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BucNY

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: October 21, 2013, 05:35:14 PM

As I mentioned in another post, this season has changed the way I see the game of football. Some positions seem important enough to trade an entire draft class for an others seem almost pointless. I'll rank my important positions and try to explain why I believe they are so important, or not. Feel free to join in.

Offense:
1. Quarterback: an obvious choice as he touches the ball the most frequently and all other scoring options, outside of RB, rely on him to function at a high level to be effective. Essentially the fuse that lights the bomb.

2. Defensive line: A tough choice between offensive and defensive line. Ultimately I choice defensive line as the 2nd important position as a result of their ability to affect the most important player. We routinely see a great QB affected negatively by being pressured, sacked and hit. I believe dline is a position that can affect every football play. I believe all other positions can be neutralized by game planning. You can double a dlineman but that is still a huge win as you're giving up one guy and getting two of theirs. Great CB can be throw away from and not have any opportunities to touch the ball. Also the ability of the dlineman to have a sack fumble is huge. They are in a position to cause turnovers which can sway the outcome of a game largely. FF leaders are defensive lineman usually. Keeping with the idea that the QB is most important, the players who have the chances to disrupt him are the most important to the defense. I will not discern between Ends and tackles, just the group as a whole, although I believe the penetrating DT is extremely important to a healthy pass rush.

3. Offensive line: This plays directly off #2. QB most important, guy who can disrupt him 2nd, the guy who can stop him from being disrupted 3rd. We've seen teams invest in pocket players heavily. Tackle is not as important as a great QB can step up in the pocket and bypass the edge rusher. Hence my thinking on DT being slightly more important than End. How many times do we see one of our edge rushers bypassed as Brees steps up in the pocket?
    3a. Center: Touches the ball every play along with the QB. Also responsible shotgun snaps, line protections and very often will be responsible for the a scraping LB on run plays.
    3b. Guard: Similar functions as center, ranked below b/c he does not touch the ball and hence cannot be primarily responsible for a turnover.

4. CB: You guys see how this is going yet? The QB affected by the pass rush, negated by the offensive line. First line of protection if the QB isn't sacked is the QB defending the pass. Good QBs and poor offensive lines compensate by throwing quick/timing passes. A physical corner can disrupt the timing and the spot where the ball is being caught. I equate the QB to the safety net. The plan is to not use it but you need a good one in case.

5. Pass catchers including TE: I believe to some extent that a great QB can find adequate receivers, however talent is still important. The best QBs have a lot of YAC yards because they put the ball in good positions but also because they have WR who can run after the catch. The WR handles the ball with the most one on one opportunities, and a guy who can make a miss or break a tackle will have more scoring opportunities. They are also more space players which can yield huge amounts of yardage from a simple play, see denver screen play with Thomas.

6. RB: They get the sixth spot because of how many times they touch the ball and their potential to make a big play and big turnover. They seldom get one on one opportunities in space where a missed tackle equates to many more yards. We see doug break tackles on the regular, the net result is an additional yard or two, maybe 10. Not 50. Also RB is a deep position where talent can be found cheap and often. Mike James had similar stats to doug on Sunday, different pay scale and draft position.

That's my top 5. You'll see LB and S are not mentioned. I do not firmly believe they are valuable positions. LB is usually a weak spot in pass pro and a spot taken advantage of by the TE. It's a weakness. Same with a traditional safety. Run stopping is not as important today as it was years ago. Many safeties are mismatches exploited by the defense. In my experience, big plays are usually made by the passing game. Big plays late in games are usually passing plays, you score points with passes and a run game can easily be shut down by committing extra men to the box, see TB '13, without a QB that can beat them through the air, you have no answer.

Here is what I think we do:

Generally: Cut dead weight (salary) at positions that don't matter and double or triple down at positions of importance. We trade that dead weight to teams who can make a playoff run and cut the rest in the offseason (*note I'll be operating under the presumed idea that there will be no cap penalties just to make it easier, more fun).

Specifically:
1. Trade Doug Martin. As seen this year, even a good/very good RB can have his affect on the game minimized. Trade him to someone who values the position more. Get a 1st in return (don't count injuries, this is hypothetical) Start James who appears to have good ball security, pass pro and adequate power in short yardage.
2. Trade Mason Foster. Stopping the run doesn't matter, we saw that last year. Best run defense in the league gives up 75 yards less a game than the best. Thats less than 20 yards a quarter and about 5 yards a drive. A guy like Foster can give up double that amount in any given pass play. Start a run stopping thumper to play on 1st down and short yardage. Make nickel and dime packages your base package.
3. Move Dakota Watson to DE, Make Mark Barron the 2nd LB along with LaVonte David in the base nickel package. Find a 3rd CB to play FS, let Goldson sneak into the box as the SS if needed.
4. Cut Penn, move  Dotson to left tackle. Cut Josepth, Cut Nicks. Determine if a better center can be found in FA, if so sign him and cut Zuts, if not keep Zuts.
5. Keep Jackson and William's. We saw the damage they did last year when given chances one on one.


With those moves we clear up a lot of cap space. I cut nicks because he's been hurt and was expensive if healthy. Him missing 50% of his games essentially double the cost per game he did play. We funnel all resources into QB. Then we get the best G/C/G combo we can find, then we find speed and agility and win match ups in space. On defense we draft DE and DT highly, every year, we sign CB's to play. We need at least 4 starting caliber CB as the base defense would utilize 4 of them.

We sign FA tackles only and focus on middle of the road talent guys. We draft DE/DT/CB heavy as they are the most expensive spots to resign after rookie contracts, we get "free years". We sign FA WR as it's a position where guys bust often, we pay more for a known commodity with experience to read defenses from the 1st play.

Gameplan. Make teams beat us with the run. Running the ball intrinsically gets harder in the redzone and thus becomes less effective. On offense we find the match up and go to it, over and over and over again. Until they change personell or scheme and make it less favorable. We call plays with high completion percentage or huge payoffs and run them over and over. When we run the ball it's considered a trick play. It's a passing league now so we minimize our passing defense weaknesses and make it as hard as possible for the opponent to pass. We win. and BUCNY is the coach of the year. I'll be back for more. Gotta run.

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SpeedInSpaceBucs!

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#1 : October 21, 2013, 05:40:41 PM

I don't see Head Coach anywhere there in your regression model.... maybe we already have the moneyball team put together and we suck, because Schiano

Booker Reese

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#2 : October 21, 2013, 05:51:08 PM

This is a strategy, but not sure what it has to do with Moneyball.  For example, C and G may be 3a and 3b to you in terms of priorities, but they are among the cheapest to fill in the draft - why are we grabbing one in free agency? 

blah

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#3 : October 21, 2013, 06:04:54 PM

I don't trade Martin in his rookie contract. The kid is money.


Pepsi

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#4 : October 21, 2013, 06:06:08 PM

sorry bro, too long for me to read.  but in moneyball didnt they say "get guys who get on base." I would have a similar concept for one aspect if i was in the NFL as a GM or scout. Get guys who get open.That would be one of my offensive philosophies. Don't care who they are or whether their first round picks or 7th round picks, get guys who get open.



BucNY

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#5 : October 21, 2013, 06:11:20 PM

This is a strategy, but not sure what it has to do with Moneyball.  For example, C and G may be 3a and 3b to you in terms of priorities, but they are among the cheapest to fill in the draft - why are we grabbing one in free agency?

Proven commondity, good pass blocking gaurds/centers are on the cheap in FA. Especially if they are not good run blockers. Versus a proven pass rusher would be more expensive in FA. Draft the most expensive spots and fill in the others in FA

It's money ball in the sense you make your team around passing and pass defense and then play the odds. That is, if Vjax beats the 1st tackler x percent of the time on a slant route, you throw the slant route over and over again until they change stop it. In general find guys who can play in space and trust your match ups. Use the moneyball ideas to find the match ups. See who gets most YAC, see how catches the hightest percentages of slant routes, or screen passes, or 4th down catches and go with it.
: October 21, 2013, 06:17:14 PM BucNY

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BucNY

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#6 : October 21, 2013, 06:18:11 PM

sorry bro, too long for me to read.  but in moneyball didnt they say "get guys who get on base." I would have a similar concept for one aspect if i was in the NFL as a GM or scout. Get guys who get open.That would be one of my offensive philosophies. Don't care who they are or whether their first round picks or 7th round picks, get guys who get open.

I'd say, get guys who can make you miss

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dalbuc

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#7 : October 21, 2013, 06:21:48 PM

Pass offense and passer suppression are really about all that matters. It is why this fetish with run blockers and run stuffers we have is strategically misguided.  Passer suppression is more about pass rush than anything else. You have to build front to back on the defense. We learned the wrong lesson last year and went nuts buying defensive backs, albeit the wrong ones, instead of investing in a better pass rush.

All posts are opinions in case you are too stupid to figure that out on your own without me saying it over and over.

chace1986

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#8 : October 21, 2013, 06:22:38 PM

Enough with the grabbing FA OLmen. We need to start drafting those players as well.


Until preseason, you stay classy Red Board.

lyronmewis

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#9 : October 21, 2013, 06:23:00 PM

Remove the head coach and the coordinators and evaluate the rest of the team then. We have a lot of guys who have played at a high level who are just playing like crap right now, and I doubt that they've all just lost their skill in an offseason. The new coach should go BPA in the draft even if it is a WR.

Bayfisher

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#10 : October 21, 2013, 06:23:36 PM

Our team can't even figure out how to put two running backs into the game let alone have a Moneyball approach. 
: October 21, 2013, 06:49:52 PM Bayfisher

BucNY

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#11 : October 21, 2013, 06:25:29 PM

Pass offense and passer suppression are really about all that matters. It is why this fetish with run blockers and run stuffers we have is strategically misguided.  Passer suppression is more about pass rush than anything else. You have to build front to back on the defense. We learned the wrong lesson last year and went nuts buying defensive backs, albeit the wrong ones, instead of investing in a better pass rush.

i think that idea should be taken to the nth degree. dump any salary that doesn't significantly affect those things and reinvest in players who do. I love Mason Foster he will always be more of a liability in pass defense than he's worth as a run defender

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