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 Post subject: Leonard Floyd discussion
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 8:42 am 
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This place is the offseason dead zone right now. So maybe it's time to drum up something to talk about.

I think Leonard Floyd is a good topic. After 3 years of the Leonard Floyd show, what's your view of him? Was he a worthy top 10 pick? Is he worth the $13M(?) 5th year option? Is he setup to have a breakout year? Has he been underwhelming to you? Are the injuries a fluke or a habit and how does that impact your opinion of him?

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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 9:10 am 
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Was he worthy of a top 10 pick - I do not believe so. I think it was a stretch. Pace saw all that athleticism and just had to have him.

Is he worth $13 mil - No. He would have to be balls out this year for me even to consider extending that 5th year and talk long term. If that did happen, was he just playing for a contract would be my thoughts.

He has not been underwhelming, just has not played up to his draft status and has surely not played like a guy deserving of $13 mil. He did come on last year during the second half, but has not provided consistency.

Injuries - they happen and seem to happen to him quite often. He looks brittle. I don't think putting more meat on his bones will help. I think he is a guy who just gets injured more than others.

I would not feel bad or care if they cut bait at the end of this year.


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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 9:12 am 
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Floyd is a tough one for me. I like him as a player for a few reasons I'll get into in a moment, but overall I have to say he's disappointed me based on his draft position.

One of the first things that come to mind is how he was quickly lauded for his ability in coverage, which clearly is a good thing, particularly in the modern NFL where misdirection and versatility play a big role in creating favorable matchups. That said, I'd prefer if my top 10 pass rusher was lauded for his... pass rushing ability.

I think everyone could see the idea. Floyd was clearly fast albeit slight in his frame. He had length and bend but would likely struggle facing offensive players with NFL strength and size. If Floyd could elevate the power elements of his game there was a path towards being an elite defender, that rare combination of strength, agility and speed that would give opposing coordinators headaches. In my opinion, this never really materialized for Floyd (although it still might, in some form). As soon as even average players got their hands on him, he was done in the play. If the opposing team was running the ball, Floyd didn't give me a lot of confidence in his ability to shed a block and attack the ball carrier.

Then come the injuries, which could happen to anyone. However, when they happen to a player who is admittedly smaller in his frame, it's hard not to feel like injuries are at least in some cases consequences of not being built for durability in a league like the NFL. (I haven't actually seen any empirical evidence smaller players get hurt more often so maybe this is just confirmation bias, but I digress).

Next and last in my list of concerns is the lack of breakout production after the Bears added Mack. By all accounts Floyd should have been feasting last year with Khalil Mack added to a unit that already contained big focus areas for the opposing offense (players like Hicks). Now we all know that Floyd wasn't healthy in the first bit of the season which discounts things a bit, but after finishing with 49 tackles and 4 sacks, I think we can all agree that there was a somewhat surprising lack of production out of him.

So, why do I like him? Two big reasons. The first is that while he isn't perfect, he plays a premium position and still has upside. I agree with picking up his option and hope he takes a big step forward this year. I'm not convinced the Bears could have found a replacement that would have improved on him at comparable cost.

Second, I think he has the attitude to be a great defender one day. I recognize this is not a very tangible thing but to give an example, do you recall when Floyd body slammed Amendola against the Fins last year?

Floyd Slams Amendola (22 seconds)

It was a stupid penalty to take but it also showed me he was really fighting to make the play and that he was doing it with a bit of fire in his game. Floyd also showed that he could dial that meanness back a notch to stay within the rules later on in the season.

I'm hoping he has a career year in 2019, even if I'm not sure what the future holds for him and his position on the Bears.


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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 9:40 am 
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WagonForce wrote:
Floyd is a tough one for me. I like him as a player for a few reasons I'll get into in a moment, but overall I have to say he's disappointed me based on his draft position.

One of the first things that come to mind is how he was quickly lauded for his ability in coverage, which clearly is a good thing, particularly in the modern NFL where misdirection and versatility play a big role in creating favorable matchups. That said, I'd prefer if my top 10 pass rusher was lauded for his... pass rushing ability.

I think everyone could see the idea. Floyd was clearly fast albeit slight in his frame. He had length and bend but would likely struggle facing offensive players with NFL strength and size. If Floyd could elevate the power elements of his game there was a path towards being an elite defender, that rare combination of strength, agility and speed that would give opposing coordinators headaches. In my opinion, this never really materialized for Floyd (although it still might, in some form). As soon as even average players got their hands on him, he was done in the play. If the opposing team was running the ball, Floyd didn't give me a lot of confidence in his ability to shed a block and attack the ball carrier.

Then come the injuries, which could happen to anyone. However, when they happen to a player who is admittedly smaller in his frame, it's hard not to feel like injuries are at least in some cases consequences of not being built for durability in a league like the NFL. (I haven't actually seen any empirical evidence smaller players get hurt more often so maybe this is just confirmation bias, but I digress).

Next and last in my list of concerns is the lack of breakout production after the Bears added Mack. By all accounts Floyd should have been feasting last year with Khalil Mack added to a unit that already contained big focus areas for the opposing offense (players like Hicks). Now we all know that Floyd wasn't healthy in the first bit of the season which discounts things a bit, but after finishing with 49 tackles and 4 sacks, I think we can all agree that there was a somewhat surprising lack of production out of him.

So, why do I like him? Two big reasons. The first is that while he isn't perfect, he plays a premium position and still has upside. I agree with picking up his option and hope he takes a big step forward this year. I'm not convinced the Bears could have found a replacement that would have improved on him at comparable cost.

Second, I think he has the attitude to be a great defender one day. I recognize this is not a very tangible thing but to give an example, do you recall when Floyd body slammed Amendola against the Fins last year?

Floyd Slams Amendola (22 seconds)

It was a stupid penalty to take but it also showed me he was really fighting to make the play and that he was doing it with a bit of fire in his game. Floyd also showed that he could dial that meanness back a notch to stay within the rules later on in the season.

I'm hoping he has a career year in 2019, even if I'm not sure what the future holds for him and his position on the Bears.
I'm pretty darned close to this.

One bothersome thing I can't quite figure out about him is why at the end of year 3 when he was healthy and had Kahlil Mack across from him, that he didn't seem to be a better pass rusher than he was in years 1 and 2. I like the guy and indications are he's a hard worker and all that. But when you're the 9th pick in the draft and about to make $13M next year, that sets the bar fairly high and he's not there for me. Assuming things don't change dramatically, I could definitely see us spending significant resources on a pass rusher in the draft next year as Floyd walks into the last year of his contract.

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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 10:11 am 
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Leonard Floyd has been fairly disappointing, I guess, but I don't feel like he's on a downward trend. He feels like one of those guys that has so much talent and skill, but sometimes needs the right moment to burst out. I have a feeling he'll really excel under Pagano, and be used as a coverage utility far less.

Floyd needs to shake off the Fangio rust of being a semi-safety for a couple years and remember how to be the fluid pass rushing terror that made him worthy of the 9th overall pick.

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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 10:27 am 
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UOK wrote:
Leonard Floyd has been fairly disappointing, I guess, but I don't feel like he's on a downward trend. He feels like one of those guys that has so much talent and skill, but sometimes needs the right moment to burst out. I have a feeling he'll really excel under Pagano, and be used as a coverage utility far less.

Floyd needs to shake off the Fangio rust of being a semi-safety for a couple years and remember how to be the fluid pass rushing terror that made him worthy of the 9th overall pick.


I don't disagree that much.

Floyd's upside is "Jason Taylor but better in coverage" Was he overdrafted? Yes. was he a valid 1st round pick? Yes. Injuries have limited his development. I'm willing to pay the money to hold onto him if manageable under cap.


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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 11:02 am 
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I attribute a lot of what bothers people about Floyd can be directly attributed to how Fox preferred to use Floyd. I don't think he was ever really allowed to do what got him drafted in the top 10 (to UOK's point).

Fox very much preferred brute force pass rushers like Houston and Pernell McPhee. I think probably extends to the reported disconnect between Fanio and Faox in how the defense was run. Floyd was being used like your typical weakside LB. He started to come out of it last year, but the broken hand put him at a disadvantage.

I'm rambling, but long story short, I expect to see his production trend upward if he can shake the injury bug.


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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 12:09 pm 
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He's a role player that excels at every role except for the primary role of his position. I think that creates a value that could fluxuate massively depending on what system he is in and what that system values.

First round pick? For the right system, yes, absolutely. Even in hindsight... FOR THE RIGHT SYSTEM. But worth a first round for this system, no, not in hindsight. But the athleticism coupled with lack of enough playing time to REALLY show whether he could break out or not... it was worth the shot.

I kind of don't see any scenario where is still a Bear after he hits unrestricted free agency. He has shown just enough that even if he has a down year, someone will take the chance and pay him more than Chi can (and he'd be stupid not to take it). And if he has an amazing year, same thing, we are out due to low cash (unless Pace really gets crazy with the money and the future).


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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 12:22 pm 
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UOK wrote:
Leonard Floyd has been fairly disappointing, I guess, but I don't feel like he's on a downward trend. He feels like one of those guys that has so much talent and skill, but sometimes needs the right moment to burst out. I have a feeling he'll really excel under Pagano, and be used as a coverage utility far less.

Floyd needs to shake off the Fangio rust of being a semi-safety for a couple years and remember how to be the fluid pass rushing terror that made him worthy of the 9th overall pick.
But was he, really? He played MLB for the most part at Georgia, IIRC. Sure, he showed flashes, had the physical traits for a pass rushing OLB and got drafted based on that. But it's not like he was a pass rush demon in college.

I would agree though that he's not on a downward trend.

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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 2:53 pm 
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I like him, but unless he goes into all-pro mode I believe he will be cut due to cost and performance after the season concludes unless he is injured, which would prevent his release.

He is an excellent compliment in this defense doing most things well but none great. I think he has improved and that there is a chance his play could change this but at this point I don’t know how much more upward trend he has. I don’t think he will regress, just that he is what he is at this point and most likely stay at that level for a few more seasons.

How the defense changes and how he is utilized in it this season could also be a big factor.

There will be a few tough decisions on players the next couple seasons with limited cap space making it so everyone won’t be retained. Jackson, Whitehair, Trubisky, Cohen will be locks barring injury in the upcoming seasons to most likely stay, but you could see trevathon, Robinson, Gabriel, long, Kwiatkoski and others being replaced in the next few years past this upcoming season via draft and cheaper free agents.


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