Good afternoon! Lots of good questions in the queue so I'll get this thing going!
KC, If you could pick a defensive scheme (Run and hit or bigger and more physical.. something else?) to start your own team, What would you pick? You watch a lot of tape, do you have a preference?
Sorry to hear you are under the weather, Brian! I'm more of a personnel than scheme guy so I'd go for a D that best utilized whatever talent was on the roster.
i think j.flacco is really overrated. he looks like a deer in headlights. he will prove hes a bum with just a good arm the rest of his career.
Eric, I hate to disagree with you but Flacco looks to me like the next coming of Eli Manning, only with a stronger and more accurate arm. He did a fantastic job in many metrics in his rookie year and if he improves on those, he'll be a Super Bowl caliber QB very soon.
What's your projections for Earl Bennett both short and long term.
Hard to say. Bennett admitted that he wasn't much into the game last year so I really want to see him step up his interest level before predicting good things for him.
is the 3-4 defense the right answer for the chiefs and will curry be an impact player in that defense or does he need more help
I may be wrong but I'm thinking the Chiefs are moving to the 3-4 because they couldn't get a pass rush last year. The 3-4 is a better D to run if you are trying to scheme your way to sacks and since KC doesn't seem to have any pass rushers (based on last years totals), I understand the move.
What do your numbers tell us about Anthony Gonzalez? Last year many thought he would have a breakout year, and while his numbers improved, it was not as dramatic as people had predicted. What can we expect from him this year?
It's not as if Gonzalez had a terrible year, as he did post an 8.7 YPA. His issue was volume, as he had only 77 passes thrown to him. I think part of that may be that they were still trying to use Marvin Harrison more often than they should have (102 passes for 88) so I'd expect a better 2009 from Gonzalez as those passes start going to him instead.
Who had the better metrics?...Flacco or Ryan?
Ryan but if you take Flacco's 2nd half, it was just about as good as Ryan's.
Is greg williams a scheme or personell coach? What new additions will be in scientific football this year...I loved how you broke down the lines in last year's book.
I'd say Williams is a scheme coach but he isn't afraid to find ways to change his scheme to adapt to his personnel. As far as Scientific Football 2009 goes, I am going to return to the run blocking metrics. I will also be doing the O line pass block breakdowns and a number of new WR metrics as well.
Will will Jay Cutler play next year?
I assume that means where and if I had to guess it would be Detroit. I say that not only because Detroit might pay the price for him but also because Denver might want to send Cutler to the worst team they possibly can.
Gregg Williams needs to work on his people skills or he'll keep jumping around and be unsuccessful
I couldn't agree more there. That time a couple of years ago when he gave the players self-analysis sheets and didn't give them to the coaches was a Dilbert moment.
KC, word has it that D. Stallworth was over the legal limit. The Browns traded Winslow, dropped Joe J, and now this. They have to use their 1st on a WR, no?
It would be a surprise if they didn't. WR does have depth this year, however, but I think they need to go all out to shore up that position and going for one early makes sense.
Do you think the NFL will keep the current scheduling rotation (which expires after this year) or move more toward an inner-conference schedule to help address balance among the playoff teams?
I think they'll keep the current rotation. I'm not entirely for it because I'd prefer a system that creates more rivalries (i.e. let the Jets and Giants play every year along with the Fins/Bucs, Texans/Cowboys, etc.) but my sense is that the league likes the current balance in the system.
What do the Vikings see in Glen Holt? Is a special teams guy?
I'd say mostly ST for him.
Which GM's (Ozzie Newsome not included) do you think have the most astute eye for talent.
I can't include Ozzie? He's one of, if not the, best in the league. I'd add the Philly and Indy front offices and give you a sleeper in the Texans. They have a ton of talent on that roster and are only a playoff win away from getting much more recognition.
Eli tossed 20 picks in 2007 and in his career has 90 TDs and 74 INTs ...Take away the hot streak in the 2007 playoffs (which the defense carried the team) and the Giants would be screaming to get rid of him. Afterall, he did toss just 3 TDs in the final 6 games without Burress last year.
Matt, I used to be on the bash Eli bandwagon but not any more. Yeah, his arm isn't the strongest but his metrics hold up, especially when you consider the lack of talent at WR when Plax was out.
Based on the rest of the league do you think the Dolphins have what they need in speed, big play ability, and hands at WR or do they draft one like many mock drafts are saying?
The Fins WR metrics last year weren't bad. In fact, Ted Ginn's 8.8 YPA was tied for 23rd in the league. I still think they need one more threat and since WR is a deep draft position this year, I'd expect that they take one early.
where is julius peppers headed?
It certainly seems he is headed out of NC, which is a surprise given that they worked with him after a subpar 2007 season.
Given personnel on the Redskins' defensive line, how much will Big Albert improve Redskins pass rush? I have no doubt that he will be doubleteamed, but my question is whether his teammates can take advantage of that?
I did an analysis of Albert a couple of years ago that found the Titans pass D made some kind of impact play (sack, interception, pass knocked down, etc.) 15% more often when he was on the field than when not. He makes the entire D better, even if he isn't the one who is getting to the QB.
Do you think Chris Wells would fit in Philly?
Yes and no. He's so talented that he could be a starter in pretty much any system but based on what I've seen on tape (which isn't a ton - I've focused mostly on ACC and SEC players), I'm not sure he is a perfect fit for the Eagles O that likes to flex its RBs out.
I don't know if I've seen a team self destruct and clean house quite like the Bucs....I can see firing Gruden, but getting rid of your only QB, and the leaders of your team...that just seems a little self-destructive...you?
I'm with you on this one, Jay. There may be something more than meets the eye to this situation in that Tampa really wanted to clean the slate more than one might think they would after a disappointing finish to a season.
Can Javon Walker ever be a number 1 receiver again or if the Raiders drafted Micheal Crabtree would he automatically become there go to guy?
Crabtree has rare skills and if he does find himself Oakland bound, he'll be the #1 from the start. Walker had spurts of his old self last year and may have a couple of years left but you don't draft Crabtree to make him a #2.
I bash Eli because if you look at his stats and take his name off of it, he a garbage QB with one season over 80 in QB rating, and averages more than an INT per game.
I agree Eli has some limitations but that Super Bowl ring still sticks out in my mind.
Regarding the Cutler funhouse, why isn't Denver using Simms for a year and drafting one of the top QBs next year a possibility? Offense seems young, defense being revamped; it doesn't seem like a win now scenario and QBs next year look quite strong.
I'd agree Denver doesn't seem to have a well defined long term plan here. I think they are trying to parlay Cutler into draft picks that could give them their #1. If they were to find their way into Detroit's #1 spot (not saying it will happen, just speculating), I wouldn't understand their taking Stafford. He's just as erratic as Cutler.
Documented Ted Thompson fan here... The Orkawhatever kid from TX the answer for us? Do we draft the immature OT that had #1 potential? Could/would we try to move Kampman, who is far better suited as a 4-3 DE, for picks?
Jake, I know you are a long time reader and poster but I never knew you were a Ted Thompson fan! We'll have to agree to disagree on that one, although I do have to give him some credit for his talent eye. If I were GB, I'd be looking at improving the O line, so I'd go OT.
Do you think that Forte is the Bears new Walter Payton?
There is a similarity in that Forte did well despite not having the best blocking but I wouldn't go so far as to compare him to #34 just yet!
Should the Bears get Stafford and have Orton retire?
I'd say move Orton but I'd ask how much of his 6.5 YPA is on him versus his lousy WR corps. I saw enough positives out of Orton last year to say I think he could get a lot better if Chicago put some quality wideouts around him.
lol..........Forte = Payton......not in a billion years
One vote against Forte. Let's not forget he is a really good RB even if he's not quite Sweetness!
Based on your metrics and your scouting eye, who are the top five QB's going into next season? Does Matt Schaub make your short list?
I'm completely on the Schaub bandwagon. He ranked #3 in YPA last year and if he gets a full year under his belt, he's got the talent around him to be an MVP candidate.
Howzit KC, what's your metrics on Khalif Barnes? Can he play LT for the Raiders? Is he better than what they got?
Howzit, Bo! I'm still working on the O line metrics but I can tell you that Kwame Harris is one of the worst LT's I've seen in the six years I've been doing this. He couldn't pass or run block and was a constant liability. Gallery would make a better LT.
Don't you think Schaub relies a little too much on Andre Johnson? Their play by play is littered with passes to Johnson and nobody else.
Matt, no disrespect, but Andre Johnson is probably the best WR in the league right now. Getting the ball to your best player as often as possible is the idea and Schaub is very good at it. Plus, his other WRs had terrific metrics as well, so it's not all AJ.
KC, I totally agree with you on Harris and because he was so terrible I think Mario Henderson ended up as the starter at LT.
I'm glad they went to Henderson but I recently did some tape on Harris and had to comment on it. It was almost nightmarish watching him and I had to get that out of my head.
How did your grading of Matt Birk end up going?
He fared really well. His YPA was over 5 yards (5.3 if memory serves me correct) and he was in the low 80s success percentage wise. Those are both really good totals. He also pulled quite often, so look for Baltimore to use him in that way in 09.
But does Denver have the cap space for Detroits #1 pick?
Good question. It would take some creativity on their part but they are an organization that will pay out the bucks for a top player, so that helps.
hey kc! if you were buffalo where would you go in the draft? de,guard,or tight end?
I'd lean towards DE just slightly over OG.
Where do you think Torry Holt will end up? and is he still going to be a number 1?
It won't happen but I'd love to see him go a place like Philly. He still has great route running abilities and is the type of player who would help the younger WRs learn their roles. It would be a good one-year fit for a team that could make a Super Bowl run, so it makes sense on multiple levels.
Brady got killed in the last 2 games he's played and Cassel led in the NFL in getting sacked. Just how bad is the Pats O-line heading into 2009?
It's actually not bad from a run blocking perspective but they do have some pass blocking issues. The good thing about that is pass blocking can be helped by scheme and by the right QB. Cassel is good but he didn't have Brady's uncanny ability to avoid the rush in the pocket. NE leaned on that for years and that's why they had issues last year.
Have you graded out Pennington? He is obviously good at what he does, but are his limitations too much for him to lead a team deep into the playoffs?
It was a rather typical Pennington season. His YPA was good as usual (7.7, 8th best) but he also made a ton of bad decisions (3.7%, tied with Favre for 7th worst in the league). Bad decisions are playoff run killers so I can see Miami getting to the postseason but not making a Super Bowl run.
How good is Kevin Walter?
Good enough to post the 5th best YPA in the league last year.
KC, Hope your bracket is going well. Theoretically teams like to have complimentary WR, a guy who can can go deep and a guy who can do the underneath stuff. Does that work the same with CBs. I ask mainly in relation to the cardinals acquisition of Bryant McFadden. DRC has incredible speed and ball skills to match up deep in single coverage but at this point lacks the size to help in run support and play a physical underneath zone. These apparently are McFadden's strengths. For that reason im very excited about the signing but I guess long story short my question is can that theoretical analysis actually translate to success on the field in scheming?
Mike, I think Arizona wants coverage CBs first and foremost and McFadden fits that bill nicely. His addition will also allow them to either move either Hood or McFadden to slot CB and shore that position up (although I think McFadden would be the better fit there). Well, hate to cut it short but I've got to hit the road just a few minutes early today. Hope to see you all next week!