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The Qb Dichotomy Of Atlanta Vs Carolina


Kayoh
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I only made this thread because I was listening to First Take on my break today and they said something about "intangibles vs natural gifts" talking about Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum. I always bring it back to football, and I realized that if you were to grade QBs based ONLY on Intangibles all lumped into one category and Natural Gifts all lumped into one category, Cam Newton and Matt Ryan would be the poster boys for each category.

Coming out of college in 2008, the flavor of the month in February and March on the NFL Network was intangibles. Mike Mayock was always talking about how amazing this Matt Ryan kid's intangibles were, and boy was he right. If you're gonna give Mayock credit for anything, give him credit for being right about Matty Ice.

Then, three years later, this physical freak was coming out of Auburn and Mayock wasn't so much a fan. Neither were most people on the NFL Network, but I don't think anybody here looks to them as the end-all be-all of NFL Draft scouting, so it's kinda whatever. Cam Newton is 6'6" 250lbs, has an absolute ROCKET for an arm, surprising speed for a guy his size, and yet he can't seem to pull games out when they matter most. He represents everything natural. The guy has every physical tool you could possibly ask for in a QB.

On the other hand, Matt Ryan has a frail frame. He was around 215 coming out of college and has worked his *** off to put on another 15-20 pounds to thicken up and toughen his body up to be able to take more hits and get up from them. He's never had a very strong arm, and even when they did the QB Challenge thing for college prospects, he didn't out-throw the likes of Flacco or Henne. Sure, he out-threw JDB and Brennan, but those were guys who nobody really expected to have huge arms because they were both system guys, what with JDB playing in the west coast style USC offense and Brennan playing in the Run and Shoot style Hawai'i offense that featured tons of screens and short, quick passes designed to get YAC all day.

My point is, in the game of physical attributes, Matt Ryan's only real advantage is his height - he IS 6'4, and you can't take THAT away from him. Other than that, one could very easily say he got the short end of the stick.

On the other hand, though, you've got Cam Newton. This is a man who has every single physical advantage that a Professional Quarterback could possibly have. His questions coming out of college were simple: can this kid play QB in the NFL? Can he play within a system? Can Cam Newton become a professional STYLE Quarterback with the ability to throw the ball and come back in the fourth quarter when it matters most?

I find it strange how two teams in the same division have drafted such polar opposite QBs in the last five years. It's also seemingly re-ignited the rivalry between the Falcons and Panthers, even though the Panthers in the Cam Newton era haven't figured out how to actually BEAT the Falcons.

Matt Ryan: 15-8 through his first 23 games

Cam Newton: 7-16 through his first 23 games

That's somewhat telling about what exactly is most important at the QB position in football, but even more telling is the 4th quarter stats. In his rookie season, Matt Ryan's shining moment was that beautiful deep corner to Michael Jenkins to get us in field goal range against Chicago. He led the previously 4-12 Atlanta Falcons to an 11-5 record and to the playoffs - that's called winning games.

On the other hand, you've got Cam. Sing it if you want, Deion. 6-10 his first season after a 1-5 start; 1-6 his second season so far, but also after a 1-5 start.

If there's one thing you've GOT to give to Cam, it's that he's consistent. In his second season as a pro, his completion percentage is 0.1% down from last season. His YPA is down .05 from last season. His TD:INT ratio is up from last year - by 0.05. One thing I will give him is that he's gotten better running the ball from last year, with a massive 1.53 YPC improvement and he's done it on almost the exact same amount of carries through 7 games.

That's the good. The bad is that in 13 games where he's had the opportunity to come back and win in the 4th quarter, he's 1-12, with that 1 being the fourth game of his career against an absolutely AWFUL Jacksonville Jaguars defense. Cam Newton has every physical tool a QB could ask for, but his intangibles are questionable. Or are they?

Matt Ryan has every intangible you could ask for, but his physical tools are questionable.

The difference is clear: intangibles at the QB position win you more games than physical tools. The difference is also clear in another category...the Panthers are in for a very rocky ride for as long as they want to stick with the notion that Cam Newton is THEIR GUY.

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Without question, the brains and heart of a QB are more important to team success than the physical gifts/natural talent will ever be. I remember so many QB's who you wouldn't recognize as being athletes if you saw them in street clothes ~ Billy Kilmer was short and chubby, Fran Tarkenton was just short and wiry, he looked more like a fugitive from The Monkees tv rock band. Joe Montana was very nondescript physically, yet he was a winner at every level, just like Doug Flutie, who was also a very good QB with no physicality. I was neither for nor against Matt Ryan when he arrived, but I was hopeful he had that "something" which would help him pull this franchise out of the gutter and at least make it respectable, if not top-tier. He's been much better than that and I think we're extremely lucky to have the guy on our team. I wouldn't trade one Ryan for 100 Cam Newtons, or even 100 Cutler's or Romo's for that matter.

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Can’t beat the good ones: As he approaches the halfway point of his second season, one troubling trend has emerged for Carolina quarterback Cam Newton. In games against teams that have a .500 or better record since the start of last season, Newton and the Panthers are 2-12. And let’s keep in mind that Newton’s seven career wins include six victories in 2011 against the Jaguars, the Buccaneers (twice), the Texans with T.J. Yates, the Redskins with John Beck and the Colts with Curtis Painter.

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Without question, the brains and heart of a QB are more important to team success than the physical gifts/natural talent will ever be. I remember so many QB's who you wouldn't recognize as being athletes if you saw them in street clothes ~ Billy Kilmer was short and chubby, Fran Tarkenton was just short and wiry, he looked more like a fugitive from The Monkees tv rock band. Joe Montana was very nondescript physically, yet he was a winner at every level, just like Doug Flutie, who was also a very good QB with no physicality. I was neither for nor against Matt Ryan when he arrived, but I was hopeful he had that "something" which would help him pull this franchise out of the gutter and at least make it respectable, if not top-tier. He's been much better than that and I think we're extremely lucky to have the guy on our team. I wouldn't trade one Ryan for 100 Cam Newtons, or even 100 Cutler's or Romo's for that matter.

Flutie and Tarkenton were actually very good scramblers. They could get yards with their legs or keep plays alive long after the initial route broke down.

Even Montana scrambled well early in his career. I remember so distinctly a game we played the 49ers back in Fulton County stadium. Our DLine knocked John Brodie out of the game on a sack. In comes this skinny kid that I only remember because of his funny name, "Montana". Time after time he had no receiver open. Time after time he ran for a first down. He brought the 49ers back to beat us. That was quite a sign of things to come.

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that was an awesome post. i personally agree with every word.

but what happens when you subtract MR from the post with another QB with good intangibles and a losing record. and compare him with one with great physical attributes with a losing record. do we feel the same way?

also at the same time give each an elite supporting cast. or maybe eliminate the elite supporting cast and make it an average NFL supporting cast.

and before someone starts the name-calling...NO i am not a Cam fan. Dislike him at Auburn as well for some reason.

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that was an awesome post. i personally agree with every word.

but what happens when you subtract MR from the post with another QB with good intangibles and a losing record. and compare him with one with great physical attributes with a losing record. do we feel the same way?

also at the same time give each an elite supporting cast. or maybe eliminate the elite supporting cast and make it an average NFL supporting cast.

and before someone starts the name-calling...NO i am not a Cam fan. Dislike him at Auburn as well for some reason.

I honestly don't feel Ryan has had any advantage over cam in their weapons. Ryan has good receivers, Cam has good receivers, I would even argue Steve Smith as the best receiver on both teams (when he wants to be). Ryan has a "decent" running game, Cam has a superior running game, Cam has 2 pro bowl running backs and he himself can rush 50+ yards a game. Carolina has given Cam every tool needed to win, he just doesn't come through.

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I honestly don't feel Ryan has had any advantage over cam in their weapons. Ryan has good receivers, Cam has good receivers, I would even argue Steve Smith as the best receiver on both teams (when he wants to be). Ryan has a "decent" running game, Cam has a superior running game, Cam has 2 pro bowl running backs and he himself can rush 50+ yards a game. Carolina has given Cam every tool needed to win, he just doesn't come through.

to a point i think you are correct. i would say the running aspect is about the same. WR corp? hmmmm. SS is great but we have WR and TG. and we have better coaching.

let it be known i NOT trying to make this about MR against Cam. But two people (one of each) under the same exact situations.

Edited by ProFalconFan
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  • 1 month later...

What can be gleaned from all this is you don't win games on SportsCenter top 10 plays alone. The most successful offenses in NFL history nickel and dimed the field, they didn't try to throw 50 yard bombs constantly. Personally I find watching a QB shred a defense methodically to be far more entertaining than watching a game where there's a few 50 yard plays and very little in between.

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that was an awesome post. i personally agree with every word.

but what happens when you subtract MR from the post with another QB with good intangibles and a losing record. and compare him with one with great physical attributes with a losing record. do we feel the same way?

also at the same time give each an elite supporting cast. or maybe eliminate the elite supporting cast and make it an average NFL supporting cast.

and before someone starts the name-calling...NO i am not a Cam fan. Dislike him at Auburn as well for some reason.

The original post is spot on. But only when you are talking about the extremes of both sides. I like your idea and take someone from each with a losing record. What then? Do we feel the same?

I do give the OP props for being mature about the post. I.E. coach killa and other needless crap.

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The thing about the Pro's ans Semi Pro's is this.

At that level of competition the game is 90% Mental and 10%

physical.

Not often do you see players Like Manning, Brady and Brees.

Marino, Tarkington, Manning etc.

Then in the next grouping you get players like Favre and Ryan

who are opposites. Favre with out a doubt had one of the strongest arms ever in the NFL

but also drove his coaches crazy.

Then you have Ryan, Very Smart, and a arm that is good enough for the NFL.

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