Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
kurgan

kurgan's Coach/Film room

Recommended Posts

It does look like Tanner Muse fits next to Bush like a glove. He would be an ideal pick to cover TE’s down the seam. I think Edmunds can do that really well too. It seems to be his best coverage trait. The more I think about it, the more I think Edmunds is going to absorb the majority of Barron’s snaps. Though I do have blind faith in Gilbert.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/14/2020 at 9:10 PM, kurgan said:

For the season, he had team worst 46 completions allowed for 435 and 5 TDs and with a 97% QB rating allowed.

Very nice write up @kurgan. Looking forward to more. 

I did want to ask about these numbers. They seemed super high when I read over it. I know the Depot guys had him charged at 12 catches on 19 targets for 112 and 3 TDs. That’s just a huge discrepancy in numbers. I’m not a big fan of the SD’s opinions, but I do think they do a good job collecting data. 

Overall I think Bush is going to grow into coverage more. He is going to be a 100% snapper next year. The three games you mentioned specifically with struggles were also the first three games of the year. 

The guy I want to see more of (and plan on doing my own game pass deep dive) is James Washington. I want to know how much his understanding of the NFL route tree evolved and if he is an actual deep threat or if he is just getting that title from a few things going his way. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Dcash4 said:

The guy I want to see more of (and plan on doing my own game pass deep dive) is James Washington. I want to know how much his understanding of the NFL route tree evolved and if he is an actual deep threat or if he is just getting that title from a few things going his way. 

That's a good one. The only real plus I've noticed about James Washington is how strong his hands are. If he's facing the QB and the ball is on him, he's not missing it. His hands are like vice grips. I haven't really noticed any other trait that really stands out. He's not a burner, his route running seems average, he's not big, and he isn't a freakish leaper. He just sort of is there. That's what I thought about TJ Watt after his 2nd year, though. I didn't see any standout traits in his game, and he greatly improved. I hope Washington does too. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Dcash4 said:

Very nice write up @kurgan. Looking forward to more. 

I did want to ask about these numbers. They seemed super high when I read over it. I know the Depot guys had him charged at 12 catches on 19 targets for 112 and 3 TDs. That’s just a huge discrepancy in numbers. I’m not a big fan of the SD’s opinions, but I do think they do a good job collecting data. 

Overall I think Bush is going to grow into coverage more. He is going to be a 100% snapper next year. The three games you mentioned specifically with struggles were also the first three games of the year. 

The guy I want to see more of (and plan on doing my own game pass deep dive) is James Washington. I want to know how much his understanding of the NFL route tree evolved and if he is an actual deep threat or if he is just getting that title from a few things going his way. 

I got all the numbers from pro football reference.  I wanted to use a more neutral outlet for the numbers.

Oh, he struggled all year.  I think that's why he was not in dime later in the year.  I also think that is why he was used less toward the end of the year as well.  Barron was just a better cover guy.

Another think I forgot to mention was that they did seem to do more zone coverage later, and Bush's drops into zones was not as clean.  There was an exact clip I saw later (2nd Cleveland game, I think) where he dropped to hook/curl and was too deep and Landry caught a drag under him and got a huge gain.  Its just nucanced stuff he has to clean up.  He will be fine, he just needs a Robin to act as Barron in nickel.  I also was drawing some stuff up and *I* think Bush could be awesome in Tampa 2 coverage.  He can get to the deep 3rd crazy fast.

5 hours ago, Dcash4 said:

The guy I want to see more of (and plan on doing my own game pass deep dive) is James Washington. I want to know how much his understanding of the NFL route tree evolved and if he is an actual deep threat or if he is just getting that title from a few things going his way. 

JWash was never a burner or a route tech guy.  He was known for lining up on the right of the formation and catching jump balls from Rudolph in college.  He struck me as being a mismatch weapon for me, trying to get a guy to pick on smaller faster DBs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, MOSteelers56 said:

That's a good one. The only real plus I've noticed about James Washington is how strong his hands are. If he's facing the QB and the ball is on him, he's not missing it. His hands are like vice grips. I haven't really noticed any other trait that really stands out. He's not a burner, his route running seems average, he's not big, and he isn't a freakish leaper. He just sort of is there. That's what I thought about TJ Watt after his 2nd year, though. I didn't see any standout traits in his game, and he greatly improved. I hope Washington does too. 

I’ve said for a while that I think he is a poor mans JuJu. A technically sound, strong catch/hands kinda guy who can body with the best of them who is probably more suited for a big slot in the NFL, but can have position flexibility. The biggest difference between them is that JuJu came in pro ready thanks to USC. Washington was probably asked to run about 3 routes in college and in the pros is asked to known 3 routes on one play. 

But he keeps getting billed as a deep threat and I want to see if that’s accurate or not. If it is, that’s a huge piece of the puzzle that we need. If it’s not, I think he is probably best flipped for the highest price possible. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK guys... after a draft hangover, I am ready to get back to work . (Not elearning with high school World HIstory kids, but film/eval work).

Here are a couple of ideas I had, mixed in with some that were already in the hopper:

  1. Offensive Line Breakdown aka Where does Feiler play? (thanks to @MOSteelers56)
  2. Replacing Mark Barron (@bigben07MVP's idea...)
  3. Breaking down the rookies pt.1--Fits and roles
  4. Breaking down the rookies pt. 2--Ceilings and Floors
  5. Breaking down the rookies pt.3--UDFA's camp bodies or projects?

I know the OL and Nickelbacker ones were in the hopper, but the draft class has me stoked with the new blood.  Truth be told, I've already started the OL breakdown, and I should be able to push through that in a couple of days.  But, the new kids have my attention right now.

Anyway, drop a comment and let me know what you want to see, or if there is anything else you all are groovin'.  I have a bunch of free time coming up (since the draft is over) and my state called off school, my soccer season and spring football until at least June 1.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will piggyback on @kurgan to show this nice breakdown of Dotson vs Alabama

https://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2020/4/30/21237973/film-room-steelers-kevin-dotson-vs-alabamas-quinnen-williams-and-raekwon-davis-2020-nfl-draft-news

 

Quote

The Ragin’ Cajuns ran for 200 yards against the Crimson Tide, the most they gave up in 2018 and 5th most of the decade. Raekwon Davis, Isaiah Buggs (#49) Johnny Dwight and Quinnen Williams combined for 40 Tackles for loss and 19.5 sacks in 2018, none of those were against the Ragin’ Cajuns, the only team to hold those 4 without a tackle for loss or a sack in 2018. That says a lot about the level of coaching and the players on that line.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice find @jebrick

I was kind of silently skeptical of Dotson. I think was because he isn’t John Simpson. That does put my mind at ease a bit though. He pushed Q Williams around a little and held up against his power. That’s pretty impressive. I just hope hope his pass blocking holds up and he can be more mobile than Foster.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, MOSteelers56 said:

Nice find @jebrick

I was kind of silently skeptical of Dotson. I think was because he isn’t John Simpson. That does put my mind at ease a bit though. He pushed Q Williams around a little and held up against his power. That’s pretty impressive. I just hope hope his pass blocking holds up and he can be more mobile than Foster.

I do like that we tried to hit picks that hit something elite.  Every prospect that we drafted does something elite.  Hopefully the rest can be coached up. (Hint to my rookie breakdown)

Dotson is a bull... he delivers a hit and is an elite run blocker. The way he handles power rushers and gets them out of the hole is pretty dang good.

Surrat will have to work on pass pro, for sure.  Speed rushers may devestate him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

@kurgan I’d love to see a breakdown on the later route picks. We all know pretty much what the Steelers got with the selection of Claypool, Highsmith and McFarland bc there’s so much information out there about them - and you already did Doctson - what about Antonie Brooks (who I think will replace Barron in the dime ILB role) and Carlos Davis the 7th round NT prospect? 

Edited by turtle28

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

kurgan's rookie scouting series pt. 1--Fits and roles (draft picks edition)

OK, so I took some time and looked at the draft picks.  I have tried to look at these 6 players first as who/what they are as players, how they fit into the grand scheme of the defense and then what potential role I can see them being used in 2020 (barring injuries)... I will save the celings/floors for another time.

First, let me say that generally speaking, these picks 'fit' the Steelers.  Yes, the underclassman vibe is off, but these are all hearts and smarts, high motor and effort guys.  They all show on film to be the type of guys that are going to be great fits on the team and in the locker room.  I know it is hard to tell in laymans terms, but all of these dudes love the game of football, and it shows on film.  What else popped out to me is that all of the players are elite in one area.  I mentioned this in another post, but every one of the picks (and most of the UDFAs so far) have one elite trait that can come over to the pro game.  I think with our picks it is very hard to get 'great' football players, but each one is great in one area that I think is transferrable.  I will go over those in each player section, but I think it is an interesting draft strategy.  As opposed to getting truly well rounded players, they took guys with elite skills and with other areas that need to be sharpened in coaching.

Time to get to it.  As always, I am culling film from Youtube primarily, so there are going to be holes.  In addition, there is no way I can watch all the snaps in all the games, so I have tried to do a crossection of games that they did well in, poorly in, and such.

And, cuz I am strange, we will go backwards in this deal:

Carlos Davis, DL Nebraska.6'2" 315.

First, let's talk about the man.  48 game player in Big 10, 125 career tackles, 4 time letterman in Track and Field, Multiple team awards for citizenship.

Davis's elite skill is that of explosiveness/athleticism.  You can tell that when he is dialed in and knows what is going on, dude is a monster.  His first step is a thing of beauty.  He is so out of the blocks that he almost looks like an off ball LB blitzing a gap when he gets off.  He is a handful, and many OG/C have expressed issues with blocking him.  He is not at laterally quick as I would like to see, but his explosion is first rate.  He also does a great job not just at NT, but at 4i/3.  He is much better as a gap penetrator than as a man player.  He almost 'dummies' OL when he rushes, and causes them to miss.  Although, when tasked with dropping an anchor at NT, I have seen much worse.  He has a natural disadvantage on the DL (short arms), but is good enough to hold ground, fall off and make a tackle.

Now, the bad... I am not sure if it is conditioning, offensive snap counts, or lack of mental processing, but there are times when he is the last man off the LOS.  This is the most puzzling thing to me, as he is a high effort guy who chases plays downfield and makes tackles on screens and passes.  He wants to get into the play, just sometimes he is the last on the fire off.  Now, he can make up for it most times in college with the explosiveness, but not in the NFL.  He needs to clean that up.  The other concern that I have is with his pass rush.  Other than coverage sacks and the occasional swim move, he is limited.

As far as role on defense, our DL has converted to this era of guys that can play multiple things.  All DE's slide down over A and B gap in subpackages.  There is no true nose, save Big Dan, and the 30% of base snaps may go to a variety of guys (Buggs, Wormley, Alualu) who can play over the C and penetrate gaps like Gravedigger.  I can see Davis is this mold.  He is a high motor guy who has played NG and DE in a 3-4 at Nebraska.  If he is in the game, I can see him sliding down into A and B gap, although this is not ideal.

For 2020, I have heard Davis being written off and not making this team.  To be honest, I thought the same thing as well at first.  But watching this dude, I just think that there is a way that he can make the team without injury.  Much like Buggs last year, Davis is a guy who can be up on the 55 and be inactive, and still learn.  He might could play some games, and get 100 snaps during the season.  I can see him being a guy that is in on early downs and coming off in certain situations.  In a world in which Heyward, Tuitt, Wormley and as much as I hate it, Alualu are 'locks,' we usually carry 6 DL.  If Buggs is 5, then Davis has to beat out McCullers and the XFL guys for a slot on the team.  If we are really moving forward with Alualu/Wormley at NG, Davis does have a shot.  At worse, I can see him being stashed on the PS and working on refining his play.  With the age/injury history of 3 of our DL, we need to have youngins ready to go.

Overall, the major word to remember with Davis is upside.  He is 23, and shows the desire for this game.

 

Antoine Brooks Jr, Safety/LB Maryland.

35 game starter/40 game player, 237!! tackles, team MVP.  Meh Senior Bowl.

Brooks flashes with elite desire/want to.  You watch the film for 3 plays, and you can see it.  Dude is a hype man.  He is on his teammates, on himself, talking to opponents.  He is all over the place and flies around like every play is his last.  This, for me, is elite in that you don't see it often.  He seems to be the heartbeat of his team, and loves this role.  He seems to love everything about football and wants to be in on every tackle and make every play.  It is a wonder to see.  The other positive thing that Brooks has is high football instinct.  You can see him getting his guys lined up, reading plays, getting where he needs to be, and understanding what he needs to do.  Its all the non-football stuff that I love about Brooks's film.  The stuff in between plays is just A+++.  In addition, dude is seriously ROCKED up.  He is a well put together 5'10" 220.  He is built like a tank.  He also hits like a truck.  He will floor guys, and make them remember he was there.

There are some serious warts in Brooks's game.  Testing numbers bear out what shows on tape.  He is maybe an above average athlete.  He can get places with his football IQ and instincts, but he will get shown as what he is.  He is going to get killed in man coverage vs plus athletes, and NFL defenses will find him if he is on an island.  He should not be covering any WR and most RBs.  In addition, his change of direction skills are not great.  He sees it, he just can't get his body to do it.  It's like his ankles and hips don't do what the rest of his body does on things where he has to change and move laterally.

Heh... role is the $20,000 dollar question, isn't it.  I see two pathways.  Either a subpackage LB (Barron, but not quite) or a 3rd safety (Kam Kelly-kinda).  So, in my mind he can't be both, and I honestly have no idea what Pittsburgh wants to do with him.  The issue with the Barron perspective is that he is poor at coverage and with his body type being maxed out and Bush also not the best cover 'backer, that is a problem.  I am not sure I can see a world in which they can play together unless Brooks sells out and spends all year just learning cover stuff.  I am not sure how much he had to do at Maryland, but he is not good at it.  Unless we run all zone, and he is OK at that.  The issue with the safety projection is that he isn't really a backup S type at all.  If he is in the game at S, he HAS to the box safety, and if Minkah is not... who is FS?  I see issues both ways.  The only real 'home' I can be comfortable with is in our version of the 'big nickel" when we use 3 safties.  Like Kam Kelly last year, if he is on the field, he is like an old school rover and goes to the ball.  I like him like that.  But, we only run that type of nickel based on game plan, and that takes a more cover guy off the field, so spread will be an issue.  My money is on the nickelbacker role and they throw him in there knowing he is not a 2020 option, and see if he can get better at covering.

Regardless of his role on D... he will be a special teams monster on day 1.  4 phases.  Pen (not pencil) his name in.  KO, KOR, P and PR.  All of it.  Let him run around and hit people.  Every snap that Anthony Chickillo did on ST, put Brooks on.  Day 1.

For 2020, it is hard to imagine Brooks not making the team.  Hopefully, he will play all 4 phases of ST, and see some time in preseason/blowout games on defense (50 or so snaps).  Let him see where he fits.  Maybe a surprise, but I can't see it.  But a guy that def gets a helmet and balls out in the 3rd phase.  Whatever role he is destined for, let him grow into it this year.

 

Kevin Dotson, OG Louisiana.  6'4" 310

52 GAMES!!!, Football bloodlines, First Team All-American, grew up a Steelers fan.

So much has been said about this dude, but his elite trait is run blocking.  Dude is a pissed off bouncer at a strip club bad.  He can throw bodies around, and move immovable objects with ease.  His double teams are things of beauty, and he can make holes when people know they are running.  Second level climbing is amazing.  He is also very technically sound in his movements and always marries his feet and hands (a coaching quibble with me).  Has been taught to block well both structurally and fundamentally.  Has a nasty demeanor, and blocks to the echo of the whistle and plays with an edge.

As for bad... if you imagine you are building Dotson in a football video game, you gave him max skills in run blocking, and threw whatever was left in pass pro.  Again, he is technically sound, but yeeesh, there are some bad reps.  He is not bad when the guy to block in on him, but if he has to find work... he sometimes doesn't.  Or, he sees it late and just misses.  And, it usually looks pretty bad.  I mean, doubling over, high on toes, getting swimmed, getting ripped, blocking a LB when his guy is sacking the QB.  Again, everything is fixable, and the desire is there, but he needs a lot of work in this realm.  Otherwise, there is concern for me in his lateral agility.  Any outside zone/pull scheme to the otherside was scary.  Not in his block, just in his getting there.  But, I can't be too mad about that at 310.

Role is actually pretty easy.  He is only a guard for us.  Not a guard that we can try at Tackle, a guard.  And, he only played RG in college, so that is a problem as well.  Moving sides of the LOS is not as easy as it sounds, and he has never done it, to my knowledge (PFF said all snaps at RG except 2 at RT when Hunt got banged up).  Nothing on the left side. Not to say he can't, just that he hasn't.  And center should only be an emergency (Chris Hubbard, Matt Feiler).  I see him as a LG/RG guy only.

For 2020, as much as I have seen the hype about him competing for a spot, the reality is that with no minicamps and his lack of flexibility, he will be an emergency option for 2020.  With DDC in his prime at RG, and someone in the schmozz of Felier, Chuks, Banner, Wiz and Gray being the LG (well, not Chuks, but moving Felier...), Dotson should anchor the second line at practice and maybe get a hat as the 10th lineman on gamedays.  With so many FAs for 2021, he might be plug and play with a year to get his pass pro right, and play for 15 years.

 

Anthony McFarland, RB Maryland.  5'8", 208.

6 100 yard games, 218 vs OSU in 2018.  1000 rushing yard season with Matt Canada.  Only played 2 seasons (redshirted in 2017).

Man, was this some fun tape to watch.  Holy crap dude can fly.  4.42 looks like 4.2 when he is out there torching Syracuse and Temple.  Holy crap...

Elite skills are speed (obs) but more important is vision.  Listen, one of the biggest misconception about the RB slot is that you have to be more than fast.  There is a reason that Usain Bolt is not a RB.  Dude sees a crack, plants and is standing in the endzone.  McFarland can see the crack and go.  We are not talking about Le'veon Bell dancing in the backfield, we are talking about a true one cut runner.  He is built for zone plays.  Run that side, everyone blocks, and you see the lane, cut and go.  Let the 4.4 work for you.  Dude has sick vision and it is real awesome knowing that 1) everyone knew he was the best player and stacked the box to stop him, and 2) he was injured (high ankle) in 2019.  Another thing I love about AMF is his contact balance.  You would think that a 'fast' RB would not get hit or try to go out of bounds.  Not McFarland.  He runs over people.  He breaks tackles and tries to run over safeties when he can.  He is not small, and is a well put together kid.  (There is a Maryland weight room joke in there somewhere...).  He bangs when he has to, and can put that 205-210 on people.

On the flip side, the 3 main issues I have with McFarland are the same that most people have.  I believe that none of the 3 are his fault, and that they are all fixable.  The first, fair or not, is injuries.  Torn ACL senior year of HS led to 2017 redshirt, and 2019 was marred by high ankle sprain (missed 2 games/hurt all season).  Maybe with pro rehab and injury staffs, this can be helped.  But, because of this, the tape is not all there.  He is missing a whole season, and parts of another.  If you just graded 2018, he was a top 5 back.  The second part is work in the passing game.  Again, maybe just scheme or opportunities, but 24 career receptions ain't good.  I could make the argument that he was getting handed the ball, but again, people want to see you can do it.  Now, he got almost 10 yards a catch and a TD, so he can do it... just on what level?  Finally, the biggest issue for me is pass pro.  He has not shown the ability to take on blitzing LB's to protect the QB, and with Ben... that weighs more on me.  Again, maybe scheme, but he didn't do it alot, and when he did... wasn't good.  Did not challenge, square or deliver a hit.  Hopefully the pass pro and pass game can be coached into him at some point.

So, role for AMF.  To start, he would not see any of 3rd down.  With the lack of pass pro and pass concepts, assume 3rd down is out (exception of manufactured plays aka jet sweeps/draws, etc.).  So, first blush, I would imagine AMF being a 2nd/4th Quarter fastball option.  Take advantage of tired defenses by trying to throw a heater.  Think about how we used Kerrith Whyte at the end of last year.  In addition, AMF brings the manufactured touches into play.  We don't have anyone like him and he needs 2-3 touches a game that are 'house' plays.  Maybe as the season progresses, he can show more in the pass game, but I would have him be my change of pace/fastball back.

For 2020, lets do some math.  So, if AMF is 'taking' Whyte's role, he dressed for 6 games, took 40 (@ 6 per) snaps and had 24 (@ 4 per) carries.  So 18 games is 120 snaps and 74 carries.  Let's bump that up a bit and say that he gets 8-10 snaps a game/or 5-7 carries.  That would put him at 160-170 snaps for the year, and 110-120 carries.  That is a good baseline, and if he shows growth or if/when Connor gets hurt, the numbers will go up.  If he ends up right around 200 snaps and 125 'touches' that would be amazing (Snell had 108 carries).  I could see that creating 800 or so yards and 5 or 6 TDs.  That would be a real shot in the arm for this offense.

Special teams-wise... returner is a question.  Did it once and got 40 yards, but did it at practice all the time.  KOR is not that big of a deal these days, but PR would be nice.

 

Alex Highsmith, Edge Charlotte.  6'3" 250

Former walkon!!!, 48 game player, 3rd team All America, Popped at the E/W Shrine Bowl.

One thing screams to me when I put on film of Highsmith... dude can flat out rush the passer.  I know that this does not fit the concensus with other draftniks, but I LOVE Highsmith as a situational pass rusher on Day 1.  His body, explosion, plan, movements, COD, variety all scream pass down terror.  Add in that he played in a 3-4 at both DE and OLB, and dude can walk in on day 1 and be used on downs that we know they are going to throw and simply go.  You can tell this guy has practiced, practiced and practiced technique.  As a DL coach, I love his movements and get off, and the ability to know what he is going to do before he does it.  He knows how to beat the guy across from him, and knows his weaknesses.  He is a cerebral player.  As with all of these guys, he is high motor, and challenges OT every play to deal with him.  Never backs down from a challenge (went after Clemson's best OT).

To flip that coin, I worry about 2 things with Highsmith.  Run stopping and coverage.  Run support seems not to be a concern of most draft people, as evidenced by his gaudy tackle totals, but when you watch him, he is bullying tackles from MAC and CUSA schools and making tackles.  I mean, I am not sure at 6'3" and 250, he can stand up to pulling big boy guards and NFL tackles.  He is in good shape and shows good form in games, I just worry about the transition.  I would love him at 265, but he is stacked, and I am not sure he can handle it.  I hope I am wrong, but if he struggles, I see it being the run aspect of the game.  Coverage I am concerned about, but only since he was not asked to do it.  Like in our Defense, Bud is asked to drop while Watt rushes.  Highsmith rushes, but I am sure he can drop, and his athletic testing shows that the tools are there.

To simplify my thoughts on his role, take away LOLB and ROLB for a second and assume Watt is the 'rusher' and Bud is the 'dropper.'  Meaning, it is like a 70/30 split, but you get the idea.  Highsmith, today, is the backup for Watt.  If you asked me to pick a OLB to rush the passer/blitz/make plays out of Tuzar/Ola and Highsmith, it is Highsmith.  For the 4-5 plays a game that Watt is out, Highsmith should be in.  OK, now I do not believe that today he can be Bud's backup.  Between the run fits and coverage, I would have to trust a guy that has been there. Not so say that after a while he can be the true Chickillo reserve, but I would not do it today.  Maybe by mid-season.  I would also cool the jets on any Bud replacement role.  Again, HIghsmith and Bud are not 1:1 comps.

2020 role... designated pass rusher on day 1, and partial backup Edge till at least mid-season.  By designated pass rusher, think about the ways a DC could use HIghsmith on 3rd and 10+.  Hell, deploy a 3-2-5 and let Highsmith lineup wherever and blitz.  Or, take Bud off since he will not be needed in coverage.  Or line up next to Bush (or have Watt do it) and Highsmith rushes off the edge.  I can think of many ways to do it.  Also, in the 3-4 plays Watt takes off, Highsmith is on.  Chick played 143 snaps last year on D, so that seems about right.  140-150, with some sacks,  pressures, hits, and maybe a FF.

Also, as with Brooks.. will help special teams immediatly in all 4 phases.  All Rosie Nix/T. Edmunds snaps go to Hightower.

 

Chase 'Mapletron' Claypool, WR Notre Dame 6'4" 230

33 starts/50 games, 1,037/13 TD in 2019, Born in Canada, 4.42 40

OK... I was one of the 95% of Steelers fans that were so confused about this pick on Draft Night, and then went to the tape and fell in love with him.  He is such a Steelers pick.  Yea, about 10 spots high, but who cares.  The Steelers know about WR, so there is that. 

Obviously, CC is elite at contested catches/50-50 balls.  In other words, what Ben loves to throw.  CC is a monster at these, and wins them.  He can run, jump and has freakishly strong hands to ****** the ball. We even saw last year, without Ben, that we loved chucking it down the sidelines a couple times a game.  Now we have a guy that will go get it.  Another skill that CC is elite at is run blocking.  I'll say it.. he is the best run blocking WR we've had since Hines Ward.  Dude loves to get nasty.  Underrated part of the overall running game is perimeter blocking.  CC is another club bully.

I am going to go against the masses here again and say that my biggest issue with CC is separation.  You are 6'4", 230 running a 4.4 and you still have to win so many contested catches??  There is a disconnect here, and I am struggling to find it.  Best I can figure is that Notre Dame's offense is boring and predictable, and CC was lined up outside 80% of snaps and they threw him bombs.  So, the defense played the bombs.  Still, you should have some plays on tape that you are YAC'ing dudes, slant and scores, breaking into the secondary, punishing safeties, etc.  There are not those.  Most people complain about his route tree... I hate that as a coach.  Every WR in America (and Canada, I assume), work on routes all day at practice.  Heck, we had 18 routes in high school, and worked on them every day.  If a go, slant and stop work, you call them.  Maybe, on some level, they interact, but that would be on Brian Kelly, not CC.  I am sure his routes are fine.  Last thing that gives me pause is his 'after route' procedure.  I like that he gets to the end, and then drifts to space to find his QB.  But, sometimes you have to create, and I did not see that on scramble drills.  Gives some question to his lateral ability, but I will wait and see.

Role... I am 100% off the CC to TE talk.  No, please.  Let him be a WR.  Not a move TE/H Back... nothing.  I want him to start as an outside WR and try to win out there.  Get him on CBs and see if his contested catch makes it over to the pros.  I bet that it does.  Let him learn and earn the X or Z job opposite of JWash.  I am not saying a couple plays a game move him inside for mismatches, but we have that guy right now (EE).  Move DJ and JJSS into the slot and man, are we stacked!!!  CC will flourish as an outside the hash bully with fades, backshoulder fades, slants and screens.  I would put him on the DK Metcalf plan, and let him master those concepts and meanwhile block the fool out of FS and CB that want to mess with him.  Think about moving him around in 2021, but him outside puts JJSS in the slot, which is better for everyone.

2020 plans... so, this one is easy.  We just upgraded Johnny Holton.  Think about all the plays last year with Holton running down the bombs or running the drags.  Simply place a bigger, faster, better player and do the same thing.  Can you believe that Holton played 250 snaps last year??  Me either. I know we had injuries and stuff, but man... so CC takes those 250 snaps and add a couple more for red zone plays.  Somewhere near 300 sounds about right.  Less than JJSS, JWash and DJ but more than EE.  Let's say 40 receptions and 8 TDs.

In addition to taking Holton's offensive role, he takes Holton's special teams role as well.  New gunner that will destroy people.  WIlling and able hitter.  Throw him on KO, KOR and PR as well as an upback or something.

 

OK guys... hope you liked it.  Leave feedback.  Ran out of gas toward the end, as there was not a whole lot new to say.  Please ask questions or clarifications!!!

Thanks!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good write ups.  All rookies are backup to start the year.  The Steelers did not need any starters so decent depth.

McFarland best learn blitz pick up or he will not play.  That has sunk Samuels with Ben.

Brook's cover bothered me for the start.  He is another Markus Allen.  Not sure why they like those types of players.

Claypool runs some really nice short routes.  I think he will be much better than Ebron in the same role.  He can already block better.

Highsmith will get a year to learn.  Bud sucked at setting the edge when he joined.  I think Highsmith can be a decent sub on nickle or dime packages when they are rushing 4.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, bigben07MVP said:

Hell of a write up @kurgan, well done. You should be getting paid for this content. 👏🏻

Thanks.... if you have any connections, lemme know!!!  :D:D

1 hour ago, jebrick said:

Good write ups.  All rookies are backup to start the year.  The Steelers did not need any starters so decent depth.

McFarland best learn blitz pick up or he will not play.  That has sunk Samuels with Ben.

Brook's cover bothered me for the start.  He is another Markus Allen.  Not sure why they like those types of players.

Claypool runs some really nice short routes.  I think he will be much better than Ebron in the same role.  He can already block better.

Highsmith will get a year to learn.  Bud sucked at setting the edge when he joined.  I think Highsmith can be a decent sub on nickle or dime packages when they are rushing 4.

Thanks man... I appreciate it!!!

I agree.  I think of them more as roles instead of backups, but that is just me.  CC will have an express role (red zone/jump balls), Highsmith as pass rusher role, etc.

Agree... I think some it can be schemed, but some is want to.  He has the physical tools, he just needs to put it together.  And do it... 

Yea... I didn't realize it was so bad until I saw tape.  Man is like 2/10, Zone is a bit better maybe 4/10.  I hope Marcus Allen is a better player in year 3 (or 4, IDK).  After kicking around at CB, he might actually be a viable backup FS if they went that route.  I would trust him more athletically than Brooks.

Totally agree on CC.  I think his short route game is slept on.  With his size and speed, corners have to play him off and he can kill you on stops, slants and even some out breaking routes.  Another thing I forgot in his writeup is double moves.  I didn't see a lot... but he would be a terror.

I just worry about Highsmith's transition to the run game.  His games and techniques are cool to see, but I am not sure he can to that to NFL tackles.  But, I hope to be wrong, and I think he is the type to put the extra work in.  I think he is above board in pass rushing right now, and will easy slide in on nickel and dime in a pass rush scenario.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  



×