SpeedBack ~ Jeremy Langford ~ Michigan State Spartans ~ 5115/208
I've come to believe that any HalfBack that doesn't bring a Passing Game element to the BattleField is...incomplete.
Hence, the term "FlexBack" ~ although quite cool, I believe!! ~ short-circuits the Evaluation Process.
As to how I break them down, I expect that the terms are pretty self-explanatory:
PowerBacks ~ HalfBacks who do their best Work between the Tackles..
SpeedBacks ~ HalfBacks who do their best Work outside the Tackles.
The PowerBack prototype would be about 5115/220 or so.
The SpeedBack prototype would be about 5010/200 or so.
Those are gross oversimplifications, of course, and many HalfBacks will manifest Attributes of both styles. Indeed, Power and Speed ~ better yet: Agility ~ are crucial to the Success of either kind of HalfBack. But I believe that it advances the discussion and better serves my Fellow FootBall Fanatics if I make an effort to distinguish between types.
This is how I break things down, when evaluating all HalfBacks:
Power: Above all: Core Power. Upper body Power is important, but lower body Power, from the Knees to the Ribs, is absolutely crucial. An HalfBack's Capacity to break Tackles is more about Core Power than anything else.
Agility: Launch Velocity, Fluidity, Acceleration, and Ricochet. Long Speed is all well and good, but at the end of the day, it is Gravy. What wins Championships is Moving The Chains. And Moving The Chains is accomplished far more consistently by the guys who exhibit the Agility ~ and the Focus ~ to consistently pick up 5 and sometimes 10 Yards at a time.
Processing Speed: Diagnostic Velocity. Field Vision. That ethereal Capacity to Rapidly Read & React to the Rapidly Roiling & Boiling Tactical LandScape...and to foresee and envision Lanes developing before they actually do.
Blocking: Having an HalfBack who doesn't Block effectively is like having 10 Men on the Field of Battle. Most HalfBacks just coming out'f College are mediocre Blockers, but this is a crucial Aspect of the Game that they'll need to master.
Receiving: Whether he be a PowerBack or a SpeedBack, an HalfBack that can effectively present a genuine Threat in the Passing Game dramatically increases his Team's Options on any given Play. The more dynamic the Threat, the more valuable to'is Team on the Field of Battle, whether he's just slipping out'f the BackField or splitting out Wide.
Broken down into SubCategories, it'd go something like this:
* Core Power is most of it. Tyrannosaurus Rex would've made an Hell of an HalfBack.
* Torso Power doesn't hurt, though.
* Launch Velocity
* Long Speed
* That ethereal Capacity to foresee and envision Lanes developing before they actually do.
* Combat Skills
* Processing Speed
* Catch Point Capacity
Agility: Adequate. His Launch Velocity, his Ricochet, and his Acceleration are moderate, though his Fluidity is impressive.
Field Vision: Competitive. Impressive Processing Speed, but mediocre Patience. If he develops, here, he could become Impressive, but he flashes exceptional Diagnostic Velocity. Right now, he short-circuits too many Runs.
Blocking: Impressive. Superb Core Power, adept Combat Skills, and good, consistent Effort.
Receiving: Superb. Good Hands, good Timing, good Transition. Moderate Splash Factor.
I personally consider it foolish to have less than a minimum of 3 HalfBacks, and preferably 4, who can step up and present a respectable Threat in both the Running and Passing Games. To roster an HalfBack who can't do both is an egregious waste of Space. HalfBacks are natural Dual Threat Hybrids, and that's why I consider them crucial to Success.
A guy like Langford, therefore, is an invaluable element of Depth, in my view.
Grateful Thanks, as always, for the crucial Work done by the folks at Draft BreakDown!!
In EarthSpeak: Virtually all of my opinions are inferred.
I'm trying to discern Power, Agility, Combat Skills, and far more abstract, esoteric Concepts such as Processing Speed and Motor, and I'm trying to do so based almost entirely on a fascinating fusion of Tape, Combine Numbers, and Pro Days, while trying to attenuate my findings based on Allowances for Competition Level, Scheme, Concept, Context, and, above all: Trajectory!! None of this is even remotely a Complaint, mind you, but rather a Warning!! Caveat Emptor!!