Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

29 Sep 2008

2008 Quick Reads: Week 4

Quick Reads points out that boom-or-bust backs don't do enough when they don't boom.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 29 Sep 2008

14 comments, Last at 01 Oct 2008, 9:56pm by tictoc

Comments

1
by Joseph :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 6:06pm

Regarding Reggie Bush, part of his negative plays weren't his fault. On at least one carry he got hit as soon as he got the ball on a handoff, and on his -5/-6 yd. pass rec. Brees threw him the ball to avoid a sack. He was hit by the SF LB before he had a chance to turn around. Watching the game, it seemed like the Niners were really keying on Bush. Of course, they probably should have keyed on Lance Moore and Robert Meachem a little bit more. (Not to mention protecting the QB, and throwing better passes near the goal line.)

2
by dbt :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 6:07pm

I was really hoping to see a word or two on Kyle Orton, perhaps contrasting his first half and second half?

3
by Lou :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 6:41pm

I was hoping for that too, there has to be a massive difference.

4
by Anonymous (not verified) :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 6:42pm

Two Jets notes. One, Favre thought the play he threw a pick on was a free play because a defender jumped offsides. Not much of an excuse for a terrible decision, but it's something. Two, Coles should've had a 4th TD. He dropped a ball in the back of the end zone on the Jets first FG drive in the second quarter. It was a lightning bolt and the defender had tight coverage, but Coles got two hands on it. In my book, that means it should've been a catch.

Finally, does Warner have tiny Dave Krieg hands or previously injured fingers? Why the hi-di-ho does he fumble so much? Not that I'm complaining.

10
by Temo :: Tue, 09/30/2008 - 10:36am

He has a well documented thumb injury that's been bothering him for years. But he's also got a deficiency of pocket awareness to go with that. Most of his fumbles he doesn't see the hit coming.

5
by John Morgan (not verified) :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 7:16pm

The real criticism is not that boom or bust rushers are undervalued by DYAR, but that DYAR is not measuring the player but the team. It's arguable that much of a player's "boom" is their own: their speed, elusiveness and prowess in the open field. A player's "bust", however, is largely team dependent. From an offensive line's ability to create a hole, to a passing game's ability to force linebackers/safeties and create favorable down and distance, successful rushing is a team effort. Regarding down and distance, it's easier to get 60% of needed yards on second and three than second and ten--or fifteen. But the rusher is credited or debited for the outcome of both plays, and I would guess four yards on second and three are worth more DYAR than ten yards on second and fifteen.

Can we really blame every rusher for his "busts"? How do "busts" translate when a player changes teams? Or the team itself changes? Is it any wonder that Tom Brady's injury coincides with the dramatic decline in New England's rushing offense? I think DYAR effectively measures a team's production when a specific player runs, receives or passes the ball, but I don't think it effectively measures the ability of the player himself. Ergo, the legendary question updated, what would Barry Sander's DYAR be if he ran on Emmitt Smith's Dallas Cowboys?

8
by tuluse :: Tue, 09/30/2008 - 12:28am

Well, sure players in better situations will put up better stats, but the same thing is true for regular old yards, DYAR/DVOA are only an improvement on traditional stats, not the end all be all.

11
by Luz (not verified) :: Tue, 09/30/2008 - 12:08pm

Well put. I've been argueing that the FO guys unfairly denigrate Willie Parker for the reasons you listed.

DVOA/DYAR likes consistency. Parker has a lot of short runs mixed in with long ones but I think the national media/fans have finally caught on to just how sorry the Steelers offensive line is. I'd argue that a lesser back than Parker would be very consistent - he'd have nothing but short runs. So for the Steelers Parker is very valuable becuase he can get a long run behind a suspect line.

6
by John Morgan (not verified) :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 7:17pm

The real criticism is not that boom or bust rushers are undervalued by DYAR, but that DYAR is not measuring the player but the team. It's arguable that much of a player's "boom" is their own: their speed, elusiveness and prowess in the open field. A player's "bust", however, is largely team dependent. From an offensive line's ability to create a hole, to a passing game's ability to force linebackers/safeties and create favorable down and distance, successful rushing is a team effort. Regarding down and distance, it's easier to get 60% of needed yards on second and three than second and ten--or fifteen. But the rusher is credited or debited for the outcome of both plays, and I would guess four yards on second and three are worth more DYAR than ten yards on second and fifteen.

Can we really blame every rusher for his "busts"? How do "busts" translate when a player changes teams? Or the team itself changes? Is it any wonder that Tom Brady's injury coincides with the dramatic decline in New England's rushing offense? I think DYAR effectively measures a team's production when a specific player runs, receives or passes the ball, but I don't think it effectively measures the ability of the player himself. Ergo, the legendary question updated, what would Barry Sanders' DYAR be if he ran on Emmitt Smith's Dallas Cowboys?

7
by Eddo :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 9:05pm

I thought McNabb also had accuracy issues. If the Bears could put any pressure on him, it seemed like they could force a low throw.

9
by drobviousso :: Tue, 09/30/2008 - 1:32am
12
by Kenneth (not verified) :: Tue, 09/30/2008 - 12:33pm

Boom King is already outdated?

14
by tictoc :: Wed, 10/01/2008 - 9:56pm

It better not be outdated.... cuz....

IM DA BOOM KING!

13
by Boots Day (not verified) :: Tue, 09/30/2008 - 4:28pm

What's the Derek Anderson comment supposed to mean? Why would the Bengals' linemen care about Brady Quinn?