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 Post subject: Not impressed by Tama Hali
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 1:56 am 
If the falcon's get stuck come there first round pick and want a def end when there are really no play makers I would not pick Hali for the 15th pick.Darrly Tapp seems to have as much potential and you could probably get him with the 2nd round pick.If you want an impact player either Mario Williams or Mathias Kiwanaka since we need a pass rush.We are going to have to trade up to even get a shot at Kiwanaka.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 6:32 am 
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You have to be weary about drafting DEs in the first round. I apologize now for how long-winded this post is. If you look at the "real" DEs (not guys drafted to be combo DE-LB guys or 3-4 DEs), you will discover that it is a risky venture to not draft a DE in the Top 15. Based on my own assessment, success rate for DEs picked in the Top 10 over that span is 75%. For guys in the Top 15, it drops to about 57%. 45% for the Top 20, and pretty much the entire 1st round. And basically, draft-wise, anything 50% or less likely to succeed is what I'd call risky.

Now, I don't try to put too much stock in past draft trends. You shouldn't let what happened in the past govern what you do int he present/future. But we should definitely pay attention to the trends of the past, and there are definite trends that tend to surround some high profile positions such as QB, WR, DT, and DE, which tend to be "risky" moves, while positions such as RB, TE, LB or S, are relatively very safe positions to draft in Round 1.

My thoughts on Hali, without getting as good a look at him as I wanted is that he's a good player. I'm not sure he's going to be the truly impact sackmaker that some place on a 1st round DE. But I think he has the makings of being a good NFL player, and I think he could work in Atlanta. But again, is he going to be a consistent 10-sack guy in the NFL? Maybe, maybe not. As of now, I'd lean towards not. But is he the type of player that could be the final piece to this DL that takes it from inconsistently solid to consistently excellent? I'd say the chances are better than they are not.

People get too caught up in the numbers and the individual production. That type of outlook would cause one to overlook just how much Brady Smith's play in 2004 made our DL one of the best in the league. Smith's presence in '05 did help somewhat, but didn't have the clearcut impact it did in '04 in his limited time on the field. Basically, in 2004 it just worked. In 2005, it didn't. You can point your fingers all you want at individuals not being able to cut it or slacking off, but basically among the holdovers from a year ago, only Antwan Lake played as well or better as he did in 2004. But his individual success did not translate into unit success. It was an intangible that was missing in '05, rather than a group of skills/abilities or players. I think one could argue that same intangible was missing from the entire team, and not just the D-line.

So history tells me I should weary of the Falcons targetting a DE at #15, unless he's a clear Top 10 talent that fell on the board for some reason (which is why IMO Will Smith seems to be the exception to the rule about the guys not picked in the Top 10 or so picks).

But then again, whether the Falcons use the draft or free agency to help the DE position, I don't think necessarily the Falcons should be looking at the guy that individually looks like he's the best impact player. We should be looking to find the guy that is going to be able to restore that sort of intangible that will make our unit in '06 look like '05 was a complete aberration. Hali I think might have that considering the program he comes from and that he doesn't overwhelm you with pure athletic talent (which IMO should be a red flag for any DE prospect). I'd rather be looking for a Brady Smith/Kerney type guy than a Freeney/Peppers. Basically, saying that while a guy liek John Abraham would clearly help us this off-season, when you consider everything else, a guy like Darren Howard may be just as good an option. And in the case of Hali, he may be just as good an option as Kiwanuka, even though it would seem pretty obvious that Kiwanuka is a much better player.

IMO, at DE we need an excellent role player rather than the most outstanding superstar.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 8:19 pm 
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While I like Hali, I am not impressed with his pass rushing ability. Williams will be gone. If we can trade up for Kiwi I would try to do it. If we can't get Kiwi I would pass on Hali and trade down more than likely.

I would try:

- Trade Schaub for a #1 if we can get it
- Trade up for Kiwi
- With our selection trade down then take a safety like Bing

As things look at this time, I don't like being in the 15th slot.


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 Post subject: No problem Pudge understand your thoughts
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 8:27 pm 
As I just mentioned on another thread if Kiwi isn't the player that can be a difference maker then we need to move in position to get that player whether its huff,kiwi,ngata, or someone else.It doens't mean staying at the 15 pick.If you can get a diffence maker and get more picks then trade down.The Texas vs USC game hopefully will spotlight a few players that could be falcon picks.


I agree with you pudge after the 10 pick in the 1st round the number of def ends that are sack artist drops.Remember last year we all wanted Matt roth he slides to the second round and was not instrumental in alot of sacks of course playing time would help.

I have to disagree though on we need another rols player.Sure it is better than a bust but difference makers can come anywhere in the draft and you strive to get one.Right now the falcon's have alot of average players on defense and the thing that seperates top notch defenses are the amounts of difference makers you have.


New England

Seymour,Warren,Wilfork.,Bruschi,Vrabel,Mcginest

all those guys were not drafted in the top 10.Top scouting staffs are able to find difference makers and draft them.Can Mckay do this? The jury is out in my opinion .If he can't then we need someone else.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 10:26 pm 
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I think you overestimate the amount of talent that some of the top defenses around the league have. The key to a great defense is getting average to above average players to play like superstars. And that's more about the system. Look at the Bears, only Tommie Harris and Brian Urlacher are immensely blessed with physical talent. Not saying O-gun, Alex Brown, Mike Brown, Tillman, and Lance Briggs are bums, but none of them are in those two players class of talent. But they play great football, because they are great fits in the system. It's even more prevalent when you look at the Patriots defenses of the past, and the Colts of this year. In New England, Seymour, Wilfork, McGinest, Law, and Harrison are really the only guys that are (or were) superstar talents. Bruschi, Warren, Vrabel, and others are basically guys that are excellent role players, that aren't great players themselves and wouldn't be that good if they played outside New England. The Colts basically have Freeney and Simon, and that's about it. The rest of those guys are guys that are excellent fits into that scheme and things are clicking.

We have talent on this team. Maybe not the stud superstar athletes like those other units have outside DeAngelo Hall, but we have more than enough talent on defense.

Kerney - not a great athlete, but is a "self-made" player that has gone from a lowly lacrosse player into one of the best pass rushers in the NFL.

Brooking - a bit overrated by some, but an emotional leader that when he has talent around him can be a force.

Williams - superb athlete that is turning into a Derrick Brooks-type player. Is he going to be a HOF guy like Brooks? Probably not, but he brings the same sort of dimension to this defense.

Hartwell - another guy that is a bit self-made, but he is an excellent run stopper that is going to be on a mission in 2006. I'm not at all worried about him bouncing back.

Lavalais - again, not a stud athlete like so many highly rated DTs, but works hard and plays just as good as any of those superstar DTs.

Coleman - another self-made player, but has turned himself into one of the elite interior pass rushers in the league.

DeAngelo - potentially one of the best corners in the league in the very near future.

That's 7 players out of our 11 defensive starters that IMO would start on more NFL teams than not. Six of those 7 (Lavalais excluded) I believe already have or could become Pro Bowl players during their Falcon careers.

There's nothing wrong with our core on defense. We have as good a defensive core as any team in the league. Our problem is making sure that core plays strong, and making sure the remaining 4 positions are filled by solid players.

I'm not saying that the Falcons shoudl pass up on a top player to fill one of those other 4 positions. But if this team is thinking that we desperately need a John Abraham or Adam Archuleta caliber player to fill those remaining 4 positions, I think they are making an error in judgement. Not saying either of those players won't immensely help the team, but if they think that's the only thing that is going to help us, it's a mistake. Basically saying that if this team has a mindset that we have to get a player the caliber of Kiwanuka or trade down, then its a very limited and short-sighted outlook. And it's only going to set yourself up for error.

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 Post subject: A few comments !
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 2:47 am 
Interesting assessment about the falcon's players on defense pudge.I have a few comments for you regards to the defense.Your right the system is key for any player to get the most out of his talent.Right now I hate our system of playing back and letting other teams chew us up for yardage and we are supposed to stp them from scoring.This year we saw the defense insteado f bend they broke. Now alot of people may say will it was because we played rookies and alot were injured. Here is my view of the falcon defenders:


Def line

Coleman - star player but can be run on.Coleman's strength is rushing the passer.He's a pro bowl player
Kerney - Star player when healthy .I think he was injured a bit this year and the lack of another pas rusher hurt his production since offensive lines keyed on him
Lavalais - was a star in college and for me has not produced in the NFL in terms of shutting down the run.He is more fat than muscle and watching falcon games the other team just blows right up the middle on our def tackles.Your not going to replace coleman so that means lavalias needs to be replaced.We saw what happens when both def tackles can't stop the run,disaster.
Davis,Babs - I think brady smith gets cut leaving only two unproven 2nd year players.What I saw of Babs is he isn't quick enough to play end and teams can run at him.Davis,a quesiton mark and do we really want to give the position to these 2 players when a pass rush is essential to stopping the offense to win? Neither player is a starter at end

2 out of 4 positions are below average at the key area on defense the line.

Linebackers

Brooking - is the star player at linebacker but in my opinion a bit overhyped as well.Brooking gets paid to much and while he can produce in key games still isn't the player other teams fear like a takeo spikes or ulracher.He is a notch below them but still the leader on defense
Hartwell - my opinion ray lewis made hartwell and the falcon's way overpaid for him.You can't judge 100% hartwell on a few games but I think hartwell while he can make tackles cannot fight off blocks and gets knocked out of the play to easily to be the fierce defender we need.
Boley - has potential
DMo - makes alot of plays but I wonder about his football IQ.He seems to get out of position easily and also gets pushed out of the play by bigger linemen.Can't fight off blocks !
Beck - hopefully has alot of potential

out of the 3 starters we have one pro bowler an above average player in hartwell and promising young players/I can live with this!

Def backs

Webster - questionablel this year for the most part.Way overpaid and can be injury prone.Webster had good games and had bad ones. Wrap up tackling needs to be worked on.Not impressed with webster.I would rank him average
DHall - pro bowl player will only get better but I hope doesn't get to complacent since all pro players have to work hard and have talent.DHall had his times when he couldn't shut every recevier down.He also has a bad temper and penalizes the team way to much by making stupid penalities. Still a pro bowler
Safeties - I won't say much excpet both are terrible and need replaced

Def backs one pro bowler, one average and 2 terrible .

By my count we have kerney,coleman,brooking,hall,hartwell,dmo has above average to pro bowl levels. 6
We have webster as average
the rest junk 4

Now to me if games are won in the trenches we must do something about it.Babs is to small to stop the run if swithced to def tackle.Shropshire has potential but do we really want to take the chance if he doesn't come through the run defense will again stink? If we can't get a free agent to be the starting def tackle then we have no choice but to draft someone who can stop the run,prefer a bigger player.I hate undersized defenses and off lines although I could live with athletic a bit bigger linemen.

the def backfield is a disaster. We need 2 safeties and a young corner.Mckay is going to have to really get after it and have a great draft and fill in with free agents. This team looked excpetionaly bad against the panthers.A change in philosophy is needed.Bigger,stronger and more athletic players will get us back as a team to be feared.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2006 2:10 am 
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By your assessment of the D-line, particularly Coleman and Lavalais, what would you say was the reason why the Falcons stopped the run so well last year. Was it because Jasper, Stewart, Draft, and Brady Smith were that good?

Lavalais played very well in 2004. No, he didn't have a sack, but he played just as much as Coleman & Jasper did last year in terms of # of snaps, and you never noticed much of a dropoff, except in the pass rush. So Lavalais has shown me he can get it done. And one thing I noticed over the 2nd half of the season was that opponents were more successful running the ball to the outside, and not up the middle. I don't recall too many big runs in the 2nd half of the year where the runner had a big hole in the middle of hte field. I attribute most of the big runs against us on the hole we had at RDE, with Babs and Davis handling that position, and there were many instances where both players were caught out of position. I have no problems with Lavalais. I think you'll be surprised at how much our interior D-line improves in 2006 without making any changes.

The defense IMO needs some more work, but I dont't hink we have to tinker with the core players. We need to upgrade over Webster eventually, but if we can improve the pass rush and allow him to be a bit more aggressive than he was in 2005, his play will improve. The safeties definitely need help.

But IMHO, 2005 was an aberration for this team. If all 11 starters returned next year, their play would improve just from the experienced they gained. Although I'm happy with our core, I do believe all 7 of them have lots of room for improvement. Demorrio is young and is going to be a force for years to come, you can mark my words. Sure, he made some mistakes, but he's a 2nd year player.

thescout wrote:
makes alot of plays but I wonder about his football IQ.


That seems like a very weird statement to me. First off, I'm not sure what that even means: His football IQ? Does that refer to his awareness and decision making on the field? Well, isn't it a bit odd to be questioning the IQ of a young player that spent a significant portion of his collegiate career playing DE? It just seems a bit obvious that because he's only 24 years old and is still somewhat learning the LB position that he is going to have poor awareness and decision making. That's something that veterans do well because they've seen things. But maybe that's just becuase I don't understand what the term "football IQ" means.

But it seems pretty clear at this point that we'll probably never agree on what needs to be done defensively. I think the talent is more than fine, it's just experience that is needed. You think that talent is lacking, and we need to add much more talent and more experience as well.

BTW, this is one person's views on Hali. It's Drew Boylhart from The Huddle Report. Drew is not always right (who is?) but usually if he says a guy is good, more times than not he ends up being right.

Drew Boylhart wrote:
Strengths

Tamba is a very strong player with a very good burst off the line of scrimmage. He is a dominating player; he takes on a double team and blows it up very easily. He has good pass rushing moves and understands how to set up the RT so that he can get a sack at an impact time of the game. Tamba uses his hands very well and never seems to let a block into his body or at his feet. He reminds me a lot of Charles Haley (DE - 49ers, Cowboys).

Needs to Improve

I could nitpick and say I wish he were taller or his arms were a little longer or I didn’t have to work for a living -- but what’s the use? All of that means nothing. The kid is a hell of a football player and I’m going to have to keep on working for a living!

Bottom Line
Back in the 80’s, there was a player that played for the 49ers. He was one nasty SOB. If he made a great play and one of his own teammates hit him on the back and said, "Great play, Old Charlie!", he'd tell his own teammate to shut the hell up and get back on the ball. He was strong, never off balance, had a great burst and would tackle a train if it tried to come around his end. I've never seen a DE handle a double team better than Charles Haley until maybe now. Tamba has the same natural hand strength and body strength that Charles had. Now I’m not saying that Tamba is a nasty player, but I am saying that on the field, he dominates and overpowers his man and makes the players around him better. Charles was a hard player for some coaches to handle, but Tamba looks to be an excellent teammate and you can just sense the respect the coaches have for this kid on the field. Tamba is going to be an excellent strong side DE for the team that drafts him. He is quick off the line, has excellent overall natural body strength, has very strong hands, is smart and has only played DE in college for one year. As soon as he learns a few more tricks, this kid is going to be a fan favorite and a core player for his team. In my opinion, he is a top ten player in this draft. Some of the juniors will come out and force him back into a top 15 player, but I can’t see him dropping further than that. He's a player that you should be able to plug into your line up right away.

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 Post subject: Good point of view!
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2006 3:12 am 
Pudge I have to hand it to you you defend your position on the team well despite we both don't see eye to eye on a few things. I understand your points let me add to them and what I have said.

Def tackle concerns me,you like Lavalias and I don't.In your opinion why didn't the run defense play well this year? I understand you mentioned that alot of yards were to the right side where Babs,Davis play but when I watched the games it seemed like teams ran up the middle at will.Tampa Bay and Cadillac blasted through the falcon defense on numerous times up the middle.I could see your point but I must have watched a different game. Now one thing we must do is upgrade the right end position.If we could get Darren howard for cheap then do it.I am not a fan of his since I would rather get a def end that can stop the run and sack the QB which probably means drafting him in the 1st maybe 2nd round. Kiwi the dude fro Boston College could slide to us and while I have not seen alot of him I have read good things.Certainly if not Kiwi I hope we grab Darryl Tapp in the 2nd or 3rd round. Getting back to def tackle I gues we will differe on this position until next year.I would just like a big def tackle in case lavalais doesn't pan out and babs.

Let me make a comment about DMO.I said he may lack football IQ.I may have been to rough on him since this was his first full year starting.I do think while he tends to make plays can get shoved out of the play since he is smaller.Stewart was a better run stopper than Dmo.I also think Jasper played the lanes better which resulted in the run defense being good. I am willing to give Dmo the benefit of the doubt but I hope he gets stronger.Football IQ to me means being in the right place at the right time and making the play especially during crucial times. Joe montana had it Jeff George didn't,Ulracher has it ,Ed Reed. Dmo was out of position on some of the games I saw and the offensive player just blew right by him.Out of position as in over runnning plays!

I saw that info on Hali you posted at thehuddlereport .By the way good site especially for the money.I look forward to Drew's comments on players. Hali to me seems similar to Matt Roth.Always having alot of enegry, and never giving up.I just was not impressed by him in the bowl game,a game where he should have a few sacks.A good pass rush can cover up alot of mistakes by the secondary and it makes me think Mckay will do something about it this draft.He likes the Simeon Rice tweener type.Greg Spires fo that matter so hali wouldn't be out of the question.I just think Darryl Tapp can be had in a lower round and be about as productive.I wish we knew more about Kiwi. I don't mind trading up if it includes Schaub or something else just as long as we get an impact player.That is for another thread just wanted to defend my previous post.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2006 2:51 pm 
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I like Tapp too. But if this team drafted Hali in Round 1, I don't think I'd be upset. Because I've heard very little negative things about him. He may not be in the class of strength, size, speed, athleticism of Kiwi or Williams, but he looks like a bonafide quality DE. I wasn't blown away either with his bowl game performance, but then again I only saw about a quarter's worth.

I would agree that Stewart is better than DeMo is at the point of attack. But I think the amount of plays he makes certainly makes up for his deficiency. I'm reminded of the combo of Quarles and Brooks in Tampa Bay. Both undersized guys by NFL standards, but made up for it with smarts and speed. Sure, DeMo, Boley, etc. are still young so the smarts aren't quite there yet, but they certainly have the speed. Here's some interesting stats. It measures Big plays made per game, with big plays being considered: sacks, tackles for loss, passes defensed, interceptions, forced fumbles, and defensive touchdowns. I'm looking at each position:

Strongside

Demorrio Williams - 1.000 per game
Michael Boley - 1.000 per game

Middle

Keith Brooking - 0.864 per game
Ed Hartwell - 0.500 per game

Weakside

Keith Brooking - 1.100 per game
Demorrio Williams - 0.636 per game

I think this confirms that Brooking's natural position is on the weakside. I also believe it confirms the notion that the "playmaker" position in this defense, unlike most defenses it is the WLB, but it is the SLB. That was the case in both Green Bay & San Fran for Donatell & Mora, who had Na'il Diggs and Julian Peterson, who were the primary playmakers at LB for their defenses. I think Hartwell's number are so low because he spent more time on the sideline than the team wanted early int he year, because so many teams tried to spread out our defense putting us in the nickel and keeping him off the field.

I totally agree that the play of the DTs needs to improve. And I do think that this team missed Jasper more than they thought they would. But not because Lavalais isn't an adequate starter, but because last year we had a solid trio in Coleman/Jasper/Lavalais running the rotation. This year, the 3rd DT: Lake, made plays, but wasn't the consistent force that Jasper was, particularly when stopping the run. Lake basically sucks as a run stopper, and ideally would be used only on passing downs. But that's the problem, is that Babs & Lake both are pass rushers on the interior like Coleman, while Lavalais and Shrop are our only run stoppers. Hopefully Shrop can step up, but I expect all 5 players to be better in 2006, because they all have room for improvement.

But I think if the overall defense can be allowed to be more aggressive in 2006, you'll see our run defense improve, sacks increase, and the number of big plays we make in the secondary increase as well. This team plays much better (see Eagles game) when we are allowed to be aggressive and swarm the ball. They lost their swagger early in the year and were never really the same, and the coaching staff IMO did their very best to keep them from getting it back by catering to much to the bend but don't break style.

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