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NFL Twenty Ten and the Myth of Starting

Discussion in 'NFL Zone' started by T-RO, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. T-RO

    T-RO Well-Known Member

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    I was reading a very fine post over at DallasCowboyTimes and some of the guy's data really smacked me upside the head.

    I was aware of a trend, but I'd not fully appreciated just how prevailing it had become.

    The trend is the increased specialization of roles on NFL teams and the bald fact: Starting for a team doesn't mean so much anymore and in some ways it obscures the truth.

    Consider the following numbers from last season about our four defensive ends. Here is how often each of the four were on the field for a given snap:
    Olshansky 59%
    Spears 40%
    Bowen 57%
    Hatcher 44%

    These aren't my numbers*, but I believe them.

    So the reality is that though Marcus Spears was the "starter" (and remains so based on the current depth chart) the two "second-string" guys Bowen and Hatcher actually played more. Spears wasn't merely taken out in 3rd down situations. He was off the field more than he was on it.

    I may try to address some other aspects of this "myth of starting" later tonight. I need to find some good grub.



    *Note: I'd like to give proper attribution t the guy who wrote the article and provided these stats, but I can't locate the original article.
  2. joseephuss

    joseephuss Well-Known Member

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    Spears 2.5 sacks
    Bowen 3 sacks
    Hatcher 1 sack

    Even though the other guys got more playing time, Spears actually has a better sack ratio. :D

    I agree that there is a certain myth to starting in today's NFL when it comes to skill position players and certain defensive players. Teams have lots of players that they change in and out during the course of a game. The offensive line and QB are mostly immune to this, but other areas are not.
  3. T-RO

    T-RO Well-Known Member

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  4. T-RO

    T-RO Well-Known Member

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    Well done, joseephuss. But I bet if you factor in the quarterback pressures Spears would be last in that dept.



    I had intended to post this in the Cowboys forum. This thread won't go anywhere here, and I won't invest more energy in it.

    But yes, O-line and QB are generally immune. And guys lke Jenkins and Witten are going to be on the field most all the time. But the wide variety of packages are what you have to look at nowadays. A player might not start--but he may play more and be on the field when the game is on the line at the end.
  5. rkell87

    rkell87 Well-Known Member

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    lol you actually start a thread with potential and not in that trickle out info format and it gets moved.
  6. T-RO

    T-RO Well-Known Member

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    No it didn't get moved. I just wasn't paying attention when I posted it.

    My bad.

    As for threads with potential...Did you see the standing ovation I got at the end of my last serial thread installment? :)
  7. rkell87

    rkell87 Well-Known Member

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    nope.

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