Disclaimers TL;DR For YOLO Crowd:
1.) The time listed in front of each play is the YouTube time so you can scrub to that point of the video.
2.) Any animated gifs or clips posted are done to show a great super-duper play or a concerning move/effort/outcome. All players have warts. Except Mike Vick who reportedly has more than just warts.
3.) I am an avowed Teddy Guy. As anyone reads the following review, you are going to find shades of bias. I have the mic, though, and the disclaimers are my attempt to forewarn you that I lean toward Teddy over Clowney. If you have problems with that right now, and you don't want to read the middle...skip to the end and read the final closing statements and be glad you didn't get red-assed because of my play-by-play commentary. It's really that easy.
4.) This critique is my own viewpoints, but at least it is the full set of defensive snaps by South Carolina and not a cut up draft breakdown video. Make your own opinions, just please start your post with the subject area listing the YouTube mark of the video--not the actual game time on the game clock--then copy and paste my analysis of that play into the body area of your post, wrap it in the quotes mark function to denote my authorship, and then follow with your own critique or rebuttal or confirmation of my viewpoint. If everyone follows that pattern, it will make it easy to follow for all of us.
5.) I am not a guru. I have never claimed to be. I might use wrong terms, and I am not going to break down every single protection scheme and O and D alignment. I am only announcing the formation in regards to the QB and the presence or absence of RBs and how many and where they are, later on I give some WR and TE alignments because I feel it mattered on those plays--This gives you a visual of what Clowney is facing each snap. For brevity, I am giving you as much as I think explains the play and its outcomes NOT a micro-second breakdown and analysis on body language or hand positioning. I leave that to the pros or serious hobbyists who are probably as good as the pros.
Link To The YouTube Video Is Here. Or watch it embedded below:
1st Series For 'Cocks...
South Carolina kicks to Arkansas to open the game.
0:09 ... Forgot to list formation, doesn't matter. QB rolls away from Clowney who is lined up at RDE over the LT. Clowney sprints with obviously great straight line speed. 9-yard pass too low, and it falls incomplete just shy of first down marker on 1st down and 10. Clowney's first snap is a great one. If there are injury problems going into this game, I guess the trainers did amazing tape work before the game. Or shots.
0:20 ... Shotgun formation, Clowney is obviously the RDE on the LT and stunts completely around to the LDE/RT side but as he reaches the QB the pass is thrown and completed for a catch-and-run of about 11 yards. Recap: A great burst on Clowney's 2nd snap there and looks phenomenal in the sense that he went from LT to RT and was in the QB's face at the time of the throw. See clip below:
0:39 ... I-Formation, handoff to Dennis Johnson who goes between C and RG. Clowney lined up on LT and does a good swim move over the LT's outside shoulder, and then has to change directions to adjust back to pursuing the rushing play over RG. The running play bogs down quickly and Clowney comes in to add more tackling to the pile. He provides 100% effort here even though he was out of the play by virtue of his first move which might have been the DC's call there. IDFK, I'm not a DC guru.
0:46 ... I-Formation with QB under C and Clowney again lined up on the LT. Running play is a toss/sweep to the RT edge away from Clowney, and this is the first sign of Clowney struggling to keep intensity on a play. Four plays in and he looked tired or indifferent there. Some will say he was doing backside contain, but it was a pretty casual backside contain if it was. Slows down to a jog very early, actually, and whereas in the previous play he emphatically runs into the pile to help...one play later he is not at that same level of effort. I will say that he did go all-out in the previous three plays and did cover a lot of ground. Teddy Guys say "Hmmm..." and Clowney guys say "It's not an issue."
0:56 ... Shotgun, 2 backs with 1 of those RBs motioning to the LOS and then sliding down left side of OL pre-snap. Clowney tries a juke move at the snap, but the LT doesn't buy it and stays put...then the LT pushes the shoulder of Clowney and keeps Clowney moving upfield instead of allowing Clowney to get around his outside shoulder. QB completes the pass with no pressure at all, first down for Arkansas. So far, Arkansas is having no trouble moving the ball with Clowney being in on every snap thus far. They're currently just shy of midfield in only five plays. Clip below:
1:07 ... Shotgun, 1 RB, and Clowney beats the two OL easily (really nice move!) and was held by a last defender who tackled him to the ground. Refs see it, everybody sees it, and it's backing the Razorbacks up 10 yards. Clip Below:
1:32 ... Shotgun, 1 RB, Clowney beats the LT with an inside swim move but runs into the LG who blocks him well. Minimal gain to the right side for Arkansas. The Hogs are bogging down. It will be 2nd and 21 now.
1:41 ... QB under C, 1 RB deep, run play to the right side gains 3 yards. Clowney was blocked well and stayed home well.
1:47 ... Shotgun, 1 RB. Attempts another swim move (seems to be the go-to move thus far) but stuffed by the LT...however, Clowney sheds that stuff very well and ends up staring down the LG who was expecting to be an Alamo on that play. Pass is a huge catch and YAC by the WR all the way to the 20, but illegal formation brings it back.
2:05 ... Shotgun, 1 RB. Clowney fakes what looked like an inside stunt but then swim moves between the LT and LG who double team him. Impressively he still gets through, is a bit too upfield but this makes the QB pull it down and run for only 2 yards. Arkansas punts, and South Carolina goes on to score a TD afterward. 7-0 South Carolina with 5:47 left to play in the 1st.
1st Series Conclusion: Impressive first three snaps, the fourth snap was bad but he did just come off three snaps of going all out and covering lots of ground. The remaining snaps were a mix of spectacular efforts but also times where he was stalemated via lack of his swim move working or the LT and LG scheming well against him. I don't know what constitutes a true double team in football debate, but to me there's largely only FOUR Gamecocks defensive linemen rushing on most of the plays and there's five OL...so how is it a double team if the RDT takes on the C and it leaves Clowney to face a LT and a LG either at the snap or even into the play itself? Help me, I am not Brett Kollmann.
Arkansas had an OL holding call that was a result of one of Clowney's spectacular plays, but they moved the ball on a big catch-and-run that went to the 20 but was called back for illegal formation and doomed the possession. Definitely a solid series for Clowney. I'll give it an A (95).
2nd Series For 'Cocks...
South Carolina, up 7-0, short kickoff and it's a return to the Arkansas 42.
2:26 ... Pistol with a RB2 to the QB's right. Pre-snap, Clowney resets by staying in 3-point stance and shuffling to his left so that he's splitting the TE and LT. At snap, TE never touches Clowney, choosing to run a pass route immediately out of the snap. LT is late off the snap, Clowney is upfield in a hurry and stays on the outside shoulder of the LT and technically had gotten the best of him had the QB been setting up for a longer developing pass play. Call me picky, but I would have wanted him to have moved inside toward the flow of that play instead of pushing upfield so much (It's a little Mario William'ish to me). It's not the end of the world, just wondering why the swim move or straight line approach seems to be his main moves against what I see as a really bad LT. The clip of this play is below:
2:38 ... Pistol again, a RB2 to the left of the QB and the deep RB motions out to become a WR to the left side. Read-Option play by Tyler Wilson the QB who unwisely chooses to keep the ball. The straight line speed and size/length of Clowney is too much and the QB goes down. Great play. He hesitated enough by flinching toward that RB2, to freeze the QB, then he stutter steps and makes the play. He avoided having to change directions, and in that play shows good judgment. Clip below:
3:05 ... Shotgun, RB1 to his right. TE and LT double-team Clowney, but the TE disengages almost a split second into the brief chip (Sponsored by Doritos and Johnny Manziel) and is into his route. The LT bests Clowney on this play by pushing him laterally toward the C and completely into the ground by sustaining the block the whole way. This is not a 100% pancake block like I said in the argument thread with another BRB member, but it's still a +1 for the LT, IMO. EDIT: After re-re-re-reading this and making the animated .gif I've noticed #7 got back to his feet and pursued the play and helped finalize the tackle. Decent job by Clowney. Clip below:
South Carolina can't manage anything over the course of about 3 minutes of their possession and S.C. has to punt back to the Hogs who fair catch at their own 31. There's 36 seconds left in the 1st quarter. Score still 7-0 in favor of the 'Cocks.
2nd Series Conclusion: I think he should get an A here because other than the read-option tackle on the QB, there was solid but not all-world play happening. NOTE: There were signs with the next two plays of that 2nd series that he is human after all.
3rd Series For 'Cocks...
3:25 ... Under C, RB1 deep. A TE in a 3-point stance just to the left of the LT and perhaps an HB or TE2 to the left side and behind the TE1, Clowney is standing up late into the QB count and barely gets into the 3-point stance in time for the snap (Is he tired? Or adjusting to the three blockers in front of him? I dunno.). That HB/TE motions to the right side of the OL, leaving Clowney to the LT and TE who royally screws up at the snap, the LT barely recovers enough to even put a hand on Clowney who swims inside easily, and so Clowney is into the backfield and bearing down on the QB quickly. QB chooses the shallow route and gets the ball away, but Clowney did his part to impact the play. The pattern on each series is a fast start and emphatic play by Clowney. And he got a 15-yard roughing the passer on this play, too, but it was awkward because he did bump him late after the throw but it wasn't a huge hit or anything. Ticky tack call.
SIDENOTE: Every series seems to feature the first play being a decisive, emphatic play by Clowney.
3:51 ... QB under C, running play by Dennis Johnson and Clowney gets tugged on about the chest level of his jersey right at the snap, heh, but then he spins around away from the runner as if to look at the sideline ref for the holding call. The LT got away with one there. He's outmatched and I wonder if he's playing in the NFL or stayed at Arkansas for 2013. Google it and let us know /yawn.
(Start of 2nd quarter) 3:56 ... FYI: Switched field direction, so Clowney is now at bottom of the screen. Shotgun RB to the right. The Clowney side TE blows off the LOS at snap and is into his route, Clowney engages the LT a bit, tries to duck inside but the LG isn't involved for long due to a nicely called blitz beating 10-yard pass play. The LT seems to have grabbed and tugged/hooked/shoved Clowney a bit as the ball was in the air. This is the sort of thing guys like Brady, Luck, Manning, Rodgers, Brees, the good QBs are going to do against aggressive upfield pass rushers. Ask Wade Phillips about it. Clowney isn't pursuing this play with the same fervor as before, and doesn't on the next play either. Clip below:
4:04 ... Uh oh, I see something very familiar...Football IQ Alert! Pistol with a RB2 to the QB's left and the deep RB1 motions out as a WR, seems like I have seen this play before hmmm....oh yeah! it's the exact same formation and motion at the 2:38 mark where the QB kept the ball and Clowney makes the good read and big TFL on the QB. Clowney makes a hard stab step at the snap to freeze the QB, but the Hogs OC and/or QB figure that on this one they'll let the RB get the ball. This is where starting/stopping and changing direction seem to be a challenge for Clowney. The RB actually gets tangled up deep in his own backfield when he gets the ball, so Clowney has a chance to really commit to an angle and go get the RB there, but he doesn't choose decisively on this play. Clip Below:
Yes, he doesn't overreact and go all-out upfield but he's also playing more contain than I think he should here...he then jogs into the scrum where the RB is now a few yards past the LOS well into the LB level of the play, and frankly Clowney sort of looks uninterested or thinks he played contain and those dirty bastards ran away from him AGAIN! I want to see more effort there. Interior rushing plays are not his bag. Plausible explanation: He doesn't want to risk a nasty leg injury by getting tangled up in a pile. But...he jumped into the pile on earlier plays, albeit after the play was stopped and the pile stopped too.
4:16 ... Shotgun and RB to the right. Clowney attempts a big stunt toward the C, but the LT and LG have separate blocks (and it was not a simultaneous double-team, ok?!?!?) that nullify Clowney. Stymied. Doesn't matter because the ball is in and out of the hands of the QB quickly for a huge pitch-and-catch-and-YAC down to about the 14 yard line. Cracks are emerging or Hogs are getting lucky depending on if you are Team Teddy or Team Clowney. It's been a good possession for Arkansas here, no debating it. Swearinger ran down the WR and saved the TD after the CB whiffed on the tackle way upfield. GO SWAGG!
4:25 ... QB under C with offset I-Formation of RB1 and RB2. 1 WR wide right and everyone else on the LOS. Those dirty bastards ran away from Clowney again, and he doesn't do anything because he can't do anything because the entire play fled to the right side of the OL and not even JJ Watt would have gotten there from Clowney's position. Scheme against Clowney? Yes. Success by the Arkansas plan? Yes. This is obviously where the Team Clowney crowd thinks a defense-heavy draft of Clowney and some mix of LB and NT (or free agency acquisition of a NT) would make it impossible for offenses to do this on us. Maybe so, maybe no. I'm just saying that that's a core discussion point. K? K.
4:36 ... Same formation but the WR1 is wide left now. This is where Arkansas' OC is, IMO, playing head games with the S.C. defense. In that pistol formation at 2:38, QB keeps the ball and is wrecked by Clowney...but the next time, the Hogs hand it to the RB and get positive yards off it as Clowney stays home...and now we have back-to-back plays of virtually the same 1 WR formation but the WR1 is flipped and so I think S.C. defenders are thinking another run around the edge of the OL...but instead it's a play over the C for 4 yards on 2nd and 5 and almost a 1st and goal. Clowney was first touched by the TE who quickly released and then the LT blocked him off of that (no simultaneous double team!), and Clowney was a complete non-factor on this play. In fact, it's like the Hogs have figured out that S.C. defenders are easily crossed up by running same formation but different plays out of it.
Clowney is probably understandably unhappy, but this is life. Could Crennel & Co. be better for Clowney? Yeah, but Clowney has to be the guy on the field carrying out the marching orders and staying disciplined on each play. The interviews and background research O'Brien will compile on all players will help them decide on those things like that. To me, the football IQ is going to be a watershed moment one way or another here.
4:46 ... 3rd and 1, I-Formation and WR1 split wide left. The Hogs are forgoing the earlier WR4 and WR5 sets and just figuring they will try to mix up the S.C. defense by making them outguess themselves on each play out of this formation. Clowney pushes the blocker backward like he's a blocking sled on ice! HOLY COW! impressive. Run play goes over RG, and to me it looks like Clowney was determined to just get his hands on his man and bulldoze him to burn off some pent up frustration because it was sort of a WTH? idea to me. How much more are going to move your man upfield when the play is not only past you early but it's moving on downfield without you AND you continue to engage and act like it's a practice drill in 2-a-days? Really big head scratcher for me. No attempt made to move inside. I guess the S.C. DC has a special secret play where Clowney just goes berserk on the blocker and ignores the actual pursuit of the ball carrier? Honestly, could Brett or someone tell me what this was and why? Clip below:
Oh well, Dennis Johnson does what Dennis Johnson does (or least what he did in the preseason for the Texans) by coughing up the ball on the failed 3rd and 1 run. In fairness, he was a practical gem for us when he came on in late 2013 reg season. Razorbacks hold the 'Cocks (heh) and it's a punt from inside S.C. EZ back to the Hogs. Ball is at the 50.
3rd Defensive Series Conclusion: I give Clowney a B (80). And I think that's fair. His grade from me gets lower as the game wears on. How will the 4th defensive series look???
4th Series For 'Cocks...
OK, so I know this is honestly a time where Gary Kubiak and Some Texans QB probably royally effs up the golden stop by the Texans defense and now JJ Watt and the defense come back out after only having three plays to rest AND the opposing offense is at the freaking 50 already because field position stuff is happening. Sigh. I am aware of what Clowney is walking into here. It sort of really does suck. Right, Texans fans? Right.
5:17 ... Clowney gone, not on the field. Pistol and 3 WRs with a TE beside the LT (the TE gets into his route right at the snap, so there's not a double team there. The double team thing, IMO, is overblown at least in this game). I can't find Clowney. Someone else is at RDE and I cannot tell if Clowney is playing LDE or not. QB completes a great passing play of 30+ yards in the air all the way to the S.C. 24. Rewinding it 5 times, and I cannot see #7 out there anywhere. Hurt or resting or in a hyperbaric chamber sent to him by McNair??? New set of downs for the Razorbacks.
5:28 ... Clowney off the field for this fresh first down play. Off-set I-formation and again Clowney is out of the game. S.C. defense stuffs the running play for a loss.
5:34 ... Clowney is back on the field now after two snaps of rest. Shotgun and 5 WRs on 2nd and 13 after the 3-yard loss on 1st down. Clowney is back at RDE. He is slowing down as the game wears on, and even though the LG is setting up to assist the LT...it feels and looks like the LT has handled Clowney enough o his own. Clowney still motors around the edge but it's not with the same authority as before. Easy pitch-and-catch-and-YAC all the way to the 6. Ouch. Clip below:
5:55 ... Clowney gone again. 1st and goal at 6 with 8:33 in the half. The old off-set I-formation again with WR 1 wide right. Did Clowney get nicked up on that play where he bull-rushed the LT and didn't let go? Is he in poor condition?This is 2012, his good year. Hmmm...
6:06 ... Clowney gone again. 2nd and goal. Alright, maybe they wanted to put different personnel on the DL and/or rest Clowney too or something. I see a 4-man front for the 'Cocks and lots of heavy nickel or dime or whatever coin it is. It's the Susan B. Anthony defense maybe.
6:12 ... Clowney back on the field. 3rd and goal at the 6 yard line. Shotgun RB1 to the right and 3 WRs. It seems to me that he is now so well-rested he almost jumps off-sides in anticipation of getting back at it... and so much so that he beats the LT like he did way back earlier in the game, an easy swim move to the inside and he gets to the QB but the QB releases and finds a WR for a TD. FYI: Clowney lowers his head and launches into the upper chest area of the QB on that play. Would have been a flag in the NFL, IMO, not because he made contact with the QB's head but because in real-time it looks like Clowney did when he really didn't upon multiple reviews. Clip Below:
'Cocks answer with their second TD and make it 14-10 in their favor. Kick off into the EZ and comes out to the 20.
4th Defensive Series Conclusion: I guess an E or the effort he gave on two of the six plays he was in on. I mean really, he looks great on the first snap of each series, it seems, but then gets slower and in my eyes becomes less of an impact as the opponent's possession wears on, and he was a non-factor in this series. It's a huge concern to me, especially since this was his best season in 2012. The claims that he has to be pushed and constantly challenged to stay focused, in shape and conditioned properly or whatever it is that's going on, it's maybe sort of being confirmed here. And didn't he end up safety'ing up in the next season, 2013, because he was wanting to make it to the draft or he was being doubled/avoided? This is the guy you want to spend the 1.1 upon and therefore find a QB later on or get by with what we have and shoot for one in 2015?
5th Series For 'Cocks...
How do I put this nicely...I won't even post the time anymore. Clowney does nothing, he casually gets out of his stance on 1st down and resembles those times when Mario sort of daydreamed about drag racing his cars. McNair wasn't happy then, and I don't think he would be happy with Mario version 1.2 here either. Just my hunch.
You can all watch the remaining plays of this Arkansas possession and watch him. I'll just summarize in freestyle mode.
Next play, it's more of the same. I know that the Hogs are going to throw it on every down, but Clowney has to find a way to keep giving an honest effort each play. It's beginning to have the appearance that he takes off plays when the conditions are not ripe for his taking. Not a good trait to have, I would assume, in an O'Brien coached team. But maybe that's my Team Teddy bias talking. I'm not opposed to that being the case here. You can decide.
Clowney is gone again, off the field. It was really tough circumstances, though, because the S.C. defense had to run down the field after two fairly good passing plays by the Hogs on back to back plays. That sort of situation dooms even the best of the best.
Much Needed Sidenote: I Google'd it and yeah there's this chatter that he was maybe questionable for this game to begin with and possibly lingering injuries, etc. What I want to know is why does he look like a One Man Gang early in this game, and basically on the first few snaps of every possession (except getting close to the end of the first half)? Is there a machine on the sideline that repairs his injuries and then the next few plays somehow begin to undo the healing and he needs more wünder machine treatment, but I guess it broke down completely or was out of blue crystals when he was absent for 4 of the 6 plays where the Hogs scored the TD? I mean, I don't even know.
My very amateur guess based on Swearinger, McNair, and even Spurrier's subtle comments, is that he has a conditioning and/or motivation issue. I want to re-state again that, to me, this first half looks like a situation that if he can't get his way with the OL or QB he's sort of tuning out or something. Old Dirty Bastard Syndrome where offenses are being unfair or the plays are gonna' be too quick for him to make an honest impact anyways, so what the heck does it matter.
1st and goal he flows pretty well down the line as he pursues the running play that those dirty bastards once again have run away from him. Nothing to write home about, though.
2nd and goal, he has some burst that has been missing for about 5 minutes or more.
7:26 ... 3rd and Goal and he isn't a factor here either as the QB gets rid of the ball quickly, though the LT neatly and discreetly tugs him at the last second in a quick tug & release action. But it doesn't matter, Clowney wasn't getting anywhere on his own anyways. Clip:
Whatever Series This Is Conclusion: I think a B- and I graded on a generous curve I will regret later. At this point I'm just trying to get to the car and get out of here. Either Clowney had BAD BAD BAD injuries that prevented him from doing any cardio or real conditioning leading up this game, such as hitting the stationary bike or some other low resistance conditioning work, or perhaps Clowney has issues on weeklong prep and motivation for being at the top of his game. He looks good when he's rested. Or if he can go get injury treatment a few plays toward the end of the first half. Or if he's re-taped by the trainers every other series. See what I'm driving at?
1st Half Conclusion:
I give him an overall B because when he is on, he is on. He didn't do enough to warrant a full A, and he didn't perform badly enough to get anything below a B either. That's my amateur ranking of this game. The notion that he is dominating is half-true. He's dominating when he wants to AND if he's rested or I suppose conditioned to withstand the lack of rest he's going to get in the NFL as a 1.1 pick if that happens. We cut a Pro Bowl LB named DeMeco Ryans because of salary and not being an every-down player--but DeMeco's every-snap motor was never in question--so that makes me wonder what the Texans think if they see Clowney in and out of lots of plays on lots of possessions, as well as the somewhat spaced-out effort from time to time.
And again, in fairness to Clowney, many will say he was hurt prior to the game, and yes when Googling it you can see that there was chatter from many angles that said he was questionable for that game etc. Fine. I keep going back to the problems with that assertion and how he looks spectacular when rested but fades as possessions drag on. If the injuries caused him to not be able to stay in shape during the week, then I sort of expected the S.C. strength and conditioning staff would find some way to do something to keep him from reaching a point where he's out of the picture four out of six plays in a crucial series before the half is even over.
The Second Half...
Three straight plays of nothing much with Swearinger making a Pick 6 on the third play.
Clowney's fourth play of the 2nd half is a really nice one. Stays home and then pursues and sticks with the play, makes a great tackle on the carrier for a 2-yard loss.
5th play he tries to get the edge on the LT but can't get it done.
6th play he runs into a simultaneous double team with the LT and LG who win.
Next two plays, snaps #7 and #8 are nothing much to write home about.
Seems to be off the field on snap #9 of the second half.
Off the field yet again on snap #10.
Off the field again for snap #11.
Off the field again for snap #12.
Off the field again for snap #13.
Returns for snap #14 but gets busted up badly, bounced around and never even breaks the LOS.
Razorbacks make a FG. It was already 38-10 before this FG, so yeah...mayyyyybe he was off the field for precautionary reasons in a blowout, but why wouldn't they just put him on the bench or on the bike on the sidelines and call it a day? i dunno. I wasn't coaching there that day, so I don't know.
Snap 15 he is in full Amobi Okoye mode now. Playing patty cake with the LT and LG, pretty much dancing in one spot. He's checked out and in preservation mode or Don't Give A Shit Mode or whatnot.
Has three consecutive great snaps in a row, especially that third one with pursuit and tackle and forced fumble but the QB recovers the ball. OK, this is looking up.
Has a couple more snaps of OK play, but the Razorbacks OL does a nice job of finding a way to limit him here.
Off the field again.
Off the field again.
Off the field again.
Blow out and game is practically over.
Is It Fair To Even Mention Watt and Clowney In The Same Sentence Right Now?
When we watch a Texans game, invariably there are multiple possessions by the other team where you're going to hear the announcers say "Annnnd it's JJ Watt with another stop! They'll have to punt now." whether it was a swatted ball on 3rd and whatever, or a knifing tackle through the gap that stops the ball carrier in his tracks short of the sticks, or a Herculean effort by Watt to practically push multiple blockers into one another and into the QB like a Jenga collapse. I think the one pure Jadeveon Clowney JJ Watt'ish moment in that first half was the play where he was held and tackled and it backed up the Razorbacks and ended up being their undoing. Outside of that, I didn't see the havoc unleashed to a point where it was Clowney overtaking the game from time to time. That's just me, though, and I know others disagree.
Unexplored or untapped potential in a critical proving ground situation, such as your final NCAA season to get game film on you and show to NFL teams, in my opinion that's something you don't want hanging like an ominous cloud over you when you're pushing yourself to become the pick at 1.1. And then on the flip side, as the team's decision makers who own the 1.1 pick in a draft, your coach and GM and owner want to feel like that particular guy you take at 1.1 has given you all he could give you, and that the next level coaching and supporting cast in the NFL would take that player to even greater heights.
I maintain that if the rumors about Clowney were to somehow be said about a top-ranked or highly touted QB prospect right now, would you take that QB as your franchise QB? Would you take a guy as your QB at 1.1 who multiple people close to the situation say his work ethic is "OK," (Spurrier) or that the strength and conditioning coach had to stay on him (Swearinger)? If that QB prospect had to come to the sideline while the 2nd string QB took a few snaps, often, or if that touted QB was jogging on some plays or giving up on his WRs too early, would we think "That's OK because he was hurt or he has so much ceiling that a good coach and NFL team will make a difference"?
Why do we tend to want to excuse these red flags when it's one player, yet if it were to be said about another player there would be a different outlook on it? That puzzles me. It's like hearing a knock in your car's engine but the outside of that car is so cool, and it can get from zero to 60 faster than other cars out there, that you gloss over the mysertious new sound happening under the hood because of all the other factors of that prized vehicle.
I wonder if there is enough there for O'Brien to take Clowney at 1.1 and therefore find a QB later on or roll with the ClusterFvck QBs already on our roster? Is there enough with any of the top rated QBs for O'Brien to take a QB at 1.1 and then patchwork the defense with another DT, a NT, and help at LB. Not our call to make, that's for sure. From what I see of this game, Clowney is playing full DE in a 4-3 and I want to know how he'd be used by Crennel. Lots of questions.
Thanks for indulging me on this project. I might have screwed a lot of it up, and I might have made some people mad, but hopefully it's been something by one of us--a BRB'er--that we can look at and discuss more with as much honesty as our biases allow us.