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Dr. Z...
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jdw
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Joined: 01 Sep 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 4:18 pm    Post subject: Dr. Z... Reply with quote



For that Lover of Air Coryell (Cheetah) and Smacker of the Legend of Bill Walsh (Frank), I'll link to the following:

The real West Coast offense

My favorite Dr. Z article ever.


Last edited by jdw on Tue Jan 23, 2007 1:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Tom Greaves



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 169
Location: Dallas/Fort Worth, TX

PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was an interesting sidebar written by Michael David Smith in Pro Football Prospectus 2006 (done by the guys from Football Outsiders) about this. I'll transcribe it in full:

"Addendum: What Is the West Coast Offense?

"Paul Zimmerman, the excellent NFL writer for Sports Illustrated, created quite a stir in 1999 when he wrote that the phrase "West Coast offense" was being widely misused.

"According to Zimmerman, the phrase originally referred to a very different type of offense than the one Walsh ran. Zimmerman claimed that the phrase was first used to describe the long-ball offense that Sid Gillman ran with the San Diego Chargers. According to Zimmerman, it was during a player interview he conducted that the phrase was coined: 'How did the term get its name? From Bernie Kosar, when he was a backup quarterback with Dallas in '93.'

"There's only one problem with Zimmerman's claim: It's demonstrably false. Kosar signed with Dallas in November 1993, so that's the earliest the conversation with Zimmerman could have taken place. But by then the phrase was already in use, and it was used to describe Walsh's offense, not Gillman's. For example, an article by Joseph Sanchez in the Sporting News on May 17, 1993, used the phrase to describe Wade Phillips's plans to install the Walsh-style offense in Denver.

"A computer database search of newspaper and magazine articles shows that Sanchez's article was the earliest use of the phrase "West Coast offense" in any publication. But by 1995, when sportswriter Bill Plaschke declared the offense dead, it had gone from original phrase to overused buzzword. More than a decade later, it's still an overused buzzword. But as long as it's going to be used at all, it should be used correctly."

(p. 233)
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jdw
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's an interesting one. Wonder where Doc got confused.


John
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jdw
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know if anyone has been following this during the season:



Poor Doc has gotten stuck making picks against a silly model. :)




John
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Jeremy Billones



Joined: 07 Aug 2006
Posts: 523
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, but who won?

(If I did the math right, Bill Simmons tied his wife.)
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jdw
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doc is up by 4 heading into the playoffs. Earlier in the year, The Model was ahead.


John
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jdw
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doc's 2006 All Pros:

Dr. Z's All-Pros: Closer look at players who merit recognition in 2006


John
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jdw
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting piece by Doc on Tuna:

Wild Bill: Here's hoping Parcells finds what he's looking for


John
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jdw
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ratings scam: System for evaluating QBs' performance outdated

Mailbag: More than a number: Importance of stats underlines folly of QB ratings

John
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Frank_Jewett
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Z's bitch has been based on guys like Unitas rating lower than modern guys. I personally can't sympathize. The slaps at CPA types basically argue for zero stats and a total reliance on reputation. That might work if you watched five or six games per week, like Z, but most fans aren't going to have that level of dedication and pundits are unreliable.

I think passing ratings generally reflect the value of passers in a given season. Z has said nothing to disprove that point and hasn't given any indication that he disagrees with it, other than the Columbo-esque schtick of complaining about CPAs, waxing about Johnny Unitas, or this new tack of complaining about the ego of Steve Hirdt, whoever he is.

We'll know Z is serious when he proposes a standard. Until then, this is one of those rare subjects where he totally embarrasses himself.

Frank

(Art Donovan probably thinks stats are misleading too.)
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Dave Hogg



Joined: 02 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
We'll know Z is serious when he proposes a standard.


From this week's mailbag, not that it is anything he hasn't said 1000 times before:

"Too much emphasis is placed on one factor, completion percentage. It affects all four categories. Down the field throwers are not rewarded enough. Every aspect -- completion percentage itself, interceptions, yards and TDs all reflect percentages of passes attempted. OK, I'll give them two of them -- completion percentage and interceptions, but the way to balance it would be to relate two categories to COMPLETIONS, not attempts. In other words, look at how many TDs a guy has, relative to how many passes he completes. That would eliminate pumped up rewards for lots of completed dinks. The same with yards. Give the guy who averages 13 yards a completion a higher grade than one who hits the league average of 11.3."
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Frank_Jewett
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is the same "solution" Z always offers which essentially underlines the point that for him the issue is all about wanting Johnny U's numbers to look better compared to the numbers for modern passers.

It's a puerile solution to an assenine complaint and it fails to address all the other diarrhea he brought into the discussion about kneel downs counting as rushes and spiking the ball counting as incompletions.

If Z's arguments are taken to their logical conclusion then all statistics are ultimately meaningless. Here's an example. Last week the Niners ran a draw play at midfield with 4 seconds left in the first half. Frank Gore ran for 24 yards in a situation where the defense was playing to prevent a "hail mary" pass. The 24 yards were totally meaningless.

What is the solution? More asterisks? How about not counting runs on hopeless "third and forever" draw plays? Should we put an asterisk next to Eddie George's career numbers based on Jeff Fisher's predictable play calling?

It would be a shame to toss all stats on the fire simply because Johnny U's numbers don't compare to modern passers, but that is ultimately the main problem that Z has with the passer rating system.

Frank
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jdw
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Setting aside the obsession about Unitis on both sides, Z's point is a rather obvious one: the QB rating, and the elements in it, aren't relative to the league. The elements within it are also based on math set to standards more than 30 years old, that aren't applicable to today.

Z offers solutions - in addition to what Boss Hogg points to above, Z also mentions regularly re-evaluating the math of the elements. This is perfectly reasonable to make the rating more relative to the current environment of a game that is constantly changing due to strategy, technology and an offensive happy NFL constantly change the rule to inhibit the defense.

Is that a "solution" for everyone? Who knows. I suspect that for some the only way to offer a "solution" is to offer a Magic Formula in the place of the existing formula. I would disagree. Part of coming up with the solution is to identify the flaws of an accepted stat, which allows various people (if they're open to it) to wrap their minds around a way to deal with the flaws.


John
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Frank_Jewett
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

QB1: 4 for 8, 80 yards, 1 touchdown

QB2: 6 for 8, 80 yards, 1 touchdown

According to Dr. Z, QB2 needs to be punished for requiring six completions to achieve 1 touchdown because he is unfairly rewarded for completing 6 of 8 versus 4 of 8.

I don't get the logic there.

The rest of the garbage was dragged in by Z. I have no beef with Johnny U, nor do I use QB rating to claim that Steve Young is better than Johnny U. I think Aikman was vastly superior to Young, particularly in big games against good teams, but there may not be a reasonable way to quantify that, particularly without factoring in running, sacks, and fumbles while running or being sacked. I don't have an agenda for defending or altering the QB rating. I'd challenge folks who want to "improve" it to make the changes and recalculate. The overall order and tiers don't change much within a given year. I can't envision a rating that would allow us to compare someone from the sixties with someone modern. The rules and the style of play have changed dramatically over the past fifty years, and not simply based on cynical fascination with stats, as Dr. Z claimed.

Really you've both ignored 80% of the garbage he spewed, though I sympathize. It was really indefensible and off topic, which suggests to me that even he knew his point wasn't strong enough to stand alone.

Frank
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Frank_Jewett
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One more specific response...

Dr. Z wrote:
Too much emphasis is placed on one factor, completion percentage. It affects all four categories. Down the field throwers are not rewarded enough.


Not true. Tom Brady is both an accurate passer and a down the field thrower, hence his current QB rating of 137.9 which blows away the modern record. What the rating does not do is reward low percentage downfield throwing simply for the sake of it being downfield throwing.

Should we give points for long incompletions because they stretch the defense?

Frank
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