Originally posted by Phoenix49ers:
Richard Sherman is not a good cornerback because he's big, he's a good cornerback because he's extremely skilled, he worked his ass off, he was a former wide receiver and he has put in the work to play at the level he is at. He could be 5'10" and would still be a damn tough matchup for anyone.
Skill still dominates over everything else. You need guys who are outstanding route runners above all, who don't necessarily need to rely on their athleticism to make plays, guys with quickness and the ability and desire to simply go up and get the ball no matter what the defense is doing.
Take the idea one step farther.
If you think that size and speed make a wide receiver good, you are sorely mistaken.
Calvin Johnson simply is not an elite wide receiver because of his physical dimensions or his speed.
If you think that, you are ignoring the skill set he brings to the game, but even more importantly you are ignoring the hours and hours of hard work that Johnson endured to develop that skill set.
The excessive stress on his physicality, on his combination of height, weight, and speed, is demeaning and almost insulting.
This simplistic focus on his physical tools ignores the intelligence, the exhaustive concentration to the details of the game, the disciplined work ethic, and rare desire to be great that Calvin Johnson and other elite players bring to the game.
There is no denying that most elite players have very good physical tools, but there are many players with very good physical tools that never even become good, much less, elite players.
At the end of the day what really distinguishes the elite players can not be found in numbers from the combine or numbers gotten with a tape measure, a scale, and a stop watch.
If you want to find the characteristics that distinguish the elite, you must look in their minds, their heart, and their guts.
This is not complicated. Anyone who has played the game or understands football knows this.
[ Edited by buck on Sep 17, 2013 at 1:41 AM ]