Neil deGrasse Tyson, the Wobble Masters and Teddy Bridgewater, Donny Hathaway, and a good daddy.
What is Reads Listens Views?
If you’re new to the Rookie Scouting Portfolio blog, welcome. I post links on Friday to content I’m saving for later consumption. You may not like everything listed here, but you’re bound to like something.
Neil deGrasse Tyson was asked about Harvard President Lawrence Summers’ comments about genetic differences with men and women in science and gave a compelling answer about race in America. A great listen that only takes a few minutes.
I read Greg Cosell’s take on Teddy Bridgewater and Blake Bortles two days ago and there were two things that surprised me about Cosell’s views. The first was this quote:
Bridgewater doesn’t spin it very well; too many passes came out wobbly. If you don’t think that’s a concern for NFL coaches, then you are not watching the NFL.
I watch the NFL. In fact, I watch this guy a lot who has been known for his wobbly throws since his days as a Volunteer.
This guy that Cosell has great affection for as one of the best pocket passers in the game. A guy, whose wobbly passes in the video below are harder to see here, but the Boston Globe’s beat reporter seemed to have no problem seeing them (or dozens of fans and writers and Twitter) all season when in January, he said that “Rivers hasn’t thrown a perfect spiral in forever…”
Here’s a guy who threw flocks of baby ducks interspersed with some aesthetically beautiful passes throughout his MVP career.
And I grew up on this guy who said “I’ve never been a guy who threw a tight spiral. Everyone who plays with me says I throw a tight wobble, not a tight spiral.”
And if you think he’s kidding, here’s another quote from Joe Montana talking about his wobbly passes.
Now don’t get me wrong, there’s no question that a tight spiral is preferable on a deep ball. And I’m not attacking Greg Cosell, who is a fine analyst of the game–I’m questioning his points.
Cosell is an aesthete when it comes to quarterbacking. While it’s a fantastic quality to possess and it comes from three decades of experience studying football, there’s a degree of nitpicking with the wobbly pass analysis.
In light of Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers, Steve McNair, and Joe Montana’s work, I think his inference if you don’t agree with me then you aren’t watching football is melodramatic.
I also have questions about what Cosell means when he says Bridgewater and Bortles can be starters, but not “top quarterbacks” if they don’t improve their deep game. I don’t know what his definition is for a “top quarterback.” Is it a handful of passers or half the starters in the league?
If it’s the latter, I could find more NFL successful quarterbacks who throw wobbly deep balls as supporting evidence–and I don’t have to go back to Billy Kilmer’s era to do it–but I want to address the second piece of this analysis of Bortles and Bridgewater that runs counter to what I’ve seen on film.
Cosell says Bridgewater “had to put a lot of body into those [deep] throws; as a result, he struggled with trajectory and accuracy.” In contrast, he said, “Bortles will improve his lower body mechanics with more coaching and more refinement.”
Did Bridgewater “put everything” into this throw that covered 48 yards from the line of scrimmage and 56 yards from his release point?
I don’t see an overcompensation to drive the ball. If anything, there wasn’t enough use of his legs to drive through the pass.
On the other hand, I see Bortles putting far more into his throws to deliver a downfield pass. This one is a 34-yard throw from the opposite hash covering 43 yards from the release point.
In fact there are numerous opposite hash throws in the short and intermediate range where Bortles wheels his entire body through his release with the hope of generating momentum.
When I watch Bridgewater, I see a player who had smaller adjustments to make with his throwing motion than Bortles to deliver a ball with greater velocity. If I’m right, add it to the list of reasons why people are grossly underestimating Bridgewater. If I’m wrong, this will be another learning opportunity for me with quarterback mechanics
Thanks, Bloom . . .
Download the 2014 Rookie Scouting Portfolio
Friday’s are also my chance to thank you for reading my work, encourage you to follow the RSP blog, and download the Rookie Scouting Portfolio publication.
The RSP is available every April 1 for download. This year’s RSP is nearly 300 pages in the draft guide section and filled with analysis of 164 skill position prospects that has earned a loyal following:
- Draft history analysis
- Overrated/Underrated analysis
- Multidimensional player comparisons
- Individual skills analysis by position
You can learn more about the RSP here. If you want to see samples of the play-by-play notes I take to write the analysis, you can find them here. If you want to know what my readers say about it, look here. If you want a quick video tour, here it is:
If you don’t have time to look into details, know that once you look through the RSP, there will be no question in your mind that I do the work, that I have a plan about the work that I do, and that you get more than your money’s worth. It’s why more and more draftniks every spring can’t wait until April 1.
If you think that’s a ton, you ain’t seen nothing. When you purchase the RSP, you also get a free post-draft publication that’s available for download a week after the NFL Draft. Fantasy football owners tell me all the time that this alone is worth the price.
Best yet, 10 percent of each RSP sale is donated to Darkness to Light, a non-profit devoted to preventing and addressing sexual abuse through community training in schools, religious groups, and a variety of civic groups across the U.S.
Here is what the RSP donated to D2L this year. According to D2L, the RSP’s 2013 donation amount was enough to train 250 adults in communities across the country.
In Case You Missed It/Coming Soon
- Futures: My Expansion Franchise – I’ve just been awarded an NFL expansion team and must build my personnel department. Here’s how I departed from many in the NFL.
- DLF Podcast
- Audible Hangout
- Rehabbing the Wonderlic – Brass knuckles style.
- Gray Matter: Andre Williams and Anthony Dixon
- A Game of Inches: The Talent Gap Shown With Data
- Futures: Alabama MLB C.J. Mosely
- The 2014 RSP Writers Project -Sometime after the draft, we’ll get this rolling.
- Analyzing the Last 10 Years of Trading Away Future First Round Picks – When a general manager trades away a future first round pick, it’s worth wondering if the transaction was the effect of the principle-agent program.
- NFL 101: Introducing the Basic Route Combinations – A good primer from Matt Bowen.
- Why Teddy Bridgewater is a 1st-Round Talent – For starters, he lacks touch, his stats are padded, and he doesn’t have elite moblity. Still, Alen Dumonjic thinks scouts will be as sorry as USF in October.
Reads (Life In General)
- Why I Killed my Standing Desk – Good info for writers who’ve learned long hours of desk work has it’s own set of physical problems.
- It’s the End of the World as We Know It . . . and he Feels Fine – A tale of an environmental activist coming to terms with the world around him? We’ll see . . . haven’t read yet.
- A Driver’s Bloody Run-in With an Angry Detroit – Racism is a vicious cycle and it runs both ways.
- U Win Tin, Writer Jailed and Tortured in Myanmar for 19 Years, Dies – This man embodied the meaning of the word “resolve.”
- Sotomayor Accuses Colleagues of Trying to ‘Wish Away’ Racial Inequality – Supreme Court upholds Michigan ban on college affirmative action.
- How Minorities Have Fared in States With Affirmative Action Bans