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!
Barry (Arlington via Arizona)
What kind of numbers do you expect from Larry Fitz with Anquan Boldin and Warner gone?
KC Joyner (4:02 PM)
I'd think of numbers more along the lines of what Plaxico put up in the Steelers offense under Whisenhunt. It's not as if Arizona will stop throwing vertical passes, they just won't throw quite as many.
Do you think last year was a breakout for Robert Meachem, or was it more of an aberration? I really like his potential as a #2 or 3 WR, but this wouldn't be the first time I was suckered in by a guy who had a career year (see White, LenDale last year)
KC Joyner (4:03 PM)
He topped the league in YPA so the odds are he is really that good.
Brian (Lafayette, LA)
What do you think of Justin Forsett's chance to be the starting back in Seattle, and how do you think he'll perform if given that role?
KC Joyner (4:03 PM)
He had a great YPA on runs with good blocking, so as long as he shows the new coaching staff that kind of performance, I'd think he'll win the spot and do a superb job.
Ken M. (Baltimore)
KC i'm a big fan. No matter how crazy my thursday work schedule is I always make sure to check out the chat! How many more years do you see in the tank for Ray Lewis and Ed Reed?
KC Joyner (4:05 PM)
Thanks for taking the time! If you'd asked me about Lewis last year, I would have said his time is limited but he looked like the old Ray Lewis last year. I'd give him at least two more years. Reed looked like the Reed of old as well (both in a good and bad way) so there is little reason to think he can't do it for 2-3 more years at least.
Is DeSean Jackson beter than Wes Welker?
KC Joyner (4:06 PM)
You're talking about two very different receivers. Jackson is vertical in nature and Welker is the best short pass catcher around. I usually tend to lean towards vertical receivers being more valuable, so I'd take Jackson in that case.
Angry Mike (S.F., CA)
Scientist, my man! (Gotta submit early, my boss isn't as big a fan of your work as I am) 1. LOVED your Super Bowl prediction last week. 2. What should my beloved Boys do with their RBs? Not "what WILL" they do, but "what SHOULD" they do. Thanks.
KC Joyner (4:08 PM)
Angry Mike, I cannot imagine how many angry bosses there are around the world right now. I don't aim to take their employees away from their jobs but if that's what it takes to have a good chat, I'll do it! Regarding your comments, thanks for #1 and they should give the ball to Felix Jones a lot more often (he had a great YPA on runs with good blocking last year).
Jimmy N (DC)
(you know what I'm gonna say.... SAGE ROSENFELS!!!) Now that thats out of the way, do you think the Redskins and Haynesworth will work out their differences? word is, he has lost 30 lbs!
KC Joyner (4:10 PM)
Gotta mention Sage if this is to be a real chat, right?! Re: AH, he's the type of player who plays better when he's angry. I imagine he lost the weight so he can prove to Washington how much of a mistake they made in trying to mess with his situation. I don't see him coming back to Washington and if any team out there is able to trade for him, they will get an All-Pro performance from him in 2010.
T.O. said he thinks he can start on every team. Is there really any team he would start on?
KC Joyner (4:11 PM)
I did an Insider write-up on Owens a couple of months back detailing what he offers. He's good enough to start for a lot of teams, as long as they are willing to accept that he isn't the Owens from three years ago.
Shane (Los Angeles, CA)
KCJ: I read your write-up on how valuable left tackles really are. However, what do you think of the Cowboys at left tackle right now? Should they be pursuing McNeil? I would make this move if I was Jerry Jones (which is why he is Jerry Jones and Im behind a desk).
KC Joyner (4:13 PM)
I am at a loss to explain why the Cowboys haven't just paid the #2 draft pick price for McNeil. He is proven LT commodity that would solidify one of the few starting positions in question for a Super Bowl contender. That they haven't done so says they either think they have the answer on their roster (which doesn't explain why they are considering outside help) or that they don't think left tackles are worth that kind of price.
Billy (San Diego)
If Vincent Jackson really holds out most of the season, how does that affect Rivers' numbers? Will their offense take a few steps back w/o him and McNeil in the lineup?
KC Joyner (4:14 PM)
Most pundits seem to think that Malcom Floyd cannot handle the #1 spot, but his numbers last year suggest that is not the case. He was close to Vincent Jackson's production in nearly every category I've measured. He's capable of being a
Ed (Saginaw, MI)
Hi KC. Have you done any research on DE's Kroy Biermann of ATL and Matt Shaughnessy of OAK? If so, are they both ready for breakout seasons? They both ended last season on a strong note.
KC Joyner (4:15 PM)
I've done more tape work on Shaughnessy than Biermann and can say that he was maybe the best part-time player in the NFL last year. If he keeps up that level, he should be a starter this year. And I have to say great eye on your part to notice that. Well done!
Richard (West Virgina)
Do you think the Broncos Secondary is Old or Experienced
KC Joyner (4:16 PM)
Both. Their safeties actually had pretty solid metrics. Bailey wasn't the Champ of old but he still had a good year. Goodman was the worst of the bunch and needs to step it up in 2010.
Hi KC! If you had to choose one- Brian Orakpo, or Terell Suggs. I'm biased as a diehard Redskins fan, but I say Orakpo!
KC Joyner (4:17 PM)
Assuming a healthy Suggs, I'd take him. They can both rush the passer but when Suggs is at 100% he can cover and stuff the run as well as any LB in the league. Not saying Orakpo isn't good (he's one of the up and coming greats) but he's not quite yet in that Suggs class.
Craig G. (Fairfield, CA)
Hey KC, I have seen some national love for Frank Gore as a top ten player. Where would you rank him among RB's?
KC Joyner (4:19 PM)
He's really close to the top in my fantasy RB rankings (more on which in a second). He posted a top line YPA on runs with good blocking and has a very favorable schedule.
KC Joyner (4:19 PM)
The TFS fantasy draft guide is in its final stages of production (more on which at www.thefootballscientist.com/kcjoyner). It should be ready to go in 3-4 days.
T Lee (Denver, CO)
No way Floyd is a number 1, his stats are because the #1 and #2 cover guy are tilted towards Jackson and Gates, No Jackson, no way they go to the Superbowl, or advance past the first round of the playoffs. If the AFC West weren't so Putrid I would say no playoffs, but that's a stretch
KC Joyner (4:21 PM)
I'm with you that the Chargers would be better with Jackson. I hope they aren't willing to sacrifice a potential deep playoff run hoping they can make up for his loss, but the facts are that their offense will still be good even with Floyd as their top guy.
Weaz (Bay City)
Mr. Joyner, I saw were the Football Outsider's listed Redskins CB-Justin Tryon as a strong canidate for starting come September. Start ahead of D. Hall or C. Rogers! Is this true?
KC Joyner (4:22 PM)
Tryon had solid metrics last year, so it isn't far fetched. Having said that, I can't see him starting in front of either of those two as long as they play to their 2010 levels.
I'm surprised by your assertion that Dallas should trade for McNeil; considering anyone who truly watches tape can see that Doug Free has immense talent. I wish people would go back and watch him against Allen in the playoffs, because he did very well against him in the second half.
KC Joyner (4:23 PM)
Tom, Free has talent but he's very inconsistent. He very well may develop into a good starter but McNeil is already there. Dallas could also consider trading for Gaither for a #2 pick as well.
Ozzie N. (Baltimore, MD)
Even I would rather have Orakpo. There goes your chance to join the Ravens' front office, KCJ!
KC Joyner (4:24 PM)
I think Ozzie wouldn't say that, or at least he wouldn't say that about a fully healthy Suggs. And if disagreeing on something like that cost me a job opportunity, it wouldn't be a job I'd want to pursue anyway. I'm too contrarian to just blindly agree with the boss!
Richard (West Virgina)
The bills make the playoffs if
KC Joyner (4:25 PM)
They find a way to stop the run and start throwing more vertical passes to Lee Evans.
KC- I know Revis had the best metrics last year but let me ask you this: IF you had your pick of which CB to play for your team who is that guy? Aso or Revis?
KC Joyner (4:26 PM)
Revis. Asomugha actually allowed over nine yards per attempt last year, so when he was thrown at, teams beat him quite badly. The real argument is Revis or Woodson.
Brian (Folsom, CA)
I want to draft at least one player from my 49ers for my Fantasy. Do you expect a surprise skill players to impress this season?
KC Joyner (4:27 PM)
You could draft the aforementioned Gore. Crabtree, Davis and Smith would also be really good picks. Heck, you could build a good portion of your team around SF draft choices.
Hello bud, wanted your opinion if Alex Smith has a real shot and being the NFLs comeback player this year? If you could predict, would you say he will be a top 10, top 15 or top 20 QB according to his stats.
KC Joyner (4:28 PM)
Not sure if he would be considered a comeback player after having played most of 2010, but he isn't very far away from being a top 10 QB statistically. If Crabtree can do better on short passes, that might be all it takes to put Smith over the top (see Insider article from a few weeks back for more details).
KC, with all due respect to you as a Football Scientist, I can't help but notice that ESPN lacks a faith-based counterpoint to your scientific approach. In the interest of balance, should there not also be a Football Theologian?
KC Joyner (4:29 PM)
Isn't it a good sign that the scientific method is taking hold? And as far as faith-based writers go, there are plenty of them around.
KC, aren't you contradicting yourself by suggesting Dallas trade for McNeil or Gaither? If your assertion is that the position is overrated why trade for a player that will demand a huge deal? It makes even less sense for Dallas, who already have too many talented players to be able to retain under the future salary cap. I'd much rather extend Free at a discount price and hope he plays to his talent.
KC Joyner (4:31 PM)
My contention on left tackles is that they are like any O line position - you need a good one, can survive with a solid one and will get beaten if you have a bad one. I'm not sure Free is consistent enough to be considered a solid one and Gaither/McNeill are both good ones. That's why I said Dallas should make the trade - they might be undermanned at that position now.
Ozzie N (Baltimore, MD)
KC, I re-considered. I admire your gumption. you got the job, we will see you on Monday.
KC Joyner (4:32 PM)
Hey now, who says I'm thinking of leaving ESPN? I have one of the best jobs in the world and it would take a killer offer to get me to go.
Matt (Dayton, OH)
Does Dallas keep or cut Patrick Crayton after training camp?
KC Joyner (4:34 PM)
I'd lean towards keep. If Bryant lands the starting job opposite Austin, and if Williams doesn't pick his game up, Crayton looks to be the best option left on the team. He's a very good slot WR.
KC- But were talking about 1 year. Revis was thrown at more times then any CB in teh league. IF QB's are throwing at him that much how good can he be? They avoid Aso. He may have had a 'down' year but when they barley throw to his side, 2 big gains make his metrics look bad.
KC Joyner (4:35 PM)
Rick, the thing is that Asomugha's metrics have been subpar ever since he received that big contract. Teams avoid him because they can run on the Raiders and because Chris Johnson was one of the worst CBs around in 2009, not because he's playing a dominant brand of football.
If you were a coach, would you be a scheme guy, personnel guy? Something else?
KC Joyner (4:36 PM)
Personnel. It's that old adage that the team with the best players wins more often than not. Good coaching is a necessity but if one has good players, you can get by with average coaching and still win.
KC, you and I have similar haircuts. What do you tell a new barber you have never been to before? I have had up-and-down haircuts when seeing one for the first time.
KC Joyner (4:38 PM)
That haircut you see was done by Missy, the best hairstylist in the world. She's the only person who's ever made my hair look anything close to good.
Craig G. (Fairfield, CA)
Hey KC, any projection Jahvid Best in Detroit? Also, is Ryan Matthews your most favorable rookie RB?
KC Joyner (4:39 PM)
Smith did a good job on good blocking YPA last year, so I see no reason Best cannot equal or top his numbers. Mathews is the highest rated rookie, however, as the odds are he will see more carries than any other rookie RB.
Is Oher as good as everyone says? I didn't think he was any better than solid in his rookie season, yet Prisco already has him as one of the 50 best players in the league. Come'on, man.
KC Joyner (4:40 PM)
Nothing I've seen from Oher says he is head and shoulders above maybe 10 other LTs. He's a very good player but if he hadn't starred in a movie, he would just be another good and unknown O lineman.
There may be faith-based writers (I'm guessing all of them), but they lack an unassailable dogma and a singular deity. Surely there is enough literature on football to assemble a canon of scripture, and I'd suggest Wellington Mara as the deity. That way when a prediction doesn't pan out, the Football Theologian can just say "The Duke works in mysterious ways"
KC Joyner (4:41 PM)
B, you may be on to something! Heck, I could even get into a back and forth "faith vs. science" banter with him (or her).
Michael J (Rosslyn (VA))
Help me settle a bet, Dallas Clark will be drafted before the sixth round in most fantasy leagues (non-PPR). Yay or Nay?
KC Joyner (4:43 PM)
I'd say nay in that he just isn't seen as being the type of tight end one drafts that early. The addition of Gonzalez to the Colts offense will get people thinking he won't get as many targets and that will prevent the early selection.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
How did you feel when you heard that New York Yankees Principle Owner George Steinbrenner has Passed Away?
KC Joyner (4:44 PM)
Pretty well unfazed. He achieved many things with his teams but did some of them in very negative ways. To put it another way, the Maras won titles in New York without having to go through all of the negativity that Steinbrenner went through with the Yankees.
Robert (Huntsville, Al)
Hola KC! Do you think Big Al started losing all the weight to force the Skins to move him away from the DT spot?
KC Joyner (4:45 PM)
That's an interesting thought. Not sure if that is the case but I wouldn't put it out of the realm of possibility.
Mr. Freeze (My name is Freeze. Learn it well, for it's the chill
Better pre-1975 rock album: Rolling Stones - "Let It Bleed" or Beatles - "Rubber Soul"?
KC Joyner (4:46 PM)
Not sure what this has to do with football, but I'll take Rubber Soul in that one.
Ryan (San Diego)
First of all, Floyd is good enough to get the Chargers through 9 games as the #1 WR. And Vjax HAS to report by week 11 so he will be there for the playoffs regardless. People really should watch the plays Floyd makes before saying such things
KC Joyner (4:47 PM)
Great point on the playoff bit. There is no way he skips the entire season and if he is there for the playoff run, SD can win the argument and win playoff games.
How do you see the Dolphins WR depth chart working out after Marshall?
KC Joyner (4:48 PM)
It all depends on Hartline. He has the skills to be a starter but he has to show he can handle a full time role. If he does that, he'll line up opposite Marshall and Bess/Camarillo would split the slot WR spot.
Your thoughts as to why Gruden hasn't landed another HC gig in the NFL?
KC Joyner (4:49 PM)
I have no inside info on this but I'll bet he's enjoying his gig at MNF so much that he doesn't want to come back. His joy is evident on the air and if one is that happy with a gig, why leave?
Do you see either of the rookie WRs having an impact for the Broncos, perhaps getting 700+ yards and 7 TDs?
KC Joyner (4:50 PM)
I could easily see Thomas posting those kinds of numbers. He did a great job on vertical passes in college and that's what Denver wants out of their receivers.
Phil K (Pittsburgh, PA)
KC, you didnt answer my FS question brother. Ed Reed or Troy P?
KC Joyner (4:52 PM)
When healthy, I have to go with Troy P. Not saying Reed is anything less than top of the line but the Pittsburgh D fell apart without Polamalu last year. Baltimore's D doesn't collapse like that when Reed is out.
What killed the dinosaurs? (The ice age!)
TFS books & website have blown up and you're a billionaire. Naturally you buy the Rams and move them to Cali: the Silicon Valley Scientists (but you really play in LA). Out of anyone in the league, who are your picks for GM, HC, OC, and DC?
KC Joyner (4:53 PM)
If only that were really the case! I'd take Ozzie as GM (one of maybe a dozen quality picks that could be made there). Payton for HC and OC. I'd have to think about DC, as many of the best of those are now HCs.
Help me settle a bet. I am saying that the Steelers have an overall better defense than the Ravens, who my buddy, Sean, says is the best in the NFL!
KC Joyner (4:54 PM)
I lean towards Pittsburgh simply because I can see them getting back to close to their 2008 performance if Polamalu is healthy. That D was one of the best of all-time.
Isn't ESPN's football theologan Gregg Easterbook (of TMQ fame)? He always mentions the "football gods"
KC Joyner (4:55 PM)
I think Gregg is one of those rare scientists who also lean on football theology. Heck, even I acknowledge the need to appease the football gods now and then.
Phil Krauss (Silver Spring, MD)
What makes for a good fantasy commish? I'm in my third year now and have found one must be firm but fair, and unflinchingly unilateral in all decisions.
KC Joyner (4:56 PM)
The best fantasy commissioners I've run into are hard as nails. It's difficult to be that one with ones friends, so it might be best to go with someone everyone isn't buddy-buddy with.
Carson (Overland Park )
Do you see the Chiefs, Raiders and Broncos being about even this year?
KC Joyner (4:57 PM)
In a word, yes. Those three teams area pretty close to equal in player talent.
Shick (Columbia, MD)
Will you give us a ride to our fantasy draft this yr? We are renting a van. Thanks KCJ!
KC Joyner (4:58 PM)
I get this kind of request all the time. As much as I might want to attend, I'm holed up in the tape room pretty much all year. Heck, I don't even get out to camps during the preseason.
KC, how do you think Brent Celek will do from a fantasy perspective in his first season with Kevin Kolb? Thanks!
KC Joyner (5:01 PM)
Might as well end the chat on a fantasy football note. There is every reason to believe Kolb will come close to McNabb's numbers this year. Pass volume certainly won't be an issue in an Andy Reid offense, so Celek should see just as many passes this year as he did last. He's easily a top 10 TE. Well, Mrs. Scientist has roast chicken, baked potatoes, stuffing and rice ready to go, so I've got to get to the dinner table. Before I go, I should once again mention the TFS 2010 Draft Guide will be ready to go in just a few days. You can find out more about it at www.thefootballscientist.com/kcjoyner. You can also follow my work on Twitter at kcjoynertfs. Hope to see you all next week!