NFL 2013 Preseason Week 2 Football Notes

Notes and Updates as it pertains to Week 2 of the 2013 NFL Preseason is below:

  • Michael Vick has won the starting job in Philadelphia. He has played tremendous this preseason and if going by the short sample, he is the logical choice. Vick has a tendency of turning the football over, and it is likely that a bigger sample size will bear that out. Luckily for the Philadelphia Eagles, they are deep in Quarterback options if the turnover trend emerges during the season.
  • TE Ladarius Green caught 5 passes for 78 yards and a touchdown. He has Wide Receiver like potential out of the Tight End position, and just needs the right scheme to fit. With the San Diego Chargers struggling to keep WRs healthy, perhaps Ladarius Green will be able to carve more of a Wide Receiver like role even with a healthy Antonio Gates.
  • The New York Jets have to be concerned right now regarding with the Quarterback situation. Mark Sanchez has continued the 1:1 ratio of touchdowns to interceptions throughout the preseason. He has proven what he is. Geno Smith did not play after an injuring his ankle and having brutal practices. It is sort of like the quote, “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.” While Geno Smith is sidelined, he isn’t able to remove all doubt that he is not the long term answer at Quarterback for the New York Jets. Geno Smith is slated to start at QB for the New York Jets in Preseason Week 3.
  • It had to be nearly impossible for the St. Louis Rams to evaluate their second team wide receivers properly with the play of QB Kellen Clemens; WR Stedman Bailey was among this group that had little chance to be evaluated. Kellen Clemens provided a brutal Quarterback outing as he lived on the a rule of 2s; he threw 2 over the head of Bailey,completed 2 of his eleven passes, and then threw 2 interceptions. Quarterback is a difficult position to find and upgrade. Perhaps they could find an upgrade since there are 2 third string Quarterbacks that NDC analytics grades to have a good rate of success.
  • Pittsburgh Steelers Strong Safety Shamarko Thomas led the team in tackles, providing 4 solo tackles and 2 assists. He also forced a fumble that led to a turnover. He clearly demonstrated the skills of a successful Strong Safety.
  • While the Denver Broncos were getting beat like a drum by the Seattle Seahawks, the battle at running back raged on. RB Ronnie Hillman had 13 carries for 34 yards, and he turned the ball over with a fumble. A turnover and an average yards per carry of under 3 yards is going to make it tough to not hand the ball to RB Montee Ball; Ball had 6 carries for 28 yards, an average of 4.66 yards per carry. Analytically, it is clear that Montee Ball is the better ball carrier, but he did miss a blitz assignment that led to QB Peyton Manning being hit. The only thing that can keep him off the field is himself; it is based on his determination to learn and execute his pass block assignments. He has the skill set to be a successful runner in the NFL.
  • WR Quinton Patton of the San Francisco 49ers has yet to play this preseason due to a fractured finger. Now that it has healed and he has been cleard to catch passes, he should be available for evaluation in NFL Preseason Week 3 or Week 4. The San Francisco 49ers are clearly searching for answers at wide receiver as seen by the trading WR A.J. Jenkins to the Kansas City Chiefs for WR Jon Baldwin. Just like Jenkins, Baldwin has an analytical profile that suggests a high risk of failing.

An Interesting Look Into San Diego Chargers Tight End Ladarius Green

For the San Diego Chargers, I will focus less on the 2013 NFL Draft and more on an unheralded prospect from the 2012 NFL Draft. This article will take a deeper look at TE Ladarius Green and his future outlook in the NFL.

One key positive about TE Ladarius Green is that he had a higher score in the receiving production metric than did WR Keenan Allen. It is interesting to note that it is rare for a Tight End to hit the threshold for wide receivers in this metric, which Ladarius Green did. However, the reliance metric for Keenan Allen is strong, while it was negative for Ladarius Green.

Upon looking at the reliance metrics with all the tight ends sorted by the receiving production metric, there was one thing that stood out. No Tight End that meet the threshold for the production metric for the WR position had much NFL impact if they also had a negative reliance metric score, which fits the profile that Ladarius Green fits under.

The question then becomes, can Ladarius Green defeat this trend? He would become the first of 14 Tight Ends to have a receiving production metric that meets Wide Receiver thresholds while also having a negative reliance metric. Those are tough, but not insurmountable odds. He does have nice straight ahead movement metrics as well as other metrics that may signal success. The San Diego Chargers scheme will have to be tailored to maximize his upside and potential for that to happen.