Welcome to the first edition of the #CATweetbag.
It's not at all dedicated Alf (let the reader understand), but rather is a chance for me to selfless give back to the Colts community by answering your questions and occasionally making fun of you.
Who wouldn't want to read that?
On to our first question.
A: If there is a bright side to what the Colts did in free agency (other than the fact that they generally improved their roster), it's that most of contracts can be walked away from quickly. All the players signed could be cut to save cap space next year except Gosder Cherilus ($8 million dead money) or Erik Walden ($4.25 to keep, $4.75 to cut).
Two years from now, Cherilus hits the equilibrium where keeping him and cutting him are worth the same price. Walden becomes completely cuttable.
The Colts spent a lot of money, but they did not make many commitments. Cherilus is the only player they signed that we have reason to believe will have to be on the squad in three years. He was the only real commitment.
A: This is a great question and one I get asked a lot.
Safety is my answer. Maybe it's my affinity for Bob Sanders, but I believe a difference-making safety is the chess piece that can transform a defense. Indy has competent safeties now, but neither LaRon Landry nor Antoine Bethea is a difference maker. I'd love to see them add a dynamic player to the position.
A: Remember, it's not just about replacing the player, it's also about the contract. Competitive advantage is built on players on the first contract. A team first has to bid so high on the RFA that the original team won't match. Then they give up draft pick to finish the deal.
If it were a straight trade, of course, Cruz is worth a first round pick. But you aren't getting Cruz for rookie money. You are paying a premium contract to him.
That's what teams don't want to do.
A: Mine is different. I would go: WR, Safety, Pass Rusher. I wouldn't take a guard before the third round ever under any circumstances.
I also wouldn't trade down. The odds of getting an elite player shrink drastically as you leave the first round. The Colts don't have many difference makers on the squad. They simply can't afford to move out of the first round.
A: There are a couple of great reasons to compare them. First, Walden did replace Freeney. They are moving Mathis over to Freeney's spot and playing Walden in Mathis's spot. Second, Walden's not a great run defender, like Freeney.
No matter what the Colts say about what they think he can do, they've essentially dropped a potentially elite pass rusher for a player who isn't very good at anything.
There's very little chance the Walden signing works out. The good news is that they can cut him after this year with out taking too big a hurt.
A: I would buy you a monkey. Haven't you always wanted a monkey?
A: In terms of Year One hits, I have to go with Ricky Jean Francois. He only counts $2.3 million on the cap this season. If he's capable at all, that will be money well spent a huge need area.
A: See this just makes me sad. Has Hollywood gone so far that no one can come up with anything original any more?
Didn't we already remake Escape from New York and call it Escape from L.A.?
There are no truth to the rumors that they are going replace the post-apocalyptic wasteland shots with film of the 2012 Jets, nor will Tim Tebow star in the film, though I grant you that I would totally watch if he did.
It's all just a mess as far as I'm concerned.
I mean what's next, a remake of Hoosiers? Hey...
Wanted to add something to your first question and answer. From what I've seen, the cap is supposed to be remain relatively flat for the next two years (well, that's not true at all because benefits for the players have skyrocketed, but that's not included in "cap" numbers), but then it is expected to jump a lot after that (I'm not entirely sure why, believe it's based on new TV deals, the CBA, and that benefits are going to increase at a slower rate, meaning more money spent on actual salary.)
To me this means the Colts have a lot of long-term flexibility.
I disagree about the Safety position, Landry add a good run stopping safety a la Bob Sanders without as much of the boom. Bethea had what I thought was his worse year as a Colts, but otherwise has been very Solid at his position in both pass and run. The Colts could use depth at the CB position and some run stuffers for the 3-4 scheme. As for the Walden/Freeney comment about a potentially elite pass rusher, 93 has dropped in production the past 3 or so seasons and would cost too much to gamble for "potentially elite." Especially when he's not getting paid potential money. Walden had more tackles than freeney (46-12), more int, and more passes defended. I don't know about you, but if I had to make a decision for next year based on those kind of numbers, I'd taked Walden's contrast/productivity. And as we have seen over and over again, if he's any kind of productive as a pass rusher opposite Mathis then Mathis will explode.
At this point I would say targeting a WR first would have to be the move, a ton of value should be there when we pick. There are some safeties that could be in that range and I am with you that adding one would be a good move, but which is the question, Cyprien, Swearinger, and Elam are the only possibilities for me, with Cyprien having the lead, Elam is good, but seems to make silly plays at times, Swearinger is nice but I think the only one with star potential is Cyprien, but he also needs work. (not a fan of Reid)
We will see, oh yeah a I am by myself on this one for the most part, but Alec Ogletree intrigues me, I am definitely a fan, and if he is there I would consider drafting him, even though MLB is not our weakest area, but always good having a playmaker in the middle of the defense.
I would buy you a monkey. Haven't you always wanted a monkey? That made my afternoon! As dorky as it is, that Barenaked Ladies song will all ways warm the cockles of my heart.
Ha, ha, I share Nate's preference for safety and I am sure it is because of Bob Sanders and Troy Polamalu.
Well, crap. I was upset that Indy signed Walden not as a pass-rusher but to be a run-stopper...on top of signing Franklin, Landry, and RJF to, presumably, stop the run. Now, I find out that Walden isn't even a good run-stopper. Sure enough, doing some looking, it seems that he had a decent year against the run last year and that's it.
So...now we have a number of run-stoppers, a useless and overpaid OLB, and one aging pass-rusher. Fantastic.
Someone please give me good news.
Concerning your response that EW isn't good at anything including stoping the run. His stats point to his strength being stopping the run. He's ranked 7th best in the league in run stopping. So he plays to his strength on the strong side. While Mathis goes to his pass rush strength on the weak side. Will EW be good? Time will tell, but it seems at least plauseable.
@GregC I knew you'd appreciate it.
@rogcohen That's basically true, though with the cap you can never be 100% sure.
Even in the next two years, however, Indy still has crazy flexibility, even with a flat cap.
In three years, they should have plenty of room with the cap jump, but they'll have to resign their entire 2012 rookie class more or less, and that will be expensive.
@buymymonkey Hmmm. I get the feeling that there is some monkey business involved here.
@clholland83 1. Never use tackles as evidence of anything. They aren't an official stat and they aren't tracked consistently. 2. They could have landed Freeney for what they were paying Walden or less. So the "gamble" line doesn't apply. 3. INTs and passes defensed from that position are basically random. I don't know there's much evidence Walden is particularly good in coverage.
The big IF in your scenario is if he's any kind of productive as a pass rusher. He's got 9 sacks in three years. He's a terrible pass rusher. Terrible. No value. So if he sucks and teams double Mathis, then what?
Indy would be better off with Freeney for the same money. I don't see how it's even close.
I agree with that and it's only partly due to my man crush on Polamalu (that hair!).
@bradicus18 Chocolate icing is still available at Marsh and Kroger.
@bronzegod Some stats say he can stop the run, others say he was one of the worst run defenders in football.
There's some difference of opinion on it. The FO stat you refer to is slanted toward 3/4 OLBs, and his YPA is worst on that list.
I think there's plenty of evidence he's actually a horrid run defender who will go down as the worst contract given out by any team in football.
@Nate Dunlevy @GregC I'm thinking the monkey costs a million, tops, which leaves $49M to bribe Irsay into giving up Twitter. It could work.
@Nate Dunlevy @clholland83 I view Walden as a player that was brought to play a role on the team. If he plays that role well the team will benefit and his acquisition was a success. I want to specify that I watched some videos with him with the Packers out of curiosity. What I liked was not his pass rushing, he can get blocked. What I liked was how he came off his block to go after the RB or scrambling QB. Setting the edge is not just words it's something I saw. Yes he makes mistakes ( the playoff game against 49ers) but many defenders got fooled by zone read whatever they call it. I just think that hid play should be judged in the context of his designated role on the team and we can only judge that after we see him play with the Colts. We've seen players that did not have a lot of success on other teams and then played well on their new team when coaches knew how to utilize them or for whatever other reasons.
@Payton Thank you!!! I think I'll eat a tub of some tonight while I ponder what this year's defense will look like against Peyton Manning and Colin Kaepernick.
I'm about to post an article on Walden's coverage skills. They are uneven at best. Is he better at coverage than Freeney? No question. Is he good at coverage? Most definitely not.
Let's carry this over to the other article, shall we?
@Nate Dunlevy @Payton "2 INT and 4PD at that position...It's more an indication of luck than real skill." So you're saying at that same position Dwight Freeney was just unlucky??? That's the most absurd argument you can make. I'm not saying those are good by any means, but Freeney had 0 of both. And the best you can say is he's unlucky? 10 PD is the most by any linebacker last year and since they primarily cover RB or TE, which are not 1st options in the pass most time, 6 is not a whole lot more. And actually NFL.com has him with 6 PD instead of 4. The leading LB had 5 INT, is 3 more lucky? And like I said before sacks, which apparently you do put stock in, is also a tackle so by your same logic, it's ridiculous to tally up sacks as well because you get credit for assisting that as well. That's y an assist is only 0.5 of a sack or a tackle. A pile jumper could get credited for a sack just like a tackle, but yet you're willing to use one over the other in grading performance?? Now that is ridiculous. Now a back to the context in which we are discussing this, you have gone on record to say that Freeney outplayed Walden last year even though the numbers contradict that statement. For $3.25M and the option to cut bait after 2 years, Walden is good to bring in for, if nothing else, depth and if he doesn't work, he's $16M cheaper than freeney was last year.
The issue isn't the subjectivity of tackles, it's the inconsistency of the metric. They vary so wildly from stadium to stadium, that they have no meaning.
Not every tackle is meaningful, because there are some scorers that will credit a tackle for the third guy in on a gang tackle. In this case, you are actually adding up his "assists" as tackles. That's just ridiculous. He had 19 "assists". Depending on the scorer, that can mean he jumped on a pile late.
That's why tackle data just doesn't have value. It's not the subjectivity. It's the inconsistency.
Subjective stats are fine, as long as they are consistently calculated. If the same guy (or at least the same system) is tallying hurries or drops, the numbers are valid.
The problem with tackles, and especially assists is that they are not uniformly calculated from stadium to stadium, and most home teams pad tackle numbers for home town players.
It's just not a stat anyone uses as evidence.
@Nate Dunlevy @Payton @clholland83 Ok they add value to the the stat of tackle, but you just decreased the value of the INT and PD to make your point and you say MY premise if flawed?? You know what and INT is, you know what a defended pass is and you wrote those stats off as "random." You say PFF doesn't use tackles, but a sack is a tackle and is just as subjective. When 4 down linemen meet at the qb, who gets the sack/tackle? You say it uses hurries, which is also subjective. If freeney is 2 inches from the qb and he passes the ball, how do you know if it was hurried vs the coincidence of timing and location? How can you explain using 2 subjective stat over the other and then saying one is better than the other, when one IS the EXACT stat you're overlooking? Nate, your point about adding "value to the stat by measuring distance" further discounts the TFL category. You and Payton are effectively contradicting each other with your arguments and MY premise is flawed? How many disruptive plays were Walden involved in where he didn't record any meaningful stat? I'm sure that doesn't go into his PFF ratings? "We don't know the quality" of Walden's tackles is just a silly argument. Every tackle is important on every play because it prevents a touchdown. How many clutch tackles/sacks did freeney have for $16M last year? Bottom line, this deal could end up being a 2 year 8M hole filler unless Walden EARNED his way to 4 years.
@clholland83 If someone is using tackles as an objective monitor you can safely ignore most of what they are saying. There's a reason why the sites like FO and PFF don't use tackles in any of their ratings. They use things like TFL, hurries, sacks, and others that neither of us have mentioned.
@clholland83 Tackles are not a stat that good analysts monitor. They are anecdotal and descriptive, but not useful for solid analysis. They have their place in a game story, but don't tell us much when it comes to analysis. They simply aren't accurately tracked.
@clholland83 1. Tackles aren't a stat. I'm not saying tackles aren't important. I'm saying the stat "tackles" isn't official. It's not tracked consistently. We know what a sack is. We know what a yard is. We don't know what a tackle is because each stadium tracks them differently. We don't know how many tackles Walden had or what the quality of them was.
2. Yes, I honestly think Freeney would have taken a 10 mil pay cut. He said he would. He's going to sign for less than Walden. Your entire premise is flawed.
What's your point Payton? QB hurries/hit, and plays are disrupted by a player are subjective as well and those are not mentioned half as much as tackles? The bottom line is tackles are a stat that are monitored to judge a player's performance.
@clholland83 Did you not read how tackles are completely subjective and without context?
How can you say not to use tackes as a stat for a LB when that's primarily their job. When you read about a linebacker's performance, I'm pretty sure they always mention how many tackles that player had. I'm not buying that "it's not a real stat" when it's tracked play by play. You can't then write off his INT and PD as random and you can't discount his stats compared to freeney just because the sheer numbers disproves what you've said across two separate blogs that Freeney outplayed Walden last year. The fact of the matter is one leg or not, that's just not true. Yes Freeney was "disruptive" a lot and there is no stat for that, but they weren't paying him 16 mil to just be disruptive, they were paying him to produce sacks and play the OLB position in the 3-4 scheme. Freeney failed to produce in both aspects and do you honestly think freeney would play for an over 10 mil paycut?? The fact is the Colts absolutely couldn't sign freeney for less than Walden. And Walden is the younger, cheaper player. Freeney is just not an OLB and he had to be replaced. The Colts are phasing out the 4-3 package so a 4-3 DE that would cost almost $20M (and it is absurd to believe he would play for less than the $3.25M that Walden is playing for) had to be replaced. Maybe there were better options, but who? And maybe those people wouldn't have played for the contract Walden was willing to. I don't think there were a lot of great 3-4 OLB talent that would have been cap friendly. And since we're comparing a one legged freeney to Walden, Freeney sucked last year and Mathis did just fine so that argument is null. Walden is better in space and converage than freeney and probably won't be as much of a liability in run defense (which freeney is horrible at due to no discipline). Bottom line, Indy would not be better off with Freeney because he can't play the position and he wouldn't do it for the same money.
The problem is that the available evidence says he's not capable of playing that role, and is in fact one of the worst players at that role in football.
Hence the criticism of the move.
Could it work? Yes.
Is it likely to work? No.
I agree, the Colts felt he was not worth it. That's why I criticize them. They are wrong.
He'll make more than the vet minimum. If he doesn't, it makes Indy's refusal to negotiate all the more insane.
I don't believe that he had seven good games. I'll have to check PFF.
He may be a better option than Walden. Fact is that the Colts felt was not worth it. It appears that most of teams in the NFL feel the same way. He may have to swallow his pride and take the veterans minimum.
It's easy to say "he shouldn't have played if he was hurt", but he did play because he was BETTER than the best option they had.
No one's making excuses for him. I said they should have cut him before the year.
Fact is, he was better last year than Walden, and would have been a better option next year too.
I hate when fans makes excuses for overpaid players that passed their prime. I watch the same 17 games that you did. He played well maybe 3 games. He was a detriment plain and simple.
@Nate Dunlevy @clholland83 Look, when PFF has him as the worst FA pick up in the league, you have to wonder what Grigson saw. At least he is a Natural Linebacker. If Walden was same age as Freeney, he would not have been signed. For a guy making 16 million, the passion for the game was not there last year. He'll be lucky to get 2 million in the open market.
"Imagine someone came to your job. You don't know them from Adam. They start talking about a subject you are an expert in. They have bad logic, faulty evidence and ignore lots of points that illustrate your point of view.
Would you take that person seriously?
No. Of course not. You'd think they had no idea what they were talking about.
That's what's happening here."
Well wonderful. At least you aren't mincing words. With all due respect, though you may be an expert on many other things, you're clearly not an expert on the Vontae Davis trade, you didn't even know how many games he'd played in. Sports are capricious by nature, nothing is ever easy or obvious, so when someone tries to pretend it's all cut and dry the red flags go up. The best we can ever do is form opinions based on the best available evidence; knowing all the while that the evidence is likely incomplete, inexact and forever subject to change (and in football, often a very small sample size to boot).
If I was brick layer and some schmo off the street tried to tell me how to lay bricks, sure, I'd probably dismiss his opinion eventually (though I'd like to think I'd do it with some degree of decency and not essentially what amounts to "f**k off, you don't know what you're talking about, I'm an expert"), but writing about sports is nothing like laying bricks, there's no right or wrong way to do it, no training manual to follow, we all find our own way. I'm a writer myself, though you may be shocked to learn it.
You say I use "bad logic" and yet your arguments are littered with logical fallacies. You've appealed to your own authority numerous times (appeal to authority fallacy), even doing so in this very response. You've used multiple ad hominem fallacies in ascribing thoughts and feelings to me that you can't possibly know I possess (such as my supposed fanboyism, or my level of film study). And you've erected straw men to distort and twist my position to better suit your argument. When did I ever say anything approaching "well we'll find out soon!"? I didn't. That's a clear straw man, and then you so graciously knocked it down for us by telling me to "grow up" over something I never even came close to saying. As an aside, is there anything more patronizing than telling someone to grow up? Especially over something that person never said.
I have no issue with tension if it's warranted, I just think it's completely unnecessary when talking about sports. Too many people seem to seek out tension, as if tension somehow validates the argument itself. It doesn't, if anything it diminishes it and leads inevitably to confirmation bias as we seek to justify our beliefs. Tension should be reserved for matters of actual importance, not arguments over the trade value of a millionaire football player and it's possible impact on the billion dollar franchise.
Sports are entertainment, their importance in the larger scheme of things is laughably small, it's like arguing over celebrity dating, it's fun to talk about but ultimately meaningless. How we treat other people is, however, a much bigger issue, in my opinion. Our society is fraying because we can't communicate any more, we treat disparate views with mockery and disdain, and then we wonder why our two party political system is pushing us inexorably toward a second civil war. How we treat each other is not a small thing.
I was raised to believe that the height of maturity is entertaining a contrary point of view with humility and grace. I still do. I'm sorry you think I need to grow up but I'm not sure how much more adult I could possibly be, I'm trying to show you respect and simply ask for the same in return. Apparently writing for the site for 8 months and being a consistent voice in the comments sections isn't enough to earn that from you.
I know I've played a part in debasing this conversation, so for that I apologize. I may have a rather higher opinion of my own intelligence than is warranted, as most writers probably do, but I'm sorry, you'll never convince me that I deserved to be treated the way I was in this discussion, no matter how deficient you may have found my arguments, and I don't think you know as much as you seem to think you do, though I suppose that's true of all of us; it's the really smart one's who realize it.
@Colt_Following @Payton @Nate Dunlevy @codrutc @Nate @bradicus18 @bronzegod Gentleman (and ladies, if there are any on here), I respect and admire you all. However, I would like to be left off of further replies in this conversation. In the meantime, Go Colts.
I'd say he played great in two games. He played acceptably in some others and played like crap in a couple of games too.
Overall, he was mediocre. Good sometimes, bad other times, and generally not worth the pick it cost to get him.
@Colt_Following @codrutc @MarcusDugan @Nate @bradicus18 @bronzegod Mediocre, by definition, is going to mean that a guy isn't terrible. That means there will be some evidence in his favor. Just not enough to outweigh all the evidence against him.
Look at it from my perspective:
Imagine someone came to your job. You don't know them from Adam. They start talking about a subject you are an expert in.
They then espouse a point of view totally in contrary to yours. They have bad logic, faulty evidence and ignore lots of points that illustrate your point of view.
Would you take that person seriously?
No. Of course not. You'd think they had no idea what they were talking about.
That's what's happening here.
Your point on Grigson and me is well stated. I know Grigson watches more tape than me, but I also know GMs in free agency make plenty of mistakes. It's my job to take a stand on his acquisitions. I have no problem with you giving him more credibility than you give me.
Does it make me nervous to disagree with an NFL GM? Of course. Someone has to do it, however, and it's my job. He hasn't earned my trust, and I can only say what I see and what the evidence supports: Vontae Davis is a mediocre corner not worthy of the 2nd round pick and Erik Walden is not a quality pass rusher.
If Grigson were arguing with me, I'd respond differently. He's not here, however. You are. There's no reason for me to respect your position at all other than you are a fellow human being. So I've heard you out. That's respect.
What else do you want? Do you want me to say, "Well we'll find out soon!" Grow up. That's meaningless prattle. I say you are wrong. You say I am wrong. Live with that tension. If you can do that, then I will respect you.
I think you've made awful arguments and hold a ridiculous position. Moreover, I suspect the only reason you are making those points is that you are a fan of the team. I doubt you'd defend Davis or the trade if another team had made it.
I think you've made a poor case. Your best argument to date is your last one. "Grigson knows more than you". It's the truest point you've made.
I don't give respect on this site. It's earned. You can get it with strong reasoning and good evidence. You didn't bring either, so I'm not taking your point of view seriously.
I welcome more from you and if it turns out you are right, I will write a big column about how wrong I was and what a great trade it is.
I don't mean to be harsh. I do like the way you've conducted yourself in this discussion. You seem like a high quality person, and I respect that greatly. I've enjoyed our interaction.
I just don't take your position on the Davis trade seriously.
In the scheme of things, that's a minor quibble.
Like I said, he was targeted just as many times as Vaughn, and prevented at least 1 TD with a pass defense. Just because Vaughn was horrible doesn't invalidate Davis's performance, I don't understand that logic. Whether he had to throw at Davis or not is irrelevant, he DID throw at Davis, 6 times, and every time it was unsuccessful, when he threw at anyone else it was.
He played great in several games, but apparently the QBs weren't good enough. So basically no argument is valid that doesn't end with Davis being awful because of some other thing completely out of his control, either the other guys were so bad they didn't throw at him, or the QBs weren't good enough to say he played well. Talk about stacking the deck.
@Colt_Following @Nate Dunlevy @codrutc @MarcusDugan @Nate @bradicus18 @bronzegod Using the Ravens game is just a bad idea. The Ravens offense didnt play that well, their RBs absolutely killed us, and frankly Flacco didn't have to throw at Davis.
Vaughn was guarding Boldin and it killed us. Surely you can find some other game to use as support.
That's fine. Your OPINION is that your take better fits the facts, that's all you can definitively state. You were right when you said you "believe" my interpretation of the data was wrong, as I "believe" yours is, also known as an opinion. If your stance is honestly that there's ZERO evidence that Davis is anything but mediocre, then yes, I think you're either being blatantly stubborn or just wrong; shutting down Baltimore's WRs in the Wild Card game is by itself more than zero evidence.
I respect you as a writer so I won't sling mud, but we both know that "I watch film" is an appeal to authority that you clearly don't accept yourself. You have no issue disagreeing with Grigson even though he no doubt watches more film than YOU can imagine, and have stated several times he doesn't deserve the benefit of the doubt, despite his clear superior expertise. It's also blatantly hypocritical to say with one breath that you don't know me and then turn around and claim that you watch more film than me with the next, you can't possibly know the validity of that statement.
"This is a question of data interpretation and expertise." Interpretation by it's nature is an opinion, and if you want to appeal to expertise all I need to do is say that Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano thought he was worth a 2nd round pick. If you're claiming more expertise as a talent evaluator than the collective brains of Pagano and Grigson than I'm not sure what to say, if you're not then you just defeated your own argument.
The numbers you posted appear to be anything but consistent to me. A swing of 50 points in defensive QB rating from 2009 to 2011 is a massive difference. PFF claims 2009 was his best season, you seem to be claiming it was his worst, somewhere in the middle is reality. I also don't believe that you're boiling down CB play to a single statistic, that would be opposite of data interpretation, that would just be lazy analysis, and I know you aren't lazy. Those numbers lack context and you know it.
I don't need a condescending "pat on the back" from you, but a little bit of respect would at least reveal some modicum of human decency and honest attempt at cordial conversation as opposed to blatant dictation. I don't believe that you actually think I didn't make a single valid point. Maybe that's just me giving you the benefit of the doubt that you aren't that intransigent, but maybe you are. Either way it doesn't matter.
I'd like to try and end this gracefully. You clearly don't respect me, though I don't think your lack of respect is warranted I cannot force feelings of respect upon you other than to make what I believe to be well reasoned arguments. Such is life I suppose.
@Nate Dunlevy @Colt_Following @codrutc @MarcusDugan @Nate @bradicus18 @bronzegod Why do I get the feling that this discussion can go on and on to no party's satisfaction? Well, it's the offseason.
@Colt_Following @codrutc @MarcusDugan @Nate @bradicus18 @bronzegod "What's frustrating is the failure to acknowledge the inherent subjectivity in your analysis and instead taking the posture that "my take on the evidence is correct, yours is incorrect, end of story."
Because my take better fits the facts, because I watch more film and because your interpretation of the facts ignore key factors such as the quarterbacks he faced, my interpretation is better than yours.
This isn't "a matter of opinion" where each side is equally valid. This is a question of data interpretation and expertise. I think you've done a poor job with the data and I don't believe you have the expertise to validate your claims.
So why on earth would I cede that your point of view is valid? I don't believe it is.
"His production was not "consistently mediocre," by any objective standard"
2009: Passer rating against was 112.1.
2010: Passer rating against was 92.9
2011: 68.8 (his one and only good year)
2012: Passer rating against was 85.0 (which includes the playoffs).
I'd call that consistently mediocre by an objective standard, wouldn't you?
I don't think you proved he was impact player at all. I would like to know specifically what impact that was.
I watch more tape than you can imagine. You want humility from me, but what you are asking me to do is ignore what my eyes see and the facts support simply because you have a different opinion.
I don't know you. I don't respect your opinion simply because you have one. I know what I've seen and I know the data supports it.
So no. If you are looking for a pat on the back and a "we both might be right" you aren't going to get it from me. You are taking a position I completely disagree with for both objective and subjective reasons.
To get me to move on this point you have to prove your case and I don't think you've made any valid arguments at all. Literally not one.
So no. We continue to disagree. That's life.
My point is that our evidence is the same, so you do consider it valid, you simply draw different conclusions, which is based on a subjective analysis of said evidence. What's frustrating is the failure to acknowledge the inherent subjectivity in your analysis and instead taking the posture that "my take on the evidence is correct, yours is incorrect, end of story." His production was not "consistently mediocre," by any objective standard, though by your subjective standard of what constitutes mediocrity perhaps it was. It's an important distinction.
Your point on their record was very clear, you stated it explicitly, that it showed he wasn't an impact player. I think the logic in that was flawed and I explained why. I claimed he was an impact player yes, though the word "huge" was never part of the discussion and would constitute an argument over semantics even if it was, who's to say what makes an impact huge? Whether or not he is an impact player was separate from my hypothetical assertion that we wouldn't make the playoffs without him, so that clearly wasn't what I meant. You can make the playoffs without a given impact player, and you can fail to make the playoffs with a given impact players. I said so several times.
I find it offensive when you dismiss someone else's opinion as deficient without actually explaining why. You say things like "all the evidence points to this" but fail to provide that evidence. When I provide counter-evidence you say it doesn't "illustrate what I think it does" as if I'm a moron, I think it's not hard to imagine why someone might find that frustrating.
I understand maybe you don't want to take the time to lay it out, that's fair, I don't really want to either, but it's kind of silly to then act surprised that someone might take offense to an off-hand dismissal via sweeping generalizations of complex data points.
I don't think either position is wholly supported by the facts, as I've stated numerous times, the evidence is mixed, in my opinion the preponderance lies on the positive side, but that's again, a subjective interpretation. You fail to accept that ANY evidence is positive, which I find extreme, frustrating, and clearly false, which makes me then question your motives.
Not really that complicated. I have no personal stake in this, I just think sports writers in general could use a little humility. Opinion is not the same thing as fact. I think your argument IS supported by the facts, up to a point, and I believe mine is too, both could be wrong. It's the discussion I enjoy, but extreme positions make discussions impossible, instead what you get is "arguing" which is a waste of time.
I don't see his potential. I see his production which is consistently mediocre.
My point on their record with and without Davis is that your claim that they don't make the playoffs without him is very difficult to substantiate. You are claiming he had a huge impact. I'm merely illustrating how dubious a claim that is.
Reasonable people can disagree. We do. The reason we disagree is because we feel the other guy's arguments aren't supported by the facts. To assert someone doesn't have the facts on their side shouldn't be considered offensive. I'm sorry that frustrates you, but I don't see why. You don't think the facts support me, or you'd hold my opinion. That's the nature of disagreement.
I just listed plenty of evidence. Maybe you don't find it convincing, fair enough, but to say there isn't any just false; perhaps none you like. Go back through his career and you'll see a very talented player with huge potential, much of which was on display in the final month of last season.
They didn't just trade for 32 games of Davis, they also traded for 1st dibs on any subsequent contracts he may sign. If teams want to keep their free agents, and they have the money to do it, then they will. The Colts chances of resigning Davis are dramatically increased with him already on the team, that's an obvious fact. People will generally avoid change if they can.
You used the Colts record with and without Davis to claim he wasn't an impact player. The logic in that is deeply flawed, and I think you know it too, which makes me think you're just trying to win an argument and not being fair about the weight of the evidence against Davis as a good CB. Winning without a certain player doesn't exclude him from being an impact player any more than losing with one does. That was my point, using Bob Sanders in 2006 as a clear example, I am sure you know that, so twisting my meaning really benefits no one; nobody is keeping score as far as I know.
But if you're going to twist my meaning anyway, Bob Sanders is also an example of the risk inherent in 2nd round picks. He had 1 great year and 1 great playoff run but was injured 3/4th of his career, and that was considered a successful pick. Look at 100s of other 2nd round picks and how much of an impact they had on their teams and you'll find the odds of getting it right are far outweighed by the odds of getting it wrong, often embarrassingly wrong.
I'm not trying to "prove" anything, I'm giving you what I believe is clear evidence that Davis has shown himself to be a very high upside player with consistency issues but leaning firmly toward good, even great at times. "All" evidence categorically does NOT point to him being a mediocre talent and to say that it does is disingenuous to me. Talent is a nebulous word with many definitions, but being picked in the 1st round and giving up a 2nd round pick is not indicative of a "mediocre talent" at least not in the eyes of the Miami and Indianapolis front offices.
Can't reasonable people disagree about something as subjective as talent evaluation without resorting to extreme positions? Look no further than my recent article on Cherilus to see how so called "expert talent evaluators" can have such varied opinions on the same player's abilities; ones says he's a great pass blocker, another says he's a poor pass blocker, one says he's a great run blocker, another says he's a poor run blocker, etc. To act like only one opinion supports the facts, especially when those facts are mixed, is frustrating. Maybe Davis doesn't pan out and has a horrible 2013, but his 2012 wouldn't predict that outcome in my opinion, you clearly disagree; I'm fine with that.
I hope you're wrong about Davis and I think you are, but nothing I say is going to convince you otherwise so I'll take up no more of your time with this circular discussion. I'm off to watch some college basketball. I suppose we will be having this debate for at least another year.
@Colt_Following @codrutc @MarcusDugan @Nate @bradicus18 @bronzegod 1. The distinction comes in the negotiation process. There are NOT hundreds of players cut off active rosters at each position. You also can just sign and cut guys at random, so you don't have to be right the first time. Finally, there aren't many former high draft picks cut midseason. Finding Butler was not an accomplishment.
2. No, I'm saying good games against bad QBs aren't evidence of a good player. They are mostly just evidence of terrible QBs. Coupled with the injury and the bad performances, I'd say there's precious little evidence Davis is good at all.
The injury plays into the analysis because they traded for only 32 games of Davis. That's part of what made it such a poor decision. 7 games hurt for a rookie is no big deal, because it's 7 of 64. They got less time from Davis for the same pick, which lowers the value.
Your Bob Sanders point is an nonpoint, unless you are trying to show how much value a 2nd round pick can bring.
" Either way, even if our record was exactly the same without him I think the trade was justified, we are a better team with him as our #1 and will be again in 2013."
The problem is the second half of that statement. You can't prove Indy is a better team with him as the #1. There's just no evidence for it.
I think Davis is a nickle back on a good defense. He's #1 on Indy only because the other corners are terrible. I expect a mediocre performance from him in 2013, because all evidence points to him being a mediocre talent.
1. Still not sure I see the distinction. There are 100s of players cut every year, finding the one that fits and signing him doesn't seem like a no-brainer task to me, but I can see why it's different from traditional free agency when there's a lot more money at stake and a lot more players to choose from. Perhaps they don't require the SAME level of talent evaluation but either way it requires some talent evaluation.
2. So you're saying that good games should only count if they are against good QBs? That makes no sense to me. There are only a handful of great QBs in the NFL currently and they usually have great games no matter who they're facing, so you're basically eliminating the possibility for anyone to have a great season by that standard. You said he was awful in 14 games, that simply wasn't true, changing the standard now to say "well he was ok against bad QBs, so that's the same as being awful" makes the discussion impossible. All CBs make their hay on bad QBs and generally get smacked by great ones, so that's a non-argument to me. Bad CBs get beat by bad QBs (see Vaughn, Cassius), the odds are intentionally stacked in the QBs favor.
Also, not playing is not the same thing as being awful, I think that speaks for itself. Manning was not awful in 2011, he was injured.
You're torturing the facts to make them fit your opinion. He was targeted 6 times in that Baltimore game and didn't allow any of them to be completed (that's more than 1/4 of Flacco's pass attempts, 23). Vaughn was also targeted 6 times and allowed 4 for 97, so to say he wasn't targeted is simply not true. He was just good. The 2 or fewer receptions in 4 games did not include the TEN game, as I stated when I quoted it, though it did include the playoff game. Plenty of guys could have done it perhaps, but plenty of guys didn't.
He played in 10 full games and missed most of an 11th, not 9 and most of a 10th as you stated. And this isn't the NBA, losing one guy, unless it's the QB, doesn't always equate to winning or losing, that doesn't mean the guy isn't an impact player. The Colts went 12-4 mostly without Bob Sanders in 2006 but I don't think anyone was arguing his impact after he came back for the playoff run.
Whether the Colts do or do not make the playoffs without Davis is tangential to the discussion about the success or failure of the trade, our record in 2012 was not indicative of the quality of our team, I think we both agree on that. It was often accomplished with timely plays and less than stellar opponents. Davis was absolutely an impact player in my mind, and calling my opinion ridiculous doesn't make it any more or less valid.
I can't "prove" a hypothetical, you know that, so I won't attempt to (thus leading to more hypothetical arguing). Either way, even if our record was exactly the same without him I think the trade was justified, we are a better team with him as our #1 and will be again in 2013. We can't win in the playoffs without a decent secondary and he makes it a lot stronger IMO.
Indy played a string of awful quarterbacks, some of whom barely completed any passes against anyone (Gabbert).
2 or fewer receptions in four games is a ridiculous standard as it includes Tennessee where he played 5 snaps, Jacksonville (Gabbert completed just 8 passes), Weeden and Brady Quinn.
I mean, seriously. Plenty of guys could have done that. It wasn't an accomplishment.
@Colt_Following @codrutc @MarcusDugan @Nate @bradicus18 @bronzegod 1. Mid-season pickups require no real negotiation. They are simply a matter of taking the best cut player and offering him a job. It's a much more defined market and requires much less negotiation. There's almost no similarity to off-season free agency. There's not really even much talent evaluation. You are just grabbing bodies that are available and plugging them in.
2. Davis played 10 games. He missed six and most of a seventh. He was good in two (last two) and terrible in two. His "ok to good" games came against:
Ponder, Gabbert, Weeden, Locker, Quinn, and then Schaub at the end. He has one ok game against Stafford. I'm sorry, but plenty of guys had good days against those guys. He was either terrible or inactive for 9 of 16 games. That's not good.
They don't lose the KC game with out him. I absolutely dispute that. He was beat like a drum in the first Houston game, and only a terrible pass by Schaub turned it into a pick. Even if they had lost both those games, they still would have made the playoffs.
I don't think he was a shut down corner v Baltimore as much as Flacco just didn't need to throw at him because Vaughn was so bad.
Honestly, I can't fathom the argument that they don't make the playoffs without Davis unless you can prove they lose three games if he doesn't play. Considering he basically missed 7 games and they went 5-2 in games he didn't play (including TEN when he played just 5 snaps).
They were 6-3 with him and 5-2 without him.
That's not an impact player.
1. Huge difference how? Honest question. "Different class of transaction" has no meaning to me, though the difference might simply be over my head, ostensibly they seem to require the same ability to determine talent and fit. The entire discussion is centered around Grigson's ability to evaluate free agent talent and project how that talent would fit in the Colts' schemes, so how does an in-season signing or pre-season trade require a different skill set?
2. Based on what standard? I'm really not sure where you're getting your opinion of Davis's play, but I'd argue it was the exact opposite. Davis had 1 "awful" game, Chicago in week 1 with 10 days on the team, and 1 bad game, the 1st Houston game in which Andre Johnson went off on him for 97 yards. If you take those 2 games out of the data he posted top 10 CB numbers in the other games he played. Rewriting history would be to say he was awful for 14 games, he didn't play in 14 games, but even if he had his record suggested he'd have played well in the majority of them. His coverage numbers were good to great for 7 of the 10 games he played (I'm not counting the TEN game in which he played 5 snaps) and decent for 1 other. In 4 of his 10 games he allowed fewer than 2 receptions (again, not including the TEN game, which would make 5).
I think we lose week 16 vs. KC without him and his red zone INT (if you negate that horrible PI call that was blatantly bogus he'd have had a 2nd INT in that game), as well as week 17 vs. HOU and his 2 picks in that game. He was every bit the shut down corner in both of those games as well as the WC game vs. Baltimore, though we lost that anyway because he was the only one that could cover in that game and our offense couldn't score points (he didn't allow a single reception in that WC game while Boldin was having his way with Vaughn and Butler).
I really don't see how you can characterize Davis as "awful" by any objective standard. If we had Vaughn, Butler, and Gordy as our top 3 CBs down the stretch run, no, I honestly don't believe we make the playoffs. That's simply my opinion, I obviously cannot "rewrite history" nor am I trying to, I think it's a reasonable opinion but you're welcome to disagree with it.
@Colt_Following @codrutc @MarcusDugan @Nate @bradicus18 @bronzegod 1. Huge difference between an in-season pick up and a regular free agent signing. They are two totally different classes of transactions.
2. Disagree all you want about Davis, but in year one the Colts got a bad corner who played well for two games. Now they have one more season of him. For that, that they gave up a second round pick.
There's really no defense for that. The Colts would have made the playoffs without Davis, as Davis was awful for 14 games. He was just flat bad. So don't rewrite history and act like that move got them to the playoffs.
I guess I don't really see the difference between traditional free agent signings and trades/mid-season free agent signings. We are trying to evaluate how Grigson and co. succeed or fail at evaluating current NFL talent to fit the Colts' schemes, so trades and mid-season pickups, to me anyway, do that just as well as off-season free agent signings.
I also vehemently disagree that the Davis trade was bad. I suppose we will never know for sure since we can't possibly determine who they would have taken with their 2nd round pick instead of Davis, but I think we can say that the Colts don't make the playoffs with Vaughn as the #1 last season. Perhaps that's debatable but I don't see it. Davis is our best CB right now by quite a lot and we got him for 2 years on a rookie contract that has him being paid well below his market value. 2nd round picks aren't a sure thing by any stretch, they bust out more often than they become even solid starters (the stats back that up).
1 year isn't enough data to really determine anything about this front office IMO, so sure, maybe they don't "deserve" the benefit of the doubt, but trying to grade free agent signings in March is a fool's errand, I think we both all agree on that at least. In the end our opinions mean little and less, the proof will be in the pudding.
2. Redding is a borderline case. 3. Butler was an in-season pickup and not a normal free agent.
They could have picked up two or three players for the money they paid Freeney, and his production would not have been difficult to match.
If half the free agents meet expectations, it would be a fantastic haul and beat the odds.
Again, I don't have any trouble in general with what the Colts did. I simply think Walden was a terrible move and don't think Grigson deserves the benefit of the doubt.
That's the extent of my point.
@Nate Dunlevy @MarcusDugan @Nate @bradicus18 @bronzegod I think it is easy to judge after the fact. Nate, you admitted somewhere, I can't remember the exact context that if you get a at least a few free agents to play up to the expectations then the free agency can be considered a success. I thought guys like Cory Redding, Butler, Davis could be considered successes. The rest didn't meet the expectations because of either the level of play (e.g. Zibikowski, Justice) or injuries (e.g. McKinney). Let's not forget the circumstances of last year though, given mainly by the cap limitations.
Yes, they kept Freeney but who else could have been acquired and play much better than him? Even if they cut him they still would have had dead money with nobody to replace him. In addition, given the transition year they likely wanted to see if Freeney can go through the conversion to 3-4 OLB. I know many thought the odds were against him making the successful transition but what if he could, nobody could know for sure. In fact, the majority could not predict the Colts would be 11-5, Nate included.
This brings me to the the next point. I still think it's premature to judge the rate of success for this year free agents. If half of them meet the expectation I think it should be OK. Many people praise the Patriots for the fact that they acquire players to play a very specific role in their system, in which they can succeed given their skill set. I get the sense that Colts are trying the same thing with some of the free agents they signed. It may not work but I believe they had a plan.
Grigson put our worst lineman (Olsen) on the IR with the designation to return. That was a horrible idea.
Justice did start off pretty well, but injuries and him just sucking kinda more than put a dent in it. Given that he was never really that good in Philly and we got 1/3 of a good season out of him, I feel pretty comfortable calling him a bust. Dumpster fire might have been a bit harsh. We didn't pay anything for him outside of his base salary and 15 picks lower in the 6th round and it showed.
Avery had 2 good games and 14 bad games. He was the #1 factor outside of OL in keeping the offense from succeeding, and probably the most influential player in a bad way. Satele was inconsistent and run blocking (his strength) and horrible at poss blocking . He finished top 3 at worst pass blocking centers IIRC. AQ Shipley outplayed him by a mile, if only by being average.
The overall question is how much rope has the front office earned. I would argue they get the benefit of the doubt for the draft, but regardless of why, the free agents they signed didn't fit and didn't work out.
Money isn't a great excuse because they also chose to burn $14 million on Freeney.
@Nate Dunlevy @MarcusDugan @Nate @bradicus18 @bronzegod Nate you are assuming that the Colts had other FA options at safety last year. Zbo was a patch, and a versatile one, that allowed the Colts to muddle through last year and avoid having to draft a better but still mediocre safety. Last year when nobody thought the Colt had a shot at the playoffs, would you rather have had the Colts draft a second rate safety with no Pro Bowl level upside potential, or have TY Hilton and Vick Ballard and help Luck have an exceptional rookie year building his confidence and ultimate potential.
As in martial campaigns, long term strategy resulting in ultimate football victory, sometimes require accepting the short term tactical stalemates, losses or even defeats.
If that sense, you are fully free to call Zbo and others tactical defeats. I call them "rear guard actions", tactical losses and stalemates.
@Payton @MarcusDugan @Nate @bradicus18 @bronzegod I guess I just disagree with you on what constitutes "dumpster fire bad." McGlynn and ZBo I rank as the most egregious since they were intended to start and were both horrible. Vaughn was a last second addition during camp when there weren't a lot of great options available. He shouldn't have been starting but for the Powers injury, so I don't give Grigson a ton of blame for that move, it was desperation.
Olsen pretty much same thing, the guy was the backup of the backup on a team that was already horrible at guard, the fact that he played at all tells you how bad our injuries got on the o-line, I wouldn't expect a 3rd string guard on a bad line to be any good, so that's about par for the course.
Justice was far from dumpster fire bad IMO, he was average to good before getting injured and then was average to bad after coming back. Overall he was pretty much league average, and at 1 year $1.5M, that's pretty good value given that RTs in the NFL make $5M a year on average. Satele and Avery had good and bad games, but drifted more to the bad on a consistent basis, though I wouldn't qualify that as "dumpster fire" just unsuccessful.
In the end I suppose it's semantics and subjective judgments of value, but I think overall the front office did a good job of working with what they had, free agents often bust out, and for good reason, so you're already fighting an uphill battle trying to build a team quickly that way, misfires should be expected. They got some stuff right though too.
@MarcusDugan @Nate @bradicus18 @bronzegod Satele, McGlynn, Justice, Zbo, Vaughn, Olsen, and Avery were pretty much dumpster fire bad. Moore was so bad he actually got cut during the season (twice I think).
Redding and Butler were decent pick ups. Davis was average and then got better, hopefully will be worth his 2nd round pick. Freeman was an awesome signing. Fokou was worth the backup money he got. Karim had a sweet KR but not much else.
McKinney get an incomplete because he was injured all year.
Keeping Freeney on the roster without renegotiating his contract or someting was also mind boggling. Freeney had a decent season once his ankle healed up, but even Freeney at his best wasn't worth $14 million. If Grigson were really that worried about the cap space, he could have let freeney go and sign other talent. Instead he basically did the worst of both worlds.
His draft last year was one of the best I can ever remember.
@Nate Dunlevy @bradicus18 @bronzegod I guess you can parse out free agent signings vs. trades but I thought Winston Justice played well when healthy, Jerrell Freeman was good to great most of the year, I was and still am a fan of the Vontae Davis trade, Redding was a mixed bag but at least brought some stability and veteran leadership to an otherwise awful DL, I'd say Fokou was a solid addition as a rotation ILBer, and Darius Butler was a good pickup in the middle of the season. All those guys were important contributors.
So to say "almost all" their moves were bad is overstating it IMO. Satele and ZBo were misses, though Satele I think can be good, just wasn't last season, and Vaughn obviously was awful (Powers getting injured didn't help an already thin secondary). Still, at worst it was 50/50 good and bad split between the guys they brought in that worked and the guys they brought in that didn't. That's how I see it anyway. Add to that the fact that they had very little money to sign players with and I think they did a pretty good job.
I also have been on record saying I think this is a solid free agency class. Everybody seems hung up on the Walden contract, and perhaps rightfully so, but he is only 1 of 9 players they signed, and the other 8 I thought were clear upgrades in every instance (Landry being the only one I would probably not do, and that's only because of the sizable guarantee). We can argue overpaid until we're blue in the face but I think they got guys that fit their vision of the team and, in most cases anyway (Cherilus and Landry the exceptions), with very little guaranteed money to worry about in 2 years.
I don't agree that last year's FA was less than mediocre, given that Grigson had to deal with so much dead cap. Grigson was not afraid to do some serious Salvation Army shopping. Sure Zbo, was nobody's idea of a starting Safety, but he was versatile. If Colts could not land Landry and had to develop a draft pick, Zbo would have been worth keeping around for a while as a special teamer/backup. Zbo is already attracting interest from the Bears, so he should land on a team somewhere. Zbo was by no means an embarrassing bust.
Last year, Grigson shocked lots of folks by drafting so many skilled players. Many were angry he did not draft defense. After all, didn't Irsay hire Pagano because he always had his heart set on a 3-4 defense.
But, take a step back and the draft made lots of sense from a strategic stand point. "Lets give the kid Luck the weapons he needs to get his career off on the right step, the kid is under enough pressure being the number one pick and following in Peyton's footsteps.....".
This year Grigson got enough players of a consistent potential to fill a large number of needs and allow the team to go BPA in the draft. Not to mention clearing the deck of ill suited 4-3 scheme players allowing Pagano/Manusky the opportunity to move forward in implementing their 3-4 defense.
One again, taking a step back and looking at the big picture, the view from the front office if you will, and this year's Free Agency makes more sense.
@Nate Dunlevy @bradicus18 @bronzegod I agree there. The FA signings were pretty sad last year. Satele, Zbo, McGlynn. Grigson likes guys who are looking for a second shot or a chance to finally be a difference maker. The problem is, most players would already be difference makers if they were that good.
@bradicus18 @Nate Dunlevy @bronzegod The Walden pick raises questions. Grigson and Co. have shown remarkable judgment until now. There is consistency that suggests the Colts have implemented a sound methodology for making roster decisions. Walden is the one head scratcher.
Unless you are suggesting Walden was picked on a hunch or the opinion of one Colts personal evaluator/coach therefore bypassing the methodology, there must be a rational for picking Walden that multiple Colts FO staff and Coaches agreed upon.
What is it that they could be seeing, that we are not?