Mike's 5 Cents on Player Ratings

by Mike Neugebauer

SP - As mentioned in other coaching clincs, speed tends to be a little overvalued. But speed still is an imporant factor on kickoff/punt returns and sweep plays for your runningback. It is very important for 'break-away' plays (ie: long pass receptions, fumble recoveries, interceptions).

AC - Acceleration is very important for wide receivers who need to make a cut and gain separation from a man-to-man defender. Obviously, it is also very important for quarterbacks and runningbacks to get on the move and get the play started quickly. On defense, AC is crucial at probably every position.

AG - Contrary to popular opinion, I feel this skill is most vital in blocking. To me, it seems to determine how well a blocker can get on his man and how long he will be able to maintain the block. This can make all the difference in the world, not only in pass blocking, but in run-blocking. I prefer to have all my blockers have good agility, whether they are linemen or skill players. I have seen my Falcons offensive lineman with very high AG, Bryan Bippen, literally run a circle around the charging defensive lineman to throw a precise block on a running play.

ST - Strength is important for runningbacks, because you want your runningback to break tackles and fall forward when tackled, not stuffed backwards by strong linemen and linebackers. Strength is important in blocking, obviously, and if you have a decent advantage you will get some 'pancake' blocks.

HA - Hands are most important for receivers who catch the ball in traffic. Ball handlers should have hands of 50 or greater to avoid frequent fumble-itis.

EN - Endurance: The most important rating in the game for every position, in my opinion. Fatigued defenders on the playing field in particular will cause you major problems.

IN - Intelligence is important for read and smart pursuit decisions by your defenders.

DI - Discipline is most important for the QB's decision making. For all other players, it's an added bonus if they have it, but you will get by if they don't.

That's all I have, folks. Remember, everything mentioned in this article is merely my insights, not proven fact.