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Maddox, Slade and Glover

June 13, 2001 by Steel Phantom

Veteran players audition:

Veteran players work out here:


The Stillers auditioned OLB Chris Slade, TE Andrew Glover and QB Tommy Maddox yesterday.� Astonishingly, none of these men have ever played a down for the Detroit Lions.� The Stiller FO is branching out and, even if the pickings are slim this June, that�s still a good move.� Taking these players in turn:


QB Tommy Maddox:� I don�t have statistics on this player.� As I recall, he left school early, got drafted too high and flopped in the NFL.�� Maddox was the XFL MVP; that�s not much of a distinction but, remember, Kurt Warner came to the Rams as a former Arena League (or Euro-NFL) MVP.� In the best case, Maddox is the Warner of the New Millennium; a more reasonable alternative would be that he perform at, say, a Scott Mitchell level for the vet minimum.� This could give the FO a reason to let Kent Graham go and so put his cap value to some better purpose.�


TE Andrew Glover isa 10-year vet who is 6�-6�, 252#.� Glover began his career with the Raiders, spent 3 years in Minnesota and, last season, played for the Saints.� Had 21 catches for 281 yards in 2000 with 4 TD.� 21 catches a year is about it for this man; in 10 years, he has 208 grabs with 24 TD.� NFL Digest says of this man ��has experience but struggled in New Orleans last year.��� This is a low impact receiver who is not one of the great blockers at the TE position.� From all reports, Andrew Glover is on the downside of a very average career.


In contrast, OLB Chris Slade is on the downside of a fairly good career (see statistical table following).� Slade is a 30 year old, 8-year vet who is listed as 6�5�, 250#.�� On the plus side, Slade has been a durable player; he has started 108/128 games and appeared in 127.��� On the downside, NFL Digest says of this man ��lost a step in NE and doesn�t make enough plays.�


Evidently, the Pats agreed; this winter, they brought in former Stiller back-up Mike Vrabel.� Vrabel bumped Slade and now Slade may slide into Mike�s old slot here as the #3 OLB.�� Currently, the Stiller backup OLB are: Clark �5.0� Haggans, Mike Sands, Justin Kurpeikis and Chad Evitts.� That�s not good; given the Stillers absolute lack of depth at this position, Slade could be a good pick-up for a 1-2 year vet minimum type deal.�


Frankly, that is just the kind of contract Mike Jones should have gotten.�� Jones is a 32 year old, 10 year vet; NFL Digest says of this player� ��struggles to take on blockers in the running game but at times holds his own� plays best in space and shows good range but has lost a step�had a sub-par year last year and did not make plays.� Sounds like Slade at this stage, a once-solid player on the downside.� Of course, the difference is that the Stillers have a developmental prospect behind Jones; Kendrell Bell should be the guy shortly, if not this year than certainly in 2002.� Jones is a stop-gap, nothing more and, had the Stillers held their fire past the draft day, it is highly likely that they could now be choosing between Jones, Winfred Tubbs and Barry Minter.� It was a long, lonely winter for many vets; most would be eager for any summer berth.


While the Stillers have both a developmental prospect (Bell) and a savvy vet backup (Fiala) at ILB, they lack either at OLB.� This is a problem, not just for the 2001 season but later, when it is time to sit down and negotiate with Jason �Big Sack� Gildon.�� Sack�s last deal followed the 1997 campaign; you remember that Lloyd was done, Chad Brown had been an S�Hawk for a season and the great Dontae Jones was headed to Charlotte.� Faced with starting Emmons and Vrabel, the Stillers had no leverage in dealing with Gildon then and, as things stand, history will recapitulate itself over the 2001-02 off-season.�� There are no developmental OLB available but the FO would do well to bring in some creditable veteran at this position.� Slade is probably the best of the lot remaining that includes: Cornelius Bennett, Robert Jones, Brian Williams and Todd Collins.�


The wildcard is Kevin Hardy; reportedly the Jags would now move this player for a 3rd round pick.� Hardy is an elite OLB with an elite price tag; the chances of the Stillers clearing room for this man approach zero.�� However a LB corps of Porter, Holmes, Bell and Hardy would be a powerful argument for the 3-4.� Similarly, a LB corps of Porter, Bell and Hardy would allow the 4-3 Stillers to skip over dealing with either Gildon or Holmes and focus on CB and the D-Line for 2002-03.


I�ll close with a couple of statistical comparisons.� Note that the statistics are career/2000.� Experience and age are for the upcoming season; eg. Jason Gildon has played 7 years but would be listed 8/29 since 2001 will be his 8th season.

FA MLB available:�






Forced Fumbles



Passes Defended

Mike Jones








Barry Minter

� 8/31







Winfred Tubbs

� 9/31








Former coverage MLB Earl Holmes had 9 PD last season.� God knows why Holmes, a downhill run-stuffer who lacks open field speed was ever considered the coverage backer.� Coverage ace Mike Jones has averaged just over 4 PD per season.� Jones exceeds Minter and Tubbs in this area but, otherwise, these men seem statistically similar.


A few OLB:






Forced Fumbles



Passes Defended

Chris Slade








Jason Gildon



� 69/14





Kevin Hardy



� 87/9

� 8/2





Hardy is a tackling machine but his sack numbers aren�t overwhelming.� It is worth noting that he is just one year younger than Gildon.� Gildon�s numbers suggest his career is on the rise; some may argue that point.�� Slade is said to be on the decline but he did participate in 80 stops last year.� Slade�s FF career total is very good.


Summary:� IMO, the Stillers bit early on Mike Jones; Jones is (marginally) the best coverage MLB listed above but I don�t think he is clearly superior to (the currently unemployed) Winfred Tubbs.� Jones was a June-type pickup in the Alexander mode.� Further, the FO is in a low leverage position at OLB whether with Slade now or Gildon later.� Signing Slade, or some equivalent, is absolutely necessary both from a 2001 football perspective and, downstream, to relieve the imperative to resign Gildon for 2002 forward.� The Stillers made long term deals with Steed, Kirk and Lloyd when those players were in their late 20�s; it didn�t work out then; there is no reason to believe it�ll pay out with JG.

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