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Adults Only -- Jamaal Talk


xFalconLord
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No bashing or defending here.. I just want to discuss what Rich McKay was looking at on draft day. I was browsing around on Shawne Merriman's pro-day numbers and stuff like that. Looking at his production at Maryland and seeing how it compared to Jamaal Anderson's.. What I found was interesting.

Shawne Merriman's pro-day/combine (6'4 1/2, 272 lbs)

Bench reps -- 25

Wonderlic score -- 19

Vertical Jump -- 40''

Broad Jump -- 10'1''

Short Shuttle-- 4.21 sec

40-yard -- 4.64

Jamaal Anderson's pro-day/combine (6'5, 288 lbs)

40-yard-- 4.75

Short Shuttle -- 4.22

Broad Jump -- 9'8''

Vertical Jump -- 32.5''

Bench reps -- 22

Not so different huh? I mean Jamaal looked like pro out there in the combine. He couldnt jump as high Merriman, but Jamaal at DE instead of the hybrid 3-4.. that shouldnt matter much. Now lets look at college production.

Jamaal Anderson

36 games (19 starts) -- 84 solo tackles -- 17.5 sacks -- 32 Tackles for Loss--2 FF

Shawne Merriman

38 games (17 starts) -- 125 solo tackles -- 22 sacks -- 33.5 TFL -- 4 FF

I just cannot figure anything out .. Why can Merriman come in to the NFL and be an impact player, while Jamaal is struggling to live up to expectations? Merriman only had 5 more sacks in 2 less starts. Just a few more fumbles forced and tackles for loss. Merriman had a bunch more tackles, but he also played LB half the time at Maryland. He played both positions over there. Anyway.. what can explain the fork that has occurred in these guys careers since they hit the NFL??

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You cannot judge a player based on stats and combine numbers (in which they do not have pads). I think Jamaal Anderson also has a work ethic issue. He needs to lose weight and work on his technique to overcome his lack of explosion.

He has (very) slowly gotten better from last year, and I can only hope that he continues to do so. What a wasted pick (so far) in a loaded draft. ****.

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I think Jamaal's problem is, that he's still "new" to the DE position and that he still doesn't have the best technique. In college he just overpowered everybody, but we all know that overpowering a NFL-OT isn't that easy. The year with Petrino as HC, didn't really help him either ... so now it's his first season with a real NFL coach, and there are some improvements.

I think he does a pretty good job against the run, but we all tend to prefer stats that show up on the stat-sheets like sacks. I'm not happy with him (didn't want him when we drafted him, because he was so raw), but I give him one more training camp to learn how to get to the QB faster (he's there from time to time, but Abe and Babs are faster).

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Let's not forget Merriman tested positive for steroids and hasn't really been the same since coming back from that suspension.

Like a couple others said, I think Jamaal's main problem is his work ethic. He's not really played bad, but he could do alot better.

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I dont know why everyone keeps hating on Anderson. Give him some time. The numbers are off from S.Merriman, but jeez... cant we give the guy some time to move into a groove. <_<

Cause he sucks and has not given any positive flashes for the future. Even with Roddy White, who was considered a bust by a ton of fans, showed flashes. Anderson can't even do that.

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This is my own personal opinion and not a bash because I have supported Anderson this whole time but I don't think Anderson is strong enough. I see Davis, Abraham, Babineaux when they get singled blocked just push their guys right back into the pocket and then I see Anderson and it takes him twice as long to (when singled blocked) to push his guy into the back field and my only guess is that he is strong enough.

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Its really very simple, Jamaal is/was much much much more raw and unpolished. Linemen need great technique to be effective in the pros, and Jamaal had little technique coming out. He was drafted on potential alone.

Initially I tend to agree with this statement.

The only problem is this: If you give Shawne Merriman the same technique that Jamaal has right now.. I think he would still be pretty good. Its something to do with Merriman's attitude, mean streak, nastiness and so on.

I cant put my finger on "it" but Shawne has it and Jamaal does not. I dont know whether to call "it" work ethic, physical strength, technique, mental toughness, experience, attitude or all of the above. My guess would be all of the above.

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Its really very simple, Jamaal is/was much much much more raw and unpolished. Linemen need great technique to be effective in the pros, and Jamaal had little technique coming out. He was drafted on potential alone.

That's a very good point. Every scouting report that I read, indicated that Jamaal was a very raw prospect. he was a boom or bust prospect with a very high upside if things worked out. He was alwasy going to at least 2-3 years to develop.

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Wow so quick to judge. and Base off the combine. Give him time

I agree last year was a waste in terms of coaching and development, but most players don't have the luxury of 5 or 6 years to develop. In MHO JA98 lacks the toughness to be a star in the NFL. For lack of a better word, he's too "nice". Maybe he can be a solid back-up or situational player but the bottom line is we're paying way too much for what we're getting. Unfortunately, he's only in the second year of a fat 5 year contract so we're stuck with him for now. As of today he has to be considered a bust and would stand as one of the better arguments for a rookie salary cap.

One thing for sure, TD will see to it that there's plenty of competition for that spot next year and we'll find out what JA's long term prospects are then. Personally, I like the kid and would like nothing more than to see him succeed. Who knows, maybe he'll have 8 sacks in the last 4 games. I wouldn't complain.

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Like a couple others said, I think Jamaal's main problem is his work ethic. He's not really played bad, but he could do alot better.

Do you reallty think that might be his problem?

From what I've heard about his life and family, it doesn't seem like that would be his character.

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This is my own personal opinion and not a bash because I have supported Anderson this whole time but I don't think Anderson is strong enough. I see Davis, Abraham, Babineaux when they get singled blocked just push their guys right back into the pocket and then I see Anderson and it takes him twice as long to (when singled blocked) to push his guy into the back field and my only guess is that he is strong enough.

Or because he is still refining his technique. He was a TE for the majority of his time at Arkansas, was a DE for his last year there where he excelled on pure talent alone, had a wasted year last year in the NFL, and is now still getting used to the DE position.

Davis, Abraham, Babs were always d-line players in college and have experience in the NFL. Give Jamaal time.

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Initially I tend to agree with this statement.

The only problem is this: If you give Shawne Merriman the same technique that Jamaal has right now.. I think he would still be pretty good. Its something to do with Merriman's attitude, mean streak, nastiness and so on.

I cant put my finger on "it" but Shawne has it and Jamaal does not. I dont know whether to call "it" work ethic, physical strength, technique, mental toughness, experience, attitude or all of the above. My guess would be all of the above.

All the above is so right couldnt have said it better!

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Or because he is still refining his technique. He was a TE for the majority of his time at Arkansas, was a DE for his last year there where he excelled on pure talent alone, had a wasted year last year in the NFL, and is now still getting used to the DE position.

Davis, Abraham, Babs were always d-line players in college and have experience in the NFL. Give Jamaal time.

I guess you missed my first sentence. :rolleyes:

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maybe its coaching, maybe its because jamaal is pretty new to DE, maybe it has something to do with work ethic. you never know, it could be anything.

IMO he has shown flashes this year and has been better the 2nd half of the season than the first 4 or 5 games or whatever. they havent been huge flashes, but its been better then what he used to do. he is just very, very inconsistent. one play you'll see him doing a good job getting pressure, forcing the qb to step up in the pocket and move around, and some plays he can just look like a sack of crap out there.

there isnt a whole lot we can do about it now so im not really worried about it. its not like we have another really good pass rusher riding the pine or anything. almost all of our other DEs are inconsistent now too, probably because they're young. im going to give him this offseason to continue to work with ray hamilton and JA55. maybe he'll work harder. maybe the winning will motivate him to do even more than what he does or something, idk.

if smitty and TD think we can upgrade, im sure they will. they had no problem getting rid of probowlers and first round picks last offseason and i doubt they'd have a problem with it this offseason if that's the route they wanted to take.

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Or because he is still refining his technique. He was a TE for the majority of his time at Arkansas , was a DE for his last year there where he excelled on pure talent alone, had a wasted year last year in the NFL, and is now still getting used to the DE position.

Davis, Abraham, Babs were always d-line players in college and have experience in the NFL. Give Jamaal time.

Your wrong by the way. He played tight end in high school. Played DE as a true freshman. He didnt get a whole lot of playing time, but still appeared in 11 games in 2004 (his true freshman season). He made some tackles, tackles for loss and had some pass break ups as a DE, true freshman.

I guess if people say things enough times around here .. things get mucked up.

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I think blaming the coaching is just an excuse. Petrino was terrible but not all the coaches were. Mike Zimmer was his coordinator and is a legitimate NFL coach. He also had Abe on the other side of the line really wanting to mentor him. But Abe has come out and said that Anderson didn't want any help last year. He was a high first round pick making millions and got a big head. He didn't think there was anything Abe could teach him. Supposedly his disaster of a rookie year somewhat shrunk his head. These aren't my words, they're Abe's.

I also think saying he's raw is an oversimplification, and one that cuts both ways. You expect certain things from a raw player. You expect to see a raw player struggle. You expect to see them having a hard time with the mental aspect of the game. But you also expect them to rely so much on their athletic ability that they show it off more than a seasoned vet does. Without skills they have nothing else to use. So far we haven't seen the physical freak that Anderson was billed to be. Jim friggin Sorgi was able to shake him. There haven't been any plays where he's relied on his immense physical ability to make the play. During Mario Williams rookie year I saw him make one sack that was just jaw dropping. We haven't seen that from Anderson.

So why is that? Why isn't his great shuttle run translating into quickness? I have a theory. So much from the DE position is decided on the first step. If you explode off the line you don't need great speed to beat your blocker. You'll get the upper hand quick and it forces them to make a great play to stop you. If you have a bad first step then you're going to need Usain Bolt speed to make up for it. Jamaal doesn't have a great first step. I've talked with Arkansas fans who said the same thing about him. They say he's always the last guy out of his stance. If you have good speed then you just need an average first step. But if you're slow off the snap then there's no helping you. Anderson lacks that explosiveness you like to see out of your DE.

But if that's the case, why were his college numbers so good? Simple, the scheme they ran in Arkansas made him look good. They ran a ton of stunts that he benefited from. He didn't have to line up and beat his tackle. The scheme did it for him. I think we've seen this bear our. I think it was against the Broncos that the Falcons ran a stunt that had Anderson come right up the middle unblocked. He had a clear shot at Cutler but Cutler sidestepped him and made him miss. A lot of college QB's would have just taken the sack.

I'm afraid that Anderson was a workout warrior. He did some good stuff at his pro day and pairing that with his stats made people think that he was legit. However, he may well be one of those players that, while athletic, aren't football athletic. I think a lot of teams did their homework on Jamaal and found some flaws in his game. The Falcons didn't. The Falcons didn't bring him in for a workout and barely talked with him before the draft. I think they expected Landry or Peterson to be on the board but Quinn's fall killed any chance of that. They got caught unprepared and took a guy they didn't know enough about.

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I think blaming the coaching is just an excuse. Petrino was terrible but not all the coaches were. Mike Zimmer was his coordinator and is a legitimate NFL coach. He also had Abe on the other side of the line really wanting to mentor him. But Abe has come out and said that Anderson didn't want any help last year. He was a high first round pick making millions and got a big head. He didn't think there was anything Abe could teach him. Supposedly his disaster of a rookie year somewhat shrunk his head. These aren't my words, they're Abe's.

I also think saying he's raw is an oversimplification, and one that cuts both ways. You expect certain things from a raw player. You expect to see a raw player struggle. You expect to see them having a hard time with the mental aspect of the game. But you also expect them to rely so much on their athletic ability that they show it off more than a seasoned vet does. Without skills they have nothing else to use. So far we haven't seen the physical freak that Anderson was billed to be. Jim friggin Sorgi was able to shake him. There haven't been any plays where he's relied on his immense physical ability to make the play. During Mario Williams rookie year I saw him make one sack that was just jaw dropping. We haven't seen that from Anderson.

So why is that? Why isn't his great shuttle run translating into quickness? I have a theory. So much from the DE position is decided on the first step. If you explode off the line you don't need great speed to beat your blocker. You'll get the upper hand quick and it forces them to make a great play to stop you. If you have a bad first step then you're going to need Usain Bolt speed to make up for it. Jamaal doesn't have a great first step. I've talked with Arkansas fans who said the same thing about him. They say he's always the last guy out of his stance. If you have good speed then you just need an average first step. But if you're slow off the snap then there's no helping you. Anderson lacks that explosiveness you like to see out of your DE.

But if that's the case, why were his college numbers so good? Simple, the scheme they ran in Arkansas made him look good. They ran a ton of stunts that he benefited from. He didn't have to line up and beat his tackle. The scheme did it for him. I think we've seen this bear our. I think it was against the Broncos that the Falcons ran a stunt that had Anderson come right up the middle unblocked. He had a clear shot at Cutler but Cutler sidestepped him and made him miss. A lot of college QB's would have just taken the sack.

I'm afraid that Anderson was a workout warrior. He did some good stuff at his pro day and pairing that with his stats made people think that he was legit. However, he may well be one of those players that, while athletic, aren't football athletic. I think a lot of teams did their homework on Jamaal and found some flaws in his game. The Falcons didn't. The Falcons didn't bring him in for a workout and barely talked with him before the draft. I think they expected Landry or Peterson to be on the board but Quinn's fall killed any chance of that. They got caught unprepared and took a guy they didn't know enough about.

PERFECT POST! :)

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You cannot judge a player based on stats and combine numbers (in which they do not have pads). I think Jamaal Anderson also has a work ethic issue. He needs to lose weight and work on his technique to overcome his lack of explosion.

He has (very) slowly gotten better from last year, and I can only hope that he continues to do so. What a wasted pick (so far) in a loaded draft. ****.

I think his work ethic is a big issue. Some have said that Anderson was always a project pick (an assertion I would disagree with but that's not the point). Fact is, if Anderson is a project and as raw as they say he is, then the only way he's ever going to develop enough is by insane amounts of work.

Look at the stories of Roddy White. The midnight McDonalds runs. Always getting in late. Not taking care of himself. He fell into the trap a lot of rookie first round picks do. He was able to climb out of it but it took a ton of work. This guy made some serious changes to his approach on and off the field and finally lived up to his talent.

I haven't seen that from Anderson. Anderson needs to make a similar commitment and when asked about his desire to get better, he's said that the desire has "consumed" him. But then when asked what he's doing to get better he brags about getting to practice 5 to 10 minutes early to work with Ray Hamilton. Getting to practice 5-10 minutes early is hardly going out of your way. I get to class earlier than that so I can get a good seat but if asked about what I do to become a better student I wouldn't brag about it. Getting out there a couple minutes is hardly going the extra mile.

I expect there will come a time when Anderson has to sit down and decide if he's going to do whatever it takes to live up to what the Falcons expected when they drafted him or if he's happy to draw the paycheck from his rookie contract and not strive for more. We can only hope he pulls a Roddy White.

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