Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

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Sidney Rice has retired. Is he the most random single-season DYAR leader ever? One-year wonder? Injury prone? We offer a career retrospective for the second-best wide receiver named Rice in NFL history.

30 May 2006

Four Downs: AFC South

Best player available analysis by Sean McCormick
Remainder of Four Downs by Ned Macey

(Ed. note: For the next round of Four Downs, we're pleased to present Sean McCormick's "Best Player Available" analysis for each division, along with the usual gang commenting on other moves by each team before and since the draft. The reasoning behind BPA analysis is explained in this article. Each player drafted is listed along with his position on four different independent draft boards and the Best Player Available according to each of those boards. Please note that two of these boards only ranked 100 players.)

Houston Texans

Pick Player Player Rankings Best Player Available
1 DE Mario Williams 2, 2, 2, 2 RB Reggie Bush (4)
33 LB DeMeco Ryans 26, 30, 37, 38 OT Winston Justice (3), DB Jimmy Williams
65 G Charles Spencer 63, 64, 70, 87 OT Eric Winston (2), DB Ashton Youboty, TE Leonard Pope
66 OT Eric Winston 32, 34, 35, 43 OT Eric Winston (2), DB Ashton Youboty, TE Leonard Pope
98 TE Owen Daniels 132, 161, UR, UR G Max Jean-Gilles, DB Ashton Youboty, TE Leonard Pope, DT Gabe Watson
170 RB Wali Lundy 180, 182, UR, UR DT Babatunde Oshinowo (2), DB Darnell Bing, RB Andre Hall
251 WR David Anderson 256, 277, UR, UR RB Andre Hall (2), DB Anwar Phillips (2)

In their study "The Loser's Curse: Overconfidence Versus Market Efficiency in the NFL Draft," professors Cade Massey and Richard Thaler suggest several reasons why teams refuse to trade out of the top of the first round even though it makes good strategic sense for them to do so. Among the reasons are teams' overconfidence in their ability to pick the correct players, teams' overvaluing the worth of having a top pick, and teams' tendency to assume that other teams covet the same player that they do. Enter the Houston Texans. When the college football season ended, everyone in the country agreed that Reggie Bush was the best player in the draft and that Mario Williams was a very talented defensive end who didn't consistently play up to his talent level. But then came the combines and the individual workouts and finally the pre-draft onset of paralysis by analysis, at the end of which Houston decided that Williams was their man. BPA theory doesn't have a problem with the Texans deciding they needed Mario Williams more than they needed Reggie Bush. It does have a problem, however, with the Texans addressing that need with the #1 overall pick. Houston could have slid down a spot or two and still landed their target, and they probably would have found teams interested in moving up for Bush, just not at the rates the trade value chart that every NFL team uses. If Houston offered to swap picks with the Jets in exchange for a fourth-round pick, they almost certainly would have gotten a deal done. The Texans would have saved significant money, garnered an extra draft choice, and likely still have gotten Mario Williams at four. If Williams was gone, the team could still have landed D'Brickashaw Ferguson, the best player on the board, and one who played a position that Houston desperately needed to fill. But Houston overvalued Williams, overvalued the worth of the pick and possibly overestimated the level of interest in Williams to boot. (Although to be fair, the indications were that New Orleans was leaning towards taking Williams over Ferguson with the second pick.)

While the decision to leave Reggie Bush on the board at one is that will leave the Texans open to second-guessing, there is no question that Williams fills a major need. The team is switching to a 4-3 defense and does not currently have the personnel to make the defense work. Williams will start on the right side, and he'll be counted on to provide most of the pressure, as Anthony Weaver is not a pass rush threat on the other side. The Texans filled another hole in their front seven with second round pick DeMeco Ryans. Ryans is a bit undersized, but he's a classic 4-3 weakside linebacker who can make plays in space. The Texans didn't address their offensive line until the third round, but when they did, they got terrific value, nabbing Charles Spencer and Eric Winston with back-to-back picks. Winston was the top player available on two of the boards, and if he is able to regain the form he showed early on in his college career, he could turn into one of the real steals of the draft. At the very least, Winston and Spencer will provide depth and competition to a unit that was woefully short on both last season.

The acquisition of Jeb Putzier means that fourth-round pick Owen Daniels won't be counted on to contribute this season. Denver had a long tradition of developing quality pass catching threats at the position while Gary Kubiak was the offensive coordinator, and Daniels has the ability to become a quality short-area target.

New Sheriff in Town

Matt Millen soldiers on in Detroit, but the game's second-least-successful general manager, Charley Casserly, has decided to step down. Casserly was hired two years before the Texans ever played a game, but the extra time proved no help. The three expansion teams before Houston all made the playoffs within four years. Houston's best record in four years is 7-9.

Casserly made a name for himself in Washington, where he served for over twenty years. Of course, he was the GM only starting in 1989. When Joe Gibbs retired after the 1992 season, the Redskins nose-dived. They did not make the playoffs again until 1999, Casserly's last year with the team.

Casserly's mark will remain on the franchise for years to come. David Carr, his first selection, remains the face of the franchise. Casserly will likely be judged largely on his decision to take Williams over Bush this year. If the past off-season tinkering did not point the franchise in the right direction, Casserly's tenure was an unmitigated disaster.

To replace him, the Texans are considering Denver assistant GM Rick Smith. Smith is only 36, but he is widely respected as a brilliant young football mind. The move would make sense in light of the recent hiring of former Denver assistant Gary Kubiak as head coach. Getting a GM who will be on the same page as the coach will help the Texans move forward together.

Recent Free Agent News

Houston fans may have been disappointed by the decision to bypass Reggie Bush, but fortunately the Texans had a better solution. They signed two-time Super Bowl winner Antowain Smith. The veteran cast-off got an opportunity to be a featured back after the injury to Deuce McAllister a year ago. Smith responded by ranking 40th in the league in DVOA, strikingly similar to the 45th he ranked in Tennessee the year before and 34th he ranked for New England in 2003. It seems doubtful that Smith will have Domanick Davis looking over his shoulder.

The new Houston regime's makeover of the offensive line continued. After signing center Mike Flanagan and guard David Loverne before the draft and spending two third-round picks on tackles, the Texans added Ephraim Salaam after the draft. Salaam was once an intriguing player, but after four mediocre years in Cleveland, he lost his job in Jacksonville a year ago.

Undrafted Free Agents of Note

The Texans added 16 undrafted free agents, focusing mostly on areas of need. With no proven defensive ends, they added four after the draft. The most intriguing may be Middle Tennessee product Devarick Scandrett who has the build if not the production.

More intriguing may be the battle for the third quarterback position, which will go to an undrafted player. The Texans cut Dave Ragone and have brought in Quinton Porter from Boston College and Matt Baker from North Carolina to compete for the job. Both have little experience. Porter had a little more success in college, but Baker is the better athlete.

Indianapolis Colts

Pick Player Player Rankings Best Player Available
30 RB Joseph Addai 36, 39, 40, 40 OT Winston Justice (3), DB Jimmy Williams
62 DB Tim Jennings 71, 78, 78, UR OT Eric Winston, DB Richard Marshall, DB Ashton Youboty, TE Leonard Pope
94 LB Freddie Keiaho 123, 170, UR, UR DT Gabe Watson, G Max Jean-Gilles, DB Ko Simpson, DB Darnell Bing
162 OT Michael Toudouze 175, 194, UR, UR DT Babatunde Oshinowo (3), RB Andre Hall
199 OT Charlie Johnson UR, UR, UR, UR DT Rod Wright (2), DE Stanley McClover, RB Andre Hall
207 DB Antoine Bethea 99, 133, UR, UR DT Rod Wright (2), DE Stanley McClover, RB Andre Hall
238 DB T.J. Rushing 193, UR, UR, UR RB Andre Hall (2), DB Anwar Phillips (2)

When you're picking at 30 and every mock draft in the country successfully predicts the guy you are taking, that's a pretty clear sign that you are ignoring the value on the board and drafting for need. The Colts weren't going to walk out of the draft without securing a replacement for the departed Edgerrin James, and while LenDale White had a higher grade than Joseph Addai on almost every board, he was a poor fit for the Colts' offense. Addai is not an instinctive runner, but he has two skills that will serve him well in Indianapolis: he can catch the ball and he's an excellent pass blocker. With Peyton Manning in the backfield, a rookie running back is going to have to prove he can keep the franchise upright before he sees the field. Addai never was a full-time starter at LSU, and he figures to split carries with Dominic Rhodes.

In the second round the team had the opportunity to take either Richard Marshall or Ashton Youboty, the two highest-rated defensive players on the board, but instead went with Georgia corner Tim Jennings. Bill Polian has built his defense with fast, undersized players and Jennings certainly fits the mold. It remains to be seen whether the team intends to have Jennings compete for a starting spot or if they drafted him specifically to upgrade their nickel and dime packages. In the third round, the team landed another undersized player in San Diego State linebacker Freddie Keiaho. Keiaho is 6'0" on a good day, and he weighs only 225 pounds. Players with that frame rarely turn into starting linebackers in the NFL, and none of the boards felt Keiaho was worth risking a first-day pick on.

Rather than addressing the offensive tackle position early on in the draft when there were elite prospects sliding down the board, the Colts waited until the second day, adding tackles Michael Toudouze and Charlie Johnson. The Colts have put together one of the league's top lines primarily through second day picks and free agent moves, and with so much money wrapped up in the skill positions, it's no surprise to see them continue the trend. Toudouze is currently second on the depth chart at right tackle, but his future probably lies at guard.

Antoine Bethea toiled in anonymity at Howard, but he is a good athlete who makes plays all over the field. Two of the boards thought he was good enough to warrant a mid-round pick.

Recent Free Agent News

The Colts have added no veterans to their team after the draft. In fact, they have only added Adam Vinatieri to their team since the end of last season. The Colts decision to start Robert Mathis at defensive end and bring Corey Simon off the bench means that only one of their 22 starters has played a game for a team besides Indianapolis. The easiest job in football is not Colts punter but their talent scout at the NFL level.

Undrafted Free Agents of Note

One reason the Colts can relax during veteran free agency is because they do so well with rookie free agents. Projected starters Dominic Rhodes, Jeff Saturday, and Gary Brackett were all college free agents. At this point, the Colts seem a little deep to offer many opportunities. One area where they lack depth, however, is at linebacker. They added four rookie free agents. Colts fans are most familiar with Brandon Hoyte out of Notre Dame. More likely to make an impact is Dale Robinson out of Arizona State.

The Colts also lack a third quarterback. They signed Josh Betts and David Koral to compete for the role. Betts replaced Ben Roethlisberger at Miami of Ohio, while Koral was a backup at UCLA.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Pick Player Player Rankings Best Player Available
28 TE Marcedes Lewis 32, 41, 42, 44 OT Winston Justice (3), DB Jimmy Williams
60 RB Maurice Drew 46, 53, 55, 61 OT Eric Winston (2), DB Ashton Youboty, TE Leonard Pope
80 LB Clint Ingram 88, 105, UR, UR DT Gabe Watson, G Max-Jean Gilles, DB Ko Simpson, DB Darnell Bing
160 DE Brent Hawkins UR, UR, UR, UR DT Babatunde Oshinowo (3), RB Andre Hall
213 DE James Wyche 157, 163, UR, UR DT Rod Wright (2), DE Stanley McClover, RB Andre Hall
236 DB Dee Webb 91, 93, 104, 109 DB Dee Webb (2), DE Stanley McClover, RB Andre Hall

Because of Jacksonville's decision to draft for need -- and their failure to accurately read the draft -- the Jaguars used their first two picks on players with second-round grades. The team was hoping DeAngelo Williams would slide to them, but Carolina snatched him up one pick before the Jags were on the clock. With Williams off the board, Jacksonville switched gears, grabbing UCLA pass-catching tight end Marcedes Lewis in the first round and then fellow Bruin Maurice Drew in the second round. Lewis and Leonard Pope were considered very similar prospects on all four boards, and Pope was still available in the second round. Perhaps Lewis will go on to justify the pick, but the team would have gotten better value if they used their first-round pick on corner Jimmy Williams and their second-round pick on Pope.

By addressing tight end in the first round, the team also missed out on the chance to grab LenDale White. White had a terrible off-season, but at one time he was considered one of the elite talents of the draft. The diminutive Drew is an explosive player who figures to upgrade Jacksonville's kick coverage, but he's likely too short to ever be an every-down starter. White, in contrast, would have been a perfect replacement for the aging Fred Taylor.

While the Jaguars didn't get much bang for their buck out of their early picks, they did very well with the back end of their draft. Syracuse defensive end James Wyche was inconsistent, but he still made a lot of plays. Wyche has a great frame, and several boards considered him a solid developmental prospect. Webb was even more of a bargain, as he graded out as the best player available on two of the four draft boards. It's not easy for low-round players to make the roster on a 12-4 team, but by picking players with middle-round grades, the Jaguars gave themselves the best chance of getting contributions from all of their picks.

End of an Era Part I

Jimmy Smith has been in Jacksonville for every year of the team's existence, and for most of that time, he was the Jaguars' best offensive player. Smith arguably was still the Jaguars' best offensive player a season ago at age 36. The Jaguars knew his retirement would be coming, but it may be a year too soon for the team.

Counting on a receiver to be productive at such an advanced age would be foolhardy in most situations. Smith, however, may have been the rare exception. Here is a table of players who are most similar to Smith over a two-year span, which we originally planned to run in the Jacksonville chapter of Pro Football Prospectus 2006:

Player Year Team Y1 Rec Y1 Yd Y1 TD Y2 Rec Y2 Yd Y2 TD Y3 Rec Y3 Yd Y3 TD
Jimmy Smith 04-05 JAC 74 1172 6 70 1023 6 -- -- --
Charlie Joiner 81-82 SD 70 1188 7 64 969 0 65 960 3
Charlie Joiner 80-81 SD 71 1132 4 70 1188 7 64 969 0
Tony Martin 98-99 ATL/MIA 66 1181 6 67 1037 5 26 393 0
Charlie Joiner 82-83 SD 64 969 0 65 960 3 61 793 6
Rod Smith 04-05 DEN 79 1144 7 85 1105 6 -- -- --
Jerry Rice 98-99 SF 82 1157 9 67 830 5 75 805 7
Cris Carter 00-01 MIN 96 1274 9 73 871 6 8 66 1
Tim Brown 01-02 OAK 91 1165 9 81 930 2 52 567 2
Drew Hill 89-90 HOU 66 938 8 74 1019 5 90 1109 4
Charlie Joiner 79-80 SD 72 1008 4 71 1132 4 70 1188 7

Charlie Joiner appears four times on this list, and the similarities are not just at this stage of Smith's career. Like Smith, Joiner took a while to become an impact player before emerging as one of the game's best receivers. He stayed productive through age 38.

Joiner is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, an honor most commentators believe Smith will not garner. This gut reaction seems to be the result of Smith's low profile, as his numbers certainly are adequate. He ranks seventh in all-time receptions and 11th in all-time receiving yards.

Of course, passing numbers have gone through the roof in recent seasons. While Marvin Harrison, Randy Moss, and Terrell Owens should easily merit enshrinement, separating Rod Smith, Jimmy Smith, Isaac Bruce, and Keenan McCardell will be much more difficult. Maybe those with votes will consider the fact that increased passing has not only inflated receiving totals but the importance of wide receivers. If it were up to me, both Smiths and Bruce will one day have a bust in Canton.

(Ed. note: If they don't put Rod Smith in the Hall of Fame, they might as well just close the thing.)

Recent Free Agent News

The Jaguars flirted with LaVar Arrington to fill their vacancy at outside linebacker. When Arrington's price got too high, they turned instead to Nick Greisen. The former Giant is serviceable but nothing special. The Jaguars entered the off-season hoping to upgrade on Akin Ayodele, but they failed despite ample cap room.

They did nothing to replace the void created by Smith, but this is wise. Losing Smith is not a problem because the Jaguars lack depth at wide receiver. It is a problem because the Jaguars have plenty of depth but no clear number one option. Neither the draft nor free agency would help them with that need for 2006. By 2007 or later, it is likely that Ernest Wilford or Matt Jones will have developed into the threat they lost in Smith.

Undrafted Free Agents of Note

Jacksonville is a fairly advanced team without many holes, so it is an uphill battle for an undrafted free agent to make the team. The one area where Jacksonville lacks depth and talent, however, is the offensive line. With that in mind, one player to keep an eye on is Richard Collier, a tackle out of Valdosta State. Maybe you have heard of this school, but I certainly have not. VSU is located in Valodsta, Georgia, very near the Florida border. Three players have been drafted out of VSU: Robert Morris in 1990, Antonio Edwards in 1993, and Artie Ulmer in 1997. Ulmer had a decent career as a reserve linebacker, but he is currently unsigned. Collier needs to make the Jaguars for Valdosta to continue to boast an active NFL player.

Tennessee Titans

Pick Players Player Rankings Best Player Available
3 QB Vince Young 7, 9, 10, 11 OT D'Brickashaw Ferguson (4)
45 RB LenDale White 21, 25, 28, 58 RB LenDale White (2), OT Eric Winston, DB Ashton Youboty
102 DB Calvin Lowry 90, 146, UR, UR DT Gabe Watson (3), DB Ko Simpson
116 LB Stephen Tulloch 188, 229, UR, UR DT Babatunde Oshinowo (2), DB DeMario Minter, DE Mark Anderson
137 LB Terna Nande 166, 171, UR, UR DT Babatunde Oshinowo (3), DE Mark Anderson
169 DT Jesse Mahelona 139, 153, UR, UR DT Babatunde Oshinowo (3), DE Mark Anderson
172 WR Jonathan Orr 82, 139, 172, UR DT Babatunde Oshinowo (3), RB Andre Hall
215 DB Courtland Finnegan UR, UR, UR, UR DT Rod Wright (2), DE Stanley McClover, RB Andre Hall
245 LB Spencer Toone 271, UR, UR, UR RB Andre Hall (2), DB Anwar Phillips (2)
246 RB Quentin Ganther 200, 215, UR, UR RB Andre Hall (2), DB Anwar Phillips (2)

Tennessee has spent the last two seasons trying to use the draft to get out of salary cap hell. They exercised 24 picks over 2004-05, most in the league. Now they are going to stake their rebuilding project on the hope that Vince Young can run through pro defenses the way he shredded USC. It's a tremendous risk for the organization. Young's dominance at the college level is beyond question, but there are serious concerns about his ability to adjust to the pro game. Not only did Young play in a highly simplified scheme, but tape suggests that he wasn't even making the line calls -- tight end Dave Thomas was. Now he is being asked to absorb a sophisticated offense. He's also stepping into a potentially ugly situation. The coaching staff made no secret that they strongly preferred Matt Leinart, and the impending trade or release of Steve McNair means that Young may be thrust into the starting lineup well before he is ready to play. If the team struggles and Jeff Fisher is let go after the season, Young will have to learn his second offensive system in as many years. It's a recipe that has destroyed many promising quarterback prospects. By far the safer course would have been to select D'Brickashaw Ferguson, the consensus best player available, and draft a quarterback in a later round to groom behind McNair. Instead, general manager Floyd Reese rolled the dice on greatness.

The team's second-round pick was also a risk, but in this case the risk was wholly justified. LenDale White was the best player available on two of the boards, and even then his ranking was probably depressed by his dreadful off-season. If White had dedicated himself to training instead of the buffet line, he would have been taken in the first round; instead, Tennessee scooped him up with the 45th pick overall. White might not be a workout warrior, but he showed great functional strength at USC, and his stiff-arm of Michael Huff in the championship game answered any questions about his ability to play with physicality. Neither Chris Brown nor Travis Henry has been able to consistently stay healthy, so White figures to be in the mix for the starting job.

The rest of Tennessee's draft lacks name recognition, but it grades out well. Calvin Lowry, Jesse Mahelona, Jonathan Orr and Quentin Ganther were all considered good value on several of the draft boards. Orr is exactly the sort of tall, athletic receiver the team has had success developing over the last few years. Mahelona and Lowry won't push for starting jobs, but they'll add quality depth.

End of an Era Part II

The Titans are in limbo pending a decision on the future of Steve McNair. After not working out a deal with Baltimore during the draft, talks appear to be on hold pending an arbitrator's decision on McNair's grievance. The Titans denied access to their workout facility since an injury there would leave them on the hook for all of McNair's $9 million salary.

Of course, it seems a little ridiculous for McNair to risk that money working out on his own when he is under contract with the Titans. He is not afforded the freedom to choose his own team, but he also has to incur all of the risks of an injury. If the Titans are so worried about paying him the money, they can ship him off to Baltimore. The waiting game, which the Titans hope will reach June 1 so McNair's cap hit can be spread over two seasons, is unfair to McNair and a low-class move. Nobody in the Tennessee front office should be proud of themselves for this behavior.

Meanwhile, the uncertain future of McNair has a negative impact on the rest of the team. For now, they seem content to go with Billy Volek as the starter while Young develops. Rumors of a Kerry Collins signing are on hold while McNair's situation is resolved. Maybe the Titans are happy with Volek, he of the -10.2% DVOA during his supposedly successful 2004 campaign. It would be smarter to have sent McNair to Baltimore and brought in a couple of veterans to complete with Volek, if only to provide an option besides Young when the Titans inevitably falter.

Undrafted Free Agents of Note

Tennessee added 23 undrafted free agents to their roster after the draft. A handful have the potential to stick on the roster. Offensive lineman Brad Rhoades is versatile enough to provide good insurance at the position. Wide receiver Mario Hill from Mississippi will get a long look at a position where the Titans have few proven assets. The most intriguing addition may be Copeland Bryan who could serve as a pass-rush specialist. He posted 7.5 sacks at Arizona in his first year as a defensive end.

Posted by: Ned Macey on 30 May 2006

147 comments, Last at 13 Oct 2006, 6:30pm by Gerry

Comments

1
by Pat (not verified) :: Tue, 05/30/2006 - 1:19pm

Houston could have slid down a spot or two and still landed their target, and they probably would have found teams interested in moving up for Bush

Honestly, I doubt that's true.

I've said this elsewhere, but I think it bears repeating: the economic argument definitely plays a role here. Reggie Bush's contract, if it was the same as Williams's, would've been not just huge. It would've been the second-largest contract (in terms of total money) for a running back ever.

Not a rookie running back. Any running back. Only Shaun Alexander's was larger, and his was 8-year instead of 6-year. In terms of per-year money, I think it'd be the largest ever.

The draft isn't entirely about getting the best player available, and draft boards know that - they'll never rank a kicker first overall, for instance, even if he's the best kicker in the history of the game, and even if the entire rest of the draft is mediocre. It just won't happen.

I just think they haven't fully realized what the rest of the league has about running backs - that they're simply not worth $9M/year. Quarterbacks are, defensive ends are, cornerbacks are, and left tackles are, and maybe wide receivers are. But running backs aren't.

And I think that had a ton to do with it. Devoting such a huge amount of money to a running back would make it impossible for them to actually build a defense, for instance.

And this is true for just about every other team in the league. How long's it been since a running back got picked first in the draft? Eleven years. Since then, it's been WR, T, QB, QB, DE, QB, QB, QB, QB, QB, and now DE - and to be honest, we're basically in a completely different economic era than 1995 for the teams.

I just don't think a running back will ever go number 1 in the draft again - not if the owners are looking at the numbers. You're just asking too much of the running back. He doesn't just have to be good - he has to be the absolute best in the game.

Williams doesn't have to be the best in the game to not be a wasted pick. He just has to be one of the top 10 or so DEs. That's a much lower bar.

2
by Smeghead (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 12:23am

Well said, Pat. Still -- Bush went #2. I'm too beat to look up what that implies for his contract, but it's something nearly as unreasonable.

Is the bizarro salary model of the draft, having nothing to do with the way players and positions are valued for veteran players, the price of maintaining this crowd-pleasing anachronism?

3
by Ruben (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 12:48am

Pat successfully articulated what I've been trying to say since roughly November. I tip my hat to you, sir.

4
by andy (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 5:01am

HOLY COW!!! i know vince young was great at texas and has rare, once in a generation tools, no one can deny that. but that it appears that he wasn't making the line calls is baffling!!! what team is forced to have their tight end make the line calls??? maybe im overreacting to that fact? if TE david thomas was really making the line calls instead of VY, then the patriots really got good value on him because not only is he athletic and a pass catching threat, but he's smart too.

5
by Podge (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 8:39am

RE: Steve McNair - I though the new CBA said there was no such thing as June 1 cuts, but that teams can make one cut at any time in the offseason and spread the hit over 2 years? Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought that was the case.

As for drafting a RB #1 overall, I think that in the case of Reggie Bush it probably would have been worth it. That's the opinion of someone from England who's never watched a game of College football and has no idea how good Reggie Bush is beyond all the hype. But if he's as good as they say he is then it seems he can basically ensure your team is facing 8 in the box formations for the next 8-10 years. The benefit that will give to your WRs as well as having the premium runner is probably worth #1 money more than a guy who can be negated by one decent offensive tackle.

Personally, I think that a DE shouldn't go at #1, because you can get just as much pressure from good scheming as you could from a line made up of Warren Sapp (at his prime), Kris Jenkins (when not fat and injured), Julius Peppers and Dwight Freeney.

Actually, with that line, maybe not. You might not even need any other defence. Not that you'd be able to afford them.

Positions worth #1 overall (unless there's a player who's ridiculous talented) IMO: QB, CB, LB, OT, WR.

Of course, I'm probably wrong.

6
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 10:53am

I’m too beat to look up what that implies for his contract, but it’s something nearly as unreasonable.

You'd be surprised - it's about a $10-15M drop from 1st to 2nd. That's about $6-7M/year, which means he needs to be one of the best RBs in the game - but not the best, ever.

It seems silly to say that the drop from 1st to 2nd is enough to make an RB affordable, but hey, when you're talking $2-3M/year... yeah, that's a big drop.

As for drafting a RB #1 overall, I think that in the case of Reggie Bush it probably would have been worth it.

Let me stress again what I said: is he better than Shaun Alexander? Than Edgerrin James? Than LaDainian Tomlinson? Because essentially none of those guys is getting as much as Mario Williams is getting, and Bush likely would've wanted more.

Personally, I think that a DE shouldn’t go at #1, because you can get just as much pressure from good scheming

Heh. I think the 2005 Eagles would disagree with you there. DEs are really, really valuable - which is why they get paid what they do. But anyway, whether or not DEs are overpaid is kindof beside the point. Teams do spend $8-9M/year on DEs. They don't spend it on RBs.

(unless there’s a player who’s ridiculous talented)

The best punter in the history of the game would never go first overall in the draft - not even if he could pin the opposing team at the 1 on every single punt. The position's just not worth that much money - not because the player's not worth it. But because you still need the other components of the team, and you do get what you pay for.

7
by dryheat (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 11:05am

Pat, you lead to an interesting question. I think a punter who could punt the ball to the one yard line every single time would be a first round pick. How high would he go? I mean, he'd be the best defensive player on the team, right? I'd say top 10, easy.

8
by John (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 11:26am

Man, it gets really boring having to read teams being slighted for passing on Jimmy Williams and Winston Justice over and over again.
Perhaps they slid so far for good (and not just character related) reasons. I mean, Aaron Rodgers didn't fall all the way to GB the previous year out of the clear blue sky. Just because Mel Kiper says it's so doesn't mean it is.

9
by John (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 11:30am

#4
I thought a lot of centers made the line calls. If I recall correctely, that's how they do it in GB.

10
by Tom Kelso (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 11:32am

Not to mention the legendary Babatunde Oshinowo.....

Not being as draft-invovled this year, I miseed the story on that guy. Seriously, why did he last so long (not to mention, who is he)?

11
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 11:43am

How high would he go? I mean, he’d be the best defensive player on the team, right? I’d say top 10, easy.

I doubt it. I'd say 10-15 - at that point, you're paying roughly $2M/year, which is just really, really high for a punter, not insane.

Part of the reason that I used a kicker as an example is that it's easy to understand that they simply can't contribute as much as other positions can - there are games when a punter never comes in (or doesn't come in until very late). You don't want a $4-5M/year guy sitting on the sidelines. Not a good use of money.

RB is similar - they just don't contribute to winning as much as a QB/T/DE/CB/WR does. More than a punter, sure.

12
by Drew (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 11:53am

I suppose it depends on the team, but if I had a team with a average or worse offense, I think I'd spend the #1 overall pick on a punter that could down it at the 1 every single time. As post #7 said, at that point he's an investment in the defense. Even a mediocre defense (handicapped by the huge amount of money dedicated to the punter) could do well if the opposing offense was starting at the 1 five or six times a game.

13
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 12:05pm

Well, keep in mind said robo-punter couldn't kick off, and turnovers also would give the offense perfectly fine field position. Really, there are a number of games each year where a punter barely plays.

14
by mawbrew (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 12:14pm

Re: 5

Can teams even spread out the cap hit for a guy cut/released in the last year of his contract (like McNair is)? I would have thought that only applied for guys with at least two years left.

15
by Jeremiah (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 12:51pm

Ignoring how good they are as players, I somehow doubt that Randy Moss and Terrell Owens will "easily merit enshrinement."
Also, I don't know how true this is, but I read an ESPN article that argued that Jimmy Smith would make Cooperstown if he had similar achievements in baseball, but that Canton has too high of a bar.

16
by John (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 1:05pm

15 - I agree with that. They should let more players in the hall than they do. With the pittance they admit every year, there are a bunch of very deserving old-timers that will never make it.

17
by SJM (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 1:23pm

Re: 15, 16

Yes, they should let more in, especially on defense and the offensive line.

18
by Sergio (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 1:39pm

I would gladly pay 5/6 mil. a year for that robo punter. You'd just have to shift the focus of your team, build a great defense, and a very, very mediocre offense that basically doesn't turn the ball over, period.

It'd probably be a team posting a lot of baseball scores (10-0, 8-0), but you'd have a great chance of winning.

Man, I love this site...

19
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 1:53pm

It’d probably be a team posting a lot of baseball scores (10-0, 8-0), but you’d have a great chance of winning.

Why? Every time your team scores (and once a game), the other team gets to start at the 20 yard line. If your defense has such a strong chance of stopping the team at the 20 yard line, why is the robo punter important?

Otherwise, you don't have that good of a chance of winning, because every time you score, the other team has a good chance of scoring again.

20
by Whiskey (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 2:38pm

What would the DPAR of a robo-punter be, and how does that compare to the DPAR / salary for WR's and TE's, position players not factoring into every play? That should give an idea of a robo-punter's worth, salary-wise.

If punting to the 1 is worth about 0.5 points (I suspect it is more), and a team punts 6 times per game, robo-punter's yearly DPAR is about 48, which is higher than the top DPAR's for WR and TE.

21
by Tim R (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 2:48pm

If i had a robo punter i woul'nt even bother with paying any more than minimum salary to my offense and punt on 1st down every time they got the ball. Then spend my money on a harsh d-line that could stop the run and pass rush and safety the opposition a whole lot. That way you don't need to kick off. except at the opening of a half.

Is there a league specification of what the number one pick has to be paid or is it entirely down to the team and player to negotiate?

22
by Smeghead (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 3:04pm

21, if I was facing that team, I guess I'd just punt back on 1st down myself and wait for your guy to muff a return or your long-snapper to sail one over your robo-punter.

The time we'd have!

I suppose we'd both be playing punt block on every down. Your robo-punter would have an excellent chance of not making it to December if he faced a 9-(highly-irritated)-man-rush 20-50 times a game.

23
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 3:19pm

Is there a league specification of what the number one pick has to be paid or is it entirely down to the team and player to negotiate?

There's a league specification for the allotment of the #1 pick to a team's rookie salary pool. The teams and players negotiate for the total vaulue, but the first year is set. The total value is usually close to the maximum you can get given the other restrictions for rookie contracts.

21, if I was facing that team, I guess I’d just punt back on 1st down myself and wait for your guy to muff a return or your long-snapper to sail one over your robo-punter.

That would be hilarious. See, I'm still not convinced that robo-punter would be worth more than $2-3M/year.

I think, though, I'm going to stop using the robo punter as that example. How about "the world's best punter" instead. That example seems pretty clear.

24
by ROBO-PUNTER (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 3:24pm

ROBO-PUNTER does not miss snaps. ROBO-PUNTER will catch any snap within 20 yards of him with his extendo-arms, and he never ever has a kick blocked, not after he kicked a punt straight through a nickel back playing special teams who attempted to jump in front of one of ROBO-PUNTER's robo-punts. That was the only punt ROBO-PUNTER has ever not kicked to the one yard line, it only got to the 9 yard line because it was weighed down with the nickel back's intestines.

ROBO-PUNTER will usher in a Brave New World of punting-centric football, where punters are the highest paid players and ROBO-PUNTER is the highest paid of them all. All will live in fear of the ROBO-PUNTER, but they will also LOVE him, because he will have shown everyone the ONE TRUE WAY to play football, and that is the way ROBO-PUNTER plays football, by punting it to the one yard line. Offenses will tremble, defenses will rejoice, and the fans will wonder in awe at the MAJESTY of ROBO-PUNTER.

All hail ROBO-PUNTER.

25
by Drew (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 3:38pm

Re 23,

If we're talking "world's best punter", I agree with you. If I were a GM, I would pay maybe $800k/yr for Ray Guy in his prime. But I'd happily give $8M/yr to ROBO-PUNTER.

26
by Bill (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 3:50pm

My personal dream has been a one-legged punter that does a moonsault each time he kicks the ball.

Is there any way we could combine this with ROBO-PUNTER technology?

27
by justanothersteve (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 3:56pm

Re #5

you can get just as much pressure from good scheming as you could from a line made up of Warren Sapp (at his prime), Kris Jenkins (when not fat and injured), Julius Peppers and Dwight Freeney

Even with good scheming, you need talent. Good scheming did not help Donatell or Bates in Green Bay, despite their successes in Atlanta and Miami.

28
by cjfarls (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 4:01pm

Man, it gets really boring having to read teams being slighted for passing on Jimmy Williams and Winston Justice over and over again.

I agree, but don't know how we can get away from it, given our attempt to be systematic with the draft analysis.

Not to rehash the debate over the BPA analytical system, but I wonder whether players that are passed over for other players in their position might be different than vs. passed up for other positions. If, like Jennings & Pope, other guys at their spot are coming off it is obviously is not solely about drafting "need" vs "BPA", and rather that the NFL scouts saw something they didn't like... I'm really intrigued by the BPA analysis, but think there are just so many opportunities for guest articles and further refinement... wish I had the time or brains to do it.

With that, I'll take the opportunity to say again that this is the best football site on the web. The systematic analysis (BPA, DVOA, DPAR, Success rate, etc.) on this site is truly awesome, and if you understand them for what they are (tools for understanding, not definitive law), it leads to some of the best analysis I've seen (by both the FO guys, guest writers, and the folks in the msg boards).

Plus, as a Broncos homer I love comments like: "(Ed. note: If they don’t put Rod Smith in the Hall of Fame, they might as well just close the thing.)" ;-)

29
by Travis (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 4:10pm

if I was facing that team, I guess I’d just punt back on 1st down myself and wait for your guy to muff a return or your long-snapper to sail one over your robo-punter.

Yes, but you're punting from your own 1, so your punts are much more likely to be blocked, returned for a touchdown, or to chip-shot FG range.

Re:

Whether a player will help the team win should be the primary factor in drafting, but should certain teams take attendance effects into account? Obviously, teams like the Redskins, Cowboys, Giants, and Jets don't have to be concerned about this, but what about the Falcons? Atlanta is a notoriously bad sports city attendance-wise, even for winning teams - the Braves have often failed to sell out playoff games, and the 1999 Falcons sold out only 2 games, despite a Super Bowl appearance the year before (the 1998 Falcons only sold out 2 games as well). Yet the Falcons have sold out every game for the last 4 seasons, the 4 years in which Michael Vick has been the starting QB.

30
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 4:12pm

If we’re talking “world’s best punter�, I agree with you. If I were a GM, I would pay maybe $800k/yr for Ray Guy in his prime. But I’d happily give $8M/yr to ROBO-PUNTER.

See, the thing is, though, I didn't mean "the best punter that has played the game" - I meant "the best punter imaginable." ROBO-PUNTER (tm) might be worth $8M/yr, but honestly, any real punter you can practically imagine would not be worth a first overall pick.

The same can be said for fullbacks, for tight ends, for kickers, for safeties, and for running backs.

And, honestly, even in ROBO-PUNTER's case, you've still got to massively overhaul the team to take advantage of his laserbeam eyes, for a strategy that may or may not work in the NFL - and it's understandable that no GM would be willing to take that risk. Interestingly, that's a good analogy for Reggie Bush, because the Texans would have had to overhaul their offense to take advantage of Bush. Otherwise you've got a $9M/year lead weight on the team that could be replaced with a $500K/year undrafted rookie for nearly equivalent production.

31
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 4:14pm

or to chip-shot FG range.

No, no, FGs would be bad for Tim's ROBO-PUNTER team. It means they need to kick off. 3 points isn't worth that risk.

32
by dryheat (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 4:17pm

Travis, I think one would have to be very naive NOT to think so. I'm sure the Atlanta brass considered Vick's marketing appeal. I'll bet Houston was very tempted to take Vince Young for the marketing possibilities. If Houston wasn't a football hotbed, they may have done just that.

33
by Travis (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 4:18pm

No, no, FGs would be bad for Tim’s ROBO-PUNTER team. It means they need to kick off. 3 points isn’t worth that risk.

They are, if there's little time remaining in either half.

34
by Travis (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 4:22pm

I think one would have to be very naive NOT to think so. I’m sure the Atlanta brass considered Vick’s marketing appeal. I’ll bet Houston was very tempted to take Vince Young for the marketing possibilities. If Houston wasn’t a football hotbed, they may have done just that.

True, but I haven't seen the attendance consideration mentioned in any of FO's post-draft analyses.

Houston is a football hotbed, but not necessarily a pro football hotbed. The Texans are selling out every game right now (new team + new stadium helps), but the last pro team to call Houston home left, largely because of attendance issues (granted, the Astrodome was no longer a suitable facility).

35
by dryheat (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 4:31pm

No, no, FGs would be bad for Tim’s ROBO-PUNTER team. It means they need to kick off. 3 points isn’t worth that risk.

How is ROBO-PUNTER at drop kicking?

36
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 4:34pm

For that, you have to wait for ROBO-PUNTER 2.0.

37
by Tim R (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 4:50pm

Re:22, Seeing as i can punt to the one everytime i dont need to return punts ever so theres no chance of a muff. To stop youre rush and robo punter getting injured ill guess ill have to invest in a robo long snapper who can hike to ball about 50 yards.

I guess the way you stop my team is by sending on Todd Sauerbrun to have a fight with robo punter and getting robo punter ejected for killing him.

38
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 4:59pm

To stop youre rush and robo punter getting injured ill guess ill have to invest in a robo long snapper who can hike to ball about 50 yards.

See, that's where Robo Industries gets you. ROBO-PUNTER, $9M/year. ROBO-LONGSNAPPER, ten billion dollars.

39
by Bobman (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 5:07pm

I'd pay handsomely for ROBO-PUNTER's services too. I just want to know what his jersey number is so I can properly genuflect in this forum--he's clearly replaced old No. 12.

Punters and kickers (kicking off) are an important part of the D. That's one reason I think the touchback and inside the 10 stats for punters are not usually weighted enough, and gross and net yards are overweighted.

I always favored the Colts having a KO specialist, whether it was Danny Kight (suyrprisingly effective) in 1999, or some of the schmoes they had recently (less effective, but they pissed off Vandy, so that's a plus). 8 more yards on a KO, especially when you KO 5+ times a game, probably mean the opposition has to get a handful of first downs and a few more points than they otherwise would have. How many $1M per year DBs are worth that? In a close game, say the Indy/Cincy shootout last year or the Indy/KC shootouts in years past (yes,I reveal my team preference here), where it devolves to "the last team with the ball wins," pinning somebody 5 yards deeper regularly could make all the difference. of course, cough cough, those are the types of games where the punters spend more time reading Proust than wearing their helmets....

In fact, a great skill for a mere mortal punter (forgive me, ROBO-PUNTER, for speaking well of others in your position) would be to punt a high one about 35 yards gross, but high enough to get 3 team mates down there to stop the guy EVERY TIME. The every time is important, because if you play somebody with a Dante Hall twice a year, it's nice to not worry about that random killer return. I THINK this is what Dr. Z loves about Mike Scifres in SD--hang time baby.

ROBO-PUNTER is of course preferable. Do his balls just die at the 1 yard line, cratering into the turf like a good 9-iron shot, or is there a chance of the dreaded roll into the endzone for a TB? (forgive me, ROBO-PUNTER, for doubting your greatness....)

40
by Bobman (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 5:17pm

Oh, and on a serious note, we need to look not only at "need" but also the system a player will enter into, which the article brings up regarding Houston's 3-4/4-3 defensive switcheroo. A few years ago, Indy "overreached" in everyone's eyes by taking Freeney at #11. Too small, some said, one trick pony.

Well, maybe, but how does that decision look now? He was a need, for sure, and the system--including the offensive approach of scoring big with multiple flashy weapons--allows Freeney to do what he does best. If Indy had an O like Balto has the past five years with good running, no passing, and low-scoring games, then there would be far fewer chances to rush the passer, and Freeney would look like a bit of a first round bust (through no fault of his own).

The same logic makes Addai a potentially super pick at #30, or even at #15 if they had the chance, since they do not need the rebirth of John Riggins--they need in their system someone who can do 3 things effectively. He does not NEED to rush for 1,500 yards, but the RB position needs to allow the offense to function more or less as it has--Edge was always a team player and his philosophy of "I do what I do" paid off--he took pride in every aspect of the game.

41
by dryheat (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 5:24pm

Oh, and on a serious note....

Sorry Bob, you already lost me. I'm scheming how best to handle ROBO-PUNTER.

42
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 5:51pm

Oh, and on a serious note, we need to look not only at “need� but also the system a player will enter into, which the article brings up regarding Houston’s 3-4/4-3 defensive switcheroo.

In an extreme example, a fullback wouldn't be on a team's draft boards if they don't use fullbacks. Now, they might want to convert him, but converting a player has got to lower their draft stock, as you're not as sure how the player will perform at the new position.

Or in a less extreme example, Cover-2 corners. I wonder if there's a way of looking at the measurables of the players (like height, weight, 40 time, etc.) and then coming up with something like similarity scores to the 'preferred measurables' on the team, and using those along with the draft stocks to adjust the BPA.

43
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 5:54pm

I always favored the Colts having a KO specialist, whether it was Danny Kight (suyrprisingly effective) in 1999, or some of the schmoes they had recently (less effective, but they pissed off Vandy, so that’s a plus). 8 more yards on a KO, especially when you KO 5+ times a game, probably mean the opposition has to get a handful of first downs and a few more points than they otherwise would have. How many $1M per year DBs are worth that?

The problem with the Colts kickoff specialists, in my mind, is that the team occasionally decides they can't afford the roster space and went with Vanderjagt as the kickoff kicker.

Of course, they do this at the worst possible time, like the playoffs, and end up with the Worst Playoff Kickoff Of All Time.

44
by Green Bay for Life (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 6:47pm

Speaking of Hangtime, would ROBO-PUNTER have a ROBO hang time of like 10-12 seconds so the rushing gunners can takle and kill the returner?

RE 9

Most centers do make the line calls what they were saying about VY and I do not belive it for a second is that the TE was actually making the calls to hike the ball and what formation they were running.

45
by Green Bay for Life (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 6:53pm

RE 38

not to metion Maitenece cost and product delays on upgrades for ROBO-PUNTER and ROBO-LONGSNAPPER. you would figure that those costs wuld run about 4-5 million a year. and what happens when you buy your ROBO-PUNTER and the next week it is made obsoltete by ROBO-PUNTER 2.0? Who can now drop kick, kick FG's, and Kick off, and place every kick off at the 1 YD line every time?

46
by Becephalus (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 8:25pm

This has been far the funniest FO commentary ever. Better than the great Millen jokes, or the great Ron Mexico jokes. I literally thought I was going to hurt myself laughing at one point.

47
by Nathan (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 10:17pm

Robo Punter would be a first pick, period.

And you wouldn't have to pay him no more than twice the top punter fee regardless of his number 1 status.

Even if his length was max 50 yards. First Pick.

48
by Nathan (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 10:18pm

Oh and the real question is.

Manning... Brady...

or Robo Punter

Discuss... But quickly before it's turned into it's own thread.

49
by Luke (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 10:57pm

#24

Thanks. I just sprayed snot all over my screen and my boss is looking at me funny wondering how java code can be so hilarious.

So how to beat ROBO-PUNTER. Well, the only way he can score is through the defense or a blocked punt or something. So you never punt and minimise the chance of a TO. Run between the tackles for 4 downs, confident that he'll punt on 1st down no matter where the line of scrimmage is (even if its the 2) and pray for a long run or a 0-0 draw.

50
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 11:00pm

And you wouldn’t have to pay him no more than twice the top punter fee regardless of his number 1 status.

Now that, I flat disagree. There's zero incentive for a pick to sign a contract below their draft level, and those are pretty much set in stone by previous years.

The case in point is typically Sebastian Janikowski, whose contract was not significantly different from those around him (yes, Pennington's was larger with incentives, but the base contracts were similar).

First pick this year was getting $50+M/6 years, no matter what position they played.

Otherwise, they'll just hold out. Since they're the largest portion of the rookie pool, they make it significantly more difficult to sign the remaining picks by holding out.

51
by David (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 11:22pm

Enough with the jimmy smith garbage, he doesnt even come close to making the hall of fame. Go play a game of Madden with the jaguars. that is how good jimmy smith is and he never even leads the league in recieving if you simulate a season. Moss led recieving last time i simulated a season. Anyone who thinks jimmy smith should be in the hall of fame is so so so so so so wrong it fuuny

52
by SJM (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 11:33pm

Re: 44

Of course ROBO-PUNTER has a hangtime of 10+ seconds! That's how he ensures that the punts are all downed at the 1, since the gunners always catch the punts and the returners never get a shot. Note that a team with ROBO-PUNTER never has to look for quality special teams coverage guys, since any 3rd string WR's and CB's will do.

53
by Catfish (not verified) :: Wed, 05/31/2006 - 11:54pm

Is it too late to put ROBO-PUNTER references into the book? I think I would pay double price just to see that.

54
by Nathan (not verified) :: Thu, 06/01/2006 - 1:42am

I've never understood why teams don't allow players to hold out anyway...

If you're picking first, and your choice is Alex Smith, low ball him and let him hold out. Might as well save the cash, and not blow it.

I mean, by all means trade down, but what is the harm really in letting a guy hold out?

Losing a percentage for a good player. Not overpaying a player. I think if you look at the first round picks over the years, versus what you could get for a guy in free agency, I bet it makes more sense just to not pick.

The NBA system is much better in that regard. I think the pay scale should be much smaller. That way, there's actual value for the worst teams in the league instead of a huge probability of a money sink with no value.

I understand wanting your team to sign your first pick, but at the same time, I don't want my team killing our cap for a guy that's not proven squat.

I'd rather my team trade down for anyone but the absolute best. Bush would work in this instance. Manning.

Not Alex Frickin Smith.

And if ROBO-PUNTER wants to hold out, let's see where he'll get the money for his lubricant... It gets very rusty in a lonly season. *bangs crowbar against hands* Rusty.. indeed...

55
by Sergio (not verified) :: Thu, 06/01/2006 - 1:59am

Ah, ROBO-LS (TM). I should've known that was coming.

Either way, you still get baseball scores, because your offense won't be needing to score - and safeties lead to free kicks.

In any event, I'll wait for the 2.1 version. New features, and bug-free (a huge asset in a ROBO-PUNTER...). Now, would he make Superbowl MVP? League MVP? And just what kind of crazy incentives can you put in his contract? Ceiling lights broken?

56
by Tim R (not verified) :: Thu, 06/01/2006 - 5:39am

Yeah robo-punter might need upgrading to play in domes, as otherwises his punts might hit the roof and bounce down not at the one.

Of course robo-punter would be MVP he wins matches on his own all your defense needs to do is get a safety and you can win every matach 2-0.

57
by Levente, Hungary (not verified) :: Thu, 06/01/2006 - 6:32am

Seriously, gentlemen.
Robo-Punter is not a machine, but a human. We all feel that he is out there somewhere... in the jungles of Kongo (full name Robo-Punter Obikwono) ... or on the vast plains of Ukraine. Unknown to the western sports eyes,
booming balls into the sky. Until he suddenly emerges.

Or watch the soccer world cup, we might just discover him.

58
by Rob (not verified) :: Thu, 06/01/2006 - 7:26am

I for one welcome our new Robo-Punter overlords.

59
by James, London (not verified) :: Thu, 06/01/2006 - 8:12am

Can we please have a 'Gil Thorpe vs ROBO-PUNTER' cartoon? Please?

60
by dfarrar777 (not verified) :: Thu, 06/01/2006 - 9:35am

Best. FO thread. Ever.

61
by George Jetson, Season Ticket Holder since \'82 (not verified) :: Thu, 06/01/2006 - 9:37am

No kick coverage specialists are needed to down the ball. ROBO-PUNTER's punts land at the one and die there like a shot put, which HE could also routinely punt to the one.

62
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 06/01/2006 - 12:07pm

What I can't figure out is this is the second time I've mentioned 'punter who always punts to the 1' and it didn't get nearly this kind of response the first time.

63
by dfarrar777 (not verified) :: Thu, 06/01/2006 - 12:28pm

It's the ROBO-PUNTER addition, Pat. Now, it's compelling statistical thought AND an endearing mascot. Who can resist?

64
by GBS (not verified) :: Thu, 06/01/2006 - 12:40pm

Agree with #60. I look forward to seeing robopunter analysis in a future mailbag column, since it's probably too late for PFP 2006 and I don't want to wait until 2007.

65
by EnglishBob (not verified) :: Thu, 06/01/2006 - 12:48pm

Would Robo-punter demand the number 5 shirt?

I have seen Robo-punter-esque games in rugby in England. When weather conditions are really bad teams don't want to pass wide with the ball (a dropped pass is too likely) so instead they kick it for field position straight to the opposition and hope they drop it. What normally happens is the receiving team kick it straight back for the same reasons. I saw a game finish 3-3 like this in Bath, and you are right, in a bizarre way it's quite entertaining. Everytime someone is under the ball waiting to catch it you get huge cheers.

66
by Mr Shush (not verified) :: Thu, 06/01/2006 - 2:05pm

Were I a GM assembling my team around ROBO-PUNTER, I would invest the next year's first round pick and a healthy (though not large enough to activate the "highest paid special teams alien, mutant, robot or cyborg" clause in ROBO-PUNTER's contract) sum in Super Mega Ultra Rackers, to ensure that I could kick field goals from opposition punts landing around the half-way line on first down with 100% accuracy. My all-scrub offense would consist entirely of Very Large Replacement Players, and would run two different plays (HB dive and FB dive) out of one set (2TE 3RB). It would enter the field only in goal line situations.

Oh and Bob, yes, I believe ROBO-PUNTER was developed following intensive study of genetic samples taken from Ronan O'Gara.

67
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 06/01/2006 - 2:20pm

See, Mr Shush is stressing the point that I mentioned before. Even with ROBO-PUNTER, a GM would still have to be willing to build a team in a nonconventional NFL style.

Now, there's nothing wrong with being daring occasionally. But there's something to be said for choosing a strategy that's known to work rather than being daring and picking WRs as your first round pick 3 years in a row.

And that's what the Williams pick over Bush was - choosing a strategy that's known to work (a standard NFL team's salary structure) rather than one that isn't (an NFL team with a $9M/year RB).

I mean, everyone here might be convinced ROBO-PUNTER is the next Big Thing, but if you go ahead and build your team and ROBO-BELICHICK comes along and devises a 20-yard offensive play which always works against your ROBO-PUNTERless defense, well, now you've got to rebuild your team entirely from scratch. Whereas if you're the Texans, and you choose Williams, and he turns out to be a bust... you can just go ahead and pick up another DE, and the rest of your team isn't hampered by the fact that Williams didn't work out the way he was supposed to.

68
by tom (not verified) :: Thu, 06/01/2006 - 2:39pm

You know, the way Jonny Wilkinson played for England, it all makes sense now...

69
by Travis (not verified) :: Thu, 06/01/2006 - 3:12pm

Pat, stop trying to bring the discussion back on point. :)

If ROBO-BELICHICK devises an offensive play that will gain 20 yards every time, his team will go 16-0 every year. I don't see how that affects ROBO-PUNTER at all. ROBO-PUNTER's team can fire the defensive coordinator or change some defensive personnel, right?

70
by dryheat (not verified) :: Thu, 06/01/2006 - 3:31pm

What makes you think that it's not Belichick who coaches ROBO-PUNTER. They even share the same press secretary.

71
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 06/01/2006 - 3:48pm

If ROBO-BELICHICK devises an offensive play that will gain 20 yards every time, his team will go 16-0 every year. I don’t see how that affects ROBO-PUNTER at all.

Sorry, I wasn't specific enough about ROBO-BELICHICK. It's only a play that works when his team's on the 1 yard line and facing a defense from a ROBO-PUNTER team. After that he's normal.

I can just see ROBO-PUNTER making the Manning face now. "Dang that ROBO-BELICHICK!"

72
by Nathan (not verified) :: Thu, 06/01/2006 - 3:49pm

Forget ROBO-PUNTER, I want ROBO-ANNOUNCER, the one that always discusses the replays, stays on topic, and talks about the strategy of the play.

That's only slightly more wishful thinking than a punter that can punt every kick to the 1.

73
by Nathan (not verified) :: Thu, 06/01/2006 - 3:50pm

RE:71

ROBO-PUNTER would immediately counter by punting every kick to the 2.

You severely doubt the skills of ROBO-PUNTER.

74
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 06/01/2006 - 4:03pm

I guess this just tells me how interested people are in talking about the AFC South.

glances at the actual teams in the AFC South

Oh, yeah. Never mind.

75
by GBS (not verified) :: Thu, 06/01/2006 - 4:50pm

LMAO at #73.

The best thread ever just keeps getting better.

76
by Travis (not verified) :: Thu, 06/01/2006 - 5:10pm

Sorry, I wasn't specific enough about ROBO-BELICHICK. It's only a play that works when his team’s on the 1 yard line and facing a defense from a ROBO-PUNTER team. After that he's normal.

Now you're just being unrealistic. :)

77
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 06/01/2006 - 5:43pm

No, unrealistic would be saying that ROBO-PUNTER loses to Arizona in the Super Bowl in the end zone after they use the sliding field to make his punts land just barely in the end zone for a touchback. Much to the shock and dismay of everyone in the stands.

78
by Bill (not verified) :: Thu, 06/01/2006 - 5:48pm

You are all are forgetting that ROBO-SIDEJUDGE is going to blow the spot anyway.

79
by Ilanin (not verified) :: Thu, 06/01/2006 - 6:00pm

77 - um, the Superbowl is in Miami. I believe you meant the Conference Championship, although how the Cardinals managed to get home field I'm not entirely sure.

80
by Sergio (not verified) :: Thu, 06/01/2006 - 6:36pm

So, we've narrowed ROBO-PUNTER to the NFC. Why would he possibly care about ROBO-BELICHICK then? Besides, isn't ROBO-BELICHICK already out on the market? Cleverly disguised as HOBO-BELICHICK?

Pat (and I'm quite sorry for this, people, it will only take a second), why do you figure the Texans would have to change their offensive philosophy to best use Bush's skills? Wasn't the whole deal about him that he would pretty much be the GOAT wherever you lined him up?

81
by Green Bay for Life (not verified) :: Thu, 06/01/2006 - 7:02pm

RE 80

because for the 10-11 years of usefulness that ROBOPUNTER would provide to his NFC team he would have to face off against ROBO-BELCHICK for the superbowl.

RE 79 this year yes, but i think Arizona has the 2008 or 2009 SB right? so then in his 2nd or 3rd year ROBOPUNTER would be faced with a scenario he may not like and then demand for a trade.

82
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 06/01/2006 - 8:00pm

Pat (and I’m quite sorry for this, people, it will only take a second), why do you figure the Texans would have to change their offensive philosophy to best use Bush’s skills?

Well, I was mainly talking about the salary structure - that is, they'd have to settle for less than top-level DE/OLBs, for instance, which means they might want to prefer a different kind of defense (something like the Colts, for instance).

But I do think they might have to change their offensive philosophy. I don't think Bush really would be used well rushing 20-25 times a game - you'd want something more like Westbrook, Barber, or LaMont Jordan (with less of the sucking). He's a good enough receiver that you'd want to use that. Not sure if Kubiak wants that kind of offense.

83
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 06/01/2006 - 8:01pm

Oh, and GBFL is right. I was talking about a future Super Bowl that Arizona managed to get to in the year they were the hosts.

I'm quite sure that ROBO-PUNTER is in the AFC, facing ROBO-BELICHICK each year. When he started punting to the 2 (thus beating ROBO-BELICHICK), everyone started saying how he had gotten the ROBO-MONKEY off of his back.

84
by David (not verified) :: Thu, 06/01/2006 - 8:29pm

Hey guys think about this, what if the robo punter was the first openly gay football player. Or a black and gay football player, would you still want him on your team?

85
by Nathan (not verified) :: Thu, 06/01/2006 - 9:23pm

RE: 84

You single handedly killed the thread. While we may not like your tactics, we certainly think highly of the effort.

86
by Balaji (not verified) :: Thu, 06/01/2006 - 9:30pm

#84: Only if he's Jewish too.

87
by Sergio (not verified) :: Thu, 06/01/2006 - 9:52pm

re: 82

Cap-wise, I get it. Still, I don't think you'd have to change your offense regardless of him carrying 20-25 times the ball... just use him in different positions. Flexibility is not such a bad thing...

Or maybe I'm dreaming... :)

And yes, 84, ROBO-PUNTER can do no wrong. Even if he admitted to eating babies, we'd just understand it as necessary to his greatness. All hail the great... wait, does he have a number yet?

88
by centrifuge (not verified) :: Thu, 06/01/2006 - 10:23pm

87: Yes, but it's in binary.

89
by fromanchu (not verified) :: Thu, 06/01/2006 - 11:00pm

ROBO PUNTER is obvioualy not gay or straight. He's not even really male. And he doesn't have an off field life. Unless maybe they asked him to punt to the one from various places in the stands.

90
by Trojan (not verified) :: Fri, 06/02/2006 - 2:14am

I want to thank who ever in the hell it was that told me about the smartmoniesclub.com on here. That sports service is awesome. I just wanted to say thank you.

91
by Zug Zug (not verified) :: Fri, 06/02/2006 - 5:27am

read like you’re listening to the Budweiser real men of genius radio ad:

Real Men of Geeeenius....
Today we salute you, Mr. Robotic Football Punter
Mr. Robotic Football Punter!
Is he man, Is he machine, Is that Sabbath song about him?
I’m eatin’ bats
He kicks. He punts. He eats at Exxon.
I need lubrication!
So crack open an ice cold Budweiser oh Mechanical Maestro of pigskin, because you know what it is to be on the all-iron team.
Mr. Robotic Football Punter……

92
by dryheat (not verified) :: Fri, 06/02/2006 - 9:07am

#91, Next level achieved. Thank you.

93
by KnickerBlogger (not verified) :: Fri, 06/02/2006 - 10:18am

#87 - does this mean ROBO-PUNTER is Chris Truby?

(for the non-Primates google "chris truby albert belle" and follow the first link)

94
by Green Bay for Life (not verified) :: Fri, 06/02/2006 - 11:22am

RE 91

Just great man. I tip my hat to you.

95
by Green Bay for Life (not verified) :: Fri, 06/02/2006 - 11:23am

RE 88

SO would it be:

01001101011?

96
by centrifuge (not verified) :: Fri, 06/02/2006 - 12:05pm

95: Only if he promises to donate half the jersey sales to charity and gets Peter King to complain about how jersey numbers can only be two digits.

91: Awesome. He would make a great United Way commercial, too. (Anyone remember the old Dewayne Washington one? "That looks like spaghetti!" "Mmm, spaghetti.")

97
by PackMan (not verified) :: Fri, 06/02/2006 - 1:25pm

he could be number 10, that is binary, and a valid punter number as well.

Anyone know what 10 means in binary?

98
by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 06/02/2006 - 1:45pm

Two.

99
by PackMan (not verified) :: Fri, 06/02/2006 - 1:57pm

98. If only it meant 1, the yard that he punts to every time.
And wouldn't it be easier if he kicked all of his punts out of bounds at the 1? That way there is never any chance of a return. But it could be dangerous for those sitting in the front row.

100
by PackMan (not verified) :: Fri, 06/02/2006 - 2:00pm

sorry for the double-post.
Actually the number could represent how many points they always win by. 2-0.

101
by Rob (not verified) :: Fri, 06/02/2006 - 3:26pm

It's going to be good for as long as it lasts. I'll give it two seasons, then it comes to an end.

That's as long as it will take someone to bring MECHA-RETURNER down from Canada.

102
by Catfish (not verified) :: Fri, 06/02/2006 - 4:58pm

Re: 91

You are my new hero.

103
by Green Bay for Life (not verified) :: Fri, 06/02/2006 - 6:00pm

RE 101

then you will have ROBO-PUNTER V2.5 who will be able to punt the ball so high it will come down like a bomb and destroy the MECHA-RETURNER (because the ball will now be solid iron due to the fact that ROBO-PUNTER would pop the old pigskin every time he punts it). And then the Canada Corp will put Armor Plating on MECHA-RETURNER v 2.0 and then we will be embattled in cold war between a Canadian Corp and Bill Gates (who helped develop the software for ROBO-PUNTER v 1-2.5).

104
by zip (not verified) :: Fri, 06/02/2006 - 7:51pm

This thread singlehandedly saved my Friday. I will not contribute for fear of ruining it.

105
by Rob (not verified) :: Fri, 06/02/2006 - 10:17pm

103:

One thing you missed. The MECHA-RETURNER v2.0 will have the Gizmo Willams software update.

another thing I think that's been missed is how will ROBO-PUNTER take the snap?

"SNAP THE FOOTBALL YOU HAVE TEN SECONDS TO COMPLY...

..YOU HAVE FIVE SECONDS TO COMPLY...

SNAP THE FOOTBALL YOU HAVE ONE SECOND TO COMPLY".

106
by Kibbles (not verified) :: Sat, 06/03/2006 - 12:13am

The new Houston regime’s makeover of the offensive line continued. After signing center Mike Flanagan and guard David Loverne before the draft and spending two third-round picks on tackles, the Texans added Ephraim Salaam after the draft. Salaam was once an intriguing player, but after four mediocre years in Cleveland, he lost his job in Jacksonville a year ago.

To be fair, Ephraim Salaam also spent a couple of mediocre seasons in Denver before losing his job in Jacksonville. Which is probably why Kubiak wanted him- historically, the zone blocking scheme takes a while to pick up, so it's nice having someone who already knows it. The fact that mediocre is a huge upgrade in Houston is simply a bonus.

In the third round, the team landed another undersized player in San Diego State linebacker Freddie Keiaho. Keiaho is 6′0″ on a good day, and he weighs only 225 pounds. Players with that frame rarely turn into starting linebackers in the NFL, and none of the boards felt Keiaho was worth risking a first-day pick on.
In fairness, players with that frame rarely get drafted before the second day, and second day players rarely turn into starting linebackers in the NFL. Denver's had a ton of success drafting undersized LBs (Ian Gold, Al Wilson). Of course, both of those players were first day draft picks, which raises the question- are smaller LBs drafted late because they typically fail, or do they typically fail because they're drafted late?

Re Jimmy Smith and the HoF:
I think ultimately, Rod Smith is going to keep Jimmy out of the HoF. I think a lot of people view them both as very comparable players in terms of production, but Rod Smith has the edge in every other department. More rings (unless you count Jimmy's 2 rings as an inactive reserve and on the IR with Dallas), more memorable moments (chasing Peppers 106 yards at 35), bigger distinction ("best undrafted WR ever"), bigger team leader, better character guy. I agree that Rod should be a lock for the HoF, I understand that he's probably going to be considered a "borderline" guy, and I just don't see how the hall enshrines two such similar players.

Re Robo Punter: Obviously you guys asking about whether there's any chance of returning the punts have forgotten all about the coffin corner. Fortunately for mankind, Robo-punter forgets nothing.

Also, I don't get Pat's assertion that one would need to dramatically overhaul one's team to benefit from the presence of Robo-punter. Are you telling me that a standard team built in the standard manner wouldn't benefit from having every failed offensive possession lead to the other team getting the ball at the 1 yard line? I disagree. Robo-punter would be a HUGE addition to *ANY* team. In the games where the punter doesn't see the field, it's usually because the offense is scoring (so the punter is unnecessary). I mean, just think of it... every possession ends in a score, a missed field goal, a turnover, or the other team getting the ball at the 1 (at which point it's more likely that you'll score next than that they will). I think that's what the Broncos were going for when they got Todd Saeurbrun.

The only thing better than Robo-punter would be Robo-kicker, who had 100% accuracy on any field goal from any distance. That way, every possession either ended in a turnover or points. Even if he couldn't kick off, Robo-kicker would deserve to be the highest paid player in the entire NFL.

Consider: NFL teams punted, on average, 78 times last season. Let's say that average kickers miss 6 kicks a year, to boot (seems a bit low). That means, to the average team, Robo-kicker is worth an extra 252 points on the season, all by himself! That's more than enough to turn the lowest scoring team in the league last year into the highest scoring team in the league last year. Ridiculous.

A study once found that there's a higher correlation between dollars spent on kickers and franchise wins than dollars spent at any other position in the league... which makes a strong case that kicker is the most undervalued position in the NFL.

107
by Nathan (not verified) :: Sat, 06/03/2006 - 2:26am

RE: 106

A lot of great points, but I think we should consider...

In fairness, players with that frame rarely get drafted before the second day, and second day players rarely turn into starting linebackers in the NFL. Denver’s had a ton of success drafting undersized LBs (Ian Gold, Al Wilson). Of course, both of those players were first day draft picks, which raises the question- are smaller LBs drafted late because they typically fail, or do they typically fail because they’re drafted late?

Let's say there are two players with the exact same skill set. Do you want the Taller one or the shorter one?

Okay. Taller is better. How much does this matter? At WR/CB a lot. At LB... hrm..

If you're playing a scheme that relys on your Linebackers giving you zone coverage, I think by quite a bit.

If you're playing a blitzing scheme, not so much.

Chasing a running back?.. Doesn't really matter, although better hitting is always good, which is usually girth, which is probably another advantage for being taller.

Covering a Tightend one on one?.... TALLER. Much taller. HUGE.

Okay. Larger, Taller players are probably better. They can succeed if put into the position to, but it has to fit your defense, and you should still probably have a cover guy if you can. Saftey if you must.

Re Robo Punter: Obviously you guys asking about whether there’s any chance of returning the punts have forgotten all about the coffin corner. Fortunately for mankind, Robo-punter forgets nothing.

I really miss the coffin corner. The intrigue.. 1 yard, or 20. Great stuff.

Consider: NFL teams punted, on average, 78 times last season. Let’s say that average kickers miss 6 kicks a year, to boot (seems a bit low). That means, to the average team, Robo-kicker is worth an extra 252 points on the season, all by himself! That’s more than enough to turn the lowest scoring team in the league last year into the highest scoring team in the league last year. Ridiculous.

A study once found that there’s a higher correlation between dollars spent on kickers and franchise wins than dollars spent at any other position in the league… which makes a strong case that kicker is the most undervalued position in the NFL.

Argument 2 does not prove Argument 1.

If everyone agrees we only pay kickers up to 1 million a year. The best kicker will be 1 million a year. Regardless of how good he is, which Robo Kicker is setting the bar.

So you pay top dollar that we all mutally agree is needed for the best kicker.

I am putting way too much thought into the value of ROBO individuals. Everyone knows, no one beats ROBO BO.

108
by Moses (not verified) :: Sat, 06/03/2006 - 7:22am

Oh look, another GIGO analysis using known incompetents to actually rate the drafting of clubs who spend millions and millions of dollars scouting and all without considering the strategic and tactical merits of the draft. Ironic this comes about a week after Charlie Casserly mentioning that they had Harrington as a 2nd rounder (as did many other clubs, never mind those clubs that had him rated as a 3rd rounder)... Because I remember many a draftnik saying he was better than Carr...

Anyway, and once again, if a player is being drafted two or three rounds below where YOU think he should be drafted, or some self-appointed "draft expert" on which you're relying, maybe you should be pointing the finger at YOUR (or your sources) incompetency at ranking players relative to worth. I think that's a much more interesting story. Albiet, it would take more work.

109
by Sergio (not verified) :: Sat, 06/03/2006 - 10:07am

Re: 108

And just what is so terribly wrong with analyzing the value of a pick relative to its "consensus" position in the draft? It's not like we can actually judge talent right now, and point at the draft "experts" and call them on it...

Right now, the only way to do this kind of analysis is precisely to rely on the judgement of "experts".

110
by Sergio (not verified) :: Sat, 06/03/2006 - 12:58pm

Well, now, that sounded much harsher than I wanted it to sound. Sorry, I hurried to post.

My point was that there's just no way to determine just exactly where these guys have screwed up in their analysis - something that I know they will do. How can you say, with the slightest amount of evidence to back you up, that Winston Justice should've been drafted earlier? Or that the spot he went in was just exactly the right one? No one knows at this point, and the only thing we can look at to determine if a team got "value" is the admittedly faulty draft board.

On a sidenote, FO does indeed analyze past drafts, when there's enough on-field evidence about the players, to determine which team got the best value, best players, etc. FYI...

111
by PackMan (not verified) :: Sat, 06/03/2006 - 5:35pm

I think that ROBO-punter's punting abilities would be great enough to drop-kick a FG (Flutie-style) from anywhere on the field. Therefore allowing him to score points and saving you a roster spot.

112
by Pat (not verified) :: Sat, 06/03/2006 - 6:12pm

Also, I don’t get Pat’s assertion that one would need to dramatically overhaul one’s team to benefit from the presence of Robo-punter.

Because with ROBO-PUNTER picked at 1st pick (i.e. $9M/year), you couldn't afford the standard team structure (i.e. $10M/year on a QB, ~$10-15M on an OL, $15M on a DL, etc.)

Are you telling me that a standard team built in the standard manner wouldn’t benefit from having every failed offensive possession lead to the other team getting the ball at the 1 yard line?

No, that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that a team built in the standard manner couldn't afford a $9M/year punter.

If everyone agrees we only pay kickers up to 1 million a year. The best kicker will be 1 million a year. Regardless of how good he is, which Robo Kicker is setting the bar.

That's on the free agent market. The draft is an entirely different beast.

Which is why ROBO-PUNTER wouldn't go first overall. Or at least, might not.

113
by Pat (not verified) :: Sat, 06/03/2006 - 6:22pm

A study once found that there’s a higher correlation between dollars spent on kickers and franchise wins than dollars spent at any other position in the league… which makes a strong case that kicker is the most undervalued position in the NFL.

This just says that kicker is the most well-evaluated position in the NFL. The existence of a strong correlation between wins and money spent on a kicker just says that there are few crappy kickers paid a bunch of money, and few great kickers paid nothing.

114
by Kibbles (not verified) :: Sat, 06/03/2006 - 8:13pm

Re #107: Let’s say there are two players with the exact same skill set. Do you want the Taller one or the shorter one?

Okay. Taller is better. How much does this matter? At WR/CB a lot. At LB… hrm..

If you’re playing a scheme that relys on your Linebackers giving you zone coverage, I think by quite a bit.

If you’re playing a blitzing scheme, not so much.

Chasing a running back?.. Doesn’t really matter, although better hitting is always good, which is usually girth, which is probably another advantage for being taller.

Covering a Tightend one on one?…. TALLER. Much taller. HUGE.

Okay. Larger, Taller players are probably better. They can succeed if put into the position to, but it has to fit your defense, and you should still probably have a cover guy if you can. Saftey if you must.

I don't get this assertion that height is that important in coverage. Looking at Denver (which is what I am most familiar with)... Al Wilson is one of the most undersized LBs in the game. He's also perhaps the best coverage MLB in the game (now that Ray Lewis has started to decline), although Urlacher would probably argue the point. Likewise, Darrent Williams is something like 5'8" and beat out 6'2" Lenny Walls (tallest CB in the league) for a job. I think height is overrated in terms of coverage.

If everyone agrees we only pay kickers up to 1 million a year. The best kicker will be 1 million a year. Regardless of how good he is, which Robo Kicker is setting the bar.
But why would everyone agree to that? I mean, did everyone agree that you only pay QBs $10 million a year, until Vick and Manning started getting more? Or did everyone agree that QBs would be the highest paid position, until CBs passed them up? There's really no unspoken agreement as to how much will be devoted to each position. Teams should and DO pay more money to the players they think will do more to help them win. I would argue that Robo-kicker would do more to help a team win than pretty much any other player in the league, and so I wouldn't hesitate to make him the highest paid player in the league.

Re #112: Because with ROBO-PUNTER picked at 1st pick (i.e. $9M/year), you couldn’t afford the standard team structure (i.e. $10M/year on a QB, ~$10-15M on an OL, $15M on a DL, etc.)
There *IS* no standard team structure. Go look at how the cap money was distributed between all of the "elite" teams last season. Indianapolis had a higher percentage of its cap devoted to the offensive skill positions than any other team in the league. Why? Because their offensive skill position players were better than any other team's in the league. Denver devoted a higher percentage of its salary cap to OL than any other team in the league. Why? Because their OL was significantly better than any other team's in the league. There's no real set structure. You pay your best players the most money, and then try to afford everyone else with what you have left. Sure, if you pay a lot of money to Robokicker, then you have to get cheaper DEs. That said, let's look at two different teams that are absolutely identical across 22 of their 24 starting positions. Team A has a veteran minimum kicker and a 9mil a year RDE. Team B has a veteran minimum RDE and a 9mil a year kicker. Both have essentially the same team structure, but I would argue that team B was the better team, because the value of robo-kicker compared to a league average kicker would be far more than the value of an elite DE to a league average DE. As I said earlier, Robo-kicker would be worth, on average, TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY POINTS A SEASON (enough to make the lowest scoring team in the league into the highest scoring team in the league). That's a ridiculous 15+ points per game. Name me any $9 mil a year DE that would be worth 15 points a game more than a street free agent veteran minimum DE (nevermind guys like Bertrand Berry, who went from street free agent veteran minimum DEs to all-pros).

I assert again- in the NFL, you pay a player based on how much you think they will help your team. Kickers don't make a ton because the perception is that the difference between an elite kicker and an average kicker is less than the difference between an elite player and an average player at other positions. In the instance of Robokicker, the difference between an elite kicker and an average kicker would be FAR GREATER than the difference at any other position, so Robokicker would make a fortune.

Re #113: This just says that kicker is the most well-evaluated position in the NFL. The existence of a strong correlation between wins and money spent on a kicker just says that there are few crappy kickers paid a bunch of money, and few great kickers paid nothing.
It doesn't say that at all. It really doesn't say anything about the quality of kickers getting the money. I mean, if the Grammatica brothers both played for undefeated teams and made $10 million apiece, and Elam/Akers/Vinateri all played for winless teams and made a $1.50 each, then there would still be a strong correlation between money spent on kickers and team wins (although there would be a horrible correlation between money spent on kickers and quality of said kicker).

It simply says that teams that recognize the importance of having a quality kicker are more likely to win than teams that sluff the position.

115
by Pat (not verified) :: Sat, 06/03/2006 - 10:46pm

There *IS* no standard team structure.

There's no one generic salary structure, no. But there are commonalities. Quality QBs get paid $8-10M/year or so. Quality DEs get paid $5-7M or so. Etc.

There isn't a team with a $9M/year punter. Nor is there one with a $9M/year RB, which is where this all started. Which means that a team trying to build with a $9M/year punter is going against the grain.

Indianapolis had a higher percentage of its cap devoted to the offensive skill positions than any other team in the league.

Indianapolis is a good example - their defensive style was notably different than other teams in the league - namely, "let them score, just try to get turnovers as much as you can."

Of course, this gives them fits against certain other teams, so maybe that's an example that that salary style might not be that strong.

Robokicker

I don't disagree that a wackjob super ultra mega kicker could go first overall (heck, a kicker went in the first round already, so it's not that much of a stretch). I was mentioning ROBO-PUNTER, not Robokicker.

Just like I agree that a RB who can vaporize blockers with his eyes would go first overall. But that wasn't my point.

It simply says that teams that recognize the importance of having a quality kicker are more likely to win than teams that sluff the position.

And they can evaluate that position clearly. I mean, obviously teams recognize the importance of a QB. Losing a QB kills your chance at winning more than any other position. But teams aren't that wonderful at evaluating QBs in terms of the money they pay them - some cheap QBs do wonderfully, some expensive QBs suck horribly.

116
by Mr Shush (not verified) :: Sun, 06/04/2006 - 8:23am

So, the Texans have interviewed three candidates as potential replacements for Casserly: Rick Smith, the Denver Assistant GM (though he was only promoted to that position this off-season), Reggie McKenzie, the Packers Director of Pro Personnel, and Rick Mueller, the Saints Director of Player Personnel. Smith's brief prior to this off season was also Pro Personnel. All three men have been running their departments at their respective teams for some years. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't the Broncos' roster moves in recent years been pretty smart, and those of the Packers and Saints pretty lousy? Of course, there's no guarantee that Smith, rather than Shanahan or Sundqvist, was responsible for all those good moves. But it does seem to me that if either McKenzie or Mueller was a potential first-rate NFL GM in the making, their teams would have made better off-season decisions than they have. Smith may or may not be any good, but Mueller and McKenzie definitely aren't, so I'm rooting for the continuing establishment of Little Colorado at Reliant Stadium.

117
by PackMan (not verified) :: Mon, 06/05/2006 - 12:36pm

116.
The Packers moves have not been terrible recently. They have not been great either, though. Until this past season, no other team had won thier division, and only 2 years ago were favored to win the NFC, that is none too shabby.

118
by Sergio (not verified) :: Mon, 06/05/2006 - 1:59pm

Re: 117

Yes, but in that division, c'mon... the Pack has been banking on Favre's heroics, trying to build him a defense and asumming whatever they have on offense will work. Now, up until injury-rama last year, that *kind-of* worked, but it's no way to prepare the team for the future. I don't know what that says about their GM, though...

119
by Mr Shush (not verified) :: Mon, 06/05/2006 - 4:19pm

I believe the Caponomics series by Bruce Stram a year ago used the Packers as the best example of a team adopting what he called the "circle the wagons" approach to cap management. It's not a good one. Green Bay were a great team in the mid-90s, a good one in the late 90s and early 00s, a mediocre one by 2004 and rotten in 2005. None of this looks to me like it suggests good personnel decisions over the past decade.

Houston do now appear to have settled on Smith (though no official announcement so far) so the point is now somewhat moot in AFC South terms.

120
by Kibbles (not verified) :: Mon, 06/05/2006 - 8:15pm

Re #119: You're incorrect. An announcement has been made, and Smith is definitely your guy.

As a Broncos fan, I have to say that I think Houston did very good. There are a lot worse models to build your franchise after than the Denver Broncos, who are perennially among the league's elite both in terms of talent evaluation, but also in terms of coaching.

Worth noting is that, for all the initiative to create minority coaching hires, Rick Smith just became the THIRD minority GM in the league.

121
by Derek (not verified) :: Tue, 06/06/2006 - 12:44pm

Given all the discussion of robotic players, I can't believe that nobody has mentioned Cyberball (see link). What if ROBO-PUNTER ends up getting tackled while holding a critical ball? $9M wasted.

122
by Sid (not verified) :: Tue, 06/06/2006 - 12:58pm

Absolutely horrendous draft for the Colts, when you think about it.

123
by Green Bay for Life (not verified) :: Tue, 06/06/2006 - 1:45pm

RE 121

god now I do feel old because I remeber playing that when I was a kid. Thanks for bringing that up. The point would kinda moot though. because when he punts it would go across the 50 yd line. However I feel that maybe MECHA-RETURNER would be more in the hot seat because he would hen have to attempt a return on a possible "Warm" to "Hot" ball and try and get it back over the 50 Yard line again.

RE 105

no we did mot miss it we just have not talked about it since about post 50. It is called ROBO-LONGSNAPPER.

124
by Todd S. (not verified) :: Tue, 06/06/2006 - 2:46pm

#122 An absolutely great draft for the Colts, when you think about it.

(See, I can say the exact opposite thing with no reasoning and it has an equal chance of being true. Care to elaborate on your reasoning at all?)

125
by Green Bay for Life (not verified) :: Tue, 06/06/2006 - 3:28pm

RE 124

This is Football Outsiders no has to justify themselves. Every opinion here has to have no rhyme or reason. :-)

126
by Sergio (not verified) :: Wed, 06/07/2006 - 1:19am

Re: 125

The Football Gods respectfully, um, disagree...

127
by BigManChili (not verified) :: Wed, 06/07/2006 - 2:42am

"With that in mind, one player to keep an eye on is Richard Collier, a tackle out of Valdosta State. Maybe you have heard of this school, but I certainly have not. VSU is located in Valodsta, Georgia, very near the Florida border. Three players have been drafted out of VSU: Robert Morris in 1990, Antonio Edwards in 1993, and Artie Ulmer in 1997. Ulmer had a decent career as a reserve linebacker, but he is currently unsigned. Collier needs to make the Jaguars for Valdosta to continue to boast an active NFL player."

Don't forget, VSU was the 2004 DII National Champions. They beat TMQ's legendary Pittsburg State Gorillas, who he tracked as they scored the most points in the season ever by running up the score -- a move he said that would anger the football gods.
Also:
Jessie Tuggle came from VSU-- UFA in 1987, now in Atlanta Falcons "Ring of Honor".
Also, DE Tim Thompson was signed as a UDFA by Tampa Bay (I think), so if he makes a roster than VSU still has someone active in the NFL.

128
by PackMan (not verified) :: Wed, 06/07/2006 - 10:50am

118. The vikings seem to be in the playoff hunt every year, and with the exception of last year tend to do as good as any other team in the first half of the season, before their annual midseason implosion.

129
by Green Bay for Life (not verified) :: Wed, 06/07/2006 - 2:59pm

RE 126

And that is my point. You say we have to have a ryme or reason to our opionions? fine. I do most of the time try and justify my postion by using DPAR, DVAR or whatever stat or stats I need to supprt my postion. But you have to admit that since this is Football OUTSIDERS that every once and a while some one could make a very strong opinion with out needing stats.

Now to the opinions that are in question.

Absolutely horrendous draft for the Colts, when you think about it.

and

An absolutely great draft for the Colts, when you think about it.

Now for the first coment, if you take a look at what the "experts" thought as far as BPA at the time and where the "experts" had these fine young gentleman ranked at the time then yes this was a very poor draft for the colts.

Now if you once again looks at who they drafted they went after a RB, 2 OT, 3 DB, and a LB and at that particular time in the draft the "experts" had no one at that particular position at a higher grade than the person they drafted. so you can argue both points with logic and still come out on top. It all depends on your point of view and what the colts were trying to do. Personally I think that they were trying to draft for need instaed of drafting by BPA.

130
by Sergio (not verified) :: Wed, 06/07/2006 - 6:28pm

re: 129

I know, man. I'm just messing with ya... ;)

131
by Sid (not verified) :: Wed, 06/07/2006 - 9:53pm

RE: 22

21, if I was facing that team, I guess I’d just punt back on 1st down myself and wait for your guy to muff a return or your long-snapper to sail one over your robo-punter.

Punting out of the back of the end zone is a very risky proposition. The punter won't have much room, so the possibility for a blocked punt or the punter stepping on the chalk is significant.

132
by Stephen Yang (not verified) :: Wed, 06/07/2006 - 11:09pm

I do not think a offensive lineman should be in the top 5 backs. UNLESS its a teams only need or there are no other good players that a team can use right away.

i agree, Orlando Pace is a sure hall of famer, but he didnt lead the Rams to their superbowls. Kurt Warner and Marshall Faulk did, as well as Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce.

I dont think the texans were right about taking mario williams, but i dont think they wouldve been able to trade down and take him with a later pick. The saints wouldve taken Bush/Williams (whoevers availiable) and with Deuce Mcallister, i dont think they wouldve traded as much as the texans wouldve asked for, just to get Reggie Bush.

The texans shouldve taken Reggie Bush, because he is once in a lifetime talent. Now with David Carr, Eric Moulds, Reggie Bush, Andre Johnson, and Domanick Davis, the texans wouldve had a pretty amazing offense.

I think that money is an issue. Lots of times, the very high picks have become complete busts! Joey Harrington, Courtney Brown, Jeff George, Aklili Smith, etc, etc. But they got paid lots and lots of money. I think that all rookies should be required to a 1 year deal.

This 1 year deal would be different for all players. It would basically say that if you do very well, we shall pay you well, if your a bust, we'll give you very little.

Now with QB's, its different because they need time to adjust to the speed of the game. So it maybe a 2 or 3 year contract, depending on when they start.

I think this will be much more effective because it will prevent teams on spending a lot of money and a very poor player.

Also, i think a running back should deserve to be the number 1 pick because no passing attack is effective without a running game, and likewise. John Elway had never won a superbowl until terrell davis was on his team.

Peyton Manning has Edgerrin James
Tom Brady has Corey Dillion
Carson Palmer has Rudi Johnson
Donovan Mcnabb has Brian Westbrook
Matt Leinhart has Reggie Bush.
Do you people see my point???

I think that a qb, rb, or wr should be the first overall pick (unless of course a team already has all stars at that position)because they're the ones who are winning the games, defense is great, but defense doesnt win games.

also i would draft a kicker in the first round if he was a very good, very amazing kicker. beecause kickers win games, Adam Vinatery won TWO SUPERBOWLS with kicks of at least 40 yards. Including a 50 yarder against the HEAVILY favored Rams. (that was the biggest upset in superbowl history)

Think About This "Essay"

133
by Sergio (not verified) :: Thu, 06/08/2006 - 3:40pm

Re: 132

You make this too easy. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. In no particular order:

a) No, kickers don't win superbowls. Vinatieri had to have an offense that kept up with the Rams offensive output, which in turn was held down by a superb defensive gameplan (or rather, an idiotic offensive gameplan, take your pick), or else those 3 points wouldn't have mattered much. Also, the biggest upset in SB history is usually considered to be SB III.

b) If defenses didn't win games, please explain the Steelers of the 70's, '00 Ravens, '85 Bears, '72/3 Dolphins, '90 Giants...

c) Finally, linemen and top 5 picks. Again, if linemen didn't lead their teams to victory, what has Kansas City's forte been all these years? Furthermore, if you're right and linemen are of no use, why should they be in the Hall? After all, there are no *special teamers* in there, and they play the game, too...

134
by Stephen Yang (not verified) :: Thu, 06/08/2006 - 8:34pm

Superbowl III was a big upset, but considering Joe Namaths words, people kind of saw it coming.

Also the Baltimore Colts were favored 16.5 points while the Rams were 18.5

Vinateri won the superbowls for the patriots. Without him, they wouldve lost. Kickers are the difference in a lot of games. Not just points, but for motivation. The Seahawks kicker missed two field goals in Superbowl XL, and that wouldve been a big boost, and it wouldnt have given the Steelers great field position.

Defenses do not win games. All they do, is protect the endzone, a lot of times its in critical situations, but defenses rarely score points, and thats what counts, not how many yards they give up.

Lineman are of great use, and they do belong in the hall of fame. But they dont belong in the top 5 picks (unless its a critical need of course)

Special Teamers do not belong in the halll of fame unless they produce Dante Hall seasons again and again and again. Because special teams are on the field the least.

kickers do belong in the hall of fame. PERIOD

135
by Kibbles (not verified) :: Fri, 06/09/2006 - 2:19pm

Re #134: Defenses don't win games? Go here and see if you still feel that way: http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/recap/NFL_20031109_BAL@STL

That's my favorite football game of the past decade, outside of the Denver wins of course. St. Louis got 7 first downs and 121 offensive yards... AND SCORED 33 POINTS! Their defense absolutely 100% won the game for them.

You can say that defense doesn't win games because it doesn't usually score any points... I would say that offense doesn't win games either, because it doesn't prevent points. In the end, points aren't what matters- scoring differential is. I would rather score 10 points and hold my opponent to 7 than score 50 points and allow 51.

Also, regarding linemen... let's look again at a couple of teams. Denver and Kansas City. These are two of the best offenses in the entire NFL, despite having very little talent at the skill positions. Why is that? Offensive line.

When you factor in, too, that an Offensive Lineman's career is usually twice as long as a good RBs career, and the fact that offensive lineman are far more of a "sure thing" than any other position in the draft, it makes even MORE sense to draft OLs high.

136
by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 06/09/2006 - 2:59pm

Vinateri won the superbowls for the patriots. Without him, they wouldve lost.

If they tried to replace Vinatieri with oh, say, me, they might've lost. If they were stupid enough to send me in when they knew I couldn't make that field goal. But they would've had a pretty bloody good chance with even an average FG kicker.

And even if Vinatieri had been injured earlier in the game, they could've just gone for it on fourth down, and they still might've won.

Special Teamers do not belong in the halll of fame unless they produce Dante Hall seasons again and again and again. Because special teams are on the field the least.

If special teamers don't belong in the Hall of Fame, then let's just axe them from the game entirely. Start each postscore drive on the 20, and each punt is an automatic 40 yards.

Sound stupid? I think so. As long as special teamers are part of the game (and they are), they should be in the Hall of Fame. Less of them, sure, but they should be there.

137
by Travis (not verified) :: Fri, 06/09/2006 - 3:19pm

Superbowl III was a big upset, but considering Joe Namaths words, people kind of saw it coming.

Also the Baltimore Colts were favored 16.5 points while the Rams were 18.5

Got your bookie's phone number? I'd love to do business with him. Everywhere I saw had the Rams as 14-14.5 point favorites. The Colts were favored anywhere from 17 to 20 points.

If special teamers don’t belong in the Hall of Fame, then let’s just axe them from the game entirely. Start each postscore drive on the 20, and each punt is an automatic 40 yards.

Sound stupid? I think so. As long as special teamers are part of the game (and they are), they should be in the Hall of Fame. Less of them, sure, but they should be there.

To be fair, I think he was excluding kickers and punters from the "special teamers" category.

138
by Stephen Yang (not verified) :: Sat, 06/10/2006 - 6:28pm

Wow 3 against 1. Its all right, im up for the challenge.

Of course there are a few exceptions to the rule, defense doesnt win games. But as rarely as the defense scores points, the offense prevents points (ben rothlisbergers season saving tackle)

Just because special teamers dont belong in the hall of fame, doesnt mean we should take them away. Assistant Managers dont do NEARLY as much as the head coach or GM, and they arent in the game. But we still need them.

Maybe im wrong about superbowl III, but i remember seeing the patriots victory as the biggest superbowl upset ever. nevertheless it was still huge upset, thanks to vinateri. And no, you couldnt do it with an average kicker because 50 yarders arent exactly chip shots even for Jan Stenerud. And not only that, IN THE SUPERBOWL! WITH A FEW SECONDS LEFT ON THE CLOCK FOR ONE OF THE GREATEST UPSETS EVER, WITH YOUR WHOLE TEAM DEPENDING ON YOU. (btw it mightve been a fourth down, but it was less than 10 seconds remaining)The pressure was huge. Mike Vanderjagt, one of the greatest kickers ever, missed a 46 yarder at the championship.

and if vinateri missed that kick, the patriots wouldve likely lost in overtime considering how much better the rams were.

Also, regarding linemen… let’s look again at a couple of teams. Denver and Kansas City. These are two of the best offenses in the entire NFL, despite having very little talent at the skill positions.

Kansas City??? Larry Johnson, Trent Green, Tony Gonzalez!!! And denver, Jake Plummer, ROD SMITH, Javon Walker. TATUM BELL IS GOING TO HAVE A MONSTER SEASON.

The offensive line is not as important as the QB, RB, or WR, This is why i proposed my "bust free plan" of giving all rookies a 1 yr deal loaded with incentives and giving the team the option of extending the contract to what the rookies really deserve.

everyone deserves to be in the hall of fame except the special teamers (excluding kickers and punters).
When a punt goes for 50 yards with no return, people say that its standard. Maybe even a well done. But if a punt is blocked or the center launches the ball well over the punter. People will say maybe the rams woudlve won if it werent for the horrid special teams unit.
GET MY POINT?

139
by Kibbles (not verified) :: Sun, 06/11/2006 - 5:23am

Re #138: Of course there are a few exceptions to the rule, defense doesnt win games. But as rarely as the defense scores points, the offense prevents points (ben rothlisbergers season saving tackle)
You're looking at it all wrong. The defense is CONSTANTLY scoring points, and the offense is CONSTANTLY preventing points.

Consider: First, who is more likely to score, an offense that gets the ball at the 20, or one that gets it at midfield? Second, which offense is more likely to get the ball at midfield, one with a horrible defense and special teams, or one with a great defense and special teams?

Field position is fluid. Having a good defense will lead to your offense scoring more points. Having a good offense will lead to your defense allowing fewer points.

Besides, if offense wins games, how come more superbowl champions have had bad offenses than have had bad defenses?

Maybe im wrong about superbowl III, but i remember seeing the patriots victory as the biggest superbowl upset ever. nevertheless it was still huge upset, thanks to vinateri. And no, you couldnt do it with an average kicker because 50 yarders arent exactly chip shots even for Jan Stenerud. And not only that, IN THE SUPERBOWL! WITH A FEW SECONDS LEFT ON THE CLOCK FOR ONE OF THE GREATEST UPSETS EVER, WITH YOUR WHOLE TEAM DEPENDING ON YOU. (btw it mightve been a fourth down, but it was less than 10 seconds remaining)The pressure was huge. Mike Vanderjagt, one of the greatest kickers ever, missed a 46 yarder at the championship.
Vinateri also missed *TWO* chip-shot figgies against Carolina. If he makes either of those, the Patriots are never sweating at the end of the game.

I love how, for all the talk about what a great clutch kicker Vinateri is, and how he "wins games", he's 4-6 (66.7%) in Superbowls. That's well below league average.

Kansas City??? Larry Johnson, Trent Green, Tony Gonzalez!!! And denver, Jake Plummer, ROD SMITH, Javon Walker. TATUM BELL IS GOING TO HAVE A MONSTER SEASON.
Kansas City first. First off, Larry Johnson sure looks like a stud, doesn't he? His DVOA was a ridiculous 26% last year- second in the league. Waaaaaay better than Derrick Blaylock's 25.8% DVOA in 2004, right? And a ton better than Blaylock's 26.0% DVOA in 2003, right? Larry Johnson looks like a stud BECAUSE OF KANSAS CITY'S O-LINE. Prior to Priest Holmes last year, no RB had started a game in Kansas City and had a DVOA below 16.8%. Do you mean to tell me that EVERY SINGLE RB that has ever run in Kansas City has been a stud? Or is it perhaps possible that KC's O-line is so dominant that it makes its RBs look like studs?

Trent Green is a very very good Quarterback. I give that without arguing, although I would again argue that he looks better than he is because of the time his line buys him. Gonzalez is also a stud... but KC's WRs are absolute rubbish. KC's O-line has pretty much single-handedly made them the best offense in the history of DVOA.

Regarding Denver... Plummer was horrible in Arizona, Rod Smith is 36 years old, Javon Walker hasn't played a down for the team, and Tatum Bell couldn't even beat out Mike Anderson for carries... and MIKE ANDERSON WAS CUT. Denver's offensive line made its offense go.

If you think that QB, WR, and RB are all vastly more important than OL... well, let's just say that I strongly STRONGLY disagree, and so do KC and Denver (who, I might add, are not only perennially among the best offenses in the league, are also known for their ability to make stud RBs out of anyone and everyone).

140
by Stephen Yang (not verified) :: Sun, 06/11/2006 - 11:47am

RE: 139

Offense is much more important than defense. If you had a fantasy draft and had the first pick for your team, and you can take anyone. Are you going to take Peyton Manning, or are you going to take Brian Urlacher?

And then lets say with your second pick (lots of good players still available) are you going to take a defensive player, or are you going to get someone for Peyton to throw to or hand off to?

I would get a QB then an RB, then with my third pick, i would get a linebacker.

Do you see what im saying? offense is much more important than defense.

TATUM BELL AVERAGED A LEAGUE LEADING 5.2 YPC. NOW THAT IS PROBABLY BECAUSE OF THEIR OFFENSIVE LINE, BUT NEVERTHELESS, MIKE ANDERSON DIDNT AVERAGE 5.2 YARDS.

look, an offensive line is important, but if you have a great offensive line, and horrible everything else, you're not going to succeed. A great QB, however and a great RB, will make your team succeed.

Peyton Manning went 3-13 his first year, then with edgerrin james he went 13-3.

The reason denver gets a 1,000 yard rusher for the past 9 or 10 years is because of mike shanahan, not their offensive line (although it helps)

141
by JimmyKimmel (not verified) :: Mon, 06/12/2006 - 2:33pm

How does anyone get that VY does not make "line calls" from watching tape? I mean, how do you know that?
Also, do you mean audibles typically called by the QB, or calling the blocking scheme that is usually the responsibility of the center?

If you mean aubiles, the most common play UT ran was the zone read - which is the equivalent od having a QB running play, passing play, and QB draw on the same play. VY was definitely responsible for making this decision, as it typically occurs right after the snap, so it could not have been Thomas as you contend.

If on the other hand, you mean calling the blocking scheme, this is typically the responsibility of the center. But I can see how in a zone read offense, you might want to have the TE make the call since the play often keys of the strong side DE.

If, on the other hand, you mean audibles in the passing game, then so what? these audibles are nearly worthless at every level of football. There are some pretty reasonable statistics out there that show audibles are uncorrelated with the success of a given play.

142
by Kibbles (not verified) :: Tue, 06/13/2006 - 6:42pm

Re #140: Actually, if all the players in the NFL were put into a pool and all the teams lined up to draft them, and I had the first overall selection, I would select a CB, DE, or LT. Probably not an LT, because I can't think of any that are good enough AND young enough (although if Walter Jones were 3 years younger, he'd be my guy). I would pick Champ Bailey or Julius Peppers at #1 overall before Peyton Manning, though. I also wouldn't select a runningback until very late in the draft.

Don't make the mistake of assuming that just because *YOU* would do things one way, everyone else would, as well. As Mario Williams demonstrated this year... not everyone believes that offense is more important than defense.

Again, you have yet to explain, too, why 6 of the last 10 SB champs have ranked outside of the top 10 in total offense, but only 2 of the last 10 have ranked outside of the top 10 in total defense.

143
by Stephen Yang (not verified) :: Tue, 06/13/2006 - 11:56pm

First off, if you're going to select a DE with the first overall selection, at least select Dwight Freeney. He has averaged 13 sacks his only 4 seasons in the NFL.

Now im not too keen on CB's, but Champ Bailey is elite.

Now with the first overall selection, Peyton Manning looks very good to me, and to a lot of other people. If you are going to take a defensive player, you should really get a linebacker.

I think that a linebacker is the most important part of any defense. They get the most tackles, and they can also get sacks and interceptions on a regular basis. Cornerbacks rarely get sacks, and defensive linemen rarely (if ever) get interceptions.

I do think defense is very very important, but for the past 7 years, with the exception of 2002, the team with the overall best record has had a better offense than defense. And i think that says something.

Now unless Peyton Manning has a career ending injury, or throws 30 interceptions a season till he retires, he is going into the Hall of Fame, and he will win his superbowl. Because hes the heart of the colts offense. Walter Jones isnt the heart of the seattle offense, hes the tackle.

If i could have two positions with bad players on my roster (excluding kickers and punters) it would definately be Safety and Center. Everything else is much more important. This is the next topic i hope you would like to debate, Mr. Kibbles.

But i do enjoy the topic we are on right now.

144
by Sophandros (not verified) :: Mon, 06/19/2006 - 6:39pm

It should be noted that assault charges against Jaguars rookie RB Maurice Drew were dropped. If you recall, he was implicated in the beatdown that was administered to some dude using his laptop at a restaurant.

145
by Craigers (not verified) :: Thu, 07/27/2006 - 11:37am

I’d pay handsomely for ROBO-PUNTER’s services too. I just want to know what his jersey number is so I can properly genuflect in this forum–he’s clearly replaced old No. 12.

I can't believe I missed this the first time around. This is great. Now I want a Niners jersey with ROBOPUNTER on it and 2.0 as the number. Damn.

146
by The Ninjalectual (not verified) :: Thu, 08/24/2006 - 3:47pm

ROBO-PUNTER operates in his own world and time-scale! (Click name for link)

And the reason has to be that this remarkable artist, who operates within her own world and time-scale, is quite possibly *too* unique and, yes, "far out", for the safe, predictable world of the American radio-dominated ROBO-PUNTER.

147
by Gerry (not verified) :: Fri, 10/13/2006 - 6:30pm

"I agree that a RB who can vaporize blockers with his eyes would go first overall."

What a wasted draft pick! He'd get clobbered on every play, and you would go bankrupt signing replacement linemen and fullbacks.

And the lamentations of the women? Not worth it.

Now a RB who could vaporize defenders with his eyes, now that would be something.

Don't you hate when they mix up the specs like that?