Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

26 Jan 2007

FOX Blog Wrap-Up, January 20-26

Here's a catch-all thread for discussion of this week's posts on the Football Outsiders FOX blog. This week: Similarity scores for Rex Grossman and Tony Romo, my opinion on the Bill Belichick contract rumors, Larry Johnson in fantasy keeper leagues, and the magical mystery tour of the Denver Broncos' fourth-round pick in the 2005 draft.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 26 Jan 2007

16 comments, Last at 31 Jan 2007, 1:43pm by Ian


by B (not verified) :: Fri, 01/26/2007 - 6:25pm

"If Belichick told Jonathan Kraft that the Patriots would be more likely to make it to Super Bowl XLII if he had an egg salad sandwich for lunch, you can bet Kraft would have an egg salad sandwich for lunch."
And Troy Brown will make the sandwich.

by CA (not verified) :: Fri, 01/26/2007 - 7:14pm

I caught a bit of Mike and Mike in the Morning on ESPN2 this morning, and they were talking to Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. Blagojevich, who apparently is a big and, allegedly, knowledgable Chicago sports fan, completely unprompted, decided to sing Grossman's praises. He started rattling off Grossman's statistics versus those of good QBs, including Peyton Manning, "during their first full seasons as starters," in a lame attempt to show that Grossman compares favorably. I immediately thought to myself, "Well, that's bull. I wonder what his actual similarity scores are?" Hmm... Not so impressive after all, governor.

by Jimmy6 (not verified) :: Fri, 01/26/2007 - 7:31pm

2. Wow. That's seriously what you came away with? He was giving an argument about why people should cut Grossman some slack. He was not saying he's going to the next Manning/Aikman. At least Greenburg got it when he replied "Yes, but Aikman and Manning were on teams that were terrible. Rex is on a team with superbowl aspirations so they have a lot more to lose if he tanks a game. That's why he received more criticism." That's a fair point. Golic saying "GROSSMAN ISN'T AS GOOD AS MANNING. IF YOU NEED A TD IN THE SUPERBOWL WOULD YOU TAKE MANNING OR GROSSMAN?" is completely missing the point. Much like you obviously did.

by DrewTS (not verified) :: Fri, 01/26/2007 - 8:12pm

I agree with the points about Belichick not wanting to leave the team in general, but there are a couple of possible counterpoints that can be made.

Besides, would you trade the challenge of building a team around Tom Brady for the challenge of building a team around Eli Manning?

You might if you actually wanted a challenge. If I recall, BB's mentor has a notorious case of wander-lust. Belichick could reasonably conclude that there's not much else for him to accomplish in New England, especially if he has no firm ties to the area. Maybe winning one with another team is the final frontier.

multiple sources around the league believe that Belichick's contract, which does have three years remaining on it, is filled with mutual options that could allow him or the team to nullify the deal

That's the other thing. Even if Belichick never wants to leave, will that always be so of the ownership? Not saying they'd ever want him gone, just pointing out that only half of the story is being looked at.

by Aaron Boden (not verified) :: Fri, 01/26/2007 - 8:49pm

That whole Belichick is leaving is just like the same crap we are seeing with regards to Lovie Smith and the Cowboys. People are looking at what they think to be the contract situation and say "Hey! I think that this is a possibility! Lets put it out there." And then everyone and their Dog goes out and repeats it as fact. It is stupid.

by Crushinator (not verified) :: Fri, 01/26/2007 - 8:53pm


It's wishful thinking by fans of coachless or disgruntled teams.

So far, I've heard at least 3 teams fans talk about Cowher next year as if they already have him - Cleveland, Tampa Bay, NYG. Let the guy actually decide to come back next year before we just assume he's going to be leading our team to a strong run.

by CA (not verified) :: Fri, 01/26/2007 - 9:41pm

Re: 3

My point was that Blagojevich was attempting a simplistic, biased, layman version of similarity scores, and that effort was designed to make Grossman look good. A more sophisticated approach to the same subject yields much less promising results. I'm not bashing Grossman (unlike most of the Outsiders, I never thought he should be benched, but that's mainly because I'm very low on Griese); I'm bashing "the biggest sports fan in politics."

by Kachunk (not verified) :: Sat, 01/27/2007 - 2:49am

I thought Ed Rendell was the biggest sports fan in politics. He has his own show.

by Fargo (not verified) :: Sat, 01/27/2007 - 9:49am

Has anyone else noticed that Neil Lomax seems to come up in the top 10 of a lot of QB's similarity scores? I hereby declare Lomax to be the most similar QB ever.

by B (not verified) :: Sat, 01/27/2007 - 12:26pm

8: Plus, he hit Jimmy Johnson with a snowball.

by Sifter (not verified) :: Sat, 01/27/2007 - 8:30pm

Most of the time I enjoy what Aaron writes, but I think the little piece about the Belichick leaving talk was a bit closed minded.

Firstly, let's address the idea that Belichick has these get-out clauses in his contract. FACT - Schefter has a couple of sources that believe they are there. FACT - We do not know for certain that they are there. MY OPINION - Purely guessing, but wouldn't it make sense to have these sort of clauses in a contract? Bit like signing a pre-nup. You never know what's going to happen a couple of years after you sign a contract, so it would be sensible to protect yourself with these clauses (I'm talking from both the Patriots AND Belichick's POV). Hence, MY CONCLUSION - Given the sense of having these clauses and the fact that a respected guy like Schefter believes they are in the contract, it is more likely than not they are there (but of course not definite).

Then, the reasons why Belichick might stay. These are good reasons, but there has been no attempt to look at the other side of the coin at all - are there reasons why he would want to leave? Of course there are. This is even more important considering that NO ONE has a clue what Bill Belichick is really thinking about his future. I can think of a plethora of reasons that he may want to leave/not want to leave. But of course, no one can give any concrete evidence that he wants to leave, as he hasn't addressed the subject - and even then just cause he says it doesn't mean it's concrete evidence. On the other hand, there is no concrete evidence that he wants to stay after next year either. The power/ money/challenge reasons were given, but these reasons are also just pure speculation - speculating that these things are important to Belichick and his decision making process. We have no idea, unless we can get inside his head somehow.

Until then, lets just lighten up and do some speculating, its fun and doesn't do educated fans any harm (only the gullible ones). Speculating about the future is also part of the media's job. There are millions of mock drafts being churned out, why not just wait to see what happens? Cause its interesting to look into the future and try to predict it, and it gives fans something to talk about once their team has been eliminated. So Belichick to the Texans FTW!!!

by Insancipitory (not verified) :: Sun, 01/28/2007 - 9:28am

The only apparent aim Belicheck could achieve by leaving the Patriots that he couldn't realize by staying put is win a superbowl with a second team.

by lobolafacdio (not verified) :: Mon, 01/29/2007 - 7:58am

Romo seems good.
I'm sure boys' fans will be happy to see Aikman twice on the list.
Maybe that's why they're trying to bring back Turner.

by Lou (not verified) :: Mon, 01/29/2007 - 11:18am

I don't know where else to post this, but the link in my name has video of FO favorite Adrian Wilson clearing a 66" hurdle.

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Mon, 01/29/2007 - 2:43pm

Re: 14

Um...holy crap.

by Ian (not verified) :: Wed, 01/31/2007 - 1:43pm

Hey, what does the "report this" button on all the Fox Blog posts do? I pressed it and it put white transparent over all the posts...