Ryan McCrystal

Jonathan Martin struggles in Dolphins debut

Miami Dolphins 2nd-round pick Jonathan Martin struggled to protect his fellow rookie, Ryan Tannehill on Sunday against the Texans.

Martin allowed one sack and four hurries in 40 pass plays. In other words, once every eight times Tannehill dropped back to pass, pressure was coming from the right side of the line.

Martin’s 12.5 pressure percentage allowed is an abysmal mark and one that needs to improve if the Dolphins rookie quarterback is going to find success this season. Martin was matched up with Texans right outside linebacker Connor Barwin for most of the game – a respectable pass rusher, but not nearly among the game’s elite. A more difficult matchup could spell serious trouble for the Dolphins offensive line.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Dolphins, Rookie Notes Leave a comment

Weeden struggles with deep ball

Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden was in over his head on Sunday, and the more the stats are analyzed the worse it looks.

It was a long afternoon for Weeden.

It was apparent during the game that Weeden was struggling with the deep and intermediate passes, overthrowing multiple open receivers. According to Pro Football Focus, Weeden was 0-7 with two interceptions on balls thrown at least 10 yards downfield.

While everyone expected Weeden to struggle, no one expected this. In fact, his ability to get the ball downfield was supposed to be the area in which he provided the most significant upgrade over Colt McCoy. In 2011, McCoy completed just 44.1 percent of his passes beyond 10 yards – a disappointing number, but far better than Weeden’s opening game performance.

Looking beyond the stats, the concern with Weeden is the fact that he wasn’t just off target with his throws. He missed multiple open receivers, include two in the end zone, by a wide margin which killed multiple Browns drives.

To make matters worse, the Eagles front seven wasn’t applying much pressure to Weeden. He was pressured on 13 of his 38 dropbacks (34.2%) – that’s not an unreasonable performance by the offensive line. On plays when he wasn’t pressured, he completed just 10 of 24 passes (41.7%) including two interceptions. That’s a stat line that must improve dramatically if the Browns are going to generate any type of offense this year.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Browns, Rookie Notes Leave a comment

Doug Martin lives up to expectations in debut

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1st-round pick Doug Martin impressed in his debut, carrying the Bucs to a 16-10 victory over the Panthers.

Martin carried the ball 24 times for 95 yards and added another 23 yards on four receptions. And if there was any question as to who the feature back was in this offense, LeGarrette Blount had just four touches on the day (three rushes, one reception).

I had Martin as the 14th rated player on my board in this year’s draft, so his performance doesn’t surprise me at all. He’s a legitimate feature back and this game should simply set the tone for the rest of his season.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Buccaneers, Rookie Notes 1 Comment

Luck relies heavily on Fleener in debut

The Indianapolis Colts spent their first two picks in the draft on college teammates in hopes that it would ease their transition to the NFL. And so far, it seems to have worked. Andrew Luck was shaky in his debut, but he definitely looked comfortable working with Coby Fleener.

While Reggie Wayne was understandably Luck’s go-to receiver, he also targeted Fleener 10 times on Sunday. The two connected on six of those plays for 82 yards.

There’s obviously still a lot of work to be done in Indy, but it’s encouraging to see Luck and Fleener developing a connection early in their NFL careers.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Colts, Rookie Notes Leave a comment

Stephen Hill has strong debut for Jets

New York Jets 2nd-round pick Stephen Hill turned in a strong debut, catching five passes for 89 yards and two touchdowns in the Jets win over the Bills.

Hill made an immediate impact for the Jets

He’s first Jets rookie with two touchdown receptions in a game since Keyshawn Johnson in 1996.

Even in this performance it was clear that Hill is still developing as a receiver, but it was also clear that his speed and athleticism makes him an immediate threat.

Hill caught five of the six balls thrown his direction, and that type of consistently should only lead to a larger role in the Jets offense as the season progresses.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Jets, Rookie Notes Leave a comment