Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My Post-Manning Ideal offseason

Okay, so now that the whole Manning thing is behind us, I think it would be wise to cope with our rejection by looking at some future moves that will make us better.

1)  They must sign Demetrius Bell at LT.  He will be a great addition to this line.  They don't need a player to develop at that position (ie, a draft pick), they need a guy who can start there now.  Kolb can't afford to take any more hits.  Bell did a good job while healthy at Buffalo and is widely considered the best LT in free agency.  While I don't think he is a premier LT, he is better than what we have.

2) If #1 happens than resigning Brown was a great move.  He really is a good RT.  Yeah, so maybe he's in the wrong offense, but at RT he's a good fit anywhere.

3) Draft DeCastro. 

4) If DeCastro isn't there at #13 then trade the pick to Cincinatti for their #17 and another pick.  I honestly don't know if they'll part with a 2nd rounder for 4 places, but they don't want to lose Dre Kirkpatrick to the Cowboys at #14 so they might be willing to deal.

5) After the trade, draft Kendall Wright at #17.  This gives you speed and athleticism to compliment Fitz.  I love this guys fire.

6)  With the 2nd round pick I'd grab Bobbie Massie OT out of Mississippi.  He's a slight project, but will grow fast behind Bell and Brown.

7) Draft BPA after that. 

8) Pray Kolb stays healthy and has time to grow in this offense.  Oh and pray Whiz remembers how to run the football.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Bravo Cards

I don't usually say this, but I'm proud of the Cards organization.  They took a shot at Peyton Manning.  He flirted for a day, and, I think, was wooed away by lesser opportunities (Denver and Titans).  But that's on him.  He'll have to live with that decision.  The Cards did their part.  They also didn't wait around like the desperate chick who sits by the phone because she believed him when he said he'd call her back.  They had a window.  It closed.  The wisely backed out. 

I'm not sure what to make of Gambo reporting that Manning wanted to come to AZ.  He's rarely wrong.  Like I said before, I think he really did want to come here, but had his mind muddled by all the other pitches he got from other teams.  Again, that's on him.  The Cards played this right. 

Now to move on.  I still think they should have pushed hard to move Kolb.  One more concussion.  Or how about just more turf toe.  He's got the injury tag full on.  And now they're gonna pay him to play 6 more games this year.  Not smart.  I sure hope Skelton makes massive progress this off season and takes the starting job back.  But they'll still be paying Kolb needlessly.

The last I looked Demetrius Bell is still a FA.  They should push hard for him if they don't think J. Martin will be there at #13.  Or if they intend to trade down and pick up a second rounder.  I love the idea but they better get Bell first.  I'm sold on Bobbie Massey, OT out of Mississippi, in the 2nd.  So picking up that pick would really help.

The signings of Levi Brown and that guy from SF were good.  Brown should be moved backed to RT where he belongs and Snyder might start at RG.  They provide much needed depth.  But Brown doesn't fit this system.  I'm curious as to why he resigned here.  I know his options weren't great out there, but he has no chance to be good here.  It helps the Cards, but hurts him.  His agent should have been pushing hard for SF, Seattle, Baltimore, or the Jets.  They pass too much here for him.

As I sit back and think about it after my post Manning depression, this offense is a mess.  They still have run oriented RT (Levi) in a pass oriented system and no LT.  The line is no different than last year when it wasn't very good.  I get the feeling this offense is slowly going nowhere.  And they still don't have the 2nd WR.  I'll feel better if they sign Bell, but not much.  I'm not sure any of this matters though.  Whiz will still stubbornly run his bad offense with the wrong kind of players.  I have zero confidence in him offensively.  That is of course unless he had Kurt Warner or Peyton Manning.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Its time for Kolb to move on.

I don't mean to say I told you so, but...  um... yeah, well.   Trading DRC and the 2nd pick for Kolb made no sense a year ago and it makes the same amount of 'no sense' as it did then... or whatever.  It still was a stupid trade.  Kolb had no chance to learn this asinine system in the short time he had.  Combine that with the DEATH SQUAD Offensive Tackles that this team had and his head trauma history and you had a recipe for concussions. Skelton wasn't exactly shocking the world, but he displayed many intangible skill sets that said he can be successful given time.  And sure enough, they won this year with him while Kevin was out with injuries. 

Kolb came at too high a price.  Now, almost a year later, the Cards are in a deep flirtation with Peyton Manning and may be close to landing him.  In which case, Kolb will be cut or traded. 

But even if they don't get Manning, they have to trade/cut Kolb.  If there is any market at all for him out there, I'd be all over it.  To reevaluate Kevin I'd say he's everything he was coming out of Philly plus one more major concussion.  That might land him at about a 2nd or 3rd round pick, if you're ridiculously lucky.  Especially from desperate teams who have Colt McCoy or Tarvaris Jackson as their starting QB.  Recovering a pick would cover half of the moronic trade.  However, you'd still have the unrecoverable loss of DRC, but who knows, after last year Philly might cut him and he can come back to AZ.  (Wouldn't that be interesting)

The reason Kolb has to go is simple: he's a concussion away from being done permanently.  The poor guy couldn't see straight for 5+ weeks after his big one last year.  You can't have an unproven guy with head trauma and owed a lot of money as your franchise QB.  It makes little sense to keep him.  Plus, I'm sure he's feeling very wanted right now as everyone is salivating over the prospect of Manning in Cardinal Red.  Talk about a one night stand.  Sorry Kevin. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

2012 OT

Matt Kalil: 6'7, 300 lbs. USC (CBS current overall rank: #3) -Fundamentally sound.  You can tell he's done extensive refinement on his footwork.  His feet move fluidly and consistently maintain a solid base.  He's strong.  He's fast.  He's tall.  He's got great balance.  He's the #3 pick overall.  But I'd take him over RG3.  (So he's #2 in my heart)

Riley Reiff: 6'6, 315 lbs.  Iowa (#8) - He stays solid on the block.  He's mean on the run.  Has good push.  He has a weird way of popping guys back on pass protection.  Not sure if that will hold up in the NFL.  He seems weaker on the pass protection, and strong on the run.  A solid pick for a RO team.  I say the Cards pass on him then.

Jonathan Martin: 6'5, 310 lbs.  Stanford (#18) - A much more balanced OT than Reiff.  He is solid on the run and solid on the pass.  Seems to have light feet and great balance, which makes him a natural pass protector.  A great pick for a PO team.  So the Cardinals should feel blessed if he's still around at #13.

Mike Adams: 6'7, 320 lbs.  Ohio State (#36) -  Good base.  I love him on the run.  He's got that nasty edge to him.  The Raiders will love him.  He'll be good against power rushers, but I don't see him having a ton of success against the speedy guys on the left side.  I see him as a good RT or a decent LT in a RO offense. Levi Brown II. (One more note; he's been injured and in trouble numerous times.)

Zebrie Sanders: 6'6, 310 lbs. Florida State(#52) - He's got some potential in the run scheming, but I'm very concerned with how he moves in the pass.  His legs seem to have and awkward glide to them.  He has good balance once he engages, but the speedy ends will have him falling all over himself if he doesn't smooth that out.  A good pick for a RO team.

Bobby Massie: 6'6, 325 lbs.  Mississippi (#74) - This guy is way too far under the radar.  He's better than Sanders or Adams for a PO team.  And he's not that far behind them on the run either.  He has younger legs and lighter feet than either of those two and the potential seems greater.  I like how well adjusts on the pass.  He's always looking to hit someone and stays long into the play.  Numerous times he takes on 2 or 3 guys.  I've heard questions about his work ethic though.  That doesn't scare me away from drafting him early in the 3rd.  A great pick for the Cards.

Mitchell Schwartz:  6'5, 320 lbs.  Cal. (#77) - He's kind of the opposite of Massie.  He looks old.  He's good on the run, but looks to be too slow for the pass.  A decent backup at RT.

Matt McCants:  6'7, 295 lbs. UAB (#84) - He looks like he's in great shape.  He says he's ready to learn.  I like that.  But it also looked like he fell down a lot on plays.  And that's against lesser D1 opponents. I'm very concerned with his balance.

*(RO = run oriented, PO = pass oriented)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The RG3 debate and the Rams stole from the Skins

RG3 has got some major pluses.  Athleticism and leadership being foremost.  He also was an extremely accurate passer at Baylor throwing for 72.4% his last year.  Now, you know I'm all about accuracy.  Those kind of numbers are dreamy and combine that with the rest of his positives and he appears to be a future star.  This is the kind of thinking that will get you fired as a GM in the NFL. 

Look, I like a guy who's a solid leader (Tim Tebow), but just because I like him doesn't mean I want him as my starting QB.  And I have zero interest in a QB that is fast.  ZERO.  They inevitably rely on the run and end up getting hurt.  I want a QB who is accurate and thrives in the pocket.  And the word on RG3 is that he is poor in the pocket.  Yes, he's accurate, even with that horrific release, but he has to clear the pocket to do that.  I'm sorry, but that scares me.  I don't want a QB running from his line, cutting the field in half, and risking taking a big hit.  That just takes the football heart out of me.

Yes, last year I was completely wrong about Cam Newton.  Well, maybe not completely.  I said he was a smart kid with good size which reminded me of Daunte Culpepper.  I was more than worried about his accuracy and the chance of him getting beat up.  However, where I made my biggest mistake in assessing him was that he listens to reason.  I mean everyone and their grandma questioned his ability to stay in the pocket and make the throws.  In college, he just didn't seem to have that traditional passer approach AND he had sucky accuracy.  Everyone (except Carolina) questioned whether a run first QB can win in this league.  But he did two things last off season: 1) he disciplined himself to stay in the pocket and 2) worked hard to become a more accurate passer.  And in just one fail swoop he made me look like an idiot. 

But RG3 is NOT Cam Newton.  Any comparisons of the two should stop immediately.  Cam Newton is 6'5, 250 while RG3 is 6'1, 220.   Cam is a freak of nature with tremendous size and athleticism.  RG3 is just athletic without good size.  He fits much more into the Michael Vick mold than anything else.  Although Vick wasn't nearly as good a passer or a leader. 

And this is where I'm not convinced that RG3 is worthy of a top 10 pick.  You're putting your whole future on this guy.  That's what you do when you draft a QB in the first round.  And I'm not convinced this guy has the pocket presence to be the future of my team.  Can he learn it?  Yes.  Will he?  Who knows.  If I drafted him the first thing I'd do is have him call Cam Newton, and then tell him to do everything he did last off season.  But even then RG3's arm isn't superior and neither is his size.  And so I suspect that he will start to fall back on that speed of his which brings back the problem of injury.  That is just too much for me to take him in the top ten over guys that have less question marks at a less pressure packed position. 

Had a team taken him in the top ten I wouldn't have called it the worst pick ever.  Some guys, like Vick, make teams better and bring excitement where there wasn't much before.  But you can't convince me that you can win Superbowls with him. 

So all this brings me to the most laughable and head shaking news of the day:  the Skins give up this years first (6th overall) and second (39th) and the next two years first pick for the #2 overall this year.  Basically, for RG3.  OMG do I wish I were the Rams right now.  They just robbed the Skins blind.  In the entire history of the NFL, only the Herschel Walker trade was worse.  Even if RG3 turns out to be above average its a colossally bad trade.  This only works if you were trading for a sure bet future HOF.  (Ironically Andrew Luck might be that guy) 

But the reason I'm pissed off about it is that the stinkin' Rams end up with 3 extra top 40 picks in the next 3 years (which will probably be good picks because the Skins won't be good), get Jeff Fisher (my favorite working coach), and STILL will probably get Justin Blackmon.  HOLY CRAP.   The Rams are going to win the division in 2014.  I'm calling it now.