Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Don't overrate Josh Scobee deal for Jaguars
By Paul Kuharsky
Congrats to Josh Scobee and the Jaguars for getting a deal done Monday before the deadline that would have locked him in for the one-year franchise tag.
It’s good that the team has one less thing hanging over its head for later.
He’s a quality kicker, and as the Jaguars appear unlikely to blow a lot of people out, a couple clutch field goals can be giant for Jacksonville.
Still, it’s also not a monumental gain. As the folks at Football Outsiders remind us over and over, there is a large degree of randomness for field goal kickers in the league year to year. (It’s not always about how much they score but when they score. Still, in their new Almanac, Outsiders projects Scobee 26th among kickers in 2012, with 99 points.)
Tania Ganguli of the Florida Times-Union reports the four-year, $13.8 million deal Scobee signed is the second-best multiyear deal for a kicker to only Oakland’s Sebastian Janikowski.
“There’s added pressure anytime you sign a nice deal because people expect you to live up to it. I won’t put any extra added pressure on myself. I like to take things easy and not take myself too seriously but at the same time work as hard as I can to be the best kicker I can. So I’m sure my teammates expect me to make every kick, and that’s my goal so that’s what I’ll work to do.”
Scobee was 12-for-14 on field goals of 40 yards and longer last season, a phenomenal pace.
Perhaps he picks up where he left off.
Or perhaps, as Outsiders suggests, field goal percentage on kicks of that distance will regress to the mean, which is how things tend to go.
Scobee accounted for 38.3 percent of the Jaguars' points last season, the seventh-highest percentage in the league.
If they rely on him for an even higher percentage of that this season, that’s great -- so long as they rank far higher than tied for 28th in points per game at 15.2.