With free agency happening today and this week, I wanted to point emphatically to a great podcast interview Yahoo Sports Shutdown Corner's (and former Field Gulls contributor) Doug Farrar did with NFL Films chief Greg Cosell that covers some of the top free agents that could be on Seattle's radar. I can't really understate how superb Cosell's analysis really is - it's not hyperbolic to say that he watches more NFL game-film that any other human on the face of the planet and has for decades. Despite never playing or coaching football, GMs, coaches, front offices, and scouts regularly consult with him. As Andy Benoit put it in a great piece on Cosell, "To N.F.L. insiders, Cosell is a treasure trove of information. Pro football writers and broadcasters regularly hit him up privately for analysis. General managers ask for his assessment of draft prospects. Coaches are curious about his methods of breaking down film."
In that piece, NFL.com senior writer Vic Carucci explains, "For a guy who isn't a coach, isn't a general manager, and was never a player, the depth of his knowledge and his ability to explain it is as strong as anything I've come across. And I like to think I've been around some of the brightest football people in the modern era."
So, not only is it a great listen as a general football fan, they hit on a lot of free agents and trade targets we've talked about here for the Seahawks so it's a must listen. Here are some teasers, but honestly go give it a listen because Cosell expounds a lot on each of these points - I really only include the opening thoughts on each player.
On Kevin Kolb:
"Oh, I don't think he's a franchise quarterback. And I think that in this point in time, he's a question mark. He's certainly not a given as a quality 16 game starter. ...Kolb is a certain kind of quarterback. I think at his best, Doug, .. at his BEST, he's a Matt Hasselbeck type player."
On Tarvaris Jackson:
"I think Tarvaris Jackson is another guy that clearly needs a run game as the foundation. You'd try to manipulate and massage his play, to the point where you're limiting his reads, his progressions, simplify it for him. He has a HUGE arm, there's not a throw he can't make; but I think he struggles when he has to go through lengthier reading (of) progressions."
On Kyle Orton:
"He's an interesting player. There was a stretch last year, and I don't know what the final statistics were, but he was the best play-action quarterback in football for a stretch last year. There are games where he throws the ball really well, he looks in command, he knows where to go with the football. Then towards the end of the year he deteriorated a little bit, and it was tough for me to understand why, because I like Kyle Orton."
On Sidney Rice:
"I think Sidney Rice is a big, physical receiver, very good leaping ability. I don't think he's explosive laterally. I think he's better vertically than his speed would suggest, because he can use his body well, he's a good leaper, he tracks the ball extremely well. I don't view Sidney Rice as a top-5, -6, even top-10 receiver in the league, but I think he's a solid receiver."
(He also talks in-depth about Santonio Holmes)
On Robert Gallery:
"Gallery's a very solid player. We know he played tackle at Iowa and then he struggled in the NFL at tackle, but I think he's a good, solid NFL guard."
On G Daryn Colledge (Green Bay Packer free agent - connections with John Schneider):
"You know, I like Daryn Colledge. I got to tell you, I know that he's had some issues at times, I think he's improved, and I think he's turned into another guy that's turned into another starting, workmanlike guard in the National Football League."
On Brandon Mebane:
"I liked him when he came out, and I think he's ended up being what I thought he'd be in the NFL. He's a nice, workmanlike player with some quickness; he certainly can be a one-gap player but I wouldn't call his quickness 'dynamic' or 'explosive'.. but he can do it."
(He also talks about NT Aubrayo Franklin).
On Johnathan Joseph:
"He plays press-man, he plays off. He's a very good plant and drive corner from off-coverage, .... I think he has a complete skill-set for a corner."
Finally, on S Dashon Goldson:
"I like Dashon Goldson, I think he's improved dramatically over the last couple of years. And again, everybody thinks of the Polumalu's and the Reeds, and these types of players and he's not that guy, but I like Dashon Goldson."
(He also talks in-depth about Eric Weddle).
Again, I can't say how much I enjoyed this podcast- really great job by Doug Farrar, --who for his part offers good insights as well --, for getting Cosell to give his thoughts and I hope he can make it happen again soon. Follow Greg Cosell at @GregCosell and Doug at @FO_DougFarrar on Twitter.