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 Post subject: Re: So, thoughts?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 8:30 pm 
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What impresses me with Newton is that he's putting up decent numbers with practically nobody at receiver in Carolina.

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 Post subject: Re: So, thoughts?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:26 pm 
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You guys are missing the point. The issue isn't whether Ryan is overpaid, nor was the issue trading up for Julio Jones. It's the peripheral stuff. YOu can trade up for Julio, but you can't draft Akeem Dent, Peter Konz and Lamar Holmes with the 2nd and 3rd round picks you keep, who if they don't get better will be among the worst picks made by this regime. Doesn't matter if Julio is all-world, if you miss as badly as we did on those picks (thus far), then you're team isn't going to get better.

It's the same with Ryan, whether he's overpaid or not doesn't really matter. That's just 1 issue that has impact on other things, but if you miss on those other things, which include putting a strong supporting cast around him, putting him in a good offense, etc.

The issue with Ryan isn't arm strength. It's testicular fortitude. SUre, Ryan and Brady's arm strengths aren't that different. But there is a major difference between Ryan's willingness and ability to throw into tight windows than Brady's.

Frankly, if you were to rank the top 16-18 QBs that the consensus says are good, and rank them in terms of their willingness to throw into tight windows down the field (15+ yards), Ryan would be dead last. And the gap between him and the next worst guy would be HUGE. The only other QB that could be considered in that group that is as close to Ryan in terms of that unwillingness is Alex Smith.

This is why he will never be the elite QB that people want him to be.

Part of it is arm strength (and his lack of trust in it), part of it is trust in his receivers, and part of it is the offense he plays in. The arm strength issue is one that you can't really change. His arm has improved since coming into the league, but he'll never possess a cannon. He knows the limitations of his arm better than anything. But the thing the team does have some control over is the WRs and the structure of the offense. It's very clear that when Ryan has WRs that present big windows for him to throw into (i.e. they go and get the ball) like Roddy, Tony, and Julio, he's going to be more willing to make those tough throws that leave a little more to chance. But when you keep saddling him with Devin Hester, Harry Douglas, and Darius Johnson, and Drew Davis, then he's not going to have that trust.

Only 1 of those guys should be on this team in 2014, maybe 2. But I'll bet you good money that at least 3 if not all 4 will be on this team's roster on opening day. This is why I get so upset about the Brian Robiskie thing because it shows this team's fundamental inability to evaluate WR talent. It's only when it's blatant for all the world to see (like with Julio & Tony) have they been able to add a competent receiver to this roster over the past six years. Laurent Robinson traded for a 6th round pick, and goes on to have much greater success elsewhere than he did in Atlanta.

But I digress…

And obviously the offense they have great control over, but because the coaching staff insists on playing their conservative, dink and dunk, and don't shoot ourselves in the foot before the 4th quarter style, it means that Ryan basically only opts to manage the game for 3.5 quarters, and then decides to turn it on when it means something. It's why he has so many 4th quarter comebacks and game-winning drives, because whether they are playing a 4-12 Raiders team or an 11-5 Seahawks team, they are going to play everything close to the vest and just hope that Ryan, Julio, Roddy & Tony are healthy enough that they can do it for 1 drive. And if they can, we win like we've seen numerous times over the past 6 years. If they can't, we see what happened in the NFC Championship game.

But now 20% of our 4th quarter offense just took a job behind the desk at CBS, and if they think guys like Douglas, Hester, and Toilolo are going to fill that void, then they are idiots. More than likely, they will just put so much on Julio Jones and we'll basically morph into the Detroit Lions. And more than likely, if Julio is healthy, it'll probably work out for us more often than not during the regular season.

But then we'll get to the postseason, opposing defenses will figure us out and have the personnel to scheme against that 1 man wrecking crew, and we'll get thwarted.

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 Post subject: Re: So, thoughts?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 1:08 am 
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Going back and reading the posts on the thread I mentioned earlier the Falcons biggest problem was overpaying players. This is partially correct because not adding the necessary talent through the draft is the bigger problem. A good GM is going to make mistakes but not as many as TD has. I look at our defense and don't find any star players other than Trufant once he reaches potential. We have stacked the offense and because of the poor offensive line (which TD should take credit for) it struggled last year.

Here's an argument the Denver Broncos scored the most points in history last year only to get shut down by a top level defense. How are the Falcon's ever going to compete for championships if all their stars are on offense? The Falcon offense isn't nearly as potent as the Broncos so whoever is strategizing this is the way to build the team through offense is sorely mistaken. I guess if just making the playoffs is good enough. Once you reach the playoffs if your team can't stop anyone yet have a good offense your still going to lose. We need more star players on defense simple as that. Hopefully with Pioli being here a few gems are going to be found because that is what is going to take to be considered a team capable of beating the Seahawks and 49ers. Those teams are loaded defensively and have found gems throughout the draft. Not having capable of players to take over if you lose a player through free agency is why I keep saying talent evaluation should be the biggest skill a GM should have. Will see what he does this draft. Hopefully he won't reach to much.

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 Post subject: Re: So, thoughts?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 1:58 pm 
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Overpaying for free agents is a direct result of missing on draft picks, as well as the team's complacency when it comes to adjusting their roster, particularly at the end of training camp.

This team settled for Peria Jerry as their primary backup DT last year, when they had an opportunity to go out and get someone like Clinton McDonald, who just signed a new deal with the Bucs to start for them. McDonald was no world beater, but he is/was a better player than Jerry that could perform the same role. But because of this team's insistence on getting guys like Goodman reps and their misguided confidence in Jerry, their run defense suffered last year, causing them to overpay for guys like Jackson and Soliai this offseason.

Every move creates ripples. Unfortunately the ripples the Falcons moves create always have them behind the 8 ball and trying to fix them the following offseason. They can't get ahead of the curve. And I think that's one of the flaws of the needs-basded draft strategy. You're constantly trying to plug holes and fix leaks that plagued you the previous year, which means you're always reacting as opposed to being proactive.

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 Post subject: Re: So, thoughts?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 5:43 pm 
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^ Expanding on what Pudge just said... In 2011, the Falcons were in exactly the correct position to start drafting talent rather than having to draft to fill holes. The way that they opted to approach that was to give up the next two drafts to get one player. IMHO, that was a major mistake. It's that kind of decision making that puts you behind, and in the situation of having to draft for need. Drafts are finite. The more picks you have early in the draft, the better off you are. Now, how well you use those picks is another matter, but if you're giving those picks away, you are killing yourself.

Which brings us to today... If Dimitroff trades up for Clowney, this team is doomed. At this point, I would not be the least bit surprised if we do trade up for Clowney. For whatever reason, people who have gotten this far in the NFL are usually pretty set in their ways. They don't view mistakes as mistakes. They view them as good decisions that didn't work out they way that they had hoped. Unless these guys actually learn from their mistakes, they will continue to make the same poor decisions. It sure would be nice to see people in this organization who were able to adapt and grow rather than pass off mistakes as, "bad luck."


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 Post subject: Re: So, thoughts?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 8:31 pm 
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Here's an argument the Denver Broncos scored the most points in history last year only to get shut down by a top level defense. How are the Falcon's ever going to compete for championships if all their stars are on offense?

Quote:
The Broncos achieved a 13–3 record and the AFC's No. 1 seed for a second consecutive season, despite losing All-Pro offensive tackle Ryan Clady to a season-ending Lisfranc injury in Week 2, missing cornerback Champ Bailey for the majority of the season due to a foot injury, as well as notable late-season injuries to Von Miller and cornerback Chris Harris. The team also set numerous franchise and league records, including touchdowns and points scored, and quarterback Peyton Manning setting new NFL single-season records for passing yardage and passing touchdowns. In the playoffs, the Broncos defeated the San Diego Chargers in the Divisional round and the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship, but were defeated by the Seattle Seahawks 43–8 in Super Bowl XLVIII


I agree I'd rather have a GREAT DEFENSE,but we can't just say scoring points equal's failure.
Ok, they lost in last year's superbowl, but they played solid teams in the Divisional round; and
the AFC Championship...... Payton Manning probably played the offense like a master and used plenty of clock!! Now he's a Qb Matt Ryan can't touch. Ryan's numbers may look better
but Manning is running the game and the complete offense!! Manning isn't just looking for stats; but making plays to win the games, and thinking more like a coach!!

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 Post subject: Re: So, thoughts?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 10:17 pm 
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Cyril wrote:
Here's an argument the Denver Broncos scored the most points in history last year only to get shut down by a top level defense. How are the Falcon's ever going to compete for championships if all their stars are on offense?

Quote:
The Broncos achieved a 13–3 record and the AFC's No. 1 seed for a second consecutive season, despite losing All-Pro offensive tackle Ryan Clady to a season-ending Lisfranc injury in Week 2, missing cornerback Champ Bailey for the majority of the season due to a foot injury, as well as notable late-season injuries to Von Miller and cornerback Chris Harris. The team also set numerous franchise and league records, including touchdowns and points scored, and quarterback Peyton Manning setting new NFL single-season records for passing yardage and passing touchdowns. In the playoffs, the Broncos defeated the San Diego Chargers in the Divisional round and the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship, but were defeated by the Seattle Seahawks 43–8 in Super Bowl XLVIII


I agree I'd rather have a GREAT DEFENSE,but we can't just say scoring points equal's failure.
Ok, they lost in last year's superbowl, but they played solid teams in the Divisional round; and
the AFC Championship...... Payton Manning probably played the offense like a master and used plenty of clock!! Now he's a Qb Matt Ryan can't touch. Ryan's numbers may look better
but Manning is running the game and the complete offense!! Manning isn't just looking for stats; but making plays to win the games, and thinking more like a coach!!



Manning's a top 5 QB and Ryan isn't even though he's being paid like one. He must raise his game. Clady missed the season yet still Mannng threw for more yards than any QB in history. There comes a time when excuses get old and the results speak for themselves. I'm not sure if Ryan ever will be a top 5 QB.Sure we have a lot more issues than Ryan.I am thinking Ryan is what he is which means the rest of the team must be that much better to compete for championships yearly. TD so far has failed to find the necessary talent so the finger needs to be pointed at TD more than anyone else.

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 Post subject: Re: So, thoughts?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 12:39 am 
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Ryan is what he is. The only thing that will change that is a new coach that brings a fundamentally different philosophy to the offense. And that's by no means a sure thing. You're not going to suddenly become a better player in Year 7. It's certainly possible to have your peak season in Year 7 (Manning & Rodgers both did), but Ryan already had his in 2012. Which again is one of the reasons why I tried my best to appreciate and enjoy that trip to the NFCCG, because it was very likely that would be our best shot.

The hope is that the Falcons get another shot in another 3-5 years, and the truth is that is how they should be approaching this offseason and the next few. And that means keeping as many picks as possible. That doesn't mean you trade up, but you have to be smart. I believe you can be willing to part ways with 3rd and 4th round picks because they aren't nearly as valuable as 1st & 2nd rounders.

The problem of course is that the pressure is on them to win now. And even if the Falcons have a 9 or 10-win season (which is about what I expect) in 2014, and Blank hangs onto Smitty & TD for another year, the pressure is going to be just as high if not higher to improve upon that in 2015. And thus if they have an 8-8 or worse season then, Blank is gonna feel obligated to fire them.

Whether that is the right decision is a debate for another day, but the point is that seat is warming up, and when a front office/coaching staff feel the heat, they are more likely to go for broke rather than being patient.

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 Post subject: Re: So, thoughts?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 1:45 am 
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Good Post Pudge!! I'm afraid I can't see 10 wins; and 8-8 is more likely. Other teams have made better off season moves and we act like we're a winning team.....

Blank should have fired them this year if his standards are consistent upward winning!! We still
don't have the defense for it; and our 0-line will probably be disappointing again!!

Although everyone knows I don't like Blank, I think he gets some thumbs down when he made a goal a few seasons ago about a winning a playoff game. I don't think coaches or owners should talk about predicting football..... It was those very years when the emphasis was on winning titles that Thomas D. really missed out on a lot of players we have now that have either been let go from not rushing the passer, or not protecting the Quarterback.

Now I don't need bashing about my blasting Blank because its a small thing that the Gm & Coach take more seriously than anyone else. The problem to me and the point of this point is Blank and others I'm afraid see this as a 10 win team.

We won 4 games last year so if some want to see us as a 6 win team starting out and hope for 7-9 wins fine, Gm & Coach shouldn't be asked for more because its not there. Thomas D. will probably act like we need to be in the playoffs and its just not there. So as you suggest they go for the 100 yard pass; when the owner should know what kind of team this is.

Anyway as you suggested it all leads to moves that set you back even further; and its been the story of this franchise. When we were winning games I think Thomas D. main goal should have been to continue winning games and a playoff game would come. You keep winning games and a Superbowl will come.

I'm afraid we're back to looking for titles with a team that needs a winning season!! Its a formula for staying down for years!!

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 Post subject: Re: So, thoughts?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 2:07 am 
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thescout wrote:
Manning's a top 5 QB and Ryan isn't even though he's being paid like one. He must raise his game. Clady missed the season yet still Mannng threw for more yards than any QB in history. There comes a time when excuses get old and the results speak for themselves. I'm not sure if Ryan ever will be a top 5 QB.Sure we have a lot more issues than Ryan.I am thinking Ryan is what he is which means the rest of the team must be that much better to compete for championships yearly. TD so far has failed to find the necessary talent so the finger needs to be pointed at TD more than anyone else.

Manning is the best, or 2nd best QB in history. Ryan has been a top 5 QB for the past two years in both completion percentage and yards. (he was top 5 in TD's in 2012, and top 10 in 2013) To claim that he's not top 5 when he has put up top 5 numbers in consecutive years is denial. On top of this, we got to see Ryan put up top 5 numbers throwing the ball to Harry Douglas and a mix of 3rd string nobodies. He also did it without any defense to speak of, no running game to speak of, and no pass protection to speak of. How do you deny that he's, "top 5," with all of that on the table?

What does he have to do beyond putting up multiple stats in the top 5 in consecutive years, in addition to having, "the most game winning drives," for you to consider him, "top 5?" Seriously, why do you guys hate him so much? Because he doesn't throw deep? Freaking blame the coaching staff for that. Watch the games, look at how many deep routes are called. Ryan doesn't call the plays. I just don't understand the reasoning in saying that he's, "not top 5." Explain it to me. Which 5 QB's have been consistently better than Ryan for the past few years? Peyton Manning, Phillip Rivers, Drew Brees... And then.... Who? Ryan's been better than Brady in most categories for the past couple of years. Stafford puts up a ton of yards, but the rest of his stats are garbage. Aaron Rodgers was hurt last year... But the year before, Ryan still beat him in everything other than TD's and ints. And you can't say that 2012 was a fluke because Ryan still put up top 5 stats last year, throwing to nobodies. So what does Ryan have to do to impress you people?

I'm sorry that it seems like I'm hanging all over Ryan's nuts at this point. I'm not. I'm just tired of seeing him catch flak when it's obvious (to me anyway) that the problems with this team stem from the front office. Ryan is a top 5 QB. Arguments can be made that Russel Wilson, Tony Romo, Andrew Luck, and others might be better than Ryan, but Ryan has been better than those guys for the past couple of years.


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 Post subject: Re: So, thoughts?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 1:50 am 
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First off, what do we mean by Top 5 QB? Is that a very little interpretation, which means he's the 5th best QB in the league or are we implying that he's on par with the "Big 4?" i.e. Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Aaron Rodgers (in whatever order you wish to put them).

Because saying he's the 5th best QB? I don't agree, but it's really splitting hairs between how you rank the next 5-15 QBs since after the Big 4 you could make a case for probably that many guys that could be considered 5th best.

But if we're saying Ryan is on par or close to it with the Big 4, I simply cannot abide. He's not. He has the capability? Sure. I could imagine Matt Ryan being 20% better QB, and if that was the case he'd be every bit as good if not better than those other guys. But that 20% is a significant gap to overcome, and that would likely only come if he was surrounded by elite talent (like he was in 2012) and playing under a coaching staff that strove to be an offensive juggernaut rather than one that just wants to do enough to win.

RobertAP wrote:
Ryan has been a top 5 QB for the past two years in both completion percentage and yards.

I'm sure the same could have been said about Matt Schaub in 2008 and 2009.

RobertAP wrote:
What does he have to do beyond putting up multiple stats in the top 5 in consecutive years, in addition to having, "the most game winning drives," for you to consider him, "top 5?"

For me, it's not about numbers. It's play. Ryan is a very, very, very good QB.

It's about the tape. It's about the throws he doesn't make. How when you watch the All-22, you see how hesitant he is on throws. It goes back to the Dolphins game, which I broke down several plays he didn't make: http://falcfans.com/moneyball-2013-week-3-review-9087

The nail in the coffin for me was that throw Roethlisberger made to Antonio Brown in 2010 AFC Championship game vs. Baltimore with like a minute left in the game: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywQ2jwOL0nY
In our reality, Ryan cannot make that throw even if he wanted to, and nothing about what Ryan has put on tape in 6 years says he would even want to. It's the throws Eli did make in those playoff games, famously the one to Manningham in the 2011 Super Bowl. Or Rodgers rolling left and throwing a laser to Greg Jennings in our playoff game in 2010 or this past year to Cobb vs. Bears on a blown coverage. Ryan can't and won't make those throws/plays.

What it means is that other QB's A games will always be a notch above Ryan's A game until he is first more willing to make those tough throws downfield and then show he is capable of making them. Those throws can be the difference between winning and losing.

Unless he plays in an offense like what Bruce Arians runs where the offense is built around throwing down the field, there's zero chance that Ryan can play at that level. And even if he did play in an Arians-style offense, I'm not convinced he could play at that level. He might be more like Carson Palmer is now in Arizona's offense than Big Ben or Luck were playing under Arians in Pittsburgh and Indy.

I've seen so many late-game situations with Ryan over the years, reviewing those games, reviewing those drives. And when this team plays good teams, there are just too many memorable times where Ryan falls short. Now, I always remind other people that we always forget the games where he does get the job done at the end and remember the games where he doesn't because our brains are biased to seeing the negative.

But until that scale starts to tip heavily in favor of Ryan pulling through in big games agains thte Saints, or in the playoffs, then I'm not going to consider him "Top 5."

And I'm not dogging Ryan. Unlike everybody else, it isn't about taking a side on pro-Ryan or anti-Ryan, it's understanding how knowing EXACTLY who and what Ryan is means you can now start putting the right pieces around him. And obviously that increases your chances of winning it all, which is all you can do.

That's been the biggest failure of this current regime, their inability to self evaluate. And I believe that's the biggest killer of all or most NFL front office regimes.

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 Post subject: Re: So, thoughts?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 4:15 am 
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Pudge wrote:
I've seen so many late-game situations with Ryan over the years, reviewing those games, reviewing those drives. And when this team plays good teams, there are just too many memorable times where Ryan falls short. Now, I always remind other people that we always forget the games where he does get the job done at the end and remember the games where he doesn't because our brains are biased to seeing the negative.

But until that scale starts to tip heavily in favor of Ryan pulling through in big games agains thte Saints, or in the playoffs, then I'm not going to consider him "Top 5."



I couldn't agree more. A top 5 QB can pull out the big games against elite competition consistently not once in a blue moon. Until I see this then Ryan isn't considered a top 5 QB in my book.

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 Post subject: Re: So, thoughts?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:15 am 
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thescout wrote:
Pudge wrote:
I've seen so many late-game situations with Ryan over the years, reviewing those games, reviewing those drives. And when this team plays good teams, there are just too many memorable times where Ryan falls short. Now, I always remind other people that we always forget the games where he does get the job done at the end and remember the games where he doesn't because our brains are biased to seeing the negative.

But until that scale starts to tip heavily in favor of Ryan pulling through in big games agains thte Saints, or in the playoffs, then I'm not going to consider him "Top 5."



I couldn't agree more. A top 5 QB can pull out the big games against elite competition consistently not once in a blue moon. Until I see this then Ryan isn't considered a top 5 QB in my book.


As is often the case, and it applies here, the quarterback gets way too much credit when a team wins and way too much blame when a team loses. Whether you like him or dislike him, he is the quarterback here for the foreseeable future. We could have it worse. A lot worse.


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 Post subject: Re: So, thoughts?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 7:31 pm 
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I'm always saying I like Ryan!! I agree with what most everyone is saying, he's not really a top 5
Qb because if he was he'd be even better than he is; if he was a top 5.

I just think you make up that some of us don't like Ryan because we don't think he's as good as you do Robert. Well he a darn good Qb that can take a team to a Super Bowl, but he just can't do it alone!! I don't care how terrible our team was last year, I don't think most of the best Qbs
only win 4 games!! It doesn't mean I hate Ryan, I like Ryan; but want a better defense..and a better offensive line. He hasn't played his best in our biggest games like in the playoffs; but he's still certainly better than average; and I'm happy to have him!!

I don't feel others dislike Ryan here, they just are not willing to say top 5 based on his play in our
biggest games; or the games we lose. I understand he's helped us win many games; but not enough to call him a top 5. Its just a difference of opinion.

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