SpeedBack ~ Matthew Breida ~ Georgia Southern Eagles ~ 5092/196
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: Magnificent. I'll readily admit that I probably never would've heard'f this guy if I didn't screen The Combine and Pro Days so carefully, and his Pro Day suggested phenomenal Acceleration, Fluidity, Ricochet, and Speed ~ all 4 Fundamentals of Agility. And his Game Tape??? Exhilarating. I felt like I was watching a Hall of Famer in'is Prime: Serpentine Smoothness, Explosive Cuts, Turbo Acceleration, and BreakAway Speed. Awesome.
Field Vision: Extraordinary. Amazing Patience, consistently In Sync with'is Blocking, and tremendous Field Vision.
Blocking: Absolutely no Idea. In Georgia Southern's Triple Option, he rarely blocked.
Receiving: Hah!! See Above. However, he possesses the Agility and the Field Vision to be spectacular.
I will note, though, that I'm not integrating the Reports that he's looking good in the Passing Game into my Evaluation. I'll settle for observing that that doesn't surprise me in the least, considering his Agility and Field Vision!! Hah!!
Breida was enjoying spectacular Success at Georgia Southern for a couple of Years, and then the wheels suddenly came off, for him and for the whole Team, as a result of which his Stock collapsed into the Abyss.
That's UFA, For Those Of You Scoring At Home!!
But Tales of Breida's Demise were greatly exaggerated, my Friends, and his sensational Pro Day made 3 things clear:
01 ~ He was obviously suffering from some lingering Injury throughout 2016 ~ perhaps multiple maladies.
02 ~ By the time his Pro Day came around and he'd had a few Months of rest, he was 100%.
03 ~ Ergo: his 2015 Tape is what Evaluators should've been watching.
And it was spectacular.
I believe that Matthew Breida is a sensational Talent, and that as soon as he masters the Blocking and Receiving Aspects of the Game ~ and I strongly suspect that it won't be long ~ he's gonna have 2400 Yard Potential.
Pay The Man!!
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!!