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A few scrimmage nuggets

Joined
Jul 13, 2014
Messages
6,585
It’s coming. I’m going to look like Dr. J floating through the sky like a condor from the free throw line with that tomahawk dunk about to land in everyone’s face.

Why does everything have to be so black and white around here?

Up until this point, Mark Pope has been a massive disappointment. Period. He has stunk. There is no gray area there.

But he is a talented kid. He's quick, he's fluid, he runs good routes, he gets open. His disappointing and stinking has been solely a byproduct of his complete inability to catch a football. But it doesn't mean he's incapable of making a play and it doesn't mean he's incapable of learning how to catch a football. Hell, if anything, what he lacks IS learnable. You can rep and rep and rep and rep and make yourself serviceable with your hands if you work. You really can't make yourself more athletic, or bigger, or (much) faster. So he's got natural gifts, he needs to somehow figure out how to catch or the staff needs to get him the hell out of the way.

But this notion that the fanbase is going to sit on one side or the other of Mark Pope's production and lob grenades at each other based off whether or not he makes plays this fall.....what the hell are we even doing?
 

The Franchise

The Best EVER
Joined
Sep 4, 2012
Messages
43,471
Why does everything have to be so black and white around here?

Up until this point, Mark Pope has been a massive disappointment. Period. He has stunk. There is no gray area there.

But he is a talented kid. He's quick, he's fluid, he runs good routes, he gets open. His disappointing and stinking has been solely a byproduct of his complete inability to catch a football. But it doesn't mean he's incapable of making a play and it doesn't mean he's incapable of learning how to catch a football. Hell, if anything, what he lacks IS learnable. You can rep and rep and rep and rep and make yourself serviceable with your hands if you work. You really can't make yourself more athletic, or bigger, or (much) faster. So he's got natural gifts, he needs to somehow figure out how to catch or the staff needs to get him the hell out of the way.

But this notion that the fanbase is going to sit on one side or the other of Mark Pope's production and lob grenades at each other based off whether or not he makes plays this fall.....what the hell are we even doing?
I think it's mentally challenged, but I'm telling you it's coming. It's what happens on here. I see people shorting Nope stock every day on here so they can set themselves up as geniuses when he makes his first good play in 2021.

Clearly, he has some talent. So does Wiggy. The problem is they've both eaten up way more reps than they should have, and fans are sick of them wilting and playing so soft along with dropping so many passes. There's not much else that goes into the equation. Catch the ball and don't get punked by freshman DBs and tossed around like sissies.
 

Milkcane

Recruit
Joined
Jan 13, 2017
Messages
215
And Harley deserved every drop of criticism he got too before he decided to heed the wakeup call and dedicate himself to being a better player midway through last season.

Nope and Wiggy have earned all their criticism too. Sometimes, people get carried away, but both of those guys have been horrible.
Yes they did. I never said they didn't. Pope definitely had a bad year with the drops, but the kid is fast, runs good routes, and gets open. If he dedicates himself to concentrating more and cutting down on the drops, then he could have a damn good year. The kid has talent.
 

Milkcane

Recruit
Joined
Jan 13, 2017
Messages
215
Why does everything have to be so black and white around here?

Up until this point, Mark Pope has been a massive disappointment. Period. He has stunk. There is no gray area there.

But he is a talented kid. He's quick, he's fluid, he runs good routes, he gets open. His disappointing and stinking has been solely a byproduct of his complete inability to catch a football. But it doesn't mean he's incapable of making a play and it doesn't mean he's incapable of learning how to catch a football. Hell, if anything, what he lacks IS learnable. You can rep and rep and rep and rep and make yourself serviceable with your hands if you work. You really can't make yourself more athletic, or bigger, or (much) faster. So he's got natural gifts, he needs to somehow figure out how to catch or the staff needs to get him the hell out of the way.

But this notion that the fanbase is going to sit on one side or the other of Mark Pope's production and lob grenades at each other based off whether or not he makes plays this fall.....what the hell are we even doing?
You get it. Great post.
 

Angry Ibis

I Stand by the []_[]
Joined
Jul 24, 2012
Messages
8,121
I think it's mentally challenged, but I'm telling you it's coming. It's what happens on here. I see people shorting Nope stock every day on here so they can set themselves up as geniuses when he makes his first good play in 2021.

Clearly, he has some talent. So does Wiggy. The problem is they've both eaten up way more reps than they should have, and fans are sick of them wilting and playing so soft along with dropping so many passes. There's not much else that goes into the equation. Catch the ball and don't get punked by freshman DBs and tossed around like sissies.
15-0 vs Memes about 15-0...

Another element of this is when we as fans are (over) sold greatness and greatness does not occur to the level of our expectations, some don’t always handle it well when coupled with losses or massive failures....

Pope falls squarely in that category I believe.
 

TheOriginalCane

All American
Joined
Dec 22, 2011
Messages
13,580
I think it's mentally challenged, but I'm telling you it's coming. It's what happens on here. I see people shorting Nope stock every day on here so they can set themselves up as geniuses when he makes his first good play in 2021.

Clearly, he has some talent. So does Wiggy. The problem is they've both eaten up way more reps than they should have, and fans are sick of them wilting and playing so soft along with dropping so many passes. There's not much else that goes into the equation. Catch the ball and don't get punked by freshman DBs and tossed around like sissies.


I agree with all your conclusions. However, as a Finance major, I think you meant to say that people are buying Nope stock cheap and hoping it goes up in the future, which is the opposite of shorting.

But other than that minor quibble, you are absolutely correct with the impatience level of the fans. I think that Pope, in particular, is going to have to play himself into more reps by making good things happen whenever he gets on the field this fall. I don't see many scenarios where Wiggins gets a shot, though, he's the 2021 version of 2008-era Sam Shields.
 

The Franchise

The Best EVER
Joined
Sep 4, 2012
Messages
43,471
15-0 vs Memes about 15-0...

Another element of this is when we as fans are (over) sold greatness and greatness does not occur to the level of our expectations, some don’t always handle it well when coupled with losses or massive failures....

Pope falls squarely in that category I believe.
I don't care about being "sold greatness." I'm more concerned with guys just sucking and eating up too many reps. I'm just as sour on 3 star Wiggy as I am on 5 star Nope.

In fact, I don't hate Nope or Wiggy. I just hate that they play too much. It's not their fault that they get so many reps and so many opportunities to fail and disappoint.
 

Angry Ibis

I Stand by the []_[]
Joined
Jul 24, 2012
Messages
8,121
I don't care about being "sold greatness." I'm more concerned with guys just sucking and eating up too many reps. I'm just as sour on 3 star Wiggy as I am on 5 star Nope.

In fact, I don't hate Nope or Wiggy. I just hate that they play too much. It's not their fault that they get so many reps and so many opportunities to fail and disappoint.
Yea. just catch the fucking football and don’t cost us games and most of us don’t give a **** which player is in the endzone.

The board creates the “dunk” on each other fuckery...
 

HighSeas

Sophomore
Joined
Feb 4, 2013
Messages
4,471
Wiggins has more of a chance at greatness than Pope. He at least has the length and twitch to where he's separating pretty regularly. If he didn't have the concentration of a couchlocked stoner and didn't shrivel up every time a defender sneezes on him he could be a productive player.

Pope doesn't even have the upside. If he plays tough and catches the ball he's still replacement level.
 

Angry Ibis

I Stand by the []_[]
Joined
Jul 24, 2012
Messages
8,121
Wiggins has more of a chance at greatness than Pope. He at least has the length and twitch to where he's separating pretty regularly. If he didn't have the concentration of a couchlocked stoner and didn't shrivel up every time a defender sneezes on him he could be a productive player.

Pope doesn't even have the upside. If he plays tough and catches the ball he's still replacement level.
I agree with you that I have higher hopes and perhaps greater frustration with Wiggins.
 

The Franchise

The Best EVER
Joined
Sep 4, 2012
Messages
43,471
I agree with all your conclusions. However, as a Finance major, I think you meant to say that people are buying Nope stock cheap and hoping it goes up in the future, which is the opposite of shorting.

But other than that minor quibble, you are absolutely correct with the impatience level of the fans. I think that Pope, in particular, is going to have to play himself into more reps by making good things happen whenever he gets on the field this fall. I don't see many scenarios where Wiggins gets a shot, though, he's the 2021 version of 2008-era Sam Shields.
I had a feeling I had that backwards, but I'm a mongoloid when it comes to those things. So I have an excuse.
 

The Franchise

The Best EVER
Joined
Sep 4, 2012
Messages
43,471
Wiggins has more of a chance at greatness than Pope. He at least has the length and twitch to where he's separating pretty regularly. If he didn't have the concentration of a couchlocked stoner and didn't shrivel up every time a defender sneezes on him he could be a productive player.

Pope doesn't even have the upside. If he plays tough and catches the ball he's still replacement level.
If Wiggy didn't drop 20% of the passes thrown to him and didn't play with the physical "toughness" and strength of a bulimic he could be a productive player. LOL. Those are pretty serious dings against a WR.
 

Koke

Recruit
Joined
Jan 5, 2018
Messages
1,369
Wiggins has more of a chance at greatness than Pope. He at least has the length and twitch to where he's separating pretty regularly. If he didn't have the concentration of a couchlocked stoner and didn't shrivel up every time a defender sneezes on him he could be a productive player.

Pope doesn't even have the upside. If he plays tough and catches the ball he's still replacement level.

I get what you’re trying to say about Pope, even when he catches the ball he’s pretty average. I’ve rarely seen him make a defender miss or run by him. Even his game winning touchdown vs VT when he was running free he looked like he was gonna fumble any second. I hope he gets it together but I doubt it happens.
 

No_Fly_Zone

Not a scientist or engineer
Joined
Dec 28, 2016
Messages
5,179
Wiggins has more of a chance at greatness than Pope. He at least has the length and twitch to where he's separating pretty regularly. If he didn't have the concentration of a couchlocked stoner and didn't shrivel up every time a defender sneezes on him he could be a productive player.

Pope doesn't even have the upside. If he plays tough and catches the ball he's still replacement level.

From a production standpoint, Wiggins frustrates me more. He was marginally less productive than Pope with more snaps last season.
I also tend to think he's not physical or savvy enough to play on the LOS as an X WR so he struggles with press coverage, but that's more on the coaches (and necessity... which falls on prior staff's recruiting) than him.
 

AlexCane

Senior
Joined
Nov 3, 2011
Messages
4,295
Why does everything have to be so black and white around here?

Up until this point, Mark Pope has been a massive disappointment. Period. He has stunk. There is no gray area there.

But he is a talented kid. He's quick, he's fluid, he runs good routes, he gets open. His disappointing and stinking has been solely a byproduct of his complete inability to catch a football. But it doesn't mean he's incapable of making a play and it doesn't mean he's incapable of learning how to catch a football. Hell, if anything, what he lacks IS learnable. You can rep and rep and rep and rep and make yourself serviceable with your hands if you work. You really can't make yourself more athletic, or bigger, or (much) faster. So he's got natural gifts, he needs to somehow figure out how to catch or the staff needs to get him the hell out of the way.

But this notion that the fanbase is going to sit on one side or the other of Mark Pope's production and lob grenades at each other based off whether or not he makes plays this fall.....what the hell are we even doing?
I don't agree.

I attended the Spring Game at Traz Powell (Manny's first year) and Pope looked great in shells. He has natural talents--he has wiggle, is quick, and is shifty. I was super high on him. His problem is that for whatever reason, none of that has been displayed on a football field. I cannot recall a single instance where he's shaken a tackler or defender on the field.

Next, I don't agree that his flaws are "learnable" at this stage. He just doesn't have a taste for contact. The physical element is lacking. That's part of football. Either you're comfortable with that element or you're not. It's why he has struggled so mightily to make contested catches or catches in traffic.

I hope he turns it around but what I see is a flag football all star not a guy that will surprise us this year or change our current assessment of him.
 

HighSeas

Sophomore
Joined
Feb 4, 2013
Messages
4,471
From a production standpoint, Wiggins frustrates me more. He was marginally less productive than Pope with more snaps last season.
I also tend to think he's not physical or savvy enough to play on the LOS as an X WR so he struggles with press coverage, but that's more on the coaches (and necessity... which falls on prior staff's recruiting) than him.
I'm not sure what more the coaches could do for him schematically. He got a ton of 1on1s outside where in theory his height and speed should lead to tons of big plays. Slants and verts should be right in his wheelhouse. Compare his ht/wt/speed and role to Dyami Brown and they're practically the same guy (Wiggins might actually measure better) yet there's a huge difference in effectiveness because Brown plays strong at the catch point and Wiggins shrinks.

Now if you wanna talk about development then yeah we now have back to back cases of athletic X receivers who play with poor technique and struggle with press and tight coverage in AR and Wiggins. Brinson is much further along coming in but we'll see how he develops.
 

No_Fly_Zone

Not a scientist or engineer
Joined
Dec 28, 2016
Messages
5,179
I'm not sure what more the coaches could do for him schematically. He got a ton of 1on1s outside where in theory his height and speed should lead to tons of big plays. Slants and verts should be right in his wheelhouse. Compare his ht/wt/speed and role to Dyami Brown and they're practically the same guy (Wiggins might actually measure better) yet there's a huge difference in effectiveness because Brown plays strong at the catch point and Wiggins shrinks.

Now if you wanna talk about development then yeah we now have back to back cases of athletic X receivers who play with poor technique and struggle with press and tight coverage in AR and Wiggins. Brinson is much further along coming in but we'll see how he develops.

He absolutely got a load of 1 v. 1 opportunities last season, unfortunately he often either did not fight for the ball or dropped the ball. All season it felt like any 50/50 balls beyond 20 yards thrown his way were more like 20/80 balls in favor of the bad guys (and I may be being too kind there).

Whether it is skill development or what's in his chest or between his ears, or some combination of those things, I honestly can't say. Wiggins certainly has the height/speed (and at least enough weight) that you'd love to see in an X receiver. But, as you pointed out, he is weak at the catch point, and we seem to agree he really struggles getting off the LOS in press coverage. He has many of the physical attributes of an X receiver, but he lacks the most important skills of an X receiver.

He's like the early 90s Toyota Celica hatchback of WRs. A car that looked like a speedy sports car, but then you open up the hood and find out its got a puny 4 cylinder engine. Looks like one thing, performs like something very different.


EDIT: My "that's more on the coaches" line earlier was about them continuing to trot him out there for 60-70 snaps a game at the X, not anything they did with the offensive scheme. He probably had more missed opportunities for big plays last season than any player on our roster.
 
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