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Playoffs
01-01-2014, 11:29 AM
Analysis Notebook: DPOY Special

Sam Monson | January 1, 2014 (https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2014/01/01/analysis-notebook-dpoy-special/)

The regular season is in the books for 2013 and rather than look back at any one moment from the final games of the season I want to focus instead on an award that has become a very interesting battle: Defensive Player of the Year.

It’s one thing to get muddied when it comes to MVP. The ‘value’ element to that award instantly creates a whole minefield of mess because it’s an inherently intangible thing to try and quantify. What is value and how do you quantify it? We all know that the most important position in the game is quarterback, so the award has really just become which one had the best season. This year that’s Peyton Manning by a landslide, so while we pay lip service to guys like Jamaal Charles we all know Manning will win and it wouldn’t be a shock if the vote was unanimous.

Defensive Player of the Year on the other hand should be far more simple to analyze. It’s pure performance. Who had the best season in 2013? That’s pretty simple, right? The only thing we have to worry about there is trying to cross compare positions which, while difficult is something we’ve all been doing since the game began so it shouldn’t be too much of a stretch. I’ve seen people argue that players shouldn’t be in the running because their team only won a couple of games. That my friends is idiocy. Lawrence Taylor won the award on a 4-win Giants team, Cortez Kennedy won it on a 2-win Seattle side, Jason Taylor’s Dolphins won just 6 games the season he won and Reggie White once won it when his Eagles side had a losing record and the 23rd ranked defense – in a league with just 28 teams.

It is an individual award, so a team’s inability to play ball around a guy shouldn’t prevent him from being acknowledged as the league’s best defender. In my eyes this season the award is very much a two horse race, but one of those horses doesn’t even seem to be on most people’s shortlist. J.J. Watt and Robert Quinn are head and shoulders above any other candidate, but we’ll take a run through them in the order I think they should appear on people’s lists anyway, so you might need to scroll a little bit to find the part on your favorite.

J.J. Watt

It made sense last season. Watt finished the year a hair shy of the all-time sack record, he batted down like a million passes, and he was making plays for everybody to see each and every week – plays that stuck out on the stat sheet. It helped that the Texans were winning games and he was the figurehead for that dominance. He ended the year breaking the PFF grading system becoming the first player to top 100 grading points in a season. This year the gaudy stats aren’t there, but would it surprise you to know that in PFF’s grading, a play by play measure of his performance, he actually topped his 2012 numbers?

Take a look:

https://www.profootballfocus.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/2014-01-01_11-11-32.png (https://www.profootballfocus.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/2014-01-01_11-11-32.png)

This is how Watt stacks up over the past two seasons against the top five 3-4 DEs from the 2013 season. Campbell, Williams, Jordan and Richardson all had extremely strong years – Richardson’s good enough to likely hand him Defensive Rookie of the Year – but none is even playing the same game as Watt in either season. Last year was incredible, but his 2013 performance tops it by a clear ten grading points, the only thing that changed is a few statistics didn’t fall his way and the Texans stopped winning games.

Sometimes when a guy plays on the line what he does won’t show up on the stat sheet at all. Doug Flutie said recently that running the ball is a waste of time, because ‘you need seven good blocks to run the football’. In a funny way the reverse can be true as well. One guy can’t mount a successful defense. No matter how dominant that player is, offenses can find a way to avoid him, even if they can’t neutralize him. Watt found that at times this season. In week 6 the Rams held Watt to his first game not graded in the green in the past two regular seasons, but when I looked at how they did it in that week’s Analysis Notebook (https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2013/10/16/analysis-notebook-week-6-2/) I found they didn’t do anything special, just used a bit of common sense. When Watt was lined up on one side they ran to the other, when he was left 1 on 1 they made sure the ball was coming out quickly.

Plenty of Houston defenders owe a lot of their defensive stops to Watt torpedoing the play in the backfield but not recording the stop himself. He has been a one-man wrecking ball all throughout the season but all too often it’s made little impact on the overall outcome. That is not a failing of his.

What is perhaps most amazing about him is that he is a perfectly balanced player. He is no better rushing the passer than he is defending the run, because he uses the same skills and techniques to play both. Simply put he’s just too quick for most blockers to deal with, and any that are quick enough to handle him aren’t strong enough to contain him. If he plays inside he uses his swim move to just toss interior linemen aside and penetrate immediately. The Texans have used him more this season outside as a 4-3 DE where he has been equally as effective. He’s still plenty quick enough to play on the edge, but he also brings a power that offensive tackles just aren’t used to dealing with.

read the full article here: https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2014/01/01/analysis-notebook-dpoy-special/

I agree. An amazing season worthy of the award many aren't even considering him for. :logo:

Uncle Rico
01-01-2014, 12:40 PM
I agree JJ is the most dominant defensive player, but I think Richard Sherman wins the award.

Lucky
01-01-2014, 12:53 PM
Made up awards aside, J.J.Watt is the reason O'Brien should have no problem luring a top DC to Houston.

rolyat93
01-01-2014, 04:05 PM
Made up awards aside, J.J.Watt is the reason O'Brien should have no problem luring a top DC to Houston.

Ray Horton please!:d:

TheMatrix31
01-02-2014, 03:04 AM
Well duh, of course it's JJ Watt. Just cuz the team sucked doesn't mean JJ Watt didn't have another unfathomably great year.

Scooter
01-02-2014, 06:01 AM
had we any semblance of an outside rush, JJ's number's would be just as eye popping as last year's. instead it was again he and antonio doing 90% of the work, but this year teams were prepared and threw the house at watt (and he STILL made his plays). honestly this defense is a bottom 1/3rd unit without those two players, mostly because of epically bad linebacker play (and ed reed blowing up the lockerroom and back half). it's a bit mind boggling that you can have such a once in a lifetime player, along with a very very good side kick, and nobody around them can make a play.

this is why i'd like to see us move to a 4-3. get another guy inside to steal some of the blocks away from watt. he has more than enough burst to get around the edge, and his bull rush as well as inside moves are lethal anywhere. somebody's going to pay the ninja even at his age, but if they dont i'd see if i could bring him back to play DT beside watt and draft a pass rusher for the other side.

at this pace, it will be a crime against humanity if Watt doesnt win the league MVP award.

IDEXAN
01-02-2014, 09:02 AM
Made up awards aside, J.J.Watt is the reason O'Brien should have no problem luring a top DC to Houston.
People can knock Wade all the want, but I doubt that Watt is who he is today without Wade ? The next DC might be a 4-3 guy who moves Watt inside and leaves him there, whereas Wade had Watt rushing the passer from all over the place to include the edge even though he was playing in a 3-4 scheme as a down lineman.

DBCooper
01-02-2014, 09:17 AM
People can knock Wade all the want, but I doubt that Watt is who he is today without Wade ? The next DC might be a 4-3 guy who moves Watt inside and leaves him there, whereas Wade had Watt rushing the passer from all over the place to include the edge even though he was playing in a 3-4 scheme as a down lineman.

I doubt Wade is the only DC that can use Watt's talents.

And it doesn't matter if Watt is the best defensive player ever if the scheme of the defense is stale.

Scooter
01-02-2014, 09:31 AM
People can knock Wade all the want, but I doubt that Watt is who he is today without Wade ? The next DC might be a 4-3 guy who moves Watt inside and leaves him there, whereas Wade had Watt rushing the passer from all over the place to include the edge even though he was playing in a 3-4 scheme as a down lineman.

honestly i believe wade's system holds watt back. because of his position, watt is subject to the scheme and weak players outside. all too often JJ sets up a move that conflicts with the players around him. you see it as watt starts inside and moves outside only to be in the same spot as reed, and becomes double/triple teamed by reed's blocker - as reed does absolutely nothing. someone saw the same and this is why we saw watt outside more often in our nickel packages.

this is why i'd like to see watt moved to a 4-3 defensive end. he'd be given much more space to penetrate and disrupt, without teammates and scheme being a hindrance.

of course that being said, wade is a heck of a teacher and has helped watt develop his skill and technique. i dont think that has any bearing on watt's future however.

IDEXAN
01-02-2014, 09:38 AM
I doubt Wade is the only DC that can use Watt's talents.

And it doesn't matter if Watt is the best defensive player ever if the scheme of the defense is stale.
You're still mad 'cause I said snakes were stupid aren't you DB ? I can tell.

IDEXAN
01-02-2014, 09:45 AM
honestly i believe wade's system holds watt back.

That's silly ! He was the DPOY last year & an all-Pro, and the least he'll be this year is an all-Pro. Watt owes his success and fame to Wade more than anybody else besides himself of course.
Watt's best position is as a strongside 4-3 DE which is essentially what he's been for Wade who runs a 3-4 in name only.
Another coach coming in here may bury Watt on the inside of a traditional 4-3, and Watt will dislike that more than anybody.

DBCooper
01-02-2014, 09:54 AM
You're still mad 'cause I said snakes were stupid aren't you DB ? I can tell.

I forgot that was you, lol

IlliniJen
01-02-2014, 09:58 AM
People can knock Wade all the want, but I doubt that Watt is who he is today without Wade ? The next DC might be a 4-3 guy who moves Watt inside and leaves him there, whereas Wade had Watt rushing the passer from all over the place to include the edge even though he was playing in a 3-4 scheme as a down lineman.

You heard it here first. JJ is JJ because of Wade.

Insert millions of facepalms here.

IDEXAN
01-02-2014, 12:50 PM
You heard it here first. JJ is JJ because of Wade.

Insert millions of facepalms here.
"Watt owes his success and fame to Wade more than anybody else besides himself of course."

WolverineFan
01-02-2014, 01:24 PM
Ray Horton please!:d:

That would be awesome. Cannot believe the Browns are basically forcing him out after the job he did this year.

Playoffs
06-03-2014, 01:36 PM
JJ's offseason...

Mattress literally on the floor of my buddy's place in Wisconsin.

Wake up, eat breakfast, go to workout, go home for lunch, back to workout, back for dinner at home then go to bed. Rinse/repeat every day.

If JD wants to work, I'm here... he can come to me.

Right now, rookies pretty much have their hands full.

Romeo's great. He bounces ideas off of us, we bounce ideas off of him... All about maximizing what you have: players/schemes/team.


Funniest picture?: Everyone asks me to sign this one, but I cringe/laugh a little bit because I missed tackling Jake Locker and he ran for a couple of yards on that play.

http://static.nfl.com/static/content/public/pg-photo/2013/09/15/0ap2000000244859/j-j-watt-jake-locker_pg_600.jpg?01AD=3Q0XreQXlTCg9Y7nyQb6l6YPlSk bd8F_7RIPauoMJXM0ijfgOdGZh7A&01RI=B045973C4E005E7&01NA=na

Playoffs
06-04-2014, 10:37 AM
One-on-One With J.J. Watt- Part 1 (http://www.houstontexans.com/tv-media/videos/1-on-1-with-JJ-Watt--Part-1/78015760-298a-4e68-8ba7-9102e67fb5f3)
In part one of this two part interview, Drew Dougherty sits down with DE J.J. Watt and talks being back on the football field, Romeo Crennel, and the 'Rocky' lifestyle.


There was one goal... to get better.

There's a lot of optimism, there's a lot of energy and excitement about what we're doing now.