1. To unlock all of features of Rams On Demand please take a brief moment to register. Registering is not only quick and easy, it also allows you access to additional features such as live chat, private messaging, and a host of other apps exclusive to Rams On Demand.

Peter King: Bills Training Camp Report - Watkins Wows

Discussion in 'RAMS - NFL TALK' started by Prime Time, Jul 21, 2014.

  1. Athos Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2014
    Messages:
    1,753
    Likes Received:
    1,064
    I was only 7 at that point, brother, and all that mattered to me was UNC Tarheel Basketball. Hell, early on, I didn't even care for Cardinal baseball all that much. Just soccer and BB.

    Then GSOT happened. (y)

    Evans had a bunch of come back routes. That much I remember. And fluttery jump balls with no pop on them. And for Watkins does, he has elite hands imo. Coming out he did. Not saying he has NFL elite hands. But coming out he had hands as good as Nuke Hopkins imo. And I watched the crap out of Hopkins. Wasn't a WR I wanted more in 2013.
     
    #81
    Alan likes this.
  2. BigRamFan Living the life Jimmy Buffett only sang about.

    Joined:
    May 23, 2012
    Messages:
    1,972
    Likes Received:
    1,106
    I knew there was something I liked about you @Athos ! Tarheel since birth and class of '85 alum...I know, I'm old.
     
    #82
  3. jrry32 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Messages:
    7,177
    Likes Received:
    3,928
    I think it would have been tough for us to draft Vincent Jackson in the past three years. ;)

    Winning contested balls, period, tells you everything about a guy's hands.

    Evans not getting separation is a myth.

    Don't know how one could conclude Watkins has better hands. But I'd love to hear how. He dropped more passes than Evans, a higher percentage of passes than Evans, made less contested catches than Evans, made the majority of his catches on screens and high percentage throws, and made less spectacular grabs than Evans. So where are the superior hands?
     
    #83
    Memphis Ram likes this.
  4. jrry32 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Messages:
    7,177
    Likes Received:
    3,928
    This doesn't make sense at all. How does he have elite hands coming into the NFL but not NFL elite hands? Who were his hands elite in comparison to? The guy is in the NFL now so when someone says elite hands, I assume he means elite hands for a NFL WR.
     
    #84
  5. Athos Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2014
    Messages:
    1,753
    Likes Received:
    1,064
    Not hard to understand, chief. Neither has played a single damn down of NFL football in a real game yet. Until they do, all you can base things on is college production. You don't know what their abilities hold up in the NFL, but I'll take Watkins ability over Evans any day of the damn week.

    And honestly, much as I dislike Manziel, he was a better QB than Sammy had.

    And as for spectacular grabs, well, don't know what you want there. Watkins routinely burned DBs so he didn't have to make "spectacular" grabs. And it isn't his fault his coach schemed him for screens when he was elite level at it and Clemson had other WRs they could devote to stretching the D vertically.
     
    #85
  6. dieterbrock Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2013
    Messages:
    820
    Likes Received:
    645
    Haha, I guess I needed to comprehend there a little bit.... :oops:
    You are forever linked with Alshon
     
    #86
    jrry32 likes this.
  7. dieterbrock Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2013
    Messages:
    820
    Likes Received:
    645
    Oh man, that's awesome. The players you would have seen, Perkins, Jordan, Kenny Smith, Brad Daugherty, just going off the top of my head here, I think Jeff Lebo may have been a year later. Love me some Tar Heel Basketball!!!
     
    #87
  8. BigRamFan Living the life Jimmy Buffett only sang about.

    Joined:
    May 23, 2012
    Messages:
    1,972
    Likes Received:
    1,106
    Yeah, I actually lived in the players dorm (Granville Towers) my freshman year. Had the chance to get to know many of the players, but you missed one of my all time favorites in James Worthy...and there was some guy named "Mike"? Going to games at Carmichael was a blast!
     
    #88
  9. Alan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Messages:
    6,169
    Likes Received:
    2,896
    It may tell you everything about a guy's hands but it just tells me that a 6'5" guy can get to a ball at a higher point in its arc than his 5'10" defender.

    Medusa is a myth. Evans not getting separation is what I saw with my, admittedly bad eyesight.

    By watching them play. Something tells me that you lied when you said you'd love to hear it. ;)

    At the end of his wrists. :LOL:

    Listen jrry, as I stated, I didn't see all their games and maybe when you look at all their catches in the aggregate Evans has the best hands. I wouldn't know about that but in the games that I saw, Watkins was superior and by a noticeable amount. If you think I'm going to call my eyes a pair of lying, impressionable orbs you've got another think coming. Or two.
     
    #89
  10. tahoe Obsessed Ramaholic

    Joined:
    May 19, 2014
    Messages:
    505
    Likes Received:
    329
    I will just leave this here
     
    #90
  11. jrry32 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Messages:
    7,177
    Likes Received:
    3,928
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    If Watkins was routinely burning DBs, why did 70.30% of his catches come within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage? Why was it Evans who had 40.3% of his receptions coming 11+ yards down the field? Why did Watkins average only 4 yards from the LOS before he caught the ball while Evans averaged 14 yards?

    Nay. Watkins didn't have to make spectacular grabs because the vast majority of his receptions were on short passes and screens. Evans was making spectacular catches because he was actually attacking the intermediate and deep parts of the field with regularity.

    Frankly, I rated Watkins over Evans in my WR Rankings but that's because I believe Watkins to be more pro ready. Evans, however, has a better pair of hands and a higher ceiling. Because Evans is a 6'5" WR that plays the game with extreme physicality and has deceptive speed. As I've said before, I think Mike Evans is a lot like Alshon Jeffery. The man will need some time to get his routes down but he's a big body that will push people around and has the long strider speed to separate deep with the hands to come down with just about any football he wants to win. He's going to be a really great WR. Watkins will also likely be a very good WR. I think Evans has the ability to be a top 3-5 WR in the NFL whereas I see Watkins as sitting more in that 5-10 range.
     
    #91
    lockdnram21 and LACHAMP46 like this.
  12. jrry32 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Messages:
    7,177
    Likes Received:
    3,928
    Well, that tends to hold true in the NFL too. That 6'5" guy can also get to the ball at a higher point in its arc than 6'1" and 6'2" defenders. Something that Watkins's size will hinder him with.

    But yes, your ability to make contested catches is one of the biggest parts of evaluating a WR (everything was a hyperbole). Size is an advantage but it's not the end all be all. Some big guys can't make contested catches like they should while some little guys make contested catches they have no business making.

    But if Mike Evans wins a higher percentage of contested balls because he's 6'5" to Watkins's 6'1", that's irrelevant when comparing their hands. Because Evans will always have that advantage.

    It's a great catch but he's playing against air. Mike Evans can do the same thing:


    This play, right here, blows both of those away, though:
    [​IMG]
    That's insane.
     
    #92
  13. jjab360 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    3,068
    Likes Received:
    1,968
    I think this video speaks for itself:

    But yeah, that Watkins catch is overrated when put into context (no defense, moving at a slow speed after the stumble).
     
    #93
    jrry32 likes this.
  14. Alan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Messages:
    6,169
    Likes Received:
    2,896
    As usual, I have a couple of observations to make.

    That has nothing to do with the quality of a WR's hands (which you admit later).

    Not all contested balls are created equally and the vast majority of the contested balls that Evans won (that I saw) were a direct result of either his height, the intentional positioning of his body or his superior strength. All of those traits are great things for a WR to have and can turn a so-so WR into a very good/great one but they have virtually nothing to do with the quality of their hands. Using your body to wall of an opponent is something that many great WRs do (see T.O.) but it has nothing to do with their hands. Of the three, only the superior strength of a WR's hands could be considered as having something to do with the quality of his "hands" and even then it's an indirect correlation.

    Then you agree with me and say something that completely obviates the relevance (as you admit) of the stuff you wrote in your first three sentences. ;)

    You can claim that winning contested balls is a demonstration of the quality of a receiver's hands until the cows come home but your arguments are unpersuasive to me. You mentioned, in your original post that I quoted and disagreed with, several qualities that you used to measure the relative quality of a WR's hands and I agree with all of them except the one we're discussing now. So going with the criteria you listed that I actually agree with, the tape I reviewed (relatively small sample size) showed, to my satisfaction, that Watkins had the better hands.
     
    #94
  15. brokeu91 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    Messages:
    4,751
    Likes Received:
    1,049
    [​IMG]
     
    #95
    Alan likes this.
  16. Prime Time RODerator

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    Messages:
    5,085
    Likes Received:
    4,444
    Bills Preview: Manuel Ready to Take on More
    Buffalo's 2014 hopes to unseat the Patriots in the AFC East rest on a maturing second-year quarterback and a defense with a new leader and a new scheme. Will all the pieces fall into place?
    By Andy Benoit

    [​IMG]
    EJ Manuel started 10 games as a rookie, throwing 11 touchdowns and nine interception in accruing a 4-6 record. (Bill Wippert/AP)

    They say if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But what if something unbroken has to be fixed anyway? Like when your defensive coordinator and several of his top assistants leave to take over the Cleveland Browns.

    In the old Erie Canal port city 192 miles east of Cleveland, much of the focus has been on the passing of the local football team’s legendary owner, Ralph Wilson Jr., and the looming sale of the franchise. And any buzz not attributed to nerves over the club possibly leaving Western New York can be attributed to excitement over the arrival of Sammy Watkins.

    Important as the rookie wideout is to a team that averaged just 194 yards a game through the air last season (28th in the NFL), the most significant change is at defensive coordinator. Twenty-four hours after Mike Pettine was hired in Cleveland, Jim Schwartz, fresh off a firing after five years as the head coach in Detroit, was tabbed to run the defense. Schwartz likely will replace Pettine’s hybrid, amoeba blitz-oriented scheme with a more traditional 4-3 zone scheme, featuring wide-9 defensive fronts and split-safety pre-snap looks. This for a defense that, after years of schematic overhauls, had finally become one of the most ascending units in football, ranking 10th in yards allowed last season.

    Just because a stylistic change was unnecessary doesn’t mean it can’t still work. Most schemes, and especially a fairly simplistic, straightforward one like Schwartz’s, are as good as their lineup.

    The Bills lineup looked a lot better before linebacker Kiko Alonso tore his ACL. Alonso, with his strong but fluid movement skills and high football IQ, was a budding star. He was scheduled to move to the weak side and be the key component of a revamped linebacking unit. Now in his stead will be third-round rookie Preston Brown, whose success might hinge on whether he can be a sound contributor in the nickel package.

    [​IMG]
    Jim Schwartz is coordinating the Bills’ defense, after spending the past five seasons as the Lions’ head coach. (Bill Wippert/AP)

    Filling the linebacking duties with Brown is ex-Patriot Brandon Spikes, the most vicious second-level run bomber in the NFL. Spikes’ aptitude for taking on lead-blockers is inversely proportionate to his dexterity in pass defense, which is why he’ll be supplanted in nickel packages. That duty likely will fall to smooth-moving veteran Manny Lawson, who is competing with talented journeyman Keith Rivers for the starting strongside backer job. After Spikes plays out his one-year, $3.25 million contract, the Mike duties will be bestowed—Buffalo hopes—upon Brown.

    Smooth as Alonso’s path to stardom appeared to be, it’s nothing compared to cornerback Stephon Gilmore’s. If the third-year pro can stay healthy (he missed five games last season with a wrist injury), he’ll be a top-three corner, capable of shutting down opposing No. 1 receivers with minimal safety help, a la Darrelle Revis circa 2011. Gilmore has an innate sense for physicality and timing on the ball, which he most comfortably exhibits in press-man position outside. Schwartz would be wise amending his zone scheme to include more man concepts along the boundary, much like what Pete Carroll has done in Seattle.

    The cornerbacks surrounding Gilmore could all handle more challenging man-based responsibilities. It took six years, but Leodis McKelvin has finally started to fulfill expectations that came with being drafted 11th overall in 2008. McKelvin is by no means a superstar cover corner, but he plays with gliding speed and a solid understanding of route concepts. Last season, he handled Steve Smith in iso-man coverage in Week 2 and did a terrific job downfield against Mike Wallace in Week 16. Inside, undrafted second-year man Nickell Robey has a chance to become a premiere slot corner, thanks in large part to his strength as a blitzer.

    Given Robey’s assurgency, it’s surprising GM Doug Whaley signed ex-Ravens nickel corner Corey Graham to a four-year, $16 million contract this offseason. The money alone all but ensures Graham a nickel job, which means Schwartz is bound to replace Pettine’s three-safety dime package with a more old-fashioned four-corner dime package, setting up Robey to only play around 15 snaps a game.

    The Bills pretty much have to play a four-corner dime, as the departure of Jairus Byrd leaves them with only two viable safeties ahead of last year’s mid-round picks Jonathan Meeks and Duke Williams. Slated to fill Byrd’s spot at free safety is Da’Norris Searcy, though given his susceptibility to play fakes as a deep defender, it might be better to play versatile fourth-year pro Aaron Williams in centerfield. That’d leave Searcy to man the box and cover tight ends, which he’s capable of doing. Williams is a converted corner with, by safety standards, superb cover skills. When asked to read-and-react in space, he’s performed well.

    Though thin at safety, Buffalo’s back seven has a chance to be stellar if not spectacular. But it won’t matter if the front four can’t thrive. Schwartz’s scheme is dependent on penetration inside and corner-bending speed outside.

    Penetration inside shouldn’t be a problem; Marcell Dareus, assuming he gets in shape, has proficient short-area quickness that can translate to gap-shooting adeptness. Veteran Kyle Williams, whom some have aptly described as a poor man’s Justin Smith, can excel in any scheme—and especially one that allows him to fire off the ball with low leverage. Williams has battled injuries in recent years, though aside from missing 11 games in 2011 he’s been able to stay on the field anyway. Nevertheless, it’s disconcerting that every defensive tackle behind the 31-year-old is undrafted, and the only one with meaningful NFL experience is Corbin Bryant.

    Regarding the speed outside, one might assume that, because of his $96 million price tag and 23.5 sacks over two seasons in Buffalo, Mario Williams more than fits the bill. Williams, however, is a power-based end, relying less on raw speed and more on setting up opponents for bull-rushes and counter moves. That can work in Schwartz’s scheme (think of Williams as a more dynamic Kyle Vanden Bosch), but it’s imperative that Jerry Hughes, who will relieve light-footed 325-pounder Alan Branch on passing downs, display the sudden first step and relentless motor that helped him break out for 10 sacks last season. Working against Hughes is the fact that he’ll now operate with a hand in the dirt, which he never excelled at as a first-round bust in Indianapolis. Doug Whaley has also talked about Manny Lawson rushing from the edge on certain passing downs, but the 30-year-old former first-rounder has never materialized as that kind of player.

    OFFENSE
    Schwartz’s defense must prosper because the Bills are not equipped to win with offense. Obviously, Whaley and head coach Doug Marrone felt it was important to get better at wide receiver. They’ve clearly done that with the arrival of Sammy Watkins, and the hope is that troubled ex-Buc Mike Williams can recognize his potential after returning to play for the man whom he may or may not have walked away from at Syracuse four years ago. Williams is a dangerous though inconsistent downfield runner with potent elevation skills.

    [​IMG]
    C.J. Spiller is averaging 5.1 yards per carry over his four-year career. (Bill Wippert/AP)

    The rest of the receiving corps consists of last year’s second-round pick Robert Woods, last year’s third-rounder Marquise Goodwin and 2012’s third-rounder T.J. Graham. It’s a group that’s fast but callow. They’ll still get plenty of playing time, particularly Woods, who is the best route runner of the bunch. Barring a career resurgence by damaged ex-Chief Tony Moeaki, Buffalo’s only experienced option at tight end is veteran Scott Chandler, who seemed to have lost some of his athleticism coming off major knee surgery last season. Expect Marrone to once again feature three-receiver sets as the base offense.

    Of course, receivers can only be as good as the man throwing them the ball. That’s where things get complicated. Or, actually, for the Bills, less complicated. With rookie EJ Manuel at the helm last season, Marrone ran a rudimentary offense. Manuel, said to be very bright, is presumably capable of learning any system. But executing is a whole different challenge. The 24-year-old must drastically improve his footwork and add more foundational fundamentals to support the physical strength and courage he exhibits when throwing with bodies around him. The more weaknesses Manuel can rectify, the less erratic his accuracy will be.

    Though not quite as fleet-footed as other young mobile quarterbacks, Manuel can move. Hopefully this will lead to more rolled pockets in the passing game; in the running game, there’s no doubt Marrone will continue to incorporate a few read-option concepts to complement the viable one-two punch of C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson. Both backs are in the final year of their contract (Spiller’s is a 2015 player option). Jackson, 33, is unlikely to return in 2015, which explains why Whaley reportedly tried to trade up to draft Carlos Hyde before ultimately trading a conditional pick next year for Philadelphia’s Bryce Brown. Spiller is the interesting case. Lateral quickness and breakaway speed make him a productive bouncer outside from spread sets. But a lack of durability has also pushed him to the edge of expendability.

    Blocking for these men is a front five led by mobile, savvy center Eric Wood and 2012 second-round left tackle Cordy Glenn, who is coming off an up-and-down sophomore season. Between those two is athletic but underachieving guard Chris Williams, whom the Bills for some reason prized in free agency. On the right side, guard Kraig Urbik and especially tackle Chris Hairston are on notice; Whaley spent a fifth-round pick on guard Cyril Richardson and a second-rounder on mauling tackle Cyrus Kouandjio. The Bills also took a flyer on ex-Hurricane Seantrel Henderson, a first-round talent who fell to Round 7 because of character flags.

    SPECIAL TEAMS
    Undrafted Harvard man Jacob Dombrowski has a decent shot at winning the punting job given declining veteran Brian Moorman’s struggles. Last year’s sixth-round pick, Dustin Hopkins, is reportedly challenging for the kicking job, though it’s hard to imagine him unseating former Pro Bowler Dan Carpenter, who made 33 of 36 field goals in 2013. Buffalo’s return game is in good shape, as Leodis McKelvin, T.J. Graham, Robert Woods, C.J. Spiller and Marquise Goodwin are all dangerous.

    BOTTOM LINE
    The defense is improving, but with the scheme change and injury to Alonso, it’s hard to envision the unit as a whole being significantly better than it was a year ago. Which means the Bills are hinging a turnaround on their young quarterback—a tall order. A fourth-straight 6-10 campaign (and fifth in six years) seems likely.
     
    #96
  17. LACHAMP46 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2013
    Messages:
    1,322
    Likes Received:
    725
    hmmm...73% of all balls within the LOS...sounds familiar...:whistle::cautious::cautious::confused::oops:o_O
     
    #97
    lockdnram21 likes this.
  18. lockdnram21 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2013
    Messages:
    1,911
    Likes Received:
    494
    i dont think Martin would have been there if we would have picked Watkins because teams would have been hesitant and traded up knowing we needed ol help
     
    #98
  19. wrstdude Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2013
    Messages:
    387
    Likes Received:
    179
    Peter King is a moron. Here was my last twitter exchange w/ him before I stopped following him or reading his work.

    He first tweeted this:
    @SI_PeterKing: It is also total BS that Clowney "was double- or triple-teamed on every snap." Stop. Just stop. Many? A majority? Fine. But not every.

    I asked this:
    @tramelpaul: @SI_PeterKing How much of his tape have you broken down?

    His response:
    @SI_PeterKing: RT @tramelpaul: How much of his tape have you broken down? ... Clowney? Zero.

    He didn't even watch him play & he was commenting...worst type of journalist ever.
     
    #99
  20. RamzFanz Well-Known Member Pit Boss

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2013
    Messages:
    4,608
    Likes Received:
    3,017
    I liked Clowney...

    ...just sayin'.
     
    #100