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Thread: Safety concerns

  1. #16
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    Re: Safety concerns

    Its easy to say "he takes bad angles," as that type of critique really can't be proven or disproven, apart from showing a few anecdotal examples (which, unless you have an extensive video library, you can't provide here).

    As for the statements that you know what you have after for one year and that players don't improve over time - you have to be kidding me.

    Take Chris Hope, for example. In his first two years, he played in 30 games and had a total of 50 tackles, 0 interceptions, 1 pass defended, 0 forced fumbles, and 1 fumble recovery. In his next three years, he averaged 102 tackles, 3 interceptions, 5 passes defended, .66 forced fumbles, and .66 fumble recovery. Also, his numbers have improved each year. You're going to tell me that the Steelers knew what they had after one year and that Hope has not improved over time?

    As it is, Atogwe's numbers last year (despite his flaws, which I don't necessarily deny), were very respectable: 72 tackles, 1 sack, 3 interceptions, 7 passes defended, 5 forced fumbles and 1 fumble recovery. It would be absurd to simply label him "mediocre" and replace him with another player (who, based upon your philosophy, would have to produce right away or he too would have to be replaced).


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    Re: Safety concerns

    Quote Originally Posted by z.nrd View Post
    Every safety I have ever seen, you knew what you had after a year starting.

    There was no sudden, dramatic improvement. He didn't suddenly start doing things he wasn't good at before.

    I don't care if Atogwe is young. If he's mediocre, he's mediocre. There's no point in keeping him just cause he's a Ram and he's young.

    And this year will tell.

    Chavous is not solid---he has real holes in his game. Especially at SS. But at least he would be used better as a FS. There, he can do what he does best---using his head, putting a young secondary in the right positions, etc.

    They need a real, genuine stud SS---not a "well wait and maybe he will improve" guy, a guy where we know from year one starting that he's a stud.

    Since Atogwe offers nothing Chavous can't do, the best possible outcome for the Rams is to move Chavous to FS and replace him at SS with someone who can do all the things Chavous can't.

    As it stands the Rams safety combo is one of the most mediocre in the league. I can think of any number of guys I would rather have.

    And as I said, this year will tell. One more year of mediocre to average-at-best safety play, and they will probably make a move to fix it.
    Chavous is a good, in the box kind of safety that helps in run support. Other than that he's mediocre at best because he's not a great coverage safety that covers alot of ground. He kind of reminds me of Sammy Knight but quicker.

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    Re: Safety concerns

    Quote Originally Posted by z.nrd View Post
    The issue is not "giving up on YOUNG GUYS." That's an abstraction.

    It's recognizing Atogwe's limitations.

    And no he did not get better at taking angles to the ball carrier last year. He got better at not blowing coverages and in forcing some TOs.

    So unless you can name a young safety who was bad at taking angles to the ball carrier after 2 years in the league who then miraculously improved on that basic, fundamental skill his 3rd year, I would not expect too much from Atogwe this year.

    And the reason the Rams shoulda kept Pickett and dumped Kennedy has nothing to do with "giving up on young guys." It's simple---Pickett was better than Kennedy.


    My bet is if Atogwe doesn't step up in ways he hasn't YET he will be replaced. Which is good. We want that. We want better players. We don't want to keep starting guys just cause the Rams drafted them and they are young.
    With that logic we would have released Steven Jackson last year because his first two years were mediocre. It's a good thing the coaches do the coaching and we are spectating. I guess we should have released Leonard Little after his first year because he was a smallish uderweight hybrid linebacker who really did nothing in his first year. Jerome Bettis blossomed after we released him. Adrian Wilson who I consider one of the best Safties had a mediocre year his rookie season. He had 25 solo tackles,8 passes defended,half a sack 2 int's, zero forced fumbled and 1 td. Those stats are not as good as Atogwe's last year. My point was not to just keep guys because they are young it is to give them a chance to improve. If that point doesnt stick with you this arguement is pointless. If we just look at a guy for 1 year of starting and just let him go because he wasnt a pro bowler is idiotic. Atogwe deserves a chance to show his improvement. Very few people come out of college and are instant all stars. Manning,Aikman, and Drew Brees to name a few. Should we give up on Tye Hill because he wasnt an all pro last year? Give Atogwe another year of starting if he's still mediocre and still make bad rookie mistakes then you can look in another direction. The coaches must think he's ok if they didnt try and get anyone at that position in the draft, and I'll trust their judgment. Also if you can find a safety that came into the league for a team with a run d as bad as ours and have to be relied on to make so many plays then let me know.
    Just Fix It

  4. #19
    z.nrd Guest

    Re: Safety concerns

    Uh, no.

    Jackson was way more talented in his spot that Atogwe is in his. And anyone who watched him knew he was doing things that could be fixed. (Like not running low.)

    There's no comparison. In fact, that meets every possible criteria of a "false analogy." Especially since my point about Atogwe is that he's doing things that usually CAN'T be fixed. That's just him.

    I don't defend guys just cause they're Rams.

    My prediction: once the front 7 is fixed, Rams will need to work on the safety spots, because the present safety situation gives them a low ceiling for future development and improvement.

    If I am proven wrong I will gladly say so, but my bet is, by the end of 2007, the need for an upgrade at safety will be obvious.
    Last edited by z.nrd; -06-28-2007 at 07:42 PM.

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    Re: Safety concerns

    Your telling me that taking bad angles can't be fixed or workd on. I completely disagree, and if that is all he is doing wrong then he might become one hell of a safety. Not everyone thought Jackson was going to be good because I was involved in a thread last year where a bunch of our posters were ready to get rid of him. Also if I gave a false analogy what about knowing what a safety has after one year. I would like to hear that answered byall 32 coaches in the NFL I bet they would dis-agree as well. Im not saying Atogwe is goiing to be great because We havnt seen him enough yet. If one year of sitting on the bench and one year of starting is enough for you to evaluate talent send the Rams your resume. We could use someone with an eye as sharp as yours.
    Just Fix It

  6. #21
    z.nrd Guest

    Re: Safety concerns

    You're telling me you seriously know of one first-rate safety coming out of college who after 2 years in the league, including one as a starter, still took bad angles in run defense and yet...suddenly improved in year 3? If so, name him. Hint: it won't be Adam Archuletta, who never did get better. IE...we've seen this before.

    The angles issues reduces to this---it has to do with how quickly and instinctely a player recognizes a play and can respond to it effectively with the right response. It has to do with vision, instincts, game smarts, a feel for the game. If you don't have those things, you don't have them. If you do it woulda showed up by year 2 in the league.

    And angles isn't the only thing. Play recognition in general is not great with Atogwe, though he did improve on some obvious coverage things. And of course, he is not very physically imposing, though I wouldn't say he's a compete zero in that regard.

    As a rule the best safeties are highly instinctive as well as physical. You don't need to worry about them "improving," they show you how good their game is very quickly.

    I think safety is a weak spot of Armey's, who did all the drafting before 2006. They didn't draft a single safety worth a dang the entire time Armey scouted for them. And the Rams free agent signings when Armey was chief scout were kind of mediocre at best. Bush was okay but had a good supporting cast. Jenkins was okay on calling plays and on run support but was not great in coverage. Armey actually said Herring was the best free defensive free agent in 2001---not the best SAFETY, the best DEFENSIVE FREE AGENT. And do I need to mention the long list of zeroes including Edwards and Sehorn.

    So the Rams have a bad legacy at safety.

    Atogwe is better than the worst of those, but, in himself, he's mediocre. They need first-rate safety play to move on and develop into a top-ranked defense. Until they did that, it won't matter how much they fix the front 7...they will have a ceiling at safety.

    Atogwe is okay at some things, mediocre over all. If he had anything more to him than that it would have showed by now.

    If he surprises me this year and magically transforms himself into a first-rate safety and therefore more than the average-at-best guy he is now, I'll say so. But I think the odds are against him.
    Last edited by z.nrd; -06-28-2007 at 09:14 PM.

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    Re: Safety concerns

    Okay- z.nrd, this is adressed at you, and i'm going to start by quoting the basic premise of your arguments. Your thesis, as I see it.

    Quote Originally Posted by z.nrd View Post
    So, one thing at a time....and my bet is, next March they will be looking to repair the safety spot.
    So that's fine- that's your opinion and when it's well supported, I respect that. But consider this- the arguments you've presented to back up your thesis are quite flawed, and it is my aim to show you how. And I can predict your response- a scathing post about why I'm incorrect or whatever. I'm just asking you to consider the facts.

    Quote Originally Posted by z.nrd View Post
    Atogwe takes bad angles to ball carriers. I have never seen anyone "fix" that kind of problem. Seems to me you either know what you're doing with that or you don't. Chavous IMO is not a true SS and belongs at FS. They need a real genuine stud SS in his place. .
    Admittedly, Atogwe does take some poor angles in tackling- I've said it myself--
    Quote Originally Posted by Bar-bq View Post
    At FS, I can't help but love the potential of OJ Atogwe. He's shown a knack for making plays now and then, but needs to turn it on more consistently in order to become a great safety. He also may need to work on taking better angles when he tackles. Hell- the whole team could work on that.
    .
    But what's even more relevant is the last point there- THE WHOLE TEAM COULD IMPROVE IN TAKING ANGLES TO BALL CARRIERS. It's just the way it is. To single out one guy for not tackling well, when at some times last season, every single player missed tackles is a cop out. We're not a perfect defense, we're not even a great defense yet. But Atogwe alone is not the source of all missed tackles. In fact, he did pretty damn well. 72 tackles and 5 FF doesn't tell you anything? There is a lot of potential there. Widely regarded as the three best safeties in the league, none of Troy Polamalu, Ed Reed and Adrian Wilson has that many Forced Fumbles. Playmaking Potential??

    Quote Originally Posted by z.nrd View Post
    The issue is not "giving up on YOUNG GUYS." That's an abstraction.

    It's recognizing Atogwe's limitations.

    And no he did not get better at taking angles to the ball carrier last year. He got better at not blowing coverages and in forcing some TOs.
    Those limitations? Try all of that potential playmaking ability? And you can't hide behind 'taking better angles'. It's an absoulte cop out when nobody can prove or disprove your opinion, as Av said.

    Then you say that Atogwe got better in terms of pass defense and forcing turnovers lat year. Who doesn't want to have that kind of improvement on defense?

    Quote Originally Posted by z.nrd View Post
    So unless you can name a young safety who was bad at taking angles to the ball carrier after 2 years in the league who then miraculously improved on that basic, fundamental skill his 3rd year, I would not expect too much from Atogwe this year. .
    I have one for you-- Troy Polamalu.

    Year one- 16 games played, 30 tackles, 8 assists 2 sacks, and 1 FF.
    Year two- 16 games played, 67 tackles, 29 assists, a sack, 1 FF and 5 INT.

    Since then he's been fantastic- a staple of the Pittsburgh defense.

    Do these stats not warrant a dramatic improvement in tackling, nonetheless play in general?

    Quote Originally Posted by z.nrd View Post
    My bet is if Atogwe doesn't step up in ways he hasn't YET he will be replaced. Which is good. We want that. We want better players. We don't want to keep starting guys just cause the Rams drafted them and they are young.
    This, my friend, is the epitome of missing the point. None of us have been saying that the Rams should start Atogwe because he's young and was a thrid round pick for us two years ago. He's starting, because quite clearly, Jim Haslett must be high on him, to a degree. If we weren't, why did we let Mike Furrey go? Why did we not sign a safety from the Free Agent pool who didn't play SS for the Chicago bears?

    To use your own words-- It's simple- beacuse Atogwe was better than anyone else we had. And probably still is.

    Quote Originally Posted by z.nrd View Post
    Every safety I have ever seen, you knew what you had after a year starting.

    There was no sudden, dramatic improvement. He didn't suddenly start doing things he wasn't good at before.

    I don't care if Atogwe is young. If he's mediocre, he's mediocre. There's no point in keeping him just cause he's a Ram and he's young.
    Many posters have been over this. Adrian Wilson, Troy Polamalu, Chris Hope etc all had poor first years. Should their organisations have dumped them then and there? They certainly just shouldn't have started them because they were young draftees. You let the best players play. They started them because they were high on their potential, and had the chance to become better than anyone they had on their rosters. You need time in the league to mature as a player.

    And that applies to everyone- not just Steven Jackson, as you seem to think.

    Quote Originally Posted by z.nrd View Post
    Chavous is not solid---he has real holes in his game. Especially at SS. But at least he would be used better as a FS. There, he can do what he does best---using his head, putting a young secondary in the right positions, etc.
    Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but Corey Chavous is one of maybe ten or fifteen starting 30+ safeties in this league. Do you want to know why he's part of such a small enclave? Becuase he's good at what he does.

    Last year, he recorded more tackles and Passes defensed than he has done in his entire career. From SS. Traditionally, he played at FS with the Minnesota Vikings. Now to me, that seems like he's getting the best of both worlds. More PD's from the Strong Safety position? More tackles from the SS position?

    Can you honestly expect me to believe that he's so flawed when he recorded the best stats of his career both in coverage AND run support at a position he doesn't naturally play last year?

    Doesn't it seem that 'using his head' as you say, would be a great way to describe Chavous' Play last year considering the decent play and promise shown by our secondary.

    Quote Originally Posted by z.nrd View Post
    As it stands the Rams safety combo is one of the most mediocre in the league. I can think of any number of guys I would rather have.
    Let's have a looksee, shall we?

    Frist stop; New England, where Rodney Harrison and Eugene Wilson couldn't manage to stay healthy, and the team was left to rely on backups.

    Now To Atlanta, where Aging vet Lawyer milloy played amicably, recording 98 tackles without a FF and 5 PD's. FS Chris Crocker recorded just 50 tackles, with one Pick and no FFS. So OJ Atogwe, alone has recorded more picks, sacks, and FFs, than both Atlanta safeties combined.

    To Cincinatti, where Madiau Williams went 16 games without a sack and just 2 FFs from the FS position, and former superbowl MVP Dexter Jackson had just 55 tackles, a sack a pick and 0 FFs. So, collectively, OJ atogwe recorded more sacks and FFs and the same number of INTs as both Cincy safeties.

    In Seattle, Michael Boulware managed 55 tackles, 0 sacks an interception and 1 FF in 16 games, and Jordan Babinaux made 43 tackles, 0 sacks, 1 INT, and 0 FFs. Again, single handedly, OJ Atogwe has recorded more sacks, picks, and FFs than BOTH Seattle Safeties.

    You can't tell me you'd rather have those combinations.

    Quote Originally Posted by z.nrd View Post
    Jackson was way more talented in his spot that Atogwe is in his. And anyone who watched him knew he was doing things that could be fixed. (Like not running low.)

    There's no comparison. In fact, that meets every possible criteria of a "false analogy." Especially since my point about Atogwe is that he's doing things that usually CAN'T be fixed. That's just him.
    You can't fix a tackler? There's a false analogy for you. He wasn't that bad, anyway. Seems to me if he wasn't any good he wouldn't even be in the NFL?

    There's no denying the talent of SJ, but to single him out as 'fantatic-wow-great-talent-potential-guy' is just absurd. The reality is that the Rams wouldn't draft ANY of these guys if they didn't think they had some sort of potential in this league.

    Now then-- I do agree that safety may be a priority at the end of the season. Chavous IS getting older, and despite the fact that he had arguably one of his best seasons last year, age will eventually take its toll.

    The point is--The stats show that safety is not as glaring of a need RIGHT NOW as you may think.

  8. #23
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    Re: Safety concerns

    ZNRD,

    In 1999 we had the GSOT. We finished 6th in defense that year. Most teams played catch up in every game by passing the ball. We did not have great safties we had servicable safties. You don't need great safties to win a superbowl. You need guys who play well enough not to hurt you and that's what I see in Atogwe. He does force turnovers, and on the other hand does miss some tackles, but again who didnt on our defense last year? We need a defense that doesnt give up 200 yds rushing a game. If we can finish in the top 15 in defense the Rams will have a real shot this year. On top of that we can't have all pro players at every position. It's the salary cap age. Look at the great defenses in the league they have 2 or 3 stars and the rest are hard working servicable but replaceable players that work cohesivly as a unit. That is what we need, we have our stars we need players to play well enough not to cost us a game and Atogwe is fine in that book.
    Just Fix It

  9. #24
    z.nrd Guest

    Re: Safety concerns

    You mention "cop outs" and "hiding behind" stuff. Which is bad cause that personalizes. Actually Atogwe was worse than the rest of the team at angles and it showed because of the number of times he was the last, failed, line of defense. Plus of course I said the front 7 needs improving so I don't know where that straw man comes from. The bit you misread about him just being on the team was a response to those who said that they were tired of the Rams giving up on young players...my response being, I don't care, fact is, he's mediocre and doesn't look to get much better.

    I don't go by counted tackles I watch the game...Archuletta had a lot of tackles too and yet he was a deficient safety. And I mentioned his fumbles. I would be more impressed by interceptions but whatever. ...fumbles are good, they just don't make up for the basic lack of first-rate instincts and play recognition.

    The whole tone of your post is that of someone who disagrees (so far so good) but then takes personal offense at being disagreed with. So save the cop outs, hide behinds, and other silly innuendos for places that encourage personalized "debate".

    As it stands the Atogwe I watched was a mediocre safety did not have the instincts or awareness to excel either in coverage or run support. I've heard all the arguments and yet still stick by what I actually saw when I watched him play.

    If you disagree disagree but leave the poster out of it.

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    Re: Safety concerns

    Honestly guys.... z.nrd isn't saying our safeties will be the death of our team or that they need to be replaced immediately. From what I gathered, the gist of what he said is that they are mediocre and maybe next offseason we can explore other options if they don't show any improvement. I don't think thats unreasonable.

  11. #26
    z.nrd Guest

    Re: Safety concerns

    Quote Originally Posted by cfh128 View Post
    Honestly guys.... z.nrd isn't saying our safeties will be the death of our team or that they need to be replaced immediately. From what I gathered, the gist of what he said is that they are mediocre and maybe next offseason we can explore other options if they don't show any improvement. I don't think thats unreasonable.
    Thanks.

    Exactly.

    There's room for disagreement on Atogwe. I have gone over and over this one in my head and in different threads across the season and I have finally concluded he is not going to get that much better.

    People can disagree all they want, but, it's still just disagreement over the assessment of one player. Not a blasphemy ridden attack on the football gods. LOL.

  12. #27
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    Re: Safety concerns

    ZNRD,

    I hope you havnt taken anything I said as a personal attack, to me this is just a difference of opinions and a good debate over Atogwe. Maybe we can agree to dis-agree but to me it isnt personal so I hope I havnt offended you, that was not my intention.
    Just Fix It

  13. #28
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    Re: Safety concerns

    Quote Originally Posted by rammiser View Post
    ZNRD,

    I hope you havnt taken anything I said as a personal attack, to me this is just a difference of opinions and a good debate over Atogwe. Maybe we can agree to dis-agree but to me it isnt personal so I hope I havnt offended you, that was not my intention.
    I'll say ditto.

    Whilst what I wrote was directed at you, my response would have been the same had it been any other poster. I do think that saying things that cannot be proven or disproven is a cop out. In that way someone's opinion can be taken as 'fact' or 'truth' when in fact the very topic is contentious. That's just the way I am, and I wasn't trying to be accusatory, in saying that you were 'hiding behind cop outs' it just reflects my opinion about the above. It would have been a similar response to any poster writing as you did.

    I don't think our safeties are at all mediocore, and believe they were solid last season. There is always room for improvement, and if someone happens to take a step in the wrong direction, then yes, i agree with you, other options need to be explored.

    But it's your opinion, and you are entitled to it. Eveyone's opinion is contestable, and that's precisely what i was trying to do. Sorry to offend.

  14. #29
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    Re: Safety concerns

    The Rams probably will be looking for a safety in next year's draft - to replace Chavous, who is getting up there in years. Atogwe, on the other hand, is a player I see continuing to develop and remaining a part of the Rams' defense for a while.

  15. #30
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    Re: Safety concerns

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    The Rams probably will be looking for a safety in next year's draft - to replace Chavous, who is getting up there in years. Atogwe, on the other hand, is a player I see continuing to develop and remaining a part of the Rams' defense for a while.
    yes. Exactly.

    That's the perfect way to put it, considering their current performances and their projectability.

    Next year, I'm looking for a safety, a defensive end an strongside linebacker on day one. I'm also open to a reciever, accounting for BPA status.

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