Chat with KC Joyner
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, ESPN Insider KC Joyner, will be here to answer your NFL questions.
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 Thursday at 4 p.m. ET!
KC Joyner (4:00 PM)
Good afternoon! A couple of quick notes on the TFS front. The 2008 core passing metrics are now available in ESPN's Fantasy Football Magazine, which is on newsstands. I will be finished with the AFC North run metrics this weekend, so a Lab Notes for that division will go out to Scientific Football 2009 pre-order customers over the weekend. You can also follow my work on Twitter at kcjoynertfs. Let's talk some football!
omar (arlington, va)
Coming into the NFL, many questioned Jake Long's ability to handle speed rushers. Did his rookie performance warrant his Pro Bowl selection?
KC Joyner (4:01 PM)
By my count Long gave up only 1.5 sacks last year. There were times that seemed to have trouble with speed rushers, especially early on, but all in all he did well enough to say his Hawaii nomination was warranted.
Broad Street Brian (Philly)
Hey K.C.! When looking at DE metrics, did you find some pass rushers who were surprisingly good run defenders? If so, who were they?
KC Joyner (4:02 PM)
Terrell Suggs and DeMarcus Ware both did very well. I don't have their numbers right in front of me but I know they both had a POA win rate of over 30%.
Hi KC...big fan....i ordered the whole scientific package the other day and i'm lookin forward to it coming out. My question is about the washington redskins OL from your studies of it who can play and cant anymore. Is dockery a upgrade over kendall and can Heyer handle the RT job?
KC Joyner (4:04 PM)
Many thanks for being a fan! As far as the Skins O line goes, I have good and bad news. The good news is that they had four O linemen with POA win rates of 85% or higher (well, one had an 84.9% rate but let's not get too picky). The bad news would be that Heyer wasn't one of them and I'm also not entirely sold on his pass blocking ability.
Landon (Los Angeles)
Hey KC, HUUUUGE fan here of your work. As a life-long Cowboy fan, what was the most surprising and/or most revealing stat that you came up with for last season involving my Boys....?
KC Joyner (4:06 PM)
Thanks as well for being a fan! I did a series of studies on the Cowboys for a Maple Street Press Cowboys-themed magazine that will be on newsstands in July. One of the items I found in the articles was that the Boys left guards did as well in run blocking as their right guard Leonard Davis. Some of that might be due to playcalling but it was also due to Davis not having nearly as good of a year as was generally thought.
Shane (Los Angeles, CA)
KCJ: Although not a fan of the Texans, I really think they have a great shot at winning the division this year, with the division finishing Texans, Colts, Titans, and Jags. A healthy Matt Schaub and the added pass rusher in Smith I think will go a long way towards them winning their first division title. What do your metrics say about the Texans performance over the last half of the season?
KC Joyner (4:08 PM)
I'm about halfway through the Texans right now and will be doing them next after the AFC North is done. What I can say about their metrics at this point is Schaub was #1 in vertical YPA and Rosenfels
KC, I will admit to being a Colts fan off the bat and therefore to some bias, but I have always thought Dwight Freeney was better against the run than critics would have you believe. What do your rankings say? Thanks
KC Joyner (4:10 PM)
I don't have the number right in front of me but I know that Freeney's POA win total last year was somewhere in the upper teens to low twenties (man, that sounds like the local weatherman, doesn't it?). He's good against the run but not as good as some of the other elite pass rushers.
Actual Texans fan (Anytown USA)
Wait, KC, your comment about the Texans got cut off...help us out.
KC Joyner (4:10 PM)
OK, let's try that again! I'm about halfway through the Texans right now and will be doing them next after the AFC North is done. What I can say about their metrics at this point is Schaub was #1 in vertical YPA and Rosenfels
The Eagles used to run screens to all of their backfield members but stopped running them with Fullbacks after the loss of John Ritchie. Can Leonard Weaver be a weapon in the screen game?
KC Joyner (4:12 PM)
Given how often Philly uses screens, it wouldn't be a surprise, but their primary usage for Weaver will be run blocking. I have a bit of rough news on that front in that Weaver had an OK but not great 82.4% POA win rate. The best fullbacks usually rank near 90 in that area so he's not quite elite.
Is dockery an upgrade over Kendall?
KC Joyner (4:13 PM)
I hate to keep being the bearer of bad news but the metrics say no. Dockery's 2008 POA win mark - 81.4%. Kendalls' 2008 POA win mark - 86.6%.
If Brady comes back as good as he was in 2007 how much longer will he last in the NFL
KC Joyner (4:14 PM)
He's kept himself in great shape over the years so I wouldn't see why he can't stick around for another five years. I'd also point out that the Patriots O line was one of the best run blocking lines in the league, so they won't need to lean on him like they did in 2007.
I know u have said in previous chats that u dont know if the redskins players buy into Zorn's system and for a stat guy that kind of surprises me...can u explain?
KC Joyner (4:16 PM)
Anthony, I always say that I have a scouting eye and a metric eye. They both look at games and typically agree on everything but when they disagree, the metric eye is normally the one that I lean on. The Zorn comment is a scouting eye on that comes from the series of game notes I took this year. I just don't think they ever completely bought into what he was selling.
I've heard/read you repeatedly talk about Rosenfels vertical YPA that said do you think he is a signifacant upgrade over Tarvaris? Favre?
KC Joyner (4:17 PM)
A healthy Favre, maybe not. Jackson is also getting better in that metric but in that one area, I'd take Rosenfels over him at the moment.
Cosmo (Anytown, USA)
Regarding POA win rate for fullbacks, do you think the RB that follows the FB to the hole has any influence on the win rate? Meaning, is it easier to block a defender that is more concerned with the RB cutting back or beating them to the hole than they would be with a mediocre RB that they have a better chance of anticpating where he will be and when?
KC Joyner (4:19 PM)
Good point, Cosmo. I'll have to run some studies on this and pull a Palin and get back to you.
Will Kris Jenkins be a beast for the Jets this year?
KC Joyner (4:20 PM)
Well, he was a beast for most of last season. His POA win marks against Samson Satele were one of the reasons (and maybe the primary reason) Miami decided to make a change at center.
Do the metrics take into acount previous years? By that I mean, Peppers having 2.5 sacks in 2007, does that affect his current ranking?
KC Joyner (4:21 PM)
They come into account only if the player I am measuring had injury issues. To put it another way, they can be a tiebreaking baseline measurement in the right situation.
KC - How you been!! You know I'm a big AFC East guy but I have to say I think ESPN got it wrong when they chose Brady as the All Decade MVP. What are your thoughts? For the record, I think it should it should be Older Manning.
KC Joyner (4:23 PM)
I have been well, my Oviedo brother! I have to say I'm with ESPN on the Brady pick but I completely get your take on the Older Manning. He's been doing more with less the past couple of seasons than maybe any other QB and I respect him a whole lot more now than I did during his high volume pass total days because of it.
How much better do you think the Eagles are with Jason Peters on the O-line
KC Joyner (4:24 PM)
Peters has the best run blocking totals for any LT I've measured so far, so in that sense it will be an upgrade. Stacy Andrews didn't have great metrics, so I'm not quite as sold on that acquisition, but all in all I think Philly has a much improved line.
Light The Lamp (Outter Limits)
Who's the better running back overall, Chris Johnson OR Maurice Jones-Drew? What would you base your answer on?
KC Joyner (4:26 PM)
It's hard to grade MJD on last year because the Jags O line was in terrible shape injury-wise pretty much from day one. Having said that, when both O lines are healthy I'd probably take Johnson because I think the Titans O line will grade out better than the Jags.
David (New York)
How hard will it be for Aaron Rodgers to improve on 4000 yards last year?
KC Joyner (4:27 PM)
The schedule might make it a bit tougher for him to hit that mark. The Pack has some pass friendly matchups (Detroit twice, St. Louis, Seattle) but they also have Baltimore, the Bears twice, Pittsburgh and what could be a vastly improved pass D in Arizona. I'd give him a 30-40% chance of 4,000.
Gregg Jennings (Green Bay, Wisconsin)
How did my agent sign for only 7 mil a year? Mr. Scientist, did Ted Thompson slip him some anti-hard-neogtiation potion?
KC Joyner (4:29 PM)
And to think that Boldin wouldn't think of signing for that kind of money. Not sure about the potion but Jennings may not have played his hand as strongly as he could have.
Cosmo (Anytown, USA)
Was that a sarcastic answer to my question, KC?! I finally ask (what I think is) a legit question and I get pooped on. Point taken.
KC Joyner (4:30 PM)
It absolutely was not meant as a sarcastic answer! It's just that I have some thoughts on those types of variables and want to look at some of the numbers before giving you an answer.
I heard that Eric Stienbach is running with the 2nd team in Cle. What were his metirics like this year and does this make sense to you? Also do you have any insight on tonights NBA draft?
KC Joyner (4:33 PM)
An 80.2% POA win rate will get you demoted to 2nd team. Steinbach wasn't very good last year and it was a prime reason the Browns were using Hadnot as their pulling guard more often (which had been Steinbach's specialty in Cincinnati). And I have to say even though I am from an NBA city (Orlando), I have zero comments on the NBA draft. Football is a 24-7-365 proposition in the Joyner house with the rare exception of NHL hockey (although that might change since Mrs. Scientist is so peeved at the NHL referees).
KC!! fantasy question: who are your top 5 RBs for fantasy this year? Thanks!
KC Joyner (4:35 PM)
I plan on basing my fantasy RB picks on the POA win marks, so I can't quite say who those picks are going to be just yet (POA rates will be done in late July). I do like Peterson as the #1 pick.
Cosmo (Anytown, USA)
Suggest to Mrs. Scientist that yelling "Have another doughnut" to the NHL referees might help - the NHL refs hate it!
KC Joyner (4:36 PM)
I'll tell her that! She's big time miffed and is enough of a hockey fan that she will know what the doughnut reference means.
With the addition of Aaron Maybin and the return of a healthy Aaron Schobel....how much improvement do you see in the sack category for the Bills Defense this year? Can the Defense as a whole be considered a top 10 defense next year?
KC Joyner (4:38 PM)
I like a ton of things about the Bills D but I'm not entirely sold that they are built to play in the AFC East. The Fins O line is a masher unit and added one of the best centers in Grove. The Pats have maybe the best overall run blocking line in the league and the Jets are only a half step behind them (if that). Buffalo needs more mass to hold the point against these lines and I'm not sure they have it. Having said that, I really like the pickup of Maybin, as he fits into their defense better than maybe any other defense.
Mike (San Diego)
KC...please don't poop on me...save that for Cosmo! As an Iggles fan, I'm downright giddy that Romo and Eli will have to try to play QB without their best WRs. Do you see either team faltering because of this? I see historic melt downs coming!
KC Joyner (4:41 PM)
I think Owens' departure from Dallas isn't as bad for the team as is generally thought. His YPA totals have been dropping now for a couple of years and he isn't the vertical target he used to be. If Roy Williams steps up his game (and he should be much improved if only because he is healthier), the Boys should be OK. I'm also thinking the Giants will be OK because Hicks should be able to step in and contribute immediately (check out my NY Times Fifth Down blog post from a couple of months ago for more detail).
Randy (minneapolis, mn)
KC how do you think T.O. will do in Buf. with Qb Edwards? Will Evans improve with T.O. being there?
KC Joyner (4:42 PM)
I've said it before and I'll keep saying it - the key to Owens success in Buffalo is how many vertical passes he wants. He and Evans should split about 120 of them and if the split goes 75/45 Evans, it will be a good match. If it goes 75/45 Owens, his addition will be a wash at best and a detriment at worst.
Zach (Bronx, NY)
Tim Graham did a piece for ESPN yesterday discussing teams trending to bigger CB's. Shouldn't "big" take a backseat to "talented?" Teams seem to get caught up in prototypical measurables.
KC Joyner (4:44 PM)
I think the idea there is that, all other things being equal, a big talented player beats a smaller talented player. Darrell Green made the HOF despite being a smaller player but he had lights out speed. I think teams will still make room for the Greens of the world but they will side on the size side of the issue if the speed isn't truly elite.
KC, what's the latest on our FF League and whom do you feel had the best off-season retooling their club either through the draft or free agents wise? I feel Cinny had a good off-season on both sides of the ball.
KC Joyner (4:45 PM)
I'll put a call out for the chat FFL sometime in July. As far as who improved the most this offseason, I do like Cincy but I also like the Giants and Philly. They both took a step in front of Dallas in my opinion.
Steve(Philly, PA) (Philly, PA)
Yo KC - Big fan here....cant wait for the FF Guide. With that being said what do you think of Anthony Gonzalez this year? I think he is due for a huge year especially in PPR leagues. Thoughts?
KC Joyner (4:46 PM)
I'm with you on Gonzalez. I thought he would have a bigger 2008 but he seemed to get caught in the shuffle a bit. With Harrison gone, he should be able to rack up really good totals this year.
glenn warciski (houma, louisiana)
With the addition of Albert Haynesworth and if he plays at a high level, do you think Washington could have the best defense in the NFL?
KC Joyner (4:48 PM)
Albert gets a rap for being an up and down player but every time I have ever done a study on him, he always grades out extremely high. He'll be a big improvement for the Skins. I wouldn't go so far as to make the Skins the #1 D overall, but considering that they'll have AH and Landry and Horton, they have the cornerstones for one of the best Ds.
Shane (Los Angeles, CA)
KCJ: With regards to the Brady over Manning for the All Decade Team debate, not only does Brady have more rings, Brady's playoff record crushes Manning's. And while Manning fans (and I am one) might say a lot of his losses weren't his fault, records are solely associated with QBs and coaches. I cant recall the last time a commentator said about a lineman (or any other position), "This Center's playoff record is 14-7." For better or worse, the playoff record is Manning's to own.
KC Joyner (4:50 PM)
I've been on the Brady part of that bandwagon for a long time not only because of the wins, but because Brady often grades out favorably over Manning metrically speaking. His bad decisions rates are lower and he had to do it with a group of wideouts who weren't nearly as good as Manning's.
Liam (P-town, CA)
How big of impact do you think Crabtree will have on the niners offense? Will he be the #1? Or Josh Morgan?
KC Joyner (4:52 PM)
Rookie wideouts don't normally do that well and, as talented as Crabtree is, I don't think he'll be a high volume exception to that rule. I think Hicks has a better year one but give Crabtree a year or so and he'll be a top 10-20 receiver in the league.
What are your thought on Stallwoth? Can you excuse our legal system?
KC Joyner (4:54 PM)
My only comment here is that I don't know what the deceased would have wanted. If he thought his family would be better off by having a financial settlement, then I'm for his returning to the field at some point to make that happen.
Is Darius Heyward-Bey going to be a top deep threat in the Raiders offense
KC Joyner (4:56 PM)
From what I saw of his college games, vertical routes are all he can run, so it'll be boom/bust for him. JaMarcus Russell is a much better QB than he is given credit for, so DHB might have more boom than bust potential but I'm still leaning on a year one bust.
Tom (North Carolina)
back to Liam's question...what are your thoughts on Josh Morgan?
KC Joyner (4:57 PM)
Mixed mindset. They need to find a role for him and stick with it.
Jim (South Carolina)
Now that Marvin Harrison is gone, will Dallas Clark's stats begin to elevate to move closer to a Gates/Gonzalez level?
KC Joyner (4:59 PM)
Clark was one of only four tight ends to see 100 pass attempts last year, so I don't know how much upside he could have volume-wise. Having said that, moving Gonzalez out of the slot could add another 20 passes. Let's split the difference and say he sees another 10 passes and is a top five TE.
Jesse Harris (Boise, ID)
If Jason Peters had some of the best run metrics, why did Buffalo always have terrible luck trying to run behind him on 3rd and 1 and 4th and 1?
KC Joyner (5:00 PM)
It could be that he works in space better than he works on wedge-style runs.
Question, who benefits the MOST from the Tony Gonzalez trade? Is it Ryan? Roddy White? Jenkins? Turner? The O-Line? Or is it Gonzalez himself?
KC Joyner (5:01 PM)
I'd say Ryan. Gonzalez's value is as a flex tight end and Ryan didn't have that last year. Well, it's been a fun hour. I hope to see you all here next week!