National Football League

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FoxxyBrown1111 said:
Myth debunked long time ago. Only that the pundits still repeat it many times, even nowadays...
But defense wins champsionships is crap (ok, in soccer or hockey it might be true; but who cares :D).
Pfffft. FB, I ain't buying your cool-aid. If I don't let you score, I will win.
Scoring up nowdays, ok, I buy that. But defenses nowdays have adjusted to the pass happy league in one major way. Safties play way more over the top coverage for corners, leaving middle of field more wide open, hence more success passing. So, what have D's done to compensate? Use more nickel and dime defenses, disguise coverage, drop off D-Linemen into coverage. We saw that last one last night... PHIL nose tackle dropped into left side zone to cover a slot WR going in an out route to the flat. Are you kidding me??? That's nuts. OFC the NT was no where close to covering. But nickel and dime cover guys are playing nickel and dime b/c they are not premier corners, otherwise they'd be starting corners. So on O, if they line up a Boldin, Fitzgerald, Welker, Vernon Davis, Graham or Gronk type in the slot going against second tier/rate cover guys... that's a mismatch in favor of offenses. There are not many NFL teams challenging modern passing game by really aggressive secondary coverage schemes. But there is one. They let SF score a total of 3 points last week (with front 7 help) and totally disrupted what was a scary SF passing attack. 3 points. The Jags could score more than 3 points... and win if only their D could hold up. So we may be in the process of seeing the old what you call myth restored to reality this season. No crap. :D

Glad to see my rant about login/MS helped. I could say more about my co. IT weenies going off half cocked, ending up making systems slooooow waaaaay down by going back to the 80's architectures with thin-client workstations and undersized servers that can't handle peak loads from users. They doin a bangup job, mmmHhmmmmmmmm, yesiree... they be bangin on der KoKonuts all day long.
 
Impressive that KC is now 3-0. They also have a soft schedule coming up, and could feasibly start the season about 7-2. But their tough games are stacked at the end of the season. Playing (and losing to) Denver twice over three weeks could dent them. Still, if they get their mojo going after some wins, Reid and steady Alex could lead them into the playoffs with that talented group.

Aldon Smith is an idiot.

I can somewhat see why the Browns dealt Richardson, and I don't see him helping Indy that much. He's been too injured, and I won't say a bust, but not worthy of the 3rd round pick when he was supposed to be the next Jamal Charles with his running and ability to catch and block. They'll bail on Weednen next and expect to rebuild entirely. Browns have deeper problems on the OL and DL too.
 
Aug 3, 2009
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Alpe d'Huez said:
Impressive that KC is now 3-0. They also have a soft schedule coming up, and could feasibly start the season about 7-2. But their tough games are stacked at the end of the season. Playing (and losing to) Denver twice over three weeks could dent them. Still, if they get their mojo going after some wins, Reid and steady Alex could lead them into the playoffs with that talented group.

Aldon Smith is an idiot.

I can somewhat see why the Browns dealt Richardson, and I don't see him helping Indy that much. He's been too injured, and I won't say a bust, but not worthy of the 3rd round pick when he was supposed to be the next Jamal Charles with his running and ability to catch and block. They'll bail on Weednen next and expect to rebuild entirely. Browns have deeper problems on the OL and DL too.
The Browns are rebuilding the rebuild that was rebuilt.We are doomed as a pro sports town.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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Some tough picks this week. I'm looking for wins from both of my beltway teams.

KC @ PHI - at least that was one right.
HOU @ BAL - could well go the other way, especially if Rice isn't fit.
GB @ CIN - the cheeseheads should be good enough.
STL @ DAL - but a loss wouldn't be a major surprise.
ATL @ MIA - Fins on a roll, I'll stay with them.
CLE @ MIN - Vikings to get off the mark.
BUF @ NYJ - who will suck less on the day? Toss up.
TB @ NE - home banker
ARI @ NO - Saints should take this.
SD @ TEN - taking a chance on Sandy Eggo
DET @ WAS - lose this and the season's a washout.
NYG @ CAR - I'll go with Eli, but a Giants loss would not surprise.
IND @ SF - Niners to bounce back, Colts disappoint.
JAX @ SEA - another home banker.
CHI @ PIT - Bears on the up, Steelers suck.
OAK @ DEN - banker of the round.
 
KC @ PHI - Didn't pick in time.
HOU @ BAL - Baltimore desperate, Ed Reed doesn't play for Hou.
GB @ CIN - Bengals improving, but Packers too good.
STL @ DAL - Rams are on the rise though, and better run/coached.
ATL @ MIA - Falcons banged up, Tannehill superb last week.
CLE @ MIN - Browns give up on the season already.
BUF @ NYJ - EJ better (now) than Smith, Bills more focused.
TB @ NE - This could actually be close.
ARI @ NO - Saints too good.
SD @ TEN - I actually like the Titans at home here.
DET @ WAS - Win or die for Skins, Bush out for Lions.
NYG @ CAR - Both teams in a hole, and better than 0-2.
IND @ SF - Richardson won't make a difference. 49ers better overall.
JAX @ SEA - Lock of the week.
CHI @ PIT - Steelers better than the 0-3 they will be after this game.
OAK @ DEN - Von Miller's distraction won't matter against the rebuilding Raiders.
 
kalmar11 said:
American football is the dumbest sport on the planet, got it!!!
Hey clones. This post has value. After a hard day being methodical and analytical at work, battling code, and keeping the wolves at bay, the mind sometimes comes home all wound up and needs to unwind and destress. I could go to the fridge and pop a good IPA, or I could go the The Forum and read posts like this. What comic relief! ALMOST as good as any IPA (yes, the IPA pick still wins). But, the mind is now recharged and ready for any Monday. On the count of 3, every clone here say "Got it"! Got it? Ready? Here we go... 1, 2, 3, "Got it"!

Not to scare the OP away, kudos to kalmar11 for joinging the thread history. Now, if the OP has gotten this far, and has returned, may I ask kalmar11 just what the smartest (or best, other than cycling... coz we all love cycling here) sport he/she thinks is? Just curious. I mean, good thing we all don't think alike. Otherwise this would be a boring world. Well, we COULD do without the terrorists and such.

For this week, I might just buck the tide and go with HOU over BAL, STL over DAL, and TEN over SD.

Going on my Christmas wish list:
- the game of NFL football (and NCAA) does not turn into a bear hugging contest (to overcome injury prevention).
 
Wow, Giants. One of the most disappointing starts of the NFL. They have good company with SF and GB, and maybe even WASH & ATL (but MIA is no slouch). Now, in some bars that takes a pair to be the lone voice of the opposing team.

Boy I was wrong on most of my 'buck tide' picks, except TEN. But I did not figure HOU (@BAL) & STL (@DAL) to flop that badly. Surprisingly, DAL found a running game, which should be Romo's best friend so Tony does not have so much pressure.

- kudos to KC, CINCY (no real big surprise there), INDY, & OAK (for just getting in same ring with DEN @DEN). You could say SEA too, but they were supposed to win big. It was nice the entire 2nd string SEA offense and defense played the last 4+ min of the 3rd quarter and the entire 4th quarter.
 
Jun 15, 2009
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43-16 (.729) with Elway
124-111 (.528) w/o Elway

HC´s are overvalued. We had this discussion before: HC´s are only as good as the players around him (even Bill Belichick). Barry Switzer understood that very good, since he admitted it back in the 90s.
So needless to say that HC`s are never worth a million dollar per year or whatever they throw after them nowadays.
 
Jimmy Johnson said the same as Switzer. Don Shula said the same as well. And that should tell you something, with Shula the winningest coach ever, and the one coach Bum Phillips said could beat you with his players, or your players. Just about any coach who is honest will admit they are only one factor of many. It's like saying the Patriots won their Superbowls because they had Adam Vinatieri (after all, they haven't won one since, and he won one with the Colts). Well yes, he was a supeb clutch kicker, but...

Where coaches get hurt or hampered as much as weak players, are good/bad management. Take a look at Pittsburgh. They are old and banged up. Look like a 5-11 team. But no one in their right mind thinks Mike Tomln is about to be fired. The Steeler organization is smarter than that and will rebuild with him (if he and they mutually want to keep trying.)

There are of course idiot coaches, and coaches that make stupid decisions (Norv? Rex anyone?) But they usually don't last long and again, it's a bigger picture than that one guy.
 
Jun 15, 2009
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Play calling and building the system around the players (not the other way around) is where coaches make the difference.
Norv the smurf failed in both...
So i would guess 10% more wins above average is the max a good coach can do. In other words: Even Walsh would only have 9-7 seasons en masse if he hadn´t Rice & Co....
 
FoxxyBrown1111 said:
Even Walsh would only have 9-7 seasons en masse if he hadn´t Rice & Co....
But the point is, he's the one who recruited Montana, Rice, Craig, Ronnie Lott, etc. The 49ers were one of the worst teams in the NFL in 1979, when Bill Walsh took over as HC. They won four SBs in the following decade. Of course having the right players was a large part of it, because after Walsh stepped down in 1988, George Siefert took over and led the team to another SB his first year. But Walsh was the one who recruited those players, and devised the system in which they played, and as they retired, the team declined. They did win another SB in 1994-5, with Steve Young as QB, but he was also recruited by Walsh. By the end of the 90s, Young was gone, so were most or all of the other players recruited by Walsh, and the team entered a long period of mediocrity or worse.

Jimmy Johnson led the Cowboys to two SBs in the early 90s, and was rewarded by being fired by their idiot owner Jerry Jones. New coach Barry Switzer managed to win another SB in his second year, with Johnson’s players, but no more after that, and the Cowboys have not been close to a SB since.

There are numerous other examples of head coaches in the NFL who had long successful careers, despite major turnover in key positions on the team: Vince Lombardi, Bud Grant, Tom Landry, Don Shula, Chuck Noll, Joe Gibbs (only coach to win three SBs with three different QBs), and Bellichik. All but Bellichik are retired, and the team went downhill after they stepped down. In some cases the decline might have begun while they were still coaching, but the point is, there was a long period of excellence associated with the team while they were there that was not sustained either before they arrived or after they left. You could also add Al Davis to this list, because he called many of the shots that coaches are ordinarily responsible for. There are other examples of coaches who moved around, and were successful wherever they went, like George Allen, Chuck Knox and Bill Parcells.

You can’t look at these associations and say that the coaches were not a big reason for the team’s success. You can debate how much of that success was due to the players they signed, how much to the system they devised, how much to getting the best out of the players, and how much to strategy in the game, but if the coach never arrived, the success would never have come. It's easy to say it's a much bigger picture, that management above the HC matters, but the most important decision management makes is choosing the HC, and one of the qualities of a great HC is the ability to work well with the management, indeed, usually to become a large part of it. Head coaches, like great players, may not be sufficient to build a winner, but they are necessary in a way that few other individuals are.

The Steelers may be an exception, because they have a long record of excellence involving several different HCs. But the usual situation in the NFL is that a team achieves great success with a HC that is not replicated after he leaves. If you look at all the NFL dynasties--Green Bay in the 60s, the Steelers in the 70s, the 49ers in the 80s, and to a lesser extent, the Cowboys in the 90s and the Pats in the 00s, the dominance began when a new HC was hired, and ended when the coach left.

In college, of course, where recruiting is much more critical, the coach is even more important. Texas is rumored to have offered Nick Saban $10 million to leave Alabama. If coaches are not a huge factor in a team's success, why would they try to pry away one who has a very good thing going where he is now?
 
Jun 15, 2009
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Nothing against Walsh and the others mentioned, but...
If you have many cowards, idiots and overwhelmed coaches like Crennel, Norv the smurf or Edwards who should combine for 7-9 seasons (assuming a coach accounts for -/+ 10%), there will be automatically 9-7 seasons for the rest of coaches, those who understand and manage their jobs (isn´t that what they are paid for, actually?). The rest is pure chance, speak going 12-4 a couple of seasons instead of 9-7.
Plus, add in the non free agency before the 90s. Once you got draft lucky, the ball was in the bag (see Chicago, 49ers, Redskins, etc.).
About NFL recruiting: HC´s depend on their scouts, who fail or hit the jackpot in the draft. Basically it´s simple chance.
Again, i have nothing against Walsh. But w/o the players he´d be rememberd as a good HC with the usual 50-winning-pct.

Studies showed that more draft picks are better in the long run than high numbers of early picks. Bill Belichick understood that perfectly. Plus he adopts his system to the players perfectly. When his defense had the upper hand, the QB (Brady) was there to manage the game. Once the O had the upper hand, he laid it all in the hands of Brady. The main reasons he´s the only coach in the free agency era with a winning record every season. And he´s the only one who can show records like those coaches of the non free agency period.
Personally he must be remembered as the greatest ever (if he wasn´t losing all his playoff games lately, which Brady has a lot to do with, and chance), because he has/had the most serious coaching environment.
 
Dec 30, 2009
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As a casual fan, and a Dolphins one at that (3-0 yeah:)), who can explain this:

On September 23, against the Falcons, Tannehill became the first quarterback in NFL history to pass for more yards than the team total.

Cheers
 
Oh, come on, the 49ers won ten or more games a record sixteen years in a row, a streak that began with Walsh, and ended when most of his players were gone. You can’t explain that by random fluctuations from a 9-7 baseline. Walsh did not get lucky in the draft. Taking over a losing team, he did have high draft picks in the beginning (not after the team began winning, of course), which he used wisely, but many of his greatest players were overlooked by other coaches. Montana was drafted in the third round. I think Dwight Clark was drafted in the 12th round. Roger Craig was a backup RB at Nebraska who hardly even played that much in college. Rice played for a small southern school no one ever heard of, and he was not really pursued by anyone else, IIRC. Walsh acquired Young from TB, where he was struggling.

I know there is a modern trend to ascribe virtually everything in life to chance, and probably chance is underrated. Certainly rating draft picks is a very imperfect science. Chance probably explains why many teams in the NFL have had one or two really good seasons, and then faded. But chance doesn’t explain sustained success over a decade or more. You seem to concede this wrt Bellichick, I’m not sure why you think it’s different from the many other coaches who created dynasties.

ferryman said:
As a casual fan, and a Dolphins one at that (3-0 yeah:)), who can explain this:

On September 23, against the Falcons, Tannehill became the first quarterback in NFL history to pass for more yards than the team total.

Cheers
I think you mean he passed for more yards than his team gained? That's possible if you have negative rushing yards. Marino came fairly close to that in SB 19, when the Dolphins gained only 25 yards on the ground. When your whole team rushes for less than half as many yards as the opposing team's QB, you know you're in trouble.
 
Dec 30, 2009
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Thanks for the reply below.

I think you mean he passed for more yards than his team gained? That's possible if you have negative rushing yards. Marino came fairly close to that in SB 19, when the Dolphins gained only 25 yards on the ground. When your whole team rushes for less than half as many yards as the opposing team's QB, you know you're in trouble.
That's what I took from it. But seeing the basic highlights the Fins seemed to be running OK. Will need to download the stats. I do, though, remember the Marino/Clayton/Duper early years with fondness (thank fook for You Tube:)).
 
Walsh was fortunate to have the players he had in his San Fran glory days, probably most whom he recruited. Walsh also thought Rick Mirer would be the next Joe Montana. We all know how that ended up for Mirer. Walsh did not fare so well in the Win column in his stint as the Stanford Cardinal HC, where he did not have much talent after his glory days in San Fran. Point being, Walsh made good moves personnel wise, but I think he was really overrated. Those players made him.
 
Jul 23, 2009
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As far as Stanford days, first time around he was fine. His second stint was a mistake, probably was just going through the motions. Plus, lots of good HC came from his tutelage.
 
Jul 23, 2009
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FoxxyBrown1111 said:
Personally he must be remembered as the greatest ever (if he wasn´t losing all his playoff games lately, which Brady has a lot to do with, and chance), because he has/had the most serious coaching environment.
Spygate and Vinatieri will be remembered for sure.
 
on3m@n@rmy said:
Walsh was fortunate to have the players he had in his San Fran glory days, probably most whom he recruited. Walsh also thought Rick Mirer would be the next Joe Montana. We all know how that ended up for Mirer. Walsh did not fare so well in the Win column in his stint as the Stanford Cardinal HC, where he did not have much talent after his glory days in San Fran. Point being, Walsh made good moves personnel wise, but I think he was really overrated. Those players made him.
I assume you're joking, since his 10-3 record in his first year after leaving the pros was a best for Stanford in I don't remember how many years. Not to mention beating Penn State and Paterno in a bowl game. IIRC, he only coached one more year, and left because he got bored with it. Not the nicest thing to do to new recruits, but no reflection on his ability to coach.

Again, to ascribe all of Walsh's success to his players is just to emphasize how good he was at recruiting. You don't put out a playoff team year after year sheerly through luck. And if his West Coast offense had nothing to do with it, why was it copied by so many other coaches? Why did defenses change to deal with it? Ask his former players, and all the assistant coaches who benefitted from him, what kind of coach he was.

Foxy's view makes no sense to me. That there are just two groups of coaches, the clowns who finish 7-9, and the decent ones who beat the clowns and finish 9-7. What is the evidence for this? There is overwhelming evidence from all walks of life that human abilities fall not into two major groups, but across a spectrum, from the very good to the the very poor. Coaches, too. If one wants to make the argument that the NFL environment is such that all these differences get blurred into just two major divisions, then make it, but the notion that there aren't such gradations in abilities is just ludicrous.

I don't mean to imply that a coach can go anywhere and immediately get great results with the same players that were there before. Modern coaching is an extremely complex endeavor, involving devising a system, working with management to sell that system, finding the players you think will best perform in that system, getting the most out of the players, and actual game management. All in an environment where chance can play a major role, where a team that was the best throughout the season can play a bad game and be eliminated early in the postseason.

I don't disagree with Alpe that it's not just beating his'n with your'n and beating your'n with his'n. A coach is like a CEO, and is dependent on a complex institutional network. Certainly he depends on many other "players", including the front office. But that doesn't mean that some individuals can't get much better results within that environment than others.
 

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