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Sam Darnold: Mechanics & Week 2 Film Breakdown

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5 hours ago, rldev said:

Thanks for the breakdown. The slow mos really show how much information Darnold is processing and generally getting correct.

No problem.  

He does actually make a fair amount of good reads, but they have to open up the playbook for him.  The defenses were sitting on short stuff in the Redskins game, and I'm sure others are going to follow until it's opened up.  I get a bad feeling, they are trying to make him a "game manager" first while still starting, but the lack of deep passes is annoying. 

 

4 hours ago, Losmeister said:

Holy Moses!

300px-Moses_Michaelangelo_September_2015

Gonan have to set aside some time to go thru this.

Danke!

 

No problem.  Enjoy, most of it is positive.  

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22 hours ago, win4ever said:

No problem.  

He does actually make a fair amount of good reads, but they have to open up the playbook for him.  The defenses were sitting on short stuff in the Redskins game, and I'm sure others are going to follow until it's opened up.  I get a bad feeling, they are trying to make him a "game manager" first while still starting, but the lack of deep passes is annoying. 

 

No problem.  Enjoy, most of it is positive.  

That is definitely the case now. But a lot has to do with 1) him being so young and 2) the OLine injuries.  Just can't have this kid getting hurt in preseason.

They will open it up and let him take more chances down the field starting week one I believe.

Excellent work on the film recap!

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Can someone please explain or, even better, show through video comparison what a regular throwing motion looks like versus an elongated throwing motion?  I've been hearing about this "elongated" throwing motion since a few weeks before the Draft when some ESPN or NFLN talking head used it to describe Darnold and then everyone just seemed to jump on it as their new favorite word.

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5 minutes ago, jetstream23 said:

Can someone please explain or, even better, show through video comparison what a regular throwing motion looks like versus an elongated throwing motion?  I've been hearing about this "elongated" throwing motion since a few weeks before the Draft when some ESPN or NFLN talking head used it to describe Darnold and then everyone just seemed to jump on it as their new favorite word.

See Joe Namath & Dan Marino for quick short throwing motions... see Randall Cunningham or Michael Vick for an elongated one... All 4 had guns just their throwing motions were polar opposites.

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But Darnold has had a pretty quick motion, even going back to college.  The Sports Science guys did something on him just before his senior year and his time from decision to release seemed exceptionally short.  He doesn't seem to wind up like a baseball pitcher to me.  I don't know....the ball seems to get out quick from him and I think that's what matters most.

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8 minutes ago, jetstream23 said:

But Darnold has had a pretty quick motion, even going back to college.  The Sports Science guys did something on him just before his senior year and his time from decision to release seemed exceptionally short.  He doesn't seem to wind up like a baseball pitcher to me.  I don't know....the ball seems to get out quick from him and I think that's what matters most.

I agree, I don’t see Sam’s throwing motion as a negative.  When Rivers came out of college their were those calling for him to change his “quirky”  mechanics...  it hasn’t seemed to have been an issue for him at all.

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10 minutes ago, BornJetsFan1983 said:

This is really awesome break down and read

+1 ...a great analysis!

Darnold is showing a lot of the things that have traditionally been difficult for rookie QBs to master early - reading defenses, poise in the pocket, good decision-making following progressions.  Rookies tend to get rattled, their eyes are on the defenders storming towards them and they try to force throws.  Liking this kid more and more every week.

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Just now, jetsons said:

I agree, I don’t see Sam’s throwing motion as a negative.  When Rivers came out of college their were those calling for him to change his “quirky”  mechanics... it hasn’t seemed to be an issue for him at all.

Exactly!  The best thing the Jets may have done was not goof with Sam's motion.  He shortened things up and seems a little more compact but fortunately nobody on the Jets has been dumb enough to draft a guy #3 and then change the way he throws a football.

Rivers has always had the kinda 3/4 arm throw.  Not like a sidearm baseball pitcher but it is somewhat similar.  Concerns were that he'd get balls batted down or couldn't hit the whole route tree well....and now the guy is going to end up in the Top 10 of all-time yardage passers.

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3 hours ago, Maxman said:

That is definitely the case now. But a lot has to do with 1) him being so young and 2) the OLine injuries.  Just can't have this kid getting hurt in preseason.

They will open it up and let him take more chances down the field starting week one I believe.

Excellent work on the film recap!

I think the O-Line is a major issue for Darnold, or really any QB, and I haven't really seen them fix it.  It's been an issue since Bowles came here, and it's the same thing.  Defenses run a 4 wide look on the line, isolate the tackles, and the guards/center are essentially confused about blocking duties.  

I don't really want to see Darnold play 3 quarters today, rather he gets about 1.5 and move on to Teddy.  My only issue with the game manager one is that he seems reluctant to pull the trigger on long passes, and how that might stunt him.  Really wished the O-Line was healthy to actually see if they could keep him up.  I hope they come out and fire it against the Lions, although I'm calling a deep pass within the first 3 passes today as my guess.  

Thanks.  

 

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1 hour ago, jetstream23 said:

Can someone please explain or, even better, show through video comparison what a regular throwing motion looks like versus an elongated throwing motion?  I've been hearing about this "elongated" throwing motion since a few weeks before the Draft when some ESPN or NFLN talking head used it to describe Darnold and then everyone just seemed to jump on it as their new favorite word.

I hear what you're saying. I don't see it. If anything I see him truncating his throws, not elongating. He does get rid of the ball quick whatever he is doing.

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1 hour ago, jetstream23 said:

Can someone please explain or, even better, show through video comparison what a regular throwing motion looks like versus an elongated throwing motion?  I've been hearing about this "elongated" throwing motion since a few weeks before the Draft when some ESPN or NFLN talking head used it to describe Darnold and then everyone just seemed to jump on it as their new favorite word.

So, it's really hard to show on tapes like this because there isn't a frame rate count that I can show.  I can't quantify it because it's subjective for me to discern when the throwing motion starts.  It's why I left it alone and went with the Soul and Science link for it.  For the most part, it has to do with generating torque.  Sort of like pitchers that have different motions, everyone creates it just a bit different.  So Darnold had a more loopy delivery.  

So, an ideal delivery is when you start the motion, you hand goes back on a straight line to generate torque (the rest of the body is involved, but we're not concerned about it here) because obviously a straight line is the shortest (and fastest) route from Point A to B.  Simple stuff, point A to B.  Now, it's hard to get this right and very few people rarely do.  The idea is to come as close to this line as possible when throwing a pass.  Some guys need a longer windup, so think of an inverted bell curve from Point A to B.  You still get there, but that path is now longer (and therefore theoretically slower).  With Darnold, he had a loopy delivery, in that his hands didn't go close to the linear line, it went closer to inverted Bell curve line.  I actually started to write about it awhile back, but then all I heard was that his motion was being changed.  I figured it's pointless to harp on something that changed, since it wouldn't be relevant.  Palmer and the Jets have shortened the motion, so that arm action is now closer to linear (it's still not the fastest or anything) so therefore it's faster.  I was working on a theory that it stems from Darnold's basketball career, because you are constantly dribbling a ball on the court, and when you go to pass, you need to follow the bounce of a dribble, which loops your arm.  

Brady is a good example of fast release.  

Philip Rivers is a classic example of a loopy release.

Both are very successful in their own rights.  

1 hour ago, jetsons said:

See Joe Namath & Dan Marino for quick short throwing motions... see Randall Cunningham or Michael Vick for an elongated one... All 4 had guns just their throwing motions were polar opposites.

Yeah, Marino had a laser fast one as well.  

58 minutes ago, jetstream23 said:

But Darnold has had a pretty quick motion, even going back to college.  The Sports Science guys did something on him just before his senior year and his time from decision to release seemed exceptionally short.  He doesn't seem to wind up like a baseball pitcher to me.  I don't know....the ball seems to get out quick from him and I think that's what matters most.

He changed it before the draft.  

This is the video from the Sports Science one, before his final season in college.  Notice the throw at 2:04, and the motion it follows.  You see how it sort of dips a bit before it comes back up when he's pulling back to generate torque?  He reduced it greatly during the draft process.  

56 minutes ago, BornJetsFan1983 said:

This is really awesome break down and read

Thanks.

51 minutes ago, jetsons said:

I agree, I don’t see Sam’s throwing motion as a negative.  When Rivers came out of college their were those calling for him to change his “quirky”  mechanics...  it hasn’t seemed to have been an issue for him at all.

He changed his motion to make it quick so far, so it's not a problem right now.  Rivers was even more quirky, but he changed it as well to an extent.  His arm dipped even more in college, which was a major concern.  He sped it up, but he also had time to sit behind Brees.  

 

51 minutes ago, jetstream23 said:

+1 ...a great analysis!

Darnold is showing a lot of the things that have traditionally been difficult for rookie QBs to master early - reading defenses, poise in the pocket, good decision-making following progressions.  Rookies tend to get rattled, their eyes are on the defenders storming towards them and they try to force throws.  Liking this kid more and more every week.

Thanks.  

He's shown really well so far in the pre-season.  I think the only thing missing from film is a consistent deep pass, or at least the threat of it.  He's shown accuracy on short to intermediate passes, good decision making, elusiveness in the pocket, and he seems to be reading defenses well.  I thought one of the best highlights was the one he threw away, because he was looking at Kearse while escaping the sack, which I thought was very impressive.  

47 minutes ago, jetstream23 said:

Exactly!  The best thing the Jets may have done was not goof with Sam's motion.  He shortened things up and seems a little more compact but fortunately nobody on the Jets has been dumb enough to draft a guy #3 and then change the way he throws a football.

Rivers has always had the kinda 3/4 arm throw.  Not like a sidearm baseball pitcher but it is somewhat similar.  Concerns were that he'd get balls batted down or couldn't hit the whole route tree well....and now the guy is going to end up in the Top 10 of all-time yardage passers.

Yeah, they've shortened it, which has definitely helped in speeding things up.  I think their main worry was the lag because the extra time exposes the ball to defenders for just a bit more, and that could lead to fumbling issues.   

Rivers was weird in college, his motion was just not normal but he could throw the ball great.  He shortened it up though, because I think people were worried how he'd end up if they messed up his delivery.  

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Thank you so much for the video!

My take away is Sam Darnold can be pretty good if he is permitted to develop and the OL is just awful.  Sam was operating under duress practically every play here and that was in stark contrast to what was happening in some of the informative Brady clips.

Poor OL play and no truly dominant skill position players can really retard Sam's growth and I hope that the Jets are mindful of this reality!

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1 hour ago, Charlie Brown said:

Thank you so much for the video!

My take away is Sam Darnold can be pretty good if he is permitted to develop and the OL is just awful.  Sam was operating under duress practically every play here and that was in stark contrast to what was happening in some of the informative Brady clips.

Poor OL play and no truly dominant skill position players can really retard Sam's growth and I hope that the Jets are mindful of this reality!

I wonder if its possible that poor OL play might accelerate his growth.  If almost every play is boom-boom and he succeeds at making instant decisions, then as the OL improves over the next few seasons (hopefully!) that should only expand his performance.  Basically "if you survive the worst conditions, you'll thrive in better ones".  One can dream...

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Curious about what you think of this analysis from Football Outsiders, which views the hop as a bad thing:

 

Darnold also often hops like a bunny in the pocket, which causes his feet to become misaligned.

...

In this next clip, his hop brings him toward the edge rusher, and then he can't get the throw off and gets sacked.

via Gfycat

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Thank you so much for the video!
My take away is Sam Darnold can be pretty good if he is permitted to develop and the OL is just awful.  Sam was operating under duress practically every play here and that was in stark contrast to what was happening in some of the informative Brady clips.
Poor OL play and no truly dominant skill position players can really retard Sam's growth and I hope that the Jets are mindful of this reality!


The offenive line is just horrible, although the safeties are playing up becau of the conservative play calling.

He shows great touch and accuracy right now, and pocket awareness beyond his years. He's also much better than I anticipated on rolling to his left.

I think the receivers are ok, short of getting a Hopkins type of talent. It's the O-line that worries me.


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But But Todd Bowles says we don't see what he see's ^%$@^$%#@^ 
Maybe we don't , we see more


I still have no faith whatsoever in Bowles. Aside from Robby Anderson, can't really even think of one person exceeding expectations under him.


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I wonder if its possible that poor OL play might accelerate his growth.  If almost every play is boom-boom and he succeeds at making instant decisions, then as the OL improves over the next few seasons (hopefully!) that should only expand his performance.  Basically "if you survive the worst conditions, you'll thrive in better ones".  One can dream...


It's possible, but he may also develop bad habits that could be hard to break.

I run a Titans website so I did the breakdown for then vs Buccaneers and old friend Fitzpatrick. He does the same thing there that he did in NY. Makes the read at the line of scrimmage, and then goes to it no matter what. He had Mike Evans twice with missed throws when there were wide open guys elsewhere. I'm hoping Darnold doesn't develop those kinds of habits because a lot of people were happy with the lack of sacks when Fitz was running the show here.

I think they are going to roll him out more to curtail some defensive aggressiveness.


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Here is the breakdown...if Darnold can play at NFL speed, get some linemen,  and take a wallop he will be very good eventually.

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On 8/25/2018 at 5:24 PM, Charlie Brown said:

Good Post.

My question to you is do you think that the hip rotation impacts Darnolds power throws down field as it concerns his power?

That's a really good question.  

Theoretically, it should impact it somewhat, but I don't really see it much on tape.  I think more than anything, it affects his trajectory down the field, but he wasn't that bad in college.  Part of the reason why I was high on him, stems from what Dan Orlovsky mentioned in a pre-draft podcast (somewhere, I forgot where).  Darnold has what Dan called, sloppy feet.  He succeeds with sloppy feet because a lot of times you don't have clean pockets to have a clean throwing motion.  Darnold can sling it without needing to set his feet properly, which helps a lot in real games.  

I think it's why Darnold is so good with throws on the run because he can get his rotation without proper feet placement.  However, for longer throws he needs to get better at it and that might be what they are working on now.  I can't really see it because there aren't many angles to show the end zone tape to see how he does, nor has he thrown many balls down the field.  I don't know if they already fixed it, or if they are still working on it.  

It's my complete guess, but I think that might be one of those things they are working on now, at least in the next two weeks.  Need to see more of those throws, say up the sideline, where the defender is behind the receiver, but a safety is coming over the top.  Hip rotation gives him the power to alter the trajectory on that play, instead of dropping it in.  If he puts more air on the ball, the safety can cover more ground, even if the throw will still beat the defender.  I think that's where the hip rotation, and sloppy feet hurt him, but it's really hard to judge without proof.  I'm pretty much extrapolating from college tapes here. 

So far good:

Accuracy

Awareness

Intermediate Throws

Throwing on the Run

Pre-Snap Reads (I'm working on the article now, but I'm not sure if I'll finish by tomorrow.  If you go to No. 2 in this article, you'll see the Tomlinson audible that didn't work out because of one issue.  On the first drive against the Giants, on 3rd and 8, Darnold makes the same audible, but expands to have McBride block.  The play goes for a first down to Sterling I believe.  That's GREAT play recognition, and learning what he did wrong last week, and correcting it.  

Touch

Running Ability

Things We Don't Know/Have Not Seen:

Deep Pass Attempt/Accuracy (Negative)

Gunslinger mentality (Both Positive/Negative)

Carelessness (Positive)

It'll be interesting to see how they go about this, if he is indeed named starter.  Lions have a very good corner in Slay, and a great free safety in Quin.  Their second/third CB duo has talent, but really proven right now.  And SS isn't that great either, so it'll be interesting to see how they attack.  I would assume a lot of single high safety looks, with Slay matched one on one, and Quin slanting to the other side.  

 

 

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