Chat with KC Joyner
Joyner, aka The Football Scientist, uses game film to track, tabulate and analyze nearly every measurable statistic in an NFL game. He is a regular Insider contributor and has his own website at thefootballscientist.com.
Send your questions now and join KC in The Show on Thursday at 4 p.m. ET!
KC Joyner (4:00 PM)
Hello! Let's talk some football!
KC...Love the work... All things consider. How did the Fins make out by signing Grove and Trading Saetale? Is grove that much of a upgrade, condisering the money the Fins spent to get Grove? Thanks
KC Joyner (4:01 PM)
I am currently doing the run blocking metrics for Scientific Football 2009 but I haven't quite yet finished with the Fins. I can tell you that I did a piece for ESPN The Mag where I looked at Grove's numbers and found that his POA win percentage was over 90%. That is simply fantastic for a center, so I like this move a lot.
Broad Street Brian (Philly)
What's with all ther QB's throwing hissy fits? Cutler is not untouchable, neither is MacNabb. Why on earth do QB's think that they shouldn't be benched or traded?
KC Joyner (4:02 PM)
Good question. My question would be what good they think will come of the moves.
We all know that Leonard Weaver can catch and is an ok runner, but how are his blocking metrics?
KC Joyner (4:03 PM)
He's had good blocking metrics in years past but from what I've seen of his work in Seattle last year (which, to be fair, is only a small portion of his season), he isn't what he used to be. He lost way too many blocks.
Ka-Boom (Seattle WA)
Hi KC, I enjoy your insights most of all the great ESPN Chats. My question is about Anthony Gonzalez. What do you expect from him this year now that Harrison is gone? Will he ever be like Wes Welker and approach 100 receptions?
KC Joyner (4:04 PM)
Not sure he ever gets to 100 receptions but he only had 80 or so passes thrown his way last year. With Harrison out of the picture, that number will go up, so expect him to see 120 or more passes and snag 60-70 receptions.
Why would the Raiders not sign Grove, then trade for the guy he replaces in Miami?
KC Joyner (4:05 PM)
Not sure what to say there. I do know that Cable liked him, so maybe it was just a money matter.
eric mobile phone [via mobile]
how can the nfl justify giving the steelers only a 5th round comp pick for faneca. a 9 time pro bowler!
KC Joyner (4:06 PM)
I'm with you here. Faneca posted an 87.8% POA success rate last year and since anything above 85 is really good, I'd say he's worth a lot more than that.
Is the traditional strong safety (in the box)position dead? Adrian Wilson from the Cards seem like a strong safety that is a run stopper and blitz and his team went to the Super Bowl.
KC Joyner (4:07 PM)
I don't know that it is dead but any box safety has to have coverage skills. If they don't, some opposing team will expose them and other teams will follow their lead.
How do you think the Ravens will do with the loss of Rex Ryan and Bart Scott on Defense?
KC Joyner (4:08 PM)
The funny thing about Baltimore is that I think Ryan's creativity sometimes got in the way of his player's talent. I'm not saying he's a bad coordinator or anything close to that but the Ravens have enough talent that they should be able to absorb those losses and still be quite effective.
Is Jay Cutler worth the risk for the Lions?
KC Joyner (4:09 PM)
If they can commit themselves to having a risk taking QB for the long term, sure. Cutler isn't a bad QB, he's just not as great as many are making him out to be.
What is L.J. Smith going to mean to this Baltimore team?
KC Joyner (4:10 PM)
In a perfect world he'd be a big receiving upgrade but the way he played last year, I'm thinking he'll be the equivalent of Bubba Franks for the Jets last year (which is to say not much).
dade (los angeles)
what areas (besides the obvious #1 wr) do the ginats need to look at in the draft. do you see them moving up or trading away some, with all of their picks.
KC Joyner (4:12 PM)
The G-Men can build for depth so I'd see them picking the best available rather than going for need. That could mean the aforementioned WR plus some LB and CB help.
Isn't a risk-taking QB for the Lions a good thing when you have a guy like Calvin Johnson to throw it to!
KC Joyner (4:13 PM)
Megatron does limit some of the downside of a guy like Cutler! I just don't know that Cutler would be a huge upgrade over Stafford, or at least enough of one to justify his being a bit older and having the possible concerns surrounding his diabetic condition.
Ari (Houston, TX)
Seems like you're a big fan of taking Cornerbacks over Safeties with premium draft picks. Explain.
KC Joyner (4:14 PM)
It comes down to volume of plays. Cornerbacks can often be involved in 80-100 pass plays. Safeties typically are involved in 30-50. Run support is important for both positions but passing comes first and the volume makes for value.
Wally (Green Bay WI)
KC, what does your information say about Ryan Grant? If he managed 1200 yards in a very mediocre year, is it possible he approaches 1500 yards as the team gels on offense?
KC Joyner (4:15 PM)
In the breakdowns I've done of Grant, I have found that he does well in spite of less than adequate blocking. If GB can get a NYG/NYJ caliber O line in front of him, he would be a 1,500 yard candidate.
Patrick (San Fran)
Regarding Faneca, the Steelers asked the league the same question - why only a 5th. One of the compensatory rules is a player with over 10 years of league experience can only bring a 5th round pick or lower.
KC, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, a player with 10+ seasons in the NFL can only have a 5th round compensatory pick ceiling. So that would mean Faneca was likely worth a 3rd rounder but the rule states the Steelers can only receive a 5th rounder.
KC Joyner (4:17 PM)
That explains the pick on Faneca. I'd ask the same question PIttsburgh did - why the ceiling? It's something that should be changed, as Faneca would be worth that 3rd round pick if not for the rule.
While getting ready for Sf 2009, Did you notice a players who's metrics were head and shoulders above where you thought they would be?
KC Joyner (4:19 PM)
I can give you one right off the bat - Nick Mangold. He had a POA win rate of 94.3%, which is much higher than I would have thought him to be at. On a related Scientific Football note, I'm doing blog posts on SF material for the NY Times Fifth Down blog.
Jake Klipp (Milwaukee, WI)
I'm going to laugh so hard if the Lions don't take an OT...
KC Joyner (4:19 PM)
I hear you there, Jake, but what about QB? What's your reaction going to be if they take Stafford?
Prediction to what the Eagles do with their plethora of picks: Trade for Edwards, Boldin or Gonzo? Move up in the draft? Nothing?
KC Joyner (4:20 PM)
Hard to say but I'm leaning towards nothing. They need some youth on that club and there is enough depth in many areas of this draft that Philly could potentially solve a lot of long term issues.
Did the Browns do the right thing by getting Corey Ivy? I guess who cares, Browns are going to be awful this year?
KC Joyner (4:22 PM)
Mangini got more out of Ty Law than I would have thought possible last year, so maybe he figures he can do the same for Ivy and his long record of subpar metrics. And, by the way, the Browns might be fairly good this year. Lots of reasons to think they have upside.
Hey KC, great work. I'm a little concerned about S.D.'s quiet offseason. I know they usually don't do much, but they've lost Igor at DE and Goff at RG. From the metrics you've figured, are these guys easily replaceable?
KC Joyner (4:23 PM)
Haven't done a whole lot on SD just yet (working on the AFC East at the moment) but I can say from what I've seen, Goff's loss hurst while Olshansky's is not so bad.
KC! You'll always answer the good questions...I've read a few new rumors this week about Boldin/Braylon to the NYG...It almost seems imminent...What's the latest on a deal being done? I can't believe people still think Plax might get to play...Thanks!
KC Joyner (4:24 PM)
I keep hearing the same things but they keep turning out to be just rumors. Braylon would be the better replacement for Plax, as he has shown a history of being a matchup buster.
Jehrico (Honolulu HI)
Aloha KC! Will Roy E. Williams have a good enough season to ease the loss of Owens? I want to think he will have a breakout season as Romo's #1 WR, but maybe that is wishful thinking?
KC Joyner (4:25 PM)
If the 2006 Roy Williams shows up in 2009, the answer is yes he can replace Owens. The 2008 Williams had metrics that were among the worst in the league. He also had Martz lighting a fire under him in 06 and I don't see that kind of a coach for him in Big D, so I'm leaning towards he won't be up to the challenge.
KC, I love your work and metrics are phenomenal, but lets be realistic. Browns apparently don't have a starting QB, they have one good LB, an amazing DT who is sort of coming around now, and two young CB's who got torched last year. Infact the only thing they have going for them is that O-line, that regressed last year. Where is the upside? What am I (Browns fans) missing?
KC Joyner (4:27 PM)
I figured that comment would draw a response! Here's why I'm a bit on the upside for Cleveland. They had terrific forced bad decision numbers last year and that won't change under Mangini. Their O line is still really good, even if their 2007 performance was a bit off. I was impressed by some of Quinn's performance last year and think he can take the next step. Add those three up and it equals a solid team.
KC, how hard would it be to use a metrics based evaluation for college offensive players, for the simple fact that there are so many unorthodox offenses in college? Does this in fact make it harder to accurately assess these players?
KC Joyner (4:28 PM)
The difficulty in college evaluation is the lack of pro level competition. For example, how can you know how good a WR is if all he plays against is second rate competition?
hey KC,Do you really think zorn is a future for the redskins and do you think we need a new GM.
KC Joyner (4:30 PM)
Zorn's issue last year was that he was a scheme coach taking over a personnel team. If he is given the time to make this a scheme team, he'll be alright.
Troy Madison, WI
KC, Do you actually see that new "no hitting QBs in the knees" enforced? Sure gonna take a lot of fun out of ball games. Might as well take away the D's ability to rush.
KC Joyner (4:31 PM)
What surprises me is that the old LT tomahawk chop through a QB to try to force a fumble is still legal but a low tackle isn't. I get trying to protect the QB but there are way too many no-nos when it comes to tackling them.
Jake Klipp (Milwauke, WI)
Laughter. They tried putting a QB behind no OLine. Joeseph Harrington. Build a line. A young QB's shelf life improves exponentially playing behind a competent line (I'm hypothesizing, but it sounds right).
KC Joyner (4:32 PM)
I'm all for the O line there, Jake. I just wonder if Detroit could get Stafford and then still pick up some quality linemen later on. They won't get a really good QB prospect lower in the draft.
Do your past metrics support the validity of a "sophomore jinx" when it comes to QBs? In other words, do you expect Matt Ryan to continue his ascent as one of the best young QB's in the league, or do you think he will struggle now that the league has a full season of tape on him?
KC Joyner (4:33 PM)
What I've found in sophomore jinxes is that they don't necessarily occur in year two but rather when an opponent finds something the QB isn't good at doing. Ryan didn't have that happen until the playoff game but that game could provide the blueprint for slowing him down.
Cyrus (San Francisco, CA)
What do Singletary and the rest of the 49ers brass know that we don't? They probably were in the top five regarding cap flexibility and yet really didn't get into the FA market. Are they close enough that they can shore up their holes in the draft?
KC Joyner (4:35 PM)
The Niners have a lot more talent than their overall record showed and I think Singletary and company know this. He had that team believing in his methods last year and if that carries over, I won't be shocked if SF gives Arizona a bit of a run for their money for the division.
Have you seen enough out of Trent Edwards to think that he can actually utilize some of the talented WR's the Bils have?
KC Joyner (4:36 PM)
J, I'm OK with Edwards. My concern is with Owens. He's lost a step (his YPA has been steadily dropping for a few seasons now) and his best use will be as a shorter pass catcher. I don't know that he'll be on board with that but if he is, Lee Evans and Edwards will both have the best seasons of their career.
LT may have invented the chop but it was perfected by DT (HOFer Derrick Thomas). How good of a deal did the Chiefs get with Cassel and Vrabel?
KC Joyner (4:38 PM)
Thomas's chop was good but his dip move was unreal! Cassel is a really good pickup but don't be surprised if Thigpen gives him some competition for that spot. Vrabel is a huge liability against the run but he can still rush the passer and that's what the Chiefs need most, so he's a fine upgrade.
Jake (VA Beach)
Before trading for Braylon, is there any reason for the Giants to think he can sure his dropsies?
KC Joyner (4:40 PM)
Not sure they need to worry about curing them. If he gets 130 passes thrown his way, he'll catch 60-70 and drop 10 or so. Any improvement they make in drops will be an incremental one.
I'm a Raider season ticket holder and I watched Grove all year...get manhandled. Very happy to see him go.
KC Joyner (4:41 PM)
Jeff, maybe the view from the stadium was different from the TV eye in the sky, but I liked what I saw from him.
Brady +/- 40 TD?
KC Joyner (4:42 PM)
Give me the under there. I'm a big Brady backer but the 40 TD mark is hard to hit when everything is going perfect. He's coming off of the injury, has a new OC and an O line with some pass blocking issues. Too many negatives to predict a total that high.
Hey K.C. Which cliche did you give more credence to: "You get points off the passing game" or "Offensive sells tickets but defense wins championships"
KC Joyner (4:43 PM)
Points off of the passing game. Jaws is completely right about that. If you can't pass the ball vertically, you have a tough time scoring with consistency.
Which WR is the best fit for the Bears: DHB, Nicks, Britt, Maclin, Harvin
KC Joyner (4:44 PM)
I'm not being facetious when I say that all of the above are best fits. Hester might be an OK #2 wideout but Chicago really doesn't have much else. They should go for quality and volume.
Look at Broad Street Brian saving some key strokes by going to "BSB". Smart or Lazy...not sure.
KC Joyner (4:45 PM)
Sean, sometimes you have to be smart to be lazy, right?!
So are you implying that the Browns have a chance to be like the Phins or the Falcons? What do you see the Browns doing at RB?
KC Joyner (4:46 PM)
I could see Cleveland pulling a Miami or Atlanta and making a playoff push. I'd be a bit more on their side if they were in a weaker division but I could see 9-10 wins if injuries don't hit them.
eric buffalo,ny [via mobile]
lawrence timmons looked good last year. is he the next great steeler lb?
KC Joyner (4:48 PM)
He's one of those yeah, but guys. He's got the potential to be great but that potential is met only some of the time. I'm still leaning towards he'll turn that corner, however.
Do you really see the Chiefs trading for Cassel and paying him that amount of money to have him back up Thigpen?
KC Joyner (4:49 PM)
They won't make him a backup but I do wonder how much of Cassel's success came from Belichick's gameplanning. If it was a mirage, he may struggle and if he does, Thigpen showed enough last year that I think he could move into the spot and succeed.
Roger Goodell (NFL Land)
We only gave the Steelers a 5th round compensatory pick for Faneca because we gave them so many gift wrapped calls in the Super Bowl. We gave enough!
The NFL owes the Steelers a higher compensatory pick for Faneca. By giving the Steelers the Super Bowl win it knocked them down one slot in every down of the draft.
KC Joyner (4:51 PM)
What is it with everyone saying the Super Bowl was badly officiated? I get that a couple of calls may have been off but their official got the game-winning TD catch right. Give the guys in black and white stripes a break!
Denver and KC should trade coaches, then everyone is happy.
KC Joyner (4:51 PM)
Josh (Knoxville, TN)
I know people consider Owens a distraction and a cancer and all that jazz, but is it realistic to think that Romo will actually get better by having fewer talented receivers to throw to? I hope Romo is great and the Cowboys win it all, but that line of thinking just seems silly.
KC Joyner (4:53 PM)
I'm with you there, Josh. Owens wasn't what he used to be but he was still very good at certain parts of his game. Dallas doesn't have anyone who can fill his shoes as being able to effectively work at all depth levels. Or I should say they won't if Williams doesn't return to 06 form.
The Browns can't be stupid enough to trade Edwards right? We can franchise him or if the CBA expires he will be a RFA in which we get a first and third for him. Two years ago he was a top 5 WR and now we want to trade him at age 26?
KC Joyner (4:54 PM)
Don't be shocked if they send him packing. If Mangini takes a dislike to a player, that player will never turn him back around. I think that might be the case with Braylon.
KC, Saints moves to this point good or bad, need it be short or long term?
KC Joyner (4:55 PM)
I'd say good. They have improved their secondary to the point that if they stay healthy, they'll have maybe the deepest set of quality CBs in the league. You need that type of depth when you run an offense like the Saints, so I like the moves.
Follow up question; If all of those WR were there, who would you draft?
KC Joyner (4:56 PM)
I like Harvin's vertical ability, so I'd lean in that direction.
Does Brady Quinn's lack of vertical game hurt his chances to be on par with someone like Rivers down the road? Really that's why I like D.A. more as he can spread the defense out and allow either more running room for Lewis and Harrison or open up the underneath routes. Seems like defenses will start attacking the line of scrimmage because Quinn can't beat them deep.
KC Joyner (4:58 PM)
I think Cleveland will have to do with Quinn what the Jets used to do with Pennington, which is to say work around his weaknesses to get the vertical game going. Mangini can do that so I'm not overly concerned about this as a long-term weakness for Quinn. Well, I'd like to stick around a bit longer but I've got to run. Hope to see you all next week!