PowerBack ~ Malcolm Brown ~ Texas LongHorns ~ 5114/224
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: Impressive in all Aspects of the Agility Trinity: Fluidity, Ricochet, and Acceleration.
Field Vision: Impressive. Usually reads the Tactical LandScape correctly and quickly enough. Both Patient and Decisive.
Blocking: Excellent. Tremendous Motor, impressive Field Vision, and effective Combat Skills.
Receiving: Effective. Reliable Hands, effective Timing & Tracking, and good Focus.
But then I Rolled the Tape.
Perception is always susceptible to being dramatically distorted by Context: Level of Competition, Schematics, Strength of Schedule, and of course my complete Ignorance of what a Prospect's Team was trying to do, most of the time.
Prospects can appear far Quicker, Faster, Stronger, and above all Smarter against the right Competition or if their Team's Schematic approach played to their Strengths. Conversely, they can look Slower, Weaker, and much, much Stupider against the wrong Competition or if their Team's approach or Circumstances obviated their Strengths.
Such, I believe, was the case with Malcolm Brown and his horrific Statistics at Texas.
The guy on the Tape doesn't even remotely resemble the Slug I expect to see.
I have always loudly denounced the asinine but nevertheless prevalent Perception that superior HalfBacks tend to make mediocre Offensive Lines look good. That can happen, of course, as the idea is that they're all working as a Team towards the same Goal. But if you actually watch FootBall and understand it, as is clearly not the case with most of the Clowns on TeleVision and the Fools who believe them, it is crystal clear that the Reality is in fact the complete Opposite.
It is the Offensive Lines, far more often, who make the HalfBack look good.
Or, conversely...It is the Lines who make'm look bad.
And that is the crux of my Argument as regards Malcolm Brown.
The LongHorns were in a state of Disruption, Decline, and Disarray for Brown's entire Stay in Texas. And during his abysmal Senior Campaign, the Offensive Line was being rebuilt from Scratch.
All I'm really saying in my long, meandering way is: There is a lot more than meets the eye, here.
My Evaluation of Malcolm Brown is this: He is effective in every Aspect of the Game and impressive in most of'm.
On Runs, Power is his forte, but his Agility and Field Vision are also impressive. He is both Patient in allowing Lanes to develop and decisive in hitting them. He occasionally misreads the Tactical LandScape, but generally reads it both effectively and quickly. He projects as a tremendous Runner between the Tackles, though not outside.
On Passes, he is a solid, reliable Receiver, though not by any means a dynamic one, and he is an excellent Blocker.
This is a guy who can play virtually any Snap for you ~ except 3rd & Long, perhaps ~ and reliably rack up the Yardage that is there and often a few Yards more, consistently hold down the Fort as a Pass Blocker, and be counted on to catch the Ball and pick up Yards on Outlet Passes whenever you need'm to. I don't believe in Lead Backs ~ which is EarthSpeak for Driving HalfBacks into Premature Early Retirement ~ but if I did, Malcolm Brown would be near the top of my list.
And yes: That's about the last thing I thought I'd be writing when I sat down to research this guy!!
He's incredibly TrustWorthy in all Aspects of this Game ~ Running, Blocking, Receiving ~ and he's also the kind of HalfBack with whom you could gradually bludgeon a Defense into Submission, late in a Game.
But don't get me wrong: He lacks Long Speed, but once this guy gets rolling, he could rack up some serious Yardage.
And oh yes: He seems to've given up that whole "Fumbling" thing: 1 Fumble in 619 Touches. Good God.
I did not expect to say this about a 4 Star Recruit...But Malcolm Brown is a Deep Sleeper, Ladies & Laddies.
Whether or not he ever gets a legitimate Chance to prove it, though...Your guess is as good as mine!!
Grateful Thanks, as always, for the crucial Work done by the folks at Draft BreakDown!!
This is not is even remotely a Complaint, mind you, but rather a Warning: Caveat Emptor!!