We had an interesting question posed on this week’s episode of the AP Laboratory.
Our guy @AAKcody on Twitter asked: “It took Dee Ford five years to really get more than two moves down. I feel like the Nerd Squad is a bit hard on Breeland Speaks because the first impression was terrible.”
Matt Lane had a great full answer on this, but here’s part of what he had to say:
Matt: “We do get this question quite a bit in terms of Breeland Speaks’ development and comparing it to Dee Ford’s. To be fair the Nerd Squad is a little down on Breeland Speaks and it’s not necessarily that we’re negative about him as a person or effort level. I don’t think any of us see the particular ceiling that he has, so when you compare his path to development to someone like Dee Ford, who had unlimited potential going to the NFL, it doesn’t make sense. With Breeland, you have a good idea of what he is and what he can do, but he needs some work to refine his movements and what he’s trying to do. Dee Ford was a project player. He was literally a blank canvas that you had to create everything out of. So it’s kind of hard to compare his progression to Breeland Speaks because they’re starting at different levels.”
Craig Stout also chimed in.
Craig: “They’re just two athleticall- different people. It’s like comparing apples to hammers. Breeland is closer to Allen Bailey than he is to Dee Ford, which is why we call him a 5-tech a lot of times because he moves like a 5-tech. He rushes like a 5-tech.”
I tend to agree with Matt and Craig as well. These are two completely different developmental processes for guys with different traits, experience and ability.
Speaks gives outstanding effort (and we all agree on that), but the limitations he shows out wide give me pause about his ability to have sustained success as an outside linebacker. I hope he proves me wrong.
We talk more about Speaks, the defensive woes, Travis Kelce and more on this week’s episode of the AP Laboratory. If you can’t see the player below, click here.