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Thread: 5 Key Questions That Will Determine Who The Rams' Draft

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    5 Key Questions That Will Determine Who The Rams' Draft

    I think that the answers to these five questions will be key in determining who the Rams ultimately select with their two first round picks in 2013:

    1. Who will the Rams target in Free Agency?
    Certainly, the Rams will have the opportunity to fill a need or two in free agency before deciding who to draft. If they could land a top WR (Dwayne Bowe, Mike Wallace), I doubt they'd even take a WR in the first 3 rounds. Same could be said about the OG and OT spots. The Rams should have quite a bit of cap space, so FA will be a big factor in the Rams' roster building plans.

    2. Is LT a need spot?
    If Rodger Saffold has a good second half of the year, the Rams may decide that they don't need to spend a premium pick on a LT like Luke Joekel or Taylor Lewin. Instead, they could wait until the late first or second round to take a RT prospect (i.e. Jake Matthews).

    3. How high is too high for an OG or S?
    The Rams clearly need an upgrade at OG (opposite Harvey Dahl) and safety. Some would argue, though, that these are not positions that typically merit using a top 10-15 pick. This year, there are three players at these positions that could be viewed as elite (Chance Warmack, Barrett Jones, Eric Reid). Are they elite enough?

    4. Can 3-4 LBs Play OLB in a Pro 4-3 Defense?
    There are three LB prospects that look like sure-fire first round picks (Manti Te'o, Jarvis Jones, Barkevious Mingo). All of them, however, are deemed by most to be best suited for a 3-4 defense. Are any of theme elite 4-3 OLB prospects?

    5. Is Replacing Steven Jackson on the To-Do List?
    Many commentators have presumed that Steven Jackson won't be back in 2013. I'm not so sure of this, but if he does leave, does RB become a priority position (i.e. one that could be addressed in the first two rounds), or do the Rams look for another diamond in the rough like Daryl Richardson?


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    Re: 5 Key Questions That Will Determine Who The Rams' Draft

    Nice post. The flexibility of the 2013 draft and the health of Bradford are on the shoulders of Saffold. No pressure big guy. : )

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    Re: 5 Key Questions That Will Determine Who The Rams' Draft

    All good questions with so many possible answers.

    1. Who will the Rams target in Free Agency?

    I hope they get a receiver over all other positions, just don't see a first year number one WR in this draft. Not saying there is not great talent but we will have to wait to see it.


    2. Is LT a need spot?
    I hope not. Would like to see Saffold play like he did Sunday and finish strong.

    3. How high is too high for an OG or S?

    Guard maybe on the team already, Turner has played really well at center. Lets see if they move him to starting guard when Wells returns. Rok played good enough to get a start and should be better prepared next year from day one. That being said it's a massive hole and has been all year.

    We could have taken Osemele who was selected in the 2nd round 60th, we took Pead. I'm not saying that because what Pead has done this year. But to make the point Pead was going to be a part time player at best. When guard was clearly a bigger need, this FO did not select a guard until the fifth round. That tells me they feel they can build an O line with mid round picks vs high draft picks. I don't see us taking a guard high in the draft.

    Safety is another story. Fisher has rebuilt this defense with his guys and adding a top notch Safety wound not surprise me.

    4. Can 3-4 LBs Play OLB in a Pro 4-3 Defense?

    I think we need to come outside the box if one of these guys are on the board. Meaning we will find ways to use any of these playmakers even if they are not prototypical for a 4-3. Sunday we had 3 down linemen rushing and dropping 8 into coverage. I would have loved to have had any of these guys on the field to stop a running QB. These guys are playmakers that get to the QB and take over games.

    5. Is Replacing Steven Jackson on the To-Do List?

    I hope he stays and reworks his contact. If not I think we already have his replacement.

    Terrance Ganaway
    6' 1", 240 lbs

    I don't think we would have him on the active roster if the FO does not have a plan for him long term. We are carrying four backs for a reason.

    At Baylor single-season rushing yards (1,547), single-season rushing TDs (21), single-season points scored (132), single-game rushing TDs (5, tied) and longest rush (89 yards).

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    Re: 5 Key Questions That Will Determine Who The Rams' Draft

    I actually think Marcus Lattimore shredding his knee really upset Fisher and Snead. I think there was a good shot that if he were there to pick with one of our ones we would've snagged him as SJs heir apparent.

    In regards to free agency, if Bowe, or Wallace are out there I am going to be QUITE disappointed if we don't land one or the other. Not doing so would be an injustice to Sam, and even Amendola for that matter. Having Bowe or Wallace / Amendola / Givens / Quick... That is a WR core that will be our best since the GSOT days by a landslide. The receivers have performed admirably, all we are missing is that #1 that can take over a game... We should land it in March.

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    Re: 5 Key Questions That Will Determine Who The Rams' Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by THOLTFAN81 View Post
    I actually think Marcus Lattimore shredding his knee really upset Fisher and Snead. I think there was a good shot that if he were there to pick with one of our ones we would've snagged him as SJs heir apparent.

    In regards to free agency, if Bowe, or Wallace are out there I am going to be QUITE disappointed if we don't land one or the other. Not doing so would be an injustice to Sam, and even Amendola for that matter. Having Bowe or Wallace / Amendola / Givens / Quick... That is a WR core that will be our best since the GSOT days by a landslide. The receivers have performed admirably, all we are missing is that #1 that can take over a game... We should land it in March.
    you have no idea if that was true. How could you possibly speculate on something like that without ever hearing anything from their staff?

    Especially when both our first rounders are likely to be top 15 picks and Lattimore was a late first round prospect.

    This isn't Adrian Peterson or Trent Richardson. Lattimore was a good prospect but not an elite prospect by any means.

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    Re: 5 Key Questions That Will Determine Who The Rams' Draft

    Im losing my want for Bowe. He drops WAY to many easy balls, its actually ridicolous. I'd much rather Wallace, but I doubt that he's let go.

    And for the record Eric Reid is NOT elite, though Jones and Warmack are. Reid isn't even the best safety in this class (TONY JEFFERSON!).


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    Re: 5 Key Questions That Will Determine Who The Rams' Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post
    And for the record Eric Reid is NOT elite, though Jones and Warmack are. Reid isn't even the best safety in this class (TONY JEFFERSON!).
    That's your opinion, and you're entitled to it, but there are a lot more people who disagree with you than agree with you.

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    Re: 5 Key Questions That Will Determine Who The Rams' Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by mcpeepants232003 View Post
    you have no idea if that was true. How could you possibly speculate on something like that without ever hearing anything from their staff?
    .
    Hence why I said I THINK not I KNOW... I was merely stating an opinion not fact.

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    Re: 5 Key Questions That Will Determine Who The Rams' Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post
    Im losing my want for Bowe. He drops WAY to many easy balls, its actually ridicolous. I'd much rather Wallace, but I doubt that he's let go.

    And for the record Eric Reid is NOT elite, though Jones and Warmack are. Reid isn't even the best safety in this class (TONY JEFFERSON!).
    I never really liked Bowe. He drops a lot of easy passes that being said if he's all we can get I would take him. Watching Bradford throw these deep balls Wallace is growing on me, but he has been dropping a ton of balls. We all know how it goes once these guys get paid. I still like Jennings he has played at a high level and has played in big games. We are going to need a guy that has been in the playoffs and knows how to handle it.

    Reid I think he got hurt two weeks ago not sure if he played last week. I still like Reid size and his range. Dahl has no range. Reid at 6'2" and Trumaine Johnson at 6'2" will give us some size in the secondary.

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    Re: 5 Key Questions That Will Determine Who The Rams' Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    That's your opinion, and you're entitled to it, but there are a lot more people who disagree with you than agree with you.
    I may be part of a minority, which is fine, but at the end of the day Reid is still not elite. Some may think he's the #1 S on the board, and I'm cool with that. I just think he's overhyped.

    Jefferson has much better range and can absolutely lay the wood. He's more complete to me and I'd be inclined to spend a 2nd round pick on him, rather than a late first or 2nd on Reid.


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    Re: 5 Key Questions That Will Determine Who The Rams' Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    I never really liked Bowe. He drops a lot of easy passes that being said if he's all we can get I would take him. Watching Bradford throw these deep balls Wallace is growing on me, but he has been dropping a ton of balls. We all know how it goes once these guys get paid. I still like Jennings he has played at a high level and has played in big games. We are going to need a guy that has been in the playoffs and knows how to handle it.

    Reid I think he got hurt two weeks ago not sure if he played last week. I still like Reid size and his range. Dahl has no range. Reid at 6'2" and Trumaine Johnson at 6'2" will give us some size in the secondary.
    I wouldn't mind Jennings. I'd take any of the three to be truthful.

    And I don't care for size what-so-ever. Richard Sherman and Brandon browner may be 6'3 a piece, but still aren't better than the 5'10 Finnegan, 5'11 Revis, or 5'11 Jonathon Joseph. Size is the most over-hyped and over-drafted stat ever. Reid I don't think will be a great pro, maybe maxes out at marginal (my opinion). I'd take Tony Jefferson over him any day of the week and twice on Sunday.


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    Re: 5 Key Questions That Will Determine Who The Rams' Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post
    Size is the most over-hyped and over-drafted stat ever.
    40 time called and said, "Hi"

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    Re: 5 Key Questions That Will Determine Who The Rams' Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post
    I wouldn't mind Jennings. I'd take any of the three to be truthful.

    And I don't care for size what-so-ever. Richard Sherman and Brandon browner may be 6'3 a piece, but still aren't better than the 5'10 Finnegan, 5'11 Revis, or 5'11 Jonathon Joseph. Size is the most over-hyped and over-drafted stat ever. Reid I don't think will be a great pro, maybe maxes out at marginal (my opinion). I'd take Tony Jefferson over him any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
    One thing about football is that it's always changing. Here is a good read about why size does matter in the ever changing NFL.

    Tight ends are changing how defenses are constructed
    By Greg A. Bedard

    On the second day of the NFL draft, there was an audible “Huh?” across the country when the Patriots selected Illinois defensive back Tavon Wilson with the 48th overall pick.

    Most draft experts, and even some NFL personnel executives, thought the 6-foot, 205-pound Wilson was a mid-round pick at best because he didn’t really have a position. Not a corner. Not really fast enough to play safety in space. Certainly not big enough to convert to linebacker.

    In Seattle, many observers couldn’t see Kentucky safety Winston Guy, a sixth-round pick, fitting onto the Seahawks roster. Tough to figure out, at 6-1 and 218 pounds, where a player like Guy would fit.

    Well, they do. Thanks to rise of the tight end in NFL offenses, defenses are increasingly becoming the Island of Misfit Toys.

    “The length that tight ends have and if they have some blocking abilities, they provide you with a tough matchup,” said ***** defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. “Any time a tight end is a good receiver, some people think you have to put a defensive back on him because they’re good receivers. Sometimes that plays into their hands because they have such a size advantage. You’re basically trying to cover a power forward with a point guard.

    “Sometimes a better matchup is a bigger linebacker type that can at least line up with him size-wise and not get horsed around too bad. All of that is contingent upon what you have available on your team from a cover standpoint in dealing with those tight ends.”

    Enter the tweener.

    The term used to have a negative connotation when it came to players that didn’t really fit at defensive end or outside linebacker. But in recent years, those players have found a place in the NFL.

    The new tweener is the defensive back/linebacker combination. They have become the counter move to the athletic tight end.

    “That guy is important now,” said Buccaneers veteran defensive back Ronde Barber. “Whether he’s a safety first or a corner first, you definitely need somebody who is skilled enough to be able to match up with a wideout or a tight end. I know we’ve had issues with it over the years. Even the past two years, we’d bring in another corner and let the corner cover the tight end because of the matchup athletically. So it’s a continuing issue and as these more and more athletic-type tight ends come in, it’s tough to deal with.

    “It’s hard to see how this deal doesn’t continue where every team is going to have a guy like that. I know that’s what they look for. You look for those types of guys now in the draft.”

    If you’re looking at what’s next in the NFL, look to the college game. That’s why Patriots coach Bill Belichick has great relationships with college coaches such as Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, and Chip Kelly, and often visits them on campus. The college game has really changed thanks to the rise of the spread offense.

    “You’re seeing the safeties get smaller because they have to go cover a slot receiver,” said Senior Bowl executive director and former Browns general manager Phil Savage. “Are there linebackers in college football that are probably undersized at 225 or 235 pounds to play in regular defense but could cover a tight end and play that position as a nickel or dime linebacker? Absolutely.

    “The game in college has become so space-oriented that these kids now are more apt to be cover players than be point-of-attack defenders. Most of the defensive players now are run-around, speed-oriented players. They’ve gotten smaller: smaller edge rushers, smaller linebacker because they have to cover a lot of ground out in space. You have smaller safeties because they’re having to line up with the third and fourth wideout in coverage. It’s really a fascinating study.”

    Belichick has long been interested with those types of versatile defenders, even back to his Browns days, where Savage was in the personnel department. The “star” is a fifth defensive back that ideally would be a little bit stronger than the cornerback most other teams prefer in the slot.
    The “money” is a sixth defensive back that is a safety/linebacker hybrid.
    In recent years, Josh Barrett and James Ihedigbo have been targeted for those spots. Now it’s Wilson and sixth-round pick Nate Ebner.

    In theory, those players are an even bigger asset now against tight end-driven offenses because they can stay on the field on multiple downs, especially against the (also rising) no-huddle attacks.

    “That’s going to become an important position,” said NFL Films analyst Greg Cosell. “That guy has to match up on people. That kind of guy can play a [Rob] Gronkowski, or at least has a chance. Belichick’s way of saying the defense has caught up to the spread offense, with all the speed and pressure packages that make it tough to protect, is to put two tight ends on the field.

    “We can line up in base offense and pound the ball against your smaller people if you choose to go with a sub package. Line up base, we’ll split out Hernandez and who are you going to put on him?”

    That’s why it’s important to find hybrid players that can play inside. It allows cornerbacks to stay outside.

    The Seahawks use a “bandit” back that fills the same role as the “money.” Former Patriot Lawyer Milloy, who manned a traditional safety position, has given way to a younger player like Guy.

    “There are so many things that a guy has to deal with that he almost has to have a real natural sense, because you can’t coach everything because of all the floating and moving around that he’s asked to do,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “Well Winston gets it; he just gets it. He’s a hitter, he plays the ball well, he’s really fast, he’s 216 pounds, big kid. He’s got a real knack for rushing the passer, he looks like a pass rusher when he’s coming. So he’s really been a pleasant surprise. We had hoped that he would be able to do these things, and he’s on that package. I think it’s a fantastic draft pick for us.”

    There is a catch, however. Fangio said those hybrids certainly have value now. But it’s a battle to get them on the roster.

    “That’s always the issue,” he said. “If he doesn’t fit in some of the stuff you’re going to be doing on a regular basis, then it becomes a luxury player and some teams have a hard time carrying those kind of guys.

    “The good teams, the smart teams, understand that you need players on defense because defense has to defend a variety of offenses on a week-to-week basis. On offense, you determine what you play. There is a spot for a guy like that on a roster, but sometimes it’s hard to fit them in.”

    The other way to combat the rise of the tight end is to put an increasing premium on bigger cornerbacks. The Patriots may have reached a little in taking 6-2 cornerback Ras-I Dowling with the 33d overall pick in 2011. But he can defend the taller tight ends if need be.

    The Jets have Antonio Cromartie (6-2). The Patriots’ tight ends were part of the reason the Bills jumped at taking Stephon Gilmore (6-1) with the 10th pick this year.

    “First of all, you have to be big enough to match up against the [Patriots] tight ends — especially in our division,” Bills general manager Buddy Nix said. “What they will do, and the same thing we do, is spread you out with five receivers and then run the football. You have to have a guy who can tackle. And this guy is very physical as a corner.

    “You guys see that what we’re facing most every Sunday when they spread out guys that have tight end numbers on them and run like receivers, they’re big. You just have to have corners that can match up with them.”
    Last edited by Rambos; -11-14-2012 at 09:01 PM.

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    Re: 5 Key Questions That Will Determine Who The Rams' Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    One thing about football is that it's always changing. Here is a good read about why size does matter in the ever changing NFL.

    Tight ends are changing how defenses are constructed
    By Greg A. Bedard

    On the second day of the NFL draft, there was an audible “Huh?” across the country when the Patriots selected Illinois defensive back Tavon Wilson with the 48th overall pick.

    Most draft experts, and even some NFL personnel executives, thought the 6-foot, 205-pound Wilson was a mid-round pick at best because he didn’t really have a position. Not a corner. Not really fast enough to play safety in space. Certainly not big enough to convert to linebacker.

    In Seattle, many observers couldn’t see Kentucky safety Winston Guy, a sixth-round pick, fitting onto the Seahawks roster. Tough to figure out, at 6-1 and 218 pounds, where a player like Guy would fit.

    Well, they do. Thanks to rise of the tight end in NFL offenses, defenses are increasingly becoming the Island of Misfit Toys.

    “The length that tight ends have and if they have some blocking abilities, they provide you with a tough matchup,” said ***** defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. “Any time a tight end is a good receiver, some people think you have to put a defensive back on him because they’re good receivers. Sometimes that plays into their hands because they have such a size advantage. You’re basically trying to cover a power forward with a point guard.

    “Sometimes a better matchup is a bigger linebacker type that can at least line up with him size-wise and not get horsed around too bad. All of that is contingent upon what you have available on your team from a cover standpoint in dealing with those tight ends.”

    Enter the tweener.

    The term used to have a negative connotation when it came to players that didn’t really fit at defensive end or outside linebacker. But in recent years, those players have found a place in the NFL.

    The new tweener is the defensive back/linebacker combination. They have become the counter move to the athletic tight end.

    “That guy is important now,” said Buccaneers veteran defensive back Ronde Barber. “Whether he’s a safety first or a corner first, you definitely need somebody who is skilled enough to be able to match up with a wideout or a tight end. I know we’ve had issues with it over the years. Even the past two years, we’d bring in another corner and let the corner cover the tight end because of the matchup athletically. So it’s a continuing issue and as these more and more athletic-type tight ends come in, it’s tough to deal with.

    “It’s hard to see how this deal doesn’t continue where every team is going to have a guy like that. I know that’s what they look for. You look for those types of guys now in the draft.”

    If you’re looking at what’s next in the NFL, look to the college game. That’s why Patriots coach Bill Belichick has great relationships with college coaches such as Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, and Chip Kelly, and often visits them on campus. The college game has really changed thanks to the rise of the spread offense.

    “You’re seeing the safeties get smaller because they have to go cover a slot receiver,” said Senior Bowl executive director and former Browns general manager Phil Savage. “Are there linebackers in college football that are probably undersized at 225 or 235 pounds to play in regular defense but could cover a tight end and play that position as a nickel or dime linebacker? Absolutely.

    “The game in college has become so space-oriented that these kids now are more apt to be cover players than be point-of-attack defenders. Most of the defensive players now are run-around, speed-oriented players. They’ve gotten smaller: smaller edge rushers, smaller linebacker because they have to cover a lot of ground out in space. You have smaller safeties because they’re having to line up with the third and fourth wideout in coverage. It’s really a fascinating study.”

    Belichick has long been interested with those types of versatile defenders, even back to his Browns days, where Savage was in the personnel department. The “star” is a fifth defensive back that ideally would be a little bit stronger than the cornerback most other teams prefer in the slot. The “money” is a sixth defensive back that is a safety/linebacker hybrid.

    In recent years, Josh Barrett and James Ihedigbo have been targeted for those spots. Now it’s Wilson and sixth-round pick Nate Ebner.

    In theory, those players are an even bigger asset now against tight end-driven offenses because they can stay on the field on multiple downs, especially against the (also rising) no-huddle attacks.

    “That’s going to become an important position,” said NFL Films analyst Greg Cosell. “That guy has to match up on people. That kind of guy can play a [Rob] Gronkowski, or at least has a chance. Belichick’s way of saying the defense has caught up to the spread offense, with all the speed and pressure packages that make it tough to protect, is to put two tight ends on the field.

    “We can line up in base offense and pound the ball against your smaller people if you choose to go with a sub package. Line up base, we’ll split out Hernandez and who are you going to put on him?”

    That’s why it’s important to find hybrid players that can play inside. It allows cornerbacks to stay outside.

    The Seahawks use a “bandit” back that fills the same role as the “money.” Former Patriot Lawyer Milloy, who manned a traditional safety position, has given way to a younger player like Guy.

    “There are so many things that a guy has to deal with that he almost has to have a real natural sense, because you can’t coach everything because of all the floating and moving around that he’s asked to do,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “Well Winston gets it; he just gets it. He’s a hitter, he plays the ball well, he’s really fast, he’s 216 pounds, big kid. He’s got a real knack for rushing the passer, he looks like a pass rusher when he’s coming. So he’s really been a pleasant surprise. We had hoped that he would be able to do these things, and he’s on that package. I think it’s a fantastic draft pick for us.”

    There is a catch, however. Fangio said those hybrids certainly have value now. But it’s a battle to get them on the roster.

    “That’s always the issue,” he said. “If he doesn’t fit in some of the stuff you’re going to be doing on a regular basis, then it becomes a luxury player and some teams have a hard time carrying those kind of guys.

    “The good teams, the smart teams, understand that you need players on defense because defense has to defend a variety of offenses on a week-to-week basis. On offense, you determine what you play. There is a spot for a guy like that on a roster, but sometimes it’s hard to fit them in.”

    The other way to combat the rise of the tight end is to put an increasing premium on bigger cornerbacks. The Patriots may have reached a little in taking 6-2 cornerback Ras-I Dowling with the 33d overall pick in 2011. But he can defend the taller tight ends if need be.

    The Jets have Antonio Cromartie (6-2). The Patriots’ tight ends were part of the reason the Bills jumped at taking Stephon Gilmore (6-1) with the 10th pick this year.

    “First of all, you have to be big enough to match up against the [Patriots] tight ends — especially in our division,” Bills general manager Buddy Nix said. “What they will do, and the same thing we do, is spread you out with five receivers and then run the football. You have to have a guy who can tackle. And this guy is very physical as a corner.

    “You guys see that what we’re facing most every Sunday when they spread out guys that have tight end numbers on them and run like receivers, they’re big. You just have to have corners that can match up with them.”
    We already have TRU to guard bigger guys.. Mind you Finnegan and Jenkins held Brandon Marshall to 71 yards, Sidney Rice to 41 yards, Brian Hartline to 0 yards, and Larry Fitz to 92 yards... None of these 6'2+ WR's managed to score on our 5'10 CB's..


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    Re: 5 Key Questions That Will Determine Who The Rams' Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post
    We already have TRU to guard bigger guys.. Mind you Finnegan and Jenkins held Brandon Marshall to 71 yards, Sidney Rice to 41 yards, Brian Hartline to 0 yards, and Larry Fitz to 92 yards... None of these 6'2+ WR's managed to score on our 5'10 CB's..
    Your missing the point and that is the league is shifting to using bigger TE like Rob Gronkowski. It's not about our CB. How well did we do shutting him down? Not so well.

    Rob Gronkowski has five catches for 106 yards. On the day he had passes of 25, 25, 17, 32 and 7 yards. He has five catches for 106 yards. One or two TD I forgot.

    The point is we need some size to deal with the trend of the use of the TE IMO.
    Last edited by Rambos; -11-14-2012 at 09:36 PM.

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