Interesting Times Ahead
Join Date: Apr 2006
Players on the decline
Didn't see this posted. This was taken from theganggreen.com so I don't have a link where it officially came from.
Players on the decline
Ten veterans whose production will continue to slide
Posted: Thursday June 14, 2007 12:22PM;
Updated: Thursday June 14, 2007 5:00PM
TRENT GREEN, QB, MIAMI
After an impressive four-year run that included three consecutive 4,000-yard seasons, the two-time Pro Bowler struggled when he came back from a major head injury last season. He just didn't seem to have the same rhythm and timing, and his indecisiveness in the pocket resulted in several poor throws and interceptions.
Now in Miami and surrounded by a weaker offensive cast, he may not have enough weapons to return to the elite level he was at a few years ago.
JEREMIAH TROTTER, LB, PHILADELPHIA
The heart and soul of the Eagles defense has shown significant signs of slowing down. Despite leading the team in tackles last season, Trotter has clearly lost some of the speed and quickness that allowed him to be a disruptive force in the middle. His inability to avoid blockers and slip through trash weakened the Eagles' run defense, and his limited athleticism makes him a liability on passing downs.
SAMARI ROLLE, CB, BALTIMORE
After being one of the game's top corners, Rolle's cover skills suddenly disappeared last season. Teams aggressively went after him and had success on double moves and vertical routes. Always known as an aggressive intermediate defender, he lacked the recovery speed to prevent the big play.
JAMAL LEWIS, RB, CLEVELAND
After rushing for over 2,000 yards in 2003, Lewis hasn't been nearly as productive. Injuries have robbed him of the burst and elusiveness that made him a special player for the Ravens. The Browns are hoping he can bolster their weak running game, but he has not shown anything in the past two seasons to justify that idea.
KABEER GBAJA-BIAMILA, DE, GREEN BAY
Gbaja-Biamila has struggled to regain the form that propelled him into four consecutive double-digit sack years between 2001 and 2004. Slightly undersized, he used his speed and relentless motor to get to the quarterback. But offensive tackles have started to catch up to his quickness. As a result, his sack totals have decreased the past two seasons.
ROD SMITH, WR, DENVER
Established as the Broncos "go to guy" for years, Smith's skills and production fell off last season. No longer possessing exceptional speed, he struggled getting away from quality corners and had to rely on the schematic creativity of Mike Shanahan to find opportunities. His yards per catch average fell by four yards from the previous season only one of his 52 receptions gained over 20 yards. Coming off a serious hip surgery, Smith may be little more than a third or fourth option in the Broncos' offense.
SHAWN SPRINGS, CB, WASHINGTON
A physically gifted player who never quite played up to his athleticism, Springs surprised many with his bounce-back performance in his first season in Washington. But that performance has been followed by two consecutive sub-par years. With his injury history and inconsistent confidence, Springs may never regain his status as an elite cover corner.
MARCUS POLLARD, TE, SEATTLE
Despite being signed to fill an important need in the Seahawks offense, Pollard no longer possesses the speed to be a threat over the middle. One of the first basketball players to make the conversion to tight end in recent history, Pollard was a productive pass catcher for the Colts and Lions. But last season, he could not get open consistently and his production fell to career lows. With 12 receptions and only 100 yards, Pollard did not rank in the top 50 for tight ends in either category. He will get plenty of opportunities in the Seahawks' offense, but he lacks the quickness to deliver.
SIMEON RICE, DE, TAMPA BAY
In 2006 Rice failed to record double-digit sacks for the first time in the past six years. Though his season was marred by injury, his two sacks in the first eight games were indicative of slipping skills. He can't dominate tackles consistently off the edge anymore. Never noted for his run-stuffing ability, he does not offer a lot if he is unable to get to the passer. The Bucs know this and took Gaines Adams with the No. 4 overall pick in the draft as an insurance policy against Rice's sudden decline.
FLOZELL ADAMS, OT, DALLAS
Despite earning his third Pro Bowl nomination in 2006, Adams fell below his previous playing level. Still recovering from a torn ACL, he lacked the quickness and agility to handle speed rushers. Considering Adams massive size, it's not surprising he struggled with finesse rushers, but in the past he did a better job of overwhelming them with his power.