Thread for NFL discussion before the 2018 NFL season. To kick off the thread, I wanted to vent about QB evaluations Continue reading “2017 NFL Off-season Thread”
I can’t believe I’m at the point where I don’t want to watch the Super Bowl. I just don’t want to sit there and watch the Patriots win, not to say that it’s going to happen, but it could. The other thing is that I totally wrote off the Eagles once Wentz got hurt, and after seeing Foles play a few games afterward. He looked really bad. The way he’s been playing recently, causes me believe that, like Alex Smith, the head coach has found certain schemes/plays to put the QB in the right play and cover his weaknesses. In other words, Foles’s success is scheme/coach-driven. If that’s true, I tend to think it could get ugly in this game, because you don’t beat Belichick by out-scheming him. You beat Belichick by talent (and solid coaching)–something that clever schemes have a limited effect upon.
The other scenario where the Eagles end up winning is if the DL can get to Brady, especially the interior. In my opinion, the Patriot OL has been really good, maybe a top five OL this year. Their interior pass protection has looked especially great. They looked like an impenetrable wall against the Jaguars, and if they play like this against the Eagles, I don’t see how the Eagles can win. (Eagles do have some good interior D-linemen, so there’s hope.) If they can pressure Brady up the middle, they could not only disrupt the offense, but they could get some turnovers.
I tend to think the game will be a blow out, though.
I’ve recently seen some fans use statistics to evaluate a play calling in a way that seems inappropriate to me. Here are three different ways I’ve seen statistics used to evaluate play calling:
1. Counting the number of times a playcaller ran or passed the ball on at certain downs and distances (e.g., on 3rd and 4, the play caller called a run play 68% of the time, etc.).
2. Examine the sequence of runs and passes to evaluate predictability. For example, one person criticized a play caller for utilizing the run-run-pass sequence way too often.
3. Identifying conversion 3rd down conversion rates for both passing and running at different distances–e.g., 45% success running and 55% success passing from 3rd and 4–and using this to make play calling decisions.
Do you guys think this is sound and appropriate way to evaluate a play caller–e.g., determining if they’re too predictable? What are sound and unsound ways of using these type of statistics to evaluate play calling?
That’s a question I saw on twitter, and I thought it’d be fun for us to discuss that here. Off the top of my head, here’s my list: Continue reading “If You Could Give Any Athlete a Clean Bill of Health for His/Her Entire Career, Who Would It Be and Why?”
If you guys have time or interest, I’d be interested in hearing your comments about the pass protection in all the sacks Wilson took in 2017:
Here's the 4 minute long version.https://t.co/S8XbsZIaBt
— Parker Lewis (@ParkerLewisJR) January 26, 2018
To what extent do you think this is Wilson’s fault?
Some things that I think are important:
1. Look at the number of pass rushers. It seems to me that the vast majority have four rushers, some three or five. Almost none are all-out blitzes. Do you guys have the same impression?
2. Show me a defense that can consistently generate good pressure/hits/sacks with four pass rushers, and I’ll show you a dominant defense. The Seahawks turned every opponent into a dominant defense!
3. Obviously this doesn’t include instances when Wilson avoided a sack despite bad protection. I wouldn’t be surprised if these plays equal the number of sacks, if not exceed it.
4. The number of plays where the OL provides really good to really good pass protection is important. Let’s say out of 30 pass plays per game, on average, 20 are good to very good, five are so-so, and the other five are awful. That might not be so bad. If you give a QB consistently good pass protection, I think he can deal with the few instances of bad pass protection. Having said that, my guess is if we were to show the instances of good to really good pass protection that number would be really small in comparison to instances of bad, really bad pass pro.
Your 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame inductees:
– Chipper Jones
– Vladimir Guerrero
– Jim Thome
– Trevor Hoffman pic.twitter.com/IWPgybXU0g
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 24, 2018
I don’t really have much to say–really, I’m just starting this because I wanted to bring up one question, and there’s no other appropriate thread: Is Jim Thome really better than Edgar Martinez? Thome played for kinda long and hit a lot of home runs, right? Still, didn’t Edgar play for a long time, too; and, to me, he was a hitting machine. I feel like he’s underrated. (The other picks seem reasonable to me.)
Thoughts on Mike Vrabel as New Titans Coach
I know little about Vrabel, but the fact that he’s a former DC makes it harder for me to get excited–namely because I’m fixated on developing Mariota. My hope is that Vrabel is good leader, organizer, excels with communicating and working with people, and will hire a good OC. Really, I think a lot comes down to who he hires and the system they’ll put in place. I was leaning toward an a really good west coast OC, because I think Mariota needs to work on throwing with his feet (and I suspect this will help with accuracy, especially on the deep passes). But I don’t care what system he plays in, as long as he improves his footwork. Having said that, I could see Mariota thriving in a spread-based system, which might not really help his footwork. I have mixed feelings about that. My preference is he plays in a system/for a coach that works on his footwork.
Another reason I’m lukewarm on Vrabel is that he doesn’t strike me as a great DC. But as I alluded to earlier, I don’t think he needs to be a great coordinator to be a really good head coach, assuming he brings in the right people.
Here’s the goal: The NFL should work to ensure that the highest number of teams have a good OL (or something similar like insuring that most teams have a competent OL at least). This thought occurred to me while listening to Mark Schlereth’s comments, regarding the declining NFL viewers. If I recall correctly, he mentioned that the quality of play has diminished, and he pointed to the OL play, mentioning you don’t notice the OL when they don’t play well, but you do, when they perform badly. While I think this is true, for me, I’m actually noticing good OL play because it seems more like the exception rather than the rule. (Well, maybe the bigger reason is that good OL play stands out in contrast to the Seahawk OL.) This is really bad for the league, and it’s believable that this has lead to declining interest. For me, bad OL play makes football almost unwatchable. On the flip side, good OL–even dominant OL play–makes for better offense, and I assume fans like that. I would much prefer more offense due to good OL play rather than adjusting rules to help the offense.
If I’m right, how exactly would the NFL go about trying to achieve this? Here are some ideas:
- Change the CBA to allow for more practice time. This seems especially crucial since colleges supposedly aren’t doing a good job of developing linemen;
- Increase the talent pool for linemen. One way to do this is to create a developmental league, with special emphasis on developing the OL. Another idea is to send NFL OL coaches to provide workshops to college and pop warner leagues. These coaches can not only train players, but help develop line coaches.
I spoke about not wanting to change rules to give more of an advantage to the offense, but if nothing else works, I’d considered changing rules to help the offensive linemen.
I can’t remember a time when I was more annoyed at the results of a game when the games didn’t involve my favorite teams. I wasn’t just annoyed, but I was angry. Right now, I’m seriously thinking of not watching the Super Bowl. What’s different is that, in one case, I was annoyed because a team (Pats) won, more than the team (Jags) I rooted for lost, and in the other, the team I rooted for (Vikings) seemed to self-destruct. (I say “seems” because I stopped watching the game after Keenum’s INT, and I just fast-forwarded the game and saw the blowout score.)
Putting aside these bad feelings, let me say a provide, more rational comments:
- What can you say? Belichick is the a great coach–maybe the best coach of all time, in any sport. I don’t think the Jaguars have a great defense, but they’re very good, and the Patriots dismantled them without Gronk for most of the game. (What the heck was with the Jaguar penalties? By the way, for a good defense, they sure seem to have trouble defending deep passes–either giving up completions or getting penalties. Also, as good as the four four is, both the Patriots and Steelers were able to stymie them and consistently give their QBs good pass protection–especially from the interior. The contrast with the Seahawks OL is quite stark for me.)
- I’m giving credit to Doug Pederson. Mike Lombardi mocked and ridiculed him (He recently admitted he was wrong), and I sort of bought into this. I think Pederson, for the way he’s using Foles, is unbelievable. Foles looked utterly terrible against the Raiders–I thought the Eagles had zero chance. But RPO plays and whatever else seems to have totally transformed Foles. Give credit to Foles as well.