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Thread: Gamecock Fans on Clowney as a Prospect for the Rams

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    Gamecock Fans on Clowney as a Prospect for the Rams

    I was curious to see how Gamecock fans view Clowney and whether they'd recommend that the Rams take him. So... I registered on "Cockytalk.com" and posed the following questions:

    Hey guys,

    As many of you know, the Rams hold the second pick in this year's NFL Draft (courtesy of the Redskins and the RG3 trade).

    There are a lot of Rams fans who (assuming the Texans take a QB with the first pick) want the Rams to draft Jadeveon Clowney.

    Others oppose this plan because (1) the Rams strongest position is DE (Robert Quinn, Chris Long, William Hayes), and (2) Clowney, though obviously a great talent, did not have a good year in 2013.

    I'm hoping that you guys, as fans who I presume watched Clowney far more closely than we did, can provide some insight as to why Clowney's production went down so drastically from 2012 to 2013.

    Was he injured?
    Was it his effort level?
    Was he out of shape?
    Was it the result of double and triple teams?

    If you agree that Clowney is a "can't pass him up" prospect, tell us why.

    If you think there are question marks that should prompt the Rams to pass on Clowney in favor of a need position (i.e. taking OT Jake Matthews), tell us why.

    Thanks!
    I'll post the responses as they come in.
    Last edited by AvengerRam; -01-21-2014 at 03:53 PM.
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    Re: Gamecock Fans on Clowney as a Prospect for the Rams

    Here's the first batch:

    For some reason during the Spring of 2013 Clowney elected not to have foot surgery which would have helped correct his bone spurs. So the bone spurs flared up again and he had to play through that. He was highly schemed against by opposing offenses and would often get double teamed. While his numbers did drop quite drastically this year, he still had a very large impact on games.

    I think his effort lacked a little bit this year compared to his sophomore season. The thing that probably hurt him the most was all the media hype he received during the offseason. I think it got in his head a little bit and he thought since he was just better than everyone he didn't have to try as hard.. not the case. I believe money will be a nice motivator for him and he will go on to have a nice NFL career.. something like Julius Peppers.

    The Rams should not take Clowney because y'all seem to be set at DE. Robert Quinn was a stud this past season and Long isn't too bad himself.

    When single teamed, Clowney was still a terror. He blew up plays...the problem is that 90% of plays went away from him. When they came towards him, he was double and triple teamed. Last year he had another great DE (Devin Taylor) to keep offenses honest...he did not have that this year with Chaz Sutton and so he was schemed against constantly. With a good DE on the other end of line, the sky is the limit for JD. The big problem will be for him to remain motivated and I don't think that he had the motivation that he had the previous season. If you guys don't need him, I would imagine that teams would line up to trade for that pick to get JD on the their team.
    Was he injured?
    He had some issues at the beginning of the year, and he has bone spurs which I think should still come out. Someone claims during the rest at bowl break he was the healthiest he has been and wouldn't require surgery. Case end point when the 8th to 10th NFL game comes along I'm sure they will flare up again. Get rid of the spurs Clowney.

    Was it his effort level?
    No, Teams gameplanned around him.

    Was he out of shape?
    I think he was in shape, he just had to push around 2 to 3 bodies every down.

    Was it the result of double and triple teams?
    Not only double and triple team Look at the plays teams ran, Over half of the plays are ran to the right side and probably only 5-10% were ran to his side. He affected teams gameplan, UT thought they were going to single block him and he showed them up, then they started chipping him.

    I think you answered your own question though. You guys have some good DE, and need a OT and should take the OT. I forgot the complete saying, but you can't win games if the offense doesn't put points on the board.
    One thing that isn't typically mentioned regarding the drop in sack numbers is that we faced a lot of run-centric offenses this season (Arky, Tennessee, Miss St., Florida, Wisconsin), and even teams that have strong passing attacks elected to run more than usual (UNC, Mizzou, Clemson), probably to take advantage of our young linebackers and neutralize strength with the pass rush.

    However, Clowney did have some trouble finishing tackles when he got to the QB. I thought his effort was fine (if a little too eager at times), but he did miss some opportunities for sacks. He stilled caused a lot of problems, though.

    He also missed two games against easier competition, which would've likely helped his numbers a little.

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    Re: Gamecock Fans on Clowney as a Prospect for the Rams

    And another:

    It is a misnomer that Clowney had a bad year. His stats were not that of his previous year and there was no way humanly possible that he could have lived up to the ridiculous hype that ESPN had put on him. When he failed to destroy people each week, the same ESPN pundits went out of their way to tear him down.

    Even with all that, Clowney made some All American teams, one of them being the Coaches, which indicates they understood what was happening. Essentially, each team schemed against him every week, so he helped influence the game no matter what else happened just by being there. Instead of a lock down DB, he was a lock down DE and kept most plays away from his portion of the field.

    Was he injured? - Suffered a rib injury early in the season, sat out a game due to it and it slowed him for several weeks. Had bone spurs which also slowed him most of the season.

    Was it his effort level? - His effort was appropriate. When you face many teams that "catch and throw, dink and dunk it within a couple of seconds or so, it was frustrating to him and he did not chase down every play.

    Our DC said early in the season something like the first 75 plays of the year, the opponent ran away from him around 56 times. Your stats will suffer.

    Was he out of shape? - No. Many saw the first game in the year against UNC and saw him against a quick pass offense and in a few minutes start breathing heavily. Well, the good people of St. Louis has no way of knowing it, but Columbia, SC is one of the hottest, most humid places in the Summer. Walk outside, on some days, and it feels like you are swimming. It does not take long to sap your energy. Early in the year, it takes a little time to get into true game day playing shape. Additionally, our DL was not as stout as it had been in years past, so the QB pressure was much less. In 2012, Carolina was one of the top sack teams in the nation. In 2013, we had a fairly pedestrian year in stats. Additionally, there was one blatant cheap shot attempt by one of their players to take his knee out. On a passing play just ending well downfield, Clowney was standing still, with everyone else nearby, including the OB, watching it. The play may have even already been blown dead. A UNC lineman, laying on the ground, directly behind Clowney, launches himself into the back of his knees, rolling him up. It was a miracle he was not injured, but he got up limping a bit. No doubt this scared him a bit and made him more cautious the rest of the year, expecting more of the same.

    Was it the result of double and triple teams? - That did not help. There were a few times he was quadruple teamed.

    No offense to the Rams, but most Gamecock fans are hoping he goes to the Texans, and not just because he would be the first pick that way. Their owner is a graduate from Carolina and has done much good work for the school and he has drafted other Carolina players over the years. Additionally, with JJ Watt on the other side of the line, it would make their pass rush a true terror. Yes, they need a QB, but this draft has no franchise QB like a Luck or Manning and there should be a couple of serviceable ones left on the board by the start of the second round.

    If he is still there at #2, take him. Best player available.

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    Re: Gamecock Fans on Clowney as a Prospect for the Rams

    A couple more:

    He's a great football player with freak'ish physical ability. He is not Superman.
    I went to USC and now live in St. Louis and can tell you that St. Louis often gets hotter than Columbia. This past Summer was more mild, but the one before had over 15 days above 100 degrees. And it is not that dry. The humidity is maybe 10% lower than Columbia. Its not Phoenix. At any rate, the Rams play in a dome so Clowney would be good.

    I think Clowney will really benefit by being in an NFL weight and NUTRITION program. My sense is that he does not eat well (gained weight eating like 6 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?) and that effects you in hot weather especially.

    I would love for him to come here and play in Stl., but yea its probably not the best move for the Rams

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    Re: Gamecock Fans on Clowney as a Prospect for the Rams

    So far, I'm finding the results interesting. Definitely some good insight as to what happened this year. I also think its interesting that there's a pretty good split as to whether they think the Rams should take Clowney.

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    Re: Gamecock Fans on Clowney as a Prospect for the Rams

    A couple more:


    Clowney is the best prospect in the draft. Has the highest upside of any player. Potentially could be the best Defensive End ever to play as he has that athletic ability and size/speed/strength combo that makes it possible if he works hard.

    In my opinion though the Rams would be best off if they cut ties with Bradford and his inflated contract and drafted another QB at #2 overall. Cutting Bradford would free up over $10 million for the Rams. Bradford isn't terrible, but I think you could get similar output from whoever you draft at QB at 2 and then fill needs the rest of the draft and possibly sign a few free agents with the cap space.
    Didn't the Rams lead the league in sacks this year? If so, why go after the best DE when you can grab the best LT? Because the Rams need better protection for Bradford.
    LOL... seems that everyone wants to debate Sam!
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    Re: Gamecock Fans on Clowney as a Prospect for the Rams

    To answer the question posed by one of the Gamecock fans, the Rams were 3rd in the NFL in sacks this year with 53. In 2012, they were ties for first (with Denver) with 52 sacks, and over the two year span, their 105 sacks are first in the NFL (Carolina is second with 99).
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    Re: Gamecock Fans on Clowney as a Prospect for the Rams

    Here's another:

    First, SEC teams gameplanned away from Clowney. You have to recognize he has been wrecking offenses in the SEC for several years. Therefore, all SEC teams ran in the opposite direction from Clowney just about all the time.

    Occasionally, they might run an option at him, hoping he would run himself out of a play taking a speed rush to the outside and they could run underneath him without blocking him. That happened a handful of plays.

    Clowney's effort the entire season was outstanding. The media made a mountain out of a molehill asserting he was not giving 100 percent. In actuality, Clowney has a very good motor and gave great effort in all games I watched.

    Yes, he was double and triple teamed. The only team that did not do that was UT in the first half. They thought Tiny Richardson could handle Clowney. He ate Richardson up in that game and probably had his best game in 2013 against Richardson, one of the top NFL prospects coming out of the SEC.

    Clowney is a great player. If a miracle happens and Houston does not pick him, then your team would be astonishingly stupid if they pass up Clowney. In fact, Houston would be stupid to pass him up. I don't think you will have a chance to pick Doo Doo.

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    Re: Gamecock Fans on Clowney as a Prospect for the Rams

    So...

    Do these comments make you feel vindicated? Do they make you question your opinions in any way?

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    Re: Gamecock Fans on Clowney as a Prospect for the Rams

    .......So it's exactly what I and some other pro-Clowney people around here have been saying....

    1) He's injured.
    2) Double and tripled very often
    3) Plays are being run away from him.

    I said this exact thing probably a month-ish ago. Either way, it doesn't change much. If you were pro-Clowney based off the tape, you still will be. If you aren't, then you probably haven't changed.


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    Re: Gamecock Fans on Clowney as a Prospect for the Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post
    .......So it's exactly what I and some other pro-Clowney people around here have been saying....

    1) He's injured.
    2) Double and tripled very often
    3) Plays are being run away from him.

    I said this exact thing probably a month-ish ago. Either way, it doesn't change much. If you were pro-Clowney based off the tape, you still will be. If you aren't, then you probably haven't changed.
    Seems like you are reading selectively. There are a couple of comments about his motivation and effort, and several of the responses concluded that the Rams should pass on Clowney in favor of a higher need position.

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    Re: Gamecock Fans on Clowney as a Prospect for the Rams

    I definitely support the idea of drafting Clowney. We'll be modeling after the Giants when their pass rush was phenomenal, and it has led to success. I just hope we'll scrap the soft coverage as it wasn't catering to our strengths.

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    Re: Gamecock Fans on Clowney as a Prospect for the Rams

    Do they make you question your opinions in any way? Not really, fans from his school not exactly a non-bias collection of data. I found it to be entertaining though. I like the cut ties with Bradford that was funny.

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    Re: Gamecock Fans on Clowney as a Prospect for the Rams

    As an aside... I thought it was funny that their board is Cockytalk.com.

    I hear that Richard Sherman is trying to buy that web address from them!

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    Re: Gamecock Fans on Clowney as a Prospect for the Rams

    I didn't see a lot of plays run away from him. In fact in the bowl game they ran plays at him all game long.

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