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Intangibles and "it" ???

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; I often here people talk about how important the "intangibles" are for a player. And how some players have "it." Whatever "it" is.......... But, I never here anyone say we need to sign or draft a player because of his ...

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Old 06-19-2004, 12:09 PM   #1
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Intangibles and "it" ???

I often here people talk about how important the "intangibles" are for a player. And how some players have "it." Whatever "it" is..........

But, I never here anyone say we need to sign or draft a player because of his intagibles or because of "it". Why is that?

These same people that are in love with intangibles and "it" are also the first ones to criticize players for a lack of athleticism. For example: Ambrose and Fred Thomas. Do they not have intangibles or "it"?

What's more important to you guys that place a lot of value in intangibles and "it"?

Is true talent more important or are intagibles and "it" more important?

It seems to me that athleticism is much more important than any intangible. The best players in the league are the best because of speed and talent. Not any intangible.

For example:

1. Randy Moss
2. Ray Lewis
3. Terelll Owens
4. Marvin Harrison
5. Mike Vick

I could go on and on with that list. But, it's pretty clear to me that intangibles are overrated.

For every one exception to the rule, I can name 10 players that athleticism is more important than intangibles or "it".

I will say that the one postion where atleticism is the least important is probably at QB. But, I don't think it's any intangible or "it" that has anything to do with a QB's success. I think it's hard work and preparation. The kind Petyon manning puts in. Also, the system has a lot to do with how successful a QB is.

So, how important are intagibles and "it"???




[Edited on 19/6/2004 by GumboBC]
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Old 06-19-2004, 12:27 PM   #2
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Intangibles and "it" ???

First, we should probably narrow down what \"intangibles\" and \"it\" are before we evaluate them against athleticism.

Here is a simple point: athelticism cannot be all there is to being a good football player (since there are many atheltes who would suck on the grid iron), so there must be some other thing that goes with that. Billy suggests that it is hard work and study - I agree. However, there is something else too, and maybe that is our contestant for \"it\"?

There are guys of roughly equal athletically and in terms of study, but often one of them is just better - we call that instincts a lot of the time. Biologically speaking, I\'d guess that it has something to do with sight processing and memmory, but who cares about that. I think this is candidate one for \"it\". Are there others? If not, I\'d have to say that I think it is important but how critical \"it\" is depends on the position and the situation.

As for \"intangibles\", I always sort of thought of those as skill or vetran savvy. This is where you look at a guy and you ask, \"how could that guy with those physical skills, succeed in this game?\" The answer is usually \"knowledge of the sport and the position.\" That is candidate one for \"intangibles\", and I\'d say that that is only moderately important when compared to raw atheletics; there is a reason the young guys are so good, even if they are kinda dumb - they can run faster, turn better, and have less fear of pain than the old guys.

There is a second candidate for intangibles: heart. We all know what that is, don\'t we? Ha ha. However, it has something to do with desire, mental strength, and raw will. This becomes more important as a player ages or has fewer athletical abilities - thus, it too is less important than athletics. I say give me a player with technical skill and ability over a guy with heart, but most people seem to disagree - think it is because they assume a guy with heart also has skill. Believe me, when I coached we had some kids with a ton of heart, but they stunk. Often the best players had no heart - they didn\'t need it to be good at what they did. Would I want a guy with both? Hell yeah; but, unfortunately, those guys are rare.

How\'s that for a start?

"... I was beating them with my eyes the whole game..." - Aaron Brooks :cool:
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Old 06-19-2004, 12:49 PM   #3
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Intangibles and "it" ???

That was very good, JKool. Very good.

Here\'s something else to chew on. If a player has \"it\". Then don\'t they always have \"it\"?
I mean they can\'t lose \"it\" can they?

Assuming they can\'t lose \"it\", then why do guys get cut after they lose their atleticism? If \"it\" is more important than speed and athleticism, then the best team would be loaded with aging vets that still had \"it\". Right? But, that\'s hardly the case.

Sure, teams keep aging vets on the team that contribute, but the real play-makers are the guys that are in the prime of their atleticism.

I think \"it\" is more of a knowledge of the game that allows them to make better decisions. Then I think SOME of it is \"luck.\" Things happen at critical times in games that elevates a player to superstar status.

But, most players that don\'t possess great atleticism don\'t consistently make great plays. Conversly, players that do possess great athleticism consistently make great plays. Randy Moss comes to mind. Many players in that same mold comes to mind.

I think when you build a team you don\'t go after intangibles unless that player also has great atleticism. You can teach the game of football, but you can\'t teach speed and atleticism.





[Edited on 19/6/2004 by GumboBC]
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Old 06-19-2004, 01:47 PM   #4
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Intangibles and "it" ???

Of all the players who have it... how many have rings excluding Ray Lewis. They can\'t seem to build a supporting cast around the ones who have it to don a cherrished ring.
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Old 06-21-2004, 10:04 AM   #5
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Intangibles and "it" ???

I have to disagree with y\'all to an extent.

I think your definitions are a bit skewed. If someone is a success he is athletic and talented in your views. I think all the people on your list (Moss, Lewis, Vick et al.) are talented for sure, but they have the \'it\' and intangibles.

You talk about talent being key. Huh? Have you seen the stats on players? There\'s a difference of .01 second and that is a difference between a 3rd rounder and a 1st rounder. THEY ARE ALL TALENTED AND ATHLETIC.

I think what seperates some players from others is not simply their raw talent. It is Ray Lewis watching hours upon hours of tape for that one clue that will give him that 1 second advantage, it\'s Moss thinking in a milisecond to hand off the pass he just caught to his teammate. If you want to call this talent and athletic ability, then yeah, you\'re right.

But I think all NFL players are very close in talent (closer than we think) Michael Vick is one of the few players I can say is talented and athletic enough to support your argument. JKool, these guys aren\'t like the guys you coached (unless you coached professional sports). There are no sucky players. There\'s levels of players, but all are a lot closer to each other in talent and ability. It is the Jerry Rice working hours upon hours, to make himself an amazing receiver. THAT is what seperates players.

If it was as simple as talent and ability, then why do so many 1st round (top 5 or 10 picks) flounder. What is the percentage of flops to phenoms in the history of the draft at the top? It\'s not 10 to 1. Were they simply mis-rated? Yes. They were valued based on their talent and athletic ability.

SO i think my issue with this argument is that the players we call \"athletes\" and \"talented\" all have that \'it\', the \'intangibles\' because if they didn\'t in 2 years people would be talking about how they shoulda, woulda, coulda. I think \'it\' is a work ethic, \'heart\' to want to succeed to drive yourself to not only compete against others but against yourself.

I think Gumbo, you said :
__________________________________________________ _______________________
\"You can teach the game of football, but you can\'t teach speed and atleticism. \"
__________________________________________________ _______________________

True, but you also can\'t teach someone to have heart, to have a drive to succeed, not only be famous.

You also said:

\"But, I never here anyone say we need to sign or draft a player because of his intagibles or because of \"it\". Why is that? \"

Huh? That is why people (Saint\'s fans included) were so hot for Vilma (Miami). Small guy, a bit undersized, but a leader,a smart guy, a guy who somehow plays better than his abilities (aka \"has \'it\', intangibles)

Liesle, drafted for his attitude. Brian Young started ahead of 3 1st ruonders for the Rams, although he is undersized.

I think there is very little mediocrity in the NFL. We are not dealing with that wide a spectrum of talent and athletic ability. So i do think you have to have some \'heart\' players, who are aged but have learned from their experiences, and learned to out think their ignorant but young competition. The older we get the smarter we have to be to compete.

I\'ll take a Jake Delhomme (an \'it\' \'heart\' guy) over a #1 talented pick like Akili Smith.
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Old 06-21-2004, 10:41 AM   #6
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Intangibles and "it" ???

St.Shrume --

I like the way you think. Your posts are always very well thought out. And I agree with most of your concepts

But, here\'s the way I see it.

There are no \"intangibles\" or magical \"it\".

What there is are these:

1. Athletic ability.
2. Knowledge of the game.
3. Hard Work

1. Athletic ability: Without it the chances of a player suceeding in the NFL are very slim. It is, by far, the most important quality a player possesses. If it were simply a combination of the other 2 qualities ( knowledge of the game, hard work) then we\'d have a lot of guys from Harvard and Yale in the NFL.

2. Knowledge of the game - I don\'t care how much athletic ability a player has he must be knowledgeable about the game of football. He must be able to understand the concept of the system he is in and know where he\'s suppose to be. He must also understand what other teams are trying to do.

3. Hard Work -- Some playeres don\'t have to work as hard as others to become great players because they possess more natural ability (Randy Moss) but hard work is vital to the success of players. There\'s been so many extremely talented guys that didn\'t make it in the NFL because they didn\'t put in the hard work that was necessary.

Now, athletic abilty is relative in terms of importance to certain positions.

Defensive tackles don\'t need to be as fast as cornerbacks.

QB\'s don\'t need to be as athletic as runningbacks.

But, if you can get a player with atleticism at any position and still have the other qualities then your team is just that much better off and opposing cooridinators will lose sleep game planning for those athletic players.

Well, there ya have it. My 2 cents....
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Old 06-21-2004, 01:03 PM   #7
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Intangibles and "it" ???

Billy, I agree, but here is one that others will say you\'ve missed on your list:

(4) Desire (aka heart).

Now all the guys wanna play, but some just want it in the right way and others don\'t. This is the difference between Jerry Rice and Keyou Craver (if I understand StShrume\'s point about the difference in their raw ability, which apparantly is minimal). Jerry worked hard day in and day out, he was a professional who wanted to be the best (and ARGUABLY was at his position).

Now, I\'ve been heard arguing here that there isn\'t a guy in the NFL who doesn\'t want to play, BUT I think that needs to be qualified. What steps are you willing to take to play? How many hours of film will you watch? How will you improve your already impressive physical skills during the off season? Well, that is up to the player - this is heart (or desire, a much less loaded word).

Thus, I think this idea has a place on the list - I think, though, that Billy is right: if you have a guy who is that milisecond faster than everyone else, it seems to make a huge difference on the feild - think Isaac Bruce versus Wesley Carroll at WR. If a guy had heart, could he be better? Well that depends on the capacities of the human body and the postion - so I don\'t know. Thus, as a part of \"it\", I think heart is well down there - at least until the player starts to age - heart will keep him going long after the physical tools start to diminish. Darryl Green comes to mind.

There is another two cents. At this rate, we may make a dime!

PS - Deion Sanders is a prime example of all of this. He had no heart, but he didn\'t need it.

"... I was beating them with my eyes the whole game..." - Aaron Brooks :cool:
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Old 06-21-2004, 01:53 PM   #8
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Intangibles and "it" ???

Gumbo, you said:
__________________________________________________ ______________________
There are no \"intangibles\" or magical \"it\".

What there is are these:

1. Athletic ability.
2. Knowledge of the game.
3. Hard Work
__________________________________________________ _______________________

Exactly. Well put. A lot of what we call luck, talent, smarts, has to do with attitude and preparedness. These are (IMHO) the intangibles. Donte has had the talent and physical ability(fastest receiver in NFL arguably) but this is the first year it seems he has finally woken up to the fact that talent only goes so far.

We\'ll have to wait and see if his preparedness (staying healthy and concentrating on all plays) will actually materialize. But here\'s a guy who if he has another injury full season, may get traded (at least talk of it was prevalent until mini-camp showed he is serious this year)

JKool, your example of D. Sanders is true. He is one of those players like Vick, who have that much talent that it makes up for a lot. But these players come thru 1 or 2 every few years. But even he worked hard, though we may question his heart. He was a business man, he worked hard for the $$$. I\'ll take a guy like that too, although they aren\'t always team players. But atleast they are willing to bleed.

Your example of Isaac Bruce doesn\'t work here since he is a hard worker (him and Holt). They run such amazing routes. That takes practice, practice, practice. Bruce is fast but has lost a lot of speed and still kicks @#@ (work ethic)

So, i guess GumboBC, I would say, I would look at the work ethic and intelligence (where needed, not DL, OL ) when getting players. These are the intangibles in my view:

1. knowledge of the game (comes from studying)

2. desire to not only win, but compete against themselves period. That way when the winning comes, they don\'t go soft, but keep striving for perfection.

3. Can LEARN. That is something that is very under-rated. These athletes come in with egos and don\'t realize that the coaches who are around them (even the average ones) can teach them 1 or 2 things.

Man, i think Ray Lewis is one of my favorite players (not his personal life) because, although it may be argued that he is physically talented, this guy is self-made. The amount of time he puts into practice, watching tape, searching for any scrap that can make him better....i mean, he is unbelievable. No coach can get a team motivated as much as one of their own showing them how it\'s done and holding everyone accountable...by example.

I guess what i am saying (i am beginning to babble) is that i will take an average player with Ray Lewis\' mentality and work ethic over a Deion Sanders any day.


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Old 06-21-2004, 02:32 PM   #9
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Intangibles and "it" ???

St.Shrume --

Man, that was another great post.

Now that we\'ve estabished all of that. Let\'s relate that to the Saints.

From my standpoint, I think we\'ve had a lot of players that haven\'t wanted it bad enough and haven\'t been willing to work hard enough to achieve the desired results.

Grady Jackson is a prime example. Now, that\'s an extreme example compared to some others on the team, but just the same I feel like there are other players on the team that haven\'t wanted it bad enough.

I think (and I could be wrong) that players themselves are more responsible for finding the motivation needed to be great players, BUT, coaching plays a vital role in this also.

What I\'ve seen is Haslett and co. haven\'t set the tone early on that the BS wasn\'t going to be tolerated and because of that the players haven\'t given 100%. Instead they\'ve played sloppy and not up to their abilites.

I\'m not suggesting all of it is the coaches fault, but I think when players know that the coach isn\'t going to tolerate anything less than maximum effort they\'re more likely to produce. Either that or you find out you\'ve got a guy on your team that\'s not worth investing anymore time in.

I think Haslett started the no-nonsense approach towards the end of last season when he sent Grady packing. Now Keyou was sent a message. Then we have John Pease who is a no-nonsense guy himself.

I think if the coaching staff keeps this up that we MIGHT finially see a team that plays up to it\'s potential.

One last thing. Hard work and discipline aren\'t the only problems this team has had. There are a lot of young guys on this team that haven\'t quite learned what it takes to compete at the pro level. In college they could get by more on their pure athletic ability, but like you said, the talent gap is much less in the NFL and it takes them a while to adjust to that. But, that\'s not a unique situation to the Saints.

I know, I rambled on too long, but I hope I made some sense.

Next?? Anyone????

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Old 06-21-2004, 04:35 PM   #10
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Intangibles and "it" ???

It seems to me that athleticism is much more important than any intangible. The best players in the league are the best because of speed and talent. Not any intangible.

For example:

1. Randy Moss
2. Ray Lewis
3. Terelll Owens
4. Marvin Harrison
5. Mike Vick

Hhmmm - first, there are probably other guys in the league that match up to these guys both on size and speed. You use that list as an example of players who are good b/c of athleticism. I use the same list to show that the players have \"it\".

Just take our Saints... look at our \"it\" players:
Joe Horn - tell me that there aren\'t 20 other receivers in the league, probably more, who are as big and as fast and as cocky. So tell me, what makes Horn a Pro Bowler three out of the last four years and Willie Jackson a nobody?

How about Deuce - his combo of size and speed aren\'t all that rare anymore. Or take the non-typical RB. What made Barry Sanders so much better than say Warrick Dunn?

How about Jeff Blake vs Aaron Brooks. Blake has a stronger arm and is a better runner. I assume you believe Brooks to be a better QB. Is that ONLY age. If so, why is age a factor? Would you take Drew Brees or Doug Flutie if you needed a QB to start right now today? What makes Peyton Manning the best player in the NFL while Ryan Leaf gets booed out of football?


This sounds like a very old discussion and to me it all translates back into Billy wanting to do anything he can to prove AB is a better QB than Delhomme. He refuses to see AB\'s shortcomings (unless he perceives them as being easily fixable - i.e. fumbling) or admit that Delhomme might, just might, have something AB does not.

I\'ll tell you what. I will concede and upload a picture of me eating crow to the site if Billy can make a convincing argument as to why Favre and Montana are two of the best QBs ever to play the game based solely on athleticism. They have something others don\'t. Vision, leadership, a sixth sense, whatever you want to call it, they got it.

[Edited on 21/6/2004 by WhoDat]

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