The Up&Down side, 2013 to 2014

The Up&Down side, 2013 to 2014

Up side is a term usually used when evaluating draft picks and rookies. It usually indicates a player that is not playing as good as his physical potential indicates (SPARQ Freaks...) or a player that started playing football late and is on a steady improvement curve.

There is also and up and down side for players already on the roster from year to year. Players with obvious upside are young players going into their 2nd and 3rd year or QBs who improve over their first 5 years. Players that show a significantly improved physical shape/size will get an upside mark as well. Another upside/downside factor is the result of medical issues. Players who missed a lot of time or played below their level in 2013 due to injury and are now healthy have an upside over 2013. Players that are coming back from a serious injury (ACL) or off season procedures just in time for the season will not be in full performance mode from the start and will show some downside. The last downside factor is age, older banged players just don't get better and age related decline after 30 is a fact of life.

We have 4 upside groups on our roster:

The young and restless – It is common knowledge that college players take time to adopt to the speed, physicality and level of play in the NFL. The biggest jump in performance usually happens from year 1 to year 2 and a lesser improvement happens between year 2 and year 3. (See Luke Wilson, Wagner, Bowie, Bailey etc.)

The medical ward – Players that missed a lot of time last year, played injured or were recovering from a major injury were either playing below their level or not there at all. Having them back and healthy is a big upside over their 2013 contribution. (See Rice, Harvin, Okung, Unger, Simon, Hill, Jesse etc.)

The bigger and stronger – Player who reported in after major body work and present a big physical change that should improve their performance in the coming year should present an obvious us side over 2013. (See Scruggs, Jesse, Mayowa, Carp, Sweezy etc.)

The QB – RW deserves a class of his own. QBs take 4-5 years to fully mature into their prime. A QB entering his 3rd year is expected to take a big step forwards in his game. In 2013 RW was tempered by fire. Playing behind the worse pass blocking offensive line in the league with his top 2 targets (Rice and Harvin) gone or not effective for most of the year he led this team to a SB victory. His 3rd year, with a healthier improved OL and a full range of quality targets should enable him to take his game to another level.

Let's take a look at the players from 2013 entering 2014 and see if we are going Up or Down.

Going into 2nd year - +2

Going into 3rd year - +1

Better physical shape/size - +1

Missed 2013 or played injured - +2/+1

Injury/procedure recovery during pre season - -1

Major injury recovery before TC - -1

Major injury recovery into TC - -2

Age decline under 32 - -1

Age decline over 32 - -2



Avril – 0

Bennett – 0

Mayowa - +3 (Better physical size + going into 2nd year)

Scruggs - +2 (missed 2013 + into 3nd year + better physical size minus ACL recovery)

Total DE - +5


Brooks - +1

Cherrington – 0

Hill - +3

McDaniel – 0

Mebane - 0 (Nose tackles last longer)

Smith – 0

Jesse - +3

Total DT - +7


Farwell – 0

Irvine – 0 (procedure balanced by 3rd year)

Morgan – 0

Schofield – 0

Smith – 0 (procedure balanced by 3rd year)

Toomer - +3

Wagner - +1

Wright – 0

Total LB - +4


Sherman – 0

Maxwell - 0 (effectively entering his 3rd year…)

Shead - +1

Simon - +3

August - +1

Total CB - +5


Chancellor - -1 (hip procedure)

Johnson – +1 (played injured and ended on IR in 2013)

Thomas – 0

Safeties - 0



Bailey - +2

Bowie - +2

Okung – +1 (missed half of 2013 minus off season procedure recovery)

Tackles - +5


Carpeneter - +2 (last season effected by injuries in the off season + better shape/size)

Sweezy - +2 (3rd year + better shape/size)

Guards - +4


Gresham – 0

Jeanpierre – 0

Smith - +2

Unger - +1 (played partially injured last year)

Centers - +3


RW - +2 (QB entering 3rd year)

Jackson – 0

QBs - +2


Coleman - +3 (2nd year and healthy)

Lynch – 0 (A year ahead of possible age decline)

Michael - +2

Turbin - +1

Ware - +3 (See Coleman)

Total RB - +9


Baldwin – 0

Bates - +1

Clark - +1

Harvin - +2

Kearse – 0

Lockette – 0

Rice - +1 (injured last season minus recovery during off season)

Total WR - +5


Miller – 0

Wilson - +2

McCoy - +1

Total TE - +3

Well, it does not say much other then that those players we'll end up keeping from the 2013 roster have a positive upside and could be a bit better this year or more productive or something. The whole team upside or down side is effected by new players coming in, players we lost and many other factors.

However, when you consider that all those position groups showing upside potential are already SB champions, it could mean something. If we do get to the season without new injuries to key players and with the full might of this roster ready to play it could mean a lot.

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