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Old 11-26-2013, 10:36 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Pony Boy View Post
Belichick sent a strong message with the benching of Ridley so JDR felt the need to do the same with Ball. I would normally agree but this was basically playoff type conditions and we needed to go all in.

I also noticed Belichick didn't feel the need to bench Brady after his 2 fumbles or JDR with Manning’s fumbles, that would have went over like a fart in church.
He also benched Blount. I agree with Bill B. If you are known as a fumbler and you fumble you are done period. New England lost to Carolina because of a Ridley fumble.
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Old 11-26-2013, 10:38 AM   #27
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This fumbling issue is just as much on Studesville than it is on Ball and Hillman at this point.

It's an epidemic and they're clearly not prepared/unequipped to properly carry the football.
This is a good point.

I'd add that we also have different issues with different RBs.

With Ball, a lot of it seems to boil down to a lack of concentration, and I'm guessing that his unfamiliarity with pro assignments and adjustment to the NFL game speed is a contributing factor. As a rookie, he should eventually improve, but at this point in the season I was hoping to see much more improvement.

We don't really have much of a test sample from Anderson, but he clearly looks lost and confused in formation.

Hillman is the one who concerns me the most. In his second year, he shouldn't be having concentration issues, and I don't think that's his biggest problem anyway. He's just too easy to strip. Maybe improved technique would help, but I worry that it's a physical issue as much as anything.
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Old 11-26-2013, 10:53 AM   #28
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He hasn't fumbled once. He has fumbled multiple times in multiple games. Can you really keep giving them a stern talking to and putting them back out without having confidence in them to do their job?

Every RB is going to fumble. But this guy's averaging a fumble every 28 touches. If KM did this, he'd fumble once a game based on how many touches he gets.
That is an argument that one could make. I disagree with it though, and here is why:

1. Ball is a rookie. Not an excuse, but a fact that he may not be totally adjusted to the NFL this year. This could be reason to keep him from getting carries, but also gives reason for him to get more carries to learn the game at its pace.

2. Ball has fumbled 3 times this year. If we do a stats breakdown at his carries (75) to fumbles, then it works out to be one fumble per 25 carries, which isn't good. However, 3 fumbles IS NOT multiple times in multiple games. Its 1 fumble in three separate games.

3. The hit that knocked the ball out in the NE game was Fletcher's helmet landing perfectly on top of Ball's forearm, forcing his arm down. Had the hit been any lower or higher, Ball's forearm would likely not have moved. Granted, Ball should have secured the ball with both arms as soon as he saw contact coming.

So #s 1, 2, and 3 aren't necessarily super encouraging, but take them as they are with:

4. The Pats game was his first fumble since week 3.

5. From the start of Week 3 to right before his fumble in week 12, Ball had 54 carries with only 1 fumble.

6. This was fumble #1 in 7 games played.

This shows signs of improvement and development. A dude has only fumbled once in 54 carries and could be a huge reliever/difference maker and is young should get another chance. I can understand the argument against it, and I would be on that boat too, had he fumbled multiple times in any single game. Or if his sample size showed a true pace of 1 fumble per 25 carries (or even up to 40 carries). His pace of fumbling though doesn't appear that bad right now.

Last edited by Irish Stout; 11-26-2013 at 10:56 AM..
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Old 11-26-2013, 10:58 AM   #29
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The fumble benching has me a bit baffled too. I get it that he has some issues but its like when a QB throws an INT. You have to have the opportunity to shake it off and get back out there. I think fumbling has to have the same opportunity. Now if you fumble twice....then that's a different story. I think it affects with your mental game and that is critical in a profession such as football. Your confidence will gain the more you carry with no mistakes.....IMO
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Old 11-26-2013, 11:00 AM   #30
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If it is just one back, sure sit him, but more than one you have to hope for the best.
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Old 11-26-2013, 11:00 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Pony Boy View Post
Belichick sent a strong message with the benching of Ridley so JDR felt the need to do the same with Ball. I would normally agree but this was basically playoff type conditions and we needed to go all in.

I also noticed Belichick didn't feel the need to bench Brady after his 2 fumbles or JDR with Manning’s fumbles, that would have went over like a fart in church.
depends on who does the farting. a member of the choir, they get tossed. if it is the minister/ priest/ rabbi its the voice of god.
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Old 11-26-2013, 11:00 AM   #32
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I can see the points you made. My only problem is that this team is in a win now mode, and can't wait for rookies to get up to speed, particularly as they cost us points and, arguably games in the process. Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting they inactivate him or shut him down, but how many times does his fumbling have to bite us before we stop relying on him? Granted, if we're too harsh with him, his confidence may never return, but I don't see sitting him for an entire game--particularly a game like Sunday's--killing his confidence. I'm sure they'll come back to him next game and I think he'll be fine.
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Old 11-26-2013, 11:03 AM   #33
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That is an argument that one could make. I disagree with it though, and here is why:

1. Ball is a rookie. Not an excuse, but a fact that he may not be totally adjusted to the NFL this year. This could be reason to keep him from getting carries, but also gives reason for him to get more carries to learn the game at its pace.

2. Ball has fumbled 3 times this year. If we do a stats breakdown at his carries (75) to fumbles, then it works out to be one fumble per 25 carries, which isn't good. However, 3 fumbles IS NOT multiple times in multiple games. Its 1 fumble in three separate games.

3. The hit that knocked the ball out in the NE game was Fletcher's helmet landing perfectly on top of Ball's forearm, forcing his arm down. Had the hit been any lower or higher, Ball's forearm would likely not have moved. Granted, Ball should have secured the ball with both arms as soon as he saw contact coming.

So #s 1, 2, and 3 aren't necessarily super encouraging, but take them as they are with:

4. The Pats game was his first fumble since week 3.

5. From the start of Week 3 to right before his fumble in week 12, Ball had 54 carries with only 1 fumble.

6. This was fumble #1 in 7 games played.

This shows signs of improvement and development. A dude has only fumbled once in 54 carries and could be a huge reliever/difference maker and is young should get another chance. I can understand the argument against it, and I would be on that boat too, had he fumbled multiple times in any single game. Or if his sample size showed a true pace of 1 fumble per 25 carries (or even up to 40 carries). His pace of fumbling though doesn't appear that bad right now.
ball had like 400 carries in college without a fumble. Thats why I suggest his uncertainty about the play is at the core of his fumbling.
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Old 11-26-2013, 11:04 AM   #34
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All good points above, though Luigi is too over the top on Ball and especially Manning, though it clearly wasn't one of Manning's better games. Pats dropped 8 in coverage and let Knowshon/Ball run wild thinking, rightly it turns out but for the wrong reasons, that making Broncos score more slowly while making a bad night for passing even tougher with tight frequent mugging and rarely called PI from the 7 to 8 men dropping back on nearly every play, would be the key to their victory.

Even still, we win going away had DRC and then Duke and Vickerson all not gone out in short order from end of the half to early in the third quarter and with Duke staying out long enough while Brady put up three TDs .. two of them 'give me' chip shots from the short field turnovers by Ball and Manning.

Duke was very likely a little dingy the rest of the game even after he returned, but even with an inevitable comeback by the Pats in the second half. There is no way Tom lights up the whole secondary so easily as he did with DRC and Harris taking their #1 and #2 receivers.

Instead Harris was the only tried and semi solid DB back there at just the wrong time .. crappy luck ... a situation that either Brady or Manning takes full advantage of when they get such a break.

The 4 turnovers were all costly and any one of which didn't happen and we win, Trindon's muffed punt was particularly huge too as we were in full scoring momentum mode just before the half and had he just called a fair catch and caught the damn thing he was at the 43 yard line and we only had to go 20 yards max with the wind at our backs for Prater to drill a FG at least before half, assuming we didn't score a TD... that makes it 27-0 to 31-0 at the half and even if the second half unfolded exactly like it did, we still win in regulation.

The fact is this was still our game to win at the very end. Once JDR/Gase took off the 'run first and second' brakes after we were down a full 7 and Manning opened it up he was spot on with a number of laser darts going into the wind for that 80 yard drive for seven including one of the best TD passes Ive seen in a long time to Tamme.

Its crap that Manning can't play in the cold.... the wind is more of an issue .. but even still he had an off game for two of the four quarters and only neutral in overtime.

The hard part is giving away a game we should have won going away. The best medicine is to open up a can of whoop zzz on KC this weekend and soon this will fade away as a minor blip in the season run.

Last edited by Hulamau; 11-26-2013 at 11:10 AM..
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Old 11-26-2013, 11:04 AM   #35
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I can see the points you made. My only problem is that this team is in a win now mode, and can't wait for rookies to get up to speed, particularly as they cost us points and, arguably games in the process. Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting they inactivate him or shut him down, but how many times does his fumbling have to bite us before we stop relying on him? Granted, if we're too harsh with him, his confidence may never return, but I don't see sitting him for an entire game--particularly a game like Sunday's--killing his confidence. I'm sure they'll come back to him next game and I think he'll be fine.
Well, we'll likely find out this next game. Even if Moreno plays, I have to assume it will be in a much more limited role. I think Ball is the next man up, because he seems to be less in the dog house than Hillman and looks to know his assignments better than Hillman or CJ.
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Old 11-26-2013, 11:07 AM   #36
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Hillman still has small hands, and not the strongest arms. That's not going to change. He is good if you get him outside the edge, but runs up the middle he will still be getting stripped.
Obviously the backup RBs aren't getting enough reps if they don't know the plays.
That is a coaching failure...we are 11 games into the season. This stuff should be down pat.
Or maybe the RBs all take direction from PM on each play. Moreno knows what to do better, but maybe, again, that's cause he is getting nearly all the practice reps.
I agree with the coaching failure here. There is no way CJ should have looked that lost out there. Peyton had to pick him up and move him on one play. I understand not knowing the whole play book at this point but he looked clueless and that is 100 percent coaching.
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Old 11-26-2013, 11:09 AM   #37
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This fumbling issue is just as much on Studesville than it is on Ball and Hillman at this point.

It's an epidemic and they're clearly not prepared/unequipped to properly carry the football.
This is the relationship in question, but it could be either way.

1. Studesville either isn't getting the RB's to raise their upper arm high enough, or
2. The RB's aren't listening to the coach.

In case #1, it's on Studesville, case #2 is a good reason to bench a player.
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Old 11-26-2013, 11:30 AM   #38
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Ball’s last fumble looked like a bad ball placement by Manning to me. In the NE game, pretty much everyone on both sides had issues catching and holding onto the ball.

He needs to clean this up. But I wouldn’t mind giving him one more chance before putting him on the bench. He’s ran really well, and seems to be getting his head wrapped around his role on this offense much better lately.
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Old 11-26-2013, 11:48 AM   #39
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Screw that noise
Turnovers are why we lost....again
We have the best record in the league but somehow are negative in the turnover department; that is a recipe for failure in the postseason

Put his butt on the bench the rest of the year and give Anderson more carries

We need Moreno fresh for the playoffs

Ball can contribue next year or if Anderson and Moreno get hurt
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Old 11-26-2013, 11:51 AM   #40
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Wonder how Earnest Byners career might have been had he been benched a couple times as a young RB. I bet the dude still has nightmares.
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Old 11-26-2013, 11:57 AM   #41
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Ball’s last fumble looked like a bad ball placement by Manning to me.
I think you mean Anderson here, right?
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Old 11-26-2013, 11:59 AM   #42
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Ball’s last fumble looked like a bad ball placement by Manning to me. In the NE game, pretty much everyone on both sides had issues catching and holding onto the ball.

He needs to clean this up. But I wouldn’t mind giving him one more chance before putting him on the bench. He’s ran really well, and seems to be getting his head wrapped around his role on this offense much better lately.
Agreed, there are fumbles between the QB and back and there are the fumbles by a RB with piss poor ball security and we had both.

I'm sure KC is looking at film on the technique used to strip the football from Ball, they have plenty of film to look at.
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Old 11-26-2013, 12:00 PM   #43
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I think you mean Anderson here, right?
No I meant Ball's last fumble against KC on the poor exchange, and then this fumble in NE I wasn't holding against him as much due to the cold seemed to give everyone on both teams butter fingers.

Sorry it wasn't written very clearly.
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Old 11-26-2013, 12:01 PM   #44
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The few bursts I've seen from Ball in the last several games have been really encouraging. You absolutely cannot give up fumbles, but I agree that pulling any good RB after one fumble is not the best way to instill confidence. I think you maybe pull them from a series, have a chat about holding the rock, give a little encouragement, then send them back out there. If they fumble twice in a game, then you've got a serious problem.
This.

I tend make the player stand right next to me "in the doghouse" and gauge where he's at emotionally and mentally. If all is well, then send him in on the exact situation with some "now go kick some ass.... grrrrrrrrrrr" reinforcement . You got to get them back on the horse. The key is to know when to finally sit them. But it can't just be an emotional reactionary thing.

Players are going to screw up. Unfortunately it's sometimes the best teacher. If you don't handle it the right way, no one learns anything. Then it was all for nothing. That's where you gotta know your players.
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Old 11-26-2013, 12:04 PM   #45
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Running Back: Eddie Lacy, GB (+4.5)

With Aaron Rodgers out, where would this team be without Lacy? He put the team on his back and carried them to an improbable tie that could be crucial come the end of the year, breaking nine tackles in the process.

Honorable Mention: Knowshown Moreno (DEN)
https://www.profootballfocus.com/blo...-of-week-12-2/

What could have been. Sigh.
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Old 11-26-2013, 12:06 PM   #46
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The second time they went to that screen pass was dumb as hell.

Ball must be doing something wrong because his fumbles that have been caused by the defense weren't even major hits.
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Old 11-26-2013, 12:06 PM   #47
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Lacy or Bernard would have been awesome. Even Bell -- because at least he isn't fumbling. I knew Ball would be terrible.

Name the last good RB to come out of Wisconsin?
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Old 11-26-2013, 12:14 PM   #48
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Lacy or Bernard would have been awesome. Even Bell -- because at least he isn't fumbling. I knew Ball would be terrible.

Name the last good RB to come out of Wisconsin?
some lame heisman trophy winner who eats blackberry pie on thanksgiving week-end because he just had the best pro game of his life.
Played for one of those obscure NFL teams in the middle of the country that nobody watches or cares about... great dane or something.
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Old 11-26-2013, 12:17 PM   #49
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some lame heisman trophy winner who eats blackberry pie on thanksgiving week-end because he just had the best pro game of his life.
Played for one of those obscure NFL teams in the middle of the country that nobody watches or cares about... great dane or something.
Ron Dayne and Michael Bennett were awesome in college and stunk in the NFL. I assume Montee will follow the same path. Heck, he is paving it in gold as we speak.
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Old 11-26-2013, 12:23 PM   #50
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With Moreno Dinged and Hillman/Anderson not ready it looks like Ball will get his chance this week. Guess we find out if he can man up.

Weather forecast for Sunday is high of 50, chance of rain 20%. No cold weather excuses for anyone this week.

Man up and beat your man, execute.
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