August 26, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Helping Weeden, valuing Kyrie and assessing the risk involved in playing football

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

Good stuff on what helps make a rookie QB successful- “It’s obvious that the days of rookie quarterbacks “sitting and learning” have expired. With the intense pressure exerted on both coaching staffs and front offices, rookie quarterbacks now enter the league armed with instant expectations. And while there is no sure individual formula for rookie success, at least there are some team criteria which help to lessen the burden.

1. Run the Ball. Speedy wide receivers and flashy offensive designs are great, but a rookie quarterback’s best friend is a capable running game. Both Ryan and Flacco broke the taboo of a rookie quarterback being able to achieve success thanks to their team’s respective rushing attacks. (Or, if you wanted to go back to 2004, Ben Roethlisberger proved to be the ultimate example.)” [Kolonich/The OBR]

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How valuable is Kyrie Irving- “So of the top ten players in the league, I would be okay with the Cavaliers trading Kyrie Irving for six of them, though I would only feel really good about it if it was Kevin Durant. Every other NBA superstar comes with baggage, and while Irving will certainly start accumulating some as early as next season, right now he has shown so much potential and so much poise that it would be hard to let him go for any other player.” [Curry/Cavs HQ]

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“NBA fans don’t like the idea that someone who is trusted with a vote — no matter how silly a privilege voting for silly NBA awards is — is taking their job less seriously than NBA fans typically take their NBA. And the idea that Josh Selby, who made fewer shots (25) than his Memphis Grizzlies won games (41) this year, could grab a third-place vote? That Twitter darling and rightful two-time Rookie of the Month-winning Isaiah Thomas would finish behind Klay Thompson or Shumpert (or even Rubio, who was fantastic in his rookie season, but missed as many games as Josh Selby made shots)? It frustrates them.

Fans want to know who isn’t working hard. Who isn’t paying attention, and who isn’t taking things seriously. Media members want to know the same. And those who take pot shots at the types that want these things to be transparent? They’re spot on as well. This stuff is incredibly silly. Voting for NBA awards is somehow just as silly as giving a Most Improved Player award vote to Andrew Bogut, who played 12 games this season.” [Dwyer/Ball Don't Lie]

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Making football worth the risk, according to Jason Whitlock- “Andrew Sweat’s decision to eschew the Browns for law school speaks to how swiftly football’s image is changing. America’s national pastime has had a Thanksgiving driveway-like car accident. Junior Seau is Elin Nordegren and the NFL is Tiger Woods. Tiger is still a force of nature when it comes to drawing viewers to golf. He’s still famous, infamous, attractive, charismatic, exciting and impossible to ignore. He’s also damaged and a shell of his former self on the golf course.

In the aftermath of Seau’s suicide and growing concern over football head injuries, football could soon be a shell of its former self, a sport played almost exclusively by America’s option-less underclass.” [Whitlock/Fox Sports]

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“Not wanting to burn Kotchman (who had already hit a home run earlier in the game) quite as soon as he got on base, Acta waited to see how the inning played out before bringing on a pinch runner in case the game went to extra innings. That looked like a smart move when the next batter, Aaron Cunningham flew out to the second baseman. However, when Kotchman was able to move up on a wild pitch from Capps, he pulled him in favour of Marson. That’s when Choo struck and the pinch runner scored from second base, making it look like an even smarter move. Genius. Glasses. Acta.” [Parkes/The Score]

  • MrCleaveland

    Disagree with Kolonich that rookie QBs play right away because of “intense pressure exerted on both coaching staffs and front offices.”

    Pressure from who? Fans and media? I don’t believe that coaches or front offices allow the fans or media to dictate their line-ups.

    Rookies start because coaches and FOs are impatient, not because someone else wants them to.

    I think it was good ol’ Jerry Glanville who said, “If you start listening to the fans, pretty soon you’re up there sittin’ with ‘em.”

  • mgbode

    it’s a good article, but easy to nitpick on:

    Carson Palmer, Philip Rivers are a couple recent examples of sitting a year working out pretty well.  Brady Quinn, of course, is an example of the opposite.

    I think it’s pretty funny in the article that he says how important it is to run the ball then tries to brush a stroke over Ponder and Gabbert (who had the 2 of the most productive RBs in the NFL last year).   To me, the more important part is to provide the rookie-QB with good safety valves.   So, not only a RB, but a RB who can pickup the blitz and catch passes.   A good TE option or a WR who can bail them out (like AJ did for Dalton). 

    for the Browns, we need Watson/Moore/Cameron to be that safety valve along with Richardson/Marecic/Smelley.   If Weeden has a short easy dump-off option to go with his strong arm to the deeper options, then we could get something going (imagine if Derek Anderson could hit his short targets).

    the “wed” part of the article is tough to look at.   a successful QB makes for a stable coach.  a stable coach makes it easier for a QB to be successful over the years.  but, I’m not ready to jump to the conclusion that a stable coach makes for a successful QB.

    “keep it simple” only works if your skill guys can make those plays perfect and break big plays out of them (like SF did last year with Vernon Davis).   I am encouraged that OkieState ran a bunch of triangle routes (same as WCO but from shotgun and pre-snap reads instead of post-snap adjustments).    Hopefully, Weeden can absorb the simple stuff relatively quickly and move onto the more complicated machinations.

  • http://twitter.com/oribiasi oribiasi

    Besides Blackmon, did any other OKST WR have an amazing year with Weeden?  Did he go to the TE often?

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com/ Scott @ WFNY

    Amazing is obviously subjective, but Josh Cooper caught 68 and 71 balls, respectively, averaging 11 yards per reception. While Blackmon obviously caught more balls, he averaged 12.6 per grab so it’s not as big of a disparity as it may seem. Factor in the athleticism gap between the two and Cooper had a pretty solid campaign alongside Weeden.

  • mgbode

    Cooper was good, but not great the last 2 years.
    OkieState didn’t utilize TEs well.  Even when they had Pettigrew (Zac Robinson was QB), he only had 42 receptions and they split him out for a bunch of those.

    Not sure why that matters though.  Things will obviously be different in the NFL, but I would like to see our coaches take the common threads between the 2 offenses as a starting point and build out from there. 

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    i’m really interested to see josh cooper.  weeden loves him.  they’re working out together RIGHT NOW.  check out this interview.

    there’s so much chatter about ‘timing’ and ‘chemistry’ between receivers and QBs… i’m always left wondering whether it’s real or smoke.  if cooper makes the team and contributes, we’ll have a good data point on the substance of this.

  • mgbode

    yeah, they’re going to live together, etc.  worst case is that Weeden has a close ally in trying to learn everything and someone to go to vent that he may not want to do to most coaches/players.

  • Steve

    I’m absolutely in love with Irving too, but I think I would trade him for any guy on that list if contracts are thrown out the window, which the author seems to do. Obviously I wouldn’t trade him for a guy with one or two years left on his deal, but it’s not like Irving is a no-doubt-about-it future leader of a championship team. His defense has been sub-standard, yes he’s just 20, but it’s still an issue to be worked on. And for as flashy as he looked, they were only on pace for 7 more wins than a team that was tanking as hard as any team in league history. The kid could be that superstar, but I’ll take one who already is ten times out of ten.