The following "scorecards" are meant to be useful tools in tracking the development of the players on Denver's roster. Some things, like Cutler's score against Dallas will come as no surprise, while otherthings, like seeing who our most well-rounded linemen currently is, might.
Some quick notes:
1. Positive scores are good, negative scores are bad. A 0 is a relatively benign player; they are effective but not desirable. Every roster will have a contingent of guys hovering around zero due to the salary cap. The goal of every team is to make sure these guys are in the least significant roster spot they can occupy.
2. The scores are directly comparable, but you will notice that certain positions can get higher scores "more easily" than others. This is proper and reflects the nature of the game. Effective QBs will tend to have higher scores than equally effective WRs. This is because QBs touch the ball more and have more overall effect. WRs are simply not invoved in a significant manner on every offensive play.
3. Sample size is significant. In this first report two players, Lichtensteiger and Hackney, had 5 and 1 gradable plays respectively. Obviously a good read was not gained on either.
If you have any questions about specific scores or plays, let me know, and I will try and dredge the answers up. If you have any questions about the process in general, let me know those too, and I will forward them to the NPLB.
Notes: Wow. Any number in the positives bodes well for a player, and the farther from 0 you go in either direction the tougher it becomes to make progress. +5 to +10 and you are really helping your team, +10 to +15 and you are scoring TDs and coming through in the clutch. +30 and you are single-handedly dominating your opponent with ruthless consistency.
Cutler targeted 8 different receivers, all 8 eligible "starting" class receivers while he was in the game. He completed passes to 7 of them, with only Hall being left out. The would-be Hall reception was one of only two checkdowns Cutler attempted, and the drop scored lower for Cutler than it did for Hall. Though there wasn't any pressure the play had probably ticked down to zero in Cutler's head, and he threw the ball far too forcefully to Hall who was releasing from a block to uncover as an option. The result was that the ball arrived just as Hall was turning around, and before he could present to the QB, and the ball struck him in the chest/hands and went straight into the dirt. While both players were penalized, Cutler received a stiffer penalty, since he should be delivering that ball with some touch. A softer pass can get over the line better, gives the checkdown guy a half second more to get turned around and look for the ball, and will give a second chance option to the back instead of catapulting who-knows-where, likely up and into the defense's waiting hands. Not a big penalty, but in a game with so few for Cutler, worth noting.
Cutler scored "above average" or better on 91% of his passing attempts, including a "perfect" on the secondary route to Brandon Marshall in the endzone. A particularly ballsy play, Cutler had to throw over a triple covered Royal, yet still get it low and away to give Marshall a chance and nullify the coverage on Marshall. A small window that Cutler nailed like a seasoned pro.
Going forward the things to watch will be how he plays under pressure (a constant source of frustration last year) and how well he keeps up the consistency with distribution left/right/center, short/medium/long, and amongst his receivers. When he plays like this, EVERYBODY looks good.
Notes: Well, some good, some bad. Besides the obvious lack of velocity that Ramsey puts on the ball, he had a noticeable lack of checkdowns in the game, but unlike Cutler, he SHOULD have checked down a few times. Overall, though, most of his passes were either too slow or to far behind the receiver, including a doozy that got Martinez' clock cleaned. He also showed a complete neglect for the safety and LB coverage, especially on a play that for all intents and purposes was an interception. He only targeted 5 of 9 total receivers during his time in the game, and over 70% of those were targeting the #1 or #2 receiver, including a planned short pass to Hillis. Ramsey isn't getting through his progressions and in the process isn't fooling any LBs or DBs. Three times he threw into double coverage, compared to once (the jump ball Royal hauled in) by Cutler who threw 30% more passes.
Guru did a good job pointing out that Ramsey seemed to settle in, and he had an average stretch through the middle. Of course he finished weak, with his technical errors taking center stage on misplaced passes to Martinez and Russell in the redzone, and a misplaced long ball to Russell along the sideline. Ramsey isn't doing himself any favors, and he certainly isn't helping out his receivers. With almost 40% of his plays scoring below average, including a whopping 15% that are downright unacceptable, we will have to keep searching if we are going to find something that Ramsey does right.
*Not enough reps for an accurate sample.
Notes: I have included Hackney here as an exercise in completeness. With only two passing plays, both designed bootlegs with an option to run, there really isn't much to base an opinion on. Technically he wasn't too sound, and on the first play he passed immediately to the checkdown that was directly in front of him. Even on a rollout he may have difficulty seeing the whole field, something to watch for as time goes on.. The second play, in fact almost every one of his 6 reps, was run from a trips left shotgun formation, with variations on routes and tailback alignment. He was obviously being tested on a very limited basis. The second bootleg saw him pull it down and try and slide for a short gain. From his body english it didn't appear that he even considered throwing it, but I wouldn't count on it being a run first play, with only one blocker to that side of the field and the receiver in a double move route.
A handful of reps isn't enough to render a decision, but it does give a little insight into what Ramsey is dealing with right now. He is under pressure to move and make plays froma chronically disadvantaged position, and he may be just a little overwhelmed by it. More reps will give us a chance to see what really counts for a player with his skillset and experience: how he bounces back from adversity.