Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

23 Mar 2007

FOX Blog Wrap-up: March 10-23, 2007

Here's a catch-all thread for discussion of this week's posts on the Football Outsiders FOX blog. This week: Why Torry Holt's DVOA has dropped over the past two years, why Cato June's 142 tackles aren't as impressive as people think, and why Donte' Stallworth may explode on the league in 2007. Plus: Marcus Pollard? Are the Seahawks joking?

Posted by: admin on 23 Mar 2007

23 comments, Last at 04 Apr 2007, 11:50am by Rich Conley

Comments

1
by rageon (not verified) :: Fri, 03/23/2007 - 12:56pm

OK, I know, this is a posting for the blog wrapup, but I nevertheless am wondering something and there's no other thread to mention it.

Have the Broncos gone insane? Why trade Al Wilson? Let's say they get a top 10 pick for him. Wouldn't you rather have Wilson for $5M a year and anyone in the top 10 for whatever they would be making. Maybe if it could get them Johnson, but I don't see that happening. If they are trading him for "salary cap relief", then who do they get that's supposedly cheaper? Certainly any high draft pick will make as much, or more, than Wilson will.

I would love to hear a rationale explanation for this whole "the Broncos are looking to trade Al Wilson" talk.

(sorry for the off-topic post)

2
by Dean (not verified) :: Fri, 03/23/2007 - 2:01pm

Donte Stallworth may be the next Marvin Harrison?!?!?!

And you wonder why the site gets accused of having a Pats bias?

I'm all for statistical analysis, but I'm also for applying "the common sense test" to the results.

3
by JasonK (not verified) :: Fri, 03/23/2007 - 2:20pm

#1:

The Denver Post is reporting that Wilson is in NY for a physical with the Giants. This Giants fan is reserving judgment until I see what the team gave up, but I'm tentatively giddy.

And, to keep us on topic, I enjoyed the Cato June post.

4
by War N Peace (not verified) :: Fri, 03/23/2007 - 3:17pm

As a long time visitor and HUGE fan of FO, I've been missing out on the blogs until the last couple of weeks. I don't know why that is exactly, but they are fantastic. Great, Great stuff...

I'm also happy to report that I recently ordered the PFP 2005 and 2006. A friend of mine had purchased copies that I had read, he has since moved away and I often find myself wanting to re-visit previous articles. Most annual write-ups and stat anthologies become highly dated.. as any NEW version will typically have everything the previous version had plus the additional year.. whereas PFP breakdown of key features of a particular team are sure to be applicable in future years. Probably not the best spot for it.. but just wanted to say I'm glad I found the blog and thanks for PFP.

5
by MFurtek (not verified) :: Fri, 03/23/2007 - 3:28pm

I like the comparison, because one could argue that Harrison is over-rated due to having Manning as the QB. That's a heckuva lot more interesting argument than Pats' Bias'.

Santana Moss wasn't considered a bona-fide #1 WR either until he landed in Washington... at least people weren't sold on him.

5
by MFurtek (not verified) :: Fri, 03/23/2007 - 3:28pm

I like the comparison, because one could argue that Harrison is over-rated due to having Manning as the QB. That's a heckuva lot more interesting argument than Pats' Bias'.

Santana Moss wasn't considered a bona-fide #1 WR either until he landed in Washington... at least people weren't sold on him.

7
by rageon (not verified) :: Fri, 03/23/2007 - 4:07pm

Re: #3 - PFT is now reporting that the deal to New York is dead. If it did go down, I would congratulate you on stealing one hell of a player from Denver.

Why he's available for a "mid round" draft pick just floors me. I'm not sure I'd trade him for any single draft pick, regardless of position.

8
by JasonK (not verified) :: Fri, 03/23/2007 - 4:39pm

#7: One of the Giants beat reporters has a source saying that the team doctors didn't like what they saw with regard to Wilson's neck injury (link). So that may be one reason why the Broncos are shopping him while his perceived value is still high.

9
by Theo, Netherlands (not verified) :: Fri, 03/23/2007 - 10:11pm

..in which they also announced they have cut quarterback David Carr and running back Domanick Williams (who used to be Domanick Davis).

I dont get it.
They haven't cut him/them.

I pretty much believe it's a 40-60 shot at the Qb position. With the 10 in favor of Carr because he starts with an advantage of being "the franchize QB".

10
by Theo, Netherlands (not verified) :: Fri, 03/23/2007 - 10:22pm

Let me add that the 'loser' (or winner for that matter) of the Carr vs Schaub showdown could easily be the next Kurt Warner or Tom Brady or whatever bench-to-hero guy might rise, because scouts don't know shit about evaluating players.
I mean, they let linemen run a 40 yards dash and QBs bench press 225 for f*ck sake.

[south park mode]
they let quarterbacks... bench press... 225 pounds.
[/southpark mode]

11
by Devin McCullen (not verified) :: Fri, 03/23/2007 - 11:55pm

As a Giant fan, I'm actually happy the trade fell through - nobody ever wins when they cut a deal with the Broncos. It's like making a trade with Billy Beane in baseball.

12
by Rob (not verified) :: Sun, 03/25/2007 - 9:25pm

I'm sorry, I just don't buy the Stallworth becoming Harrison bull. I'm not going to throw out 'Pats fan bias', but do you really think that Tom Brady is that much better than the D. Mcnabb of last year? People seem to have forgotten that he was putting up INCREDIBLE numbers, in MVP territory, until he got hurt. In fact, by FO's own stats, he had a much higher DVOA and only 20 less DPAR despite throwing 200 less passes. OK, so Brady is better than his numbers indicate, but Stallworth had his chance with a big time QB, and he didn't break out--he did adequately, that's it. Maybe he will turn in to Harrison, but probably he will turn into Antonio Bryant-mediocre to good. What makes you think otherwise, despite this one similarity score readout?

13
by kibbles (not verified) :: Sun, 03/25/2007 - 11:17pm

Re #1: As an emotional Broncos fan, I love Al Wilson, and wish him nothing but the best in all of his endeavors. He has left absolutely every ounce of his heart on the field for the team that I love, and I love him for it. As an emotional Broncos fan, it would be crushing to see Al Wilson leave town.

As a dispassionate Broncos fan, the prospect of dealing Al Wilson don't bother me. Denver has two other stud Linebackers on its roster- in fact, one of Denver's biggest defensive problems is that someone has to come out on 3rd down. Any time you take one of those three off the field, you're wasting a phenominal talent by parking it on the bench. In addition, Denver quietly has a remarkable history with drafting linebackers (possibly a better history with LBs even than with RBs). Meanwhile, they have several other gaping holes on their team (defensive line, anyone?). The last time Denver traded a stud at a position they typically can replace easily for a player at a position they typically have difficulty filling, it worked out rather well.

More than just a simple awareness of Denver's roster dynamics, though, trading Al Wilson now just makes profound sense when you watch him play. He has clearly taken a pounding in his career (a byproduct of leaving everything on the field). He doesn't wrap up as surely as he did a couple of years ago. He seems to have lost some strength in his arms, and he is coming off of a tremendously troubling neck injury (where he had to be carted off of the field). Even if the neck injury isn't a big deal, he probably doesn't have more than 2-3 years left in him. It's not as simple as to say "Would you rather have Al Wilson for $5 mil or a top-10 rookie for $10 mil?", it's a question of "Would you rather have TWO YEARS of Al Wilson for $5 mil or a 10 years of a top-10 rookie for $10 mil?". Make no mistake about it- Wilson is on the downslope of his career. His value will never, ever be higher than it is right now. He is a bear stock, and the most beneficial thing to do with a bear stock is to sell it for a bull stock. As a dispassionate Broncos fan, it would be exciting to get something in return for Al Wilson.

Now, the emotional fan and the dispassionate fan within me are warring, and I don't know how I feel about this... but if my only concern is what will result in the most wins over the next 10 seasons, I have to hope that Denver finds a trade partner for Al Wilson this offseason.

With that said, I don't think Denver will really hose anyone by trading them Al Wilson. I think any team that realizes what Wilson is would benefit tremendously from his presence. He is veteran leadership, as well as 2-3 seasons of a relatively high level of play. Just because those qualities are not needed as much in Denver doesn't mean that another team could benefit greatly from them.

14
by kibbles (not verified) :: Sun, 03/25/2007 - 11:21pm

Sorry for the double post, but I think a good comparison would be New England with Lawyer Milloy. It seemed like a ludicrous move at the time, but they had depth behind him, and he was on the downslope of his career (even though he had a few very, very good years left in him). Except this example is even more optimistic, because in this example Denver has a chance to get something in return for its veteran leader, rather than just leaving him on the street for no compensation like New England did.

15
by Mr Shush (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 7:23pm

Theo (#9/10) - 1. What has that got to do with this thread?

2. You are mistaken. There is no "showdown". Schaub has been named the starter. Carr, and Davis/Williams, have been cut.

16
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Mon, 04/02/2007 - 3:18pm

"but do you really think that Tom Brady is that much better than the D. Mcnabb of last year? People seem to have forgotten that he was putting up INCREDIBLE numbers, in MVP territory, until he got hurt."

Put away your hater bias here.

Stallworth played 6 games with McNabb. During those 6 games, he put up 530ish yards, and 3 TDS. Thas on pace for 1420 yds, and 8 TDS. I'd say those ARE incredible numbers. Thats a pretty monster season.

17
by Yaguar (not verified) :: Tue, 04/03/2007 - 6:41am

Rich, that's not fair, he got about a third of those yards against CC Brown.

18
by Mr Shush (not verified) :: Tue, 04/03/2007 - 8:29am

It's a forgiveable mistake: how was Rich to know that CC was supposed to be covering Stallworth? He almost certainly wasn't even in shot when he caught the ball.

But yes, 141 receiving yards and a touchdown becomes less impressive when you consider that they were racked up by a deep threat speed WR who was being covered by a guy who is (in principle) a nickle back because he's too slow to play outside, with help over the top from the worst cover safety in NFL history. Another 139 yards and a touchdown came against Washington, the only team in the league with a worse pass defense than Houston's. Take out those two games, along with the one against Tennessee in which McNabb threw only six passes before getting hurt, and you have three games for 163 yards and a touchdown, albeit against the fairly tough pass defenses of Jacksonville, Green Bay and the Giants.

19
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Tue, 04/03/2007 - 1:31pm

"and you have three games for 163 yards and a touchdown, albeit against the fairly tough pass defenses of Jacksonville, Green Bay and the Giants."

Which is cherry picking just as badly as had I just used those two big games.

The guy played 6 games with the starting QB, and put up 500+ yds and 3 tds. If he performs anywhere near that level, he'll be considered one of the best aquisitions of the entire free agent period.

20
by Rob (not verified) :: Tue, 04/03/2007 - 6:38pm

19:
Let's use advanced stats, shall we?
Stallworth ranked in the 30s in both DVOA and DPAR, and had a miserable 49% catch percentage. Moreover, he ranked BELOW Reche Caldwell in ALL of the above stats. If that is not damning, I don't know what is. Also, last year, and this is arguable, but I think true, Stallworth played with a much better supporting cast, from PHI's 3rd best O-Line to the awesome play of Westbrook to the MVP caliber 6 games worth of McNabb. I ask again: what makes you think he will suddenly break out?

21
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Wed, 04/04/2007 - 9:48am

"what makes you think he will suddenly break out?"

He doesnt have to. If he puts up even close to his performance last year, and stays healthy, he'll put up 1000 yards.

Having the same performance as the last year, isnt breaking out.

"Moreover, he ranked BELOW Reche Caldwell in ALL of the above stats."

Caldwell is a possesion reciever. Of course hes going to have a higher catch rate than a deep threat.

22
by Rob (not verified) :: Wed, 04/04/2007 - 10:10am

22:
I noticed you comfortably failed to address the fact that Stallworth also ranked below him (Caldwell) in both DPAR and DVOA playing in a better offense.
Why the arbitrary 1000 yard marked as being 'good'? 1000 yards means next to nothing if his catch percentage, DVOA, and DPAR stay mediocre... and below the infamous Caldwell. It just means the Patsies got two Caldwells (one speedy, one possession) and a replacement Troy Brown. I don't see it as much of an upgrade.
Furthermore, the original post stated that he could become Marvin Harrison. Marvin Harrison isn't just a 1000 yard receiver--he's one of the best, most consistent receivers to EVER PLAY THE GAME, consistently ranking very high in DVOA, DPAR, and just about every other stat measure you can think of. You were arguing for that--or at least you didn't change your tune until now. Sure, Stallworth can put up a thousand yards. Will that mean much? Nope. Will that mean he took a magic bean and turned into Marvin Harrison? Surely not.

23
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Wed, 04/04/2007 - 11:50am

"I noticed you comfortably failed to address the fact that Stallworth also ranked below him (Caldwell) in both DPAR and DVOA playing in a better offense."

Okay, they were about 1 point apart in DVOA. I'd like to go back an check to see what his DVOA was under just Mcnabb, becaues if you want to argue that Garcia is as good as Brady and McNabb, you're nuts.

Second, in this case, DPAR is a joke. Caldwell played about 5 more games than Stallworth, so of course his DPAR is higher.

Garcia doesnt have nearly the arm that McNabb has, and that would hurt deep threat recievers a whole lot more than possesion guys. Stallworth played damn well under McNabb, its only with Garcia that he dropped of the map.

Also, McNabb has had one season in his career with a completion percentage over 60. Every single year of Brady's career has been over 60%. That should drive up Stallworth's catch percentage, as well as his DVOA.

Remember, while a 5 yard catch on 3rd and 7 isnt worth a lot to DVOA, its still worth more than an incompletion.