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 Post subject: Ryan Williams on the come up
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:56 am 
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From Peter King's MMQB today:
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/w ... index.html

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How the first day of camp can lift an entire organization.

If you blinked, you missed it. Or if you were gazing at the imposing San Francisco Peaks just north of the practice field in this lovely college town, you could have missed it too. Ryan Williams, who'd provided so much hope for the Cardinals' running game last summer before rupturing his patella tendon in a preseason game, took a handoff up the middle in the first practice of the summer. Then the second-round draft pick out of Virginia Tech in 2011 did something he hadn't done in 49 weeks: He juked one defender left while planting and cutting right, then did the exact opposite -- juke right, cut left. The crowd oooohed. "Go Li'l Sweetness!'' someone yelled, because that's what Williams likes to be called.

Two hard cuts. As heartbreaking as it was to lose Williams last year, that's how thrilling it was for the Cardinals to see that two-second cut-cut scene.

Quarterback Kevin Kolb and wideout Larry Fitzgerald were talking about the play afterward with a camp visitor. "Amazing,'' said Kolb. "Great. The comfort level you've got to have after whatever knee injury he had --"

"Patella,'' Fitzgerald said.

"Yeah,'' said Kolb. "But three, four cuts, after an injury like that. To trust your knee to make moves like that ... Wow."

On the field, Williams was reliving the play over and over, as reporters crowded around him. I asked if he'd heard the "Li'l Sweetness'' shoutout.

"I heard it,'' he said. "I heard it. Felt good.''

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/w ... z227NJNMlo

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 Post subject: Re: Ryan Williams on the come up
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 1:07 pm 
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"Yeah,'' said Kolb. "But three, four cuts, after an injury like that. To trust your knee to make moves like that ... Wow."


He's still the best RB prospect I've seen the last few years. If healthy (and I saw the run, it was nice), Wells l-term job is in serious peril. The kids total game is everything you look for in a 3 down back imo.

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 Post subject: Re: Ryan Williams on the come up
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 1:34 pm 
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The problem for the Cardinals is that both he and Wells have some serious durability concerns. I think Williams is going to continue to struggle to stay healthy for a complete 16-game season. While he is an extremely skillful RB, too often his final year at VT he reminded me of Norwood in that whenever he took a shot, he would limp off the field. I'm not optimistic he has the core strength to be anything more than a 8-12 carry player each and every week.

And ultimately I think the Cards could be in a predicament. Wells is signed thru 2013 and Williams thru 2014. And are they going to be willing to make a financial commitment to one or both to keep them if those durability issues remain? So even if both play well this year, it might still be in the Cardinals best interest to use another Day 2 pick on a RB next year...

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 Post subject: Re: Ryan Williams on the come up
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:24 pm 
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http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9 ... VY4Qbw-UTI

Oh he's definitely in a show me mode, as he's missed the better part of two years in a row now (not in an ideal way, but that has saved his legs a ton of carries). But its not cause he's soft or too small. He's right where I like my RB's in that 210ish range, where you can do what both bigger and smaller backs can do. You can see in the above pic, he's not small and built to be a rb. He's got a nose for the goaline that I consider uncanny, and his vision/pad level down there is epic. His slashing vision and underrated power are awesome as well. If he can only stay healthy, they're not gonna reup Beanie imo. I will say this though, I'm not sure he knows how to run soft. Which means he really is either gonna boom or bust. There oline does concern me for either back though.

This is obv who you hope shows up this season...if he can get back to those full speed cuts around the 1:30 mark...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCyLmWyr ... re=related

sick...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCyLmWyr ... re=related

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 Post subject: Re: Ryan Williams on the come up
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 5:00 pm 
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I'm not trying to say he's soft (like Norwood was), but that I do wonder whether or not he can take the NFL pounding. I think like DeAngelo Williams or Ahmad Bradshaw, you're never going to be able to fully turn the keys over to him on offense as your top RB because of those durability issues.

And while that is a great highlight of dragging a N.C. State defender into the endzone, it's much different going up against a 190-pound freshman than it is going up against Quintin Mikell, Kam Chancellor, or William Moore.

And even if Williams runs for 1200 yards this year, and the Cardinals are in a position to let Wells walk in a year or two, I don't think that would be a smart move, not unless they've gotten an adequate replacement for Wells. Unless Williams shows he can play in 31 or 32 games over the next 2 seasons, I would not fully trust him.

A good comparison to the type of player that Williams can potentially be is Fred Jackson, both being explosive RBs that do their best work out on the edge. But like Jackson in Buffalo, if that's the case you need to be a pass-first team and/or a team that has a more than capable No. 2 (which Wells most certainly can be or rather is). So even if Williams surpasses Wells as the go-to back, you still need to have a capable No. 2 that you are confident/comfortable can start 4-6 games a year, because in the event Williams is your No. 1 RB, I think it's likely you'll need that No. 2 guy to play that much.

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 Post subject: Re: Ryan Williams on the come up
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:13 pm 
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I hear ya, but how many teams really have 1, main RB?? 5 or less? Today, if you can get a Williams to be lets say, a 2/3 back. Meaning he can go three downs, but you spell him so he's not going over 15-20 carries a game, but still gets most of the carries. Then committee like everyone does now with either a hammer back or a 3rd down back. The days of 25-30 carry RB's may be dead, esp with how de-emphasized they are now on draft priority.

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 Post subject: Re: Ryan Williams on the come up
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:36 pm 
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Oh yeah, I know. I meant main back in the sense that now he gets 15 or 16 carries, which is often the case nowadays. Even Bradshaw struggles with that sort of workload.

For this year, probably the best solution is similar to how the Bucs used Blount and Cadillac Williams in 2010. Blount got on average about 15 carries per game, but Williams was the starter with around 8. Williams also replaced Blount on 3rd downs.

Last year AZ had Chester Taylor to help out on 3rd downs. Between him and Alfonso Smith, and LaRod Stephens-Howling, the break down was about 16 carries for Wells and 6 for the others. But I'd probably try and drop Wells a bit to help out his durability, and then give Williams the bulk of the rest, so it's something more along a 14-8 split. If Williams is running well early in games, he can get more.

And depending on how well Williams handles that this year, will determine whether he gets a big increase in future years. But I do think adding a #3 RB for them will be important next year because considering how often Wells and Williams tend to get hurt, you don't want to be in a situation where you have to rely Alfonso Smith or Stephens-Howling for a big chunk of your running game. That should come of course in the later rounds next year.

Now if Kolb or Skelton actually become a good QB, then it's a lot less of an issue and you can just go back to the days of Warner where you throw the ball constantly to Fitz, and now Floyd.

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 Post subject: Re: Ryan Williams on the come up
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:51 pm 
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Quote:
But I do think adding a #3 RB


Yeah these are important with the "total" rb job now being split into component duties. Looks at teams like the Saints, Lions, Niners and now more than likely the Broncos and Colts. 3 or more runners to do the job that one used to do. Then you don't spend a ton on one back, and can later draft lesser overall backs, but ones that can still fill a specific need. Thats the future to me more than likely. Otherwise split between two more that might contrast more, like the Chiefs, Bills, Bengals and now maybe us.

Curious your take, b/c preFF draft I now break down my RB column totally different (and have for going onthe 3rd year now). I break them down into segements of usage. The tiers go something like this...

1 - Bell Cows - ie. Rice, McCoy...

1b's - Meaning teams where it on paper is more 50/50, but I expect one back of the duo to emerge with a lot more carries. ie. Cowboys, Bucs

50/50 (duo committee) - Meaning its two backs, and either you can't tell the leader yet, or they'll remain sorta even on carries. ie. Redskins, Bears, Bills

3+ - I rarely draft these, as its almost impossible to hit on these lottery tics. ie. team in first sentence

I guess imo, so much more of rb success now is opportunites, and how many.

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 Post subject: Re: Ryan Williams on the come up
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 4:10 pm 
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That's about how I would spin it. It's interseting to see for fantasy which guys emerge from the middle of the pack to be solid backs. Last year, you coudl say that was Lynch and McGahee that had much better years than most were projecting for them. Gore finally stayed healthy and lived up to his potential. Who is going to be that player this year? Ryan Mathews? Donald Brown? James Starks? Roy Helu?

But i'm looking at the list of 1000-yard rushers last year. I see 15 of them, but only 3 of them started all 16 games (Rice, MJD, and CJ2K). And there's probably 4 or 5 others that had they not gotten hurt, would have passed that benchmark (e.g. Peterson, Fred Jackson, McFadden, Forte).

How do you judge guys like Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis? Charles is coming off an ACL injury, which we know doesn't usually lead to great things on the first year back. And Hillis lost his mind last year, but we know he has talent that can still be mined.

And not being able to answer these question is why I'm mediocre at fantasy football...

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 Post subject: Re: Ryan Williams on the come up
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 4:41 pm 
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It's interseting to see for fantasy which guys emerge from the middle of the pack to be solid backs.


You figure that out now a days and you prob win your league. It the greatest unknown. Charles and Hillis to me are stuck between the 2/3 to 50/50 tier. Charles has 2/3 talent, but their wish for 500 overall carries could push it to a even split.

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 Post subject: Re: Ryan Williams on the come up
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:18 pm 
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I watched most of last night's Arizona-Tennessee game and thought Williams looked pretty solid in very limited work. The Titans front 4 kicked the crap out of the Cardinals O-line. When they were feeding Beanie Wells and Javarris James early in the game, they got absolutely no push. Those guys were getting hit a yard behind the lline of scrimmage every time. But Williams came in and at least he was able to make the first guy miss more often than not, and see even when the Titans got penetration, I saw him turn like a 4-yard loss into a 2-yard loss.

Tennessee is no slouch up front, but it's not like they are one of the 5 or 6 best D-lines in the league. Arizona's O-line is horrendous. D'Anthony Batiste is going to be their starting LT. You remember him? The guy that started 4 games at the end of '07 in for Blalock at LG. Daryn Colledge, Lyle Sendlein, Adam Snyder, and Bobby Massie are the other 4 starters. Yuck!

If Williams gets 500 yards this year, he'll be very, very lucky with that front 5.

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