A big reception while Marshall can just watch. Par for the course in 2010. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Across from Chris Gamble is a player who could be the biggest anachronism on the Carolina Panthers' roster. For the past two years most fans have realized that Richard Marshall isn't quite as good as he (or agent Drew Rosenhaus) advertise, meanwhile fans of other teams seem to covet the cornerback, likely allured with impressive PDef and tackle numbers. We have seen posts from a variety of fanbases praising Marshall and advocating their team attempt to sign him.
What I have always asserted when it comes to Marshall is that both of these key statisitics are inflated by one thing: He's beat by his receiver... a lot. What this does is create a vaccuum where opposing QBs are willing to take shots at Marshall, meaning more opportunities for defended passes and when his cover gets a reception he usually closes and makes the tackle. This assertion is sometimes refuted as 'bias', but thankfully we have some tangible evidence that shows just how mediocre Richard Marshall was for the Panthers in 2010.
Doug Farrar of Football Outsiders, writing a special piece for Yahoo's aptly named 'Shutdown Corner' blog looked at the best, and worst CBs in the league at stopping their man. When it comes to Marshall he fails greatly, and we'll look at those numbers and his potential role in 2011 after the jump.
Tip of the hat to The Duke Dude whose fanpost brought this link to my attention and inspired this post.
According to Farrar's numbers Marshall was 'burned', or allowed a reception 72 times on 101 targets. Let that sink in for a second... this means that when a pass is in the air there was a 71.3% chance Marshall would allow a reception. That is mind numbingly terrible... especially for a player who wants to be regarded as one of the better FA options when the market is reopened.
It seems clear the Panthers knew Marshall wouldn't be a long term option either. Not only did they elect to tender him in 2010, rather than sign him long term but the organization went so far as to draft three cornerbacks in the 2010 draft, and then took Brandon Hogan with a 4th round pick in 2011. That being said, the team did suffer in 2010 because they failed to have any veteran players, but is that enough to keep Marshall on board?
I'm posing that question to you, the fan base. Do you see any need for the Panthers to try and retain Marshall? As I see it he's become too much of a liability to keep around. Whether it means Captain Munnerlyn starting, or the Panthers try and swing for the fences for a player like Jonathan Joseph I think that basically anything would be better than Marshall at this point, despite what Rosenhaus wants the NFL to believe.