Chris Chambers. They brought Chambers in about halfway through last season and he had an immediate impact of a team that sorely lacked any true talent at the wide out position. -- Leigh Bodden has ended speculation about where he might end up... but agreeing another deal with the Pats. I really thought someone was going to bite on Bodden, but I guess not. Not even the Lions who had to settle for Jonathan Wade, formerly of... the Rams? Well, at least that's one step up the draft order for him. Well, in the words of Porky pig, that's all folks. For today at least. Hopefully by tomorrow there'll have been a flurry of free agent activity and with any luck, I'll get enough time to talk about the draft and whether to go for Best Player Available or Draft for Needs. Until then, have a nice day everyone.

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