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Dionysus22
06-02-2005, 01:36 AM
At this time of the year, we're always looking for the NFL team that might be ready to make the big leap, perhaps even that Super leap.

In studying potential candidates, the focus almost always moves to the quarterback. As we have said in this space for the past four years, a good one can cure a lot of ills. Without one, you're in trouble.

Kyle Boller has been given more weapons on offense in Baltimore. (Getty Images)
There have been exceptions, but those teams (see the 2002 Baltimore Ravens) had to play extraordinary defense.

The 2004 playoffs were proof of the value of having a good quarterback. The final eight teams included a who's-who of quarterbacks, New England's Tom Brady, Indianapolis' Peyton Manning, Atlanta's Michael Vick and Philadelphia's Donovan McNabb among them.

If you have issues at quarterback, postseason play is almost always a fantasy. With that in mind, we thought it a good time to take a look at five quarterbacks who must take a big step forward for their teams to have a Super chance in 2005.

The five: Aaron Brooks of the Saints, Kyle Boller of the Ravens, Byron Leftwich of the Jaguars, David Carr of the Texans and J.P. Losman of the Bills.

Every pass they throw this offseason is being scrutinized, coaches and teammates gauging how far they have come and how much work they have left to do. When training camp opens in July, fans and the media will jump in line, too -- their assessments probably a lot more biting.

The quarterback who makes the biggest leap just might get his team -- all non-playoff teams from last season -- deep into the postseason.

Those who falter could put heat on their coaching staffs and open up the chance there could be a quarterback controversy, whether it involves a capable backup or fans' outcry about blowing a high first-round draft pick.

Good passers are vital to Super Bowl success. Do these five have what it takes for that to be reality?

Check back in December. By then, we'll have our answers.

David Carr, Texans
There is a perception in Houston that maybe Carr isn't the guy the Texans thought he would become when they used the top pick on him in 2002. The Texans don't believe that at all.

"That's absurd," Texans offensive coordinator Chris Palmer said. "David is making the strides we expected him to make."

In his first two seasons, Carr took a beating. Playing behind a bad offensive line, he was hit and sacked way too many times, setting a sacks record (76) in his rookie season.

Carr had his best season in 2004, completing 61.2 percent of his passes while throwing for a career-best 3,531 yards. He threw more touchdown passes (16) than interceptions (14) for the first time. That number has to get better in 2005, as does his passer rating, which is still too low at 83.5 (that was up significantly from his 69.5 in 2003).

Carr has all the tools to become a Pro Bowl-type passer. With Andre Johnson as his top weapon, look for those two to become a dominant passing duo.

If the offense continues to improve as it did in 2004, the Texans could be on their way to pushing for a playoff spot.

With all of this recent hoopla about us...should we start believing the hype?

YodAa
06-02-2005, 01:50 AM
Yes we should! We might even have to use the Good Charlotte song as our theme song this season!

Txn_in_Oki
06-02-2005, 06:33 AM
We might even have to use the Good Charlotte song as our theme song this season!

Um... Please no.

OzzO
06-02-2005, 08:09 AM
Nah, let others buy into the hype. Actually, could this actually be the beginning of the (gasp) "respect" we have been looking for? :hmmm:

Don't wanna have too much hype... yet. Let's see what we have to work with in the practices and pre-season before we get too giddy.

Article seems pretty accurate save for There is a perception in Houston that maybe Carr isn't the guy the Texans thought he would become when they used the top pick on him in 2002. Where'd this perception come from (besides for one post... I think)?

infantrycak
06-02-2005, 08:14 AM
Where'd this perception come from (besides for one post... I think)?

There are plenty of mixed feelings around about Carr. Few outright bust type folks (although some predicting he will bust because of GM/coaching mistakes on the OL) but there are a number of folks who don't think Carr will be more than a Jake Plummer, Aaron Brooks quality QB which if true would be less than hoped for in a #1 overall pick. Carr definitely has things to work on still, but IMO we certainly haven't seen his full potential yet.

OzzO
06-02-2005, 08:26 AM
Agree. I think the past few years we've seen extremes of good and bad and flashes of what could be.

For some reason, I'm thinking this year we'll have a better idea of what we have and show a little more consistency as a team.

Jagsbch
06-02-2005, 09:06 AM
David Carr, Texans

There is a perception in Houston that maybe Carr isn't the guy the Texans thought he would become when they used the top pick on him in 2002. The Texans don't believe that at all.

"That's absurd," Texans offensive coordinator Chris Palmer said. "David is making the strides we expected him to make."

In his first two seasons, Carr took a beating. Playing behind a bad offensive line, he was hit and sacked way too many times, setting a sacks record (76) in his rookie season.

Carr had his best season in 2004, completing 61.2 percent of his passes while throwing for a career-best 3,531 yards. He threw more touchdown passes (16) than interceptions (14) for the first time. That number has to get better in 2005, as does his passer rating, which is still too low at 83.5 (that was up significantly from his 69.5 in 2003).

Carr has all the tools to become a Pro Bowl-type passer. With Andre Johnson as his top weapon, look for those two to become a dominant passing duo.

If the offense continues to improve as it did in 2004, the Texans could be on their way to pushing for a playoff spot.


Byron Leftwich, Jaguars

The joke around the Jaguars is that Leftwich played with one arm tied behind his back in 2004 since the offense rarely took shots down the field.

Leftwich simply laughs it off, but it was clear neither he nor his receivers were too happy about the offensive system last season, one that featured far more short throws than down-the-field attempts.

That displeasure helped facilitate a change at offensive coordinator, with Bill Musgrave out and Carl Smith coming aboard. Smith, who was a coordinator for the Saints under Jim Mora, comes from the college ranks, where he was quarterbacks coach at Southern California.

Smith has vowed to get the ball down the field, and the players, including Leftwich, have been raving about the new system.

"Love it, man," Leftwich said. "I love it."

Now it's time for Leftwich to take advantage. In his two years with the team, he has shown the ability to make the deep throws when given the chance. He had 40 completions of 20 yards or longer in 2004, but just seven of 40 yards or more. That has to be better, and it will be with the chances to do so.

Leftwich is a pure pocket passer, which means he needs time. The Jaguars line struggled to protect him at times last season, and he took too many shots. He missed two starts because of injuries and didn't play as well when he returned as he did early in the year.

The ability is definitely there. In two games against the Colts, including an upset on the road, Leftwich was outstanding. In Indianapolis, Leftwich completed 23-of-30 for 300 yards, two touchdowns and one interception as the Jaguars won 27-24.

Leftwich also had a knack for the late-game drive last season, dramatically pulling out victories with some impressive last-minute stuff. He completed 60.5 percent of his passes and threw 15 touchdowns to 10 interceptions. That ratio has to get better, and word is the Jaguars want it at 3-1, which would be a heck of a jump.

The coaching staff is convinced quarterbacks make huge leaps between their second and third seasons as a starter. If that happens for Leftwich, the Jaguars can be a Super contender.

http://www.sportsline.com/u/polls/qbs60105.gif


The other 3 QB's are @ this link.

The five: Aaron Brooks of the Saints, Kyle Boller of the Ravens, Byron Leftwich of the Jaguars, David Carr of the Texans and J.P. Losman of the Bills.
http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/story/8524129

ojthecat
06-02-2005, 09:08 AM
Didn't you already have a thread that compares Carr and Leftwitch? :fishing:

Jagsbch
06-02-2005, 09:28 AM
I guess you make a good point, :brickwall

cuppacoffee
06-02-2005, 10:06 AM
Apparently the J-ville fans will show up to vote in a poll. :)

Vambo, the Marble Eye
06-02-2005, 11:32 AM
I do not know if I can value any article that includes Aaron Brooks as company for projecting up and coming quarterbacks in 2005.

wrestler4life
06-02-2005, 12:27 PM
Is it me, or does he seem to be throwing side-arm now more than he did when he came out os FSU?
That was the one thing he was being murdered for by Chris Mortenson and the other guys on ESPN.

TommyS
06-02-2005, 12:29 PM
Houston Texans
Best move: First-round pick Travis Johnson was a much-needed young addition to the defensive line. Coach Dom Capers asks a lot of his 3-4 defensive linemen. For whatever reason, things didn't work out last year. They ranked 23rd on defense and 13th against the run. To make the playoffs, a 3-4 defense needs to rank in the top 10 against the run, which is probably the reason the Texans tried to get younger and add a little more speed on defense. Capers quietly shook up a lot of things on defense. He brought in Phillip Buchanon at cornerback for veteran Aaron Glenn. He moved Kailee Wong from outside to inside linebacker and signed Morlon Greenwood from the Dolphins to also play on the inside. Gone are Jamie Sharper and Jay Foreman. Critics weren't sure Johnson was the right choice for the Texans, but the team fell in love with him. With Johnson, Gary Walker, Seth Payne and Robaire Smith, the Texans have invested heavily along their defensive line. Johnson can learn from the veterans in front of him and gradually gain more playing time as the season progresses.


Biggest surprise: Greenwood wasn't a star on the big-name Miami Dolphins defense, so it was a little surprising to see him as the key offseason acquisition to fix the interior of the Texans' defense. Greenwood doesn't have the bulk of most inside linebackers in the 3-4. Apparently, the Texans liked his range and speed. Still, he replaces a popular player in Sharper, who has been productive since joining the Texans in their inaugural season. If Greenwood is the right choice and Wong does well in the middle, the Texans should have more range at inside linebacker. For that to happen, Jason Babin and Antwan Peek need big seasons on the outside.


Bottom line: The expansion years are gone. The Texans are coming off a 7-9 season and it's time for them to step up as a contender. The plan is to run the ball more to take some pressure off Carr, who was the victim of 49 sacks last season. The Texans worked with him on releasing the ball quicker to prevent the sacks. He got his completion percentage up to 61.2, but he still takes a pounding. The Texans are a dangerous team. If their offseason renovation works on defense, they will easily improve on their No. 23 rating from last year. Carr has the talent around him at wide receiver and in the backfield to compete at a playoff level. The table is set for the Texans to contend. But if the defense isn't improved, it will hold back the development of this season. On paper, though, things look good.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?columnist=clayton_john&id=2074175&num=0
is the link to the AFC preview

infantrycak
06-02-2005, 03:40 PM
Greenwood doesn't have the bulk of most inside linebackers in the 3-4. Apparently, the Texans liked his range and speed.

Nice research by Clayton--or may that is just speaking out of the wrong orifice:

Morlon Greenwood--238 lbs

James Farrier--243 lbs
Larry Foote--239 lbs
T.J. Slaughter--233 lbs
Ray Lewis--245 lbs
Randall Godfrey--245 lbs
Donnie Edwards--227 lbs
Jamie Sharper--239 lbs

Whew boy the Texans are in trouble, Greenwood sure is undersized.

Vinny
06-02-2005, 03:42 PM
One of the best 3-4 inside linebackers ever was 5-foot-9, 225-pound Sam Mills.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/8397218