Panthers ~ 6036/228
1 ~ Processing Speed
2 ~ Precision
3 ~ Pocket Presence
4 ~ FirePower
Processing Speed is my measure for a Player's capacity to Rapidly Read & React to the dynamically developing Tactical LandScape. This Capacity is crucial to the success of all 22 Players on the Field, but above all to the QuarterBack. Diagnostic Acuity supports this and is also crucial, but Knowledge without Processing Speed is fatal.
Precision speaks above all to Mechanics: A QuarterBack's consistency with his Stance, his Set Up, and his Delivery. I refer to consistent Accuracy in the Short & Intermediate Zones, where the best Offenses all make their Bread & Butter. In breaking it down, I'm looking at Timing, Placement, and Leading Receivers to DayLight.
Pocket Presence is all about how the QuarterBack responds to Pressure. Precision against mediocre Defenses or within simple Schemes matters not, if a QuarterBack mentally locks up under genuine Pressure against the better Defenses in The Only Games That Really Matter. Frankly, I'm not entirely sure that I even need this Category, because I strongly suspect that how a QuarterBack handles Pressure is far less about Testicular Fortitude than it is about Processing Speed.
FirePower is another Category that I am ambivalent about including, for it is simply DownField Precision. Furthermore, I don't consider it anywhere near as Short & Intermediate Precision, because DownField Precision makes for lovely HighLight Footage, but it's Short & Intermediate Precision that Moves The Chains and wins Championships.
Please note, if you will: I list FirePower last of the 4 Attributes I value most...and don't list 40 Speed at all.
Beyond this point, my Fellow FootBall Fanatics, you will find a lengthy Dissertation about QuarterBacks. Should you wish to take a look, I will of course be honored. But should you wish to spare yourself, the actual Scouting Report is far below!!
Yon Rambling Dissertation
Arm Strength is vastly overrated, and scrambling ability, while exciting, is ultimately worse than useless, because History makes it clear that noteworthy Scramblers, over the years ~ and indeed, the same could be said about the thousands of QuarterBacks who've failed despite a great Arm ~ ultimately fail to focus all their energy on QuarterBacking.
Mobility, alike, is vastly overrated. Steve Young is the only Scrambler who ever won a Super Bowl, and he won it because he was on a great team, because Barry Switzer can't coach at the NFL level or the CowBoys would've rolled the Miners again in 1994, and because he eased up on the scrambling. He became a QuarterBack.
Mind you: I'd hardly suggest that Arm Strength isn't nice to have...But the temptation to let'er rip ~ and to relying on that Capacity ~ can have a crippling effect on developing those skills that most matter, deep in the Heart of Winter.
And often they have been.
Countless times, in fact.
And don't get me started on Scrambling.
Processing Speed and an insatiable Work Ethic, producing that relentless Devotion to mastering every possible Aspect of the Job ~ the Aspects I've listed above ~ and Balls are what ultimately win Championships.
It's not as easy as simply counting the Rings, because Fortune & Circumstance play a large part in the Fates of Men.
And it sure as Hell isn't racking up gaudy Statistic during the regular Season. It's the Capacity and the Will to do the thousands of little things that put one's team in the best position to win, day in and day out ~ and doing them well ~ that is the ultimate measure of any QuarterBack, albeit one ~ ironically ~ that's impossible to quantify.
It's the ability to Read & React with Speed & deadly Accuracy against the nastiest, wiliest Defenses on the Planet, deep in the Heart of Winter...and the Will to dedicate Years to intensive Training & Study in order to be able to.
That ~ and his willingness to Use The Whole Pig ~ is what once separated Tom Brady from the Pack.
Precision: Superior. Savage's Mechanics aren't perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but they're pretty good, and that usually translates into reliable Short & Intermediate Accuracy, though his Timing needs a lot of Work.
Pocket Presence: Awful. His Line was weak, it's true...But he often bailed prematurely or suffered BrainLock Under Fire.
FirePower: Developmentally awesome. There is a great well of natural Torque in young Savage's Wing to be developed.
He checked me.
I was getting carried away with Savage's FirePower, and I was rationalizing my @$$ off about the rest of his Game, despite Years of effusive, passionate, and voluminously written contempt for doing precisely that.
I would've corrected that temporary Insanity by next Thursday, believe me.
Nobody is a more dedicated Defenestrator of QuarterBacks with great Arms and little else than I...not even Matt Waldman.
But he sped up the process considerably, thanks to an eloquently applied splash of cold water.
So this is what I've got:
Tom Savage's has been a daunting Exodus.
A top Recruit out'f High School, Savage enjoyed instant success as a Freshman at Rutgers, winning the starting job.
A Year later, he'd lost the gig, due perhaps to Injury-induced ineffectiveness, and transferred to Arizona. This of course forced him to sit out a Year, and when the next Year arrived, Coach Rich Rodriguez arrived with it, bringing a Spread Zone/Read Offense that was an horrific match for Savage. Thus another Transfer and another lost Year.
And then his first Game in almost 3 Years? Florida State.
Even so: One can only make Allowances for so much.
Tom Savage has genuinely awesome Arm Strength...But like lo so many young Rocket Arms, he has, I believe, allowed that Arm to stunt his growth. So many of his ilk become dependent on That Arm to solve all problems.
And I believe that Tom Savage has alike fallen victim.
The Processing Speed simply doesn't appear to be there. Can it be developed? To a certain extent: Yes. I myself suffer from glacial Processing Speed, but have considerably improved my Capacity to Rapidly Read & React in many circumstances, simply by studying and drilling the Concepts until I'd mastered them.
But whether Tom Savage has the Intelligence and above all the Drive to master the vast responsibilities that encompass the role of QuarterBack is an open question. And, frankly....I perceive no evidence that he has.
He doesn't even look like a starting QuarterBack to me.
I won't overreact and "UFA" him, like I did with Derek Carr, in September. I am doing my best, but I am, after all, pronouncing Judgement on Tom Savage's FootBall Prospects on but a tiny sliver of information about his Talent and Character.
There is always far more to a Prospect and to a young man that meet the eye.
But my Fever has broken ~ thank you, Brother Waldman ~ and I must say that he strikes me an an Hail Mary of a Prospect.
Thanks, as always, to the extraordinary Work by the men of Draft BreakDown!!
Perceived Market Value