Don't rush to judgment on Pead, Bolden
Posted Aug. 13 at 05:24 AM
Every team has at least one exhibition game in the books, so some things can be said about players, teams, and fantasy prospects. I wasn't shy about trashing the Jets based on a single preseason game on Saturday.
But there's a fine line between drawing well-reasoned conclusions -- the Jets are filled with players I've been watching for years, so I'm not afraid to knock Mark Sanchez and Shonn Greene at this point -- and rushing to judgment. That line is a blurry one and depends on the person, but you know you've crossed it when you see one guy one time and decide that's all there is to see.
A lot of the rookie running backs got on the field this weekend. Doug Martin, David Wilson, Isaiah Pead, Brandon Bolden. Several others didn't play (Trent Richardson, Ronnie Hillman, Bernard Pierce), and that very absence affected our opinions of them -- you know it's true. "Hillman is injury-prone, he'll never be a good pro."
Martin had one of the runs of the weekend -- or was it just a really bad tackle? Wilson has tremendous speed -- but why was he the fourth running back off the bench? Pead and Bolden have been drawing praise all preseason -- why did they look so overwhelmed in their first exhibition games?
Ray Rice showed nothing in his first preseason, then barely played as a rookie. Darren McFadden looked like a bust. Jamaal Charles was firmly in the doghouse, a fumbler. LeSean McCoy's first preseason, 3.3 yards per carry. C.J. Spiller, wasted pick. We like to say that the great ones tend to show it right away, and many of them have. But many others took a while to show it -- and were worth the wait.
Initial impressions are important. You see a guy out there who looks to be the fastest or most electric player on the field, and you file it away because he's a guy you're going to toss a late-round pick at. Come Week 5, maybe he's already leading your fantasy team to glory. Chris Johnson in his rookie season leaps to mind.
But mistakes are made, too. Kansas City buried Charles too quickly. Spiller should have got more chances to get comfortable his rookie season. I got tired of waiting for Titus Young to shake off his hamstring injury last preseason, and cut him in my dynasty league to pick up the immortal Javon Ringer. I wish I had Young on my roster now.
Maybe some of you have these youngsters in dynasty leagues, and your fingers are hovering over the button to cut loose Bolden or Pierce or Cyrus Gray. Perhaps you're considering shipping off Hillman or Pead or Lamar Miller on the cheap, cutting your losses early.
I can't promise these guys will look better in the second preseason games, and I can't promise you won't be cutting or trading them for even less a month or two from now.
But I can tell you that getting rid of a guy too soon feels worse than getting rid of him too late. If he had several chances and simply flopped, so be it. But if he had one chance, didn't catch your eye, and you moved on from him, maybe you won't think twice about it. And maybe after his second game, you will.
I have Pead, Bolden and Gray on my roster. I'm not feeling too great about them today. But it's August 13 and there are three exhibition games left. In this very space a week from now, we might be talking about how they lit up the field once they'd grown more comfortable with the speed of actual hitting in an NFL game.
I don't want them to be on another roster when that happens.
Posted by Nathan Kline | Aug. 13 at 07:28 AM
I agree, especially on Pead. Pead didn't look bad physically, he looked like a kid who needs to learn patience, a trait many RB's have to learn coming in their first few years. Does anybody remember the fabulous dancing of LeSean McCoy his rookie year? He seems to have outgrown that. I have a real eye on getting Pead in my dynasty draft this year and while he won't help me immediately or possibly even next year, I will be holding onto him until he proves that he is not the answer. I have made many a blunder of shipping someone off way too soon (Greg Jennings, Eli Manning, possibly Shonn Greene) but just like what I hope helps Peads develop, we need to exercise patience.
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