Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Revisiting kings and goats
By Paul Kuharsky
It’s past time to revisit this post, spurred by a great quote from Jack Del Rio about how we’re too quick to anoint some guys kings or to declare that others are not going to be any good.
I also think once a guy earns one of these labels, it’s awfully difficult to alter.
As I tried to find someone to fit each category for each team, I also solicited your feedback.
So here are my thoughts from when I started this whole thing, with some of your input weaved in.
Please take note -- I am not saying these “kings” are overrated or that these “not good enoughs” are not good enough. I am sharing my thoughts on perceptions.
King: Bernard Pollard, strong safety. He was a real team-changer when the Texans added him early last season. I loved what he did in 2009. But we need a bigger sample size to be sure he wasn’t too good to be true.
Not good enough: Amobi Okoye, defensive tackle. He’s not as impactful as we want a No. 1 pick to be. But he’s still young and I think virtually every other team in the league would jump at a chance for their defensive line coach to get his hands on Okoye. He might still become what we expected, just at a slower pace.
King: Clint Session, linebacker. I thought he was really good in 2009, and he was on my All-AFC South team. But we need to see another consistent year from him for him to earn some of the superlatives fans are eager to put on him.
Not good enough: Joseph Addai, running back. He’s probably the most debated player by fans. I think the Super Bowl served as another piece of evidence that he can run, and it’s blocking and play calling that wind up the bigger run-game issues.
King: John Henderson, defensive tackle. Once, when paired with Marcus Stroud, he was an absolutely dominant interior force. Too many people still tend to think of him that way, but he’s gotten old and somewhat creaky and his production doesn’t live up to his reputation.
Not good enough: Derrick Harvey, defensive end. A symbol of the Jaguars' failures, the team traded up to take him eighth overall, but needed to add Aaron Kampman and seeks an additional pass-rushers to ignite an anemic unit. Harvey can be a solid left end, just not the rusher they should have gotten that high.
King: Jeff Fisher, coach. Unlike some others in this category, a small sample size isn’t an issue. He’s a top-third head coach in the league who’s a rules and time-management master, and the Titans' stability is admirable. But that’s an awfully long term with only one Super Bowl appearance.
Not good enough: Nate Washington, receiver. Yes, his hands and his drops are a major issue. The Titans brought him in to be a deep threat and he averaged only 12.1 yards a catch. But he led the receivers in catches, was a red zone force and caught a team-high six TDs.