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Old 05-07-2013, 10:32 AM    (permalink
AcheTen (Thumper)
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Originally Posted by njx9 View Post
you know how you can tell that your argument is a pathetic waste of time? when you're incapable of defending it on its own merits, and instead resort to attacking the credibility of the person you're arguing with.
It's not so much "attacking" his credibility as stating the facts plainly:

bigbluedefense is a little-known poster on an obscure, niche football forum.

Profootballfocus.com is literally a multi-national, professional, highly regarded corporation that sells their data to civilians and actual NFL employees alike.

That has to be taken into account when comparing two disparate opinions.
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:39 AM    (permalink
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That's true. BBD has shown himself to be far more knowledgeable about the intricacies of how coverage works in football than PFF.
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Is Shaun Hill a top 10 QB? Definitely not. Is he a top 20 one? Almost certainly.
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Most misleading 10+ sack season EVER.
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:40 AM    (permalink
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Chancellor is in the box and effective as a box safety BC Thomas' range allows him to be in the box to begin with. If you put Chancellor in any other role, his play is greatly diminished. Thomas makes Chancellor look a lot better than he is. And ok? You want your FS covering WRs? I sure as hell don't, that's what CBs are for. Thomas can cover one if he wants to, but why should he? He's a safety, not a CB.
Any safety can play the deep middle effectively when they have a beast like Chancellor cleaning up in the box, and shutdown press-man corners on the outside.

This is not a unique skill. Thomas brings almost nothing to the table that a replacement-level player couldn't bring himself.

What is a unique skill is doing those things I mentioned, or actually playing 1-on-1 coverage, which is what great safeties like Brian Dawkins and Ed Reed used to do.


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This entire point is completely irrelevant. In fact it proves MY point, of how valuable he is to the structure of the defense. They can't play this coverage shell on all 3 downs without him.
Again, it doesn't take special talent to play the role in the secondary with the least number of responsibilities. I could pick up a 4.4 5'10" guy in the 4th round and play this defense effectively if I had Chancellor, Sherman, and Browner as well.

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Ok. Cool. You do realize he's like 20 yards down the field as the High Post right? He's not going to make tackles in the run game, that's not his job. That's why Chancellor is in the box. That's his job and the front 7's job.
Exactly. Which again lends credence to my point that any 4th round kid out of college could do what Thomas does in that defense. He's not special. He's just a fast, undersized JAG.

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He's playing the deep ball. Seattle is able to be so aggressive at the LOS with WRs bc they are comfortable getting beat with Thomas back there. He dictates the coverage shells with his incredible range. He's not gonna cover WRs, again, thats the role of a CB. Defense 101. Oh and he's getting beat deep all the time you say? Funny. Considering Seattle rarely got beat deep this year.
Actually, Seattle's strength was a.) stopping the run game completely and b.) applying so much pressure that the QB was forced to throw short.

None of this was Thomas's milieu. This was all on Red Bryant, Brandon Mebane, Bobby Wagner and Kam Chancelor (crushing the run game before it got much further than the LOS) and Cris Clemons and Bruce Irvin (applying quick pressure to force things short) and Sherman and Browner (playing stifling press-man coverage so that short routes were disrupted).

When Clemons went down in the playoffs, you saw what happened when the deep passing game opened up for the opponent. Earl Thomas was running around like a chicken with his head cut off downfield getting beat like a drum, because no pressure = short routes disruption didn't matter = throwing deep against your Cover-1 safety.
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:41 AM    (permalink
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That's true. BBD has shown himself to be far more knowledgeable about the intricacies of how coverage works in football than PFF.
He should open up his own website and making money with his expert opinions then.

Until I see that happen, I think I'll trust the professionals actually getting paid by NFL teams to provide data.

Especially when BBD criticizes PFF for a lack of football awareness - how is this possible after all that PFF has done and all the support PFF garners from the NFL itself?
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:42 AM    (permalink
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It's not so much "attacking" his credibility as stating the facts plainly:

bigbluedefense is a little-known poster on an obscure, niche football forum.

Profootballfocus.com is literally a multi-national, professional, highly regarded corporation that sells their data to civilians and actual NFL employees alike.

That has to be taken into account when comparing two disparate opinions.
That still doesn't stop it from being an incomplete evaluation. I can see certain positions where using the metrics they do could work, for instance - one on one pass rushing/pass blocking etc.

However for DBs, WRs, TEs etc it isn't as clear cut. Taking Thomas as the example being used. QBs know he has outstanding range and take that into account when making decisions on the field.

Now, say Richard Sherman is in single coverage against a WR, Thomas is in single high coverage on the opposite hash, Browner is playing press man on the other side and Chancellor is playing robber. For most players the read should dictate to look at the one on one match up against Sherman because most safeties can't get that far over. However Thomas can and it affects QB's decisions.

So...the QB decides not to make that throw knowing Thomas could come over the top and pick it off, so he forces it underneath where it is incomplete as that is where Seattle has flooded it's LBs and Chancellor.

Using PFF's metrics Thomas doesn't get the credit for forcing an incompletion because on first view he doesn't affect the play. But he affected the QB. Only a certain amount of guys can do that in the NFL, and sometimes the things you prevent are better than the things you do
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:43 AM    (permalink
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Dirty dozen

1. Eric Weddle
2. Ed Reed
3. William Moore
4. Jairus Byrd
5. Earl Thomas
6. Troy Polamalu
7. Ryan Clark
8. Harrison Smith
9. Reshad Jones
10. Kam Chancellor
11. T.J. Ward
12. Dashon Goldson
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:47 AM    (permalink
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That still doesn't stop it from being an incomplete evaluation. I can see certain positions where using the metrics they do could work, for instance - one on one pass rushing/pass blocking etc.

However for DBs, WRs, TEs etc it isn't as clear cut. Taking Thomas as the example being used. QBs know he has outstanding range and take that into account when making decisions on the field.

Now, say Richard Sherman is in single coverage against a WR, Thomas is in single high coverage on the opposite hash, Browner is playing press man on the other side and Chancellor is playing robber. For most players the read should dictate to look at the one on one match up against Sherman because most safeties can't get that far over. However Thomas can and it affects QB's decisions.

So...the QB decides not to make that throw knowing Thomas could come over the top and pick it off, so he forces it underneath where it is incomplete as that is where Seattle has flooded it's LBs and Chancellor.

Using PFF's metrics Thomas doesn't get the credit for forcing an incompletion because on first view he doesn't affect the play. But he affected the QB. Only a certain amount of guys can do that in the NFL, and sometimes the things you prevent are better than the things you do
The problem with all this is that Thomas is not special, and is helped more by his teammates than he helps them.

He only looks good because of what the rest of the team does on the field.

You can't play this defense without a stifling press-man on the outside, quick pressure on the edges, and run-stuffers extraordinaire on the inside.

All Thomas brings to the table is speed. That's it. He's a small guy that gets trucked by any and all run games. He can't cover one-on-one worth a lick. He brings range and nothing else. This is serviceable in the Seahawk defense with the other great players they have, but as we saw in the Falcons game in the playoffs, when other elements are missing, Thomas is a liability and his range/speed mean little when he can't cover downfield or make tackles in the box.
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:49 AM    (permalink
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It's not so much "attacking" his credibility as stating the facts plainly:

bigbluedefense is a little-known poster on an obscure, niche football forum.

Profootballfocus.com is literally a multi-national, professional, highly regarded corporation that sells their data to civilians and actual NFL employees alike.

That has to be taken into account when comparing two disparate opinions.
Opinions vary incredibly regardless of how respected somebody is. People place different emphasis on different skill sets. For example Bill Belichick may consider a Spikes type linebacker to be a better player than a Weatherspoon type, while Mike Smith may disagree. Considering their responsibilities and scheme dependence, something like a grade may be extremely subjective depending on who is grading them. It doesn't mean one person is credible while the other isn't, it's just that opinions inherently are subjective and can't be assumed as fact regardless of how impressive somebody's credentials are.
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:51 AM    (permalink
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Opinions vary incredibly regardless of how respected somebody is. People place different emphasis on different skill sets. For example Bill Belichick may consider a Spikes type linebacker to be a better player than a Weatherspoon type, while Mike Smith may disagree. Considering their responsibilities and scheme dependence, something like a grade may be extremely subjective depending on who is grading them. It doesn't mean one person is credible while the other isn't, it's just that opinions inherently are subjective and can't be assumed as fact regardless of how impressive somebody's credentials are.
It doesn't matter what one coach prefers or not - the results are there on the field.

The fact that Bill Belichick prefers big, slow plodding run-stuffing LBers shows up in the results: the Patriots have had one of the bottom-5 pass defenses consistently in the past few years.

Clearly Belichicik wants to prioritize stopping the run game at the expense of the pass game. That's fine. But clearly this can be objectively quantified. The results are there for us to see. This is not subjective in effect, only in initial impetus.
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:55 AM    (permalink
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He should open up his own website and making money with his expert opinions then.

Until I see that happen, I think I'll trust the professionals actually getting paid by NFL teams to provide data.

Especially when BBD criticizes PFF for a lack of football awareness - how is this possible after all that PFF has done and all the support PFF garners from the NFL itself?
Well that sucks for you then. Cause if you weren't so stuck on needing some sort of authority to ok ideas before you can approach them you could learn something and acquire knowledge of your own.
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Is Shaun Hill a top 10 QB? Definitely not. Is he a top 20 one? Almost certainly.
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Most misleading 10+ sack season EVER.
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Old 05-07-2013, 11:47 AM    (permalink
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no, no it doesn't. it gets taken into account solely when you have no other viable argument to make. you're basically suggesting that everyone should take jason whitlock's opinion as gospel because someone paid him to write it. the fact that a poster on this board is a poster on this board has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on the correctness of his opinion, or the value thereof. you're committing a classic ad hominem fallacy, and it's honestly a bit entertaining to watch the hypocrisy at this point.

or, if you'd rather: fine, acheten, you're correct. your opinion is completely without value because you're either parroting something someone else with 'credibility' wrote, or you're refuting it. in either case, they're smarter than you and they know better than you. so why bother discussing football at all? just read PFF (or whatever) and be done with it.
I feel like we could be great friends... I am pretty sure one of my top three most most enjoyable things on these forums comes from you completely and utterly tearing apart terrible arguments.
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:02 PM    (permalink
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Really trying to justify that membership price huh?

Numbers just don't tell a complete story. There are a lot of useful metrics but they arent the end all be all.
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:20 PM    (permalink
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Wow, some people have turned this into a very boring thread.
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:26 PM    (permalink
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It's not so much "attacking" his credibility as stating the facts plainly:

bigbluedefense is a little-known poster on an obscure, niche football forum.

Profootballfocus.com is literally a multi-national, professional, highly regarded corporation that sells their data to civilians and actual NFL employees alike.

That has to be taken into account when comparing two disparate opinions.
Holy hyperbole, Batman!

It's a subscription football website started by some guys who thought it would be insightful to undertake a massive game charting project.

There's a place for PFF, but we aren't talking about Goldman Sachs.
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:27 PM    (permalink
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Wow, some people have turned this into a very boring thread.
Yeah...Well....Go sign another ex-Buffalo Bill why don't ya!?

: )
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Old 05-07-2013, 03:04 PM    (permalink
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Holy hyperbole, Batman!

It's a subscription football website started by some guys who thought it would be insightful to undertake a massive game charting project.

There's a place for PFF, but we aren't talking about Goldman Sachs.
Seriously, for $30 a team can have all of their data, which would cost them a fortune to do themselves. You could get 50 random people together, and have them do the same thing, and it would still be worth it for an organization to purchase a subscription simply because it's not feasible for them to do it themselves.
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Old 05-07-2013, 03:58 PM    (permalink
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Yeah...Well....Go sign another ex-Buffalo Bill why don't ya!?

: )
Feel free to cut Mario, we'd love to have him :)

Didn't think so. O well, guess we'll just have to settle for Kyle Williams or Marcel Dareus...
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Old 05-07-2013, 04:23 PM    (permalink
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Off the top of my head.

1. Earl Thomas, Seahawks
2. Eric Weddle, Chargers
3. Ryan Clark, Steelers
4. Dashon Goldson, Bucanneers
5. Jarius Bryd, Bills

As of late, those guys have been among the best.
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Old 05-07-2013, 04:25 PM    (permalink
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Off the top of my head.

1. Earl Thomas, Seahawks
2. Eric Weddle, Chargers
3. Ryan Clark, Steelers
4. Dashon Goldson, Bucanneers
5. Jarius Bryd, Bills

As of late, those guys have been among the best.
ryan clark does not belong on any list
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Old 05-07-2013, 04:27 PM    (permalink
BigBanger
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ryan clark does not belong on any list
Oh. Very solid argument. I'll make sure to remove him.
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Old 05-07-2013, 04:29 PM    (permalink
phlysac
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ryan clark does not belong on any list
In a televised interview, today, Clark said he was the 3rd best FS in the League behind Thomas and Goldson.
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Old 05-07-2013, 04:37 PM    (permalink
K Train
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In a televised interview, today, Clark said he was the 3rd best FS in the League behind Thomas and Goldson.
I know, people get so sensitive about stuff like that. It like caused an uproar on the steelers board i use

He plays a disciplined brand of football, which is needed to compensate for polamalus chaos. But he has horrible closing speed, is afraid of turnovers, and only really excels at laying a boom, which legal or not draws a flag 50% of the time. He is a solid, middle of the pack safety. Nothing more
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Old 05-07-2013, 05:23 PM    (permalink
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Ok. Cool. You do realize he's like 20 yards down the field as the High Post right? He's not going to make tackles in the run game, that's not his job. That's why Chancellor is in the box. That's his job and the front 7's job.


I can't believe I missed this post. Responses in bold.
I agree with everything you said except this... and it's just me being nit-picky.

I understand the assignment and agree that he isn't asked to play the run, but focus on the pass game because he is the both the last line of defense and also a playmaker when the ball is in the air.

The only thing I'd add is that this is good coaching by Seattle. They emphasize a player's strengths, while covering their weaknesses.

Thomas most certainly has the physical ability to quickly reach the box from his deep post and be in position to make tackles for minimal gain. That's the same physical ability he uses to get to the sideline in coverage.

The problem is that he isn't going to be making many plays, even if he is in position versus the run. It's a weakness in his overall game. He isn't a balanced safety, he's a pure center fielder. Of course, there's nothing wrong with that and I agree with you regarding how important that role can be to a defense. It certainly doesn't diminish his value as a player or "ranking" as a safety.

An example of a more balanced, but not necessarily better safety, is Dashon Goldson. The 49ers play two deep safeties an often Goldson would line up just as far off the line of scrimmage as Thomas. The difference is that Goldson could hit and tackle, so he would often flash up into the box and make a stop from 20 yards deep. He isn't as good in coverage as Thomas or as good against the run as Chancellor, but is better than both in their weak area. That doesn't make him better overall, though.

I'm sorry for the long post just to nit-pick that a free safety can play the run when lined up 20 yards deep. I also prefer safeties that excel in deep coverage for the reasons you've already given. Just keep in mind that some prefer a more balanced player. Arguments can be made both ways, but I don't think either side could make a strong enough case to "win" that argument.

Also, I hate ranking players because there are too many variables in football due to it's heavy reliance on scheme and complete team performance. You could make the argument for many players that are mostly ignored having greater impact than flashy "star" players. I also dislike advanced statistics for similar reasons.

Ok. /rant
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Old 05-07-2013, 06:17 PM    (permalink
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In a televised interview, today, Clark said he was the 3rd best FS in the League behind Thomas and Goldson.
That's funny. He wishes he could be Jairus Byrd on a bad day.
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Old 05-07-2013, 06:50 PM    (permalink
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