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The drops from the WR/TE/RBs (Updated)
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The drops from the WR/TE/RBs (Updated)

emoji_events [26]
Oct 29, 2021, 1:24 AM

Last week, I posted a detailed look the amount of drops from our skill guys with Data through the Syracuse game, along with some additional analysis here (https://www.tigernet.com/clemson-forum/message/1-o-line-2-wr-te-3-elliotts-mia-stretches-and-4%E2%80%A6-29663991). Keep in mind that I am only counting drops where the receiver had 2 hands on the ball, so you can find additional drops on top of these…..

I have attached the total drop tracker as well as the number of drops per player. What can we take away from this?

-We have THIRTY total drops on the year. T-H-I-R-T-Y. yes, 30. Absolutely unacceptable performance.

-It’s not just one or two players, it is a combination of everyone, but Ross and Collins combined have 13 of the 30 drops on the team.

-22 of the 30 drops would have resulted in either a 1st down or Touchdown.

-The number of yards lost with the 30 drops is AT LEAST 397 yards of lost production (based on the line of scrimmage and the yard marker where the drop occurred).

-13 of the 30 drops occurred on 3rd down.

-9 different players have at least 1 drop.

-Ross has 7, Collins has 6, Galloway has 4, Ngata has 4, Ladson has 2, Shipley has 2, Allen has 2, Ajou has 2, and Lay has 1.

-23 of the 30 drops occur on 1st or 3rd down, meaning that we either have 2nd and long or we killed the drive and have to punt.


Additional Thoughts:

-I thought the OL was by far the worst offensive unit through 4 games (with the passing game a close 2nd), but it is a tie right now after 7 games (Tie for #1 with OL performance and WR/TE/RB performance in the passing game, then Elliott’s MIA play calling and then QB play.

-23 of the 30 drops were on either 1st down or 3rd down. So the majority of the drops we have are not just giving us 2nd and long but also killing drives. Doesn’t matter who plays QB if we continue to see this trend.

-At some point, you would think Elliott would say screw this and run the ball 50+ times a game when you have the 3 headed monster of Shipley, Pace, and Mafah. Until our guys can prove that they can make the routine catches routinely, we should be primarily a running offense (yet here we are, 7 games into the season and we have no identity on Offense.)

-Again, DJ has his share of the blame, but he is not even close to being the main problem on offense. The OL still has almost zero idea how to block when the D-line runs a stunt, we continue to have the drops issue as seen in this post, and Elliott continues to disappear for stretches at a time (frustrating because the first 1 ½ quarters in the Pitt game were called PERFECTLY. Quicker passing game, more 3 step drops. Then we have something like the 3rd and 10 QB run to the short side of the field to kick a FG after making a QB change…… Taisun's passing has improved by the way, but that sky punt that should have been picked on the 3rd and 7 shows he still has a long way to go).

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Yeah, but


Oct 29, 2021, 1:30 AM

if we called different plays then they wouldn't be dropping them.

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See that's the thing...

[1]
Oct 29, 2021, 2:04 AM

if we would have passed to someone else, on any particular play, they wouldn't have dropped it. We're simply throwing to the wrong person on those particular plays.

Also, I believe if more our passes were over 20-30 yards down the field, we'd catch more passes as those are easier to catch.

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Re: See that's the thing...


Oct 29, 2021, 8:39 AM

"Also, I believe if more our passes were over 20-30 yards down the field, we'd catch more passes as those are easier to catch."

Don't tell this to Shipley.

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Re: See that's the thing...


Oct 29, 2021, 5:27 PM

Then he was the wrong person to pass too on that play. LOL.

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Re: The drops from the WR/TE/RBs (Updated)

[1]
Oct 29, 2021, 2:52 AM

The drops have been hard to take for sure but any count on the 125 mph 4 yard passes out of that number?

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I noticed the problem coming out of the gate this year.

[3]
Oct 29, 2021, 5:15 AM

Our starting QB has a problem assessing/judging where a receiver is going to be if the receiver is moving laterally. The reason down field passes are easier to make and catch is because that lateral movement is much less, horizontal angle wise, from that perspective.

When the angle a receiver is moving changes radically, as in moving at or near 90 horizontally across the field, DJ has a tendency to fire the ball which lessens how much he has to 'lead,' a target. Trevor struggled with this issue when he was a freshman.

I don't have a lot of complaining to do and I really don't spend much time here reading because of the whining. It's nice to find a thread without venom.


Message was edited by: ClemsonTiger1988®


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Good morning, ole Friend. Great to read your post,

[1]
Oct 29, 2021, 5:46 AM

as I have been absent a good bit for some time, nainly due to work and travel.

Hope all is going well for you.

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Me too.


Oct 29, 2021, 11:47 AM

I've been traveling from the carport to the my work/storage shop to try and find tools that I've hidden from myself over the years. As far as work I'm still working toward the restoration of that black 1985 w126 MB. Progress is slow because I don't know what I'm doing.

I learned to mig weld sheetmetal and was quite successful patching a small rusted quarter panel. That rust came about because of the previous moron who owned it. That one small spot and a place above the tail pipe are all the rust I can find on this car.

It is good to know we're both still kicking. Too bad Dabo isn't looking for a kicker, we have many year of experience between the two of us.

Love you brother, God Speed to you.

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Re: I noticed the problem coming out of the gate this year.


Oct 29, 2021, 9:53 AM

Most excellent analysis on all accounts. Welcome back of sorts. There's some good posts in between. Leon, Tiger O, and others.

I imagine we'd have been saying the same thing about Cornell, Amari, and yes, even ETN had they been placed in the same situation as beaux, Ross, and Shipley. Yes, I include Ross because even though he's been in the position rooms, he hasn't played in 2 years. So still young in that regard.

Pretty much everything Dabo has said is correct. Execution. A lot of youth and inexperience. That's why I'd rate the original post in reverse order and put more onus on the coaches. True, they can't throw, catch, and block, but how'd we get here. And perhaps a lot more complex. Kinda the perfect storm, cycles, new position coaches, injuries (big key) , attrition unforeseen, evaluation, and development. Even some stubbornness in portal usage.

As I posted below, they have a mountain of analytics, and they didn't forget how to coach. I just really hope Dabo et al will adjust his formula on what's worked before needs to be updated. Roster management and recruiting evaluation so we don't end up having to use 2* oline and walk on receivers... Sure, you'll have your Renfrow and Turners. As Leon posted, we have more star power than ever before but for whatever reason, that star rating isn't living up to their ceiling.

Go Tigers! Beat the noles!

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Thank you for the 'welcome back,' seniments.

[1]
Oct 29, 2021, 11:58 AM

It's good to participate in this forum again.

I tend to lean toward blaming the players. Clearly we're missing Jeff's WR coaching but Dabo taught him most everything he knows. However, nothing is preventing the QB and receivers from running routes without coaching. I believe, in their heads, they know the ropes. The problem is execution, which I'm sure since Dabo wouldn't lie for love nor money.

Being the situation as it is, I am positive we lack player leadership on the offense. I would recommend that DJ take his boys out on the field alone and run routes without distractions. DJ could practice looking off defenders, dancing around to avoid tacklers then practice delivering the ball to where the receiver is going to be when it gets there.

Slowly but surely he could work through a couple receivers then work them together. I have no doubt he would establish, or further establish himself as the leader of this offense.

The coaches' issue; I think they know this better than me, shame on them for not having motivated the players to use their heads for something beside holding up their helmets.

That's about as harsh as I can be with a sitting coach.

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Re: The drops from the WR/TE/RBs (Updated)

[1]
Oct 29, 2021, 5:45 AM

They are there but surprisingly less than the drops. Though if we are honest, 6'4 over 200lb WRs should have no problem catching heat passes with the hand size they possess.

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Re: The drops from the WR/TE/RBs (Updated)

[3]
Oct 29, 2021, 9:07 AM

Hi there Jaxco,

Not attempting to equate the following story to DJ's fastball passes, but here goes:

As a freshman in Johnstone D (in the old days of the "tin can" dorms at Clemson, another guy on the hall decided to try and show off by passing the football (of course, in the hall). We were ~ 10 yards from each other.

He had a good arm (but not to brag, but nothing like mine ... which he did not know). He threw his best fastball the first time ... I was surprised and it bounced off my hands and over my head. But from that point, I caught all that he threw (none were at my ankles, however). In turn, when I threw my fastball at him, he dropped the first one (off his hands and over his head), but then caught all of the subsequent throws. BTW, I've got little girl hands ... and so did the other guy.

COMMENT: With the slightest bit of athleticism and remotely coordinated hands, you quickly adjust to hard-thrown footballs. Of course, neither the other guy or me had anything close to DJ's fastball.

BUT ... neither us had D-1 receiver hands.

SUMMARY: I don't care how hard DJ throws, if the Clemson receiver gets both hands on the ball he should catch it 95% of the time.

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Re: The drops from the WR/TE/RBs (Updated)

[1]
Oct 29, 2021, 9:33 AM

And its.not like TL has a noodle arm. DJ may have a stronger arm but these guys have been catching lasers in practice from both of these guys for years.

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Re: The drops from the WR/TE/RBs (Updated)

[1]
Oct 29, 2021, 9:11 AM

First of all he is only counting drops that hit WRs in both hands, so it shouldn't matter if they ball if thrown 200 mph.

Also those close range rockets are maybe accounting for 4-5 of the drops. What happened on the other 25?

Thrown to soft?

Easier to catch if it only hit them in 1 hand instead of 2?

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Re: The drops from the WR/TE/RBs (Updated)


Oct 29, 2021, 9:22 AM

Wow!

My typos were bad in this one.

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Re: The drops from the WR/TE/RBs (Updated)


Oct 29, 2021, 4:19 AM

So this begs the question: are the drops a result of too much speed/force on the ball?

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Re: The drops from the WR/TE/RBs (Updated)


Oct 29, 2021, 4:55 AM

First thing; if the Oline is a problem, why do you think that we can just blow the other team off the ball?
Second, if there was always an alternate receiver--- oh wait Renfrow or Scott have moved on. We do not have a receiver that gets themselves open.

Third-- Teaching a QB how to alternate speeds on passes is not a skill that is developed over night.

You folks know all the answers, so go coach a school that is in bad shape and needs your expertise.

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Re: The drops from the WR/TE/RBs (Updated)

[1]
Oct 29, 2021, 5:46 AM

The thing in common with all of these drops is that both hands were on the ball and the receiver did not finish the catch. If a receiver gets 2 hands on the ball, it's the receiver's responsibility to catch it. No excuses at that point.

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Re: The drops from the WR/TE/RBs (Updated)


Oct 29, 2021, 5:26 AM

When I watch Beaux Collins he looks like he has no business being out there and that he is a year or two away from getting as much PT as he is getting.

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Re: The drops from the WR/TE/RBs (Updated)

[2]
Oct 29, 2021, 5:47 AM

I think you are right, but when you have the injuries we have at WR, they are forced to play early. I can (somewhat) accept a true freshman WR dropping passes. What I can't accept is the fact that Ross is leading the team in drops.

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Re: The drops from the WR/TE/RBs (Updated)

[1]
Oct 29, 2021, 5:56 AM

Hopefully Ross comes back for one more season. Maybe he is just rusty after all he went through. I have faith in Ross still. Collins like a baby deer and not ready to be out there.

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Re: The drops from the WR/TE/RBs (Updated)

[1]
Oct 29, 2021, 6:00 AM

Agreed on both. We just have to take the lumps of this year and get through it. I'll be curious to see what changes are made in the off season. I bet spring ball will be intense as well.

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Great efforts on your part. At least I'm

[3]
Oct 29, 2021, 5:48 AM

impressed.

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Re: The drops from the WR/TE/RBs (Updated)


Oct 29, 2021, 6:01 AM

How do our drops compare to last year? Were we equally ‘bad l’ast year and somehow covered it up?

By % of dropped passes how do we compare to good / crappy teams?

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Terrific post. I am amazed at those who insist that all the

[1]
Oct 29, 2021, 7:01 AM

blame goes on DJ. Also amazed that Ross is so bad. Not sure what happened. He looked like a faster Nuke, but now he has lineman hands.

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Re: The drops from the WR/TE/RBs (Updated)

[1]
Oct 29, 2021, 7:05 AM

Ross and Ngata have the most failed catches because they are the 2 best targeted receivers. However, 2 hands can't catch a bad speed ball or a ball thrown to high or too low more often than in the nominal catch zone. DJ doesn't throw consistent passes. More than 30% of the attempts by DJ have been out of the nominal zone for receivers. For being a 5* prospect he's not developed the GAME TIME skills. Practices are the only place he shines because there is no true clock or pressure from a scheming DC intent on rattling him.

Receivers can't get separation fast since the routes are congested half the time or stale routes easy to cover.

Next time count the passes behind the line of scrimmage and give a completion percentage and a percentage that resulted in positive yards. Pitt, Syracuse, BC, NC State, UGA all stuffed those routes and Elliott is still calling them when the safety can run in and take out the receiver behind the line of scrimmage. Tigers have lost more than 100 yards from that play this season. And the blind shovel pass interception that was a TD... can't call that on receivers can we?

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Re: The drops from the WR/TE/RBs (Updated)

[2]
Oct 29, 2021, 8:18 AM

Could we possibly get a jugs machine that launches 100 mph end over end passes, to emulate DJ?

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Re: The drops from the WR/TE/RBs (Updated)


Oct 29, 2021, 8:14 PM

Passes behind or on the LOS (swing routes to the RB, Bubble screens to the WRs) are a common part of our offense and without going back to the game film, the biggest problem on the WR screens is the lack of WR blocking on the outside (that is a consistent problem this year). The swing pass to the RB has been the most success "pass on the LOS" play we've had in the passing game. Remember how we were moving the ball in the Pitt game for the first 1 1/2 quarters? You can't dismiss the use of the Screen game in helping that happen (though Pitt did stop that specific play twice).

Yep that blind shovel pass interception is ultimately on DJ, but I would question why you even call that play near midfield and not take a shot deep (worst case, a pick turns into a long punt). Why not save the play call for the red zone/close to the goal line?

2 hands on a ball can catch a "bad speed ball" as you put it. No problem catching heaters when Trevor was throwing it last year? Ross, Ngata, Ladson, Galloway, Allen, Ajou. Smallest one is 6'3 210lbs. Hands for days. There is zero excuse for those 6 to not catch the ball when they get TWO hands on it. You might want to double check what I'm using as the definition for drops listed in the post this week and last week, because if you did read that you would know that the vast majorty of contested balls and all overthrows/underthrows are NOT on this list.

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Re: The drops from the WR/TE/RBs (Updated)

[1]
Oct 29, 2021, 8:21 AM

Not commenting to be nitpicking, but you obviously put a lot of effort in to this analysis. So just for data accuracy it's 31 drops according to your data. Review Ladson should have 3 drops not 2.

Otherwise, great job of analytics, I'm a numbers guy, and I constantly go back and look at data and things like this as well when trying to figure out the problem with our offense too.

Go Tigers!

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Re: The drops from the WR/TE/RBs (Updated)


Oct 29, 2021, 8:16 PM

Appreciate the check! Yea it is still 30 Ladson should have 1 drop on 3rd down, not 2 (miscount on my part).

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Re: The drops from the WR/TE/RBs (Updated)

[1]
Oct 29, 2021, 8:51 AM

3. Awesome job on this analysis! Must have taken a good bit of time for you to do it. You should print it out, make copies, and mail them to the Tiger football team.

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Re: The drops from the WR/TE/RBs (Updated)


Oct 29, 2021, 9:15 AM

Yes, excellent analytics. Maybe even a GA. No need to mail. The coaches have a mountain of analysts... Probably more than anyone could imagine. Still nice to see it here. Hence, Dabo telling us from the get - execution. 9 guys doing it right and 2 (different each time) not doing it.

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Is it possible they think the ball has Pfauci-19 germs on it?

[1]
Oct 29, 2021, 9:18 AM

Seriously. Let’s be sensitive here, guys.
We’re in the middle of a super global pandemic, and you’re worried about football?

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Re: The drops from the WR/TE/RBs (Updated)

[2]
Oct 29, 2021, 9:22 AM

Hello ClemsonFan3829,

Great post with all your fine work in gathering meaningful data.

Your analysis is appreciated, but of course the respondents to your post will have some different opinions / additional context. Here goes:

O-Line criticism (including struggles to block when the D-Line stunts): You're almost always going to get this when there is even 1 inexperienced player on the O-Line ... which Clemson has had all season. First two games, Bockhorst was at Center (new position for him; M.Tate was new at everything; R.Rayburn was playing in nearly his first action (at Guard); P.Tchio had played only a dribble before 2021.
Third 'real' game, H.Rayburn started at Center (did pretty well, but it was his first game at Center). With Bockhorst back at Guard it helped; we had what was a respectable O-Line performance (not great).
Fifth game ... another new & small Center (playing his first game). More problems on the O-Line.
Sixth game ... still had to play with the new / small Center, but yet the O-Line play had improved somewhat (but no match for Pitt's quick D-tackle).

But with all the drops, if (or when) Clemson attempts to run the ball ... and the opposing coaches KNOW that our receivers couldn't catch COVID in a NY State nursing home, they stack the box quickly and easily defeat our running game.

This isn't a OC / Play-calling problem. It is only partially a QB accuracy problem. It is somewhat of an inexperienced O-Line problem. But you got it completely right, my friend, by pointing out the the WR Corp has been our Stalingrad.

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Re: The drops from the WR/TE/RBs (Updated)


Oct 29, 2021, 8:03 PM

Thanks for the detailed comment. I appreciate and welcome feedback!

I think it was clear through the first 4 games of the year that the OL was the main problem, but the last 3 have shown the WRs/TEs/RBs to be the main problem. I didn't think the 3 OL we lost for the reason up through fall camp would have that big of a impact but I was obviously completely wrong.

The OL has actually shown some improvement as the year has progressed (moving Bockhorst back to guard was the right move once Rayburn showed he was a capable center). Hate to see Bockhorst get hurt because he was the right guy at guard, but sadly a complete liability at center. The O-line will be under some serious scrutiny in the offseason, but I bet that is just the fire needed for those guys to become a strength going into next year. Leight and Lithicum really need to be hitting the weights big time right now in Power Hour because we need them to be at least contributors next year.

The frustrating thing about the WR drops is we aren't even fully taking advantage of the defensive formations. Ex. In the Syracuse game, they played 90% of the snaps about 8-12 yards off of the receivers. We only snapped it and threw it out quick one time and that was to Ajou? Result? 12 yard first down because he ran through contact (most DBs are 6 inches and 40lbs lighter than him for example).

I put Elliott behind the OL and WR play because he will have stretches were he calls the perfect plays (Ex. First 1 1/2 quarters in the Pitt game), but then we'll have stretches like in the NC State game where we have 7 3 and outs without really changing up anything. If you get 2 (max 3) straight 3 and outs, and it's issues with the QB passing high or the WRs not being in the right place, you gotta adjust immediately. If that means you need 3 TEs on the field or 6 OL on the field, do it. The amount of times we stay struggling and run out of 11 personnel or out of the pistol is frustrating at times. The lack of slant calls to the middle of the field is disappointing too because again, how many 6'3 or taller receivers do we have?

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Re: The drops from the WR/TE/RBs (Updated)

[1]
Oct 29, 2021, 9:26 AM

This list doesn't account for the ball that was thrown perfectly to B. Collins that he tried his hardest to drop but somehow it hit his knee while in full stride and popped straight back up into his hands for another opportunity that he caught.

A drop there would have him tied with Ross for tops on the team I believe.

On the other hand, this list doesn't account for the balls that Ross hasn't tried to catch at different points in the season because he was trying to draw a flag or just simply stopping on the route a little early for some reason.

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yep 100% correct, If I did add those types of plays.....


Oct 29, 2021, 8:04 PM

The numbers would be a lot higher. Focusing on drops where the receiver had 2 hands on it eliminates most other variables so that is why i went with that approach.

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Re: The drops from the WR/TE/RBs (Updated)


Oct 30, 2021, 10:31 AM

Agree with everything you said. I would change the order a bit because I believe a big part of the problem is the continual flow of positive information out of the head man, when anyone with half a brain can see what he is saying is not true. Being positive is one thing but being delusional is another. For example, we were told all through camp that the Collins boys were ready to play just like Sammy was when he arrived. Total fabrication. That is just one example and there are many. If that is what they are going to do, then press conferences at any point are a total waste of time.

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Re: The drops from the WR/TE/RBs (Updated)

[1]
Oct 29, 2021, 10:20 AM

Could it be that Ross is still tentative because of his injury last year? Things like that get in your head and can sometimes have a very negative effect on a player's performance. Just wondering. . .

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Re: The drops from the WR/TE/RBs (Updated)


Oct 29, 2021, 8:17 PM

Definitely a possibility.

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Re: The drops from the WR/TE/RBs (Updated)

[1]
Oct 29, 2021, 11:05 AM

Good stuff. I would also like to add for those of you who haven’t played football in the last 10 years that drops with two hands on the ball should almost be nonexistent. If you haven’t put on a good pair of the receivers gloves lately (I call them cheat gloves) you have no idea what is allowed nowadays. I’m in my 50s and throw and catch bullets with my son in high school and even I can stab high and wide hard thrown balls with one hand. The “technology” is absolutely ridiculous.

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Underrated response right here!***


Oct 29, 2021, 8:17 PM



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Re: The drops from the WR/TE/RBs (Updated)


Oct 30, 2021, 10:36 AM

I wonder if the receivers work on the juggs machine?? It sure doesn't look like it. I was at a practice session a couple years ago and Amari & Tee had that thing firing bullets at them, some they caught with two hands, some with one hand. It appears nobody is using this tool any more.

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Nice breakdown of the problem areas.

[1]
Oct 29, 2021, 11:56 AM

Everyone likes to pin everything on QB play but that is only part of the problem. Plenty of disfunction on the offensive side of the ball this year to go around.

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So now the real question. Why?


Oct 29, 2021, 8:42 PM

Why is it just now a problem after all this time?

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