Let's look into, "what have you done for us lately" since you
were a free agent or worth trading for?
1) Adam Archuleta - (Safety, 6-0 223, Washington Redskins, acquired as a free
agent from the St. Louis Rams)
Since the Senior Bowl, back in the day, I remember the talk about his cover
skills and how could he convert to a safety. He was a tweener then, as you
watched him run around the practice field; his speed and athleticism were
evident, but could he change direction and how were his ball skills?
Flash forward to Sunday: He's pretty much the same guy in that he will blow
the ball carrier up and is very good against the run. Adam can run straight
ahead and will hit. He's a good tackler. At times, however, it looks like he
wants to make such a big hit that he gets a little out of position, mostly in
space. What he's still struggling with are his feet and hips which look a bit
mechanical, making him average in coverage. Archuleta is still a very good
acquisition for the "Skins" adding his great work ethic and enforcer
mentality to the defense.
2) Antonio Bryant - (Wide Receiver, 6-1 196, San Francisco 49ers, acquired as
a free agent from the Cleveland Browns)
Unfulfilled potential is how I think of Antonio. He's a fluid athlete, with
great ball skills and body control. This gives him the ability to adjust to the
ball and make great catches. Bryant has good hands but, at times, looks like he
loses concentration and lets the ball get to his chest. He does a nice job of
stalk blocking and using his long arms to control the defender but isn't going
to go aggressively into the middle and block to spring the big runs. He can be a
star in the league if he just does the things he's capable of. In talking to one
of the coaches, Bryant wants to be great and win so much that he can get
frustrated and lose focus.
3) Darren Howard - (Defensive End, 6-3 275, Philadelphia Eagles, acquired as
a free agent from the New Orleans Saints)
Darren is quick coming off the ball and can explode into the backfield. He
uses his hands well and gets off blocks. Watching Howard, you'll notice that he
competes on every down and has a good motor. He can play inside or on the edge
and is an instinctual player. If he does a better job of squeezing the running
lanes more, he'd help the linebackers filling the gaps. Darren isn't the
strongest DL and can get pushed around at times. All in all, Howard is a very
good pro and is worth the effort getting him as a free agent.
4) Kyle Kosier - (Left Guard, 6-5 305, Dallas Cowboys, acquired as a free
agent from the Detroit Lions)
Kosier is quick off the ball and gets to the 2nd level to block linebackers
well. He has the mobility to pull effectively, as well as protect the A and B
gaps against slanting defensive lineman or blitzing linebackers. Kyle plays with
good leverage and punches with power.
The offensive line has been especially good at run blocking and Kyle is a big
part of the success, using his quickness and mobility to help open holes and
create running lanes. He's a solid pick up that will go unnoticed but will
continue to bring his lunch pail to work and compete.
5) Kenard Lang - (Defensive End, 6-3 257, Denver Broncos, acquired as a free
agent from the Cleveland Browns)
Lang is great off the edge can run and accelerates to the ball. His quickness
helps him defeat the blocker and get in the backfield where he can be
disruptive. Kenard does a very good job of chasing the ball and can run it down
with the best of the defensive ends in the league. He's not a real big guy so he
has to rely on his quickness to play the run and pass.
The system in Denver relies on speed and quickness, making Kenard a good get.
Now in his tenth season, he's not an every down player (in reality there aren't
many every-down players in the NFL or college, for that matter), but he gives
the Broncos a veteran edge guy who has proven skills. Watch for Elvis Dumervil,
5-11 258, the rookie from Louisville, to get more reps as a similar edge player
as Lang, with younger legs and a good upside.