Are we being unfair to our young talent?

Scorpion05

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I've been reading a lot of blog posts, comments on here, and just generally from speaking with other Hawks fans. I feel like we're holding some of our rookies to a super high standard.

Let's take the following for example:

Penny - Some have argued that Penny is average, or doesn't do anything "great," and I disagree. He's super explosive, and has elite shiftiness/quickness. Rewatch some of his plays, and he just has an amazing awareness of space, and the ability to make slight jukes/movements without losing speed. It's actually impressive to me.

Combined with his hands and catching ability, these are things that he is much better than Carson at. Carson in comparison is a violent power back who can break tackles, which we love since Lynch basically defined what we want in an RB. But it's not fair to Penny. In another system, he'd perform at a high level.

Shaquill Griffin - No he's not a shut down corner, but as a 3rd round pick why does he have to be? He does a solid job on any given Sunday, and gives up some plays. But if he performed any better he'd be an elite corner. I think he performs well when judged within an NFL context.

Tre Flowers - Same logic as Griffin. Young player who performed well given his draft position and development. And should be judged accordingly.

Tedric Thompson - Will never be Earl, yet somehow is measured against Earl every time he gives up a few plays. For the most part, he performs at a solid level.

Shaquem Griffin - Young player still learning to develop. Has potential as an edge rusher, and has the quickness to develop strongly into his position. People are giving up on him way too soon, as if our 2012 draft players nailed everything overnight. They didn't, they just didn't have the magnifying glass from fans that our most recent rookies have experienced.


I think our expectations are unrealistic for a lot of our players. I always get the sense that every CB will be compared to Sherman, every RB will be compared to Lynch, every SS will be compared to Kam (people are already doing this with Blair), and every FS will be compared to Earl. These were once in a generation, HOF elite talents. And in reality, most draft picks don't end up producing long term.

Earl, Sherm, Kam...none of these players developed overnight. It took 2 years at least for some of them to perform consistently well, we just didn't have the expectations to nitpick at them. But we're already nitpicking at Penny, even though he's shown an ability to perform in a MODERN offense (screens, split out wide, etc.). Lynch's career didn't truly take off until he got to Seattle. If most of our recent draft picks turn into at minimum B to B+ players, that is quality depth for a contending team. Which is all most fans could ever ask for. :irishdrinkers:
 

12AngryHawks

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I'm still holding out hope for Penny, I just have a feeling that he's not gonna be used they way he should be.

Shaquill was a pretty big letdown last season, especially in the WC. He just doesn't seem to the technique down, and he should at this point in his career, and if he's the same this season as he was last, I will completely give up hope on him.

Flowers has been the better CB so far, his issue is just that he needs to not give the refs a reason to throw a flag, I remember last season he started out getting grabby early on, but he cleaned things up, and I'm optimistic that how he played in Minny, won't be a constant problem this season.

Thompson is in the same boat as Shaquill.

Shaquem's a great story, but I just feel like he'll never be a starting LB, he's a great special teamer though, I think he should be used in a Jacob Martin type role.
 

knownone

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Shaquem is 220 pounds, he’s way too small to be relied upon as an edge rusher. If he can’t be a back up linebacker there really isn’t room for him on the roster.
 

AgentDib

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I'm reserving judgement on Penny this season until I see him in the regular season behind our starting OL. It doesn't seem like he's ever going to be the kind of back who makes something out of nothing, but there have been very successful NFL RBs who relied on breakaway speed in open space (Ryan Mathews, Chris Johnson, CJ Spiller).

I haven't seen any direct criticism of Shaquem that hasn't been simply pointing out the facts. He played terribly in his very brief stint at LB last season and our LB group is stacked. He's a contributor on special teams but whether that is enough to earn him a roster spot this year is completely up in the air.
 
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Scorpion05

Scorpion05

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My point about Shaquem isn't that he hasn't made factual mistakes. But he's a rookie. Film has shown that Marquise Blair has been out of position too. Film showed Earl Thomas, Sherm, and Kam being out of position, they just didn't have the high level of scrutiny.

Shaquem has a strong motor, hitting ability, showed an ability to defend in space in college, and has shown an ability to edge rush in certain down situations. He can be an excellent blitzer if used accordingly. His ability to read offenses was never something he struggled much with in college either. So my point is, the dismissiveness of him this quickly is too premature. Shaquem would have been better off on this team had he gotten drafted in 2012, where the expectation was growth. Not just coming in and being great off the bat.

NFL fans have also developed this unfortunate habit of creating a narrative around young players, then "eating crow" when they were literally banging the drum against these players. It's as if we don't believe in growth and development anymore.
 

SoulfishHawk

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Absolutely people are unfair to the young guys. Or at the minimum, very impatient as far as letting them develop. We clearly got spoiled with the Super Bowl teams and all the talent, and the domination. We can't realistically expect the same from these new players. We can hope, but it does seem that a lot of people (not just saying on here) who are fans of the team expect near perfection......
 

RiverDog

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Penny is a #1 pick, and whether or not it's fair, he's going to be judged based on expectations of first round draft choice. So far, he's been a disappointment. One of the expectations of a #1 draft choice is that they be a starter by their 2nd season. Not his fault that our coaches made a bad decision taking him where they did, but he and his apologists are going to have to live with that fact so long as he's a member of our team.

'queem Griffin is on the bubble. There's probably more competition at LB than at any other position group. His experience on special teams could help him hold onto a roster spot.
 

McGruff

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Scorpion05":1l9uf5ms said:
My point about Shaquem isn't that he hasn't made factual mistakes. But he's a rookie. Film has shown that Marquise Blair has been out of position too. Film showed Earl Thomas, Sherm, and Kam being out of position, they just didn't have the high level of scrutiny.

Shaquem has a strong motor, hitting ability, showed an ability to defend in space in college, and has shown an ability to edge rush in certain down situations. He can be an excellent blitzer if used accordingly. His ability to read offenses was never something he struggled much with in college either. So my point is, the dismissiveness of him this quickly is too premature. Shaquem would have been better off on this team had he gotten drafted in 2012, where the expectation was growth. Not just coming in and being great off the bat.

NFL fans have also developed this unfortunate habit of creating a narrative around young players, then "eating crow" when they were literally banging the drum against these players. It's as if we don't believe in growth and development anymore.

The one player who faced similar early scrutiny and cries of derision was Kam. Most fans were just meh on him his first two years, Nd most didnt like us re signing him to a large second deal.

Tate was another one.

Of the young players, I think Quill and Penny are the most unfairly judged.

Quill has been a bargain to get a solid three year starter for a third round pick. I will take that every tine.

Penny, there just isnt enough data on him to judge.
 

xray

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Speaking only for myself...I get weary of hearing the worn out predictions about possible potentials of players that will need 2 or 3 years to be NFL caliber players . The NFL is a " show me now " league . I am a very impatient person so I like the way Bill Belichick develops a win now team year after year . If a player makes his roster they had better be a " baller " right away or they are gone . He is a cold blooded coach and GM ; but he consistently gets positive results with the win now attitude . Just my opinion . GO HAWKS
 

sutz

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Nothing new here. Fans are almost always unfair to their rookies. People have to remember that the NFL Draft is not a Fantasy Football draft. Penny was picked #27, which while technically a 1st Rd pick is actually more of an early 2d Rd pick. Expecting players picked after 10-15 to have immediate impact is generally unrealistic.

After all, a team picking at #27 is asking itself, "Will this guy that we really want last another 32 picks?" If the answer is no, then perhaps a move down would be smart to get the guy cheaper, but maybe nobody wants to deal there. Then what do you do? If you're a team coming off of 2 years of having their RB corps decimated by injuries, you take the guy you want.

:shrug:
 

oldhawkfan

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The problem with Penny is not his ability. Or his status as a #1 pick. The problem with Penny is perception. Much of this fan base desires him to be a 1500 yard back. He might be that. He is often times compared to Carson in their style of play. The two backs have completely different styles of play. I think of the two of them as more thunder and lightening. Carson being the thunder, or run between the tackles pound em back. Penny is the lightening, not gonna get the tough inside yards but once he finds a seam will get the big gains. Pennys skill set allows him to be the better back out of the backfield for screens. Carson is the better back for the tough grind em out yards. Forget their individual draft status as a 1 and 7 and just sit back and enjoy how they will both be used. And they will both be used. If you are going to complain about Penny getting stuffed in the backfield because of poor blocking, then please also complain about Carson not getting a big gain on a toss sweep or screen.
 

MontanaHawk05

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Tedric is a poor tackler and consistently plays conservative in coverage because of his slowness. We're not being hard on him, it's not just an illusion from being compared to Earl - he's just a replacement-level player.

Penny is high-maintenance at the moment. He requires a lot of other things to go right, notwithstanding the two big plays you're probably recalling where he made something out of a bad situation. Carson is by far the more consistent creator and more reliable when things break down.
 

McGruff

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xray":3n49pgxw said:
Speaking only for myself...I get weary of hearing the worn out predictions about possible potentials of players that will need 2 or 3 years to be NFL caliber players . The NFL is a " show me now " league . I am a very impatient person so I like the way Bill Belichick develops a win now team year after year . If a player makes his roster they had better be a " baller " right away or they are gone . He is a cold blooded coach and GM ; but he consistently gets positive results with the win now attitude . Just my opinion . GO HAWKS

Yeah, like how they cut their 1st round pick last year because he got injured in preseason.
 

Sgt. Largent

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A little unfair yes, because we thought Pete and John could recreate the insane talent hit rate of their first couple of drafts, and keep that rolling with every draft.

Just not realistic. So yes, we need to temper our expectations of all these young players and allow them time to grow and develop into hopefully the great players they were drafted to be.

Just might not be the immediate impact and explosion of those first wave of guys.
 

themunn

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Was this forum around in 2000?
There were probably people clambering to cut Shaun Alexander after his rookie season too.

Hell, Marshawn Lynch only averaged 3.5 ypc in his first season here. Even the first half of the 2011 season had some real stinkers - like 24 yards on 16 carries against the Bengals.
 

xray

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coddle them...spoil them...read them bedtime stories and tuck them in...and be sure to over pay them too. :stirthepot:
 

xray

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SoulfishHawk":y134xh0y said:
And if they get injured, cut them immediately :stirthepot:

Nope...if they get injured keep them until their contract is up at full pay. CJ come to mind. Now that's a fantasy football player .
 

Uncle Si

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xray":99imws69 said:
SoulfishHawk":99imws69 said:
And if they get injured, cut them immediately :stirthepot:

Nope...if they get injured keep them until their contract is up at full pay. CJ come to mind. Now that's a fantasy football player .

Full pay on a rookie deal is barely anything. You're not addressing the issue you're trying to make a point about
 

scutterhawk

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RiverDog":n43qim4p said:
Penny is a #1 pick, and whether or not it's fair, he's going to be judged based on expectations of first round draft choice. So far, he's been a disappointment. One of the expectations of a #1 draft choice is that they be a starter by their 2nd season. Not his fault that our coaches made a bad decision taking him where they did, but he and his apologists are going to have to live with that fact so long as he's a member of our team.

'queem Griffin is on the bubble. There's probably more competition at LB than at any other position group. His experience on special teams could help him hold onto a roster spot.

There is no guarantee that first rounders are going to be pro-bowlers right out of the gate, and as has been mentioned before, Penny was Drafted as a Carson injury insurance marker, Carson has proven to be fairly durable, and Penny just isn't going to get the necessary touches to become a shiner.
Quil swapping sides in his second season didn't really help his development.
Too many folks using Thomas, Sherman, & Chancellor as bench markers, and that just isn't being realistic, or fair to the young'uns.
 
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