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Thread: LaCanfora - "A case for Tyler Thigpen" -- good read

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    LaCanfora - "A case for Tyler Thigpen" -- good read

    Seems to be a big believer in him. There's also some good data in there-

    http://blogs.nfl.com/2009/08/27/a-ca...tyler-thigpen/

    I like Tyler Thigpen. I’m not afraid to admit it, and I know some savvy NFL scouts/executives who value him, too.

    I like Thigpen’s guts and competitiveness. I love his athleticism. I think he’s a playmaker who’s still quite raw (a 25-year-old who became a starter for a lame-duck staff last season, out of Coastal Carolina of all places) and has some warts but a ton of upside. He’s a kid who flashed some real talent, yet was surrounded by an Amy Winehouse-thin roster in Kansas City last season (having no defense and no running game did him no favors).

    Thigpen was thrust into duty after the Chiefs’ other quarterbacks went down with season-ending injuries. He ended up accounting for 22 touchdowns (18 passing, three rushing and one receiving) in just 11 starts for a 2-14 team that had some deep flaws. Roethlisberger, a $100 million QB, won a Super Bowl with help from the game’s best defense and accounted for 19 TDs (17 passing, two rushing) in 16 starts.

    So Thigpen, as a second-year pro with no prior experience and a last-place roster around him, threw for 2,608 yards and 18 TDs with 12 interceptions in the first 11 starts of his career. And Roethlisberger, already fully polished and with a Super Bowl-quality roster around him, threw for 3,301 yards and 17 TDs with 15 interceptions in 16 games. Hmm, interesting. And Roethlisberger had as many turnovers as Thigpen did scores.

    OK. In no way am I trying to say Thigpen is remotely the QB and playmaker that Big Ben is (nor could anyone expect him to be), but tell me this kid might not be worth a shot at being better than most teams’ current backup passer. (Personally, I think he’s a heck of a lot better than Croyle, for one, but I’m obviously not running any NFL teams). Hang with me here.

    Ryan, the third overall pick in the 2008 draft, won the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award, had the league’s best running game and a stout Falcons defense behind him, and he accounted for 17 total TDs in 16 starts. Flacco also was a first-round pick in 2008, started 16 games for a Ravens team with the league’s second-best defense and a robust running attack, and he accounted for 16 total TDs.

    Let’s take it a little deeper. Well, Jason, you dope, the Chiefs stunk and Thigpen just put up a bunch of meaningless numbers while chasing teams in the second half of games, right?

    Not so fast. The Chiefs either led entering the fourth quarter, led in the fourth quarter or were tied entering the fourth quarter in seven of Thigpen’s final 10 games. If anything, questionable play-calling, a horrid running game and an atrocious defense conspired against the young QB.

    Overall, could Thigpen be better in the fourth quarter? Sure, he had a 62.0 rating and completed just 50 percent of his passes (four fourth-quarter TDs to four fourth-quarter interceptions isn’t that bad, though). This was a kid from a small school thrust into emergency starts with little coaching, and as we know, inexperienced passers tend to have issues late in games. Thigpen also was sacked 11 times on just 123 fourth-quarter pass attempts, so a suspect offensive line and lack of any sort of competent defense didn’t make things any easier on him.

    Well, what about Thigpen completing just 55 percent of his passes and throwing 12 interceptions in just 14 games? Neither is ideal, no doubt. But let’s look at his offensive weapons. Dwayne Bowe and Devard Darling were his starting receivers. It wasn’t exactly the sure-hands crew. Besides having perennial Pro Bowl TE Tony Gonzalez, this kid was on his own.

    As I said, Thigpen is raw and has some flaws, so coach him up (he was the first quarterback in Coastal Carolina history for goodness sake, with the program starting in 2003) and help him with film study and fundamentals. There is plenty to work with there.

    This kid is incredibly fast — on his runs, he was almost never tackled by someone in the front seven. You can’t tell me he’s not one of the 64 best QBs out there, and given his skills and speed, he definitely could be someone who could help in the Wildcat. At 6-foot-1 and 224 pounds, Thigpen can take a hit.

    As for the interceptions, that’s pretty common with young QBs. And the first came in a mop-up role in his first appearance of 2008, and three more came in his first NFL start, against the eventual NFC South-champion Falcons, when you’d expect him to be nervous.

    In the final 10 games, all starts, Thigpen threw 16 touchdown passes to eight interceptions. Not too shabby. And that’s far beyond anything the first-round bonus babies (JaMarcus Russell and Brady Quinn) from Thigpen’s draft class (2007) have accomplished.

    Well, sure, those are decent numbers, but come on, the dude was in a shotgun most of the time and not a traditional offense.

    Yep, the Chiefs, in desperation, got a bit gimmicky last season and spread things out. But a lot of teams are going more that route, and you guys tell me that Tom Brady (and last year, Cassel) and Flacco and Roethlisberger aren’t back there quite a bit, too.

    Wow, I never thought I’d write this much about Tyler Thigpen, but, alas, it has happened. But how can you not like the kid? Never invited to the combine, seventh-round pick by the Vikings, claimed off waivers by the Chiefs in September 2007, tore his medial collateral ligament that rookie season and then ended up starting 11 games the next year when no one expected it, and, best as I can tell, did some pretty nice stuff.

    And now, someone, if they’re smart, will meet the Chiefs’ price and trade for Thigpen. Sure, a third- or fourth-round pick is considerable, but when you look at what the kid has done, how valuable his position is and how few quality alternatives exist (let alone talented 25-year-olds), to me, a fourth-round pick is surely worth the shot.

    The Jaguars have expressed the most interest to this point, and that’s one of several teams with a significant need for a backup QB. The Bills, Bears, Packers and Saints also have been closely monitoring the QB market. And people I talk to around the league don’t discount the Patriots making a move for a QB, too — particularly one who could provide a Wildcat element. The Ravens seriously considered trading for Thigpen before ultimately opting to sign Cleo Lemon a little while back, league sources said.

    Some team will come away with a solid prospect in Thigpen, and frankly, I’m not quite sure why the Chiefs didn’t give him more of a look before locking in on Cassel.
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    FinAtic8480's Avatar
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    Great read....
    Follow me at www.twitter.com/robi2184, always updating Dolfans with the latest Miami Dolphins news.

    Zach Thomas: I played against New England twice a year every year my whole career. I learned to not like that team. I wasn't going to join them.
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    LaCanfora came up with the best data on Thigpen from his one season in KC that I could find.

    well done imo.

    Keep in mind this article was written in 09 after the Chiefs landed Cassell, and before we acquired him.
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    well lets hope all these stats and past trials translate into wins here at Miami.

    I am rooting for him but part of me says he was the third string QB for a reason.
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    Thanks for sharing this.
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    Thanks Greyboy. Great read and the thing I love about him is his firey eyes and hunger. I believe and I really don't think I'm jumping the gun here.
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    very good read. I didn't realize he had that many TD's. I think as fans we all need to rally behind this guy...give him a chance. No one is expecting him to be Dan Marino...or wait...maybe some are lol. Bottom line is...he is a more than capable backup who deserves a shot to start on a team with more talent around him then he had in KC...which we can provide. It will be very interesting to see how he pans out....one thing I think most Fin fans can agree on is that he is very exciting to watch! Go Phins!
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    That's a persuasive slant on him in comparison to the heralded young guns and what they respectively had to work with. I'll be pleasantly surprised, but surprised nevertheless if he turns out to be starter-quality. Stranger things have happened like guys stocking Iowa grocery shelves one year and stepping in after an injury to lead his team to the SB the next, so I'm not necessarily discounting the possibility of us catching lightning in a bottle.

    I've always been in the contingent arguing that from a replacement value, especially with Penny so fragile, the hit or miss crapshoot 6th or even 5th we could have maybe gotten for him in a trade preseason based on his perceived market value falls far short of his utility and potential for us in a pinch.






    "Yep. Blow it up. This might the worst team I've ever seen constructed in my life.
    And then you throw in the terrible preparation and in-game coaching. There is no defense.
    But do it right. Fire everyone in the building. No survivors. , JiF Jetnation

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    Thanks man... Gets me excited.
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    Can't wait for Thursday to see what this kid can do for us!
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