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hawaiiansteel
04-19-2011, 07:19 PM
What Can the Steelers Expect From a Rookie CB in 2011?

Posted on April 19, 2011 by adam


I think we all agree on this: the Steelers could use a young cornerback whether free agent Ike Taylor is a member of the team in 2011 or not. If any of these mock drafts are accurate, and if a large portion of the fan base has its way next Thursday night, the Steelersí top pick will, in fact, be a cornerback. But how would it impact the Steelers defense in 2011?

On Monday, Pro Football Talkís Monday Gregg Rosenthal wrote about Houstonís reported love of LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson and how they might move up in the draft (as they would no doubt need to do) to pick him. In that post Rosenthal wrote this about Houston cornerback Kareem Jackson: ďThe Texans were desperate for a starting cornerback this year, to the point everyone fully expected them to take their top-ranked with their first pick, and thatís exactly what they did. They drafted Kareem Jackson, he started all season, and few cornerbacks in the NFL played worse last season.Ē

That last sentence isnít an exaggeration. He was bad. Really bad. According to Football Outsidersí game-charting data, no cornerback gave up more yards per pass or more yards after catch in 2010 than Jackson, and itís not like this was some guy Houston picked up off the scrap heap; He was the 20th overall pick in the draft and the second cornerback taken (Cleveland selected Joe Haden with the No. 7 overall pick).

This doesnít mean that Jackson is already a bust and will never pan out. More likely, it shows the struggles a rookie cornerback will go through during his first real taste of NFL action. Thereís a large learning curve for the position and plenty of growing pains that come with the territory. Of the five cornerbacks taken in the first round in 2010, four of them (Jackson, Haden, Kyle Wilson and Patrick Robinson) either had trouble getting on the field or struggled once they did, while New Englandís Devin McCourty was able to make an immediate impact. McCourty, however, seems to be the anomaly. Rookies donít typically step right into that position and finish second in the league in interceptions. And even with McCourtyís gaudy pick totals, the Patriots were still 23rd and 11th against No. 1 and 2 receivers, according to FO.

I do wonder, when it comes to the Steelers, if there is a ďgrass is greenerĒ mentality regarding Bryant McFadden, who doesnít seem to have many friends in the stands when it comes to his play on the field. Iíll say this: If you asked me right now which player would be more productive for the Steelers in 2011, McFadden, or a hypothetical mystery corner they selected with the No. 31 pick, my answer, on April 19, 2010, would be McFadden for two reasons: 1) The aforementioned struggles of rookie cornerbacks (more on that in a second) and 2) I still donít think McFadden was as bad as his reputation in 2010.

According to FO the Steelers were a top-five team against No. 1 and No. 2 wide receivers in 2010, but dropped to 18th against ďother receiversĒ (Nos. 3-5), which suggests the bigger problem was still William Gay (and I thought he was better last year). You may remember him as the player repeatedly targeted in the Super Bowl.

(EDIT: As pointed out by Dr. Obvious in the comments, Gayís 2010 season may have been better than Iíve given him credit for here, via FOís individual metrics.)

I went back and looked at every cornerback taken in the first round between 2000 and 2010, and using Pro Football Referenceís Approximate Value metric, found that the average first-round corner posted an AV of 3.7 as a rookie. By comparison, McFadden in 2010 came in with a 9, while Gay registered a 3.

The other factor involved here is how the Steelers typically work players into the lineup in what is by most accounts a complex defense that takes quite a bit of time to master. Since 2000 the Steelers have selected just four defensive players in the first round: Casey Hampton, Troy Polamalu, Lawrence Timmons and Ziggy Hood. The only player that played significantly as a rookie and made a positive impact was Hampton. Polamalu and Timmons looked lost at times as rookies, and it took Hood midway through his second season to really start to come on strong (and he certainly did).

This isnít to say I donít want the Steelers to take a cornerback (though, as Iíve said many times, I donít want to see them take one just to take one; make sure itís a good one) or that it would be a bad thing if said corner didnít come in and instantly start as a rookie. As Timmons, Polamalu, Hood and even Rashard Mendenhall on the offensive side of the ball have shown a draft pick doesnít need to dominate as a rookie to have a productive career. Itís more a cautionary tale to not expect too much from a rookie at a position where rookies donít always perform well.

If anything, a rookie would likely be used in a role similar to the one McFadden was used in during the 2005 season when he was the No. 3 guy playing behind Taylor and Deshea Townsend.

http://www.steelerslounge.com/2011/04/c ... #more-4892 (http://www.steelerslounge.com/2011/04/cornerback-save-steelers-pass-defense-2011/#more-4892)

Chadman
04-19-2011, 08:20 PM
Now THAT is a well thought out article.

McFadden is a very good chance of starting next season. And really- when were McFadden's struggles amplified? Was it after the hip injury? At best, McFadden is a solid tackling CB that doesn't often get beaten badly. At worst- well, at worst he's what we got last season.

Gay improved last season, as indicated in the article. But he still struggled.

How much can we attribute the CB struggles to poor deep coverage from Ryan Clark? Clark is a good hitter & tackler- but lets face it- he's Willie Gay-like in pass coverage.

Chadman's questions are reasonably simple- if the Steelers are looking at a new 3rd CB, do you need to spend a 1st round pick on one? Or can you develop a 2nd or 3rd rounder to do the same job? And would it be prudent to add a FS that can cover? You know...like Rahim Moore?

chiken
04-20-2011, 07:10 AM
We need a talented corner to be groomed into our #1 or #2, but can be contribute immediately as our 3rd.

We always seem to have a bunch of tadpoles in a bucket. We need a freaking shark.

Tomlinator
04-20-2011, 09:03 AM
This isnít to say I donít want the Steelers to take a cornerback (though, as Iíve said many times, I donít want to see them take one just to take one; make sure itís a good one) or that it would be a bad thing if said corner didnít come in and instantly start as a rookie. As Timmons, Polamalu, Hood and even Rashard Mendenhall on the offensive side of the ball have shown a draft pick doesnít need to dominate as a rookie to have a productive career. Itís more a cautionary tale to not expect too much from a rookie at a position where rookies donít always perform well.



This.

How many of us can be patient with the mistakes even a first round rookie CB will have, if he even sees the field?

Oviedo
04-20-2011, 09:06 AM
LeBeau is the DC so that means:

A rookie can expect to watch games from the sideline. Nothing more!!!! Just like Crezdon Butler and Keenan Lewis (not a rookie) got to watch Anthony Madison embarass himself trying to cover NFL WRs.

feltdizz
04-20-2011, 09:20 AM
Da Bench!

feltdizz
04-20-2011, 09:26 AM
This isnít to say I donít want the Steelers to take a cornerback (though, as Iíve said many times, I donít want to see them take one just to take one; make sure itís a good one) or that it would be a bad thing if said corner didnít come in and instantly start as a rookie. As Timmons, Polamalu, Hood and even Rashard Mendenhall on the offensive side of the ball have shown a draft pick doesnít need to dominate as a rookie to have a productive career. Itís more a cautionary tale to not expect too much from a rookie at a position where rookies donít always perform well.



This.

How many of us can be patient with the mistakes even a first round rookie CB will have, if he even sees the field?

Troy didn't do much his first year... neither did Timmons... and both have been damn good picks.

A few fans will call the CB a bust if he doesn't make the pro bowl or another pick after him looks better on a bad team. As long as the CB does well in our system I have no problem watching him make a few mistakes.

However, we know damn well no CB will start in our system. He could be Revis, Woodson and Lott rolled up in one and he would still ride pine. :wink:

Oviedo
04-20-2011, 09:29 AM
This isnít to say I donít want the Steelers to take a cornerback (though, as Iíve said many times, I donít want to see them take one just to take one; make sure itís a good one) or that it would be a bad thing if said corner didnít come in and instantly start as a rookie. As Timmons, Polamalu, Hood and even Rashard Mendenhall on the offensive side of the ball have shown a draft pick doesnít need to dominate as a rookie to have a productive career. Itís more a cautionary tale to not expect too much from a rookie at a position where rookies donít always perform well.



This.

How many of us can be patient with the mistakes even a first round rookie CB will have, if he even sees the field?

Troy didn't do much his first year... neither did Timmons... and both have been damn good picks.

A few fans will call the CB a bust if he doesn't make the pro bowl or another pick after him looks better on a bad team. As long as the CB does well in our system I have no problem watching him make a few mistakes.

However, we know damn well no CB will start in our system. He could be Revis, Woodson and Lott rolled up in one and he would still ride pine. :wink:

Really? You think it will be "a few fans?" There will be alot more than a few.

Mister Pittsburgh
04-20-2011, 12:05 PM
If there was a top caliber CB sitting there in the middle of the first and we had a trade partner that wasn't asking for the world, we should trade up. This current crew of players is made up of some young guys, and some key old guys. Our window with this crew is closing. I say go for it and get a top notch CB and lose some draft picks in doing so if it solidifies the secondary as that was the obvious weakness last year, and the year before even.

If Ike leaves, we damn near have to trade up cause we will be about .500 with BMac & Gay as our starting CB's.

Oviedo
04-20-2011, 01:03 PM
If Ike leaves, we damn near have to trade up cause we will be about .500 with BMac & Gay as our starting CB's.



This is moot because the draft will occur before there is a CBA and we will have no idea what Ike is doing because there is no free agency. I'm sure the assumption going into the draft is that he is staying and they will build their board accordingly.

If Ike does leave it doesn't matter who we draft because our secondary will have just gone to bottom 25% in the league. Not sure even our exceptional front 7 would be able to compensate for that...even with the 10-12 games Troy will likely be able to play. :stirpot

RuthlessBurgher
04-20-2011, 01:32 PM
If there was a top caliber CB sitting there in the middle of the first and we had a trade partner that wasn't asking for the world, we should trade up. This current crew of players is made up of some young guys, and some key old guys. Our window with this crew is closing. I say go for it and get a top notch CB and lose some draft picks in doing so if it solidifies the secondary as that was the obvious weakness last year, and the year before even.

If Ike leaves, we damn near have to trade up cause we will be about .500 with BMac & Gay as our starting CB's.

The problem with that logic is that the guy you suggest trading up for simply doesn't exist in this draft. Both Patrick Peterson and Prince Amukamara should be gone in the top 10 (Peterson's worst case scenario is 7, Prince's worst case scenario is 13). After those two guys, there is a chasm (Jimmy Smith is talented but has is a nightmare off the field, Brandon Harris is small and seems more like a nickel guy than a top shutdown guy, and Aaron Williams seems more like a FS than a CB). You'd be better off staying put at #31 and taking Ras-I Dowling, who hopefully has put his injury concerns behind him.

feltdizz
04-20-2011, 01:32 PM
This isnít to say I donít want the Steelers to take a cornerback (though, as Iíve said many times, I donít want to see them take one just to take one; make sure itís a good one) or that it would be a bad thing if said corner didnít come in and instantly start as a rookie. As Timmons, Polamalu, Hood and even Rashard Mendenhall on the offensive side of the ball have shown a draft pick doesnít need to dominate as a rookie to have a productive career. Itís more a cautionary tale to not expect too much from a rookie at a position where rookies donít always perform well.



This.

How many of us can be patient with the mistakes even a first round rookie CB will have, if he even sees the field?

Troy didn't do much his first year... neither did Timmons... and both have been damn good picks.

A few fans will call the CB a bust if he doesn't make the pro bowl or another pick after him looks better on a bad team. As long as the CB does well in our system I have no problem watching him make a few mistakes.

However, we know damn well no CB will start in our system. He could be Revis, Woodson and Lott rolled up in one and he would still ride pine. :wink:

Really? You think it will be "a few fans?" There will be alot more than a few.

It will be a few.. but they usually scream the loudest so it appears to be more.

RuthlessBurgher
04-20-2011, 01:34 PM
This isnít to say I donít want the Steelers to take a cornerback (though, as Iíve said many times, I donít want to see them take one just to take one; make sure itís a good one) or that it would be a bad thing if said corner didnít come in and instantly start as a rookie. As Timmons, Polamalu, Hood and even Rashard Mendenhall on the offensive side of the ball have shown a draft pick doesnít need to dominate as a rookie to have a productive career. Itís more a cautionary tale to not expect too much from a rookie at a position where rookies donít always perform well.



This.

How many of us can be patient with the mistakes even a first round rookie CB will have, if he even sees the field?

Troy didn't do much his first year... neither did Timmons... and both have been damn good picks.

A few fans will call the CB a bust if he doesn't make the pro bowl or another pick after him looks better on a bad team. As long as the CB does well in our system I have no problem watching him make a few mistakes.

However, we know damn well no CB will start in our system. He could be Revis, Woodson and Lott rolled up in one and he would still ride pine. :wink:

Really? You think it will be "a few fans?" There will be alot more than a few.

It will be a few.. but they usually scream the loudest so it appears to be more.

http://www.stephencjensen.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/brick-loud-noises-a.jpg

Chadman
04-20-2011, 08:11 PM
Just a question- if the Steelers need a CB to contribute NOW, and the best upgrade available is at the Nickle CB spot- could it be more immediate value to draft a guy like Rashard Carmichael, who has limited upside, who isn't really physically a starting CB, but could step in at Nickle almost right away- instead of drafting a potential future starting CB like Aaron Williams?

insanesteelersfan
04-20-2011, 09:50 PM
If Ike leaves, we damn near have to trade up cause we will be about .500 with BMac & Gay as our starting CB's.



This is moot because the draft will occur before there is a CBA and we will have no idea what Ike is doing because there is no free agency. I'm sure the assumption going into the draft is that he is staying and they will build their board accordingly.

If Ike does leave it doesn't matter who we draft because our secondary will have just gone to bottom 25% in the league. Not sure even our exceptional front 7 would be able to compensate for that...even with the 10-12 games Troy will likely be able to play. :stirpot



There are never any guarantees my friend. But I think Ike will re-sign. He likes it here in Pittsburgh. And I think we will release Mcfadden, and sign a mid-level Vet free agent CB. Then I think we either hope that we can get a mid-2nd rounder in a trade down to grab Ras I Dowling. Or we will address a youngster later on, maybe the Patrick kid from Louisville.

focosteeler
04-20-2011, 10:03 PM
Just a question- if the Steelers need a CB to contribute NOW, and the best upgrade available is at the Nickle CB spot- could it be more immediate value to draft a guy like Rashard Carmichael, who has limited upside, who isn't really physically a starting CB, but could step in at Nickle almost right away- instead of drafting a potential future starting CB like Aaron Williams?

I would hope that a CB worth drafting in the first or second round would be able to step in at the nickle but also have the potential to start later

RuthlessBurgher
04-20-2011, 11:29 PM
If Ike leaves, we damn near have to trade up cause we will be about .500 with BMac & Gay as our starting CB's.



This is moot because the draft will occur before there is a CBA and we will have no idea what Ike is doing because there is no free agency. I'm sure the assumption going into the draft is that he is staying and they will build their board accordingly.

If Ike does leave it doesn't matter who we draft because our secondary will have just gone to bottom 25% in the league. Not sure even our exceptional front 7 would be able to compensate for that...even with the 10-12 games Troy will likely be able to play. :stirpot



There are never any guarantees my friend. But I think Ike will re-sign. He likes it here in Pittsburgh. And I think we will release Mcfadden, and sign a mid-level Vet free agent CB. Then I think we either hope that we can get a mid-2nd rounder in a trade down to grab Ras I Dowling. Or we will address a youngster later on, maybe the Patrick kid from Louisville.

I agree that Ike will likely re-sign. I like the idea of getting Dowling in the mid-2nd area(either by trading down from #31 or trading up from #63). I also think we could still get another corner as well (perhaps a Curtis Marsh or Cortez Allen). The only thing I'm not sure about is the releasing McFadden and signing a mid-level vet free agent CB. Essentially, McFadden is a mid-level vet CB, so I don't see how we'd be gaining anything there (and it would cost us more in a signing bonus when we have other more important pending free agents to worry about).

RuthlessBurgher
04-20-2011, 11:33 PM
Just a question- if the Steelers need a CB to contribute NOW, and the best upgrade available is at the Nickle CB spot- could it be more immediate value to draft a guy like Rashard Carmichael, who has limited upside, who isn't really physically a starting CB, but could step in at Nickle almost right away- instead of drafting a potential future starting CB like Aaron Williams?

Carmichael's a day 3 prospect, though. We've drafted day 3 corners before, and ended up with the likes of Willie Gay, Joe Burnett, Crezdon Butler. We have 3 picks on days 1 and 2. I want us to come out of day 2 on Friday night with a CB, an OL, and a DL (I'm not picky about the order, either...if the best available player at #31 is a DL, and the best available player at #63 is an OL, then I'd like to grab the best available CB at #95. I'd be just as happy with OL then CB then DL, or CB then DL then OL, or whatever...fill our primary needs without reaching and I'm a happy guy).

Chadman
04-21-2011, 12:46 AM
Carmichael's a day 3 prospect, though.

Most draft sites have Carmichael going around the early to mid 3rd round- and from memory Steelerskeylargo thinks Carmichael might go in the 2nd...

hawaiiansteel
04-21-2011, 03:33 AM
Young Cornerbacks Are Often Brought Along Slowly By The Steelers


Lost in all the talk of the Steelers needing to draft a corner is the myth that these corners do not get the chance to contribute in their rookie season in a D!ck LeBeau defense. Although several rookie corners drafted by Steelers since 2004 have seen the field in their first season on defense, their biggest roles have come mostly on special teams, sub-packages and reserve roles. While it is not out the notion they see snaps on defense their rookie year, most do indeed take time to flourish before actually developing nicely and landing a starting role or contributing heavily. Below we will look at the path of the young corners since LeBeau returned in 2004 to take back over the defense.

Ike Taylor was a 4th round pick drafted in 2003, a year before LeBeau returned. Although he saw snaps in his first and second season, it wasn't until 2005 until he cracked the starting lineup for the Steelers as he started 15 games and four playoff contests in his 3rd year in a Steelers uniform. Most of his contributions in his first two seasons came as a kick returner and on special teams coverage units. In 2006 Taylor played in all 16 games and made 11 starts. From 2007 on, Ike has been a starter at cornerback for the Steelers.

In 2004, LeBeau's first year back with the Steelers as the defensive coordinator, rookie 2nd round draft pick Ricardo Colclough was forced onto the field early in his rookie season when Chad Scott was injured, but mostly played a reserve role throughout the rest of his rookie year along with his contributions on special teams. Admittedly Colclough was over his head and did not perform very well. In 2005 Colclough once again played only a reserve role and missed quite a bit of time due to injury. Once again most of the contributions that Colclough made in 2005 came on special teams. In 2006 he played in the first three games before suffering a season-ending injury and was lost for the season. Colclough was subsequently released in the early part of the 2007 after appearing in just three games.

In 2005 the Steelers drafted Bryant McFadden in the second round out of Florida State and was instantly inactive for the first four games of the year until seeing action in the final 12 regular-season games and all four postseason games. McFadden, like Colclough, saw the field mostly as an extra defensive back and contributed on special teams. He was effective in the nickel role, especially late in the season as the Steelers went on to win Super Bowl XL that season. In 2006 and 2007 McFadden saw his snaps increase and played in all 16 games, starting 9 in 2006 and played in 13 games mostly as a reserve defensive back and special teams contributor in 2007. 2008 was an injury riddled season for McFadden as he only saw time in 10 games, but was the starter in 8 of them mostly at the left corner position. He was very ineffective after returning from his injury, but did play well in his first 5 starts that year. McFadden spent one season with the Cardinals in 2009 and returned to the Steelers last season, but was average at best. He also missed quite a bit of snaps due to injury last season along the way.

In 2007 the Steelers drafted William Gay with their second of two 5th round picks and like the young corners before him mostly contributed on special teams his rookie year. Gay played in all 16 games as a rookie as well as the AFC Wild Card Game against Jacksonville as a reserve DB and special teams contributor. In his second season, Gay played in all 16 regular-season games for the second consecutive season, making four starts, all of which came in the later part of the season. He continued to also be a heavy contributor on special teams. When McFadden left via free agency after the 2008 season, Gay became the starter opposite Taylor in 2009. After an above average start to the season, Gay struggled from week 6 on and was relegated to the nickel role in the final two games of the year. When McFadden returned last season to start outside, Gay was moved back to his nickel role where he saw most of snaps in 2010. He did move back outside when McFadden left several games due to injury. Gay saw his snaps fall in 2010 to just under 750 for the season, a decrease of over 150 from 2009.

In 2009 the Steelers drafted cornerbacks Keenan Lewis and Joe Burnett in the 3rd and 5th rounds. Lewis played in just four games his rookie season before being placed on injured reserve list with a back injury and all of his on field action came on special teams. In 2010 Lewis saw most of his defensive snaps late in blow-out wins with the rest of his playing time coming on special teams. He has struggled to turn the corner as he enters his 3rd season and has only been on the field for just over 40 defensive snaps since he was drafted. Like the other young corners before him, Burnett started out his rookie season as a special teams contributor and did not see snaps on the defensive side of the ball until week 13 of his rookie year. He played just under 50 snaps as a rookie and looked lost at times in the secondary. He was gone as quick as he arrived as he was released prior to the start of the 2010 season.

The Steelers drafted yet another cornerback in 2010 as Crezdon Butler was drafted in the 5th round. Butler was inactive for most of his rookie season and only contributed on special teams when he did finally get to dress for 4 games. He did not have a regular season defensive snap last year.

The Steelers like their early round draft picks to contribute as soon as possible, but if they draft a corner in the first few rounds next week, one should not expect too much from them as a rookie outside of being a special teams contributor. Baring injury of course, the Steelers take their time developing young corners as the LeBeau system is not easy to master for any young defensive player, let alone a young cornerback. Even if Taylor and Gay leave via free agency, the Steelers would likely give Lewis and Butler every chance at grabbing a starting spot before thrusting a rookie into action. It would be surprising to see any corner drafted next week get any defensive snaps until the mid-way point in the season and it likely would come in a small nickel or dime role as well. Taking all of this into account and where the Steelers pick in round one, it is making more sense that they might address the offensive or defensive line in round 1 instead of drafting a corner in the first round. These two positions have a much better chance at contributing often and early than a young cornerback does and let's face it, none of these top rated cornerbacks are can't miss like Darrelle Revis was quite a few years ago. Oh, what might have been.

POSTED BY DAVE BRYAN ON WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20, 2011

http://www.steelersdepot.com/2011/04/yo ... -steelers/ (http://www.steelersdepot.com/2011/04/young-cornerbacks-are-often-brought-along-slowly-by-the-steelers/)

Mister Pittsburgh
04-23-2011, 08:32 AM
Just a question- if the Steelers need a CB to contribute NOW, and the best upgrade available is at the Nickle CB spot- could it be more immediate value to draft a guy like Rashard Carmichael, who has limited upside, who isn't really physically a starting CB, but could step in at Nickle almost right away- instead of drafting a potential future starting CB like Aaron Williams?

Carmichael's a day 3 prospect, though. We've drafted day 3 corners before, and ended up with the likes of Willie Gay, Joe Burnett, Crezdon Butler. We have 3 picks on days 1 and 2. I want us to come out of day 2 on Friday night with a CB, an OL, and a DL (I'm not picky about the order, either...if the best available player at #31 is a DL, and the best available player at #63 is an OL, then I'd like to grab the best available CB at #95. I'd be just as happy with OL then CB then DL, or CB then DL then OL, or whatever...fill our primary needs without reaching and I'm a happy guy).

Steelers have done a piss poor job of drafting DB's which sucks considering this is a passing league. BMac is a very average or below par CB and was a 2nd round pick. Ricardo Colclough was not only a 2nd round pick but we traded up to get him in the 2nd. Anthony Smith, Joe Burnett, Willie Gay, Keenen Lewis, Ryan Mundy......Last DB draft they hit on was Troy and Ike in the same draft in 2003, 8 drafts ago.

They have done such a bad job drafting DB's that we had to trade a draft pick to get BMac back cause they couldn't draft his replacement and we had to go out into free agency and sign Ryan Clark cause they couldn't draft Hope's replacement.

Lets hope we aren't trying to trade to get Ike back next season when he leaves.

Chadman
04-23-2011, 11:03 AM
Geez McFadden cops some grief on here. Ok- he struggled last season. But all his previous seasons here he has been above average to good. And last year, he started the season well- then came not only his hip injury, but Aaron Smith went down around the same time. McFadden was in & out of the line-up pretty much the rest of the way- never fully recovering.

Is McFadden great? No, no he's not. But he's nowhere near as bad as some of you want to portray him as being.

Here's a pot-stirrer for you....if the FS gave better protection, would McFadden be considered anywhere near as bad? Have the failings of McFadden & Gay been magnified because Ryan Clark covers his CB's backs about as well as Jamain Stephens runs sprints in pre-season?

Clark is a fine hitter/tackler- but he can't cover a childrens book in plastic if he tried.

Shawn
04-23-2011, 11:16 AM
Geez McFadden cops some grief on here. Ok- he struggled last season. But all his previous seasons here he has been above average to good. And last year, he started the season well- then came not only his hip injury, but Aaron Smith went down around the same time. McFadden was in & out of the line-up pretty much the rest of the way- never fully recovering.

Is McFadden great? No, no he's not. But he's nowhere near as bad as some of you want to portray him as being.

Here's a pot-stirrer for you....if the FS gave better protection, would McFadden be considered anywhere near as bad? Have the failings of McFadden & Gay been magnified because Ryan Clark covers his CB's backs about as well as Jamain Stephens runs sprints in pre-season?

Clark is a fine hitter/tackler- but he can't cover a childrens book in plastic if he tried.

I guess the question I would have is...are we comfortable with McFadden being our best DB next season? At best McFadden is average. Unless Gay can make serious strides he isn't a quality starter. Ike could very well be gone.

Even without Ike, I think this team could win 10-11 games next season just due to the soft schedule. But, I don't believe we can win a SB without Ike.

NJ-STEELER
04-23-2011, 12:11 PM
I agree that faddy has been better then he was last year


But he was awful with Arizona as well. That's 2 years in a row of below average play

Hopefully he can turn it around