Thursday, May 29, 2008

Picking Records

After the schedules come out there's always a flurry of win-loss predictions based on picking the winners of each individual game. I've always thought that was kind of dumb and subjective, even before you take into account how hard it is to now how well teams will play. Some games are obvious and would be a stunning upset others are difficult, could go either way and in my case at least are often decided in the interest making the final records turn out the way I expect them to. So last year I tried to use a method that was less dumb (but at least as if not more subjective). I ranked each game on a 1 to 7 scale:
1-I'm sure the visiting team will win
2-Visiting team probably wins
3-Leaning towards visiting team
4-No Idea
5-Leaning home
6-Probably home
7-Home wins
The games where I picked a winner I went 131-90 (59.3%) not bad, but I did pass on 25 of the hardest games to pick by giving them a 4.

To get records I averaged the my expected outcome certainty (separately for home and way since they would be opposites) and multiplied by 1.25 to get the records to fit a realistic spread, giving games above/below .500. Rounded a bit to get the records in whole games and got these:
(Exactly right, 1-2 win off, 3-4 off, 5-6 off, 7+ off)

Chargers 14-2 (3)
Colts 13-3 (0)
Patriots 12-4 (4)
Bears 12-4 (5)
Ravens 11-5 (6)
Bengals 11-5 (4)
Saints 11-5 (4)
Cowboys 11-5 (2)
Broncos 11-5 (4)
Jets 10-6 (6)
49ers 10-6 (5)
Eagles 10-6 (2)
Steelers 10-6 (0)
Jags 9-7 (2)
Giants 8-8 (2)
Rams 8-8 (5)
Seahawks 8-8 (2)
Chiefs 7-9 (3)
Panthers 7-9 (0)
Falcons 7-9 (3)
Packers 6-10 (7)
Titans 6-10 (4)
Bucs 5-11 (4)
Lions 5-11 (2)
Texans 5-11 (3)
Dolphins 5-11 (4)
Redskins 5-11 (4)
Vikings 5-11 (3)
Bills 4-12 (3)
Browns 4-12 (6)
Raiders 3-13 (1)
Cardinals 3-13 (5)

I was off by an average of 3.4 games. I didn't expect the Packers and Browns to be good, the Ravens, Bears and Jets to be bad and for some reason didn't expect the Cardinals, Rams and Niners (10-6 what was I smoking) to be mediocre. I know my Colts and apparently the Panthers, Steelers and Raiders pretty well.

The Pats and Dolphins fell outside what I thought was a reasonable spread for records, but neither of those is normal. So I'm going to leave the method the same. Starting work on predictions for the upcoming season right now, they should be up during the weekend.

(If anyone out there is interested in giving it a try e-mail me and I can send you the blank spread sheet that calculates the records from the 1-7 rankings or you could make your own system).

Thursday, May 22, 2008


The hit counter on this site tells when someone reaches my blog through a link and where the link was from (usually it's my SB Nation profile or a link from Big Blue Shoe at Stampede Blue), but I randomly checked it today for the first time in weeks and found something that made my day.

Someone found their way to my blog by typing a search into Google consisting of "Skip Bayless is a tool". I don't think I've felt more proud about what I'm doing blogging than I do right now. He is a tool, I wrote about a particular incident where he was a tool and people found it, read it, and said "yeah he's a tool."

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

2008 QB Cap numbers

Something I got curious about and dug up everything I could find.

Peyton Manning 18.7 Million
Tom Brady 14.6 Million
Carson Palmer 14.0mil
Donovan McNabb 9.40mil
Chad Pennington 9.00mil
Ben Roeslesberger 5.75mil (before his new contract I think)
Matt Schaub 5.75mil
Kurt Warner 5.00mil
Matt Leinart 4.58mil
Rex Grossman 4.5mil
Jason Campbell 4.08mil
McCown (MIA) 3.25mil
J.P. Losman 3.01mil
Aaron Rodgers 1.73mil
Kellen Clemens $847,500John Beck $844,500

PatsCap has links to a ton of sites with cap info, but not all are still up or well updated.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

And I thought a Julius Jones jersey was bad

Saw a guy at work today rocking one of these:


Saturday, May 10, 2008

How long before the rookie help the Pats?

The Patriots spent all but one of their picks in the 2008 draft on defenders, but how long before this influx of youth brings young starters to an old D. Here's a breakdown of the Patriots starters last season and how long it took them to become starters.

06/07 no defensive starters, Meriweather (round 1) the only defender from those drafts on the roster.

Ellis Hobbs (3rd round), full time starter in his 3rd season, Games started by year- 8,9,16
James Sanders (4th), starter 3rd year, GS-2,5,15

Vince Wilfork (1st), starter 2nd year, GS-6,16,13,16

Ty Warren (1st), starter 2nd year, GS-4,16,16,15,16
Eugene Wilson (2nd) starter 1st year (lost starting job in 2007), GS-15,14,16,4,6
Asante Samuel (4th) starter 3rd year, GS-1,8,15,15,14

Jarvis Green (4th), 6th season, GS-4,7,1,5,4,10

Richard Seynore (top 10), 1st season, GS-10,16......

No defenders currently on roster drafted

Tedy Bruschi, 4th season, GS-0,1,7,14,16....

Picks by other teams
Rosevelt Colvin signed by Patriots after 4th season in the league. Became a Pats starter in 3rd year on team/7th in league.

Mike Vrabel signed after 4th season. Started in 1st season with Patriots/5th in league

The only current defenders to start for the Patriots as rookies were a 6th overall pick and a safety who later lost his starting job. None of the current LBs were starters before their 4th year in the league and Colvin needed two years of experience in the Pats system in addition to 4 with the Bears before he became a starter. D-linemen find there way into the lineup the fastest with Seymore starting as a rookie and Vilfork and Warren starting in their second year. 3 of the 4 starting DBs drafted by the Pats started in their 3rd season. LBs took the longest with none of the starters seeing the majority of starting time before they had been in the league for 3 or more years.

The Patriots' future on D might have been improved, but it will like take 3-4 years before this draft has any real effect to make the Pats D younger. Mayo is a fantastic player, but the demands of Belichick's defense will likely keep him on the bench for one, two or maybe up to three years. Wheatley might be able to work his way onto the field in a secondary depleted by free agency, but he'll likely follow the path of Hobbs and Samuel before him and spend 2 years learning before he's ready. Crable is an even surer bet to take years to be ready to play LB since early round picks made their way into the Pats lineup faster (really?, who'd have guessed that). The Pats have found DBs in the 4th round so Wilhite may contribute eventually. After the fourth round the majority of Pats draft picks especially on defense are cut and disappear off the map or spend their careers on the bench.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Jerseys (AFC edition)

The other day I saw a guy walking around in a #21 Cowboys jersey and the first thing I thought was, "why would anyone want a Julius Jones jersey? He wasn't even the best runningback on his the team when he was with the Cowboys. Marion Barber is obviously the best choice for a Cowboys jersey. Julius Jones isn't even on the team now. Why would you still wear it?"

Marion Barber being an easy choice for which Cowboys jersey I would wear if I was forced to wear one, I started thinking about more teams and which jerseys I'd want the least.

Colts-Bob Sanders, hands down. The only Colts jersey I've ever since worn in Iowa. Since all the Colts fans with jerseys in my town picked Sanders I almost want to go with Clark, but Bob is just too awesome.

Runners up (in order) Clark, Harrison (pending whether he shot someone for reasons other than self-defense), Manning

Least wanted jersey, Cato June. If Aaron Moorehead, Charlie Johnson or Gilbert Gardner replica jersey existed they'd all beat out June, but June is one of the few Colts I've disliked at any point in there time with the team and has moved on to Tampa

Titans-Chris Johnson, obviously. Not sure how I'll handle him playing the Colts. My man-crush was based on the Colts getting him, so the passion's nearly gone now, but I'm still excited to see him play.

Least, Vince Young. A VY jersey is just begging someone like me to just tear into Young and start an argument. Which the jersey wearer will lose because Young isn't very good.

Jaguars-Maurice Jones Drew. Gotta like one of the handful of NFL players that are shorter than me, even if it's only by fractions of an inch.

Least-Marcus Stroud, suspended for steroids and then traded away.

Texans-Andre Johnson. The lone bright spot on their offense. Mario Williams would be a good choice as well since after the pick was bashed everywhere he's outperforming all the guys suggested as better #1 overall picks.

Least-Ahmad Green. Big free agent signing, who everyone said was washed up. Turns out they were right. Washed Up.

Bills-Jason Peters, Late rounder to star LT

least-JP Losman, when a veteran gets outplayed by a rookie, especially a guy who barely made it into the first day of the draft they suck.

Dolphins-Jake Long, It's about hope when you root for a 1-15 team.

Least-Joey Porter, loud-mouthed, overrated, overpaid

Jets-Leon Washington. A great kick returner who was overshadowed by entering the league at the same time as Hester and Cribbs.

Least-Jonathan Vilma. Square pegs being forced into round holes is frustrating.

Patriots-Since they don't make Tim Dwight replicas, none, I refuse.

Least, Brady

Browns-Josh Cribbs, nearly as good as Hester as a returner without the fumbles and painful levels of stupid.

least-Brady Quinn, no idea why I hated him (pre-crotch grabbing/slur tossing) but I do know that hating him is fun and easy now.

Steelers-Roethlesberger. That awful season following his motorcycle got the writers off of his groin region enough for me to appreciate his skills.

least-any lineman (Faneca didn't suck but left the team so he makes the list)
If I have to pick just one it's Willie Parker. He hurts the Steelers more with his busts than he helps with his booms.

Jonathan Ogden, can't go wrong with a HOF LT. Even if Freeney does own him.

Least-Ray Lewis, sailing on reputation for years. He's an average linebacker at this point in his career, but still gets the most credit for the hugely talented D he plays on.

Bengals-Carson Palmer, there aren't enough good QBs in the league.

Least-Chad Johnson. He when from entertaining to a locker room cancer pretty fast.

Chargers-Marmalard, don't know who that is, Then "Ya betta ask somebodddaaaaaaaaayyyyyy!"

least-Phillip Rivers. What a douche.

Raiders- Can I has Tim Dwight Jersey?
Ok, Nnamdi Asomugha. The best defensive player that doesn't get the hype he deserves.

Least- Moss, how do you get an awful deal when the team you're trading with is desperate to dump the guy.

Broncos- Brandon Stokley. He was actually a solid #2 last year. It's very weird to see him in another jersey, but I still like the guy.

Least- Travis Henry, wearing that jersey is a statement and not a good one.

Cheifs- Tony Gonzalez, sad that an amazing player like him is stuck through his final years on a rebuilding team.

Least- Larry Johnson, the Herm Edward has ridden him into the ground he'll never be the same back again. 400+ carries is pretty much a death sentence for a RB.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The All-rookies-I-like team

In the leadup to the draft there are a lot of players that you really fall in love with. You know the chances of that individual player being taken by your team aren't great, but hopefully they'll grab a few guys you like. I followed a lot of players this year, so many that I'm going to continue my roster building with a full team of them. To be eligible a player must be a rookie and be drafted outside the top 20 (because just about everyone likes the top guys).

The format is:
Name, School, NFL team, round(pick#)

Brian Brohm, Louisville, Packers, 2(56)
Brohm was the 3rd QB taken, but will be better than Matt "I'm so clutch except when I'm throwing almost 2 picks a game" Ryan, and Joe "Can throw a football threw the goalpost from my knees at midfield, but can't read a defense" Flacco.

Kevin O'Connell, San Diego State, Patriots, 3(94)
He was supposed to be a sleeper, but New England's "reach for everyone we like" draft strategy killed that.

Bernard Morris, Marshall, Unsigned, Undrafted
The man I hoped would be trying to knock the clipboard from Jim Sorgi's hands.

Chris Johnson, East Carolina, Titans, 1(25)
If you don't think I made the cutoff at top 20 because top 24 would be too awkward and transparent you haven't been reading my posts long enough.

Matt Forte, Tulane, Bears, 2(44)
I really thought the Colts were getting Forte. Big Blue Shoe tried to warn me that the Bears loved him, but I assumed they would address the QB, WR and OL spots before replacing mega-bust Cedric Benson.

Mike Hart, Michigan, Colts, 6(202)
The third and final back that I thought would be there in the 2nd and be a fit for the Colts. I was more than ready to settle for Hart in the 3rd-4th round if the unthinkable happened and both Johnson and Forte were gone at #59

Jacob Hester, LSU, Chargers, 3(69)
A versatile HB/FB combo who can block, catch and carry the ball. If the Colts didn't get Forte who blocks like a fullback, they could draft a real fullback who fits their scheme.

Brad Cottam, Tennessee, Cheifs, 3(76)
Gigantic, an in-line blocker with solid hands and decent speed. Cottam would be a Utecht upgrade at best or replica at worst.

Jacob Tamme, Kentucky, Colts, 4(127)
Awesome hands, great speed, good routes, but not a blocker.

Joey Haynos, Maryland, Packers, Undrafted
Another Utecht replacement who could be had in the late rounds. A good blocker with solid hands, speed and route running.

Earl Bennet, Vanderbilt, Bears, 3(70)
A guy that really came on strong and was one of two guys I wanted the Colts to take when their first pick finally came up. Great route running and hands. Not an eye-popping spectacular athlete but good across the board. Compared to Marvin Harrison.

Andre Caldwell, Florida, Bengals, 3(97)
Elite speed + good routes = Dangerous Receiver His hands had question marks, but it's thought to be lapses in concentration on easy passes instead of lack of ability that hurt him.

Keenan Burton, Kentucky, Rams, 4(128)

Arman Shields, Richmond, Raiders, 4(125)
Another potential sleeper that was jumped on by a team that liked him as much as I do. A great athlete who worked short routes very well, but struggled on deep routes mostly negating the advantage of his blazing speed.

Pierre Garcon, Mount Union, Colts 6(205)
Wasn't on my radar before the Colts drafted him, but I like what I found reading up following the pick. Dominated his competition at the DIII level. Could take over return duties for the Colts this season.

Chad Rinehart, Northern Iowa, Redskins, 3(96)
An outstanding left tackle at the 1-AA level for UNI, Rinehart has the physical talent to remain
at left tackle. He's making a big jump, but could develop into a starting LT or a great option at RT/Guard.

Kory Lichensteiger, Bowling Green, Broncos, 4(104)
I knew the Colts would look to take a C/G type guy, I just didn't expect it in the second round. Lichtensteiger is a smart, versatile, athletic lineman.

Mike Pollak, Arizona State, Colts, 2(59)
Smart, athletic and versatile, just like all the other guys the Colts like. Pollak was rated the top center by many and top 2-3 by all.

Jeremy Zuttah, Rutgers, Bucs, 3(83)
Very athletic in addition to being smart and versatile. Zuttah maybe be able to play tackle at the pro level.

John Greco, Toledo, Rams, 3(65)
I wanted a tackle to take over as the primary backup, insuring Charlie Johnson never played tackle in a meaningful game again. Greco was the right type of lineman (smart, athletic) in the right part of the draft (second day).

Doug Legursky, Marshall, Steelers, Undrafted
The Colts were one of a few teams that had scouts at Marshall's pro-day and Legursky is the type of lineman they like.

Thaddeus Coleman, Mississippi Valley State, Cardinals, Undrafted
A massive, aggressive (too often to a fault) blocker. Coleman isn't a phenomenal athlete but is athletic enough to play left tackle. He will need good technique since he doesn't have athleticism to spare playing LT. Could be a absolute force run blocking at RT. Needs to take it down a notch and stop drawing flags and starting fights with his over-aggressiveness.

Quentin Groves, Auburn, Jaguars, 2(52)

Cliff Avril, Purdue, Lions, 3(92)

Marcus Howard, Georgia, 5(161)

Rudolph Hardie, Howard, Unsigned ,Undrafted

Titus Brown, Mississippi State, Dolphins, Undrafted

Trevor Laws, Notre Dame, Eagles, 2(47)

Jason Jones, Eastern Michigan, Titans 2(54)

Carlton Powell, Virgina Tech, Broncos, 5(148)

Frank Okam, Texas, Texans, 5(151)

Xavier Adibi, Virgina Tech, Texans, 4(118)

Phillip Wheeler, Georgia Tech, Colts, 3(93)

Geno Hayes, Florida State, Bucs, 4(175)

Ali Highsmith, LSU, Cardinals, Undrafted

Wesley Woodyard, Kentucky, Broncos, Undrafted

Jo-Lonn Dunbar, Boston College, Unsigned, Undrafted

Erin Henderson, Maryland, Vikings, Undrafted

Antonie Cason, Arizona, Chargers, 1(27)

Brandon Flowers, Virgina Tech, Chiefs, 2(35)

Jack Williams, Kent State, Broncos, 4(119)

Charles Godfrey, Iowa, Panthers, 3(67)

Craig Sletz, LSU, Bears, 4(120)

Corey Lynch, Appalachian State, Bengals, 6(177)

Jamie Silva, Boston College, Colts, Undrafted

Jonathan Hefney, Tennessee, Bucs, Undrafted

The Colts are set there so didn't look at any pre-draft. I'll go with the 1st kicker, only punter and only long snapper drafted.

Taylor Mehlhaff, Wisconsin, Saints, 6(178)

Durant Brooks, Georgia Tech, Redskins, 6(168)

Tyler Schmitt, San Diego State, Seahawks, 6(189)
Long Snapper

According to the standard NFL pick value chart, for the cost of Jake Long and a mid-5th round pick a team could have the entire starting O (starting 11 without the situational players.

Instead of Chris Long and Jordan Dizon (pick #45 OLB) A team could trade back and draft the entire starting defense of my all-rookies-I-like team.

"Comments on the defense and the last few (4) roster spots are coming on the weekend."
Yeah, forget about that part. Talking about all the players the Colts didn't get makes me sad.