Good afternoon! There are a number of good questions queued up already so I'll get this thing going!
Hey KC! There's a lot of good buzz coming out of D.C. about Jason Campbell. What do your metrics say about him last season, and what sort of improvement can we expect from him in year 2 in Saunders' offense? Thanks.
Campbell's metrics last year were about what you'd expect from rookie - mediocre YPA, fairly high bad decision percentage and high near interception percentage. I think he'll do a lot better in year two.
James (Silent Hill):
Have you ever noticed how big a shortage there is on quality quarterbacks in the NFL today? Seriously, once you get past the elites (Manning, Brady, McNabb) the soon-to-be-elites (Palmer, Brees) and the Pro Bowlers (Bulger, Hasselbeck) there's really not anyone that doesn't have questions or some weakness. How can we get better play from the most important position?
James, the NFL normally has about half of its teams with fairly good or better QBs and the rest having some question marks. Your lists had 8 players as really good and a case could be made for 8 others being pretty good. I think the league is right about where it normally is in this area.
KC, I think Jeff Garcia will start at QB for the Bucs this year. What do you think?
Matt, I'm still on the Chris Simms bandwagon for the moment. Garcia played well last year but I still see him as a strong backup. The only caveat to that is the Bucs need to win now for Gruden not to be on the hottest of seats, so Garcia could see a lot of time if Simms struggles at all.
KC: there has been an online battle in Redskins land about how bad Carlos Rogers was last year? Can you settle this once and for all and explain that he was miserable in all facets of football during the '06 season?
Rogers YPA was mediocre but it really masked some bigger issues. His short pass success percentage was near the bottom of the league and his overall success percentage wasn't that much better. Given that 2006 was his best year, I think that says a lot about his overall ability.
Brandon (ATL, GA):
first off, just wanted to say that you're awesome...I love reading your articles! I wanted to ask, how you feel about the potential of John Beck, and if you think he might end up starting games for the Dolphins later this year. I was originally furious at the pick of Ginn Jr, and I still don't think they got the value out of their pick...but after actually looking at John Beck, I think with his much better accuracy, he'd have an easier time making most of the throws in the NFL than Brady Quinn, who seems to be very mechanical. Your thoughts?
Thanks very much for the positive comments. I can't say that I watched a ton of Beck tape but some of the scouts I've spoken with say Beck has just as much upside as Quinn. I'm not sold at all on Ginn (I think he's a good candidate as the next Peter Warrick) but passing up Brady for Beck was probably a good percentage move.
KC, You are my favorite ESPN Insider...not just because you are the only one to ever answer my questions (ok that has something to do with it) but I think your metrics give a whole new dimension to your insights...keep up the good work. Living in Arizona and being a Die hard 49ers fan can be tough with all the coolade that Cardinal fans seem to drink. With that said who do you think comes out on top this year in the west...Tell me its the 9ers with the amazing off season they have had. Thanks
Josh, I've got the Niners as the darkhorse NFC West leader. I think they have improved their team more than any other in the NFL. That division is going to be really tough, though.
Clint (Kokomo, In):
KC, What do you think will happen with this new league that is trying to be formed by Mark Cuban.
I see potential for success but let's consider that there has to be an upper limit as to how much football one could watch in a week. If you are an NFL fan and can see games on Sunday, Monday and Thursday, and can also see college games on Saturday, Friday could end up being just too much overkill.
Hey KC. I enjoyed the Braylon Edwards (WR aiding in interceptions) article, but I am curious about how this happened most frequently. Was it Edwards getting outmuscled for balls, or was it balls bouncing off his hands for INTs, and do you think this is an area he might improve on this year?
Todd, I plan on going over those kinds of things in Scientific Football 2007.
Is it your understanding the UFL will be played in the fall? Wouldnt a spring/summer schedule make more sense?
I know a lot of fans who are craving any kind of football right now, so I'd probably agree with you there, Jon.
Camilo (Bako Ca):
First off...always great stuff! With the coaching carousel that the NFL is, maybe you can associate players' metrics with the coaches that are "responsible" with their performance. It might give the fans of any specific team an idea if they should be excited or scared with any given coaching change. Might help really answer the old question "is it the system or the player?"
That's a good idea Camilo. I've been planning on doing a number of different coaching metrics but haven't been able to get to them of yet. Depending on how this season pans out, I might be doing some this year.
The UFL has a chance with a guy like me, that likes to spend Sunday doing stuff with his kids....
Mike puts up one vote for the UFL. My question to Mike is would you call yourself an NFL fan (and I don't mean that facetiously)?
ULEN (Raider Nation):
What up KC? Quick question regarding my favorite player in the league. How did Nnamdi Asomugha's metrics compare to those of an established corner such as Champ Bailey, Nate Clements or Chris McAllister?
Nnamdi isn't quite in Champ's class but he's at the top of the next tier. The biggest difference between the two is Champ had a 4.7 YPA and Nnamdi a 6.9 YPA. If Nnamdi can get his YPA down to the 5 yard range, I'd put him in Champ's class.
Piggybacking on ULEN's question... how did Asante Samuel stack up? He wants big money from the Pats, is he worth "star corner" money?
Nick, I wrote an article about this for Insider a few weeks ago. The gist of the article is that Samuel's metrics are good but not great and that he doesn't deserve star corner money just yet. He needs to put up his 2006 numbers for more than one season before cashing in.
In your book last year, you were very high on the future potential of the Bengals. Do you still feel that way?
Ed, it's funny that you mention that because I have been thinking about aht very subject since I'll be writing the Bengals comment for SF 2007 very shortly. I'm not as sold on the Bengals as I was last year because of their volatility.
Colin (austin tx):
Do you have a book out, much like Moneyball in baseball, that explains the football angle to sabermetrics?
Colin, I do have a series of analytical football books called Scientific Football. The 2007 version will be released in early/mid July.
I would say that Hasselbeck is more "elite" than McNabb. What does McNabb do better then Hasselbeck besides sprint?
McNabb's YPA was better last year, as was his success percentage. His bad decision percentages are usually better. He also puts up comparable numbers despite having mostly sub-par receivers (or at least compared to Seattle's receiving corps).
HUGE NFL fan. I visit profootballtalk.com every day, and run two fantasy leagues, and have (unfortunately at times) watched the Vikes regularly since the early 70's. Fair questionk, though
Mike's response to my earlier question. I just wanted to make sure, that's all!