Archive for August, 2009

Santa Claus is a Burglar

August 27, 2009

Brett Favre….

The character “Brent Farve” as played by Brett Favre. It was a wonderful image that was crafted for him. Fairy tale like. Folk hero like. The champion of people that work hard, as American as a Ford pickup truck and Wranger jeans. Loves hard work and enjoys life like people reminisce they were as a child.

“Brent Farve” was no more real than Michael Corleone. Brett Favre was a natural for the role of “Brent Farve”, much like Al Pacino was for Michael. Al plays a very convincing gangster, and has done so many times, it is a natural role for him. Yet Al is not a gangster, he is nothing like that off the screen. Brett Favre is not “Brent Farve”, and never has been, he was a fictional character created by Brett, Bus, the media, fans, etc…

The problem is how the fairy tale ended. While still in progress the fairy tale was convincing. Over the years it got more and more convincing, the snowball turned into an unstoppable avalanche.

The best ending of course is the typical fairy tale ending, and many people over the years believed that is how it would end. Going out an top and retiring into the sunset like a hero. Like Elway did. “Brent Farve” got close, though it ended on sad note, much like the ending of “the Longest Yard”, so close yet so far.

When he retired, the fairy tale ended. The story ending was a tragedy. Fairy tales don’t have sequels. While some fans were still believers in the fairy tale ending, believing there to be an extra chapter, most fans closed the book and accepted that the fairy tale was over.

The hero, “Brent Farve”, no longer exists. He retired in March of 2008. The man who returned to the NFL is Brett Favre the QB, no longer playing “Brent Farve”. Even if he is trying to, that book is closed, he cannot recreate that character. (more…)

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Does the Scoreboard Matter?

August 26, 2009

It is a commonly repeated mantra, preseason doesn’t matter. Don’t get too high if you are winning, don’t get too low if you are losing.

Technically no, of course not, preseason doesn’t matter in the least bit. However can anything be gleaned from PS performances other than the quality of individual performances? It is often cited that the Lions went 4-0 in preseason last year, prior to going 0-16 in the regular season. Winning and losing in the preseason is highly dependent on substitution patterns and the quality of a teams 2nd/3rd string.

However if we look back at the performance of 1’s vs 1’s, a different picture emerges. It does seem that in fact performance in preseason can tell us something. I’ll look back at coach McCarthy’s time in preseason, since his preseason substitution patterns have been largely unchanged as long as he has been head coach. (more…)

A Hat on a Hat, Plus One

August 21, 2009

The run.

With the help of the reporters in the Packers press, people’s understanding of what it takes to run, and stop the run, seems to be off. When you dig in deeper, who does what and why, and what it looks like when they are doing well, isn’t necessarily correct when they are reported to look good or bad.

This is a very fundamental principal. If the offense comes with as many blockers as you have defenders, there is nobody left to tackle the running back. If each offensive player wins their battle with a well designed play, an explosive play usually results. One of the fundamental principals of the pass to run philosophy, is to get the defense to back the extra defender up, in essence even up the box count for the offense. With a hat on a hat, plus one (the back), it isn’t hard to run if they can execute. There are lots of different offensive strategies to running, but really, this principle is at the core of it all.

My focus however is going to be on the defense. The defensive front 7 is poorly understood in proper context, and there are a lot of incorrect or misleading cliches floating around. (more…)

Raji’s Contract: Inside the Numbers

August 15, 2009

Those numbers that are reported when a new contract is signed, X years, Y million, Z million guaranteed are largely meaningless. Often the only one of those three that has any reliability is the guaranteed portion, the other two are often misleading.

With Raji’s full numbers out, I’ll break down what they all mean year by year.

(more…)

Green Bay Receivers

August 12, 2009

A little more than 2 years ago the Packers receivers were viewed by many as below average and a problem area on the team lacking talent, here we are today in the discussion at least for the best group in the NFL. What happened. A few years ago the offense was devoid of weaponry and struggled to capitalize on scoring opportunities, today the biggest issue is that there aren’t enough passes to go around.

Similar to quarterbacking, I don’t necessarily agree with the common readily available stats for evaluation of play, there are some effectiveness stats that can tell us much more. Relevant to WR play, I think the following stats are of primary importance: (more…)

The Situation with Raji

August 11, 2009

The ongoing holdout of first round pick BJ Raji has grown to become terribly frustrating as of late, at least from a fans perspective. Normally in a holdout situation there is a good guy and a bad guy, at least somewhat. Either the player has excessive demands, or the team is being unfairly cheap. At least that is the story we get in the press (you will come to find that I am very leery of what I am told by the press, and tend to make up my mind on things on my own), but it isn’t in this case. I have no inside info, so this is all speculation and conjecture on my part, aside from the couple of rumors in the press and things said by the team.

Right now the reports have been a bit of a stew. Procedural things. Waiting on the contracts in the area, some suggestions have been made that it is Raji’s agent that is stalling, this is the conventional wisdom, but it has also been hinted that the Packers are the ones stalling, which seems unusual.

I have two completely different takes on this if it is the Packers, they are being cheap and trying to get this done as cheaply as is reasonable, or they are purposely stalling to help the owners case in the upcoming CBA negotiations. (more…)

Was Vick A Bad Quarterback?

August 8, 2009

With a lot of discussion going on in Packerland regarding Michael Vick, from fans, to media, to front office, to the players, in lieu of adding my opinions to the discussion here (which I am strongly in favor of, you can visit me at the message boards linked below to to discuss), instead I will look at the issue of whether or not Vick was good on the field.

Let me reiterate, on the field.  I am not interested in his work habits, locker room appeal, leadership, off the field activities, here, that is beyond the scope and for a different discussion, I am simply interested in the time between when he breaks the huddle, to the time that the play is whistled dead.  Could he get it done?  At least did he get it done when he played formerly? (more…)

Packers Preseason Televised Schedule

August 8, 2009

Normally I would do more analysis, however as much for my own use as for others, I compiled a list of all the Packers preseason games, plus Family Night, and each of their NFL Network showings. You should be able to catch the Westwood One and/or Packers Radio Network play by play broadcasts live on Sirius. (more…)

I’ve been found.

August 7, 2009

Just when you thought that Waldo would forever stay hidden.  Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com found me.

Not just in title, he refers to some of my posts on Footballs Future regarding the late season fade of Brett Favre and the fact that last year was the rule, not the excpetion.

Link to Seifert’s Blog