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Old 08-07-2013, 10:50 PM   #1
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Default Is Clowney playing the right position?? (hypothetical)

I know Clowney is going to play DE. I know that isn't going to change and I know Spurrier has said Clowney will not be seen on offense. So my question is completely hypothetical, but it is still an interesting question. I am not asking if our coaches are using him correctly (although I guess that would be part of it). It is more about the use of him all the way back to high school. I thought I would get the opinion of those of you that have coached or played football.

When you have a "freak of nature" like Clowney how do you decide where to put him? Lets be honest, he is basically Lebron on a football field.

But when people talk about Lebron playing football, they don't talk about him playing DE. They talk about him playing WR or TE. But why?

Lets look at Lebron vs Clowney. Lebron is listed at 6'8" and 250 lbs. So I can imagine that Lebron would have no issues being in the 270 lb range if he played football. So he is slightly taller than Clowney, but that would be probably about the only difference as far as build if they were both playing football.

Also, I would imagine that Clowney is probably a little faster than Lebron. I don't know this for a fact, but I think Clowney's ability to run a sub 4.5 40 at his height/weight is unparalleled.

But Lebron would "hypothetically" play offense and Clowney plays defense.

Another similar player is Cam Newton. We know from the SEC Championship game how difficult it was to tackle Cam Newton at the collegiate level. Lets face it, Cam Newton was almost impossible for college level defenders to bring down. He single handedly won them the National Championship and it wasn't due to his passing ability (although that isn't bad).

So in a general sense, do you all think that there is ANY CHANCE that Clowney would be getting even more hype if he was actually playing a different position as his main position? Is that even possible with all the hype he already gets?

It is just something I have thought about because a guy like Clowney doesn't come around that often and the thing that sucks about football is that you can only really play one position (at least at the highest of levels).
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:00 PM   #2
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Default Re: Is Clowney playing the right position?? (hypothetical)

Clowney is the prototypical DE. If God ever built a human being solely for the purpose of being a Defensive End, he'd build JD Clowney.
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:06 PM   #3
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Default Re: Is Clowney playing the right position?? (hypothetical)

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Clowney is the prototypical DE. If God ever built a human being solely for the purpose of being a Defensive End, he'd build JD Clowney.
So Acockolypse, does that mean that Cam and Lebron would also be prototypical DE? I am asking sincerely, not arguing. Cam is listed at 6'5" and 245 lbs, but I am sure he could easily weigh more. I just mention Lebron because everyone talks about him playing WR or TE.

I guess there are things like reach (wingspan) etc that I am not taking into consideration because I don't know their stats. But I would imagine that reach is important to both DE and WR/TE.

I guess my question is then more of what makes someone a prototypical DE compared to a prototypical TE besides hands. We really don't know if Clowney has hands or not because he has always played defense as far as I know.
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: Is Clowney playing the right position?? (hypothetical)

Lebron is talked about on offense because he was an all state WR

And Clowney is special because of that first step, and that's why he's an elite pass rusher. He could play other positions but that first step is his bread and butter and a skill for a pass rusher.
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:11 PM   #5
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Default Re: Is Clowney playing the right position?? (hypothetical)

Do Cam and Lebron have a mind blowing first step and/or an incredible swim move?

Of all the things about JD, these two things are what separate him from everyone else. Sure, he has incredible size and moves extremely well for his size, but more often than not Clowney wins with his first step.

I know this is hard to compare because Cam and Lebron don't play DE so we'll never know how quick their first step is, but you can't compare them simply based on size.
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:12 PM   #6
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Default Re: Is Clowney playing the right position?? (hypothetical)

Lebron is also extremely skilled. Ambidextrous, great hands, ball handling, passing, etc. so one would think (hypothetically) that this would translate to a skill position.
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:14 PM   #7
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Default Re: Is Clowney playing the right position?? (hypothetical)

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Originally Posted by garnet_black215 View Post
Do Cam and Lebron have a mind blowing first step and/or an incredible swim move?

Of all the things about JD, these two things are what separate him from everyone else. Sure, he has incredible size and moves extremely well for his size, but more often than not Clowney wins with his first step.

I know this is hard to compare because Cam and Lebron don't play DE so we'll never know how quick their first step is, but you can't compare them simply based on size.
good point and makes sense. And we don't know anything about Clowney's hands. Wouldn't make a good TE if he couldn't catch anything.

Just would be fun to watch him on offense for a season if you could wave a magic wand and have it both ways.

I only say this because the bottom line is that guys like Clowney just don't come along that often in any sport. He really is the Lebron of football. I think his career will bear that out. So it would be fun to watch him with the ball.
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:16 PM   #8
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Default Re: Is Clowney playing the right position?? (hypothetical)

I get your point, but it's a bit of a stretch. If he would've been a TE for his entire life I could see him playing TE and being really good at him. Same for Cam as a DE or LeBron as a DE/TE/WR. But the fact is, is that they weren't. Clowney was a RB, out grew it and became a DE. Cam was a QB...stayed there forever. LeBron was a WR, moved to basketball.
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:16 PM   #9
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Default Re: Is Clowney playing the right position?? (hypothetical)

Clowney could lead block for a running back and take out a couple of guys
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:18 PM   #10
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Default Re: Is Clowney playing the right position?? (hypothetical)

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good point and makes sense. And we don't know anything about Clowney's hands. Wouldn't make a good TE if he couldn't catch anything.

Just would be fun to watch him on offense for a season if you could wave a magic wand and have it both ways.

I only say this because the bottom line is that guys like Clowney just don't come along that often in any sport. He really is the Lebron of football. I think his career will bear that out. So it would be fun to watch him with the ball.
A couple of years ago, someone started a thread that asked if you could have a Carolina offense that consisted of 11 defensive players and vice versa, what would it look like? It would be interesting to see where fans would put Clowney on the offensive side of the ball.
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:22 PM   #11
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Default Re: Is Clowney playing the right position?? (hypothetical)

Hardest positions to fill on a team 1) a pass rusher who can consistently get to QB 2) someone to stop that pass rusher 3) a shutdown CB. Especially true in NFL.
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:23 PM   #12
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Default Re: Is Clowney playing the right position?? (hypothetical)

How about shaw? Hes mot built like a qb.
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:26 PM   #13
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Default Re: Is Clowney playing the right position?? (hypothetical)

You keep a star where a star will shine! Clowneys stock is a DE, you can't take your star and throw him at TE and risk what happened to Lattimore. Just my .02.....
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:44 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by cofcgamecock9 View Post
I know Clowney is going to play DE. I know that isn't going to change and I know Spurrier has said Clowney will not be seen on offense. So my question is completely hypothetical, but it is still an interesting question. I am not asking if our coaches are using him correctly (although I guess that would be part of it). It is more about the use of him all the way back to high school. I thought I would get the opinion of those of you that have coached or played football.

When you have a "freak of nature" like Clowney how do you decide where to put him? Lets be honest, he is basically Lebron on a football field.

But when people talk about Lebron playing football, they don't talk about him playing DE. They talk about him playing WR or TE. But why?

Lets look at Lebron vs Clowney. Lebron is listed at 6'8" and 250 lbs. So I can imagine that Lebron would have no issues being in the 270 lb range if he played football. So he is slightly taller than Clowney, but that would be probably about the only difference as far as build if they were both playing football.

Also, I would imagine that Clowney is probably a little faster than Lebron. I don't know this for a fact, but I think Clowney's ability to run a sub 4.5 40 at his height/weight is unparalleled.

But Lebron would "hypothetically" play offense and Clowney plays defense.

Another similar player is Cam Newton. We know from the SEC Championship game how difficult it was to tackle Cam Newton at the collegiate level. Lets face it, Cam Newton was almost impossible for college level defenders to bring down. He single handedly won them the National Championship and it wasn't due to his passing ability (although that isn't bad).

So in a general sense, do you all think that there is ANY CHANCE that Clowney would be getting even more hype if he was actually playing a different position as his main position? Is that even possible with all the hype he already gets?

It is just something I have thought about because a guy like Clowney doesn't come around that often and the thing that sucks about football is that you can only really play one position (at least at the highest of levels).

Who was the last TE or WR taken with first pick of the draft? Exactly. He's where he should be.
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:46 PM   #15
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Default Re: Is Clowney playing the right position?? (hypothetical)

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Originally Posted by MillerTime843 View Post
You keep a star where a star will shine! Clowneys stock is a DE, you can't take your star and throw him at TE and risk what happened to Lattimore. Just my .02.....
I knew this would come from someone. I felt like I went out of my way to explain this in the first post but I knew it would get missed. I am not saying we should play him on offense. I realize that injury is too much of a factor.

I was asking if he had played offense all along. His stock wouldn't be at DE if he wasn't a DE in high school, etc.

My only point is that Clowney is a freak of nature that doesn't come around that often. It is unfortunate (for the reasons you gave) that in football you only get to see a guy at one position because it would be interesting to see some of these once in a generation athletes at other positions just to see the production. Clowney wouldn't be the only example.

All I am saying is that we don't get to see the Deon Sanders examples play out that often in football because people specialize so much. But the truth is that there are other guys that are just as "freakishly athletic" as Deon Sanders.
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:53 PM   #16
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Default Re: Is Clowney playing the right position?? (hypothetical)

What the OP means is:

Say you discover Clowney as a teenager who has never played football in his life. At the time you find him he is still maturing but is 6'5 245 LB. He tells you he wants to play football and you test him out in the weight room and on the field a little bit (no pads or balls) and you see that he is incredibly fast for his size with big hands.

What position do you put him at.

(It's hard to ignore what he's done as a DE I know, but you have to try for this "hypothetical" situation)
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:55 PM   #17
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Default Re: Is Clowney playing the right position?? (hypothetical)

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Originally Posted by henmania View Post
Who was the last TE or WR taken with first pick of the draft? Exactly. He's where he should be.
Well, there have been 2 DEs taken and one WR taken as the first pick in the draft going back to 1996 so I am not sure that is much of valid argument. Not much difference between 1 and 2.

And yes, Clowney will be the first pick next year. But that is kind of my point. Who is to say he wouldn't be a first pick at another position too?

I guess my thoughts on Clowney are a little different that many of you guys. I guess that is because I am not an expert on football, but I am an expert on biomechanics and just how rare a guy like Clowney is when it comes to his genetic make up.

For example, you take a guy like Clowney or Lebron and you train them to play golf (my expertise) from a young age and I can promise you that they would routinely hit 500 yard drives. Guys like Gary Woodland, Tiger, and Dustin are the "freaks of nature" in golf because guys like Clowney and Lebron are never going to end up in golf. They are too valuable to football or basketball. But if you could get a guy like that to learn golf, they would destroy what we think about how far you can hit a golf ball (yes, even compared to National Long Drivers).

So when I think about a guy like Clowney, I am thinking that he would pretty much dominate from a physical standpoint at whatever position he played if trained properly.

So back to your point. I have no reason to believe that Clowney wouldn't have been able to be the 1st pick in the draft at whatever position he played. I think he is that rare of a player from a physical skill standpoint.
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:55 PM   #18
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Default Re: Is Clowney playing the right position?? (hypothetical)

I'm thinking JD was born to be a hall of fame long snapper.
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:55 PM   #19
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Default Re: Is Clowney playing the right position?? (hypothetical)

A better question is if our defensive coordinator will fake Clowney blitzing and drop him into coverage more than in the past. I'd love to see him get a pick 6 because I know the other team wouldn't expect it.
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:57 PM   #20
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Default Re: Is Clowney playing the right position?? (hypothetical)

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolinaGnB521 View Post
What the OP means is:

Say you discover Clowney as a teenager who has never played football in his life. At the time you find him he is still maturing but is 6'5 245 LB. He tells you he wants to play football and you test him out in the weight room and on the field a little bit (no pads or balls) and you see that he is incredibly fast for his size with big hands.

What position do you put him at.

(It's hard to ignore what he's done as a DE I know, but you have to try for this "hypothetical" situation)
Thank you.
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