NFL 2017: Offseason / Pre-Draft

But it's Tom Brady on the cover.

So, about that RB pay situation:

Running Backs Are Finally Getting Paid What They’re Worth

Perhaps this reflects the new offensive landscape in the NFL, in which teams pass more and better than ever before. But it may also reflect a growing recognition that, for all their talent, traditionally great running backs probably don’t actually contribute that much to their teams’ chances of winning.

Basically, there is pretty much no ordinary situation in which running produces better results than passing. If a team is more than 10 points ahead in the second quarter, running has seemed to do OK. And that’s about it. Even situations where running a lot is pretty standard — like up fewer than 10 points in the third or fourth quarters — passing has done substantially better. Of course, some amount of run/pass balance is necessary, or defenses would completely tee off on the pass every time. But this issue is likely overblown: As a pretty straightforward application of introductory game theory, if one option keeps producing substantially better results than the other, you should do it more often.

Of course, running the football has ancillary benefits, such as burning time off the clock, avoiding turnovers, gaining positive yards more consistently, picking up shorter yardage a higher percentage of the time, keeping the defenses honest, and so on. (There may even be situations in which teams pass too often, such as with 2-point attempts.) That sounds like a lot of good uses for the run! But note that, when it comes to these things, the quality of your running back — at least by conventional measures like how many yards they gain — is of secondary importance.

This is because even a great rushing attack is still worse at picking up yards than even a mediocre passing attack. The all-pro running back may gain a lot of yards as his team funnels its offense through him, but many (or even most) of those yards are picked up in spots — like when a team is slightly up or down in the third quarter — where passing would have been better (or at the very least, where teams should be passing more often).

None of which is to say that the running back position will die out, or that the league’s unwillingness to pay a lot for them will continue indefinitely. Running backs and rushing may still be an important part of the game, so long as you aren’t trying to use it to pick up a bunch of yards on the ground. There are better ways to do that, and better things you could be doing with that slot.

For example, running backs who excel in short-yardage situations — such as Marshawn Lynch, Jerome Bettis or Marcus Allen — or “third down” or pass-catching RBs who can be legitimate multiway threats in a spread offense — may actually be more valuable than they seem. As the athletes who play “running back” get better at things like opening up the passing game and helping pick up first downs, the position may be leveraged more efficiently and see its value increase commensurately. ...

But committing money to “workhorse” running backs who provide little outside of their ability to grind out a large number of yards inefficiently — a description that arguably fits Peterson as well as any great RB — is like doubling down on buggy whips when everyone else is scrambling to make flying cars.

Gisele Bundchen says Tom Brady "has concussions pretty much every—I mean we don’t talk about—but he does have concussions." Watch as the Patriots and NFL try to explain what she actually meant faster than you can say Sean Spicer.

Perhaps he should stop headbutting everyone then.

This comment made me laugh a bit: "She’s trying so hard to make excuses for him supporting trump."

*Legion* wrote:

Tom Brady is the cover player for Madden 18. OK, fine.

IMAGE(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C_oXGNLXgAUhRkF.jpg)

I'm sorry, WHAT edition?

I searched the internet and, surprisingly, came away quite disappointed. How has this photoshop not happened yet? Get to work you photoshop experts!!!
IMAGE(https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/26b72-tom20brady20holding20a20goat20photoshoot.jpg)

It's been a good year for drought-stricken California.

IMAGE(http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/01-26-2017-drought-california-1.jpg)

Bleacher Report has a Which NFL Players Are Trending Toward 'Bust' Labels in 2017? article up. Shockingly--SHOCKINGLY--Blake Bortles is the first player listed.

Pro Football Focus rated Bortles as the third-worst qualified quarterback in the league last season, and the two guys below him—Brock Osweiler and Ryan Fitzpatrick—are no longer employed by the teams they started for. His passer rating on throws that traveled 20-plus yards was 17.5. Seventeen point five! A total of 30 other quarterbacks attempted at least 25 such throws, and none had a rating below 45.0.

Of course, the next FOUR players listed are all Rams, between Goff, Gurley, Tavon Austin, and Greg Robinson, who had realistically moved into "bust" status about five minutes after being drafted.

It's only going to make the triumphant comeback that much sweeter.

Everything was Gus's fault.

Geoff Schwartz, the OT, has a recent article about the struggles of going from college to the pros for OL. Turns out that the pattern is actually pretty simple. OTs who played in Pro style offenses, like Ronnie Stanley, have a better transition because you could see that they could do what's needed of them in the NFL. Big, physical guys who relied on their size in college, like Greg Robinson or Ereck Flowers, tend to struggle. Or, as he succinctly put it at the end of the article:

The key to drafting linemen is to look for techniques that translate to the NFL, rather than fawning over the physical traits of a particular lineman who has unfixable issues.

Yeah but sometimes when you draft the giant guys that got by on size, you get Cordy Glenn or Phil Loadholdt.

That said, I agree with the premise, and have a long-standing bias towards technicians, especially out at the tackles.

Glenn and Loadholdt were both second round picks, not top 10 or whatever. (I knew that offhand about Loadholdt, but had to look up Glenn.) It's much easier to take a shot on that later on, less so 2nd overall.

Loadholdt also got to play RT instead of LT, and do a lot of run-blocking for a great RB. Heck of a lot easier than trying to play LT on a pass-happy team. Loadholdt in particular was asked to aggressively get in the way of people, which is a much easier route to success.

garion333 wrote:

Glenn and Loadholdt were both second round picks, not top 10 or whatever. (I knew that offhand about Loadholdt, but had to look up Glenn.) It's much easier to take a shot on that later on, less so 2nd overall.

Which seems to have repeated itself again with Cam Robinson this draft.

*Legion* wrote:
garion333 wrote:

Glenn and Loadholdt were both second round picks, not top 10 or whatever. (I knew that offhand about Loadholdt, but had to look up Glenn.) It's much easier to take a shot on that later on, less so 2nd overall.

Which seems to have repeated itself again with Cam Robinson this draft.

He'll fit right in with the Smash Mouth offense they're going for now. Potentially smart move, though it could be that Coughlin simply likes drafting the big guys.

That was all Jerry Reese.

Do you remember Josh McCown? Now, imagine him, but with a beard.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:

Do you remember Josh McCown? Now, imagine him, but with a beard.

Fitz went to the Bucs so next year he can go and get $18 mil guaranteed from the Bears.

garion333 wrote:
MilkmanDanimal wrote:

Do you remember Josh McCown? Now, imagine him, but with a beard.

Fitz went to the Bucs so next year he can go and get $18 mil guaranteed from the Bears.

The Bucs and Bears already effectively traded Josh McCown for Beaker the Wonder Giraffe a few years apart; Fitzpatrick needs to go to a team he hasn't been on before. So . . . uh . . .

1 year for $3 million is pretty cheap. It's literally half what the Jets signed Josh McCown for.

Snow angels!

They better get their kicking in order. They may have to settle for a lot of FG attempts once Fitztragick is at the helm.

How much do you think Nick Folk likes showing up the disappointing draft pick.

When they cut Aguayo, I will pop a bottle of champagne open. Cheap, crappy champagne, which I will pour into the gutter and then I'll throw the bottle into the garbage can. And probably miss, wide right.

As a reminder, Chuck Zodda (ie. the only special teams writer I know of atm, though I'm sure there are more) confirmed that Aguayo changed his skip step, especially since last preseason, and his accuracy hasn't rebounded since then. Aguayo was indeed the most accurate kicker in college, but that accuracy went and died his senior year. Doesn't seem like he's been able to fix that.