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The reality of injuries

Posted by Darren Urban on October 23, 2012 – 10:38 am

Talking injuries in the NFL is always about walking a fine line.

There are few coaches that don’t get particular the way their team’s injuries are discussed on a weekly level, and that includes coach Ken Whisenhunt. There is a reason as little information as possible is divulged as team’s go along, why a team like the Patriots used to clog the injury report with as many players as possible, why guys are often “game-time decisions” when some are and some probably aren’t. No one wants to give the other side an advantage.

But on a bigger picture, there is another way the fine line is encountered with injuries: When a team is undercut by the sheer amount that crop up, talking about how much it’s affecting the team can be a minefield.

That’s what the Cardinals are going through right now. It’s impossible to know what this team would be like with better health, especially on the offensive side of the ball. If Beanie Wells, Kevin Kolb, Todd Heap, Levi Brown, Jeremy Bridges and Ryan Williams were all still available, what would it mean? Then again — and this is the fine line part — no one wants to hear about it usually. One of the biggest cliches out there is a coach or player for an injured team noting of their upcoming opponents “The (fill-in-the-blank) aren’t going to feel sorry for us.” In the Cardinals’ case, the 49ers are in the blank this week.

“That’s the NFL,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “You face (injuries). I think part of our continuity on offense is struggling because of that. You can’t use it as an excuse. You have to move forward.”

Guard Daryn Colledge said during his years on the Packers, there were a couple of years when the team was crushed by injuries. One season, the Packers finished 6-10. The other, the Packers rallied on their way to a Super Bowl title. “It can go both ways,” Colledge said.

The reality is that no one sits at the end of the season and says, “Hey, the such-and-such only won the Super Bowl because injuries crippled such-and-such.” No, the team that wins will be the team that wins, with no asterisks. If the Cardinals can’t parlay a 4-0 start into the playoffs, no one outside of Arizona is going to care or even note it. Last year’s Bears probably make the playoffs if quarterback Jay Cutler doesn’t get hurt, but that didn’t stop the Bears from making a change at general manager. It’s a harsh world to live within.

The Cards aren’t getting Brown, Bridges or Williams back. Wells is gone at least three more games. Kolb is out indefinitely. The Cards have to keep progressing tight end Rob Housler, because Heap’s return remains an unknown. In the short term, the Cards have been missing fullback Anthony Sherman, and guard Adam Snyder was limping pretty good with a quad problem after the Vikings game. Have the injuries hurt the Cards? Of course they have. That’s not an excuse as much as a fact. But it’s also a fact the Cards can’t do anything about it.

“It would be nice to have guys out there more than a week and find some continuity on offense,” Colledge said. “But again, it’s on us to find the playmakers and find ways to win games.”

 


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Posted in Blog | 52 Comments »


52 Responses to “The reality of injuries”

  1. By SteveG on Oct 23, 2012 | Reply

    So many offensive injuries have severely diminished the already suspect ability to block effectively at the point of attack… Quite amazing..Levi going down was the start of a tidal wave…

  2. By Kurt on Oct 23, 2012 | Reply

    Darren:

    Nice work, very objective.

  3. By fred on Oct 23, 2012 | Reply

    Injuries are part of the game most couches have good backup . some players are injury pron. sunday lose is a couches lose. Bad play calling didn’t want to kick field goal, and didn’t care about field position to give are team a chance. whisenhunt needs to take responsibility.

  4. By Kevin S on Oct 23, 2012 | Reply

    Housler does not appear to be a step down from Heap. Not concerned we’re missing a whole lot there.

    LSH surprised me this week… I didn’t think he had it in him. Although that kept Powell pretty much off the field, which I thought was interesting… week before they more or less split the carries (and LSH got the first carry in OT even though Powell had been much more effective)… but then Sunday LSH gets 20 rushes to Powell’s 4? In any event, our running game was pretty enigmatic… Powell last week and LSH this week are the only guys who’ve done anything, other than Ryan Williams for one quarter out of 5 games (vs. the Eagles, when he went for about 60 yards over a half-dozen carries or so in the last quarter, when the game was already decided). So I’m not sure it matters that much that we’re using our 3rd and 4th backs.

    The key injuries are obviously the O-line (and, depending on how you look at it, to Kolb — although he might not ever have been playing in the first place if Skelton weren’t hurt week 1). Amazing how Levi Brown goes from being derided for years, to a guy that everyone wishes we had. “Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone.”

  5. By Tom Ogilvie on Oct 23, 2012 | Reply

    I know it will cause a stir, but how about we replace these injured people with something, anything.

    How about this? Vince Young and Tim Tebow. Think about it.

  6. By D on Oct 23, 2012 | Reply

    Injuries are part of the game. We as fans shouldn’t be surprised with a few names on the injured list. We all know that Beanie, Heap and Kolb has had health concerns prior to joining the Cards….has thier limited production been worth the missed games for each??? I believe those 3 players should be upgraded through the draft and free agency this offseason..

  7. By Jahstone on Oct 23, 2012 | Reply

    It’s ok to say it Darren injuries have crushed us this year…

    QB1
    QB2
    RB1
    RB2
    LT1
    RT1
    TE1
    FB1

    and at least 1 game…DT1, FS1, SS1, CB2, RB-3
    When you look at this lost, it is astonishing. At least GB had Rodgers.

    Let’s just see what happens by taking it one game at a time. We must play as good as the team that started 3-0.

  8. By TUCARDS on Oct 23, 2012 | Reply

    Darren, love the article. In my opinion, you are right on with making no excuses. The reality is that when an NFL team or any other team loses out on key players, it decreases their chances for success. If you take the rubber grommet out of the end of a hose, it still allows water to pass through but with leaks at the insertion end.

  9. By wnycardfan on Oct 23, 2012 | Reply

    Very true article and points. No one cares you’ve got so many good players out with injuries, just carry on. Next man up etc…. Now, we’ve seen plenty of teams have some WOW from players stepping up. What stinks is I can’t remember the last time that happened here (well, you can call Kurt Warner stepping up).
    AND when we did have the full contingent, we did look better than we have, but many were still saying “its a matter of time before someone gets hurt with the Oline etc” and unfortunately it came true.
    Again, I want to see these guys win, and at times who cares who it is that is kicking butt, a win is a win. What worries me is we don’t see it. And for what seems like years we’ve heard/seen/felt this “can’t make mistakes, not when the margin for error is so tight on offense ” MAN, can we just get some stinking help/karma to get a roll goign where we aren’t wetting our pants at the end of the game, biting our nails while we HOPE we pull it out (and sometimes do). I want a convincing win, like 3 – 4 of them a season, and then we can take 5 – 6 of the nail biters.

  10. By Dick F. on Oct 23, 2012 | Reply

    OK, we have injuries on Offense. I for one have not given up. I really think our Defense & Special Teams can keep us close & with a few breaks we can beat teams like the 49ers at home, and the Packers & Falcons on the road. Those three games will decide whether or not we have what it takes to be one of the best teams in the NFL. We don’t have to win all three but two wins probably gets us into the playoffs. A win over the 49ers on MNF puts us back on top of the NFC West. Let’s stop complaining & get back to what we do best – WIN.

  11. By philly cards on Oct 23, 2012 | Reply

    To avoid issues like this or atleast mitigate them the cardinals should use high picks on thin unsettled positions.

    Like grab a te instead of floyd and save 2 roster spots.filling positions with 3rd or later round draft picks and weak free agents who can’t be consistent (gay) or can’t stay healthy (heap) just makes me pull out the tiny violin.

    I think we should pay whiz and grim based on weekly win % this week 53% !!

  12. By Rufus on Oct 23, 2012 | Reply

    Yes, injuries are part of the game. But isn’t management responsible if decisions are made to bring in players with significant injury histories (Wells, Heap, Kolb?)

  13. By john the draft guy on Oct 23, 2012 | Reply

    Basically, we have had the same O line all year from game one, with exception to a few plays here or there. The wrs are all the same.

    Surprise, surprise, Todd Heap is injured again. But Housler has been there for 2 years.

    Yes, losing Beanie hurt. but Hyphen isnt a stranger. This isnt an injury thing. It is a drafting thing.

    So, come on. The problems all point at QB. Losing Warner after the 2009 season was a huge blow to the team. Grasping for DA in 2010 was understandable. Grasping for Kolb in 2011 is understandable. But this year, I dont get it.

    This is Skelton’s third year. You knew what you had in him. Yet you named him the starter. You knew what you had in Kolb, and brought him back, only to watch him struggle again.

    Are you kidding me? Did Whiz and Graves not see this coming?? If they are surprised, they should be fired. If they saw it coming, why, for all that is holy, did they not address the QB position. This is one of those giant mistakes that people get fired over in their respective jobs. You know, something that sets the business back , at best a year.

    The Colts had a no brainer with Luck. But hats off to the Skins and Dolphins Even the Browns are getting production out of their QB. (the wrs drop a lot of balls). These franchises can start moving forward because they have a QB to build around. The cards will struggle through another year aimlessly grasping at QBs. Peter King looks like he is right. Dont be surprised if they march out Lindley and again grasp at straws and make him the 2013 starter.

    Where are you Stan Gelbaugh!!!!!!!

  14. By hotValleySun on Oct 23, 2012 | Reply

    Darren, Any inside(r) opinion on Feely’s recent struggles. He was a good FG kicker until the last three games…

    Thank you

  15. By Darren Urban on Oct 23, 2012 | Reply

    hotValley —

    RE: Feely

    It hasn’t helped, obviously, to miss a couple of late, not the way this team has struggled to score. But he had just made 19 in a row at one point earlier this season. He barely missed in Minny. Sometimes it happens.

  16. By Kevin S on Oct 23, 2012 | Reply

    I’m not worried about Feely. He’s missed 3 FG’s. One of them was partially blocked and still hit the upright — was inches away from being good (and unless he hits a 61-yarder a couple minutes earlier, we aren’t even in a position where that kick would be taken). As Darren says, he missed in Minny, barely. Gostkowski has 3 missed FG’s (all less than 50 yards, and like Feely, one of them a potential game winner), and I don’t think NE is concerned. David Akers is 13-18. Adam Vinatieri is 11-14 (same as Feely) and 2 of his misses are less than 40 yards. They do miss sometimes.

  17. By cardsalltheway on Oct 23, 2012 | Reply

    “no one wants to hear about it ”

    Especially about the guys who repeatedly appear on the list.

    “I think part of our continuity on offense is struggling because of that.”

    Too bad we couldn’t have “continuity” last year on offense when we weren’t injured.

  18. By Kevin S on Oct 23, 2012 | Reply

    John the draft guy —

    I know you don’t think much of Kolb, but to say we brought him back “only to watch him struggle again”? He drove us down the field vs. SEA to win, then had 2 games with no INT’s and QB ratings of 82 and 127, and then a third game where he threw 2 INT’s but also 3 TD’s and we won (and, again, QB rating in the 80’s). Even in the loss to STL where we had a whopping 45 rushing yards, he was 28-50 with no INT’s. The offense as a whole has struggled, and almost any QB not of the Warner class would probably “struggle” with our O-line. I know you think we should’ve drafted a 1st round QB and you may be right, but to say Kolb has “struggled” when he’s middle of the pack in QB rating, completing 60% of his passes, and has 8 TD’s to 3 INT’s is an unfair assessment of his performance, especially given our O-line performance in his last 2 games (which is the only time it would be valid to say he’s struggled; not really fair to ignore 4 games where he was pretty successful).

  19. By Kevin S on Oct 23, 2012 | Reply

    Unless, of course, you mean by “struggle” something like “injury-prone,” which I see as something different (although that may be a legitimate criticism).

  20. By cobra on Oct 23, 2012 | Reply

    Darren,

    Alot of truth to this article. How can any team overcome losing 7 or 8 potential offensive starters. Not to mention games missed by defensive starters!

    john the draft guy:

    Why are you still going on and on about Tanneill and the front line? I’m sure the front office believed they could make it one more year before addressing QB & OL. If Tannehill played for us, even with DeCastro, we would be 1-6. Although you may be an ex coach, I think I will leave the drafting up to Graves, Whiz and the front office. Hindsight is 20/20, You’re beating a dead horse. One year too early for what you were asking for. I’m sure you have some ideas for next year though and it may actually happen. Keep watching the College players!

  21. By Sarah on Oct 23, 2012 | Reply

    Harbaugh = one odd guy , not exactly press friendly, construction in background hardly helps. See below.

    http://www.49ers.com/media-gallery/videos/Press_Pass_Jim_Harbaugh/3a814d1b-1d37-45ba-8073-2b9eb8e24d4f

  22. By clssylssy on Oct 23, 2012 | Reply

    The thing is…of course injuries are a reality in the NFL BUT I see other teams signing players to fill the holes left by injuries (REDSKINS & PACKERS to mention a few as well as SAINTS) while we do nothing. Perhaps those teams budgeted for such a contingency, which, I would think would be the smart thing to do. How is is that the well is dry but other teams seem to find resources? What’s the problem, is it money or do players just not want to play for Arizona? I would think we have a lot to offer ?

  23. By mike hadzinski C.M.Punk on Oct 23, 2012 | Reply

    Please tell it 2 the 2002 team 19 ppl on I.R. Lol i’m not stopping until Grimm or Graves is fired……Best In The World

  24. By philly cards on Oct 23, 2012 | Reply

    I think graves gives in to whiz’s desires. Whiz got his extention first. Graves buys the groceries whiz makes the list and cooks. The food is terrible but I think graves needs a better chef.

  25. By SteveG on Oct 23, 2012 | Reply

    From fred

    “Injuries are part of the game most couches have good backup . some players are injury pron. sunday lose is a couches lose. Bad play calling didn’t want to kick field goal, and didn’t care about field position to give are team a chance. whisenhunt needs to take responsibility.”

    Is this a failed haiku? What is a ‘couches”? ‘sunday lose is a couches lose’

    All your base are belong to us!!!

    Props for most creative “use” of the english language.

  26. By jeffgollin on Oct 23, 2012 | Reply

    It wasn’t lack of talent that got us beat in Minnesota; it was lack of smarts:

    A Pick 6; a missed 47-yd FG; two failed 4th down conversion attempts in FG range and a sack/fumble in the red zone.

    That equals at least 19 “free points” handed over to the Vikes and doesn’t include poorly throne balls, the other 6 sacks and other stuff.

    Not to discount our problems at QB and OL, but we had

  27. By jeffgollin on Oct 23, 2012 | Reply

    to continue past post –

    we had enough talent despite the injuries; the breakdowns were mental.

  28. By AndyStandsUp on Oct 23, 2012 | Reply

    Any stats on numbers of starter games lost this season as opposed to previous ones, Darren?
    Sando-ish kind of question but something I thiught you might have access to.
    BTW, do you have access to the Cards numbers people or do you rely on your own research, if you don’t mind me asking?

  29. By Cert 33 on Oct 23, 2012 | Reply

    Many of the injuries are a direct result of the poor performance of the inept offensive line. This team will be 4-6 before we see our next win no matter who is at QB. I say let’s have a look at Lindley. Because he was my grandson’s teamate, I saw every game he played at San Diego State, including the 2010 Holiday Bowl. He was the starter at QB all 4 years, every game, so he is durable. That seperates him from Kolb right there. I think he could step in right now and perform at a higher level than Skelton.

  30. By Credit Card on Oct 23, 2012 | Reply

    An earlier post talked about signing Young or Tebow. Young would be a huge mistake. Tebow on the other hand, might fit in nicely with the Cards. The line is weakened by injuires, having a moblie QB who can scramble and PU ectra time and rushing yardage — who cause a defense to use a spy (thus not a full-ot rush). Tebow has coverage reading problems (as does Kolb and Skelton). Tebow also has poor throwing mechanics (as does Kolb). Could be a nice fit, for a weakened offensive line — for a low draft pick as a trade.

  31. By Darren Urban on Oct 23, 2012 | Reply

    AndyStands –

    RE: research

    Sometimes I get help from my friend and Cards stats guru Mike Helm, sometimes I research stuff on my own. Depends.

    As for lost starter games, I don’t know if those are tracked like other sports.

  32. By Darren Urban on Oct 23, 2012 | Reply

    Cert33 —

    RE: injuries and o-line

    What are the heck are you talking about? Name me one injury that is a direct result of the performance of offensive line.

  33. By georgiebird on Oct 23, 2012 | Reply

    Darren,
    All the offensive players you mentioned have been the focal point of attack on this blog. Not one of the guys mentioned is an All-Pro or even close to an All-Pro at this time of their career. Our problem is not the loss of these very mediocre players but rather the fact that we have done a bad job of replacing them.
    If Bridges and Brown are that special then why isn’t Grimm being given some slack.
    The injuries you mentioned are providing an opportunity of a lifetime to some backup to be a star in the NFL -but we have no takers, yet. Can Housler or Skelton (regular season starter) or Powell or anybody replace guys who about a year ago were the butt of jokes on this site.

  34. By john the draft guy on Oct 23, 2012 | Reply

    Cobra

    Never mentioned getting Tannehill above. I simply mentioned that knowing who our QBs were, we should have addressed the position. Interesting, you point out they thought they could wait a year, wow, if true, was that a mistake.

    Some of you may be new fans, so let me explain this to you. Since 1988, the cards have had 26 different starting qbs. We drafted Jake Plummer and he started for 6 years, before going off to Denver. No other QB has been named the starting qb to start the season for 3 years straight. That really is unacceptable.

    My point, this is nothing new.
    Now I love my cardinals and while living in Texas during the 90’s, I flew back to watch the games. I got caught up in the emotions and ran on the field when Plummer led us to the playoffs, was there in the stands when we stopped McNabb and went to the superbowl. Heck I was there when Boomer threw for 500 yards.

    But come on. Enough is enough. Get a QB and forget about it for the next 10-12 years. Sure, there are no guarantees, but keep trying. There is nothing that causes a team more ups and downs then not having a QB. Think about it.

    But back to the article I commented on. Injuries hurt all teams. good teams adapt. As bad as the Ravens have been hit with injuries, people still believe. Why? Flacco gives them a chance each game to win.

  35. By john the draft guy on Oct 23, 2012 | Reply

    Kevin,
    Do you think we need an upgrade at QB? Or are you satisfied with Kolb?

    To be fair to Kolb, he has corrected things I didnt think he could. Has he done some good things in games? yes, of course. Is his overall game good? far from it.

    He stares down receivers, holds on to the ball too long, comes out of the huddle with a predetermined receiver he is throwing to and freezes when he is covered. He very rarely hits the TEs or his check downs. I just dont see anything that says starting qb.

    I would say Kevin, if you are honest, there are at least 20 starting QBs in the league you would take over Kolb, right? For me at least 26 QBs, I like better. That might be good enough for some, but not for me.

    But my original post was about injuries and drafting. Our O line is in trouble because we didnt draft any lineman over 3 years. Our RBs are injured, but honestly, both Williams and Wells came out of college with injury concerns. Surprise. And of course 3 years of not drafting a QB higher than the 5th round, has come back to bite us.

    Moving forward, We cant keep doing the same things year after year. (ie. thinking Lindley could be the guy, only to waste another year) I remember guys like Ken Harvey or Aeneas Williams having to leave to have a chance to win. Guys like Dockett and Wilson are watching their windows close. This FO has to move now.No more mistakes. Kolb is now a mistake.

  36. By john the draft guy on Oct 23, 2012 | Reply

    georgiebird

    I actually agree with your post.

  37. By Cert 33 on Oct 24, 2012 | Reply

    Re: Skelton (1st game), Kolb, Wells. I’m sorry but the O-Line is really bad. The skill players don’t even have a chance to get started on a high percentage of plays. I would wager that we are near the top of the NFL in negative yardage plays and total negative yardage. The way the offensive line has played, I’m surprised we are not down to starting the practice squad at the skill positions on offense. By the way, why is Grimm still here?

  38. By Kevin S on Oct 24, 2012 | Reply

    Cert 33 —

    Kolb was a 4-year starter in college too, and never injured. Doesn’t prove a whole lot about durability that Lindley was not injured in college.

    There’s a reason he was a 6th round pick. We’re not talking about Luck or RG3 or even Tannehill or R. Wilson here. He may be as good as Skelton — I don’t know — but I suspect he’d be about as good as Skelton was in his first 4 games in 2010 when forced into action as a rookie (which is to say, 47.6% completion rate, 5.3 YPA, etc.). You may think we’re headed for 4-6 but there’s no way an NFL team that’s 4-3 and playing for first place in its division can say, in effect, to its fan base that they are giving up on the season — “oh, we’re going to lose our next 3 games anyway” — and put Lindley in now. In the highly unlikely event that he succeeded, Whiz would look like a genius, but in the far more likely event that we’re 4-6 three weeks from now, everyone would say we threw away the season. (And it may be true that we’d be 4-6 anyway, but the thing is, there’s no way to know, which is why they can’t take a chance on Lindley at this point.)

    No one gave us a chance against the Patriots, and we beat them (away, I might add). Who’s to say we can’t beat the 49ers (who have not looked good in their two losses, and who were held to only 3 points for the first 40 minutes of their win last week) at home?

    Lindley’s only seeing time this year if Skelton gets hurt (which is a distinct possibility). Or, maybe, if Skelton is SO bad over the course of a multi-game stretch that the season is lost, and Kolb isn’t ready to come back. But I think Skelton would have to be horrible over an extended period for that to happen.

  39. By Kevin S on Oct 24, 2012 | Reply

    John the draft guy —

    I agree that trying to find a diamond in the rough QB with 5th and 6th round draft picks (if that’s what the Cards are doing, as opposed to simply drafting guys to be backups) is not the way to go. Sure, Warner was undrafted originally, Brady was a 6th round pick, Romo was undrafted I think… exceptions to the rule, which is that successful QB’s are almost always high draft picks.

    Kolb’s injuries are a problem (and, obviously, the team didn’t do well in his initial season). I don’t think he’s an elite NFL QB. I think that, if he could stay healthy, he’s probably somewhere between an average starting QB and a replacement level starting QB — so that probably puts him somewhere in your “20 to 26 guys better,” yes. It’s hard for me to say exactly where on that continuum he belongs because he just hasn’t played that much. (Just in our own division, Sam Bradford, only in the league 3 years, has significantly more experience — in terms of actual playing time — than Kolb, throwing over 50% more passes.)

    Am I satisfied with somewhere between average and replacement level? Well, not really, although half of NFL teams in any given year are going to have a guy who’s below average, right? Would I like to have Eli Manning, or RG3? Of course. But was it 100% clear to you, going into the draft, that the guys available to us when we drafted (or, even, if we moved up to 8th and could’ve gotten Tannehill) would ultimately become top-15 NFL QB’s? Tannehill looks very good in his first season, though I’m not sure what we’d have to give up to get him (heck, we had to give up DRC and a 2nd round pick to get Kolb, whom you don’t think much of at all). Weeden and R Wilson are performing well for their first seasons… but the draft is always something of a crapshoot. (Question — is Blaine Gabbert a franchise QB? 10th pick last year, after JAX moved up specifically to get him.)

  40. By Kevin S on Oct 24, 2012 | Reply

    John the draft guy —

    I’ll ask the question differently — in 2011, when the Cards obviously had a QB question as of draft time, and we were in a favorable slot (5th) — whom were you advocating that we draft? Were you advocating drafting one of the available QB’s (Locker, Gabbert, Ponder) and if so, which one? Just curious.

  41. By hotValleySun on Oct 24, 2012 | Reply

    Can Cards defense hold 49ers, Packers and Falcons to less than 13 points? If yes, Cards have a great chance to come out with a victory in the next games.

    If no, given the number of short comings on offense, I don’t see Cards offense score 17 points or more (without help from our defense)

    Talk about pressure on the Cards defense! Hope they hold their fort like the previous 15 games going into a rough schedule for rest of season..

  42. By John the draft guy on Oct 24, 2012 | Reply

    Being honest, I advocated we take the falcon deal and pick up another 1 in 2012 and 2 in 2011. Darren may remember my argument

    After dropping down to the falcons first round pick, I would have drafted ponder. With him not available, I was interested in Nate solder (tackle) or brooks reed.

    I did like the 33rd pick , can’t recall his name, who is a cb for new England.

    Missing out on a qb, ( and yes, I made this argument here last year ) I would have went after hasselback or bulger( who retired) and waited for tannehill this year . I didn’t see RG3 coming.

    I’ll be honest and tell you when I miss, like I thought Cam would be a bust with only 1 real year of experience and laid back attitude.
    I also argued that Peterson is a safety, which I still believe he could be like Ed Reed roaming the middle of the field. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe not.

    But which team do you think would be better. Having no PP but having 2 ones in 2012, and a 2. Brooks reed and DRC and 2 twos last year and no kolb. Which could have freed money for say Carl nicks.

    Or what we got? Just asking

  43. By Kevin S on Oct 24, 2012 | Reply

    I’m not going to argue with you, JTDG — obviously the return on Kolb has not been good, although to your point, Hasselbeck would’ve just been a short-term solution, whereas Kolb was viewed as a longer-term one that potentially would’ve made the need to draft a QB any time soon moot. And I didn’t hear a ton of complaints (although I certainly remember a few detractors, and you may have been one of them).

    Hindsight is 20-20. At this point it’s hard to argue Kolb was a good move, considering the team was 1-6 when he went down last year and he couldn’t even win the starting job this year from John Skelton of all people.

  44. By john the draft guy on Oct 25, 2012 | Reply

    Kevin,

    Remember the trade for Kolb happened after the draft. Prior to the draft, I was for trading down, taking a vet like Hasselback and drafting Tannehill in 2012.

    But I will be honest, I gave credit to the cards front office for making the Kolb trade. It was obvious, they didnt have the same vision as I did for this team, but they did see a need for a starting QB. Taking a chance on Kolb at least said to me they understood the need for a franchise QB. I said here a few times, what they gave up was nothing compared to getting a franchise guy.

    My big issue is, and this happens in all walks of life, you have to believe your eyes and cut your loses when you make a mistake. Never compound a mistake by trying to justify it or staying with it, just to try to save face. Everyone could see Kolb wasn’t the guy, yet decided to ride with him another year and postpone moving forward.

    What really irks me and has prompted me to writing my post is Not only are we losing this season, but now looking at starting a rookie next year or Kolb/Skelton while the rookie gets ready, puts us in a bad place next year.

    By the way, I’m not that hip, what does JTGD mean?

  45. By john the draft guy on Oct 25, 2012 | Reply

    Kevin,
    Oh, its my initials. See, I told you Im not that hip. I guess you can tell that by me using the word “Hip” :)

  46. By Kevin S on Oct 25, 2012 | Reply

    Thanks John and, yes, I know when the Kolb trade happened. And we were sitting there with the 5th pick which is why I was wondering if you would’ve taken any of the available QB’s (Locker/Gabbert/Ponder, who ended up going 8th/10th/12th) that year, when as of draft time we had Skelton and little else.

    I understand your strategy but aren’t you making a lot of assumptions? If I understand correctly (I don’t remember all the details, but I do remember Atlanta trying to trade up to get J Jones which they ended up doing with the 6th pick) you’re saying we could have gotten ATL to give us their 2012 #1 (along with other things) for the pick we ended up using for Peterson? OK, so we do that, and grab Hasselbeck as a temporary starter. Can we safely assume (since you don’t think much of Kolb) that Hasselbeck (played all 16 games for SEA, 82.4 QBR in 2011) would’ve been just as good as our combo of Kolb/Skelton for the year, and so we would’ve likely ended up at least 8-8? So now we have to trade up to get Tannehill (ended up 8th pick) since we’d have the 13th and 22nd. What do we have to give up to get him then?

    All I’m saying is, it’s asking a lot of a team to make its decisions in one year’s draft based on whom they project will be available in the next year’s draft, considering all the facts (like not knowing where you picks will even be). Tannehill could’ve gotten hurt (then are we picking Weeden, or trying to come up with a blockbuster package to pick 2nd for RG3?) Tannehill could’ve had a crappy senior season (see: Jake Locker, who I think was projected as the #1 OA pick in 2011 after he decided to pass up turning pro in 2010, and then dropped somewhat). We could’ve gone 9-7 which would’ve given us the 20th pick instead of 13th and then we’d have to put together an even better package to trade up.

    You’ve obviously thought about this a lot more than I have, so I’m not disagreeing with you. And it does sound like you were supportive of the Kolb trade. I guess where we disagree is, I don’t think “everyone could see Kolb wasn’t the guy.” We saw him for half a season, after the lockout shortened the offseason. Going into that season he had thrown only 319 passes in his entire career, not much more than a half-season’s worth. In the 8 games he played, QBR of 81.1, good for 17th (I think — I’ve checked this before) among qualifying QB’s. That number is 86.1 in 2012 despite our crappy O-line. So, again, I don’t think he’s elite, but I don’t think it was obvious he wasn’t the guy. If so, I don’t think the team would have hesitated to release him and avoid the big signing bonus this spring. I don’t think for two seconds that they kept him because they had to “justify” the original investment or anything like that.

  47. By Kevin S on Oct 25, 2012 | Reply

    And, by the way, setting aside possible trades, etc. — who would you have drafted with the 13th pick this year? I assume not Floyd.

  48. By Kevin S on Oct 25, 2012 | Reply

    And, by the way, I mean to say Hasselbeck played all 16 games for TEN, not SEA, in 2011. I know he had left SEA by then.

  49. By john the draft guy on Oct 25, 2012 | Reply

    Kevin,
    I enjoy our conversation.

    In 2011, trading down with Atlanta would have netted us their 1st, 2nd and 4th in 2011 and 1st in 2012.
    I thought no way would Ponder go higher than a late first, so I was thinking to draft him after the trade.
    After he went 12th, I would have been caught surprised and went with another player or even entertained the trade by the saints (2nd in 2011 and 1st in 2012)
    I think there are a lot of quality players in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. With three # 2’s, , I would have really looked at Ryan Mallet. I was all over drafting him (Darren had an ear full for most of pre draft) till drug use and “gansta’ behavior surfaced. His talent is there. It would have come down to coaches interviews. Mallet appears to be next after Brady for Pats.

    If I didn’t take Mallet, Yes, Hasselback would have been the starter and assuming we were 8-8, I would have looked to move up. The Cowboys jumped up using a number 14 and a #2 to trade with the Rams. Since we still had our 2, that would have made sense.

    Go back and look at 2011 2nd and early 3rd rounds. Their were plenty of guys who could have helped us. As for 2012,, we could have landed 3 number ones.

    As for Floyd, No Floyd would not have been my pick at 13. Again, I would have looked for a partner to move down. I loved Whitney Mercilus (olb-Texans), I also loved Mike Adams, who has struggled for the Steelers but has the tools to be a LT. I was not a big Decastro fan. I questioned the talent he went against on the dlines.

    As Darren and I have discussed, I know there are a lot of assumptions. Maybe the Falcons had their deal all set up with Browns and dont trade with us. Maybe the Rams would not let us come up and get a QB. I get that. But I believe the trades were there and we should have moved on them.

    But back to the future, I think looking at a QB in 2013 is a must. Im a Landry Jones fan (great game saturday against notre dame’s unbelievable defense) and geno Smith, who has had back to back bad performances but to me is the top QB prospect. (I know about Barkley, but those USC QBs scare me)

    As for the Oline, I think next year, Massie will be better and Brown will be back. Where does Nate Potter fit in, can he push to start after getting stronger and push Massie into guard (where I think he could be great at) . I think Housler, Fitz and Roberts are solid. We may have to re evaulate the RB position. On defense, I love Dockett and believe he is playing well, but it may be time to start grooming his replacement. Fleming should take over at CB, but I wouldn’t mind taking a look at another CB. I think PP has done well at CB, but I would love to see him being a ballhawking safety ala Reed and Palamalo. But none of it works with out a QB.

  50. By Kevin S on Oct 25, 2012 | Reply

    Thanks John, I enjoy it as well and, like I said, you’ve clearly thought about this a lot more than I have. I agree with you re: 2013 QB… I mean, I like Kolb more than you do, but we can’t have a QB that plays half a season. Well, if it was a great QB, then maybe we’d stick with him and hope he could get through a year, but an injury-prone average-to-mediocre QB, not so much. And I’m someone who actually gives players something of a pass on injury history — I mean, sometimes it’s just bad luck. But with Kolb we now have him getting hurt in Philly (how Vick got the job), getting hurt twice last year (turf toe & concussion), and now the detached ribs this year. At some point you have to say, yeah, maybe this guy just can’t stay healthy. Which is not in any way a knock on the guy, his toughness, etc.

    Hopefully with all the teams drafting a young QB in the past couple years, even among the teams drafting early there won’t be a huge premium on QB’s (Oakland? KC? who else that is likely to draft before us will be looking hard at a QB?). (And, who knows if they will be drafting before us! I have no idea where we’re going to end up this year. Well, we should end up ahead of KC… I’m not sure they’ll even get to 4 wins.)

    So, hypothetically, if we had an early enough pick to take any QB of our choosing, you’d take Smith over Barkley? And, if we were picking after those guys were already gone (assuming we weren’t successful at trading up), then what? Projections I’ve seen show Jones going late 2nd round or thereafter… would you spend our #1 elsewhere and hope he’s still there in round 2, or take a QB rated a little higher like Tyler Wilson (or do you not think much of him)?

  51. By Kevin S on Oct 25, 2012 | Reply

    I guess based on some recent stuff I’ve read on T Wilson, his stock is going down, so maybe he’s a bad example.

  52. By john the draft guy on Oct 25, 2012 | Reply

    Im not sure about Tyler Wilson. (and Im a razerback fan) . He is only 6’1″ and I saw a little Jay Cutler attitude in him. He has a strong arm, but Im not sure. He had a good JR year.

    Both Ponder and Tannehill were projected to be 3rd rounders at this point in their respective years. Getting burned by Ponder going 12th, I might stick with Jones in the first.

    Tyler Bray from Tenn is another good prospect. He is a little inconsistant and at 6’6″, he might have an issue with a long stride in the pocket. but Im still watching him

    What I see in Jones is some of the same things I saw in Tannehill. He is smart. He is settled (married), has a big arm and can make all the throws. Tannehill is much more athletic, Jones has leadership qualities and intangables. I compare him to Troy Aikman. Where would Troy be without protection and a running game?
    So, the Oline needs to be settled, which I think it will be much better next year.

    I see Jones being ranked lower because when he leaves the pocket, he is not accurate and doesnt run well. With so many athletic QBs coming out the last few years, true pocket passers are over looked. But I like what I have seen from him.

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