Three ECU Football Seniors
The Next Step

by Kevin Monroe


For seniors Guy Whimper, Zach Baker, and Chris Moore their college football careers have ended and their professional ones have just begun.  If the past is any indication of how the next six months will go, Guy Whimper’s road should be somewhat different than that of the other two.  It’s a well-known fact that the NFL is a business and the players of each organization are treated as employees.  That means the players that make the most money are the most important to the organization.  Guy Whimper was drafted in the 4th round by the New York Giants and the history of the NFL draft will tell you that players drafted in the 4th round or higher have a very good chance of making the team and having lasting careers. 

The NFL does not have ANY guaranteed contracts….. I repeat..nobody has a guaranteed contract. Not Michael Vick or Peyton Manning.  The reason those players won’t be cut is because of their huge signing bonuses.  Signing bonuses are guaranteed, so when the Falcons and Colts gave these stars 30 million dollars as a bonus, it basically guaranteed their spots on the team.  Organizations cannot afford to pay that kind of money to an expendable player.  In order to keep players happy they have to pay huge bonuses.  A 4th round selection won’t get a million dollars, but he will at least get a few hundred thousand.  That may not seem like much in the grand scheme of things, but what it will do is buy him time to prove himself on the field. 

Zach Baker and Chris Moore will get signing bonuses of twenty thousand or less.  My signing bonus when I signed with the Carolina Panthers in 2000 was $1,000.  After taxes I took home $568.  The reason I mention it is because it’s easy to cut a player that you only gave a few thousand dollars. Therefore, free agents aren’t allowed many mistakes.  Each organization comes into camp with 100+ players and they have to get down to 53 man roster and a 5 man practice squad.  That means that some players are signed just to be extra bodies in camp.  As cruel as that sounds, its true.

The Giants seem to be pretty excited about Guy. Here are some things they wrote about his strength’s and weaknesses on their website.

Whimper is a huge offensive tackle with the thick build and long arms to be a physical presence. When he plays aggressively and attacks the defensive line, he has the strength to get movement on in-line run blocks. For a big offensive tackle he can get through to the second level surprisingly well when uncovered and can deliver a good initial block to the linebacker. Can slide out to the corner to cut off the edge rusher. Has the flexibility to bend his knees and pass block with a good, wide base, and when he plays with good base, he can re-direct and adjust to quick pass-rush moves.

Whimper does not use good technique or block aggressively often enough, which leads to him getting pushed around too easily. Doesn't punch in pass protection, which lets aggressive pass rushers get into his chest and they can drive him backward into the quarterback's lap. Usually stops his feet as soon as he makes contact on blocks and it leads to him losing that block. Despite having the feet to re-direct and adjust in pass protection, he tends to get upright and straight-legged in pass protection and can't adjust to the quick inside pass-rush move. Doesn't fire off the ball to be a run blocker, but more of a positional push blocker.

Zach will be heading to Steelers camp and Chris to the New Orleans Saints camp and they will have an up hill battle to fight.  It’s not an impossible one, because every year a few free agents make the team.  Take a look at how well Vonta Leach and Terrance Copper are doing for the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys respectfully.  It’s great to see East Carolina players get a shot at the next level and I wish them the best of luck..

Kevin Monroe