Free and the coaches film

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by jobberone, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. burmafrd

    burmafrd Benched

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    Jay Novacek was Troy's security blanket. For a while Billy joe Dupree was Rogers.

    Dallas Clark was Peyton Mannings. A lot of top TE's end up being the security blanket for top QBs.

    Now sometimes you can go too often to the well there. And that is where the QB coach and the OC need to step in.

    AMERICAS_FAN Active Member

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    Thanks, that was great analysis and insight. The stats you mentioned seemed to indicate problems with the running game blocks. That's when Witten has to stay in to block. And if the running game is not working then the next best alternative is to dump off to the TE or backs. This may be why it appears he is going too much to the TE when really he has no choice to do it because he needs to make up for a poor running game.

    This inability to run still falls on the OL. When I look at Free I see a player who is ok more times than not blocking for the pass but really below average
    Blocking the run. I thin this is where the imbalance of the OL comes in because interior players - who seem to be the opposit of Free - in that they are okay
  3. jnday

    jnday Well-Known Member

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    Doug Free doesn't deserve this much attention.
  4. Sarge

    Sarge Red, White and brew... Staff Member

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    :laugh2: :bow:
  5. burmafrd

    burmafrd Benched

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    now if that does not end this thread nothing will
  6. dogberry

    dogberry Well-Known Member

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    I think the offensive line is the biggest problem on the team. Free is part of that group. I would draft nothing but offensive linemen. That's not happening.

    As far as this thread ending, Job has a least two more games to review.
  7. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl U.N.I.T.Y Staff Member

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    Its the offseason, what kind of threads actually deserve attn?
  8. jobberone

    jobberone Kane Ala Staff Member

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    Our avg adjusted running play is about 3.75 yds which is about 1/2 yard off the league avg. That goes well with my impression of our run game being less than avg. For some reason we stat out better in power runs but I don't think that stat tells the truth. We just don't move people off the ball in short runs and that's the entire line not just a player or two. The left side is noticeably better than the right side but still not dependable IMO.

    Even though we stat out well in passing I think our line is avg at best. It's hard to argue with all the passing yards and ranking but I don't think they tell the story well. I wouldn't be surprised that Tony doesn't avoid ten plus sacks a year. Maybe more.
  9. mschmidt64

    mschmidt64 Active Member

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    I am saying his opinion is invalid. We're not talking about flavors of ice cream, we're talking something that is definitely measurable.

    Free sucked in 2012.

    That's all there is to it.

    He was not average by any measurement.

    I'm not going to contribute any more than this to the discussion. It would be like me saying Quincy Carter was an average QB in 2002; patently ridiculous and proveably false and calling it "my opinion" shouldn't insulate me from people correctly saying I'm dead wrong.

    It's beneath me to dignify it with anything more than the stats that have already definitely proven that Free sucked in 2012.

    Plus everyone saw with their own eyes that Free sucked too, including the Cowboys, who benched him.

    Not a topic worth discussing the merits of. What is worth discussing is the biases or credibility of the grader, maybe.
  10. mschmidt64

    mschmidt64 Active Member

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    Well, that's not true.

    But I'll agree you are not attempting to silence me if you agree I'm not attempting to berate you.

    I'm attempting to tell you that you are wrong. Which you are.

    That's nice.

    As long as you continue to post a completely unsubtantiated opinion of Free being "average" based on nothing more than your own personal game observations, I will continue to tell you that you are wrong.

    At least, for as long as I care to be involved in the thread. Which may not be that much longer.

    Why does there need to be any new evidence? Free was, as Winicki pointed out, one of the worst tackles in football last year.

    There is nothing you can say that makes that untrue.

    That's what makes your observations so incorrect. They aren't worth respecting any more than me saying Quincy Carter was an average QB in 2002. I can keep saying it but I would deserve to be told I'm wrong. In fact, I would think I'd be appreciative of the person pointing it out to me, because I wouldn't want to be that ignorant of football.

    Your detailing of the good and bad could be very informative and I support you doing it. But your conclusions that he was average are based on nothing.
  11. Idgit

    Idgit If you food, you gonna be ate. Staff Member

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    You know, it's possible to both be right and be behaving like a bit of a jerk at the same time. I think you're getting some pushback because you're nearing that territory. If you think he's nuts, there's little reason to engage. If you think his point should be debated, then debate it. But just saying he's wrong and that you won't bother to dignify the 'why' with a supporting argument doesn't get you very far. At least, it doesn't further the discussion in the thread.
  12. jobberone

    jobberone Kane Ala Staff Member

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    Free gave up 7 sacks last year which is roughly what an avg OT gave up last year. Our adjusted sack rate for 36 sacks given up was 5.6% which was good for 11th in the league. Smith allowed three sacks and pressure on 6.0% of his snaps in pass protection, Free yielded seven sacks and a 6.2% pressure rate, and Parnell in 267 snaps allowed five sacks. Parnell yielded pressure on 4.2 percent of his pass snaps which is not great but the best on the team. I saw where MW said Free gave up 41 pressures but that's more than the adjusted rate as well as more than I subjectively have seen which just proves how difficult it is for multiple sources to grade pressures; they're just hard to assess well especially with as many jailbreaks as we have and Tony running in circles behind the LOS.

    I don't believe you have looked at the all 22 at all. Otherwise you wouldn't be making some of the comments you're making. Additionally, if you had seen all the games' coaches film then you'd be standing on your head about the interior of the line which is far worse than either tackle which are roughly the same despite all the fan and media noise to the contrary. Yeah, Smith gave up less sacks but about the same pressure. Furthermore, you haven't looked at the stats for last year or you wouldn't be saying Free sucks when he obviously doesn't stat wise which is far more accurate than your subjective insistence to the contrary and no other data to back up your claim.

    Also, you keep saying I think Free is average and while I've stated he looked average in a few games, good in others and poor in some, I have yet to give my final assessment of Free. And you're not the only one who has jumped to that conclusion as well as stating I'm biased, defending Free, giving him passes for poor play, yada.

    I've stated my subjective opinion as well as backed it up with stats from reputable sources like Pro-Football-reference, Football Outsiders etc.

    All you've done is point at some gifs that I've repeatedly told you aren't completely fair in assessing the player and appear not to have seen those entire plays or game period for that matter, pointed out what another member has stated (over and over), repeatedly told me I'm wrong to put it in polite terms, and jumped up and down saying you are right, right, right and anyone that thinks otherwise is suspect (to be polite again). And you're giving me nor anyone else any objective data to back that up.

    So unless you want to POINT out some plays over the entire season and give me the counter times so I can find them to discuss them with you, some other stats that aren't outfliers that significantly differ from mine, or some other evidence that backs your POV up and detracts from mine then stop annoying me and worse boring the hell out of me with your posts.

    What we have here in a lot of those vocal here and in the media is piling on and a perpetuation of a story line which is Free sucks and we must do something about it. And many have jumped on board. Having seen perpetuation of myth on many topics related to medicine I understand how hard it is to avoid that temptation and how difficult is can be to ferret it out yourself. Since the stats didn't match the observations I decided I'd have a look. To date things aren't nearly as bad as I thought and heard (and continue to hear) but things aren't peachy keen by any means. And as far as doing something about it, I've repeatedly said we should address OT this year.

    And to another who said substituting Parnell and rotating left one conclusion of what they thought of Free; why that's not necessarily true. Part of it was Free certainly wasn't a beacon of stability but I think they are at the point with Parnell they have to play him some to get an idea of what they have. He played for Smith some as well. And he looks like he may be able to do the job there. In fact he may become the best tackle period on the team.

    Every single OL on the team has sucked some this last year and a little of that is just football for the vast majority of linemen who've ever played if your name is not Wright, Slater, Munoz yada. And some is because we just don't have a very good OL and that includes everyone. It's not the worse but it's a far cry from being good and the stats back that up. It was average to better in pass protection and less than average to ?worse whatever you call that in the run game. And if you watch the games I can promise you we don't have a domineering offensive lineman on the team and Parnell may the best we have right now. I don't care where they run. If we don't run draws, misdirection plays, counters, traps, and have the backs run to whatever daylight they can find including reversing field then we don't have consistent holes to run thru.

    I still have three more games then you'll all be rid of me. So take some solace in that. Peace.
  13. Idgit

    Idgit If you food, you gonna be ate. Staff Member

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    Holy crap.
  14. tskyler

    tskyler Active Member

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    I just want to say:

    I really appreciate the series!

    Please, don't keep wasting your time engaging in the "your grading system is wrong" debate. Some people feel a need to engage in this type of discussion and have their opinion validated. Some people don't. It's a matter of taste. Obviously, you don't so please feel free to ignore. There are so many threads that a) argue opinion or shoot from the hip about the simple things most of us pick up on tv b) discuss simple stats or c) discuss lists of drafts, free agents, or other seasonal topics.

    Actual analysis like this is rare because its time consuming. I just wanted to let you know that I for one have found it helpful. My memory of Free's play was foggy. Sure, it would be great if we had a running commentary on each play by NFL line coaches with a grade. Even better if it correlated with official pressure statistics.

    But, your impressions as subjective as they may be, have to me, been described in clear enough language that they have been useful for me to form a better picture of what happened last year.

    Looking forward to the completion of the series. Wish there were more threads like this.


    AMERICAS_FAN Active Member

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    The bolded part above makes me wonder if the ultimate problem is with the zone blocking scheme.

    The last time Doug Free had a great season was his contract year that earned him the big contract that he’s playing under today. In that year he played RT under a man-blocking power running scheme. Currently Free is playing under a zone blocking scheme where he struggles with last year at RT and LT the year before.

    I often wonder if his woe’s at RT last year -- and the entire OL in short yardage situations -- have more to do with the current zone blocking scheme not matching the player’s skills than those skills themselves being in decline.
  16. mschmidt64

    mschmidt64 Active Member

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    Yeah, that's kinda my point.

    Well, if you're final assessment is that he sucked last year, then you're on the right page.

    But quickly perusing most of your grades, you never even say he had a bad day until, like, the Cleveland game.

    When everyone knows he had many poor games long the way, including Tampa in which you say he was average ("C" grade) when he was very clearly terrible in that game. His pressure rate was what, like 15%? Come on.

    Well it's hard not to come to that conclusion when you look at him versus Tampa and give that performance a "C." If you are looking at that performance and thinking "Oh, that's not too bad, that's average," then it's no surprise that you aren't seeing the 41 pressures assigned to him or that you are not assigning him some of the errors that were his.

    Tampa was the worst game I remember seeing from him but he wasn't a ton better in a lot of other games.

    And this is just taking into account passing. He was not a good run blocker either.

    I notice Winicki posted the grades from PFF and they were bad.

    And I've repeatedly told you they are fair in assessing the player. Your defense to why they aren't fair, as far as I've seen, is that you say they were only a handful of plays. Which is definitely excuse-making.

    Yeah, and a handful of bad plays by a QB who throws 4 INTs lands that QB on the bench too.

    Free making 6 bad plays in one game in pass protection (and there might be more, that's just the GIFs that were actually posted) is atrocious. It's not cherry picking, it's visual evidence that Free had a horrific afternoon.

    You don't have any objective data to back up what you are saying. Your stats show he let up a ton more pressures, and then you excuse that by saying "Well I didn't see it when I watched him."

    Well you must be missing something then.

    I don't care about his actual numbers of sacks given up. Romo's ability to avoid them decreases those numbers artificially. It doesn't make Free's performance better.

    I am not going to go back and watch every game and pick out the plays that Free screwed up on.

    I am merely pointing out that he was bad, the grades reflect it, and if you aren't seeing that in your viewings, you are missing something.

    Yeah, here's the admission. You went into this activity with the goal of finding a conclusion that disproved the media narrative. I think you overshot.

    If you had a 29 year old OT who was average, it wouldn't be a priority to address. Free is not average, he was horrible, and he needs to be replaced.

    Yeah. Part of Free's benching was that he sucked. Agreed.

    No doubt. We had probably the worst OL in football this past year, and Free was a big reason for that, along with Bernadeau and the revolving door at center. If it was not the worst, it was one of the worst 3 or 4. Definitely the worst in run blocking. Maybe a little better in pass protection, statistically saved because of Romo's ability to evade pressure. And even with that ability, Free's numbered pressures were abysmal.
  17. mschmidt64

    mschmidt64 Active Member

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    Here's the stats again, thanks Winicki.


    First here are Free's key numbers for 2012:

    15 penalties/6 sacks/4 QB hits/41 pressures

    For the very good tackle I've chosen Andre Smith, and here are his key numbers for 2012:

    4 penalties/7 sacks/2 QB hits/24 pressures

    For the good tackle I've chosen Sebastian Vollmer, and here are his key numbers for 2012:

    5 penalties/6 sacks/7 QB hits/22 pressures

    For the average tackle I've chosen Demar Dotson, and here are his key numbers for 2012:

    10 penalties/7 sacks/8 QB hits/26 pressures


    Free was bad. He was bad when you look at the stats. He was bad when you watch the games. He was benched because he was bad. He was worse when you consider he has probably the best QB in the game at avoiding pressure, sacks and hits.

    Once again, anyone coming to a different conclusion is missing something.
  18. jobberone

    jobberone Kane Ala Staff Member

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    Actually, I've wondered the same. But we don't zone block all the time. We mix it up. Without actually going thru the film and analyzing each player then noting when they zone blocked and associating that with down, distance, opponent, yada then I'm not sure what you'd have when you'd be thru. That's so far above my head I wouldn't do it even if I had the time. But I'd be surprised if the Boys don't break that stuff down including what their opponents do then come up with a game plan each week. If you have some thoughts here I'd love to hear them.

    Here are the adjusted run stats for Dallas last year:

    Rk 22th, adj line yds 3.92 per, RB 3.78 per, adj power success rate 63%, power rank 15, stuffed rate 19%, stuffed rk 12, 2nd level yds 1.04, 2nd level rk 25, open field yds 0.52, open field rk 26. I'm sorry I can't get this to come out formatted to do a small chart.

    So despite my subjective view we don't do well in short yardage situations the stats say we're avg. I guess I'm a little off in my subjective opinion but I don't really want to be average. I don't know what our stats are say for 3rd or 4th and 1 on the one. Or what it is on 3rd or 4th and one or less between the 20s. If someone could ferret that out I'd like to see it.

    However, we are in the bottom third running overall which I think most here would agree with. The stuffed rate is just a little better than the league avg of 20%. 2nd level yds are nearly league avg but open field yds are a good bit below the league avg of 0.72. Some of this says we just don't run as much as other teams which some may find interesting. Some says we don't break enough runs. If you look at the game and try to match the stats with that you'll see some of the bigger runs coming off busted plays rather than RBs having big holes, breaking tackles or juking the Ds jocks off. We just don't have many days like Murray had against the Rams awhile back or even 130-180 yds combined days. I don't know what to think of that as some will argue you can get more yds throwing the ball (for which I don't have a great argument against). OTOH, you need to run the ball well at times and you have to be balanced. I also bemoan our lack of play action but maybe I'm archaic there. But I don't want to start another argument here. That puppy needs its own thread.

    So I don't have a great response to your question. I'd like to know what others think though.

    As to your other statement, I agree it can be unproductive to go tit for tat with argumentative posters. However, my response to him was also directed at all those posters who foster that kind of response to these kinds of threads. I was hoping in some small part my responses would foster less of those posts and more of the ones like yours and others in this thread. I hope that's not too arrogant on my part.
  19. xwalker

    xwalker Well-Known Member

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    ZBS is primarily a run blocking scheme. It had no affect on the pass-plays that you can see in the Gifs in this thread.
  20. Reality

    Reality Administrator Staff Member

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    One thing I have noticed over the years is that, at least with the Cowboys, certain pairings of offensive guards and tackles do better when they are next to each other than other combinations. Kosier in particular seemed to elevate the play of the tackles next to him.

    The problem Free has is that his game is built completely around technique and skill. There are several offensive tackles in the league that have less skills, but their weight, arm reach and body mass in general make them a harder obstacle to get around. That is exactly why some tackles can play effectively well into their 30s.

    Free does not have that and because of it, he has to use proper technique every single play and if he doesn't or the defensive player breaks his rhythm and gets him on his heals, he gets owned. Free uses good technique on many plays which is why he looks good quite often, but when he gets beat, he gets beat badly which leads to penalties or quarterback pressures/sacks.

    I don't think Free is as bad as some fans think, but I prefer body mass and long arms over technique for offensive lineman.


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