CenterFielder ~ Kevin Byard ~ Middle Tennessee
State Blue Raiders ~ 5112/216
For that reason, and in order to offer NomenClature that speaks not to archaic, obsolete "Positions", but rather to Skill Sets that accurately reflect the dynamic Changes of the 21st Century Game and the Roles they have spawned, I have undertaken to craft Terminology that is designed to break Skill Sets down as they really are.
Defensive Coordinators have, since Time Immemorial, employed highly creative terminology in devising Defenses and in designating Assignments. In that Spirit, I have admittedly indulged myself considerably in devising the following NomenClature. It is undeniably colorful, but I like to think that there's an underlying Logic, as well:
CenterFielders ~ This is my term for "Free Safeties", as I find the application of the term "Safety" ~ a limp, lame term, to put it kindly ~ to be an Asinine Appellation for a Gladiator. The Prototype would be about 6000/200 or so.
CenterFielders are indeed the Last Line of Defense. But I sense that with the increasing Hybridization of Skill Sets in the Years to come, it will be advantageous for Teams to seek CenterFielders who can not only act as a Reserve Defender in Support of their CornerBacks, but who can ~ at a moment's notice, if need be ~ flip into Direct Coverage.
As such, I have discovered a natural Synergy between the Skill Sets of CenterFielders...and NickleBacks.
CenterFielders, like RoverBacks and Gryphons, are Hybrids, tasked both with Pass Coverage and Run Defense. Unlike Rovers and Gryphons, however, CenterFielders are expected to prioritize Pass Defense. As such, I'll be breaking my Evaluations down along the same lines as with the others, but with a decidedly divergent Emphasis:
Agility: Acceleration, Ricochet, Fluidity, and Verticity ~ that's Turn & Burn Acuity, to you Earthlings!!
Processing Speed: How quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to the developing Play.
Run Defense: Power, Agility, Combat Skills, and Processing Speed.
Pass Coverage: Agility and Processing Speed.
Broken down into SubCategories, it'd go something like this:
* Fluidity, above all things: Core Agility & Flexibility makes everything possible.
* Ricochet ~ How crisply and how rapidly one breaks in a new direction.
* Acceleration ~ Short Speed or Quickness. Closing Speed.
* Verticity ~ The Ability ~ or lack thereof ~ to Flips Hips and Turn & Burn in Pass Coverage.
* How quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to the developing Play.
* Combat Skills
* Processing Speed
* Processing Speed
Processing Speed: Impressive. Competitive Field Vision in Run Defense, but exceptional in Pass Coverage.
Run Defense: Competitive. Adequate Field Vision, decent Combat Skills, and enough Agility to navigate Traffic sufficiently well, and an adequate Tackler, as CenterFielders go, though not by any stretch an Impact Player.
Pass Coverage: Competitive. Mediocre in Man Coverage, but impressive in CenterField, where his Field Vision enables him to cover more Green more rapidly than his Speed would, alone. Tremendous Catch Point Capacity.
He's a natural CenterFielder in that regard, as Processing Speed is absolutely crucial to Success as the QuarterBack of the Secondary. However, his moderate Fluidity and Speed effectively limit his Potential, there, and are an even larger hindrance in Man Coverage. And as a Run Defender, he is efficient, but by no means a Force.
All things considered, I like his Chances of carving out a starting Role in a few Years, perhaps sooner. But I don't anticipate him excelling at the next level, so I can't quite agree with the Investment the Titans made in his Services.
Grateful Thanks, as always, for the invaluable Work done by the folks at Draft BreakDown!!
None of this is even remotely a Complaint, mind you, but rather a Warning!! Caveat Emptor!!