2009 All-Keep Choppin' Wood Team
by Tom Gower and Mike Kurtz
Mike: Every week, your Scramble writers award players, coaches and owners for mind-bogglingly bad decisions or performances -- those actions that go above and beyond mediocrity and directly lead to their team losing. Over the course of the season, a few starts fall down into the dregs, and subtly or overtly hang about their team's neck like an albatross. These are the players of the All-Keep Choppin' Wood Team. Tom and I went through position by position and picked out some of our favorite wood-choppers. Keep in mind that this is not only incredibly subjective, but rife with partial information; while it's easy to get good information on the NFL's premiere performers, it's not quite so easy to get information on the chronic underachievers and purveyors of debilitating mediocrity.
(You will now listen to the following...)
Mike: As tacky as it is, I'm going to go with Mark Sanchez. He had a really long run of absolutely putrid games this season, on a team with a great defense and running attack. Had he played even half-decently, the Jets would have been destroying opponents left and right. As it was, they ended up sneaking into the playoffs, had to play on the road, and were destroyed in the championship game (although I should add that the AFC Championship loss was not his fault).
Tom: He did, but he's not the only quarterback who had a really long stretch of absolutely putrid games this season, on a team with a great running attack and a defense that played very well (for part of the year, at least). With The Sanchize, there was reason to believe he was the best quarterback on his team. Kellen Clemens only threw 29 passes, but had a worse DVOA than Sanchez. The quarterback ranked No. 10 by DVOA was ... Matt Moore. He had a DVOA over 40 percentage points higher than Jake Delhomme.
Tom: Bill Belichick never played in the NFL, so he obviously can't be a decent coach. Just ask Larry Johnson. Johnson was actually OK in Cincinnati, but was a cancer in Kansas City. Steve Slaton gets an honorable mention. While he had a very fine receiving year, he ended up dead last in the league in rushing DVOA, a massive sophomore slump.
Mike: It's tempting to talk about bad players screwing up mediocre teams, but there's a special kind of awful a player can attain, when he wrecks a bad team. Jamal Lewis held on to his job for dear life, which I suppose is commendable, after a fashion, but it meant that his team's offense, which was at one point headed by Derek freaking Anderson relied upon him to be decent. He was putrid. What's worse, he sat in the way of a promising young running back, the kind of player a rebuilding team desperately needs to build up. That is inexcusable.
Mike: Lots of players chop wood because they're not ready to step up into a new and more important role. For wide receivers, that means getting No. 1 wide receiver coverage, attention from the likes of Darelle Revis and Nnamdi Asomugha. When a top player is injured, there is massive wood-chopping potential in his backup. Eddie Royal went from a stand-out rookie season in the shadow of Brandon Marshall, in which he compiled a 71 percent catch rating, to dead last in DYAR and DVOA and a 47 percent catch rating. The Broncos needed Royal to step up, and he did a faceplant.
Tom: Speaking of bad catch percentage, Darrius Heyward-Bey compiled an epic 23 percent catch rating, and was also the best wide receiver in the league at falling down while running. He must make this team.
Mike: I want to pick a bad blocking tight end, since tight ends are more associated with receiving nowadays, I'm having trouble coming up with one. Hooray, I just demonstrated irony.
Tom: Robert Royal is a good option.
Mike: Do I really want to just pick on the Browns, though?
Tom: Do we ever not?
Mike: So true. Sadly, we don't have L.J. Smith to kick around anymore.
Tom: But we do have Bo Scaife! What's the franchise tag get you? The 35th-ranked tight end by DVOA! Scaife finished behind the aged Alge Crumpler, who aside from his creaky knees picked up all of the weight LenDale White lost.
Mike: Franchising a mediocre tight end is just hilarious, like franchising a punter.
Tom: Or a kicker!
Mike: It's a common refrain that penalty-prone linemen are a massive liability to their offense, and it's quite true -- very few drives can survive a holding penalty, and false starts often put teams in unmanageable positions. Jeremy Trueblood, however, is in a league of his own. He's a holding and false start machine, tied for second in the league with 13 penalties, and he's generally a turnstile. On top of this, he somehow caught a reputation as a dirty player. Not "Olin Kruetz cheats" dirty, but "getting fined over $26,000 by the league" dirty. How do you rack up that much unnecessary roughness? Especially as an offensive lineman!
Tom: Consider him an overachiever.
Mike: He's got to be some kind of psychopath.
Tom: Most overachievers are. San Francisco was horrid up the middle, and when a team is that bad, blame usually goes to the center. Not so for the 49ers, where Eric Heitmann was fine but left guard David Baas and right guard Chilo Rachal proved to be pathetically weak links on a line that Samurai Mike desperately needed to play well. If you want a center, Richie Incognito can play there. He should be recognized for his contributions (personal fouls, most notably) to the putrid lines of the Rams and Bills. Incognito was so bad he actually had Buffalo teammates calling him out before he even signed with the team.
Mike: Consistent mediocrity is a useful qualification for the All-KCW team, but occasionally a few bad games will be enough to get you through the door. Pro-Bowler Chris Snee had injury issues near the end of the year, removing a powerful piece of the Giants' power-rushing puzzle. Into his shoes stepped Kevin Boothe, who tried. Bless his soul, he tried. It just wasn't nearly enough. This is kind of the opposite of Orlando Pace, who kinda-sorta tried, but mostly took up space. Sadly, it was space in front of Matt Forte, and not in front of Jay Cutler.
Mike: We briefly considered Chris "Please Throw at Nnamdi and Leave Me Alone" Johnson, but there was another cornerback who has been pulled into Oakland's inescapable miasma of suck: Stanford Routt. Game charting data so far lists Routt with 11.0 yards allowed per pass and a Success Rate of just 49 percent. His most memorable sequence of the year was in Week 16, where he earned an ejection for head-butting a Brown in the middle of Cleveland drive with less than a minute left in the half. It was his second unsportsmanlike penalty of the game, just a few plays after Richard Seymour collected his second unnecessary roughness penalty. I don't remember exactly, but I believe there were five personal fouls or unsportsmanlike flags within the last two minutes of that half. Truly a comedy of errors, and emblematic of Routt's approach to Raider Football.
Tom: More than other positions, cornerback penalties are costly, since defensive pass interference is a spot foul that usually occurs deep in the defense's secondary. Marcus Trufant kept himself busy in his 10 games this year, notching nine pass interference penalties and aiding in Seattle's monumental collapse.
Tom: So, Sabby Piscitelli. It’s kind of a fun name, in that juvenile, vaguely dirty way some Italian names are. His house was burglarized during the win against Green Bay this year, and burglary is wrong and illegal, so he has my sympathies. I hope he was covered by insurance. If you do an Internet search on him, he’s apparently somewhat of a favorite of the ladies. They had an easy time finding him this year; all they had to do was look at who was supposed to be there when Tampa Bay gave up a long touchdown pass.
Mike: C.C. Brown was an awful safety for the Texans. He was even worse for the Giants. Any discussion of Brown also must be accompanied by "Yakety Sax." (I refer you to the top of the column. I hope you still have it running.)
Tom: Hunter Hillenmeyer was pretty bad.
Mike: Hillenmeyer wasn't KCW bad, just a normal, workmanlike, Bears kind of bad.
Tom: DeMorrio Williams, on the other hand, was a Kansas City kind of bad.
Mike: Detroit actually has a good linebacker corps, with the exception of a gaping hole named Ernie Sims. He can't cover, he can't tackle, he can't play decent run support. I think the Lions' defense would improve enormously just by replacing him with a replacement-level player.
Tom: I feel like we should have another linebacker, but nobody’s coming to mind. Instead, I’ll move Stanford Routt inside to play the nickel and add Nick Harper: Human Target as a third corner. There’s a reason you don’t see many 35-year-old cornerbacks in the NFL, especially if they were never particularly fast in the first place. Harper didn't make a single "successful" tackle on a completed pass until the second half of the season.
Mike: It's kind of a shame that the Williamses had their suspensions suspended, as that would have been the mother of all KCWs.
Tom: Derrick Harvey has been an absolute bust as the 2008 eighth-overall pick for Jacksonville. That team had no pass rush all year, and he was a big reason why.
Mike: But, Tom, top 10 picks are always good players. Just look at Glenn Dorsey! Interestingly, Kansas City was much worse against runs to left tackle than mid-guard.
Tom: Maybe Ron Edwards was a decent nose tackle?
Mike: Kansas City has to do something right, don't they?
(crickets chirp in the background.)
Tom: Jamal Williams' backup, Ogdemi Nwagbuo, was so impressive that the Chargers picked up Texans bust Travis Johnson and Bears castoff Alfonso Boone and revamped their defense a little to fix the problem.
Mike: That's some pretty powerful chopping, considering the Chargers needed, more than anything, stout run defense. Actually, that's really all the Chargers needed. That and maybe some potent form of anti-Norv.
Tom: Atlanta was last in our field goal and extra point rankings, but really, Kris Brown was nearly as bad, and bad at key moments.
Mike: The Green Bay coverage unit bears special mention. While the team was slightly below average at punt and kick returns, they still managed to finish dead last in the NFL on overall special teams, thanks to a net punting value more than six points lower than the next-lowest team. But while the Packers were bad at kick coverage, there is still nothing remotely close to the Pittsburgh Steelers, whose kick coverage ended the year at -35.4 DYAR, which was roughly four times as bad as Detroit, the No. 31 team. Want to know why the Steelers missed the playoffs? There you go.
FO Staff Fantasy Update
Tom: So, Dave is no longer in the lead.
Mike: Yeah, yeah.
Tom: The lead instead belongs to the FO staffer who was foresighted and amazing enough to draft eight of his nine players from the Colts and Saints, the two teams who, of course, made it to the Super Bowl. I am referring, of course, to the extraordinarily humble yours truly.
Mike: Tom the Incredibly Lucky, is what we call him around the water cooler.
Tom: I have 170 points. Dave is next with 156 points, with Bush and Meachem left. Sean has Dallas Clark and 144 points. Mike has New Orleans' defense and 133. Vince is done with 108, and Aaron is bringing up the rear with 104, but still has Peyton Manning and Indianapolis' defense. My intuition that defenses don't matter much seems to be true, as the top defenses -- New Orleans and the Jets-- only have nine points each, although Baltimore and Minnesota, not chosen in the Staff League, each have 11.
Mike: Defenses don't matter a whole lot in general, especially in the new, offense uber alles NFL.
Tom: I don't think the rules for defense in this league provide enough reward for good defenses, which is as it should be.
Mike: Even then, most defenses are a wash. Looking at the defenses from my Yahoo! league, which was had pretty favorable scoring, the main difference was that the numbers were higher. There was a divide between good teams and bad teams but between good teams was was fairly even.
Tom: I wouldn't mind that so much. The top four quarterbacks in the Staff League have 40-48 points. On an interesting note: Jermichael Finley is the top-scoring tight end on a staffer team, with only 15 points. Peyton Manning is the top quarterback, Peterson and Rice are the top running backs, and Rice, Collie and Fitzgerald are the top wide receivers. Garrett Hartley is the top kicker.
Mike: I will say that I don't see this performance as a repudiation of my strategy. The lesson here is that I need to learn to pick winners better.
Tom: Obviously, you should have drafted Mark Sanchez instead of Tom Brady. Had you done that, you'd be four points behind me!
Mike: I was foolish, I know.
Tom: I'm sure you'll remedy that next year by taking JaMarcus Russell.
Mike: Somebody said he was comparable to Mark Sanchez! What could possibly go wrong?
|FO Playoff Divisional Results (Players in bold are still active)|
|Aaron||Peyton Manning||48||LaDainian Tomlinson||2||Marion Barber||1||Miles Austin||17||Julian Edelman||16||Percy Harvin||4||Antonio Gates||9||Nate Kaeding||2||IND||5||103|
|Dave||Brett Favre||44||Adrian Peterson||37||Reggie Bush||23||Randy Moss||4||Greg Jennings||19||Robert Meachem||1||Jason Witten||11||Jay Feely||17||NE||0||156|
|Vince||Aaron Rodgers||40||Ray Rice||37||Laurence Maroney||0||DeSean Jackson||7||Donald Driver||4||Chad Ochocinco||2||Jermichael Finley||15||Mason Crosby||8||GB||-5||108|
|Mike||Tom Brady||7||Ryan Grant||7||Cedric Benson||23||Sidney Rice||42||Jeremy Maclin||20||Derrick Mason||6||Brent Celek||5||Ryan Longwell||14||NO||9||133|
|Sean||Philip Rivers||22||Thomas Jones||19||Beanie Wells||15||Vincent Jackson||11||Larry Fitzgerald||27||Steve Breaston||25||Dallas Clark||14||Stephen Gostkowski||2||NYJ||9||144|
|Tom||Drew Brees||45||Joseph Addai||12||Pierre Thomas||27||Reggie Wayne||17||Marques Colson||16||Austin Collie||29||Jeremy Shockey||9||Garrett Hartley||18||CIN||-3||170|
Best of the Rest
We have a new leader in the Best of the Rest bracket. Dryheat's still at a fine 155 points, but Chris UK is our new leader with 187 points and Ryan D has moved into second with 164. Chris' team benefited from the Jets' playoff run, with good scores put up by Sanchez and Dustin Keller, the NFL's top fantasy tight end in the playoffs by a large margin, and he has Pierre Garcon remaining. Ryan D has Garcon as well, plus Devery Henderson, so 24 from Devery would put him over the top. Dryheat is stuck at 155, and could be passed by Podge (150, Garcon), Sid (143, Henderson), and ammek (144, Garcon, Stover).
Whomever Holds On To The Football Wins The Lottery
KEEP CHOPPING WOOD: It would be a minor exaggeration to say the Vikings' offensive game plan was "find Tracy Porter, throw ball," as Randall Gay and hole in zone were both targeted a lot as well, but there's a reason cornerbacks normally aren't tied for the team lead in tackles like Porter was. And that doesn't include his whiffed tackle on third down early in the Vikings' final drive that would have given the Saints the ball back.
MIKE MARTZ AWARD: Playing for a 51-yard field goal to win is a great decision. That's why Brad Childress is renowned as a great coach, just like Mike Martz.
COLBERT AWARD: Certainly not Jim Caldwell, who thrice kicked field goals when going for it would've been wise. Instead, this goes to Sean Payton for heeding Herm Edwards' philosophy and going for it on fourth-and-1 in overtime to keep his team's drive going and eventually win the game.
72 comments, Last at 30 Jan 2010, 2:21pm
#1 by Rich Conley (not verified) // Jan 28, 2010 - 11:26am
I have to object to Orlando Pace only being an honorable mention.
He literally would just fall down without being touched a half dozen times a game.
He was consistently terrible in both run and pass blocking, and yet managed to keep his job because of his paycheck for about 10 games. I'm not sure who deserves it more, him, or Lovie for continuing to trot him out there.
#46 by Thanos (not verified) // Jan 28, 2010 - 8:46pm
I would say that Lovie 'Rex is our quarterback' Smith deserves it more for not learning from his mistakes over the past three years.
#2 by Noahrk // Jan 28, 2010 - 11:27am
How do I get that tune out of my head now?
#24 by Duck in MA (not verified) // Jan 28, 2010 - 2:32pm
It seems to go away after about 20 listenings.
#26 by Paul R // Jan 28, 2010 - 2:41pm
Here you go:
Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,
A tale of a fateful trip,
That started from this tropic port aboard this tiny ship,
The mate was a mighty sailing man, the shipper brave and sure,
Five passengers set sail that day for a three hour tour,
A three hour tour...
#27 by Bobman // Jan 28, 2010 - 3:01pm
Did you know that the computer I am viewing this on was made out of coconut husks and conch shells? I used volcanic glass to make the monitor, which is admittedly a little dim, and my young doofus friend rides the bicycle to generate electricity. Tough to surf the Web for porn, but I just tell Gilligan that it's for medical research.
#29 by Kevin from Philly // Jan 28, 2010 - 3:18pm
I never could figure out how the skipper was stuck on a deserted island for years, but managed to GAIN weight every season.
#38 by Wikitorix (not verified) // Jan 28, 2010 - 5:00pm
It was actually a desserted island, maybe?
#49 by Paul R // Jan 28, 2010 - 10:27pm
#60 by Mr Shush // Jan 29, 2010 - 8:50am
Sorry, that was a trifle poor.
#51 by Paul R // Jan 28, 2010 - 10:31pm
Uh, Skipper. You're on a deserted island with Ginger and Mary Ann. No need for the 'puter.
#52 by The Guy You Do… (not verified) // Jan 28, 2010 - 11:26pm
Did not get stuck in my head at all.
I guess I'm weird. Now the link in my name (the second song, since it's technically two) gets stuck in my head regularly (be warned, as he warns early on, nsfw).
#3 by Temo // Jan 28, 2010 - 11:31am
I want to pick a bad blocking tight end, since tight ends are more associated with receiving nowadays, I'm having trouble coming up with one.
I'd have trouble coming up with a bad blocking TE among the lesser-known TEs, but among the more celebrated players, Visanthe Shiancoe and Dustin Keller are both not very good blockers. Both of those guys are pretty pass targets though, so I don't know who deserves the award for overall shittiness.
John Carlson was pretty bad for my fantasy team, and though I never saw many Seahawks games to judge his blocking, it's not like they were a good running team. Donald Lee, maybe? Or is Jermichael Finley's success clouding my judgement of Lee? Robert Royal seems to be a safe pick, since he's on the Browns and all.
#11 by The Guy You Do… (not verified) // Jan 28, 2010 - 1:13pm
I would agree with you about Lee, so I don't think it's Finley clouding your judgment. He seemed to me to be a poor blocker at best, at least this year.
#4 by MilkmanDanimal // Jan 28, 2010 - 11:37am
They had an easy time finding [Sabby Piscatelli] this year; all they had to do was look at who was supposed to be there when Tampa Bay gave up a long touchdown pass."
It's totally unfair to pick on Piscatelli for his coverage lapses. At least without mentioning all the times he whiffed on tackles, causing long touchdown runs. Even Darren Sharper thinks Piscatelli is a lousy tackler.
#5 by Temo // Jan 28, 2010 - 11:42am
I must also sadly report that fellow Rutgers Alum and TB guard (and noted speedster) Jeremy Zuttah was awful this year. I was following him a bit this year, and he started off really well but by mid-season was getting blown off the point of attack regularly.
LaRon Landry probably deserves a mention at safety, for sheer drop-off in production in such a short amount of time.
#6 by Dean // Jan 28, 2010 - 11:46am
The sad thing is that Richie Incognito is actually a really talented player. Strong as an ox, and has the feet/agility to be an LT (but not the height/long arms to do so as anything other then a backup - hence, he's a guard at the pro level).
Certainly, if you are such a hot-head that you get cut from the worst team in the league despite your talent, that sounds like an easy KCW choice. But to be fair the dude is not without talent. I seriously think that if he were able to keep his edge, but learn to control it, he'd be a pro bowler. Not that I expect that to ever happen.
I would just like to see him line up just once across from a trash-talker like Warren Sapp. Dude's head would explode before the second quarter.
#10 by dmb // Jan 28, 2010 - 1:02pm
If you think Sapp would be disturbed by such an event, then I shudder at the thought of what would happen to Roger Goddell if such a matchup had ever transpired.
But you're right, he's talented, but the KCW award is about mental presence, and he's clearly lacking in that area.
EDIT: Okay, I actually looked it up, and Sapp and Incognito did face off against each other, in Week 15 of 2006. Sapp got three tackles and a sack, though I have no idea how much of the time he was actually facing Incognito. Amazingly, neither of them were penalized!
#61 by Dean // Jan 29, 2010 - 9:19am
I guess I wasn't clear. I was suggesting that Sapp would get inside Incognito's head, and have an absolute field day. You can't say a whole lot based just on sacks, but for the 2006 version of Sapp, that sounds like a pretty good day. With Warren's mouth, I would have figured he'd get Richie ejected!
And no, I wasn't suggesting that Incognito shouldn't be on the KCW team. Just that it's unfortunate. If he ever learns any self-control...
#7 by JCRODRIGUEZ (not verified) // Jan 28, 2010 - 12:53pm
For some might seem unfair, but I want to nominate Tyrone Carter, at Safety, I know, replace an All-World like Polamamlu is a tall order, but, man, performing well below-replacement level kept the whole defense on their heels. Also, being slower than David Garrard...not cool.
#8 by whodat // Jan 28, 2010 - 12:56pm
Who hoo! No more Saints references with "hole in zone" in up caps!
#9 by jbrown (not verified) // Jan 28, 2010 - 1:00pm
Chris Brown deserves special mention at RB for his (wood chopped/minutes played) metric. Chris managed to both fumble AND throw an interception on the goal line at crucial points where a TD could have won the game (and a win in any of his 3 failures would have put the Texans in the playoffs)
#12 by Frank Esposito (not verified) // Jan 28, 2010 - 1:15pm
Great stuff, guys!
(Even if you do point out the shortcomings of my beloved Browns...)
Just wondering where you can find individual penalty totals per player. I'm guessing the NFL doesn't publicize this because it's a negative-type statistic. But by that same reasoning, they shoul eliminate the interception column from QB stats.
Keep up the great work!
- Frank Esposito
#14 by Tom Gower // Jan 28, 2010 - 1:19pm
We ran an Extra Point on the site last week with a list of the league's most penalized players, which is where we got the numbers for the column.
#13 by SportsCentr (not verified) // Jan 28, 2010 - 1:18pm
I think Chris Brown deserves a spot on the KCW team, due to the huge damage he inflicted in limited opportunities. Despite only carrying the ball 79 times, Brown lost three games by himself in three totally unique ways. He fumbled at the goal line against Jacksonville, got stuffed at the goal line twice versus Arizona, and threw an interception at the goal line in the Jacksonville rematch. Arguably, he had an even worse year than the R&B singer of the same name.
#15 by Packerpalooza (not verified) // Jan 28, 2010 - 1:24pm
Daryn Colledge has to be under consideration for the offensive line.
He lapped the field in being responsible for bad runs and allowing pressure in Rodgers face.
#31 by justanothersteve // Jan 28, 2010 - 3:24pm
He didn't quite lap the field. I think he was actually better (albeit barely) than RT Allen Barbre who managed to give up 8 sacks and finished second on the team in pressures allowed despite only starting 7 games according to Bob McGinn of the MJS. Once he was mercifully replaced by Mark Tauscher (who was better despite coming back from knee surgery and not practicing for 9 months), the Packers line got significantly better. Colledge only looked worse because he played all year.
#16 by Jay (not verified) // Jan 28, 2010 - 1:35pm
Oh, the irony. What would the Jets have been had Favre played for them like he did for the Vikes this season?
#19 by Travis // Jan 28, 2010 - 1:46pm
Most likely, the loser of the AFC Championship Game. (With 2-4 more regular season wins and maybe the AFC East title.)
#44 by Temo // Jan 28, 2010 - 7:29pm
Well they'd still have Eric Mangini as their coach.
#59 by Harris // Jan 29, 2010 - 7:15am
Though he had a very good season, the Land Baron deserves an Honorable Mention for that brainlock INT against the Saints.
#17 by Arson55 // Jan 28, 2010 - 1:43pm
Why does the KCW team not have a coach? I nominate Jim Mora for all around douchery to go along with complete incompetence.
#23 by Doug Farrar // Jan 28, 2010 - 2:31pm
Seconded, with a sub-nomination for Greg "Senecat" Knapp. (Ah, he's Houston's problem now...)
#18 by seamus (not verified) // Jan 28, 2010 - 1:45pm
Ask anyone who watched the Dolphins this year about their FS, Gibril "Gerbil" Wilson. I've never seen a player turn Cover-2 into Cover-1 like Gibril, and his failure to protect the deep middle (especially critical with two rookie CBs) was a primary reason the Dolphins' defense dropped from top-10 to bottom-10 this year.
#21 by JasonK // Jan 28, 2010 - 2:12pm
I didn't see much of Gibril this season, but every Giants fan I know would kill to have him back in the place of any one of the 3 safeties the Giants gave significant playing time to in 2009, post-Kenny-Phillips-injury (i.e., Aaron Rouse, Micheal Johnson, and the above-mentioned C.C. Brown).
#33 by E // Jan 28, 2010 - 3:55pm
I said several times this year that the Giants would have been better off playing with 10 men on the field than with 11, if one of those 11 are CC Brown. At least if they played with 10, the other safety would know that he was responsible for twice as much coverage and he (and the rest of the D) would adjust accordingly. With CC, the rest of the defense (falsely) assumed that they were playing with a strong safety - an 11th man - when in reality he was just running around out there without a clue. Hands down he is the worst NFL player I have ever watched over a full season (bumping the previous holder of that spot, former Giants QB Dave Brown).
#45 by alexbond // Jan 28, 2010 - 7:35pm
Let me get you some film on Brian Russell. There are plenty of plays even worse than these two.
#62 by Mr Shush // Jan 29, 2010 - 9:26am
Mr. Bond, it just so happens that I am a fan of the only team in the league lucky enough to have retained the services both Ceandris and Brian at one time or another. Both have already done enough in their careers to guarantee enshrinement at the first ballot in the Hall of Wood-chopping, which I propose we set up in Missoula, Montana, both because it is a regional headquarters for the United States Forest Service, and because it has the highest rate of drug use in the nation, which might alleviate the pain induced by having to think about those guys ever having been paid to play football. However, it is my opinion that, diabolically atrocious as Russell has been, CC Brown is even worse. The only reasons people think he was worse in New York than Houston are 1. More media attention due to being on a better, better supported team, 2. In Houston, he had secondary-mates bad enough in their own right that opponents sometimes picked on someone else. DeMarcus Faggins, for example, probably merits a place in the Hall of Very Bad.
#35 by ammek // Jan 28, 2010 - 4:20pm
Rouse could be worth a nomination, as he screwed up two secondaries this year. He began the season with Green Bay, where he was given every opportunity to win a starting job in place of oft-injured, oft-burned Atari Bigby. Instead, he flunked and was cut after just a couple of games, leaving the Packers to trawl the waiver wires for a replacement.
#20 by Rick A. (not verified) // Jan 28, 2010 - 2:00pm
I would nominate Jason "False Start" Peters of the Eagles for most overrated LT in the game.
#22 by dancingeek // Jan 28, 2010 - 2:25pm
FYI: Ogdemi Nwagbuo was an undrafted third stringer at the start of camp. Both guys ahead of him went on IR.
#25 by JrWalker (not verified) // Jan 28, 2010 - 2:38pm
so where does vernon gholston show up here ?
I think Favre for the Jets this year would have been the same result -- a loss in the AFC Championship, with a couple more interceptions.
#28 by RickD // Jan 28, 2010 - 3:08pm
"so where does vernon gholston show up here ?"
People in New Jersey have been saying that for a couple years now.
#32 by MilkmanDanimal // Jan 28, 2010 - 3:37pm
Thanks, he'll be here all week, try the veal.
#30 by Bjorn Nittmo (not verified) // Jan 28, 2010 - 3:20pm
As a Giants, I must defend Kevin Boothe, whose play at guard this year was downright serviceable -- now last year, when he "filled in" at right tackle, that was a different story. Plus, he didn't get nearly enough playing time to warrant KCW honors.
#34 by Brendan Scolari // Jan 28, 2010 - 4:10pm
I know you were trying to get some guards on the team, but I think both Baas and especially Rachal played much better in the second half of the season (Rachal actually had a positive rating on PFF). The real weak link on the Niners line was Adam Snyder, who was bad at run blocking and an absolute joke in pass protection. Of course he was playing a much tougher position, so if you were to do a positional adjustment like in baseball I guess Baas and Rachal would be at least as bad at right tackle. But still, Snyder was hideously bad when compared to other right tackles, and Bass and Rachal were just sort of bad when compared to other guards.
#36 by TheSlinger // Jan 28, 2010 - 4:48pm
I consider Derrick Harvey a terrible choice. He's not a great pass rusher but he's the best the Jags have, and he was a big part of them being a decent run defense. If you want to blame a Jag, make it Quentin Groves who got no pressure AND was absolutely awful in run support plus had some sort of traffic dust-up whose details I don't recall.
#37 by Dan // Jan 28, 2010 - 4:59pm
I don't like the Sanchez choice. He's a rookie QB and he looked like one - not noticeably worse than Stafford, Freeman, or a million other rookies over the years - and he was probably the best quarterback on his team. Then he played very well in the playoffs, and the Jets did as well as they could've hoped (they made it to the conference championship where they were outmatched by the Colts, and wouldn't have been hosting Indy no matter how well Sanchez had played). If you want someone who excels at terribleness, go with Russell or Anderson. For big disappointments, try Cutler or the forgotten fourteen million dollar man, Matt Cassel.
#39 by Eddo // Jan 28, 2010 - 5:14pm
I can understand possibly going with someone who "excels at terribleness" (great term, by the way), in that Russell and Anderson provided more negative value than Sanchez. The disappointment factor, I don't buy, at least for Cutler; he balanced out his negatives with a bit more positive play than Sanchez. In fact, you could argue, that unlike Sanchez, Cutler put the Bears in position to win several games that they wouldn't have without him (Steelers, Seahawks, Vikings).
I've always thought of Keep Choppin' Wood as an award for guys who did the most distinct thing to throw away otherwise winnable games. Let's face it, the Browns and Raiders wouldn't have won many more games with average quarterback play, whereas the Jets could have realistically won two or three more games with a quarterback that protected the ball better.
#42 by Led // Jan 28, 2010 - 6:52pm
Delhomme was really the obvious choice here, I think, in that he was so bad on such a decent team that he really cost the team wins. If that's Kurtz's argument for Sanchez, Delhomme definitely out Sanchezed Sanchez.
But I wouldn't start a ruckus if somebody picked Russell or Anderson.
#57 by peachy // Jan 29, 2010 - 5:51am
Definitely agree - if you're looking for a player who should have done better and knee-capped his team by under-performing, then Delhomme's a slam-dunk. Frankly, I think rookies should be exempt from this list, barring historically awful performances that cripple otherwise good teams (and to pick on a rookie QB is just harsh, man. It's one step up from hunting baby seals.)
#40 by verifiable (not verified) // Jan 28, 2010 - 5:26pm
I was going to comment about how only 1 Lion is on this list but then that got me thinking about how bad they are and that made me depressed and i just could not .....
#41 by R O (not verified) // Jan 28, 2010 - 5:43pm
OK. I'm not going to complain two loudly but I do have some points to make. And I also wish you had provided some stats to back these view up a little more.
First, you know Nwagbuo went on IR with about 1/2 to 1/3 of the season reamaining? Perhaps this is why the run D fell off again down the stretch when I think it had gotten ok there in the middle.
Second, multiple injuries forced Vaughn Martin to play a more than they would have liked and HE was the bigger weak link.
Third, your own stat of the day show Jaques Cesaire's "problematic" run stop rate when as a Chargers fan I was under the impression that he was their best run stopper after Jamal. So picking on a first year player who helped to stabalize their d-line rotation seems a tad unfair.
Nwagbuo was after all, the THIRD NT. Ryon Bingham was the original backup and went down before the season.
I think that's enough crying for one comment. Carry on.
#53 by SJT (not verified) // Jan 28, 2010 - 11:57pm
Agree, and I have to add that TJ wasn't added because of anything OG did. He was added at the beginning of the season because Bingham went down in training camp. Totally unfair, and factually wrong, to beat up on OG like this.
#43 by Paul A (not verified) // Jan 28, 2010 - 7:20pm
I cannot possibly accept a KCW team without Suisham. Unless really good pharmaceuticals are involved.
#47 by Carlos not verified (not verified) // Jan 28, 2010 - 9:47pm
LaRon Landry for KCW safety. Rex Ryan could beat him on a double move. #6 overall pick. Oh, and on the rare plays when he actually makes a tackle, he celebrates like he's some kind of world beater.
#48 by Tom Gower // Jan 28, 2010 - 9:48pm
Some general comments/responses:
--You'll be able to vote for your own KCW player and coach when the FO awards, which should be in the next couple days.
--We didn't think to discuss coaches. Off the top of my head, Dick Jauron would be a fine candidate if you don't think his firing invalidates him. Jim Zorn and Raheem Morris were both largely trainwrecks as first year head coaches; I'd probably lean Zorn since no Redskins are out there and Trueblood represents the Bucs.
--Derrick Harvey had two (2) sacks this year, and I don't think he got a ridiculous amount of pressures that didn't result in sacks. That's simply unacceptable for a top 10 pick, even moreso than for a lower pick like Groves.
--Owagbuo, yes, we weren't really fair to him.
--The team was picked before the XP with the DL Stop Rate data was posted, and we didn't have that information available when we made our selections.
--We could have made the defense entirely out of cornerbacks and safeties we considered or who were otherwise nominated.
--We tried to avoid picking teammates who were on the same side of the ball. Nick Harper means no Michael Griffin, Marcus Trufant means no Deon Grant, etc.
--The 49ers were 32nd running left tackle, 29th running middle/guard, and 31st running right tackle. From what I saw of SF this year, Baas and Rachal were both poor.
--Slaton's DVOA this year was -31.0%. Chris Brown's was -9.3%, though of course that doesn't take into account his pass.
--Suisham this year made 18 of 21 FGs with WAS and 2 of 3 w/ DAL (20-24, 83%) (regular season). Brown was 21-32 (66%).
#50 by Brendan Scolari // Jan 28, 2010 - 10:30pm
"--The 49ers were 32nd running left tackle, 29th running middle/guard, and 31st running right tackle."
This basically shows that the Niners were poor no matter where they ran, so I'm not sure what that has to do with Bass and Rachal over Snyder.
"From what I saw of SF this year, Baas and Rachal were both poor."
Right, and I'd agree that particularly in the first half they were poor, although they both improved. But you're only looking at run blocking stats, Adam Snyder is perhaps one of the 5 worst right tackles in the league at pass blocking (among starters). Rachal and Baas both were way better in pass protection. Here's the Niners pass protection stats from PFF:
LT (Staley/Sims): 1041 snaps, 4 sacks, 7 hits, 20 pressures (Staley only allowed 4)
LG (Baas): 953 snaps, 4 sacks, 5 hits, 15 pressures
C (Heitmann): 1005 snaps, 2 sacks, 1 hit, 11 pressures
RG (Rachal): 968 snaps, 4 sacks, 6 hits, 12 pressures
RT (Snyder): 847 snaps, 10 sacks, 8 hits, 30 pressures
Obviously Snyder sticks out like a sore thumb, he allowed more than twice as many sacks as anyone else and also allowed more hits and way more pressures than anyone on the line, all while playing at least 100 less snaps than any starter (I just combined Staley and Sims' numbers). Granted, his position is much harder, and I'm not sure how you account for that (there's no position spectrum like in baseball). So while Snyder's run blocking was marginally better, his incredible failings in pass protection easily make up the gap and then some. Snyder was easily the worst starter on the line and right tackle is the Niner's biggest need, much moreso than guard. That is unless you think Alex Smith needs to be replaced, which I certainly do but many Niner fans don't. But I digress.
Anyway, I did really like the article and perhaps this comes off as a bit nitpicky but I think it's pretty clear you picked the wrong starter on the Niner's line (and it's probably unfair for me to expect an NFC South fan to know much about the Niners interior line play). If Baas and Rachal go into tnext season as starters next year it would be a slight disappointment but if Snyder is starting at tackle next year the Niners front office will have utterly failed.
#65 by Jerrytron // Jan 29, 2010 - 10:55am
Doesn't the fact you could make the defensive team entirely out of defensive backs sort of indicate how difficult the position is to play with respect to the other positions on the field?
The NFL has gone out of its way to increase offense and we know that in the NFL offense equals passing. So couldn't it be fair to say that being a defensive back is simply harder than the other positions and therefore you're going to find fewer elite defensive backs as a percentage of the overall and more "terrible" ones.
Also, I have noticed from a lifetime of playing video games, driving motor vehicles, playing paintball, etc. that most people have pathetic levels of spatial awareness. So when we look at defensive backs that are considered elite who do we think of? Guys like Ed Reed who are referred to as ball hawks. Well what makes you a ball hawk? The ability to stay near your man, or "feel" your zone while watching the QB and baiting him into a throw. Without extreme levels of spatial awareness to just know where everyone is around you, you can't do that.
There was one play in the Vikings/Cowboys game where the Vikings scored a TD on a long pass and I don't think the Dallas DB even knew he caught the ball because he was trying so desperately to just stay with his man. Had no idea a ball was incoming and he turned his head back from the WR as he caught it then sort of drifted away from the WR instead of trying to shove him out of bounds. Then, as the WR is crossing the goal line the DB's head jerks around as if he just realized what happened and it caused him whiplash. The play in question is at the 40 second mark of the link at the end of my post. I couldn't find the reverse angle they showed which shows it more clearly but the DB's body language still suggests to me he had no idea the WR had the ball.
Anyway, I guess my point is that maybe being a defensive back is harder than the rest of the positions so perhaps the thresholds for success/failure should be different.
Click it before the intellectual property lawyers have their way!
#68 by R O (not verified) // Jan 29, 2010 - 5:21pm
On the bright side, it's good to know there was a starting running back worse than LT this year.
That's just as good a a Super Bowl any day...no really (takes more prozac...)
#54 by utvikefan (not verified) // Jan 29, 2010 - 12:19am
As much as I love him, can we nominate Adrian Peterson for MVP or something after that last game? 3! fumbles in an NFC Championship game (yakkity sax blaring away...wish I had the forsight to have it on during the game). And I think Admiral Armbar should at least recieve honorable mention somewhere.
#67 by Arkaein // Jan 29, 2010 - 5:16pm
The thing about Admiral Armbar is that he actually graded out pretty well overall, both in conventional stats (I think 5 INTs), as well as FO metrics.
The Ravens game where he accrued most of his DPI penalties and yards included an end zone interception to offset the long DPI that set the Ravens up with goal to go, and GB ended up winning by 13 points, so it's hard to argue that he really hurt his team significantly.
If any GB DBs deserved to be on the team, it's Jarret Bush and the other guys manning the Nickel and Dime positions after Tramon Williams took over for Al Harris as a starter. Those were the guys that really blew the games against Pittsburgh and Arizona, as GB no longer had the depth to stop 3rd and 4th receiving options.
#55 by Mateo (not verified) // Jan 29, 2010 - 1:49am
I'm somewhat outraged that the 49ers' punt return game was not singled out in the Special Teams section. They would have been better off just trying to block punts with all 11 guys and just letting the ball bounce around if the punter got a kick off. Almost every return involved someone running backwards or jogging east to west. Finally, don't forget the fateful botched reverse attempt during the Seahawks game which killed all their momentum and effectively eliminated them from playoff contention. The 49ers' punt return game was a big bucket of FAIL.
#58 by Brendan Scolari // Jan 29, 2010 - 6:45am
Oh no doubt. Trying to remember all the epic fail moments is impossible.
Let's see, according to PFR Arnaz Battle had 6 fumbles! 6 fumbles in 21 punt returns!! I remember he had two in the first Rams game, 1 he lost in the sun against the Texans, and I think he was responsible for the failed reverse against the Seahawks but the others I don't recall. He had one 18 yard return but his other 20 returns only netted 51 total yards so he was a total non-threat.
Brandon Jones had 9 punt returns. One of them went for 13 yards, the rest went for 12 yards... combined. He didn't know which way to run. He also fumbled once. He also probably caught like 3 balls inside the 5 yard line, for some reason, "Stand at the 10 and if the ball goes over your head let it go" didn't register.
Nate Clements had 4 returns for 31 yards which is decent, but fumbled once and IIRC his injury that knocked him out for the season was on one of his punt returns.
Reggie Smith had 3 returns for 7 yards and a fumble.
And then there was Allen Rossum, who was fine. But I guess that meant he didn't fit in with the rest of the group so he was cut fairly early on in the season. For the rest of the season I also yelled many times that the Niners would be better off sending all 11 guys to try to block the punt. At least it ensures that you get possession of the ball one way or another.
#56 by Arson55 // Jan 29, 2010 - 4:37am
I keep want to recommend a Cowboy for the team, because, really what is more fun than disparaging our favorite teams? And I can't really think of anyone who was just that godawful. So the only one I could bring up would be Bobby Carpenter...for being Bobby Carpenter. The awesome value of a mediocre special teams player drafted in the first round speaks for itself I think. And this is after he's had a few years to develop.
But even he I don't think really reaches the standards of this team.
#63 by Kevin from Philly // Jan 29, 2010 - 9:35am
What about ol' first and third a.k.a. "The Good" Roy Williams?
#64 by Temo // Jan 29, 2010 - 9:48am
It just goes to show you... you want something negative on a Cowboys, just speak to your closest Philly fan.
#69 by Arson55 // Jan 29, 2010 - 6:39pm
The disturbing thing is that the other Roy Williams was so bad, that I still think of the receiver as "The Good" Roy Williams. Even as he managed to make me think of a less talented Braylon Edwards.
But yeah, you're right he probably deserves a mention too.
#66 by Sid // Jan 29, 2010 - 12:41pm
Wow, my team got a mention! Thanks guys.
#70 by Never Surrender (not verified) // Jan 30, 2010 - 11:29am
"Whomever" is used incorrectly near the end of the article.
#71 by Never Surrender (not verified) // Jan 30, 2010 - 11:30am
Sort of like when NFL players use the term "myself" as a subject pronoun. hahaha
#72 by Tommy M (not verified) // Jan 30, 2010 - 2:21pm
Gibril Wilson with Kenny Phillips using a Hover-round would have been better than
M. Johnson, Rouse and Brown. Even if these 3 were on the field
together, constituting 12 men on the field, I still think Wilson and KP (with
1 healthy leg) on a scooter would have played better.