News: Two part series by Bob Sturm on 'splash plays'

Discussion in 'News Zone' started by CCBoy, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. CCBoy

    CCBoy Well-Known Member

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    Two part series by Bob Sturm on 'splash plays.'

    Part One:

    "He's really starting to make a lot of splash plays. We don't like those on offense. But, a splash play is when you have a big hit. Big hit on a running back. Big hit on a wide receiver. Big hit on a quarterback. Or just making a tackle for a loss. Just making that impact play is what they call a splash play. He makes a lot of those." - Davin Joseph on Navarro Bowman

    The above quote was from the NFL Network's summer time-killing series, NFL's Top 100. I enjoyed the series quite a bit as a football nut trying to survive May, June, and July, but if you check it out try not to get caught up in the actual rankings. Just enjoy five minutes on players like Navarro Bowman and learn about guys that you don't know a ton about. Bowman, you might recall, was very highly ranked by the Cowboys in the 2010 draft and looked to be the player the Cowboys would have taken in the 2nd round if they had not grabbed his college teammate, Sean Lee. It looks like both Penn State linebackers in that draft are fantastic young players and Bowman is already thought of as a Top 100 player. Something Sean Lee will need to look forward to and build for next season.

    Anyway, the point of that setup was simply to introduce a new term to the blog that I want to pursue from henceforth. The concept of the "splash" play. Offense is much easier to consume and evaluate in my opinion with the resources we have available to us as fans and media. We can surmise much more by looking at the TV copy or the coach's film that is now available to all of us if we so choose to examine it (And, I most certainly do). But, on defense, we have much less clear and concise information with which to draw our conclusions. We are guessing coverages and responsibilities and overall are left to wait for sacks and interceptions to know if a player is getting it done. Therefore, when someone is asking how well someone is playing, we tend to suggest that DeMarcus Ware has 13 sacks and that is pretty much it....
  2. CCBoy

    CCBoy Well-Known Member

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    And here is part Two on 'splash plays':

    Last week we introduced the concept of the splash play, and began rolling through 2011 again to demonstrate what we are talking about from Weeks 1-4 on the schedule. If you missed it, this might all make more sense if you check it out by clicking here.

    In a nutshell, I am unsatisfied with our current metrics for evaluating defensive players and wanted to try something new this season. Tabulating and evaluating "splash plays" is an idea that is worth trying, and although there is subjectivity involved, I suppose that is not that different than just about every other way we attempt to evaluate the Cowboys. I think Phil Costa had a lousy 2011. The Cowboys obviously did not since they try to replace him very hard. I feel I have my evidence that is both objective and subjective. They clearly have theirs (he was too young, he did not have enough help, he is developing) as well. But, to act like anything in football besides the final score and the final record of the teams we follow is 100 percent objective analysis is likely missing the boat.

    But, on this blog in particular and most Cowboys coverage in general, we spend a ton of time on the offense and not nearly enough on the defense. So, this year, I plan on a weekly analysis of "splash plays". And according to the jargon in the NFL, a splash play is basically a play for the defense where somebody steps up and does something.

    Here is what we ended up with last week: ...
  3. CCBoy

    CCBoy Well-Known Member

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    And for those who work overtime trying to discredit and vocally overload anything credible and useful, here is the premise of observation:

    What is a splash play? Well, for purposes of this blog I believe a splash play will include the following: A sack, a pressure that forces a bad throw, and big hit on the QB, and a batted ball that may lead to an interception opportunity. Again, you can see how this leads to subjectivity, but a subjective breakdown is better than no breakdown at all, I have decided. In addition, a splash play will include tackles for loss, a big hit for a short gain, or a stop which is an open field tackle where a player is pulled down on 3rd down short of the marker because of an exceptional effort from a defender. An interception is clearly a splash play, but so is a defended pass that required a great effort. A major hit in the secondary could be a splash play, but I believe that the outcome of the play will determine that. Sorry, defensive backs, but standing over a guy who just caught a 15 yard pass because you think you hit him hard will not generally pass the test on this blog. So, stop doing it.

    Oh, and an early cookie crumb trail back to Granny's House has an early indicator for Marcus Spears...and why some are saying he could be an end of camp cut...but cart before the horse stuff there.
  4. Bluestang

    Bluestang Well-Known Member

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    Not surprising to see Ware, Lee, Spencer as the top 3 in that order. Even though this is subjective I give Sturm the benefit of the doubt because it's not easy to go back and watch film of all the games and datalog all of this.

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