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Discussion in 'Miami Dolphins Forum' started by Galant, Aug 29, 2020.
Looking at his actual production, he didn’t live up to expectations.
Hate to see him go. Wish him the best.
Players like him are going to go the way of the fullback, an anachronism.
We recouped a couple of picks for a guy that may have been outright released. That's fine by me. He never really lived up to expectations. This does however just make our drafting look much worse than it already looks (I didn't think we could get any worse at drafting).
I don't think McMillan is obsolete as far as this defense goes- he's a better athlete than a lot of the guys who have taken some ILB snaps in this defensive scheme. They know how to keep them out of trouble in the passing game. He's more athletic than Dont'a Hightower, and you've seen some real slugs like Brandon Spikes get every-down work in previous incarnations of the defense. Hell, they tried to train Dan Klecko to do it at one point.
I think it's more that McMillan wasn't cleanly beating anyone out in a crowded ILB room, and he wasn't a likely re-sign in the last year of his contract. Better move him then get him 200 snaps or and hope for a comp pick.
No we didn't. We swapped their 4th for our 5th. That's it. No picks gained.
I like LBs like him and I like FBs. I enjoyed watching football more when both were a larger part of it.
Lots of people feel that way I imagine, but the rule changes have made such players obsolete.
Not a huge deal it seems like this was happening sooner or later anyway.
I thought he and Baker were developing well last season together.. they seemed to have built chemistry.. oh well, they know best, i think
I would argue that your statement isn't totally accurate. Rules changes have loosened up defenses, leading offensive coaches at all levels to grow greedier and more impatient. They throw the ball a lot more overall, downfield more, and with plays that are designed to get YAC more. They care less about controlling the clock, and employ a higher risk offense, going as fast as they can. Its a choice.
However, the rules haven't made blocking and versitile fullbacks any less effective. They can still play the way that they always have if coaches will let them. And there's absolutely no reason that an offense that features a fullback, and plays a style more similar to 20-30 years ago can't work. Look at the 49ers just last year, who went all the way to the Super Bowl and could have won.
But sadly, the fewer teams that play that style, the fewer defenses will put good tackling LBs out there to stop them, and that does make it harder for guys like McMillan to get a starting job. Its all a mess, as football becomes more chaotic and wild. My hope is that enough teams win by going against the grain and controlling the ball that things will eventually swing back.
I dont really like this trade. The value received doesnt live up to the value given.
It's not that I care so much about losing him, but with his contract and the fact he knows the system and is still growing there really isnt a reason not to keep him at least as depth unless the offer was really good.
That probably won't happen because expected points added per passing play are so much greater than expected points added per run play. It isn't greed as much as it is an awareness of what wins. Consider the following articles:
I thi k it has more to do with roster management than the game changing, though it obviously plays a big part.
At the end of the day most teams feel like they can get by with a TE or lineman at FB when necessary.
With roster cuts and the fact you already need a kicker/punter occupying slots, it's hard to justify an average FB over a talented project.
Yep i agree, i dont like the trade as well.. hope it works out.. i wish we would stop constantly making moves like we are trading in Madden and actually try to build
I don't think there's any reason to believe fullbacks are obsolete- I'm not sure what the rule change is that's being referenced, but I think it's more accurate to say they've been out of style, and that kind of stuff is cyclical in the NFL. Teams like NO, NE, and SF have made it integral parts of their offense, and they're not going anywhere.
Two-back formations are fundamentally different to defend than one-back formations. In the run game you're creating a gap that moves and can insert basically anywhere in the field, and you've got to have a 2nd level(or 3rd level) defender essentially follow and engage them wherever they go.
It causes problems in the run game, but it also causes problems in the passing game even if your fullback isn't much of a pass catcher. You can force many defenses into single-high safety looks with a fullback(including guys like Saban and Belichick, who are generally building extra gaps into their formations w/ DL). You also have the ability to manipulate and open throwing windows- because the defender w/ the fullbacks gap has to follow them and try to meet them as close to the LOS as possible you're basically stuck following them, it's very easy to manipulate where they go, create missteps vs. play action, etc.
Can you do the same stuff with a TE in the backfield? Yes, but it's still a specialized skill-set and not exactly trivial to find, either.
This article is a good melding of our two perspectives on this:
I think an underrated part of the issue is that colleges just aren't really producing fullbacks anymore. You've basically got to see what Iowa, Auburn, Wisconsin, and what a couple other teams are generating every year, and if they don't have someone declaring or graduating then you're looking around for someone's H-Back or something like that to develop.
Like I said I think it's more roster management.
It's hard to believe that a FB will produce a great amount more than that TE you are using unless your offensive scheme calls for it.
Even when FB were in vogue, there were a bunch of average non producers you hoped could block well enough to justify a space and 1-2-3 guys dominating the position in the league.
The way offenses want to pass the ball, the FB needs to actually be a serious threat running and catching to justify his spot, as well as being a good blocker.
It's easier to take a small hit by putting a TE there and freeing a roster space.
Right, but you have to go back to the root of the issue here -- the rule changes that have occurred since 1978 have made the passing game far more efficient than the run game, in terms of scoring, in comparison to pre-1978, and it's only grown in disproportionality since then. So a player whose function supports the run game far more than the passing game then becomes a victim of "roster management." If that player's role were as associated with scoring and winning as it was in let's say 1970, nobody would have any problem managing him into their roster. But the rule changes have fundamentally changed the game in that regard.
Well the rule changes are what allow a TE to adequately fill the spot. He starts off, generally, with some form of pass catching and run blocking skill, but generally more towards pass catching these days.
Because you need minimum 2 and hopefully 3 TE on the roster, it's easier to use one of those guys when it's called for.
My knowledge and thoughts don't go back quite that far, lol. I became a diehard fan about thirty years ago, and the way that FBs and RBs were used in those days became part of what I loved about the game. I absolutely loved the way offense was run from the mid 90s through around ten years ago.
Even early in Marino's career the fullback was a staple of the offense. But you could see the change a brewing even back then, when the Dolphins started prioritizing backs in the draft who could catch the ball. In 1984 (Marino's explosion) Woody Bennett (a fullback) had 144 carries for 600+ yards -- and caught a mere six passes -- on the season. By 1989 that had morphed into a combination of Ron Davenport and Tom Brown, who combined had 27 carries for 82 yards -- and combined caught 21 passes.
Pass catching FBs and RBs were a huge part of our offense in the 90s though.
Tony Paige caught 35, 57, and 48 passes in 1990-92. In 1992, Bubby Humphrey (54) and Paige (48) were the top two pass catchers on a team that went to the AFC Championship game.
In 1993, they were gone and replaced by Terry Kirby, who caught 75 passes as a rookie to lead the team, while new FB Keith Byars caught 61. Kirby was injured most of 1994, but the RB unit as a whole still caught 154 passes that year on an offense that was #1 in the entire league, and probably my favorite as a Dolphins fan. And then in 95, Kirby was back with 66 catches, while Byars caught 51 and Bernie Parmalee caught 39 as well.
Then in 1996 when Jimmy took over, he drafted Stanley Pritchett as his new FB, and he caught a 74 yard TD pass in his first ever game. He did disappear for two seasons after that though, before bouncing back in 1999 with 43 catches and 4 TDs. In fact in 99, we also drafted Rob Kondrad, and he caught 34 passes himself. So double FB action. Sadly, Konrad was vastly underused once Chan Gailey took over as OC in 2000.
But for those ten years, it always seemed like we had a bigger back who was capable of catching a ton of passes and moving the chains on a regular basis, while also blocking for the primary runner. Its such an effective way to stay out of long yardage situations and keep the ball in the hands of your offense, and help the defense stay off the field. The strategy works.
Right, well aware of that, but my point was that Marino was a precursor of the QBs of today, who are similar in ability and are benefiting even more from rules favoring the passing game. Now it's not just Marino whose fullbacks are disappearing, but everybody's.
What teams have realized of course is that there is far greater efficiency gained from having three wide receivers, or two wide receivers and two tight ends, on the field than from having two players in the backfield. Imagine if the 2007 Patriots had Rob Konrad on the field instead of Wes Welker.
I think the decline of the "pass catching" fullback(and guys who took a solid amount of rushing snaps), and all of the split back formations you don't really see anymore(pro set, all of the WCO two-back formations like near, far, etc.) is kind of a separate issue to the lead blocking fulllback. All of that stuff basically died out with teams going to the smaller, faster 4-3 fronts inspired by Jimmy Johnson/Tony Dungy/etc... everyone basically switched to more of an I-formation team by the 2000s(with the exception of like Jon Gruden), and then was replaced by the I-formation(which itself has declined in the present).
IMO I think there's plenty of grounds to come and mimic all that split back and the pass-catching fullback stuff with all of these 6'3" 245 pound tight ends who don't know how to block inline. All these fast 4-3 Overs and their elite sideline to sideline MLBs are all gone. Teams compensate with DB substitutes now, and they're something you can certainly take advantage of and the like.