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Packers Safeties: Who Should Be Starters?

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by TOPHAT, Dec 22, 2007.

  1. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=699411

    Safety measures. NFC, AFC scouts evaluate Bigby's performance.

    Strong safety Atari Bigby, the Green Bay Packers' only new starter on defense in 2007, ranked as an unknown commodity in the personnel world when the season began.But now that Bigby has started 14 games in a row for one of the top teams in the National Football League, scouts have seen enough to begin passing judgment. On Friday, four executives in personnel for NFL teams, two in each conference, unanimously agreed that Bigby was playing the run better than the pass.

    "Not a great instinctive football player but he's aggressive and he plays hard," an NFC personnel man said. "He's able to mask a lot of his deficiencies by his effort level. But you're talking about a guy who, in the grand scheme of things, probably is a quality backup and special-teams guy." When asked to rank Bigby among the 64 starting safeties, the scout said he'd place him in the bottom 20. An AFC personnel man also ranked Bigby somewhere in the lower third of starting safeties. Another NFC scout said he doubted Bigby could start for his team, and neither of that team's safeties is highly regarded at all. "My problem with him is in coverage," the NFC scout said. "I don't like him in man coverage and he free-lanced on 'off ball.' He can cover ground but he's just undisciplined in coverage."

    However, a second AFC scout who counts the Packers among the teams that he is responsible for ranked Bigby about 25th among the 64. "He's tough and he runs pretty well," the scout said. "I don't think he's going to be overly flashy, but he just shows up and makes plays all the time. He has made big interceptions, fumbles. I think he's on his way to having a good career." Bigby, 26, has intercepted four passes (he has dropped one), including three in the last two weeks, and each one came off a deflection. He also has forced three fumbles, including tremendous strips against Minnesota's Adrian Peterson and Jeff Dugan. Those seven turnover plays are the most in a season by a Packers safety since Darren Sharper also had seven in 2004. The last time a safety in Green Bay reached double digits in turnover plays was 1993 when LeRoy Butler registered 12.

    While Bigby has demonstrated a nose for the ball, he also has struggled in most types of coverage since early October. "There were four or five games in the middle of the season when teams decided that it was time to point out that he's not very good in coverage," an NFC scout said. "The thing that helps him that doesn't help a lot of safeties is those two guys on the outside do so much of the legwork. Bigby is not an intelligent football player so he's very hesitant with his reactions." Bigby allowed just one pass of 20 yards or more in the first seven games but four in the last seven. He also has allowed two runs of 20 yards or more, both in the first month, by taking bad angles and missing tackles. His total of 7 1/2 plays of 20-plus are the most allowed by a Packers safety in a full season since Mark Roman and Sharper each allowed 9 1/2 in '04. Bigby also has allowed five touchdown passes (3 1/2 to tight ends), the second-most against a Packers safety since 1998.

    "Stiff," an AFC scout said. "Has a burst to the ball but struggles to change directions. Throws his body around but probably misses too many tackles. "The safety position has kind of changed. It's more space stuff now. You can kind of cover him up, but eventually in a big game he's going to get exposed." Before the bye, Bigby didn't have a penalty. But he has seven in the last eight games, including four pass-interference flags totaling 79 yards. "His deficiencies come from the fact that he doesn't diagnose things quickly," an NFC scout said as he maintained that the 26-year-old Bigby probably wouldn't improve much. "Most of the time, if that's what you are, that doesn't change. I think what he is is what he's always going to be."

    Some of the rap on Bigby is that he's more susceptible to play-action fakes than the average safety. That stems in part, according to scouts, from his attack mentality. "Pretty good in run support," an NFC scout said. "I thought he flew around. Physical. The tackling part is all good. It's the back-end part. He's overaggressive." Bigby is second on the club in solo tackles (88) and third in total tackles (111). He has missed 11 tackles and has three tackles for loss. "He's a reliable tackler," an AFC scout said. "Sometimes he will go for the kill shot, but at the same time he knows when it's time to break down and come to balance and make a sure tackle. Every now and then he will get a little out of control." An NFC scout who ranked Bigby seventh-best among the eight safeties in the NFC North still isn't convinced that his future won't be bright. "I think he has an upside," the scout said. "It's just if he ever learns to become more of a complete player. He has to do both."

    http://www.acmepackingcompany.com/story/2007/12/18/7156/2885

    http://www.footballoutsiders.com/2007/12/17/ramblings/audibles/5891/

    It's too bad that S Aaron Rouse's only playing time now comes when the coaches pull Collins for the game for precautionary reasons. Rouse is still the best safety on the roster. Don't let S Atari Bigby's two interception game fool you either. Bigby is still awful in pass coverage. Here's the guys at Football Outsiders making fun of his "coverage" skills: Bill Barnwell: Man, is Atari Bigby awful. He had one of the most ridiculous interceptions I've ever seen today on a play where a tight end settled in ten yards in front of him without Bigby reacting, but Bulger threw it behind the receiver, who tipped it into Bigby's hands. Doug Farrar: Awful and awfully lucky. He had a tipped interception last week as well.

    BIGBY DID IT AGAIN. He had another tipped pick. Of course, the announcers say he's "always around the ball," which is true. He's always seven yards behind the ball. Ned Macey: If you go to Atari Bigby's player page on NFL.com, his stats would list six interceptions while Brian Dawkins has one. It lists eight passes defensed before today's games; Dawkins had five. Based on those freely available stats, one would think Bigby is the better pass defender, when he really is among the very worst safeties in the league in pass defense. As for today's picks, the first one was embarrassing since he left Drew Bennett (big white guy exhibiting stone hands, but alas not a tight end) wide-open for a long first down. The second one, however, was not his poor coverage, as the receiver was tightly covered (by someone else). Still, he was just there to pick up the free gift. Bigby is an excellent run-support safety, but I fear these interception numbers will make somebody somewhere think he is good in pass defense.

    http://www.packersnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071222/PKR01/71222052/1989

    ...At safety, for all the flack Atari Bigby has taken for some boneheaded personal-foul penalties and deficiencies playing the ball in the man-to-man coverage, he’s young (26) and a major upgrade over the Mark Romans and Marquand Manuels who preceded him. Also, rookie Aaron Rouse has improved as much as anyone in the past couple months and could win that starting job next year....


    [align=center]PACK FANS: YOU DECIDE...ADJUSTMENTS BEFORE PLAYOFF RUN? [/align]

    :pop: 8) :lol: :lol: 8) 8)
     
  2. RainX

    RainX Cheesehead

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    Probably based on talent alone, you would probably go with a tandem of Collins at FS and Rouse at SS. However, I don't know if you can really just pluck a rookie like Rouse, who has been playing backup FS most of the season, and just all of a sudden make him your starting SS. There's probably a reason the coaching staff hasn't done it yet despite some shakey play from Atari during the course of the year.

    That being said, I do believe SS is a position we still need to upgrade in the off-season along with nickel CB. Bigby would definitely be a solid backup and special teamer. As far as CB, Williams and Blackmon are pretty valuable as 4th and 5th corners due to their contributions on special teams, but I think taking a CB in the 1st round to groom behind Harris and Woodson would be a solid long term move. A SS could be gotten via FA.

    As for the remainder of the year, you probably have to run with Bigby and Collins. Rouse will probably be ready to challenge Nick for the starting gig next year.
     
  3. yooperfan

    yooperfan Cheesehead

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    At this point in time I guess you gotta stick with Bigby.
    We are 12-2 .
     
  4. Greg C.

    Greg C. Cheesehead

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    Long-term, I would go with Collins and Rouse. But it may be too late to switch this season. I do think Rouse would be fine at either position. He's filled in effectively at both. He's a hitter, and he's shown good ball skills.

    Bigby was one of my favorite players for the first six or seven games this season. Then he started getting exposed in coverage. I just don't trust him back there. He's kind of a random factor. He could make a great play or he could make an awful one. He is still young, though, so there is hope for him to become more assignment-sure.

    In training camp next year, they need to make it an open contest between the three of them (and maybe one or two other players as well) for the starting two positions.
     
  5. Greg C.

    Greg C. Cheesehead

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    I got the same thing posted twice, so I deleted this one.
     
  6. DakotaT

    DakotaT Cheesehead

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    What I would really like to see is go after Assante Samuel in free agency, move Woodson to FS, man would he be great there, and then let Nick Collins roam the line of scrimage like Leroy use to.

    Then in the nickel package you move Woodson to the slot receiver and put Rouse at FS. I'm not a big Bigby fan, but I like his hustle.
     
  7. Cdnfavrefan

    Cdnfavrefan Cheesehead

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    Made losing Mike Mckenzie easier when I realized today the draft pick we got ws where Colloins came from. I still think this guy has a lot more upside if he stays healthy. 2 games ago I'd say Rouse should take over but last game it apeared Atari was playing like a guy with a chip on his shoulder. Either way at least I like that we have a capable #2 if needed
     
  8. Sangill

    Sangill Cheesehead

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    Article on Atari Bigby

    Safety measures, by JSOnline


    Discuss.
     
  9. all about da packers

    all about da packers Cheesehead

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    Article on Atari Bigby

    I agree with the last sentence, I think Bigby has some upside.

    I've said before Bigby has to learn that he can be aggressive in various ways while on the field, other than kicking the ball, pulling players out from piles by their legs, etc.

    His first full year has been solid, he was putting up pro bowl numbers through the first 1/3 of the season. I think he's a keeper, but I don't think he's worth more than 3-3.5 million per season.
     
  10. slowsinistermo

    slowsinistermo Cheesehead

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    Article on Atari Bigby

    bigby makes me extra mad..bring on rouse
     
  11. PackinSteel

    PackinSteel Cheesehead

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    Article on Atari Bigby

    Different position similar results - we were all over Ahmad Caroll for PI penalties. I think we see something in Bigby's play that the scouts aren't all accounting for - he attacks. Caroll's penalties were more out of stupidity and arrogance. Bigby I think is simply being over-aggressive and he will learn to moderate that when the situation warrants it.

    I like the guy!
     
  12. Zero2Cool

    Zero2Cool I own a website

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    Re: Article on Atari Bigby

    Good thing you put this, because, no one would know to discuss on a discussion board.
     
  13. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

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    Article on Atari Bigby

    Bigby does a lot of great things. Sometimes he messes up, no doubt about it. But he brings a lot of positives. Hits hard, tackles well, high energy, and actually isn't too horrible in pass coverage, despite that being his biggest flaw.
     
  14. dannychau22

    dannychau22 Cheesehead

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    Re: Article on Atari Bigby

    lmao... yea i was confused til i saw that :p
     
  15. Yared-Yam

    Yared-Yam Cheesehead

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    Article on Atari Bigby

    I don't know how Bigby has kept his starting job.

    He is clearly one of the worst safeties in the league and he just isn't getting better.
     
  16. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

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    Re: Article on Atari Bigby

    Darren Sharper: 4 Ints, 51 Tackles, 1 Forced Fumbles
    Atari Bigby: 4 Ints, 83 Tackles, 3 forced Fumbles

    Darren Sharper - Pro Bowl

    Bigby may not be the best safety in the league, but do you people not realize how much of an upgrade over Manuel he is? One of the best defenses in the league, and Bigby is part of that defense. What the hell, guys. What the hell.
     
  17. KGB94SACKEM

    KGB94SACKEM Cheesehead

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    Re: Article on Atari Bigby

    He is a decent back up that gets by on playing with disregard and hustle. He isn't a top 20 safety however and I think this needs to be addressed in the off-season
     
  18. Yared-Yam

    Yared-Yam Cheesehead

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    Article on Atari Bigby

    It should have been addressed as soon as Rouse stepped in for Collins.

    Collins returns healthy and Rouse replaces Bigby. Then the two best players are on the field.
     
  19. Packerfan4Life

    Packerfan4Life Cheesehead

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    Re: Article on Atari Bigby

    Nobody's saying that Sharper's any good, we saw how ****** he was twice already this year. Bigby is the worst starter on the defense, and while I do like his tenacity and willingness to go all out for each tackle, he is a definite liability in coverage. We'll probably have to go through Dallas to get to the Super Bowl, and they just happen to have the best TE in the league on their team, and we've been getting blown up by the tight end all year. A reliable cover safety would go a long ways in minimizing the effectiveness of the TE in the passing game
     
  20. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    Re: Article on Atari Bigby

    REPOSTED DOWN.
     
  21. Yared-Yam

    Yared-Yam Cheesehead

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    Article on Atari Bigby

    For the record, Sharper is terrible and should never be voted to another Probowl.

    As for Bigby: I really do want him to get better, but I just don't see it anymore. The way he was making plays in the pre-season and early season made me squeal with delight, but I can't remember the last big play he's made that hasn't fallen right in his lap(his INTs).

    I think Rouse has big-time upside and I would just rather see him in there. But there's a reason I'm not an NFL coach.
     
  22. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    HIJACKED THREAD: CEASE & MERGE MODERATOR


    All about da packers, I am totally shocked. Also, I am seriously shocked at Zero2cool failure to catch this 2nd hijack deja vu attempt. I had posted this Bigby news article in my "Who Should be Starting Safeties?" thread with info, discussion, and poll with this link:

    [ Poll ] Packers Safeties: Who Should Be Starters?
    Safeties Reviews: Status Quo or Change?

    http://www.packerforum.com/index.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=13596

    Per forum rules, you are to have this thread locked and merged under my first orginal subject thread.



    :USA: :USA: :eek:mg: :eek:mg: :rules: :eek:mg: :eek:mg: :USA: :USA: :lol: :lol:
     
  23. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    Probably how it will play out...good summation.


    :lol: :lol:
     
  24. all about da packers

    all about da packers Cheesehead

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    Article on Atari Bigby

    Merged, sorry Tophat have been busy due to holidays and it took me a while to read that post.
     
  25. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

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    Re: Article on Atari Bigby

    If only you could get some help. If only.
     

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