Saturday, 10 October 2009

Saturday's notes - Snead struggles (again)

I've just finished watching Alabama vs Ole Miss, another chance to take a look at Rebels quarterback Jevan Snead. This is the third time I've seen him this year and it's the third time he's had an absolute shocker. He ended the day with 11/35 passing for 140 yards with four picks and no touchdowns. Ole Miss lost the game 22-3.

Admittedly, he had little help from his team. The Ole Miss receivers were simply out-fought by Javier Arenas and co and the Rebels' offensive line was a complete shambles, clearly missing the presence of Michael Oher (now with the Baltimore Ravens).

Having said that, Snead takes his share of the blame. The guy has the physical tools you want from a top franchise QB - a big arm, he's capable of making plays with his feet and he has decent size. However, I have serious issues with his decision making and reads. So many times he'll take a snap, seek out his target receiver and regardless of the coverage just throw the ball as hard as he can. The result is a mash of throws into double coverage and over thrown passes.

It ultimately leads to turnovers and today was a particularly interception-ridden afternoon. I'd blame Snead for two of his four picks. Typical of his afternoon, the first interception came from his very first pass of the day. He took a snap in the shotgun, over throws the receiver by some distance picking out a defensive back stood in center field. The pass lacked any kind of touch for what wasn't a particularly difficult throw to make. The presence of a safety blitz really flustered Snead and he just tried to get the ball out as fast and as quick as possible.

His next three throws were also rushed in the face of heavy pressure. It seemed obvious to me that he needs to know when to take a sack. On the third pass, Alabama brought a big rush with a linebacker breaking through the middle. Dexter McCluster had barely got into his route before Snead whistled one past his shoulder - McCluster barely had time to turn and locate the ball. Don't risk the turnover, take the sack and move on.

Snead's second and fourth picks were both unlucky. A wide out had the ball stripped when he really should have secured the completion on the second interception and for the fourth, another receiver tripped on his route when wide open.

But the third and crucial pick essentially finished the game for Alabama. Ole Miss were driving at the Crimson Tide ten yard line with the score at 3-19. Snead zoned in on one particular receiver running a slant from the left. The defensive back read the play with ease, cut off the route and takes the ball back to the Ole Miss twenty for a 70-yard return.

It seems obvious to me that when things aren't going well for Jevan Snead, he lets it get to him. A big error at the start of the game sticks in his mind throughout, eventually leading to further mistakes. His decision making is poor, he relies on that big arm too much and his draft stock is falling dramatically. An outside bet to go first overall at the start of the year, that looks like a distant memory. He has the tools that will interest some and in a scaled down offense with better weapons and a stronger offensive line, he could be a success.

At the moment however, he looks totally lost in Houston Nutt's system.

In more positive news, Rob Rang was impressed with Russell Okung today. Writing on his CBS Sportsline blog, Rang felt Okung did a good job against Big 12 sack leader Von Miller as Oklahoma State defeated Texas A&M.

Sam Bradford made his long awaited return to the Oklahoma line-up as the Sooners defeated Baylor 33-7. I wondered if Bradford would come back at all this year with his team already losing two matches and seemingly out of the BCS title race. He'll be hoping to finish the year strongly, but more than anything remain healthy. He threw for 389 yards and scored a passing TD.

Sooner defensive tackle Gerald McCoy also recorded his first sack of the year. I'll be watching Florida vs LSU later on with some thoughts on that tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

I have a request, can you guys watch out for the prospect Charles Brown (OT) from USC next week or in the coming weeks because I believe the Hawks might have some serious interest in him...

And I haven't seen too many scouting reports about him. I only see posotive ones. Would that be possible if you guys can do that?

Rob Staton said...

Absolutely. I've seen USC twice this year but didn't really pay attention to the offensive line. I'm sure they'll be featured again a few more times before the end of the season so I'll keep an eye on Charles Brown. Kyle might have something on him already.

I'll also try and get some opinions from elsewhere and put a post up on the blog if I get anything - so stay tuned.