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 Post subject: Cam Newton = Beelzebub
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:29 pm 
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At least according to Pro Football Weekly...

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... am-newton/

PFW draft guide clobbers Cam Newton
Posted by Mike Florio on March 28, 2011, 9:16 PM EDT
Cam Newton AP

The Pro Football Weekly draft guide, prepared each year by the late Joel Buschbaum’s successor, Nolan Nawrocki, is regarded as an indispensable source for comprehensive information regarding the many incoming players.

This year, Nawrocki takes aim at one of the biggest names in the draft pool.

Our corporate brother/cousin/colleague/potty-mouthed PFT Live guest Tom Curran points out that Nawrocki rips former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton.

Under “negatives” for Newton, Nawrocki writes, “Very disingenuous — has a fake smile, comes off as very scripted and has a selfish, me-first makeup. Always knows where the cameras are and plays to them. Has an enormous ego with a sense of entitlement that continually invites trouble and makes him believe he is above the law — does not command respect from teammates and will always struggle to win a locker room . . . Lacks accountability, focus and trustworthiness — is not punctual, seeks shortcuts and sets a bad example. Immature and has had issues with authority. Not dependable.”

Wow, Nolan. Tell us how you really feel.

As Curran points out, each team will draw its own conclusions regarding Cam Newton. His talent and potential are undeniable; it only takes one team in the top 10 to be willing to take a chance on his character for Cam to be a top-10 pick.

Or, as the case may be, the top five.

Or, as the case may be, the top three.

Or, as the case may be, the top one.

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 Post subject: Re: Cam Newton = Beelzebub
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:25 pm 
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Pudge wrote:
At least according to Pro Football Weekly...

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... am-newton/

PFW draft guide clobbers Cam Newton
Posted by Mike Florio on March 28, 2011, 9:16 PM EDT
Cam Newton AP

The Pro Football Weekly draft guide, prepared each year by the late Joel Buschbaum’s successor, Nolan Nawrocki, is regarded as an indispensable source for comprehensive information regarding the many incoming players.

This year, Nawrocki takes aim at one of the biggest names in the draft pool.

Our corporate brother/cousin/colleague/potty-mouthed PFT Live guest Tom Curran points out that Nawrocki rips former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton.

Under “negatives” for Newton, Nawrocki writes, “Very disingenuous — has a fake smile, comes off as very scripted and has a selfish, me-first makeup. Always knows where the cameras are and plays to them. Has an enormous ego with a sense of entitlement that continually invites trouble and makes him believe he is above the law — does not command respect from teammates and will always struggle to win a locker room . . . Lacks accountability, focus and trustworthiness — is not punctual, seeks shortcuts and sets a bad example. Immature and has had issues with authority. Not dependable.”

Wow, Nolan. Tell us how you really feel.

As Curran points out, each team will draw its own conclusions regarding Cam Newton. His talent and potential are undeniable; it only takes one team in the top 10 to be willing to take a chance on his character for Cam to be a top-10 pick.

Or, as the case may be, the top five.

Or, as the case may be, the top three.

Or, as the case may be, the top one.



That's the danger only one team to take a chance on Newton,yikes. Also on the flip side blow the pick and you set your team back 3-5 yrs but no one ever says that. Cincy as a history of drafting these type of players like Klinger and Akili Smith. I see Buffalo taking him in my mock and I just think there are a number of red flags to worry about Newton.Everyone knows about the physical skills but Klinger had them also and failed. Any team thinking about drafting him better find out about his work ethic because they are set up to be burned if they don't.

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 Post subject: Re: Cam Newton = Beelzebub
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:27 pm 
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It I were Buffalo I would draft either Pronger or Dalton in the 2nd round and find a vet QB so they could sit for a year and learn.

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 Post subject: Re: Cam Newton = Beelzebub
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 2:50 pm 
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Quote:
Very disingenuous — has a fake smile,


Have thought this for a while now fwiw.

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 Post subject: Re: Cam Newton = Beelzebub
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 4:47 pm 
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widetrak21 wrote:
Quote:
Very disingenuous — has a fake smile,


Have thought this for a while now fwiw.


Scripted answers. It seems like NFL teams should investigate how Newton was at Florida and how he changed going to Auburn. If your handing over millions to a top pick who is going to be the face of your franchise then you better investigate everything about the kid. It's one thing being able to make all the throws but how will Newton respond when he sees NFL defenses making him more confused than he's ever seen. The speed of the game is alot faster and will Newton have the ability to make the right calls or throws when needed. There will be alot of adversity and how will Newton respond. Will he just be satisfied he got paid his millions or will he actually go in the film room and work on the things needed to solve the defenses he sees and beat them.

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 Post subject: Warren Moon says criticism of Newton racially based
PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:07 pm 
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Warren Moon defends Cam Newton

Newton's Character Questions
Herm Edwards on the questions about the character of draft prospect Cam Newton

Warren Moon, the first African-American quarterback to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, told CBSSports.com that he believes some of the criticism of Auburn quarterback Cam Newton is based in racism.

"A lot of the criticism he's receiving is unfortunate and racially based," Moon, who is Newton's adviser, told the website. "I thought we were all past this. I don't see other quarterbacks in the draft being criticized by the media or fans about their smile or called a phony. He's being held to different standards from white quarterbacks. I thought we were past all this stuff about African-American quarterbacks, but I guess we're not.

The Brian Kenny Show

Pro Football Weekly's Nolan Nawrocki talks about his controversial evaluation of Cam Newton and more.

More Podcasts »

"Of course there is racism in every walk of society. We've made a lot of progress in this country. But racism is still there. I just thought in the sports arena we were beyond it. I think the way Cam is being treated shows we're not."

A draft profile in Pro Football Weekly published this week blasted Newton. Under the category of negatives, Newton was described as "very disingenuous -- has a fake smile, comes off as very scripted and has a selfish, me-first makeup. Always knows where the cameras are and plays to them."

The profile also said that Newton "lacks accountability, focus and trustworthiness."

Nolan Nawrocki, the author of the Pro Football Weekly draft profile, called Moon's take "absurd" in an interview Thursday with ProFootballTalk.com. He said the publication said some of the same things about Carolina Panthers quarterback Jimmy Clausen last year when he was described as "scripted and disingenuous in interviews."

"I think the best evaluators in the NFL are colorblind in their assessments, and we treat it the same way. We're not trying to take shots at anybody. It's all about getting the evaluations right," he said.

Moon said he doesn't believe NFL teams are discriminating against Newton, but Moon is upset about the public perception of Newton. Moon told the website that Newton unfairly is being compared to recent draft flameout JaMarcus Russell just because they share the same skin color.

He also pointed out that Sam Bradford came out of a spread offense with Oklahoma similar to the offense Newton ran at Auburn, but there didn't seem to be questions whether Bradford could run a pro-style offense once he was drafted.

"Some of these questions about Cam are more about his intellect. It's blatant racism, some of it," Moon told the website.

More on ESPN.com

Yasinskas It's time for Carolina to break with its conservative past and make a bold move: Draft Cam Newton, Pat Yasinskas writes. Blog

Whether or not Warren Moon is correct, the story is incomplete without acknowledging the experiences that defined Moon's own career as a player, Mike Sando writes. Blog

Moon became Newton's adviser after the quarterback's father, Cecil, reached out to see if he would train his son. Moon steered the Newtons to George Whitfield instead, but agreed to mentor Cam.

"I'm actually more of a consultant and adviser to the family, and a mentor to Cam as he makes this transition," Moon told the News Tribune of Tacoma, Wash., last month.

At the combine in Indianapolis last month, Newton read a prepared statement to try to clarify a comment he made in which he described himself as "not only as a football player, but an entertainer and icon."

Newton explained where his focus will be in the future, and later said that he was at fault for being unclear.

"First and foremost, I understand that my obligation is to be the best possible football player I can be," he said. "I know and believe that."

Controversy is nothing new for Newton.

2011 NFL Draft

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NFL Nation | Scouts Inc. Insider

• Draft Machine: Your mock?
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The NCAA ruled in December that Newton was unaware of the pay-for-play scheme involving his father and the owner of a scouting service. Cecil Newton and Kenny Rogers -- a former Mississippi State player who worked for an agent -- sought money for the quarterback to play for the Bulldogs.

Cam Newton was arrested while attending Florida in November 2008 for having a stolen laptop. The charges were later dropped when he completed a pretrial intervention program for first-time offenders.

Newton has met with or is scheduled to meet with nine teams ahead of the NFL draft, which will be held April 28-30. Those teams, his agent, Tony Paige, told The Associated Press, are: the Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins, Minnesota Vikings and Miami Dolphins.

Moon said that all teams have to do is watch tape of Newton and spend time with the Heisman Trophy winner to know he's not "fake."

"You can't be fake and win a national championship," Moon told the website. "The players will see through it. He's won at every level. He took that Auburn team to the national title and that team wasn't as talented as some other teams in the SEC."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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 Post subject: Re: Cam Newton = Beelzebub
PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:10 pm 
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I would like to correct Mr. Moon on one point he made...

The offense that Newton played in at Auburn is nothing like the offense that Sam Bradford played in at Oklahoma, except they both use 4 wide receivers most downs.

Newton's offense at Auburn was much more akin to the offense that Pat White ran at West Virginia.

Ignorant folk like to lump all the spread offenses into one group, and they are anything but.

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 Post subject: Re: Cam Newton = Beelzebub
PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:20 pm 
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Oh brother Warren trying to use the racism card. :roll: Newton is more of a running QB than Bradford plus Bradford played well for 2 yrs not just 1. There is discrimnation everyone whether age,color, being left handed, ugly, beautiful etc etc. I know Moon is just talked about why other QBs don't get as much analysis but when your a QB and can be taken in the top 10 where teams fork over millions you'll be investigated high and low. Gabbert isn't getting the amount of investigation so Moon as a slight point but lets not call it racism.Maybe Gabbert reads defenses better and the key factor work ethic does Newton have it? Does Gabbert?

Newton should just let it roll off him and stick to business. Wherever he gets drafted he'll have a chance to prove if he is indeed worth the risk.

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 Post subject: Re: Cam Newton = Beelzebub
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:37 am 
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I do think race colors our perceptions of these QBs. Because there haven't been a ton of successful black QBs in the league, it's harder to give Newton the benefit of the doubt. Especially when his persona and personality are so very similar to that of Michael Vick and Vince Young.

It's easier to assume a white guy like Gabbert has "the stuff" because so many more have gone before him.

I mean PFW wrote a scathing review of Newton in their draft guide. I haven't read it, but I'm assuming that Nawrocki didn't crucify Ryan Mallett who most teams aren't in love with his intangibles in the same way.

I won't lie, if Cam Newton was white and he did the things he did at Auburn, I know my own assessment of him would be different (and more positive/optimistic) and I don't think there would be as much mixed opinion about his NFL prospects. And if Gabbert was black and did the things he did at Missouri, I don't think people (incl. myself) would be as optimistic about his NFL future.

That's not me saying that I think white QBs > black QBs, but we can't deny that outside Moon, McNair, and McNabb, there isn't a huge degree of success with black QBs over the past 20 years. Being Jason Campbell, Vince Young, Michael Vick, Seneca Wallace, and David Garrard just isn't good enough for black QBs. We'll see where Josh Freeman is in a few years. So until Newton, Tyrod Taylor, Terrelle Pryor, Robert Griffin, Russell Wilson, Geno Smith, Darron Thomas, etc. more/most of them are breaking out of that mold, it's going to be tough(er?) sledding for black QBs still.

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 Post subject: Re: Cam Newton = Beelzebub
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:37 am 
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I agree with your assessment Pudge. Like it or not people get a perception of a person based on habits and those who came before him. There are many successful white Qbs and much fewer black Qbs therefore Newton gets more investigation. All you can do is go with the flow and prove critics wrong once you get your chance. No need for Newton's agent to call out what is happening although I can understand it means millions for the kid.

Buffalo seems to really like him but this is the time when alot of smokescreens come into play. Make a wrong decision your setting your team back 3-5 yrs in my book. I think the success of past drafts some of these Qbs are living off it in this draft. Would Newton stack up against Sanchez,Ryan,Flacco ? Gabbert? The 3 I just mentioned threw the ball alot more instead of Newton and gabbert but some how people want to make the assuption they are potential franchise Qbs. Will see but I don't think Newton and Gabbert have the track record of Ryan,Sanchez and Flacco. The teams that draft them (Newton and Gabbert) are taking a bigger risk and if their wrong could pay the price.

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 Post subject: Re: Cam Newton = Beelzebub
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:47 am 
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Panthers need to take Cam Newton
March, 31, 2011 Mar 311:30PM ETEmail Print Comments328 By Pat Yasinskas
Paul Abell/US Presswire
At Auburn, Cam Newton proved to be a dangerous athlete who could throw and run.There was a time when you could read the Carolina Panthers like a book. The title was “Third and Long: A Draw Play to Nick Goings.’’

Take any situation -- on or off the field -- and you could ask yourself, “What would Jerry Richardson, John Fox and Marty Hurney do?’’ The answer was obvious: the most conservative thing possible. That’s why what I’m about to say still shocks me.

The Panthers need to use the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft on Auburn quarterback Cam Newton.

There, I said it, even though I was thinking just the opposite only a few weeks ago. What's changed?

Year Of The Quarterback
ESPN has dedicated 2011 to examining one of the most crucial positions in all of sports -- the quarterback.
Year of the QB »
Well, Fox is gone as coach, and Ron Rivera is in his place. That’s significant. But it’s about more than that. The world has changed, and I think the Panthers finally have realized it.

I’m not saying the Panthers absolutely will take Newton -- they haven’t made any final decision. I’m just saying they should take Newton. I’m also sensing that’s a very real possibility because the Panthers have been doing heavy homework on Newton, pretty much since the moment Andrew Luck said he wasn’t entering the draft, and all indications are they’ll continue to do their homework on Newton right up until draft time.

That’s exactly what they should be doing. For too long (at least Fox's nine seasons as coach), the thinking in Carolina was you don’t draft quarterbacks early because they take too long to develop and you go out and win with defense, a ball-control offense and a game manager at quarterback. It worked at times, but it also ended up being the reason Fox is gone.

At the same time that Fox was refusing to embrace last year’s youth movement or adjust in any way, I believe Hurney and Richardson took off the blinders. When they looked around, they realized they’re in a league driven by quarterbacks.

We’re talking quarterbacks who can throw and quarterbacks who can run. Green Bay won a Super Bowl with a mobile quarterback, Aaron Rodgers. Tampa Bay won 10 games last season with Josh Freeman, who can throw and run. Rules have changed, and they’ve changed in favor of quarterbacks and offenses in general. It's way past time for the Panthers to change, and that's why they're playing catch-up now.

New Orleans has Drew Brees and Atlanta has Matt Ryan. You do the math, but my quick calculations say three out of four NFC South teams have a franchise quarterback who will be around for the foreseeable future.

That’s why the Panthers need to take Newton. He is the only guy in this year’s draft with a chance to be a true franchise quarterback. The No. 1 pick is a gift designed to help the league’s worst team get better, and at least in theory, you have to take your shot when it’s there because you shouldn't be sitting at No. 1 repeatedly.

AP Photo/Margaret Bowles
The Panthers took Jimmy Clausen in the second round last year and he struggled: throwing just three touchdowns to nine interceptions while getting sacked 33 times.Newton’s sitting right in front of the Panthers, and they need to just go ahead and grab him. Yeah, I know there are questions about Newton’s background and character, and there are even questions about his ability to adjust to an NFL offense because he had such a short college career.

But do you really think the Panthers still would be in the Newton mix if they viewed Newton’s background as a bright red flag? Yes, a big part of this column is about how the Panthers are changing right in front of us, but one thing hasn’t changed. That’s Richardson’s position on character.

He has been a stickler on that subject ever since the Rae Carruth saga. Richardson has his hands full with the league’s labor negotiations, but trust me, the man has seen and heard everything Hurney and his staff have gathered on Newton. To date, Richardson hasn’t come out and told his general manager to scratch Newton off the list.

We’re less than a month away from the draft, and the Panthers are still going down the Newton road. It’s one of several scenarios -- Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert, several defensive linemen, LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson and Georgia receiver A.J. Green -- still in the mix.

The old Panthers automatically would have gone with a defensive lineman because the general rule of thumb is you don’t take a cornerback or receiver at No. 1 and the quarterbacks would not even have been a consideration.

But Newton and Gabbert are still very much in consideration, and that says a lot. Even if you take the next step and narrow it down to the two quarterbacks, the old Carolina rule of thumb would have dictated that the Panthers go with Gabbert. He doesn’t have the background questions.

He also doesn’t have the upside Newton does. At best, Gabbert’s going to turn out to be something like Mark Sanchez, a solid quarterback but not a guy who is going to carry you to the Super Bowl on his own. Believe it or not, the powers that are still with the Panthers think Jimmy Clausen, a second-round pick last year, could turn out to be something comparable to Sanchez.

Newton can be more than that. At best, Newton’s going to be Freeman or Ben Roethlisberger or maybe even something better than we’ve ever seen.

And don’t give me that old line about how missing on a quarterback will set back your franchise for five years. And I sure don’t want to hear that you’re three years away from winning when you draft a quarterback at the top of the draft.

The Bucs started winning in Freeman’s first full season as a starter, and the rest of the roster wasn’t all that talented. The Falcons, who were about as low as a team can be in 2007, drafted Ryan, played him right away and immediately started winning in 2008.

Speaking of Ryan, he is the prototype quarterback in Hurney’s eyes. When Ryan was coming out in that draft, Hurney was saying he hadn’t seen a more surefire prospect in years, maybe ever. He had studied Ryan and had some strong inside knowledge because Hurney’s nephew was the equipment manager at Boston College and a close friend of the quarterback. Hurney had a pretty similar view of Luck right up until the moment he said he was staying at Stanford.

When you’re out of Luck, there’s only one thing left to do in this brave new world in which the Panthers are living.

You take a chance. You aim straight for the sky instead of worrying about the floor collapsing.

You take Newton.

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 Post subject: Re: Cam Newton = Beelzebub
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:26 pm 
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Quote:
"I thought we were all past this. I don't see other quarterbacks in the draft being criticized by the media or fans about their smile or called a phony.


To me this doesn't have much of anything to do w/ race, it about the fact that his name was involved in cheating all year. When you've potentially cheated, they're gonna overanalyze every move you make, all the way down to your smile. FWIW, I haven't heard anything glowing about Mallett either, they've pretty well throw him under the bus for whatever character flaws he must exude.

At the same time my, much of anything comment above does mean I don't think its at zero. Pudge you're right about that group of rookie black qb's. My example, and don't play the homer card, would be contrasting Locker vs Tyrod Taylor. Start to analyze these two side by side and you're gonna have to explain to me why ones projected so much higher than another. I think this creeps back into this issue to some degree. Lockers a big strong white kid with a good head. But to me you start getting into accuracy, athleticism, arm, etc., why really would Locker be rated so much higher?

Locker @ Washington
YEAR CMP ATT YDS CMP% YPA LNG TD INT SACK RAT
2007 155 328 2062 47.3 6.29 98 14 15 17 105.01
2008 50 93 512 53.8 5.51 48 1 0 10 103.55
2009 230 395 2800 58.2 7.09 51 21 11 28 129.75
2010 184 332 2265 55.4 6.82 80 17 9 19 124.20

Taylor @ VT
YEAR CMP ATT YDS CMP% YPA LNG TD INT SACK RAT
2007 72 134 927 53.7 6.92 59 5 3 23 119.68
2008 99 173 1036 57.2 5.99 40 2 7 20 103.25
2009 136 243 2311 56.0 9.51 81 13 5 28 149.39
2010 188 315 2743 59.7 8.71 69 24 5 34 154.80

So why Locker so much more, the stats favor Taylor across board. Plus he actually continually increased his accuracy, Locker got worse. Well he's not gonna get more accurate when bullets start flying faster. QB ratings favor TT, rushing yds.

I'm not saying TT will be great, but I am saying why does everyone favor a Locker more so, when really other than height (2" difference) whats better??? Hell, give me a TT in round 3 plus versus potentially busting on Locker. Plus TT could have a fall back position, Locker would be toast.

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 Post subject: Re: Cam Newton = Beelzebub
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 3:59 pm 
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That 2 inch height difference does make a big deal. The problem isn't that being 6-3 is magic and 6-1 isn't. It's the fact that Taylor plays like a 6-1 QB and has trouble locating and finding throwing lanes in the pocket. Locker doesn't have this problem. Locker's main issue is his footwork and mechanics. You improve those, and you should have a guy that is effective, not great, but effective throwing from the pocket to a moderately consistent level.

On Wednesday, I heard a great comparison of Jake Locker, in that he compares very favorably to Donovan McNabb. McNabb has bad mechanics and less than stellar accuracy, but it still doesn't limit him from being an effective NFL passer. Locker's upside is comparable.

Taylor on the other hand, will ALWAYS struggle throwing consistently from the pocket because of his short stature COUPLED with the fact that the coaches at Virginia Tech didn't coach him up to be a guy that makes up for it with anticipation.

The reason why Drew Brees is an effective pocket passer because he anticipates second to no one and has pinpoint accuracy. Taylor doesn't have this.

And that difference in height (and some other factors) means that if Locker reaches his full potential, he can be as good an NFL starter as Donovan McNabb. While Taylor on the other hand, if he reaches his full potential, he'll still probably only be as good as Seneca Wallace.

Now, Locker may never live up to his potential, and Taylor could wind up playing 2 or 3 times as long in the league as he does. But that potential is the difference why Locker will be drafted in the Top 50 picks and why Taylor will be lucky to go in the Top 100.

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 Post subject: Re: Cam Newton = Beelzebub
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 5:35 pm 
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Thats a pretty good breakdown, thanks.

Quote:
The reason why Drew Brees is an effective pocket passer because he anticipates second to no one and has pinpoint accuracy. Taylor doesn't have this.


Can TT get to this point, time and his apptitude will tell. I don't write him off simply b/c he's a hard worker, and guys like Brees and Vick have done it a appx 6'0" or so. Obviously other than mechanics, Vick being a better student lead to better anticipation too.

W/ Locker, I think you're right its accuracy. But w/ Sarkesian (sp?), shouldn't he have improved over a four year timespan?? He certainly won't get that long in the league. Vick is dumb as a brick, and Andy Reid taught even him to get him feet/shoulders aligned in basically a year. Locker seems willing, so what gives? Some just revert when the bullets fly, we're still seeing if a Tebow can even do this.

Brian Billick was on last night talkign about JL's accuracy, or lack there of. He actually compared him to when they drafted Kyle Boller. Said that Baltimore kept making excuses to explain away him accuracy issues, ie., his WR's weren't that great, etc. Basically boiled it down to don't make excuses for bad accuracy, or you'll be looking for a job like he was down the road.

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 Post subject: Re: Cam Newton = Beelzebub
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:24 pm 
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Stumbled across this...I like metrics as a salt sprinkle on my analysis.
~~~~~~~~
One of the central lessons of the book "Moneyball" is that scouting eyes can be deceiving.

Billy Beane had every physical tool a scout could possibly want in a prospect but he didn't pan out as a successful major leaguer -- Beane's emotional makeup was such that he was not going to develop into a good hitter.

Author Michael Lewis wrote that the scouts might have been able to see this had they bothered to note that Beane's high school batting average dropped from over .500 in his junior year to just over .300 in his senior season. But scouts ignored it. In their collective mind's eye, all they saw was someone whose skills were so prodigious that he was destined to become a great major leaguer.

One might think that a "scouting eye" mindset might diminish in an era when metric studies are nearly ubiquitous, but the case of Jake Locker proves otherwise.

Locker's physical skills are phenomenal and are the main reason he is still considered a possible first-round draft prospect, even after a poor senior year. And over the long haul of his collegiate career those skills have not translated into consistently good on-field play.

There are a number of metrics to back up this assertion. Let's start with some of the basics.

Locker's 15-25 collegiate record included 26 games against teams that ended the season with a winning record. His record in those contests was 8-18.

An argument could be made that this mark says more about the relative talents of the Washington Huskies squad during this time than Locker, but in eight of those losses Locker failed to top 100 in passer rating (including three times in 2010).

To get an idea of just how bad this is, consider that the lowest-rated quarterback in FBS last year (Larry Smith of the Vanderbilt Commodores) had a 94.3 passer rating. Locker's performances in those games were truly bottom-of-the-barrel caliber.

But it isn't like he did much better when facing subpar foes, as his mark against teams with a .500 or lower season-ending win percentage was 7-7. This figure is especially telling, because it means that Locker wasn't able to carry his team to victories even against equal or lesser opponents. Many evaluators, however, consider winning percentages an unfair manner in which to grade a quarterback. So let's consider others.

Completion percentage is a quick and easy way to measure quarterback success. A 60 percent completion rate is generally considered a significant benchmark of success. However, Locker achieved that goal in only 12 contests, or 30 percent of the time.

Another way to measure a quarterback's prowess is to weigh his passer rating performance against the opponent's season-ending passer rating allowed total. This shows how often the quarterback did better or worse than might be expected. Locker had a higher mark in 18 out of the 40 contests. That means that in 55 percent of the games Locker played, the passing offense could be expected to play below the opponent's talent level.

That underperformance also shows up in his season and career passer rating totals.

To get an idea of just how bad Locker rates here, consider that his 118.95 career passer rating mark would have ranked 91st in that category in 2010 -- even his best season showing in this metric (129.74 in 2009) ranked 58th in FBS that year.

Some scouts may want to overlook these numeric weaknesses because of Locker's talents, but doing that leads to the question of why this approach hasn't been applied to former Florida State Seminoles starting quarterback Christian Ponder.

Ponder is rated much lower than Locker on almost every draft board and yet he beats Locker in nearly every important statistical category.

Record: Ponder had an 18-12 record against FBS opponents, which included a 13-12 mark against teams that ended the season with a winning record and a 5-0 showing against foes with losing records.

Career passer rating total: Ponder's 132.11 mark tops Locker's (118.95) by more than 10 points.

Completion rate of 60 percent or higher: Ponder reached this bar in 19 out of 34 contests (56 percent), but the more notable mark is that he also achieved this in 16 out of his last 21 games.

It isn't just on-field performance where Ponder keeps up. These two are almost identical in height, weight, arm length and hand size, and they posted extremely similar marks in the combine speed and jumping drills.

One combine area in which Locker did not fare as well as Ponder was in the Wonderlic intelligence test, as Ponder's score of 35 was far ahead of Locker's total of 20.

Both quarterbacks also competed in the Senior Bowl. Locker had a solid game (6-for-10 for 98 yards, 0-0 TD/INTs) but Ponder's numbers (7-for-13 for 132 yards, 2 TD-0 INTs) led to him being named Senior Bowl MVP.

If Ponder beats Locker in just about every conceivable way, why is he still rated lower? Some scouting reports say that it is because Locker is better at throwing deep passes, but again, the numbers don't bear that out.

ESPN Stats & Information tracked all of Locker's passes that traveled more than 20 yards in the air in 2010. He notched a 30.2 percent completion rate, an 11.3 yards per attempt (YPA) total and a 7-2 TD-to-INT ratio.

Now contrast those figures against Ponder's numbers in the same category when he faced the five best defenses in passer rating allowed on the Seminoles' 2010 schedule (Oklahoma Sooners, Brigham Young Cougars, Miami Hurricanes, Maryland Terrapins and Florida Gators): 35.7 completion rate, 10.1 YPA and a 3-1 TD-to-INT ratio. Those totals are basically equal to Locker's and yet they were against the toughest competition Ponder faced last year.

And that still won't be enough to put Ponder over Locker in many draft rooms. There may be a lot of explanations as to why this is, but the most likely reason is that many scouts are still using the mind's eye system. Their initial mental image of Locker was as a dominant prospect and, as is so often the case, first impressions are the strongest.

It should also be the first one to go when the metrics indicate otherwise.

KC Joyner, aka the Football Scientist, is a regular contributor to ESPN Insider. He also can be found on Twitter @kcjoynertfs and at his website. He is the author of "Blindsided: Why the Left Tackle is Overrated and Other Contrarian Football Thoughts."

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 Post subject: Re: Cam Newton = Beelzebub
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 7:29 pm 
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First off, about Taylor, I think his career path will go 1 of 2 ways:

Path 1: Seneca Wallace
Path 2: Troy Smith

I was a big fan of SMith when he came out in 2007, but I think his development has been "ruined" by the fact that he's played quite a bit early. He didn't get the opportunity to sit and learn, which I think would have helped his ability to stick rather than being a journeyman, and will likely play with his 3rd team in 5 years in 2011.

Wallace got the chance to sit in Seattle and learn from guys like Dilfer, Hasselbeck for several years in Seattle, and he's now entering his 9th year and could potentially be the starter for the Browns if he's healthy, and as we saw earlier this season he's a pretty good player (i'd argue Cleveland would have beaten us if he had not gotten hurt).

If Smith gets the chance to sit and learn, I think he'll be like Wallace and have some longevity. If not and he's forced to play early, then he'll go the way of Troy Smith who seems like he's always barely hanging onto a roster spot and no team wants to fully commit to him.

--

The thing that is intriguing about Locker is that he missed the 2008 season with an injury. Then in '09 under Sarkisian in his first time playing in a pro style offense he showed significant improvement as a passer when comparing that to his '07 tape. And then from '09 to '10 there was almost zero growth. And the thought process a year ago was that if Locker showed as much growth from '09 to '10 as he did from '07 to '09, then he would be as good as any QB prospect we've seen in recent memory.

And I think that's what makes scouts/coaches/teams intriguing about Locker. It's all potential and trying to unlock that potential that could make him a really good QB.

I'm a Jake Locker fan, but there is certainly risk with him.

I think I would compare him to Chad Henne. Henne was a guy I killed after his senior year at Michigan. He played hurt, had a big arm and was experienced. But his decision making was very erratic throughout that whole year, and I didn't like the fact that RB Mike Hart was the leader of that team and not him, and it's why I thought he was a developmental 3rd round prospect. A guy that had been a 4-year starter should have played much smarter than Henne did and the throws he forced throughout that year made me think at his core he wasn't a very "cerebral" passer.

Locker's play on the surface is very reminiscent of Henne's during his last year at Michigan. The excuse I would make for Locker, is that at least he has 4.5 speed and even if he's not a cerebral passer, then his athleticism will allow him to somewhat make up for that by making plays with his leg (a la a young Vick). The other excuse is that we know Locker is still growing as a passing QB (only 2 years really of trying to do that), so his "cerebral limitations" are thus understandable. And the third thing I like that makes me more optimistic about Locker is that there was no doubt he was far and away the leader at Washington all 4 years he was there.

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