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If you have Twitter, I advise you to go follow Louis Riddick right now. He's been the best follow for me for over the past few months. Here are his credentials:

As executive:

But the reason for this post is because of a few tweets he tweeted this morning in regards to player development:

Louis Riddick@LRiddickESPN 54m

There is no secret to uncover with many of the "polarizing" players in this draft that a consensus can not be reached on.

Player success/failure never has been as much about "scouting genius" as some may think. The real work begins AFTER the draft.

Many things going to happen with all of these kids behind the scenes that are hidden from the public that will GREATLY affect development.

Personally find it fascinating to research and study programs/coaches and their corresponding player development history as well.

What I learned as a young player w/the Falcons compared to what I learned when I joined the Browns and Belichick/Saban is a perfect example.

Like going from learning how to multiply fractions to Honors Calculus.

This is one thing that people refuse to acknowledge. Our player development is more cause for our "lack of depth" and lack of mid round steals. When you take a 6'7 OT and put him at OG, it's not the GM's fault he fails. When you put an All American OG at OT, it's not the GM's fault he fails (ignoring the injuries).

If our player development doesn't improve, we'll never win a SB. Look at how many preseasons where we lost every game because our back ups couldn't do anything. That's the biggest and clearest sign. And it happened almost every year since Smitty got here.

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I agree. There is a lack of player development on this team. When you draft that many guys to rush the passer and you are consistently not able to do it, the problem lies with coaching. Jerry, Sidbury, Massequoi, Bierman, Maponga, Goodman, or whoever they draft can not get the job done. You would think that you would luck up with one draft pick, but none? That's unacceptable.

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Don't see how the player development is on Smitty . He has not been given Richard Sherman to develop he's been given Chevis Jackson, Perria Jerry and other below average players .

I'm sorry it's talent evaluation not player development

Every one of TD draft picks have been given chance to develop

Richard Sherman may be a different but given that example I think he has a point about player development.

Whose fault it is? I'm not sure but I ask this....

Does Richard Sherman become one of the best CBs in the league here in Atlanta as he did in Seattle?

Or even better say he does become a good CB here....is he as good as the Seattle version? As much as I hate to say it, my gut tells me no

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I agree. There is a lack of player development on this team. When you draft that many guys to rush the passer and you are consistently not able to do it, the problem lies with coaching. Jerry, Sidbury, Massequoi, Bierman, Maponga, Goodman, or whoever they draft can not get the job done. You would think that you would luck up with one draft pick, but none? That's unacceptable.

I might blame that one on Sugar Bear, not necessarily Mike Smith. Not directly at least. I've wanted to get rid of Ray Hamilton for sooooo long and now that we have Bryan Cox of whom a lot of Bucs DLinemen contribute their success to, then maybe we will see those things come to fruition.

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I might blame that one on Sugar Bear, not necessarily Mike Smith. Not directly at least. I've wanted to get rid of Ray Hamilton for sooooo long and now that we have Bryan Cox of whom a lot of Bucs DLinemen contribute their success to, then maybe we will see those things come to fruition.

Given the consistent struggles with that specific unit, I can't understand why he wasn't let go when the switch to Mike Nolan was made.

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I might blame that one on Sugar Bear, not necessarily Mike Smith. Not directly at least. I've wanted to get rid of Ray Hamilton for sooooo long and now that we have Bryan Cox of whom a lot of Bucs DLinemen contribute their success to, then maybe we will see those things come to fruition.

I'm with you. I wanted Sugar Bear gone a long time ago, but ultimately that's on Mike Smith. Especially being a D Coordinator - Smith should have realized that the Dline development was less than stellar.

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Given the consistent struggles with that specific unit, I can't understand why he wasn't let go when the switch to Mike Nolan was made.

I don't understand it either. That's why I was saying I don't directly blame Mike Smith but indirectly he is to blame because he didn't make that move.

Let's see if Bryan is the answer

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It obviously swings both ways obviously.

A lot of the mid rounders we have given the staff have had no real chance. We have taken far too many mediocre college players who were mediocre athletes.

Take say Akeem Dent. He was an older(23 coming 24 when we drafted him) college player with limited success and limited workout numbers. I don't care who your staff is he isn't developing into a difference maker.

Outside of Sidbury, who the staff failed imo, how often have we taken an athlete with some upside? Sidbury and Franks are the only two the come to mind. Could maybe throw Mass and Goodman into that group as well, too early to tell what happens with them though.

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I agree. There is a lack of player development on this team. When you draft that many guys to rush the passer and you are consistently not able to do it, the problem lies with coaching. Jerry, Sidbury, Massequoi, Bierman, Maponga, Goodman, or whoever they draft can not get the job done. You would think that you would luck up with one draft pick, but none? That's unacceptable.

Then you finally have a chance to get the answer in a prospect with no assembly necessary "AD," the one you've been hoping and praying for. And potentially BLOW IT off, for a Side Show "JC" distraction ?

Never addressing the obvious solution to your yearly problem is a losing formula every time.

Disrupt the middle of the Line of Scrimmage and watch how good everyone else, already on the defense, suddenly becomes.

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Don't see how the player development is on Smitty . He has not been given Richard Sherman to develop he's been given Chevis Jackson, Perria Jerry and other below average players .

I'm sorry it's talent evaluation not player development

Every one of TD draft picks have been given chance to develop

First, who knew Richard Sherman was going to be this good? Nobody. Carroll remembered him when he scouted him and took a flier. I put Sherman in the same boat as Grimes, those two had the determination to be good regardless.

But tell me why we only develop and play 1st and 2nd round picks? Yes, every player was given the chance to develop but very few have. Even when players show flashes in preseason and even during the season, they are relegated to ST duty if they aren't a top 2-3 round draft pick or money FA. Antone Smith is a prime example just this season. Worrilow and Bartu had to wait for injuries, even though we all saw the talent in PS.

It's up to TD to bring in the talent that the coaching staff feels fits with the team and they can develop. After that, it's on the coaches to make it happen. Hence the stars and scrubs roster, first rounders and FAs are the stars, everyone else just role players mostly.

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Development is closely tied to floor and ceiling. TD has always preferred high floor, high character guys...the more finished prospects. To expect those type of prospects to take another step or two in potential is not always realistic.

Dimitroff did select a player in that mould 2 years ago and already people want to run him out of town on the rails....Lamar Holmes.

If you want guys with potential to develop, they have to have a lot of untapped potential to begin with. Richard Sherman's name was thrown out already. He started at WR. Clay Matthews started at S. Coaches can teach technique, but better athletes can take greater advantage of that knowledge.

To lay responsibility for weaving straw into gold on Mike Smith is ridiculous. To blame Smith for trying to make a RT out of Mike Johnson is ridiculous. Who else was going to play there?

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Development is closely tied to floor and ceiling. TD has always preferred high floor, high character guys...the more finished prospects. To expect those type of prospects to take another step or two in potential is not always realistic.

Dimitroff did select a player in that mould 2 years ago and already people want to run him out of town on the rails....Lamar Holmes.

If you want guys with potential to develop, they have to have a lot of untapped potential to begin with. Richard Sherman's name was thrown out already. He started at WR. Clay Matthews started at S. Coaches can teach technique, but better athletes can take greater advantage of that knowledge.

To lay responsibility for weaving straw into gold on Mike Smith is ridiculous. To blame Smith for trying to make a RT out of Mike Johnson is ridiculous. Who else was going to play there?

But, put yourself in TD's shoes and try and explain to Blank/Smitty that Richard Sherman, a converted WR with one year of experience at CB, can develop into the best corner in the league. With Smitty's inability to develop anything and Blank being in win now mode in that draft, we didn't have the time to take a chance on some "crap corner who wasn't a good WR."

I agree we need more high ceiling guys, but we can't take them if Smitty's development approach doesn't change drastically. Yes, you blame Smitty for taking a RG and moving him to RT when you had a RT on the roster in Reynolds. The guy played RT in college. There is only one successful 6'7 RG and that's Alex Boone. Reynolds never showed half the ability Boone did. We drafted an All American at RG, why move him from his position?

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Agreed, our development has been nonexistent for a long while. I can't think of one player that showed marked improvement for us, going from a bad/mediocre player to a good one. All the good players we have were good players from day one.

I tend to blame that on the position coaches more so than the HC; they spend the most time with their players and should be the first person in line to take the blame when nobody develops.

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Good topic

Coaching matters...

All of the young players who might be getting their first real NFL offseason with a professional coaching staff and strength trainer, or maybe even those in their second full offseason, those are the ones who are really going to determine how quickly your team gets to the level you obviously want.

It's not about the rookies having to step right up and contribute, although that's obviously a great thing too. But it's the second-, third- and fourth-round picks from the previous few drafts who are going to determine where you head as a franchise.

Obviously, veterans, free agents and late-round picks make up the roster as well.

But for as much is made about NFL teams having to hit on their first-round picks every year—based on everything we hear on TV before the draft—if you miss on mid-round picks in consecutive drafts, it won't matter if you hit on your first-round guys.

The process in which those mid-round picks go from special teams guys and role players early in their careers to stepping in and starting is called development.

It's the most underappreciated aspect of building a football team and one of the biggest influences on where you head as a franchise.

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If you have Twitter, I advise you to go follow Louis Riddick right now. He's been the best follow for me for over the past few months. Here are his credentials:

As executive:

But the reason for this post is because of a few tweets he tweeted this morning in regards to player development:

This is one thing that people refuse to acknowledge. Our player development is more cause for our "lack of depth" and lack of mid round steals. When you take a 6'7 OT and put him at OG, it's not the GM's fault he fails. When you put an All American OG at OT, it's not the GM's fault he fails (ignoring the injuries).

If our player development doesn't improve, we'll never win a SB. Look at how many preseasons where we lost every game because our back ups couldn't do anything. That's the biggest and clearest sign. And it happened almost every year since Smitty got here.

Good point Vel, and I've been saying myself for a long time that the waters were muddied in terms of how much of the problem was development vs. scouting. Far too often I think people point fingers at GM's and head coaches, which is fair in a way because they're running the show...but if you have crap position coaches running your drills, coaching technique, etc., the people above them have an uphill battle getting production out of the players. I think this will be a very telling year for ATL...we hired Pioli, changed position coaches, and sit at #6 in the draft. TD and Smitty are officially out of excuses, which makes me quite uneasy that TD will trade up and sell the farm to move up into the first couple picks of the draft. I think he will once again go all in on moving up in the 1st...not because it's what is best for ATL, but in an effort to save his own skin.

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Development is closely tied to floor and ceiling. TD has always preferred high floor, high character guys...the more finished prospects. To expect those type of prospects to take another step or two in potential is not always realistic.

Dimitroff did select a player in that mould 2 years ago and already people want to run him out of town on the rails....Lamar Holmes.

If you want guys with potential to develop, they have to have a lot of untapped potential to begin with. Richard Sherman's name was thrown out already. He started at WR. Clay Matthews started at S. Coaches can teach technique, but better athletes can take greater advantage of that knowledge.

To lay responsibility for weaving straw into gold on Mike Smith is ridiculous. To blame Smith for trying to make a RT out of Mike Johnson is ridiculous. Who else was going to play there?

I disagree on Holmes being a high floor low ceiling type, I think he was seen as more of a project with high upside, or at least that was my opinion of him because I certainly don't remember reading much about him being a polished product.

One thing I think we can all agree on is whether its the GM or HC, we have depended way too much on rookies and/or people playing out of position and it working out. Others have pointed out at times it seems the FO is way too concerned with getting players who are OK at a couple of things and not good at 1 position/role.

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Have been saying just this for a year now. Hopefully the new position coaches can get the max out of all of our players including the draftees. IMO our player development has been lousy with this regime. All of this cross training bs has even made some players worse.

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Don't see how the player development is on Smitty . He has not been given Richard Sherman to develop he's been given Chevis Jackson, Perria Jerry and other below average players .

I'm sorry it's talent evaluation not player development

Every one of TD draft picks have been given chance to develop

yeah, Lawrence Sidbury and Chris Owens have not gone on to successful careers elsewhere.

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Development is closely tied to floor and ceiling. TD has always preferred high floor, high character guys...the more finished prospects. To expect those type of prospects to take another step or two in potential is not always realistic.

Dimitroff did select a player in that mould 2 years ago and already people want to run him out of town on the rails....Lamar Holmes.

If you want guys with potential to develop, they have to have a lot of untapped potential to begin with. Richard Sherman's name was thrown out already. He started at WR. Clay Matthews started at S. Coaches can teach technique, but better athletes can take greater advantage of that knowledge.

To lay responsibility for weaving straw into gold on Mike Smith is ridiculous. To blame Smith for trying to make a RT out of Mike Johnson is ridiculous. Who else was going to play there?

One thing for sure We'll never know what Reynolds could have done at RT --he never got a single snap there

Question, why in 2011 did they move Reynolds to RG? Johnson was not hurt until about game 7 or 8 Kinda begs the question of what the FO thought about Johnson at the beginning of 2011 In 12 they did not put Johnson at RG when Reynolds was hurt they inserted Konz at RG

How has he improved since then missed 1/2 of 11 and all of 13 on IR and rode the pines in 10 and 12

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One thing for sure We'll never know what Reynolds could have done at RT --he never got a single snap there

Question, why in 2011 did they move Reynolds to RG? Johnson was not hurt until about game 7 or 8 Kinda begs the question of what the FO thought about Johnson at the beginning of 2011 In 12 they did not put Johnson at RG when Reynolds was hurt they inserted Konz at RG

How has he improved since then missed 1/2 of 11 and all of 13 on IR and rode the pines in 10 and 12

Thank you. People forget how we got in the Reynolds/Johnson mess. But that's not on the FO. That's on the coaches poor utilization of the talent brought in.

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This is a deep question because so many things can factor in with development .... Iliked the Bryan Cox signing because i remember reading a Bucs article where the D-line players spoke about coach cox... Multiple players said that they came with no pass rush moves but that coach cox help them develop a pass rush move... others talked about the other ways he help there games.

I think position coaches and the player themselves is the MOST importnat part of development... Thats why players are willing to follow there old position coaches when FA hit like Washborne .... They know there system and the way they teach and devlop.

I remember Coach Hamilton said he didnt like playing rookie and young players... You cant think like that ... Its your job to develop guys.... I think thats our problem .. We are so comfortable with vets... We have not develop guys in the past ... Thats how you lose a Rafael Bush

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