Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Total Titans

Following up on the data dump, a new post up at Total Titans with more thoughts on Titans-Panthers.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Titans-Panthers comments data dump

The following is a straight data dump of my comments from the Titans' 15-7 loss to the Panthers in Week 3 of the 2010 preseason. Heavy on abbreviations and generally brief, plus I took greater care with the first half plays (watched 2-5 times, generally) than I did with second half plays (generally not watched more than twice), simply because the Titans didn't play their starters into the second half.

KOR #1-Damian Williams-catch ball cleanly, run forward
1st play-run-MLB unblocked, Harris?
2nd play-run-Roos seal a little soft, CJ run down from behind
3rd play-pass-Roos turned around, VY pump, should he have thrown ball?

1st play-run-McCourty does job-Ball doubled on edge
2nd play-run-Jason Jones late shift, semi-stunt around C/RG, Griff unblocked run blitz
3rd play-pass-Tulloch lines up deep in Tampa-2 look, lining up too deep?
4th play-pass-Babin quick to QB, no recognition, rest of D does eh
5th play-run-Griff blows his alley and opens cutback lane
6th play-pass-Morgan good outside move as LDE, McCourty soft coverage-unclear why
7th play-run-eh
8th play-pass-max pro, Jarrett outruns Verner!?!, overthrow prevents TD
9th play-pass-Morgan LDE good outside move, forces dumpoff

PR #1-Damian Williams-clean fair catch of wobbler at 8-stood at 10 and backed up
1st play-pass-Stevens in at TE, slightly underthrown(?) but nice corner route
2nd play-pass-shallow out for Stevens, Gamble bailed & changed look at last second
3rd play-run-Cook with weak block, cannot run to his side
4th play-scramble-Cook sole TE, VY scramble, no clue what's downfield
5th play-pass-CAR DE overload right side, Scott whiffs a la Loper, CJ tries to pick up inside guy & fails, outside blitzer w/ free rush, VY screwed, hot for Britt(?)
6th play-draw-Scott got pushed back & destroyed inside lane, CJ tries dancing but can't do squat
7th play-pass-3 man rush & 8 zone in 3&long, Hawk underneath

1st play-run-Ball good at POA
2nd play-pass-McRath late/weak blitz, TEN rushed 6 (Verner?), Curran in good position
3rd play-run-Ball too easily moved by POA, was there an outside defender?, Curran or Witherspoon bad gap play?

PR #2-DWill-failure to field punt costs 25 yards
1st play-run-Harris bulled at POA, forced CJ to string it out
2nd play-pass-deep for Britt, ball underthrown/too far inside?, DPI
3rd play-pass-Harris tries blocking 2 guys, can't, CJ slow to pick up inside blitzer, Stevens can't run away from LBs-shallow drag well defended
4th play-pass-free rusher up middle, scott commits to DT too early?, no help up middle, sitdown for Britt
5th play-pass-dump for CJ, no downfield look

1st play-pass-Morgan overcommits to inside, but Haye recovers on boot and actually well defended
2nd play-pass-smoke w/ McCourty playing off, overcommits outside but has inside help, does he overcommit w/o help? (Mouton v MikeWilliams)
3rd play-pass-Tulloch free blitz, Verner jumps Lafell route, potentially dangerous

PR #3-DWill-short punt and to side, DWill directs players away
1st play-run-couple yards, Harris caught up in trash & can't get to 2nd level
2nd play-run-couple yards, Amano can't move off double to get to 2nd level
3rd play-run-Cook as offset FB, run to his side-Cook doesn't draw defender, Harris beat & DT slides down line

1st play-run-Marks fall down split, disrupts flow, rest of team collapses well
2nd play-run-Tulloch attacks hole on FB give well as Witherspoon blitzes outside
3rd play-draw-Marks pancakes OL, Jones gets penetration playside

PR #4-DWill catches punt to side, runs forward ok but no explosiveness
1st play-Ringer in-run-blah, #94 looks good
2nd play-pass-deep for Hawkins, off target
3rd play-pass-deep out for Britt, pass probably too far, Britt doesn't do a good job of toe tapping

1st play-pass-McRath too early on dumpoff, DPI
2nd play-run-Griff blocked out, McCourty w/ good job coming up to make tackle, Ford taken out by Rosario at POA
3rd play-pass-ineffective blitz by 51&55, McCourty jumps out & breaks it up
4th play-pass-zone blitz w/ Ford dropping off, blitzes not getting home, Lafell open but hard catch & drop

PR #5-DWill-does ok to dodge early hits, but coughs up ball on hat-on-helmet

1st play-run-blah, penetration by Jones
2nd play-run-Babin outside rush, penetration by Jones, OL thoroughly pwnt
3rd play-pass-short pass w/ no YAC opportunity

PR #6-Mariani-punt dropped at 1
1st play-run-Jared Cook SUCKS, barely bumps DE who runs down line & makes play
2nd play-pas-WR screwup?, designed for quick throw?, ball doesn't come out & VY gets sacked, Stewart beat to inside
3rd play-draw-semi-stunt screws up blocking, Harris can't pick up Brown who blows up play
PUNT-Schommer(??) blew his lane?

1st play-pass-triple coverage, pass may have been well underthrown, Rosario prevents Hope INT
2nd play-draw-Hope + ATV up to make tackle, Hope good job in run support
3rd play-pass-Tulloch blitz, Rosario turns Spoon around & Moore w/ good pass
4th play-pass-Verner in good coverage on pass for crappy rookie wideout
5th play-pass-heavy blitz, Moore finds hot, Griff blows tackle but Hope cleans up
6th play-pass-shallow in completed v Verner in man
7th play-pass-Haye with pressure late after loop, ATV slipped, pass to Gettis v McCourty too far
8th play-pass-heavy blitz, tipped at line by Jones
9th play-pass-Fuller beat by Lafell on corner, smash combo, challenged & confirmed
10th play-pass-Griff flagged for DPI for unnecessary bump on Barnidge but picked up, pass overthrown
11th play-pass-short play completed by ATV, Fuller & ATV converge, ATV w/ FF & recovery

1st play-pass-sitdown for Britt, some YAC
2nd play-pass-VY doesn't see anything & scrambles for more time, sacked by Stewart's man


KO-Hawk blows outside lane
DEF-2nd string
1st play-run-Keglar sucks
2nd play-pass-CAR miscommunication
3rd play-pass-Rivera good tackle for no YAC 1 yd short

OFF-2nd string
PR #7-Mariani-punt dropped at goal line
1st play-run-blah
2nd play-run-blah (holding on #86)
3rd play-draw-blah
4th play-pass-Cook drops it on drag

1st play-pass-hole in zone?
2nd play-run-Brock flagged for offside, 1st of night
3rd play-pass-screen against stunt & blitz, well-timed
4th play-run-blah
5th play-scramble-blah
6th play-pass-ATV in coverage, way overthrown

KOR #2-Mariani-clean catch, ok, Kropog flagged for holding
1st play-pass-quick slant to Britt, eh
2nd play-run-good power run by Ringer to outside
3rd play-run-MLB unblocked, not clear who/why
4th play-pass-screen, not well blocked
5th play-pass-good deep comeback for Britt
6th play-run-blah
7th play-pass-KFC too far for Hawk in shallow out, blah
8th play-pass-KFC doesn't see outside blitz, bad on him, RT #69 didn't do well either (Howell?)

1st play-pass-8 yd out to Edwards v Mouton
2nd play-pass-quick hitch to Edwards v Mouton playing off, doesn't attack ball quickly
3rd play-run-Keglar tackle at POA but not until after couple yards
4th play-pass-deflected by Rivera blitzing up middle
5th play-pass-ATV slot blitz, Johnson v Lafell in shallow cross, Johnson gets beat
6th play-run-good gain, Hill/RJohnson playing too far inside
7th play-run-blah, holding
8th play-pass-screen v soft zone
9th play-run-blah, no room
10th play-pass-tipped at line by Joseph

KOR #3-Mariani 5 yds deep, should take knee, tackled at 17
1st play-pass-Mariani was open deep but manages to adjust to underthrown ball
2nd play-pass-KFC sacked, Kropog's man, KFC doesn't get ball out & tries to move
3rd play-pass-great slant to Mariani & nice RAC, Cover-2(?) safety got sucked too far inside
4th play-run-DO NOT RUN AT JARED COOK, fails miserably on seal v DE Hardy
5th play-pass-seamer to Cook for 6, outruns #25, good throw away from single-high safety

KO-Bakhtiari & Johnson blow tackle, Sewall & ATV blow their lanes, TD

KOR #4-Mariani-out of EZ
1st play-pass-bootleg, Ryan drops pass after hit
2nd play-pass-KFC rips it in for Cook, Velasco at RG flagged for holding
3rd play-pass-Edison on slant, flagged for OPI
4th play-pass-KFC throwing off back foot throws it to underneath defender, pressure v Kropog

1st play-penalty-Jimmah! pulls his RT and TE offside, oops
2nd play-run-blown up by Harrington
3rd play-pass-open on sideline, looked close to pick by underneath defender, Hill playing soft
4th play-penalty-false start
5th play-penalty-false start
6th play-penalty-false start
7th play-pass-short pickup

KOR #5-Mariani-does ok, takes pop & doesn't cough up ball
1st play-penalty-false start #69
2nd play-run-good hole, Blount attacks it & breaks ankle tackle
3rd play-pass-Rusty pressured, can't quite hit Pfahler on sideline
4th play-pass-slant complete to DWill
5th play-run-Blount for a couple
6th play-pass-quick out to Pfahler, decent move to pick up extra & 1st down
7th play-pass-Rusty airmails seamer, picked by high safety

1st play-run-blah
2nd play-run-good penetration & tackle by Johnson
3rd play-pass-Barnidge shallow out for a lot after Keglar blows tackle & Mouton blows help
4th play-pass-smoke, Bakhtiari tip at line
5th play-run-OLB sucked in, Rivera can't do contain, Schommer comes up & makes tackle
6th play-run-Winborn slow to edge, holding
7th play-pass-screen, Rivera blows tackle but other guys can get it

1st play-pass-miscommo/airmail+behind open WR after CAR defensive screwup
2nd play-pass-DWill underneath for a couple
3rd play-pass-good pocket presence & finding PWill over middle in what seemed like small hole
4th play-pass-good shallow drag for Pfahler, AWFUL move not to get OOB
5th play-pass-Smith strip-sacked, blown block #77
6th play-pass-underneath for Pfahler, reasonably good pass, Pfahler gets OOB
7th play-pass-deflected by underneath defender, Britt can't concentrate enough to catch ball
8th play-pass-Pfahler underneath, not the best choice, Pfahler can't catch it

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Football Outsiders

Eh, late again. Scramble for the Ball, NFC Over/Unders Pt. 1 is available at FO for your reading pleasure.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Football Outsiders

Failure to plug my own writings: Scramble for the Ball, AFC Over/Unders, Part II went up last Wednesday. Look tomorrow for NFC Over/Unders, Part I, including probably one of the nuttier comparisons in FO history. Other columns like Cover-3 and Walkthrough, those are products of planning and thought; Scramble, at least the way Mike and I do it, is the product of a genuine conversation which will take twists and turns you don't necessarily expect.

Total Titans

A couple posts up at Total Titans I haven't yet plugged. The first is from Monday, and was a gameday post for the Monday Night Football contest against the Cardinals. Naturally, I just used my twitter page to comment and ignored the game thread. I rounded out the positional analyses by taking a look at the special teamers on Saturday, then mucked around with a couple video breakdowns on Sunday.

Yes, I'll do more of those video things, and yes, if/when I do, it'll be with a slightly more sophisticated setup than an older digital camera sitting on a stack of books on a chair in front of the TV while I speak aloud and make lots of hesitation sounds.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Total Titans

New Total Titans post, this one the cornerback positional analysis.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Book Review: Take Your Eye Off the Ball

In some ways, I first decided to get semi-serious about watching football a decade ago, shortly after I'd graduated from college. In some ways, this was a rather odd decision. I'd watched the game growing up when the constraints of life and the fall weekend schedule made it possible, and considered myself a fan of the game, but had never played it beyond the backyard level. So, one of the things I thought I should do was learn more about the game. Being me, I read a couple books about football, of which by far the most valuable was the already somewhat dated Dr. Z's New Thinking Man's Guide to Pro Football. The primary problem with watching football, though, is you tend to end up with what I think of as ball myopia, following the player in possession of the pigskin and ignoring the panoply of action going on around him. The kind of book I was looking for then, and still haven't found, is the book that told me how to watch football more intelligently.

The latest entry in the quest for that book is Take Your Eye Off the Ball: How to Watch Football by Knowing Where to Look by Pat Kirwan and David Seigerman. That sounds like a very promising title, and Kirwan's book follows the same basic organizational patterns of the best books on football, New Thinking Man's Guide, Madden's One Knee Equals Two Feet, and Billick's More Than a Game (which review I plan to get to this month), of going by the team position by position and also chapters on the other big stuff. Plus, Kirwan has worked at the NFL level and now writes for NFL.com after an earlier stint writing for Sports Illustrated, so he would seem to have the requisite experience to write a book like the one I've been looking for.

The problem, though, is the title has almost nothing to do with the content of Kirwan's book. There are a couple things in there that are useful in terms of watching the game, but Kirwan's book is more about the action on the field and what happens a lot out there. That's valuable information, and you can use it to aid your ability to watch a game, but it's not particularly rare.

In some ways, I recognize that seems kind of hypocritical coming from me. The complaint I have about a bunch of those books listed on the sidebar is they're not really about football at all, but rather about people who play football. Let me emphatically note that's not my complaint about Kirwan's book, since it clearly is about the on-field action (leavened, obviously, by Kirwan's personal anecdotes). I can't say too many bad things about a book that tries to bring more sophisticated football content to a broader audience, and I won't rip too badly into a book that has diagrams of a fire zone blitz from both a 3-4 and a 4-3 defensive front.

Still, beyond mostly ignoring its stated title (which would've filled a valuable niche in the marketplace), Take Your Eye's second major fault in my eyes is that it really didn't teach me anything new. Pretty much everything in there I'd picked up by osmosis from simply watching and reading about football. It has most of the stuff you'd expect in there, like a wide receiver route tree, a discussion of the basic differences between 4-3 and 3-4 defensive front (but see infra), and discussions of man versus zone coverage in pass defense (again, but see infra). One thing I was expecting and hoping for but wasn't included is a list of defensive lineman positions listed by technique, since football people. It shows up a little bit in the 4-3/3-4 section, but is one thing that could've used a systematic breakdown designed for the non-technical reader and wasn't included.

The third major fault of Take Your Eye is the list of what I referred to on Twitter as howlers. These include:
1. Kirwan's attributes the origin of zone blocking in the NFL to Alex Gibbs in the mid-1990's. See this piece at FO by Doug Farrar for why that's nonsense.
2. One of the things the book has is little half-page sidebars where Kirwan's mug shows up and answers a question related to the main text of the chapter. One of those is how a team can run the ball effectively without a feature back. In that, Kirwan says the team has to commit to running the football, and mentions the 2009 Bengals as a team that committed to running the football. Now, I question whether or not the '09 Bengals really fall in this category-Cedric Benson was the 4th overall pick in the draft, and was a fairly effective feature back for them. The Bengals also did commit to running the football schematically, by playing lots of 6-OL and heavy sets. Kirwan, though, has two questions for determining whether or not a team is committed to running the football:
i. Are you willing to run the ball on second down after running on first and gaining zero yards?
ii. Will you run the ball when you're down seven points?
Nothing about 6-OL, heavy sets, just some strategic questions so vague as to be indeterminate and blathering about commitment.
3. In his discussion of the 3-4 and the 4-3, Kirwan presents a stark dichotomy between a one-gap 4-3 and a Parcells/Belichick-style two-gap 3-4. He does not, however, mention the one-gap 3-4 of the type run by, for example, Wade Phillips.
4. In discussing the secondary and pass coverage, Kirwan wrote: "Some coaches prefer a man-to-man scheme because it's so easy to see which players are making mistakes. There's no gray area in man coverage the way there is in a zone scheme. You know who got beat." Frankly, that kind of statement strikes me as absolutely incredible in the most literal sense: I cannot find it credible that coaches at the college or NFL level would play man instead of zone because without it they can't tell which of their own players made a mistake.
5. Less of a literal howler than a seemingly systematic error by Kirwan is his presentation of events linked to his past and his friends in an overly optimistic light. One example that stuck out to me was his description of Dewayne Robertson. Kirwan writes that Robertson, the 4th overall pick in 2003, was lost when Mangini came in and immediately converted the Jets to a 3-4 scheme, where he was undersized at defensive end. Problem #1: Mangini's first year as head coach was 2006. In 2006, the Jets, at least officially, still played a 4-3 (PDF link to random gamebook from 2006 (Wk 11 vCHI, to be precise)). PFR's list of '06 Jets starters agrees, showing them lining up in a 4-3. Second, the Jets actually got a little better on runs up the middle from 2006 with Robertson as one of the starting DT's to 2007 with Robertson at NT, moving from a horrid 4.57 ALY to a still horrid 4.50. Robertson then moves on to the 2008 Broncos, who went from 4.09 ALY on runs up the middle to 4.41. Given that Robertson's conventional stats his whole time with the Jets are fairly similar, I have different suggestion for Mr. Kirwan: maybe, just maybe Dewayne Robertson was a bad football player who was ill-suited for both the 3-4 and the 4-3, and if you want to give an example of a guy best suited for one scheme, pick somebody else.
6. Ok, I just can't let this go: Kirwan was with the Jets in 1996 when they took Keyshawn Johnson first overall in the draft. Kirwan wrote that they were concerned about Keyshawn's 4.6 40-yard dash time, which is a slow clocking for a #1 wideout. But they did some research and found that Jerry Rice ran a 4.6 40, too, so they weren't really concerned. As a fan of good decision-making processes, I hope their analysis really wasn't that facile.
7. Last one, just can't resist this one: he writes the Vikings were looking for a playmaking wideout who could play in the slot, return kicks, stuff like that in the 2009 draft. Brad Childress was trying to decide between Jeremy Maclin and Percy Harvin, so they did their due diligence on Harvin, talked to Urban Meyer and his grandmother, and felt comfortable enough with him they chose him with the 22nd pick in the draft. Detail Kirwan leaves out: Maclin was off the board at the point, having gone 19th to the Eagles. The story as it is could've been told without the need to choose between Maclin and Harvin, but instead Kirwan puts Maclin in there, I guess to create conflict, or maybe that's just the way Childress told him the story, but it bugged the heck out of me.

There's no bibliography or index, not that you needed me to tell you that. I don't think a bibliography would've been appropriate, since consulting other books would probably have saved them from some of the howlers, but an index for when he refers to players would've been convenient. The book as a whole probably isn't as bad as I've made it sound in this review, but the howlers were enough of a distraction to me I can't recommend it. And, thus, the search for a book on how to watch football more intelligently continues.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Football Outsiders

Scramble? Aye, Scramble. Yes, it's the first Scramble for the Ball of the new season, and the first of four over/under columns. Like last season, I am co-writing Scramble with Mike, so it's another year of the same sort of nonsense, only different.

Fun change about this Scramble: lack of last-minute work, as it was primarily written Sunday, my last pass was Monday evening, and it was in the system approved and ready to publish Tuesday. We'll see how long that keeps up.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Book Review: Oiler Blues

John Pirkle's Oiler Blues is subtitled "The Story of Pro Football's Most Frustrating Team." As, like Pirkle, a fan of the Oilers/Titans, I am inclined to agree. The team starting promisingly enough, winning the first two AFL championships and losing the third in double overtime, though of course they over .500 twice in the next 14 years, including a three year span where they won only 6 games. Then, of course, after three straight playoff seasons, the owner fires the coach and the team finishes under .500 the next six seasons, including ANOTHER three year span where they won only 6 games. Success is finally at hand, at the team makes the playoffs for the next 7 seasons, but, of course, without advancing to a single conference championship game let alone a Super Bowl. A disaster season follows, and the team starts looking to, and eventually does, move shortly thereafter. Fittingly, Pirkle's book ends after the 1998 season, missing the newly-rechristened Titans' trip to the Super Bowl the next season.

The book is structured in very straight chronological order, addressing sequentially the various stages of the offseason, including the draft, free agency/roster moves, and training camp, then the regular season, the playoffs where applicable, and then the almost-inevitable coaching and/or front office changes. I may be underselling the structure a little bit-he will step back briefly where appropriate, such as career retrospectives when a notable coach such as Bum Phillips or Glanville gets the boot (blah, blah, Glanville left on his own, whatever)-but the format is fairly standard and works reasonably well.

What becomes clear from Oiler Blues is just how seriously dysfunctional the team was, and consistently so. Thrice in their first 27 years of existence the Oilers had a span where they had 5 different head coaches in 6 years. Front office personnel turned over nearly as frequently, and only for very brief stretches was there consistency in both places at once. The consistency of the Jeff Fisher era, and the Reese/Fisher era, is incredibly remarkable for Bud Adams' franchise. Heck, the Mike Reinfeldt/Jeff Fisher era is already in the running for the second-longest GM/coach pairing in franchise history. That sort of organizational instability, as Pirkle makes clear, came straight from the top. Bud Adams vacillated between treating the Oilers as a profit-oriented venture that should be making as much money as possible and building a winning football team, with concomitant expenditures. When the team was doing well, he wanted to make sure that he individually got the credit, and wasn't afraid to reach out to a sympathetic media member to make his voice heard.

At least, when he could find a sympathetic media member, though there was normally at least one. Pro Football Chronicle has a list of player-media dustups, and the list of half made up of Oilers players and front office personnel and Houston media. The tone was set early in the team's existence, as the scribes for both the now-defunct Post and the still-extant Chronicle were seemingly disappointed Houston got a franchise in the fledgling AFL rather than the mighty National Football League and decided to hold it against the team, its owner, its management, and some of its players, particularly the starting quarterback du jour. Oddly enough, the one starting quarterback the media seems to have appreciated was Dan Pastorini, who for much of his career posted average or below statistics on a run-oriented team.

More importantly, with the constant coaching and front office changes, the vocal media took on an outsize role in how the team was perceived by the public at large and seemingly how it was managed at times. See, for instance, this comment on the 1993 DVOA Ratings thread at FO, detailing John Henry Mills' place in Oilers history as the tight end who would save everything. As commenter Stravinsky says, "I am not making this up," which could easily be the theme of the Oilers' history in Houston.

One thing I hadn't realized before reading Pirkle's book was just how badly the Oilers had been treated by the City of Houston and particularly the HSA, which ran the Astrodome. From its creation, HSA was continually controlled by the Astros' ownership, from Roy Hofheinz at the start down to John McMullen and then Drayton McLane. The baseball owners, being baseball owners, treated the Oilers like second-class tenant, with terrible lease terms and a stadium horribly-suited for football, with 60% of the seats of the end zone variety. Back when the Astrodome was being built and he was frozen out of the construction process, Bud Adams actually discussed moving the Oilers to Atlanta. I wondered while reading that if Bud now wishes he'd gone ahead with that threat. (I'm guessing he's happy he didn't move to Jacksonville in the late 1980's.)

The book is copy-edited like one of my blogposts, so it's replete with minor errors and typos. Names are seemingly at random spelled properly most of the time, then spelled wrongly for a stretch before being again spelled properly, except that poor Abner Haynes' last name shows up consistently as "Hayes." I don't think it detracts much from his core narrative, and doesn't invalidate that Pirkle clearly spent a lot of effort digging up articles and pulling fun quotes, but those kinds of errors are annoying. Pirkle also engages in the tendentious game of creating ideal drafts, which is tiresome even at its best and incredibly annoying when done repeatedly over the course of a book. Most 4th rounders are average starters at best, so it's neither an act of good faith nor particularly interesting to pick out the one or two guys who were ended up being particularly good.

I could rant on a little more, like about Pirkle's use of misleading conventional statistics (a kick I was on before FO ever existed, thank you very much), the fans' love affair with Bum Phillips and how he destroyed the team, or about how I was too kind to Ed Fowler in my review of Loser Takes All, but I'll stop here. If you can stand bad copy-editing, recommended for Oilers fans and for Titans fans who want to know more about the team's ridiculously dysfunctional history. Fans of other teams probably won't appreciate it nearly as much, and fans of teams that actually get books written about them like the Packers probably won't appreciate a book that doesn't come from a professional writer (Pirkle at least was an attorney), but hey, feel free to give it a read if it sounds like the kind of book you're interested in.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Total Titans

New Total Titans post, this one on which defender the Titans can least afford to lose. My vote is Tony Brown.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Total Titans

New Total Titans post, latest positional analysis on the offensive guards.

Books Update

Because, frankly, the last thing I needed was to buy more books, I went ahead and acquired Pat Kirwan's Take Your Eye Off the Ball, Bill Walsh's The Score Takes Care of Itself, and Richard Whittingham's college football book The Rites of Autumn. I also ordered The Games That Changed the Game by Ron Jaworski and Greg Cosell (and David Plaut), though that isn't due for another couple months, which should give me enough time to whittle away at my now-higher pile again. Also acquired this year were Robert Peterson's Pigskin: The Early Years of Pro Football, John Maxymuk's Quarterback Abstract, and The Ultimate Super Bowl Book by Bob McGinn. Reviews of all should appear here eventually, which is a term without a legally enforceable meaning.

Currently in progress is John Pirkle's Oiler Blues, and a review will be showing up here once I finish the book-ETA this weekend. Since I'm among the authors, I won't be doing a full review of Football Outsiders Almanac 2010, but I'll probably put up a post on it at some point more or less for the sake of completeness.