Quintin Mikell Will Impress You, Rams Fans
by D'Marco Farr
There has been more activity these last couple of days in the NFL than if you let rats into a KFC after midnight. There were more moves and player transactions than I'd care to count, but some were more interesting than others. The Rams worked towards solidifying their improving defense by signing unrestricted free-agent safety Quintin Mikell that will make people forget former Rams ballhawk Oshiomogho Atogwe sooner rather than later.
Mikell played nine seasons for the Philadelphia Eagles, earning a Pro Bowl nod and multiple berths on All-Pro teams. He's the tough, hard-nosed safety that coach Steve Spagnuolo covets in his high-pressure defense. Safeties in this scheme must be well-rounded players that also are plus tacklers. You don't need to be a big hitter, but you can't be soft at the point of attack either. You're expected to deliver a blow to a ball carrier rather than becoming a catcher's mitt. Open-field tackling is a high priority in this defense because there will be many times when the safety will literally be the last line of defense.
Another requirement would be the speed to drop deep into coverage cutting the field into quarters or deep over the top to assist cornerbacks that are left on an island in man coverage with elite wide receivers. Conversely, at times the safety himself becomes the extra man on a blitz either outside the tackle box or up the middle. Rarely will a blitzing safety come free to the quarterback on a blitz, so not only does he have to time the blitz well to get a jump on the ball, most of the time he will have to deal with and then defeat a blocker on the way to the quarterback. He can't get stuck on a blocker or the blitz quickly becomes a liability.
Atogwe was more than adequate in this role but I believe Mikell will be an upgrade. His familiarity with the scheme should allow him to have more leeway to become a playmaker once the opposing offense calls an audible when they smell the blitz coming. Last season this was a major flaw in the Rams defense as teams routinely exposed the holes in the secondary when trying to pressure the quarterback. Seattle backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst had a career day hitting multiple open hot reads in the flats or over the middle once the Rams committed more than four rushers to get after the quarterback. The disguise often worked against the Rams and the Seahawks were able to pick up key first downs that extended drives and bleed valuable clock time.
The Player of the Year Award goes to quarterback Jake Delhomme.
First, I mean Player as in Huggy Bear, Bishop Magic Don Juan or Iceberg Slim. The kind of award given out in New York City where hustlers get together in funky suits and wide brim hats and revel in a life in the world's oldest profession.
Delhomme pocketed close to $20 million in 2010 for passing for just two touchdowns and seven interceptions for the Cleveland Browns. How does this happen? Well, first, the Carolina Panthers inexplicably signed Delhomme to a five-year extension worth $42.5 million on April 23, 2009. Then, less than a year later, they decided to cut him, eating nearly $13 million in guaranteed money. I want to work for Carolina Panthers general manager Marty Hurney!
On March 13, 2010, Delhomme signed a $7 million contract with the Cleveland Browns, which basically amounts to starters' money. Browns president Mike Holmgren decided to make this move even though he already made a trade to bring in quarterback Seneca Wallace to compete for the starting job. Delhomme won the job in camp but suffered a high ankle sprain in the opener.
On Wednesday, the Browns told Delhomme he will be released after paying him $7 million to basically watch most of the season from the sideline. Talk about a hustler.
The Garden Tool of the Year Award goes to Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson. This is not meant to be a slam on Jackson's ability. In fact I consider Jackson to be the undisputed king of quick-strike offense in the NFL. He averaged a healthy 22 yards per catch, which led all starters. Jackson has earned two consecutive Pro Bowl nods and is in the last year of a rookie contract he signed in 2008. He is scheduled to earn $565,000 in 2010. Talk about being outperforming your compensation. He wants a new deal and said as much even before the lockout began. Post lockout he's made it known that he will be a no-show once the Eagles begin training camp later this week. He's unhappy with his contract and wants a deal comparable to his production.
What's wrong with this picture? Delhomme earns $20 million for doing basically nothing and Jackson has to hold out just to get love from the Eagles!
Re: Quintin Mikell Will Impress You, Rams Fans
Great break down of what Mikell can do and what we need/want a safety to do in our scheme.! And 20mill for Jake? WTH?!?
Re: Quintin Mikell Will Impress You, Rams Fans
I thought Jake DeLOLOLOLOLOLOLme was released by the Browns to prevent that payment.