Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

21 Nov 2005, 09:36am by P. Ryan Wilson

Two Coaches Take Risks, and Earn Rewards

Using the recent last-play victories by the Chiefs and Bucs as a backdrop, David Leonhardt makes the case that "N.F.L. teams have better luck in short-yardage situations when they run the ball." Still, Leonhardt concludes that, "Gruden and Vermeil aside, there is not much evidence that coaches are figuring this out. They have called a pass when they need only a yard roughly as often this season as in past years," even though "70 percent of running plays in those situations have picked up the first down, [while] only 56 percent of passes have." Thanks to Rich C. for the pointer.

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8 comments, Last at 23 Nov 2005, 1:49am by Josh

21 Nov 2005, 01:46am by Aaron Schatz

MythBusters: Swing to the Right

How much is Shaun Alexander's success due to having Walter Jones and Steve Hutchinson on the left side of the line? Doug Farrar of SEAHAWKS.NET went to check and discovered that in 2005, Alexander is actually running better to the right side. As I pointed out to him when he showed me this article, however, my belief that the left side of the Seattle line is hugely important makes some sense given that Seattle was better running left in both 2003 and 2004.

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9 comments, Last at 21 Nov 2005, 3:44pm by Liam

20 Nov 2005, 11:08pm by Al Bogdan

Lions File Grievance Against Rogers

The Lions are going after the bonus money they gave Michael David Smith's favorite receiver, Charles Rogers. Detroit is trying to get Rogers to give back the entire $10.184 million signing bonus the Lions gave him in 2003 because of his four game suspension for substance abuse. As ProFootballTalk.com points out, NFL player contracts these days have a clause included that allows teams to recover signing bonuses if a player has a "default," which can occur if a player is suspended.

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9 comments, Last at 22 Nov 2005, 6:39pm by buddha

19 Nov 2005, 04:01pm by Aaron Schatz

Faking Injuries on the No-Huddle

Reader Stan Brown points out this interview with Bill Polian of the Colts. You have to scroll all the way down to get to the question about teams faking injuries on the field in order to slow down the no-huddle offense, but Polian has some interesting comments.

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87 comments, Last at 23 Nov 2005, 1:13pm by DD Ohio

19 Nov 2005, 02:05pm by Aaron Schatz

Bill Simmons: NFL's Contenders and Pretenders

Sorry, Simmons fans, forgot to stick this up yesterday. This is Bill's take on which teams are playoff pretenders and contenders. Tampa Bay officially now has swagger. His take is pretty close to mine, except that I would not list Jacksonville as "the good bad team." I'd list them as "the complete confusing team." And I would list Seattle as one of the favorites. Bill is right -- when the Red Sox and White Sox have won the last two World Series, maybe we shouldn't be obsessing over Seattle's playoff history.

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34 comments, Last at 21 Nov 2005, 3:10pm by Tony

18 Nov 2005, 05:22pm by Michael David Smith

Gary Glitter in Trouble Again

You might not know the name Gary Glitter, but you know his music. His song "Rock and Roll (Part 2)" is played at just about every football game. (It's the one where everyone yells "Hey!") Glitter was convicted in Britain in 1999 of possessing child pornography, and he's now wanted for questioning in Vietnam in connection with allegations about a 15-year-old girl. He was previously banned from Cambodia for undisclosed reasons.

Hat tip: Data Janitor.

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19 comments, Last at 14 Dec 2005, 7:36pm by Suzanne

18 Nov 2005, 01:38pm by Aaron Schatz

The Many Faces of Clinton Portis

Make my funk the P(ortis)-Funk, I want to get funked up. I want the bomb, I want the P(ortis)-Funk, I want to get funked up.

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19 comments, Last at 19 Nov 2005, 9:10am by Harris

18 Nov 2005, 12:35pm by Michael David Smith

Rams Angry at Anonymous Source

When confronted with a quote from this week's Sports Illustrated, Rams interim head coach Joe Vitt said, "I don't know who the anonymous player was, and I will tell you this: I'm here to answer football questions - not tabloid questions." He was referring to this passage from the first paragraph of an article by Michael Silver:

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10 comments, Last at 19 Nov 2005, 1:46pm by BlueStarDude

18 Nov 2005, 10:02am by P. Ryan Wilson

The Hit That Changed a Career

I'm sure I'm dating myself here, but I have vivid memories of Joe Theismann breaking his leg in that Monday night game against Lawrence Taylor and the New York Giants. Even though I was pretty young, I remember being impressed by LT jumping up after the play and frantically waving the medical staff onto the field, even though he was primarily known for his on-field tenacity and off-field problems. I also remember wondering why the network insisted on showing replay after replay of Theismann's leg actually snapping. That's something I didn't get then, and I don't get now.

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48 comments, Last at 20 Nov 2005, 12:19pm by little red tractor

17 Nov 2005, 12:33pm by Aaron Schatz

Owens May Face Road Bloch in Arbitration Case

We're all sick of the T.O. talk, but absent from the complaints about his personality is a discussion of what this case means from a legal perspective. FOXSports.com legal analyst Rob Becker believes Owens will not win his arbitration hearing on Friday, because in his contract the Eagles agree to pay him for his services, but do not guarantee that they will use said services. The wrench in the works is the issue of incentive clauses; are the Eagles breaching the contract by not allowing Owens the attempt to achieve those goals?

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22 comments, Last at 18 Nov 2005, 10:46pm by Dan Riley