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Old 08-10-2006   #1
Texans_Chick
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Default Moulds critique

This is a local blog that is oft critical of the Chronicle coverage, especially as it related to Enron. Today's post is critical of Richard Justice's position that Moulds is an upgrade over Gaffney, and he claims that the Chronicle is a bunch of cheerleaders:

Houston Clear Thinkers

Quote:
As regular as the sun rising, the Chronicle sports staff reverts to hometown cheerleaders during each pre-season training camp of the Houston Texans, chloroforming readers with puff pieces such as this Richard Justice column on new Texans wide-receiver, Eric Moulds.

For the first three seasons of the Texans, the training camp stories all lapped up the optimistic theme that the team was making steady progress behind the well-coordinated plan of owner Bob McNair, GM Charlie Casserly and head coach Dom Capers that had led the expansion team to the brink of being a playoff contender. Unfortunately, that theme fell rather flat last season as the bottom fell out for the Texans during a horrifying 2-14 season. It was rather comical to watch as Chronicle sportswriters John McClain and Justice went from fawning praise of the Texans during the pre-season to acerbic criticism just several weeks later during that awful season.

Given last year's disastrous season, the Chronicle's overall theme this pre-season is a bit different -- the team has overhauled management and personnel, and the new, better-organized coaching staff and the new players who the Texans have brought in are moving the Texans in the right direction again. Maybe so, but there is no meaningful analysis in Justice's column on Moulds that would lead an objective observor to conclude that the receiver is a significant upgrade over the forgettable Jabar Gaffney, the former Texans receiver who Moulds replaced.

Compare Justice's fawning piece on Moulds with the following pre-season analysis by the folks at Football Prospectus, who base their evaluations of players primarily on objective criteria rather than subjective considerations:

"Moulds has been an average receiver at best for several years now; even back in 2003, teammates such as Bobby Shaw outranked him in DPAR ("points above replacement-level player"). But the national media still considers Moulds an elite talent because the Bills throw him 150 passes per year, and he still has one or two 9-catch, 120-yard games each season, usually when the Bills are being beaten handily. The new Bills brain trust finally figured out that Moulds' best years were behind him, and they did everythign but throw his cleats into a trash dumpster in their effort to get rid of him this spring. Moulds is a top candidate to fall off the map in 2006."

In short, based on objective criteria, Moulds' decline in productivity has been masked by the fact that his former team threw to him frequently, albeit ineffectively. Thus, objective analysis suggests that the Texans overpaid for Moulds and that he will not be any better than a replacement-level player. Justice's column might make you feel better about Moulds for awhile, but my sense is that most serious followers of the Texans and the NFL prefer the cold, hard facts to the type of subjective blather that the Chronicle regularly fees us during the Texans' pre-season camp.
Geez, nice to leave out the part of about what QBs Moulds was dealing with in Buffalo.

And the intangibles.

He has some nice words for my blog, though I disagree with the unfailingly optimistic part. OK, I'm not a curmudgeon, but the alternative isn't unfailingly optimistic.

Check out his blog, and leave some reasoned comments for him.
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Old 08-10-2006   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texans_Chick
This is a local blog that is oft critical of the Chronicle coverage, especially as it related to Enron. Today's post is critical of Richard Justice's position that Moulds is an upgrade over Gaffney, and he claims that the Chronicle is a bunch of cheerleaders:

Houston Clear Thinkers



Geez, nice to leave out the part of about what QBs Moulds was dealing with in Buffalo.
And the intangibles.

He has some nice words for my blog, though I disagree with the unfailingly optimistic part. OK, I'm not a curmudgeon, but the alternative isn't unfailingly optimistic.

Check out his blog, and leave some reasoned comments for him.
Thats right on why he has I guess "struggled". No QB play, I bet he is thrilled to be here with a strong armed QB like Carr...........He acctually said when he got here he is excited to play on a team with an established QB.
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Old 08-10-2006   #3
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The new Bills brain trust finally figured out that Moulds' best years were behind him, and they did everythign but throw his cleats into a trash dumpster in their effort to get rid of him this spring. Moulds is a top candidate to fall off the map in 2006.
Calling this an objective analysis is a laugher. Moulds made his desire to leave the team known during last season prior to the new Bills brain trust's arrival. The new Bills brain trust still doesn't know who their QB is going to be--precisely what Moulds didn't want during the last few years of his career. Hard for a wrong fact to be an objective fact.

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But the national media still considers Moulds an elite talent because the Bills throw him 150 passes per year...
Ummm, no. The national media still consider Moulds elite because he still catches 80+ balls a year (on 129 targets) while often being double covered as the Bills' #1 WR.

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Moulds has been an average receiver at best for several years now; even back in 2003, teammates such as Bobby Shaw outranked him in DPAR ("points above replacement-level player").
And yet another example of non-objective analysis--this stolen from the guys at Football Outsiders. Moulds was injured during 2003 but played in 13 games just like AJ did last year. Bobby Shaw was so spectacular he has been on 4 teams in 4 seasons. No one with their head not buried in a stat orifice named DPAR would rank Shaw higher than Moulds except in packing his bags.
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Old 08-10-2006   #4
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What a load of elephant dung. I can't say I totally disagree with his overarching point though. The chronic in training camp gives no real objective or even subjective analysis of what is really happening in camp. It's a feature laden proganda page for the team. Nothing more, nothing less.

However, using Justice's story on Moulds is a poor example imo. His premise would work fine if athletes were machines, and also did not rely on other's around them. The problem is that athletes are human. Relying soley on hard statistics to measure a players total worth is well - worthless. How about Moulds leadership and experience rubbing off on AJ and the younger guys as one example. How do you objectively grade the QB you are working with, the offensive line, and your fellow Wr's and put that into a statistic? How do you objectively grade that? Are these subjective criteria worth anything at all? According to the author, that answer would be no. Of course, that's just silliness on the highest level, so his whole premise is worth about oh....zero.
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Old 08-10-2006   #5
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Moulds wanted out of Buffalo. The Bills didn't want to let him go. Heck, every Bills fan I know wants him back and tells me we now have to Andre Johnsons that will be better than just Andre Johnson.

Moulds came here knowing he is not the #1 but will make you pay if you leave him as the #2 open.

Things like this are exactly why I can't wait to suprise the NFL this year.
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Old 08-10-2006   #6
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IMO, it is possible we overpaid for Moulds and his performance will not live up to expectations. My call is 50-50.

Look, if Moulds was such a big improvement over Gaffney, why didn't any other team offer a draft selection like we did? A good example is the Eagles. The other teams interested in Moulds were content with waiting until after he was released to pursue him because there is uncertainty in his production.

The 5th round draft selection we gave up may become a bargain, but it still remains to be seen.

Moulds is not a slam dunk, which the Chroncile seems to make it out to be a slam dunk. Maybe that is the blogger's point but going a little overboard in explanation and teeing people off?

We shall see this season if it was a good move. Time will tell...

I am not putting cold water on this, just trying to explain the reality as I see it.

Please take it for what it is worth...
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Old 08-10-2006   #7
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It's kind of like 80% of the stuff on this board. Why waste your time?

Next.
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Old 08-10-2006   #8
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Throw in the fact that Bills are owned by a tightwad elderly man who, iirc, offered the head coach job to Marv Levy before going with multi-super bowl champion dick jaroun.

he won't fork over money for a good qb, he gripes that his little poor old Bills team is in a small market and can't compete with the big boys, and I just generally distrust what they say about their own players.

they are the montreal expos of nfl.
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Old 08-10-2006   #9
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Even if his production drops significantly this year his presence and work with the younger receivers makes it worthwhile. Maybe it won't translate on the field and AJ won't progress anymore. Maybe success won't come and the offense will be stuck in neutral. I don't think those things will happen. Moulds is no longer an elite receiver, but he can still be valuable.
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Old 08-10-2006   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aj.
It's kind of like 80% of the stuff on this board. Why waste your time?

Next.
This is interesting...

Are you saying Moulds will put up All-Pro numbers and there should be no legit discussion regarding the possibility that his production could be way from expectations? Or, is it, that you think it is a legit discussion but take issue with how the writer has framed it?

This is a legit topic in my opinion.

Also, if 80% of this board is a waste of your time, how much of your time do you wast a day? Just curious. With a comment like that, I don't understand how you could have over 3,000 posts, unless you make posts like this that just waste your time.
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Old 08-10-2006   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hollywood_texan
Also, if 80% of this board is a waste of your time, how much of your time do you wast a day? Just curious.
None, because I don't read that 80%. I mousewheel right on past.

Gotta run, I'm cutting into the valuable 20%.

...btw, maybe you should look at your own 4.26 posts per day vs. my 3.80.

Last edited by aj.; 08-10-2006 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 08-10-2006   #12
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Default Moulds critique

These guys write for the HOUSTON Chronicle. Now I realize that not everybody likes Justice or McClain, but they are not necessarily being homers or cheerleaders if they are writing preseason articles that are playing to the hopes of the fans, who would rather read articles slanted that way. They are not serving their publications, their communities and especially their long term dinner plans by saying 2005 (if they believed it) or 2006 (no way they do) was already lost.

If he wants to be first to say Moulds was a mistake, let him. I just think he's wrong, and the stats of the posters before me say it even more.
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Old 08-10-2006   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aj.
None, because I don't read that 80%. I mousewheel right on past.
Then your mousewheeling chops must be pretty tight.
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Old 08-10-2006   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rafterticket
These guys write for the HOUSTON Chronicle. Now I realize that not everybody likes Justice or McClain, but they are not necessarily being homers or cheerleaders if they are writing preseason articles that are playing to the hopes of the fans, who would rather read articles slanted that way. They are not serving their publications, their communities and especially their long term dinner plans by saying 2005 (if they believed it) or 2006 (no way they do) was already lost.

If he wants to be first to say Moulds was a mistake, let him. I just think he's wrong, and the stats of the posters before me say it even more.
Justice is a baseball guy and his football 'insight' is a bit...um, lacking. McClain isn't very good at breaking down the game either. His strength lies in his network/connections and his ability to gather opinion of others....the Chronicle doesn't have any quality football experts/analysts on their staff imo.
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Old 08-10-2006   #15
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I compare Moulds favorably to Andre Reed. The biggest difference is TD's, and I think that can be attributed to difference in QB's.

http://www.pro-football-reference.co...s/ReedAn00.htm

http://www.pro-football-reference.co...s/MoulEr00.htm
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Old 08-10-2006   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porky
The chronic in training camp
Well..................theres our problem. Just kidding Actually that was a pretty good post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aj.
...btw, instead of you worrying how I choose to spend my time, maybe you should look at your own 4.26 posts per day vs. my 3.80.
Ha, I only post 1.5! I waste less time then all of ya! Hey wait, does that mean that 80% of my 1.5 is a waste.

You just mouse wheeled right past me didn't you?
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Old 08-10-2006   #17
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6.01..... Give me a break I don't have to work or go to school yet! *Starting school in 2 weeks.*
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Old 08-10-2006   #18
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well I'll defer to those that have seen both gaffney and moulds at TC, I havent heard anything negative since the first couple days when Moulds had trouble with the heat, and I havent heard about moulds having the ball hit him in the hands or flying past his shoulder while he was looking and moving the wrong way. so It's all looked pretty positive to me. then throw in how happy andre johnson seems to be when asked about moulds and the general chemistry of the 2. I'll take good objective over poor subjective any day.
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Old 08-10-2006   #19
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Quote:
The new Bills brain trust finally figured out that Moulds' best years were behind him, and they did everythign but throw his cleats into a trash dumpster in their effort to get rid of him this spring. Moulds is a top candidate to fall off the map in 2006."
This doesn't mean much considering it's the same brain trust that drafted Donte Whitner at #8, and then moved back up into round 1 to get John McCargo.
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Old 08-10-2006   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hollywood_texan
IMO, it is possible we overpaid for Moulds and his performance will not live up to expectations. My call is 50-50.

Look, if Moulds was such a big improvement over Gaffney, why didn't any other team offer a draft selection like we did? A good example is the Eagles. The other teams interested in Moulds were content with waiting until after he was released to pursue him because there is uncertainty in his production.

The 5th round draft selection we gave up may become a bargain, but it still remains to be seen.

Moulds is not a slam dunk, which the Chroncile seems to make it out to be a slam dunk. Maybe that is the blogger's point but going a little overboard in explanation and teeing people off?

We shall see this season if it was a good move. Time will tell...

I am not putting cold water on this, just trying to explain the reality as I see it.

Please take it for what it is worth...
My understanding it was that a deal had to be worked out with Moulds first and because of Andre Johnson we were one of the top teams he wanted to be traded to. The Bills weren't going to release him but when Moulds and the Texans showed them a deal was worked out and then offered a 5th for him we won.

The bottom line is a declining Eric Moulds is way better than a declining Corey Bradford and a rising Jabar Gaffney. For the most part it is not the production side of it that makes it so much better. It is the fact that the big name receivers always had a veteran to learn from when they came into the league and Andre has never had that benefit. He was drafted by a team that had Gaffney and Bradford.

Moss- Chris Carter
Owens - Jerry Rice
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