Saturday, July 19, 2008


A little bit of separation-some news/commentary/etc. links, some on strategy.

One of the big questions out there is still why NFL teams run the ball so much. See this piece which incorporates a little game theory. See also this follow-up post.

In the same vein, see this post from SMQ on the same issue in the college game. The college game is, to me, less reliable because of the variability in skill of, and general incompetence at, passing the ball. Half the teams in college look like the 2004 Bears or 2005 49ers. See also EDSBS on the same. For more, see this post by the author. I still need to do more reading on this, which may or may not happen.

A massive look at 4-3 defensive theory from DGDB&D, focused on a look at the Eagles' variant thereof. See also the linked-to piece on zone blitzing.

More than you really want to know about the zone stretch, from MGoBlog.

18 million 5,400 words from Smart Football on pass protection, starting with the Super Bowl.

Newsier Stuff and Statgeekery
PFR blog applied the Simple Rating System to see how each 2007 team stacked up. I wouldn't have guessed the Colts would have the league's best defense. Neither would anyone else, I don't think. Somewhat interesting, but more parlor game-y than useful, I think.

This extended look at an inter-blog fight over Karl Dorrell, Rick Neuheisel, and what exactly constitutes reasonable expectations would be useful to think about if everyone else were as geeky and epistemologically-inclined as I, and also if I were significantly less lazy.

Buzz Bissinger shows he doesn't know much about early American history. He should read more, much more about the press wars between Adams and Jefferson starting c. 1795. See also Bissinger's talk with Will Leitch. I guess my biggest problem with Bissinger is he has a very distinct idea of What Constitutes Media, and it's traditional journalism of the sort he practices and what you tend to find in the daily newspaper.

MGoBlog's take on the news that Northwestern easily stole Michigan's signals. The piece about the center's differing hand-placement on run and pass plays emphasizes just how awful the college game could be. "Lloyd Carr thought deception and trickery had their place in football, and that place was Northwestern," may be the line of the year.

Michael Lombardi comments on the release of Falcons DB Jimmy Williams. Homework assignment: pick your favorite NFL team. Figure out who's only there because there's an "agenda" at play. This is the biggest reason I'm concerned about Jeff Fisher's current say in the operation of the Tennessee Titans, and why most combo Coach/GMs fail-nobody's there to solve their "agenda" problem.

One of the blogs I read regularly, but haven't permalinked, is Coaches Hot Seat. This post is a good explanation as to why.

PFR blog took a look at the "worst" QBs of all time. These lists bother me, because the people who end up atop them are guys who aren't really terrible, but who aren't good yet get a lot of attempts. You're better off with a good QB than Joey Harrington, but you're better off with Joey Harrington than, say, Aaron Brooks. See also the best QBs.

Michael Lombardi writes about the importance of the waiver wire. Most surprising part of the post: he worked for the Broncos for nearly 6 months, and never talked to the GM.

Finally, see this excellent column from Rick Gosselin on Hall of Fame chances. Yes, I have a post coming about this over at Total Titans.

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