SpeedBack ~ Byron Marshall ~ Oregon Ducks
I've come to believe that any HalfBack that doesn't bring a Passing Game element to the BattleField is...incomplete.
Hence, the term "FlexBack" ~ although quite cool, I believe!! ~ short-circuits the Evaluation Process.
As to how I break them down, I expect that the terms are pretty self-explanatory:
PowerBacks ~ HalfBacks who do their best Work between the Tackles..
SpeedBacks ~ HalfBacks who do their best Work outside the Tackles.
The PowerBack prototype would be about 5115/220 or so.
The SpeedBack prototype would be about 5010/200 or so.
Those are gross oversimplifications, of course, and many HalfBacks will manifest Attributes of both styles. Indeed, Power and Speed ~ better yet: Agility ~ are crucial to the Success of either kind of HalfBack. But I believe that it advances the discussion and better serves my Fellow FootBall Fanatics if I make an effort to distinguish between types.
This is how I break things down, when evaluating all HalfBacks:
Power: Above all: Core Power. Upper body Power is important, but lower body Power, from the Knees to the Ribs, is absolutely crucial. An HalfBack's Capacity to break Tackles is more about Core Power than anything else.
Agility: Launch Velocity, Fluidity, Acceleration, and Ricochet. Long Speed is all well and good, but at the end of the day, it is Gravy. What wins Championships is Moving The Chains. And Moving The Chains is accomplished far more consistently by the guys who exhibit the Agility ~ and the Focus ~ to consistently pick up 5 and sometimes 10 Yards at a time.
Processing Speed: Diagnostic Velocity. Field Vision. That ethereal Capacity to Rapidly Read & React to the Rapidly Roiling & Boiling Tactical LandScape...and to foresee and envision Lanes developing before they actually do.
Blocking: Having an HalfBack who doesn't Block effectively is like having 10 Men on the Field of Battle. Most HalfBacks just coming out'f College are mediocre Blockers, but this is a crucial Aspect of the Game that they'll need to master.
Receiving: Whether he be a PowerBack or a SpeedBack, an HalfBack that can effectively present a genuine Threat in the Passing Game dramatically increases his Team's Options on any given Play. The more dynamic the Threat, the more valuable to'is Team on the Field of Battle, whether he's just slipping out'f the BackField or splitting out Wide.
Broken down into SubCategories, it'd go something like this:
* Core Power is most of it. Tyrannosaurus Rex would've made an Hell of an HalfBack.
* Torso Power doesn't hurt, though.
* Launch Velocity
* Long Speed
* That ethereal Capacity to foresee and envision Lanes developing before they actually do.
* Combat Skills
* Processing Speed
* Catch Point Capacity
Agility: Tremendous. Mediocre Speed, but excellent Ricochet and extraordinary Fluidity.
Field Vision: Impressive. Everyone but me is profiling'm as a WideOut, because that's where he was deployed the last two Years, but I'm a big Proponent of CrossTraining, and the Field Vision that Marshall developed over Years of working as an HalfBack has only been enhanced by a Year or so at WideOut...and it was already impressive in the first place!!
Receiving: Well, now. As a WideOut, I'd grade'm as mediocre ~ no surprise there, as he only did that full time for a Year or so ~ but as a SpeedBack, Marshall's Receiving Game is excellent. Remarkable Routing for an HalfBack ~ for that is what he truly is ~ and outstanding Agility, navigating Traffic, enhanced by impressive Routing and excellent Hands!!
Then again, these guys tend to get misunderstood, stupidly assessed, and idiotically deployed at the next level, costing them countless Millions, so now that I think'f it, I'd probably get fired after dispensing such Wisdom!!
But I don't care: Byron Marshall arrives at the next level with an extraordinary fusion of Fluidity and Ricochet that'll greatly enhance his capacity to successfully navigate Traffic, and the Field Vision to apply it.
And he arrives on The Field of Battle with a Receiving Skill Set that, for an HalfBack, is extraordinary.
Whether or not his tremendous Skill Set is every properly deployed at the next level is not my Business.
My Business is to assess Value...And Byron Marshall's is immense.
Grateful Thanks, as always, for the crucial Work done by the folks at Draft BreakDown!!
None of this is even remotely a Complaint, mind you, but rather a Warning!! Caveat Emptor!!