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Old 07-01-2009, 09:40 PM   #1
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Default Smart teams find their starters in the draft

...not sure if our UDFA's were added, but this speaks for itself. who needs free agency (other than to find the inexpensive moores, hartwigs, clarks, etc. to fill the holes)?


NFL training camps don't begin until the end of July or, in the case of the New York Giants, who have the latest start in the league, Aug. 3. But with rookie symposium wrapped up this week and the offseason starting to wind down, it's important to note how successful teams stay successful. One way is by building with young talent taken in the draft.

Ask yourself this: How many current starters on your favorite team were drafted in April? Did you realize that the average number of home-grown draft picks scheduled to start in 2009 is 11 to 12 per team? That means about half of the starters on any given roster were drafted by the team with which they currently play.

Here are the top five and bottom five teams in terms of the number of home-grown players who will be starters in 2009.

Top five: Indianapolis Colts 17, Baltimore Ravens 16, Green Bay Packers 16, Pittsburgh Steelers 15, Buffalo Bills 15.

Bottom five: Washington Redskins 9, Denver Broncos 9, Cleveland Browns 9, Detroit Lions 10, Oakland Raiders 10.

When you draft your starters, they grow up in your system. As one Pittsburgh player told me, "We all know what it means to be a Steeler."

Bar set high for rookie quarterbacks ...

What happened last season -- when Atlanta's Matt Ryan and Baltimore's Joe Flacco took their respective teams to the playoffs -- doesn't happen very often. In fact, when I looked at the last 20 years, I discovered that two rookie starting quarterbacks had never before made the playoffs in the same season.

One rookie quarterback leading his team to the postseason? Sure, that has happened, but not as much as you might think. Ben Roethlisberger did it with the Steelers in 2004, and before that, in 1999, Shaun King did it with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But prior to King, you have to go all the way back to 1991, when Todd Marinovich was the then-Los Angeles Raiders' starting quarterback in the playoffs.

In 17 of the 20 seasons preceding the Ryan/Flacco run of 2008 -- which resulted in 59 completions in 115 attempts for 636 yards in four playoff games -- there were no rookie pass attempts in the postseason.

What does all that mean? Rookie quarterbacks Matthew Stafford (Lions), Mark Sanchez (New York Jets) and Josh Freeman (Buccaneers) are up against some mighty odds in their quests for the playoffs.
... and for rookie running backs

Last season, Houston's Steve Slaton, Chicago's Matt Forte and Tennessee's Chris Johnson each cracked the 1,000-yard rushing mark, which was an impressive feat. In fact, it was a rare one. I had to go back to 2001 to find the last time that three rookie running backs went over 1,000 rushing yards (Chicago's Anthony Thomas, San Diego's LaDainian Tomlinson and Indianapolis' Dominic Rhodes did it that season).
pat will be busy for camp-

My training camp schedule
Here's a list of teams I'll visit in August. I'll watch practice and talk with players and coaches to get a good idea of what teams should look like when the fall comes.

Aug. 1: New England Patriots
Aug. 3: New York Giants
Aug. 4: New York Jets
Aug. 5: Cleveland Browns
Aug. 6-7: Pittsburgh Steelers [*2 days at latrobe... COOL!* -TH]
Aug. 8: Hall of Fame enshrinement
Aug. 10: Carolina Panthers
Aug. 11: Atlanta Falcons
Aug. 12: Jacksonville Jaguars
Aug. 13: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Aug. 14: Miami Dolphins
Aug. 17: San Diego Chargers
Aug. 18: Arizona Cardinals
Aug. 19: Oakland Raiders
Aug. 20: San Francisco 49ers
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Old 07-02-2009, 07:07 AM   #2
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Default Re: Smart teams find their starters in the draft

That is why we are one of the best teams around.
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Old 07-02-2009, 09:27 AM   #3
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Default Re: Smart teams find their starters in the draft

hopefully we will be at 19 or 20 by next year...

we have some great guys this year from the last two drafts that can up that total...
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Old 07-02-2009, 01:50 PM   #4
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Default Re: Smart teams find their starters in the draft

It's kind of a no-brainer, stating-the-obvious statement. If a team's draft picks pan out, then they don't have a need to sign free agents - especially the more expensive ones. If a team is doing a good job in its evaluation of college players, then they will have that many less needs to fill in during free agency. Obviously not every pick is going to be great, and an unexpected injury can derail a career, but the draft is where teams are built. Teams get much more value in terms of production/money spent on players in their rookie contract (with the exception of top ten picks); those lower salaries then in turn leave enough cap money to sign the veterans that are worth keeping.
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Old 07-02-2009, 02:23 PM   #5
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Default Re: Smart teams find their starters in the draft

must be counting udfa .... but i don't see why they wouldn't be considered " home grown ", its not like they cut thier teeth, or developed with another team

1 hartings
2 parker
3 davis
4 farrior
5 clark
6 stapleton
7 harrison
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