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  • Raw talent vs. Rookie inexperience (and other musings)

    I've had the upcoming game on my mind and wanted to throw some thoughts out for discussion. Like most people here my anticipation is extremely high for this game... for obvious reasons.

    -- The main reason, of course, is Cutler's debut. I think just about everyone agrees that the kid has the pure physical skills to be a great QB. Unfortunately, this game is about more than just physical ability. The reason most talented rookie QBs struggle is because they're not mentally ready for the defenses they'll see and they haven't fully mastered their team's playbook.

    How do you overcome the rookie's inexperience? In my opinion, we do what we've supposedly already been doing with Jake. Limit his progressions to just a couple options and if they're not open have him throw the ball away or tuck it and run. We'll obviously want to establish the run in order to take the pressure off him. Luckily the Seahawk's are not the stoutest defense versus the run.

    -- I expect Shanny to call a larger percentage of deep passes than normal. And one big difference I expect to see is when Cutler throws deep I think he'll do more aiming than Jake did. What do I mean by that? Well, it seemed like so many of Jake's deep passes (not all) were just tossed up there with the hope that the receiver (usually Walker) would find a way to make the play. With Jay's stronger arm and supposedly better accuracy deep, I expect him to try to actually place that ball deep where the receiver can get it and the defender can't. I don't know how effective he'll be at it in his first few starts but I think this will be a big part of his arsenal down the road.

    -- I'm very interested to see how often we use the bootlegs and rollouts in the near future. Because Cutler should be a more balanced QB, good from the pocket and good on the move (probably not Plummer good, but still good), I think it will actually make it more difficult for defenses to stop those plays. If they keep defenders at home to guard against those plays, that will leave nice throwing lanes more down the middle of the field. And Shanny has always been good at taking advantage of what the defense gives you... and he tried to have Plummer pass more from the pocket to take advantage of the defenders guarding the bootlegs and rollouts but Plummer just wasn't at home in the pocket. This is another area that I have high hopes for.

    -- Tatum Bell should be back and mostly healthy. Even though I'm frustrated at the regularity of his injuries, I believe he is the most effective of our current running backs. He is much improved catching the ball this year and could be an important outlet for our young QB. And if he can recapture his early season form, we should get a boost on the ground.

    -- Our tight ends HAVE to step up and provide quick pass options for Cutler. We know how defenses love to blitz inexperienced QBs and try to rattle them. The tight end and running backs will get open short and make life easier for Cutler by giving him quick outlet passes. I haven't heard if Scheffler will be activated again but I'd like to see him and Cutler reestablish their preseason chemistry.

    -- I'd like to see Chad Mustard become a bigger part of the offense. He's in a lot for blocking reasons but he's such a big guy that he should be able to fall forward for 2 or 3 yards after the catch on most plays. I'd like a House type of tight end again to complement Scheffler as more of a passing TE.

    -- I hate to say it but I think we need to start blitzing more. But I don't want the constant all-out blitzes like we did last year. We need to really mix up where they're coming from and try to be unpredictable with when we blitz. Our defensive line just isn't getting enough pressure by themselves. Hopefully our 10 days off will also help rejuvinate our pass rush.


    Anyway, I really hope that Cutler comes out strong and can make it through the season in a similar "manager" role like Plummer has been doing... but hopefully improving our 3rd down effectiveness. Next year I expect Cutler to really break out with a full year and two training camps and offseasons under his belt. But Cutler should not be put in the position of having to carry the offense right now. He just needs to be a more effective version of Plummer to get us back on track for this season. Hopefully that will be enough.

    Thanks to anybody that actually took the time to read my ramblings.
    "You can't take the sky from me..."
    ------
    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding"

  • #2
    I enjoyed the read. I am extremely curious to see how the rest of the team responds. Maybe we can pick up some more first downs and keep the D on the bench. If we can just sustain some longer drives, maybe our defense can get back to playing the way they started out this season. No matter what happens Sunday night, I'm excited about the future.

    Comment


    • #3
      your lucky I cant give u cp man lol


      Great great post
      Bronco fan from Packer Land.
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      Comment


      • #4
        I'm excited simply by the same thing the title of this thread implies! I want to see the RAW talent. I know he's going to be erratic at times. I know he's going to make a misread, and/or miss a pass he should have made. But at the same time I don't expect (as so many seem to imply) him to be completely lost out there. Roth, Leinart and Young weren't/aren't lost out there simply because they are rookies. Its not like they haven't played football.

        I'm excited to see that gun unload and rocket. I'm excited to see a big QB that stands 6'3 in that pocket. I'm EXCITED to see him handle the teammates and the huddle. To see how he manages the clock. I'm excited to see how his natural abilities allow him to move in the pocket.. IF they allow him to move in the pocket.

        Its his Raw talent that I want to watch. I'm very capable of accepting that this team is NOT a Super Bowl caliber team. I know this. I knew this at the beginning of the season, and I'm ok with that. So I find great joy in just watching our future take the field, and watch him grow before our eyes.

        Someone on ESPN radio talked about it today.. and Jav touched on it. Many believe that bringing in a rookie makes coaches 'shrink' the playbook. Others believe that this will actually allow Shanahan to open up the playbook a lil bit. They said that Shanahan likes how the kid makes quick decisions and has the arm to make all the throws. He's decisive on what he wants to do, and where he wants to go. Perhaps thats something Jake has lost (or has been taken away from him) the last couple of years.

        Is it Sunday Yet?

        Comment


        • #5
          Not bad for a bunch of ramblings Jav.

          Anyway my guess would be that Shanahan will do exactly what you're suggesting in not putting Cuter in a position where he has to win the game at least not at this point in the year.

          I also expect that defensive coordinators to try and blitz Jay and I'm also sure that Shanahan is going to do his best to have Jay ready for that.
          John 11: 25-27

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          Thanks Snk16

          Comment


          • #6
            Nice post Jav......

            I am excited to see the raw talent as well. I want to see how he commands the team and the offense.

            What will be interesting is how will the team respond to Jay. Will everyone have a little extra gittyup? I hope so. I'd like to see if Jay has formed any chemistry with anyone. I know Jay cant possibly live up to the hype. He'd have to be Elway. I'd just like to see that our future is in good hands.

            I also want to see what kind of offense Shanny thinks best suits Jay.

            Comment


            • #7
              How ironic would it be to see Cutler throw 4 picks, and Jake have to come in and take over midway through the 3rd quarter?






              (I'm hoping things don't go that badly.)
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              They're your teammates, now.
              Best of luck, TT!
              ...Always a class act - in any uniform.



              sbutk: i can see why Denver is taking TO's right now [trailing by 7, with 30 seconds left in the half]. but why Oakland???

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              • #8
                Originally posted by sbutk
                How ironic would it be to see Cutler throw 4 picks, and Jake have to come in and take over midway through the 3rd quarter?






                (I'm hoping things don't go that badly.)
                Jake doesnt come from behind to win games. There would be no reason for Jake to play. Cutler is capable of losing a game without Jakes help.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hey, I just want to thank all of you for taking the time to read it.


                  When I get long-winded like that I expect to get few responses. But I need to keep my typing skills sharp so I make the posts anyway.



                  (And no, Ravage, it's not Sunday yet... <double checks calendar> Darn.)
                  "You can't take the sky from me..."
                  ------
                  "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Javalon
                    I've had the upcoming game on my mind and wanted to throw some thoughts out for discussion. Like most people here my anticipation is extremely high for this game... for obvious reasons.

                    -- The main reason, of course, is Cutler's debut. I think just about everyone agrees that the kid has the pure physical skills to be a great QB. Unfortunately, this game is about more than just physical ability. The reason most talented rookie QBs struggle is because they're not mentally ready for the defenses they'll see and they haven't fully mastered their team's playbook.

                    How do you overcome the rookie's inexperience? In my opinion, we do what we've supposedly already been doing with Jake. Limit his progressions to just a couple options and if they're not open have him throw the ball away or tuck it and run. We'll obviously want to establish the run in order to take the pressure off him. Luckily the Seahawk's are not the stoutest defense versus the run.

                    -- I expect Shanny to call a larger percentage of deep passes than normal. And one big difference I expect to see is when Cutler throws deep I think he'll do more aiming than Jake did. What do I mean by that? Well, it seemed like so many of Jake's deep passes (not all) were just tossed up there with the hope that the receiver (usually Walker) would find a way to make the play. With Jay's stronger arm and supposedly better accuracy deep, I expect him to try to actually place that ball deep where the receiver can get it and the defender can't. I don't know how effective he'll be at it in his first few starts but I think this will be a big part of his arsenal down the road.

                    -- I'm very interested to see how often we use the bootlegs and rollouts in the near future. Because Cutler should be a more balanced QB, good from the pocket and good on the move (probably not Plummer good, but still good), I think it will actually make it more difficult for defenses to stop those plays. If they keep defenders at home to guard against those plays, that will leave nice throwing lanes more down the middle of the field. And Shanny has always been good at taking advantage of what the defense gives you... and he tried to have Plummer pass more from the pocket to take advantage of the defenders guarding the bootlegs and rollouts but Plummer just wasn't at home in the pocket. This is another area that I have high hopes for.

                    -- Tatum Bell should be back and mostly healthy. Even though I'm frustrated at the regularity of his injuries, I believe he is the most effective of our current running backs. He is much improved catching the ball this year and could be an important outlet for our young QB. And if he can recapture his early season form, we should get a boost on the ground.

                    -- Our tight ends HAVE to step up and provide quick pass options for Cutler. We know how defenses love to blitz inexperienced QBs and try to rattle them. The tight end and running backs will get open short and make life easier for Cutler by giving him quick outlet passes. I haven't heard if Scheffler will be activated again but I'd like to see him and Cutler reestablish their preseason chemistry.

                    -- I'd like to see Chad Mustard become a bigger part of the offense. He's in a lot for blocking reasons but he's such a big guy that he should be able to fall forward for 2 or 3 yards after the catch on most plays. I'd like a House type of tight end again to complement Scheffler as more of a passing TE.

                    -- I hate to say it but I think we need to start blitzing more. But I don't want the constant all-out blitzes like we did last year. We need to really mix up where they're coming from and try to be unpredictable with when we blitz. Our defensive line just isn't getting enough pressure by themselves. Hopefully our 10 days off will also help rejuvinate our pass rush.


                    Anyway, I really hope that Cutler comes out strong and can make it through the season in a similar "manager" role like Plummer has been doing... but hopefully improving our 3rd down effectiveness. Next year I expect Cutler to really break out with a full year and two training camps and offseasons under his belt. But Cutler should not be put in the position of having to carry the offense right now. He just needs to be a more effective version of Plummer to get us back on track for this season. Hopefully that will be enough.

                    Thanks to anybody that actually took the time to read my ramblings.
                    Your post makes me excited,Good post Javalon

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Great Post!!

                      I too have been excited about this up coming game, for a lot of the reasons that you mentioned but as well just a feeling that we have a shot to win the game with a solid team performance.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        jav i ALWAYS read your "ramblings" when i see them, as they're better than 95% of the supposedly cohesive thinking that others put out there. . . .

                        a few responses. . . . although i certainly agree that shanny will want to lean on the running game to take pressure off his inexperienced QB (as any decent coach would), i actually think that you contradict yourself a bit. . . i think you're absolutely right that we will see more deep passes-- i'm sure we'll pick our spots rather than having him winging it down the field every other play, but IMO if we loosen up the vertical passing game a bit, that means that shanny will be asking jay to be something more than just a game manager. . . i do concur that he won't be asked to put the offense on his back and throw the ball 40 times a game by any means, so i suppose he'll still be managing the game to a certain extent. . . but i think he'll get a bit more freedom to throw down the field, and i bet we won't be running on every 3rd-and-5, either. . . i think shanny is drooling right now at the prsopect of being able to stretch the field a little, and i expect him to give jay some shots to be a playmaker. . .

                        you make an interesting point about possibly being able to work in some more bootlegs because our passing game won't be so predictable with a guy in there who has the tools to be a successful pocket passer. . . actually, we've been using the boots a little more recently than we did at the beginning of the season anyways. . . unfortunately, i've got a prediction-- if we run more than two successful bootleg plays this weekend, we'll have to listen to a bunch of crap from those who are still bitter regarding the QB change about how shanny "sabotaged" jake by not calling enough boots. . . .

                        as for the TEs. . . i gave up a while ago-- at this point, anything we get from them is a bonus! lots of people have said that our TEs aren't producing because they're "always" kept in to help block, but that's a bad exaggeration that reeks of excuses to me. . . while they definitely have been called on to do a lot of blocking this year, they aren't back there all the time, and when they HAVE been allowed to run routes, they quite simply haven't gotten it done. . . it would be great to see one of them step up, because a reliable TE is a great safety net for a young QB. . . and chad mustard has a ways to go to fill carswell's role IMO-- we obviously haven't gotten to see much of him as a pass catcher, but with his lack of speed i'd say he's pretty limited there. . . and for a guy who was kept almost entirely for his blocking, he hasn't blown me away at all in that respect-- he's certainly solid, but i rarely see him blowing people back off the ball. . . i still think we're likely to upgrade with dan graham at TE in the offseason. . . as far as RBs catching the ball, i think mike bell is by far our best back in that particular area-- he has better and more consistent hands than tater, and has been our most productive back all year running screens and dump-offs. . . but it will absolutely be nice to see tater back in the lineup, we haven't run worth a crap without him. . .

                        and i've been saying for weeks that we need to mix in some more blitzes-- people moaned and cried about them last year, and obviosuly failed to realize that we blitzed our damn way right into the AFC championship game. . . it got burned one time and suddenly it was the worst strategy ever-- well i hate to tell ya folks, but we probably wouldn't have even made the playoffs last year without our blitz! i'm not calling for us to return to the constant heavy blitzing of last year, but we need to bring some pressure in selected spots, as our front four is clearly not getting it done, and even the best DBs can't cover forever (darrent has gotten a lot of heat, and he deserves some of it-- but he would look a lot better if we supported our corners with some pressure on the QB!). . . i prefer more LB blitzes, as our LBs are so quick-- you have to mix it up and not get too predictable, but i'd rather see us keep our safeties back to help over the top and bring the LBs on the most crucial snaps. . .

                        also, i'm hopeful that predator and ekuban can be more effective given the extra time to heal up-- predator especially was far better earlier 9in the season than he has been lately-- ever since he missed some time with an injury, he just hasn't been the same. . . also, dumervil's production has fallen off-- when he was playing so well earlier, i tempered my optimism, saying that i wanted to see him keep it up once teams had some film on him. . . i'm afraid he's been exposed as a bit of a one-trick pony-- tackles are getting deep sets to take away his speed to the outside, and once they're engaged he's helpless because of his size. . . he needs to develop some counter-moves to work his way back inside, or to make OTs hesitate so he can beat them outside with that initial quickness. . . a dwight freeney-type spin move would be a nice start. . . .
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by dogfish
                          a few responses. . . . although i certainly agree that shanny will want to lean on the running game to take pressure off his inexperienced QB (as any decent coach would), i actually think that you contradict yourself a bit. . . i think you're absolutely right that we will see more deep passes-- i'm sure we'll pick our spots rather than having him winging it down the field every other play, but IMO if we loosen up the vertical passing game a bit, that means that shanny will be asking jay to be something more than just a game manager. . . i do concur that he won't be asked to put the offense on his back and throw the ball 40 times a game by any means, so i suppose he'll still be managing the game to a certain extent. . . but i think he'll get a bit more freedom to throw down the field, and i bet we won't be running on every 3rd-and-5, either. . . i think shanny is drooling right now at the prsopect of being able to stretch the field a little, and i expect him to give jay some shots to be a playmaker. . .
                          Well, I think he can manage the game but still air it out a bit too. But I don't expect the early games to rest on his shoulders, either. I think Shanny will try to avoid making him pick up every 3rd down with his arm and might still be a bit conservative in those situations... knowing that the defenses will be salivating on passing downs.

                          you make an interesting point about possibly being able to work in some more bootlegs because our passing game won't be so predictable with a guy in there who has the tools to be a successful pocket passer. . . actually, we've been using the boots a little more recently than we did at the beginning of the season anyways. . . unfortunately, i've got a prediction-- if we run more than two successful bootleg plays this weekend, we'll have to listen to a bunch of crap from those who are still bitter regarding the QB change about how shanny "sabotaged" jake by not calling enough boots. . . .
                          Heh, you're probably right about that! However, in my opinion, Plummer's greatest asset became a liability because teams knew they could take it away from him a make him struggle from the pocket. It's counterintuitive but that's my theory and I'm sticking to it.

                          as for the TEs. . . i gave up a while ago-- at this point, anything we get from them is a bonus! lots of people have said that our TEs aren't producing because they're "always" kept in to help block, but that's a bad exaggeration that reeks of excuses to me. . . while they definitely have been called on to do a lot of blocking this year, they aren't back there all the time, and when they HAVE been allowed to run routes, they quite simply haven't gotten it done. . . it would be great to see one of them step up, because a reliable TE is a great safety net for a young QB. . . and chad mustard has a ways to go to fill carswell's role IMO-- we obviously haven't gotten to see much of him as a pass catcher, but with his lack of speed i'd say he's pretty limited there. . . and for a guy who was kept almost entirely for his blocking, he hasn't blown me away at all in that respect-- he's certainly solid, but i rarely see him blowing people back off the ball. . . i still think we're likely to upgrade with dan graham at TE in the offseason. . .
                          I'd love for us to go after Graham. In the meantime, I think Scheffler is just suffering typical rookie blues with the Broncos. Receivers and tight ends just never seem to have success right away in our offense. But I expect him to come around sooner or later.

                          . . .as far as RBs catching the ball, i think mike bell is by far our best back in that particular area-- he has better and more consistent hands than tater, and has been our most productive back all year running screens and dump-offs. . . but it will absolutely be nice to see tater back in the lineup, we haven't run worth a crap without him. . .
                          Mike might be better but Tatum has been catching it well enough to at least keep it as a viable option. And considering he should be getting back to most of the carries and therefore on the field most often, we need him to contribute in this area.

                          and i've been saying for weeks that we need to mix in some more blitzes-- people moaned and cried about them last year, and obviosuly failed to realize that we blitzed our damn way right into the AFC championship game. . . it got burned one time and suddenly it was the worst strategy ever-- well i hate to tell ya folks, but we probably wouldn't have even made the playoffs last year without our blitz! i'm not calling for us to return to the constant heavy blitzing of last year, but we need to bring some pressure in selected spots, as our front four is clearly not getting it done, and even the best DBs can't cover forever (darrent has gotten a lot of heat, and he deserves some of it-- but he would look a lot better if we supported our corners with some pressure on the QB!). . . i prefer more LB blitzes, as our LBs are so quick-- you have to mix it up and not get too predictable, but i'd rather see us keep our safeties back to help over the top and bring the LBs on the most crucial snaps. . .
                          To be honest, I'd rather have Lynch blitz and Gold drop back into coverage in most cases. But we seem to be on the same wavelength in regards to blitzing more often. As I said before, there's a happy medium that we need to find. Until we upgrade our defensive line, we HAVE to find a way to generate more pressure with the blitz. We went from one of the heaviest blitzing teams last year to one of the least blitzing teams this year and I think that was a huge overreaction.

                          also, i'm hopeful that predator and ekuban can be more effective given the extra time to heal up-- predator especially was far better earlier 9in the season than he has been lately-- ever since he missed some time with an injury, he just hasn't been the same. . . also, dumervil's production has fallen off-- when he was playing so well earlier, i tempered my optimism, saying that i wanted to see him keep it up once teams had some film on him. . . i'm afraid he's been exposed as a bit of a one-trick pony-- tackles are getting deep sets to take away his speed to the outside, and once they're engaged he's helpless because of his size. . . he needs to develop some counter-moves to work his way back inside, or to make OTs hesitate so he can beat them outside with that initial quickness. . . a dwight freeney-type spin move would be a nice start. . . .
                          Dumervil's a rookie so it's not surprising he's being a bit inconsistent now that offenses are paying attention to him. I think he'll still be an asset down the road but he'll need to gain some experience and practice the extra moves, like you said. And I would also like to see Chucky get back into the mix. He was definitely generating good pressure early on. Of course, he's not exactly a giant himself for a defensive end. I hope we get a BIG and fast pass rushing end in the near future. But that might require Shanny to use a first round draft pick on a DE.
                          "You can't take the sky from me..."
                          ------
                          "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding"

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