Athlete vs Football Player

Texas Lion

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Obviously when you have a player like Micah you have both. But I wonder to everyone:

If you had to choose one would you rather have a crazy talented athlete or a crazy talented football player?

I think of it like this: right now, knowing what you know, would you rather have the career of Brandon Smith or the career of Ellis Brooks.

(Not saying Brooks isn't an athlete, but he will test way below Smith in a combine situation)
 

Obliviax

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Assuming the "athlete" isn't a cancer on the rest of the team, it only comes down to who wins you more games. The tradeoff is a guy who is so athletic he can recover to make plays versus a guy that is instinctive and always in the right spot.

I don't know if anyone saw the clip where Micah is out wide covering a slot receiver. The slot picks the CB off and the WR is left wide open. Micah turns and sprints down the field seeing the guy he is to cover is tied up with the CB and the play is to the WR. Micah runs the WR down and breaks up the play. Point? Its great to have both a "player" and an athlete. Not too many LB/DEs run down WRs.
 
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Texas Lion

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Assuming the "athlete" isn't a cancer on the rest of the team, it only comes down to who wins you more games. The tradeoff is a guy who is so athletic he can recover to make plays versus a guy that is instinctive and always in the right spot.

I don't know if anyone saw the clip where Micah is out wide covering a slot receiver. The slot picks the CB off and the WR is left wide open. Micah turns and sprints down the field seeing the guy he is to cover is tied up with the CB and the play is to the WR. Micah runs the WR down and breaks up the play. Point? Its great to have both a "player" and an athlete. Not too many LB/DEs run down WRs.
Yes, having both is usually what the Bamas, Georgias, and Buckeyes have. Micah was both, Barkley was both, Geiseki was both.....
 

PSULionsDub

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If you are recruiting both types of players, then we should want the crazy-talented football player over the crazy-talented athlete. Look no more than Brandon Smith and Jayson Oweh, two crazy-talented athletes who did not do much in a Penn State uniform. Once they get/got to the NFL, then they will receive NFL type of coaching and will make an impact on the football field. I think Coach Franklin should be focusing more on the talented football players rather than the talented athletes, especially if his recruiting pitch is telling the guys they should get to the NFL in 3 years.
 

bvillebaron

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If you are recruiting both types of players, then we should want the crazy-talented football player over the crazy-talented athlete. Look no more than Brandon Smith and Jayson Oweh, two crazy-talented athletes who did not do much in a Penn State uniform. Once they get/got to the NFL, then they will receive NFL type of coaching and will make an impact on the football field. I think Coach Franklin should be focusing more on the talented football players rather than the talented athletes, especially if his recruiting pitch is telling the guys they should get to the NFL in 3 years.
Well in all fairness Owen and Smith left or will be leaving with college eligibility left. Owen was admittedly a talent who was a project. Who knows he may have had a breakout year this year at PSU had he stayed. As long as they are coachable, give me the talented player and develop them.
 

The Spin Meister

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An altered state
Methinks when a kid is labeled ‘athlete’ he is player without a natural position. A kid that might be a safety or grow into linebacker. A running back vs a wideout. In one way it hurts the kid to move him around a lot. On the other hand, it allows the kid to play his best spot as he develops. A lot of that is because high school coaches love to put their best athlete at QB even if that won’t be his best pathway to college and beyond......think Terrell Pryor.

And it is actually more honest to call him an athlete because every player will be moved around depending how he grows, develops, and on what needs the team has. Injuries, a missed recruit, a recruit that doesn’t pan out, transfers.
 

lurkerlion

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The play with Micah shows how some people are football players and others have physical gifts. Posluzny and Lee were guys with decent speed but always made the play. They saw plays develop and went to where the ball was going. Somebody with awesome physical gifts tend to run straight line according to their assignments where a well schemed offense expects and can neutralize them.

You can’t teach speed or height. You might be able to coach football instincts. How do you choose when you are evaluating players? That is where coaches make Win or lose decisions. Alabama can pick the physical specimens because they can afford to miss on some of them. Otherwise you have to have a mix of players and athletes. Just don’t fall in love with potential when you have a player on the bench.
 

NatLion

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You always look for dudes with highest probability (potential) to become great football players. "Athlete" vs. "Player" is a silly false dichotomy.
 

Ward Hog

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It is great to have both but they are rare. Even the most crazy athletes recruited by the few elite programs fail more often than not. In the current age of the portal, it is probably best to have a good mix. Recruit the crazy athletes who look like they can become great football players and the really good athletes who are football players. Kind of like Oweh vs. Shawn Lee. You need some freaks on the field and hopefully they stay long enough to contribute or leave by the portal because they aren't football payers.
 
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psualt

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You always look for dudes with highest probability (potential) to become great football players. "Athlete" vs. "Player" is a silly false dichotomy.
So they spend two years on the bench and one year as starter at PSU. Seems to be about the norm.
 
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87 Penn St8

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It seems like without a slew of high 4 and 5 star guys we are relegated to the #11 through 25+ rankings. Joe' s plan had us competing every 4ish years, and leveraged maturity, scheme and player development.

Schools like Wake and Army are able to be fairly successful by utilizing the above with some gimmicks on offense. They can compete with the middle of the pack power 5 teams- only Army #34 lb would be even recruited by Mizzou, much less play. Yes Mizzou had many players out- but they still have better "athletes" than West Point. Army has intelligent and coachable football players. Army won a competitive game that was fun to watch...but realistically neither has a prayer against the big dogs. But the Black Knights almost beat Oklahoma and Michigan on the road recently- only to lose to Ball State and other Mid Majors too. The key word is "almost"....kind of like our season this year was "almost" great "if this or that" had gone our way.

In the end a good mix of both seems best- even Bama and OSU pick guys out of the portal to fill specific areas of need like Fields and the RU o line guy who started for 3 years. Bama got the UT linebacker this year and an LSU dB for next. In this era Joe's strategy is dead. Even Wake lost Walker to MSU once he realized he could excel with a more high profile program. It worked for him.

Without the top players we will maybe have a punchers chance to get into a playoff someday, possibly win one game...but with our current formula- winning the Big East division conference, then a conference championship game, and then 2 games against 5 star factories ( after theoretically beating OSU during the regular season) seems unlikely.

Maybe Allar and Singleton become our Pied Pipers who attract an amazing supporting cast? Sure hope so!
 

marshall23

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The spread offense and the proliferation of pass first offenses have changed the character of football. Very rarely played "in the box" the game somewhat resembles a combination of soccer, lacrosse and basketball. So it appeals to and rewards that sort of athlete....so a Parsons instead of a Butkus .....Mahomes instead of Unitas.
 
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heckmans

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Obviously when you have a player like Micah you have both. But I wonder to everyone:

If you had to choose one would you rather have a crazy talented athlete or a crazy talented football player?

I think of it like this: right now, knowing what you know, would you rather have the career of Brandon Smith or the career of Ellis Brooks.

(Not saying Brooks isn't an athlete, but he will test way below Smith in a combine situation)
It's not called College Athlete.
I'll take football players
 

jbenedict

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This is a simple. A football player everyday. One who understands the game, homegrown in the backyards of area neighborhoods. Those who understand the game before being coached in organized ball.
 
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marshall23

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This is a simple. A football player everyday. One who understands the game, homegrown in the backyards of area neighborhoods. Those who understand the game before being coached in organized ball.
Alas, I think that breed died out in the 60's.
 

Texas Lion

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Alas, I think that breed died out in the 60's.
I think we still have them. But I also think we move them to other spots because that’s where their athleticism plays. For example. I wish I could go back and see Tarburton and Fisher at MLB. I know they don’t go sideline to sideline as fast as some others but to me they would have been very Ditka or Lambert type MLB. Just run stuffing beasts.
 

marshall23

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I think we still have them. But I also think we move them to other spots because that’s where their athleticism plays. For example. I wish I could go back and see Tarburton and Fisher at MLB. I know they don’t go sideline to sideline as fast as some others but to me they would have been very Ditka or Lambert type MLB. Just run stuffing beasts.
Kids that gather and play team sports on their own in the "backyard" are a rare breed. I learned this when my sons (now adults) were growing up and we wanted to take batting practice. Unless there was an organized game, every baseball field in the area was vacant. The days of playing ball just for love of the game are dead.
As dead as playing for the love of "dear of state."
 
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Texas Lion

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So I read what everyone is writing and I wonder the fascination? Do they think they can make players out of the athletes instead of athletes out of the players?

take Army beating MIzzu. Football players can beat athletes.
 
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marshall23

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So I read what everyone is writing and I wonder the fascination? Do they think they can make players out of the athletes instead of athletes out of the players?

take Army beating MIzzu. Football players can beat athletes.
Team intelligence and the oft overlooked element to football success......execution. So many fans debate play selection and in reality execution is paramount.
 
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Omar81

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Team intelligence and the oft overlooked element to football success......execution. So many fans debate play selection and in reality execution is paramount.
Yes, execution is paramount, as in theory, every play will result in a TD if every player executes his job perfectly in accordance with the playbook. However, we live in the real world where your 11 players vary in ability, desire, etc. — and it is the coaches’ job to take all of that into account, as well as the relative abilities of the 11 opponents, the game situation, the weather, and a host of other factors when hopefully calling the play that gives the players with the best chance for success.

Coaching apologists like to blame execution (yes, let’s blame the 18-22 year olds) — presumably because many of these apologists fancy themselves as part of the coaching fraternity. Coach (or Franklin) haters like to blame the play calling, as that is consistent with their agenda/confirmation bias. The truth lies somewhere in the middle, though admittedly I believe most responsibility lies with the coaches, who have created the playbook, called the plays, recruited and presumably developed the players, and selected which players are on the field for each play.
 
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The Spin Meister

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An altered state
Yes, execution is paramount, as in theory, every play will result in a TD if every player executes his job perfectly in accordance with the playbook. However, we live in the real world where your 11 players vary in ability, desire, etc. — and it is the coaches’ job to take all of that into account, as well as the relative abilities of the 11 opponents, the game situation, the weather, and a host of other factors when hopefully calling the play that gives the players with the best chance for success.

Coaching apologists like to blame execution (yes, let’s blame the 18-22 year olds) — presumably because many of these apologists fancy themselves as part of the coaching fraternity. Coach (or Franklin) haters like to blame the play calling, as that is consistent with their agenda/confirmation bias. The truth lies somewhere in the middle, though admittedly I believe most responsibility lies with the coaches, who have created the playbook, called the plays, recruited and presumably developed the players, and selected which players are on the field for each play.
Yep. It’s like a manager blaming employees for product defects. His/her job is to manage the employees and process so it is their fault for failing to do so.
Always get angry when a coach plays a guy because of his huge ‘potential’ even if he never produces. Meanwhile a kid that never makes mistakes or misses assignments sits the bench.
Admittedly, It is a rough call as players have to play to fully develop their skills. And for some it takes time to blossom. Like Gesicki dropping passes early on yet becoming a terrific tight end that never dropped a pass.
Coaching ain’t easy. Which is why they A) take a lot of heat.B) Make the big bucks.
 
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bourbon n blues

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Kids that gather and play team sports on their own in the "backyard" are a rare breed. I learned this when my sons (now adults) were growing up and we wanted to take batting practice. Unless there was an organized game, every baseball field in the area was vacant. The days of playing ball just for love of the game are dead.
As dead as playing for the love of "dear of state."
Kids have choices these days along with you'll never get the gang together to play because they're all hanging out at the same place.
Getting a pickup game in basketball and football was pretty easy back in the 80s. Baseball? No. The game was on the downslide even back then with interest.
You can play football with 5 guys, one as an official qb. 1 on 1 basketball and up. Not baseball.
 
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LfthandGolf

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Obviously when you have a player like Micah you have both. But I wonder to everyone:

If you had to choose one would you rather have a crazy talented athlete or a crazy talented football player?

I think of it like this: right now, knowing what you know, would you rather have the career of Brandon Smith or the career of Ellis Brooks.

(Not saying Brooks isn't an athlete, but he will test way below Smith in a combine situation)
I think they go hand in hand. Most talented football players, played some other sport. A lot of the most talented either wrestled or basketball. I don't think they are mutually exclusive of each other
 

CbusLion10

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Certain positions rely heavily on instinct to play consistently at a high level. Box LB is one of those positions, freak athletes without the mind or instinct for the position will just run themselves to the wrong spot at impressive speeds. They may get lucky or “recover” from their incorrect read faster than most, but that won’t consistently win you football games.

I care more about how these players perform while at Penn State than where they’re drafted. Give me a #47 Brandon Smith over a #12 Brandon Smith every day of the week.
 

Waste Management Consultant

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Methinks when a kid is labeled ‘athlete’ he is player without a natural position. A kid that might be a safety or grow into linebacker. A running back vs a wideout. In one way it hurts the kid to move him around a lot. On the other hand, it allows the kid to play his best spot as he develops. A lot of that is because high school coaches love to put their best athlete at QB even if that won’t be his best pathway to college and beyond......think Terrell Pryor.

And it is actually more honest to call him an athlete because every player will be moved around depending how he grows, develops, and on what needs the team has. Injuries, a missed recruit, a recruit that doesn’t pan out, transfers.
Absolutely This^^^. Something like this happened with Kyle Pitts at Abington. The coach knew what he had and in the interest of the team getting the ball into your best players hands on every down, especially a midline option/spread concept, had Pitts as the QB. Pitts was by far the best athlete on the field. Pitts dad apparently was not happy with son at QB?(usually the opposite) Pitts then transferred to Archbishop Wood, (but definitely not for athletic reasons) the rest as they say is history. There was a Philadelphia Inquirer article with all the details around draft time when Pitts was drafted.
 
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marshall23

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Kids have choices these days along with you'll never get the gang together to play because they're all hanging out at the same place.
Getting a pickup game in basketball and football was pretty easy back in the 80s. Baseball? No. The game was on the downslide even back then with interest.
You can play football with 5 guys, one as an official qb. 1 on 1 basketball and up. Not baseball.
Actually, in the60s, we played a game called "scrub." Pitcher, SS, 1B, and 1 or 2 OF. The hitter batted until he made an out and then rotated thru the defense until he was back to hitting.