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Old 12-21-2012   #1
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Default Rookie Watch, Late Bloomers

PFF Rookie Watch: Late Bloomers
Steve Palazzolo | 2012/12/21


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Perhaps more than ever, rookies are stepping right into the league and having immediate success. Our Race for Rookie of the Year is littered with first-year players who have earned starting roles from their first day of training camp. However, beyond those rookies who have received the majority of the hype, there are a number of under-the-radar players who waited their turn and started to see an increase in playing time here in the second half of the season.

For some teams, the late-developing rookie could act as an added bonus or perhaps just added depth for a playoff push. For the teams out of the race, these rookies could be players to build around for the future.

Whether they were forced into action due to injury, or earned their keep by sitting and watching, here are some of the rookies who have seen the field on a more regular basis in the second half of the season.

Playoff Contenders
...
DeVier Posey, WR, Houston Texans

Have the Texans found their No. 2 wide receiver to play opposite Andre Johnson? WR Kevin Walter has been entrenched in the role, but heís never been a player who had instilled fear into opposing defenses. While Posey has taken snaps throughout the season, he had his first real chance to shine last week against the Indianapolis Colts. He hauled in all three passes thrown his way for 46 yards, including a 36 yarder on a deep post route into traffic. Posey saw a season-high 36 snaps, while Walter played a season-low 39, so this may be a sign of things to come as Houston prepares for the playoffs.

Whitney Mercilus, OLB, Houston Texans

The Texansí first-rounder was eased into the action this season, as he didnít play more than 17 snaps in a game until he played 71 in Week 12. Heís started the past four games, and despite the six sacks on the season, he has not been an effective pass rusher. Heís grading at -9.7 for the season with a Pass Rush Productivity (PRP) of 6.9 that ranks 24th out of the top 33 qualifiers among 3-4 outside linebackers. Heís fared better as a run defender, grading at +1.1 with six run stops. The Texans continue to search for an edge rusher to complement DE J.J. Watt.
...
read more: https://www.profootballfocus.com/blo...-late-bloomer/
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Old 12-21-2012   #2
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Default Re: Rookie Watch, Late Bloomers

Throw Brandon Brooks into the mix. Kubiak has been praising his play.
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Old 12-21-2012   #3
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Default Re: Rookie Watch, Late Bloomers

Way to soon to project Posey after one game but all signs are better than before last Sunday. Hopefully, Mercilus, Posey, Brooks, Martin, Jones and Crick increase productivity and playing time next season.
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Old 12-21-2012   #4
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Default Re: Rookie Watch, Late Bloomers

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Way to soon to project Posey after one game but all signs are better than before last Sunday.
Yep, I'm just glad he became a blip on the radar screen this season.
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Old 12-21-2012   #5
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Default Re: Rookie Watch, Late Bloomers

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Way to soon to project Posey after one game but all signs are better than before last Sunday. Hopefully, Mercilus, Posey, Brooks, Martin, Jones and Crick increase productivity and playing time next season.
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Yep, I'm just glad he became a blip on the radar screen this season.
Me too.
I hope this is a sign that Kubiak is passing the #2 WR torch from Walter to Posey.
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Old 12-22-2012   #6
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Default Re: Rookie Watch, Late Bloomers

Wow I did not think Mercilus was playing that bad.
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Old 12-22-2012   #7
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Default Re: Rookie Watch, Late Bloomers

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Originally Posted by badboy View Post
Way to soon to project Posey after one game but all signs are better than before last Sunday. Hopefully, Mercilus, Posey, Brooks, Martin, Jones and Crick increase productivity and playing time next season.

Whoa now... Crick playing more might mean Watt is playing less...
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Old 12-22-2012   #8
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Default Re: Rookie Watch, Late Bloomers

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Wow I did not think Mercilus was playing that bad.
As a pass rusher, yes. So far, he's the clean up man........ make him step up man, but not consistent.

I didn't think he was a liability in the run like many were saying & his +1.1 as a run stopper helps support that.

Now, against Indy, Tennessee, & New England, it is possible the plan was to control the QB more than to sack the QB. They were probably supposed to shrink the pocket making sure Luck, Locker, & Brady didn't get out to extend plays. Might see some of that again this week against Ponder.

So his pass rush numbers may be suffering for that.
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Old 12-22-2012   #9
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Default Re: Rookie Watch, Late Bloomers

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Originally Posted by Fiddler View Post
As a pass rusher, yes. So far, he's the clean up man........ make him step up man, but not consistent.

I didn't think he was a liability in the run like many were saying & his +1.1 as a run stopper helps support that.

Now, against Indy, Tennessee, & New England, it is possible the plan was to control the QB more than to sack the QB. They were probably supposed to shrink the pocket making sure Luck, Locker, & Brady didn't get out to extend plays. Might see some of that again this week against Ponder.

So his pass rush numbers may be suffering for that.
I am just not buying this. Im pretty sure Mercilus has had plenty of calls to get to the QB over the last games. The dude was the NCAA sack leader last year... Has anyone seen him make a real play to get to the QB yet? And we are not talking clean up duty. Maybe I am wrong, but I am looking to see more of an impact from our first rounder.
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Old 12-22-2012   #10
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Default Re: Rookie Watch, Late Bloomers

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I am just not buying this. Im pretty sure Mercilus has had plenty of calls to get to the QB over the last games. The dude was the NCAA sack leader last year... Has anyone seen him make a real play to get to the QB yet? And we are not talking clean up duty. Maybe I am wrong, but I am looking to see more of an impact from our first rounder.
I agree that he's had opportunity. But as far as beating his man, he got to Luck the same time that Antonio & Watt did on that first sack. He beat his man as quickly as Watt & Antonio did.

I've seen him get the edge a few times, not consistent enough to get excited about.

But Luck, Brady, & Locker not getting out to improvise should be seen as a mini victory.
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Old 12-22-2012   #11
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Default Re: Rookie Watch, Late Bloomers

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Originally Posted by Fiddler View Post
I agree that he's had opportunity. But as far as beating his man, he got to Luck the same time that Antonio & Watt did on that first sack. He beat his man as quickly as Watt & Antonio did.

I've seen him get the edge a few times, not consistent enough to get excited about.

But Luck, Brady, & Locker not getting out to improvise should be seen as a mini victory.
Its year one, not three... So he has plenty of time. But I was just hoping to see at leadt some FLASHES of excellence at this point. Other than maybe some mini victories, I just haven't seen it yet.
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Old 12-22-2012   #12
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Default Re: Rookie Watch, Late Bloomers

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Its year one, not three... So he has plenty of time. But I was just hoping to see at leadt some FLASHES of excellence at this point. Other than maybe some mini victories, I just haven't seen it yet.
No doubt, even in a specialist role, you'd think you would have seen something ala Aldon Smith.

However, being on the plus side as a run stopper is not where anyone expected him to be. Maybe we're just expecting the wrong thing. Playing opposite Jj Watt, next to Antonio Smith, being strong against the run may have been the thing they were waiting on to get him on the field.

Think about it, we had Barwin over there. He's more SAM than WOLB. We had Mario over there.... you don't run on Mario.

Not saying we don't need him to be strong/dominant as a pass rusher, but maybe this is a first thing's first kind of thing.
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Old 12-22-2012   #13
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Default Re: Rookie Watch, Late Bloomers

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Originally Posted by Fiddler View Post
I agree that he's had opportunity. But as far as beating his man, he got to Luck the same time that Antonio & Watt did on that first sack. He beat his man as quickly as Watt & Antonio did.

I've seen him get the edge a few times, not consistent enough to get excited about.

But Luck, Brady, & Locker not getting out to improvise should be seen as a mini victory.
Its year one, not three... So he has plenty of time. But I was just hoping to see at leadt some FLASHES of excellence at this point. Other than maybe some mini victories, I just haven't seen it yet.
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Old 12-22-2012   #14
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Default Re: Rookie Watch, Late Bloomers

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Originally Posted by Fiddler View Post
I agree that he's had opportunity. But as far as beating his man, he got to Luck the same time that Antonio & Watt did on that first sack. He beat his man as quickly as Watt & Antonio did.

I've seen him get the edge a few times, not consistent enough to get excited about.

But Luck, Brady, & Locker not getting out to improvise should be seen as a mini victory.
That was the game plan and it will probably be the same this week for double the reason.

But nobody has to buy it; they just have to go back and rewatch the game, concentrating on Merci, and they should see how he was used.
There's a certain requirement about understanding football though (and it's not a knock on anybody - the more one understands the game, the more one can appreciate it.)
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Old 12-22-2012   #15
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Default Re: Rookie Watch, Late Bloomers

It's not backyard flag football where everybody runs everywhere, doing whatever they want.

Each player has a certain assignment on each particular play to carry out.

The idea is really simple if you listen carefully to what Wade repeatedly said: "When you have a playmaker, you work to put him in a position to make play.)

Right now, the main playmaker for the Texans is JJ Watt.
The other guys need to play more of a supporting role, simple as that.
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Old 12-22-2012   #16
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Default Re: Rookie Watch, Late Bloomers

One of the schemes that Wade put in is to put the end man (or men) wide.
He could be a 9-tech or something they call a "wide-nine", where he's even further out.

This forces the protection wide, thus giving Watt more room to operate inside.

And the rest is... history... In the making.
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Old 12-22-2012   #17
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Default Re: Rookie Watch, Late Bloomers

Seems like expectations are whack on Mercilus. He has started 3 games and had limited playing time in the other 11. He has 6 sacks and 2 ff in maybe what would equate to half a season of work all combined.

The one concerning me is Martin. He does a pretty good job getting open and has play making potential but his hands have been suspect. He has the 2nd lowest completion % on being targeted in the NFL - it's about 34%. He needs to be living with a Juggs machine.
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Old 12-22-2012   #18
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Default Re: Rookie Watch, Late Bloomers

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Originally Posted by Tailgate View Post
Its year one, not three... So he has plenty of time. But I was just hoping to see at leadt some FLASHES of excellence at this point. Other than maybe some mini victories, I just haven't seen it yet.
You just contradicted yourself. You expect him to make excellent plays all the time but when you see FLASHES OF EXCELLENCE... uhhhhh YOU consider them mini victories, however that's all he can. sack the QB, pressure the qb and tackle the ball carrier. Do you want him to do a swim move around Jake Long, crawl under the runningbacks legs.. get up and sack strip TD the play?
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Old 12-22-2012   #19
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Default Re: Rookie Watch, Late Bloomers

Mercilus has shown FLASHES of greatness and already has more moves than Barwin. Give the kid a break and some time.
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Old 12-22-2012   #20
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Default Re: Rookie Watch, Late Bloomers

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One of the schemes that Wade put in is to put the end man (or men) wide.
He could be a 9-tech or something they call a "wide-nine", where he's even further out.

This forces the protection wide, thus giving Watt more room to operate inside.

And the rest is... history... In the making.
Exactly. They move him wide to for the guard one on one with the DE. And Antonio cut under to get the center. Sometimes your a decoy on pre snap. You can't get a sack every play.
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