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 (4:01 PM)
Good afternoon! Let's talk some football!
Angry Mike (SF, CA)
Scientist, my man! I still can't log on to espn.com during the day (rotten boss), so I gotta submit early: I couldn't find a "Draft Lab" on rookie sensation Dez Bryant. Give me some metrics showing that Dez is the greatest college WR ever and an easy 1st ballot NFL HOFer. Even if your analysis won't such bold predictions, gimme me some thoughts on Ray Sherman's shiny new toy. And why are there no (or so few) Dallas questions when I don't write? There's no way nobody's asking about America's Team! Thanks very much.
KC Joyner (4:02 PM)
Bosses and chats just don't seem to go together, do they? Regarding Bryant, he was on my list of players I wanted to write a Draft Lab about but there simply wasn't enough tape to justify an article. Regarding the Cowboys, it really is a matter of not getting as many questions.
Karl M (California)
KC, what are some of the most extremes you've seen in evaluating statistics versus the scouting eye? How do they compare in relative value when trying to create a comprehensive view of a player?
KC Joyner (4:04 PM)
What can happen at the CB position is that a player can get hit with a slew of short passes that artificially keep his YPA down. That can make CBs look better than they actually are if one doesn't account for it properly.
So but I have to ask, Do you think it's OK for security staff to taser fans who run on the field?
KC Joyner (4:05 PM)
Fans who run on the field are rather like fans who storm the ring in wrestling - they take their safety into their own hands. Or, to put it another way, I'll take the Mike Curtis approach to fans rushing the field - he tackled one back in the 70s, and it wasn't a soft tackle, either.
Hey KC, Which NFL team's current college scout staff would you trust most, year in and year out?
KC Joyner (4:06 PM)
Baltimore by far. Their history of top notch grading looks to be unmatched.
What up! Always a pleasure, Mr. Joyner. Here's a Cowboys question for ya Angry Mike. If the Barron for Carpenter trade does go down, what kind of player are the Cowboys getting?
KC Joyner (4:06 PM)
Barron is rather like Mike Colombo - has some pass blocking issues at times but is pretty consistent in run blocking.
John (Los Angeles)
KC - A bold prediction for next year: Cameron Wake makes the Pro Bowl. Going snap for snap he was the best pass rusher in the NFL last year. And now in Nolan's D, he will start and rush almost every down. Do your metrics support my outrageous claim?
KC Joyner (4:08 PM)
Sort of, in the sense that he did notch a solid number of one-on-one sacks. The issue for him is going to be can he do this over the course of an entire season as to go to pass rusher. I'm with you in thinking he can. Shoot me a note after the season if he is successful and I'll give you a chat shout out!
Richard (West Virginia)
Since Both Nnamdi Asmougha and Patrick Willis were both on first take i wonder whose the better defensive player and whose more inportant to their team
KC Joyner (4:10 PM)
Willis in both cases. I say this because Asomugha's metrics last year were quite bad (he was near double digits in YPA) and because of one reason his metrics were so bad - he never gets thrown at because teams target other parts of the Oakland D. If teams can successfully stay away from a player, it's hard to call him irreplaceable.
KC. I cant remember a =buzz surrounding a team as big as this years Jets. What are your thoughts on creating expectations this large?
KC Joyner (4:12 PM)
It probably isn't a good thing given that they have a second year QB. Flacco and Ryan both had soph slumps and they are quality QBs on good teams. It should be expected Sanchez could suffer the same fate and if he does, the Jets will have trouble overcoming it. To say it a different way, I could see a 9-7 Wild Card season from the Jets.
Oakland finally releases Russell. I don't think Kiffin is a very good choice, but he has to be calling Al Davis and screaming into the phone, "I told you so!"
KC Joyner (4:13 PM)
True, but let's go back to that draft. Most teams had Russell rated very high on their draft boards. It's not like picking him was a reach in the way that DHB was last year. Oakland just had the wrong year to be picking that high in the draft.
Trenton: (Kent, WA) [via mobile]
As a Bengals fan it seems the Ravens are the division darlings right now but with most areas of the two teams being comparable, I'm not sold on Joe Flacco as an elite QB and I think Carson with improved weapons makes them the favorites. Where do you stand?
KC Joyner (4:14 PM)
Let's look at the Bengals. They have an elite QB, a near elite RB, two great CBs, an elite WR and a strong O line. They also have lots of defensive talent elsewhere and when that unit is healthy, it can match up against just about any other D in the league. The Bengals didn't luck into their title last year and there is a good chance they could repeat.
Stephen Shumock (Jackson, MS)
Given the hoopla with the Ireland-Bryant infamous question, do you think that you will be developing any scientific psychological tests that will project character traits of NFL prospects?
KC Joyner (4:15 PM)
No psychological tests here, thank you very much. That kind of controversy is one I'll stay away from.
Do you see Jarmarcus Russell ever starting in the NFL again?
KC Joyner (4:16 PM)
It's up to him. Multiple reports had him being a less than hard worker (and I'm being kind when I put it like that). If he doesn't turn that part of his game around, he won't be a viable backup, much less a starter.
Stephen Shumock (Jackson, MS)
First, I agree Willis is better, but your logic agains Asomugha stunk. The same argument can be made for Reevis with the Jets, but everyone says he is the reason the defense works so great.
KC Joyner (4:17 PM)
Hate to disagree but you are wrong about Revis. He was the most targeted CB in the league last year and still posted the lowest YPA. Teams didn't avoid him at all and he made them pay for it.
Eric (San Diego)
Out of the Chargers' big-time RFAs (McNeill, Sproles, Merriman, Floyd and Jackson) who is most likely to stay? When can Charger fans expect to see some of these guys locked up long term?
KC Joyner (4:18 PM)
Jackson would be #1 on that list and McNeill
Brian (Richmond, Ky.)
Will Ochocinco's dancing excursion this off-season pay any benefits in agility and body control when the season starts, or is he still going to be an aging WR who has lost at least one step?
KC Joyner (4:21 PM)
I'd lean more towards the latter, but I would say that some of his drop-off last year had to be due to not having Housmandzadeh on the other side. Housh took a lot of coverage pressure off of Ochocinco and Coles simply didn't do that last year.
jeremy (Va) [via mobile]
Is Campbell such a solid talent at QB that it warrents cutting Russel after dumping so much money into him?
KC Joyner (4:22 PM)
In a word, yes. Campbell's metrics last year were quite good even with all of the turmoil surrounding that team. He's the kind of player who can perform even when things are unsettled, so fitting into Oakland should be no problem for him.
Collin Phillips (West Lafayette, IN)
Just because Mel Kiper thinks Tim Tebow will not be a good NFL player doesn't mean that The Broncos or fans of football think he will be a bad player.
KC Joyner (4:24 PM)
Not exactly sure what point you are trying to make. Mel has legit concerns about Tebow's abilities right now but I don't think he's ever knocked Tebow's physical skills.
Sean (Skokie, IL)
Mike Martz seems awfully impressed with the Bears receivers so far, any of the numbers tell you he might be on to something or is this just his standard boastfuless? I personally thought Hester seemed to be making some big stride but that boardline heresy as a Bears fan...
KC Joyner (4:26 PM)
I hesitate to use YPA and the like to measure where the Bears receivers are because Martz has specific things he looks for in a wideout. He insists that they be where they are supposed to be on the field when they are supposed to be there. He insists that they hustle on every play. If he gets those things, he'll put the WR in the lineup but if he doesn't, he'll bench whoever is on his roster and go with someone who will do what he wants them to do. If he thought the current Chicago receivers weren't holding their own in that area, I think he'd say so.
melissa (toronto) [via mobile]
Kc, who is the better quarterback this season: carson palmer or alex smith?
KC Joyner (4:29 PM)
Carson, but it won't shock me if Smith puts up numbers that are equal to, or better than, Palmer's.
Do you think Buffalo plans to use Spiller on about 85% of their offenseive plays this year? Since they won't have an LT, a proven QB, pass-catching TE or decent compliment to Evans, it seems like that's the route they're going.
KC Joyner (4:30 PM)
The question will be can Spiller handle that kind of workload? He'll get his share of carries and targets but I would hope Buffalo would also take into account that rookies often don't know how to properly pace themselves for an NFL season.
You're right KC...EVERYONE was wrong abour Rusell coming out of the 2007 draft. It just wasn't Al Davis. The ESPN 2007 Draft archives prove this. Did you do a "Draft Lab" on him back then?
KC Joyner (4:32 PM)
The Draft Labs started in 2009, so he wasn't on my list that season. Having said that, thanks for mentioning the archives showing this. People like to bash Davis for things but in this case, the bashing is unwarranted. The move didn't work out because Russell wasn't as good as everyone thought he would be.
Will Tim Tebow start this year ?
KC Joyner (4:33 PM)
I'd be shocked if he did. Tebow's most likely role is as a change of pace Wildcat/spread offense QB. That role will change over time but that's the likely 2010 scenario for him.
One last Bears question... Cutler + Martz's offense.. a) an opportunity for Cutler to finely learn to anticipate throws and make better decisions OR b) nightmare to pair a QB and OC neither of whom seem to care about throwing INTs?
KC Joyner (4:34 PM)
I've been on record as saying the Cutler-Martz connection will certainly not help Cutler's bad decision making, but the key will be whether or not Martz's helps Cutler get his YPA to increase. It has been dropping for three years now but if Martz can stem that fall and add another yard to Cutler's YPA total, it will start to the turn the risk-reward tide more in the favor of reward.
I am a die-hard ND fan so I fully acknowledge my bias but how do you think he stacks up against recent first round QB's (stafford, sanachez, flacco, ryan, ect..)? He threw only 4 INTs last year and 3 of those bounced off of his receiver after hitting them dead in the hands/back
KC Joyner (4:35 PM)
I assume you mean Clausen? His bad decision rate in the six-game sample I broke down was quite good (under 2%). He'll match up well with those other QBs in terms of that metric at the very least.
What can we expect from Mike Nolan revamping the Dolphins' D?
KC Joyner (4:37 PM)
The big expectation has to be improving the pass defense. If Nolan does that, anything else he adds to that unit is gravy. My concern is that I think he might lean on a pass rush to solve that problem. Getting a pass rush is always a good thing but the D also has to hold up on the times when the rushers don't get to the QB.
KC, a question about your OL metrics. Say they are running an outside zone, like Shanahan and Gibbs with Broncos back in the day. The OL has his DL reached, but the back makes a bad cut and instead of going outside the blocked DL, he cuts up behind him and the DL sheds the blocker and makes the play. Do you consider this a win or loss for the OL?
KC Joyner (4:38 PM)
In a nutshell, I do take into account the blocking intent on the play. If the blocker does what he is supposed to do and the RB makes a cut that nullifies his block, the blocker is not debited with a POA loss. This came up quite often for Joseph Addai this year, as he just didn't seem to want to go where the play was designed to go.
Just cuirous given the usual Chad Pennington shoulder injury that knocked him out again last year have we seen the last of him as a viable starter for the dolphins? If so is Chad Henne the future realistically?
KC Joyner (4:40 PM)
Henne is the guy today and for the future. He fared quite well both metrically and scouting eye-wise last year. The Fins are in solid shape at QB at the very least and there is a chance they are in superb shape if Henne develops to the level his skills suggest he can.
Cosmo (Anytown, USA)
Which is more likely - Kevin Kolb experiencing losing the NFC CHampionship Game as a stater, or Redskins fans knowing what is feels like to lose the NFC Championship Game?
KC Joyner (4:41 PM)
If you mean in 2010, I'd go with the former. Washington still has too many personnel issues as well as having to make adjustments to a new system.
do you think the chiefs go after adalius thomas? and how many interceptions for eric berry?
KC Joyner (4:42 PM)
No to #1. Six for
Svetlana (bmore) [via mobile]
Do you think t owens would be a good fit in new england? Or maybe the rams?
KC Joyner (4:43 PM)
Owens is more of a short pass receiver than he is a vertical threat at this point in his career. NE has all they want in short pass targets, so I'd say he wouldn't be the best fit for them. Stl could use some help at WR in many areas, so he would be a good fit there.
Ryan (Germantown, MD)
Do you think Perry Fewell's fiery personallity will have a dramatic effect on the Giants D?
KC Joyner (4:44 PM)
The thing I liked about Fewell in Buffalo is that a) his players respected him and b) he could coach coverage very well. His run D left something to be desired but some of that blame has to go to the personnel department (that's what one gets when drafting undersized defenders).
JaMarcus Russell (Oakland)
I'm Filling out my McDonald's appt. Can I use you as a reference?
KC Joyner (4:46 PM)
The comedians are out in force. As far as using me as a reference, I was one of the few writers to say good things about him after the 2008 season. He could submit my metric findings from the 2009 ESPN The Magazine NFL preview issue.
Trenton: (Kent, WA) [via mobile]
Do your metrics show a dropoff coming for any of the elite fantasy WRs?
KC Joyner (4:48 PM)
In a word, yes. The metrics will once again be available in ESPN's Fantasy Football Magazine, which I believe comes out in June. One player whose numbers fell off was Larry Fitzgerald. Taking that into account along with Boldin going to Baltimore and Warner retiring and it equals a lot of fantasy draft risk.
Richard (Greensboro, NC)
Looking at the moves Denver made in the offseason, I'm thinking they perform a little better against the run on defense but the secondary is a little worse with continuing age. Does that match up with what you might expect or is one or the other a step off?
KC Joyner (4:50 PM)
I'm with you on the secondary issue, but Denver probably figured that part of their D held up fairly well last year and that they had to address the run D. I'd be surprised if their entire secondary isn't redone over the next 2-3 years.
Cosmo (Anytown, USA)
Can you remember a stranger QB-city relationship than McNabb and Eagles' fans? Do you think having that behind him will result in a better season for McNabb in Washington?
KC Joyner (4:51 PM)
Cosmo, you know I'm a fan of the Philly fans, but let's be blunt about this - they've always had strained relationships with their QBs. Ron Jaworski took them to a Super Bowl and the fans stlll bashed him mercilessly. Washington fans will certainly back McNabb more but I'm not sure that will lead to better on-field play.
ben (los angeles)
KC, what sort of year do you see Leinart having?
KC Joyner (4:53 PM)
I see a lot of handoffs in his near future. Whisenhunt wants this to be more of a run-first offense and if he gets his way, Leinart won't even throw 500 passes this year.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who do you think will be the Offensive & Defensive NFL Rookie Of The Year in 2010?
KC Joyner (4:54 PM)
Way too early to tell. I'd at least want to see how some of these rookies integrate with their teams during the offseason/preseason. Ask me this again in August.
adam (bk, NY) [via mobile]
Do you think eli manning is an elite qb? I just think he's average.
KC Joyner (4:55 PM)
In a word, yes. Eli's metrics last year were superb and that was despite having to integrate new receivers into the offense. Now that those wideouts will be ready to go from day one, I'm expecting Eli to post top 10 QB numbers.
jaun (oakland) [via mobile]
Calvin johnson and wes welker or andre johnson and devone bess, which pair would you rather have?
KC Joyner (4:57 PM)
Andre and Davone. Calvin is a very good WR but Johnson is playing at a level right now that few WRs ever get to. He's building a strong Hall of Fame resume.
Larry Da 49'r (San Francisco)
What do you think about alex smith on the 49'rs, he just does not seem to be the quarterback of the future?
KC Joyner (4:58 PM)
I seem to get variations on this question every week, but my answers are always the same - Smith has the tools to be a great QB. His numbers were quite good last year in almost every area. The only area of concern was short passing and a lot of the low YPA there can be improved upon by better WR YAC.
Consuelo (arizona) [via mobile]
Who should start for us matt or derek?
KC Joyner (5:00 PM)
Leinart. He's earned the shot at the starting job and Anderson posted frankly abysmal numbers last year. Well, it's been a fun hour but dinner is almost ready, so I've got to run. Before I go, I should mention that you can follow my material on Twitter at kcjoynertfs. Hope to see you all here next week!