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Old 04-16-2009   #1
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Default How do you evaluate individual players who benefit from teammates?

Looking back at disappointing drafts, I've noticed an interesting trend:
A really outstanding player can make other players on his team look much better than they actually are.

Example 1: The 2006 NC State defensive line
Mario Williams (1:1), Manny Lawson (1:22), and John McCargo (1:26)

Everyone was hyping Manny Lawson as an amazing pass rusher. He was drafted in the first round at pick 22. Turns out, he just benefited from playing across the line from Mario Williams. Since 2006, he has
had 5.5 career sacks. Williams is at 30.5

Same thing goes for John McCargo from NC State. He looked like a stud DT prospect coming out college. He was drafted first round, pick 26. Turns out he was just benefiting from Mario as well. His illustrious 3 year career has produced 35 total tackles and 2 sacks.

Example 2: The 2006 Ohio State Linebacker Corps
AJ Hawk (1:5), Bobby Carpenter (1:18), Anthony Schlelgel (3:12)

The 2006 linebacker corps from Ohio state was majorly hyped as having 3 sure fire NFL prospects. Bobby Carpenter was drafted 18th overall, and has produced 40 tackles and 1 sack in three years of NFL action. Turns out he just benefited from playing next to AJ Hawk.

Anthony Schlelgel wasn't as hyped as Carpenter and Hawk, but was picked in the early 3rd round as a solid prospect. He accumulated 17 tackles in 2 years, played for 2 different teams, was cut, and didn't even play last season. Clearly his draft stock was severely over-hyped based on his teammates accomplishments.


There are many, many examples of this. Especially among players that play in "groups" (secondary, offensive lineman, etc). Football is a team sport.

The reason this is relevant and scares me is because I can see the USC linebackers having a very similar fate. Are all 3 really worthy of being 1st round selections? Or are there maybe one or two good prospects and one or two guys feeding off their leftovers? Are any of the 3 as good as they appear, or did they just become more than the sum of their individual parts?

Something to think about
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Old 04-16-2009   #2
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Default Re: How do you evaluate individual players who benefit from teammates?

All this makes me want Clay even less.
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Old 04-16-2009   #3
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Default Re: How do you evaluate individual players who benefit from teammates?

Makes you kind of worry about all the Wake Forest guys as well. I like A Smith, but did he look good due to Curry roaming the field? USC has alot of guys going high, is it the same? How about Brace at BC? Did Raji make him stand out? Who knows. Thats why its a crap shoot.
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Old 04-16-2009   #4
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Default Re: How do you evaluate individual players who benefit from teammates?

good take. more difficult for fans than teams who break down tape, scout them for years, work them out individually & get to know them off the field.

USC players on average are mostly **** & ***** elite High School prospects. Clay does not fit into this category because he just walked on, loved the game & worked hard to improve. I would want him as a Texan more than the other two based strickly on work ethic & attitude but only by trading down not @ #15. Texans need to maximize value its the only way to leapfrog competition via the draft. once in camp its the coaching staff duty to work with them & slot them where they need to be
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Old 04-16-2009   #5
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Default Re: How do you evaluate individual players who benefit from teammates?

That's why I like to review as many games as possible, trying to seperate one play from one another.

We've heard so often that good D-line play make better D-backs, and vice versa, etc.

And I don't use stats to evaluate the players.

Stats can lie very well.
Whether it's a sack, a tackle for loss, or an INT.

And that's not counting mistakes and bone-head decisions by the offensive players, along with inexperience (freshmen, newly starters), among the reasons.
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Old 04-16-2009   #6
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Default Re: How do you evaluate individual players who benefit from teammates?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gtexan02 View Post
Looking back at disappointing drafts, I've noticed an interesting trend:
A really outstanding player can make other players on his team look much better than they actually are.

Example 1: The 2006 NC State defensive line
Mario Williams (1:1), Manny Lawson (1:22), and John McCargo (1:26)

Everyone was hyping Manny Lawson as an amazing pass rusher. He was drafted in the first round at pick 22. Turns out, he just benefited from playing across the line from Mario Williams. Since 2006, he has
had 5.5 career sacks. Williams is at 30.5

Same thing goes for John McCargo from NC State. He looked like a stud DT prospect coming out college. He was drafted first round, pick 26. Turns out he was just benefiting from Mario as well. His illustrious 3 year career has produced 35 total tackles and 2 sacks.


Something to think about
This isn't exactly the point you're trying to make but...

What does this say about the stiffs we've had on the line with Mario since he's gotten here?
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Old 04-16-2009   #7
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Default Re: How do you evaluate individual players who benefit from teammates?

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Originally Posted by BigBull17 View Post
Makes you kind of worry about all the Wake Forest guys as well. I like A Smith, but did he look good due to Curry roaming the field? USC has alot of guys going high, is it the same? How about Brace at BC? Did Raji make him stand out? Who knows. Thats why its a crap shoot.
I don't think Smith benefited from Curry too much unless it was because Curry was blitzing on a pass. In which case all CB's benefit from their teammates getting pressure on the QB.

The USC thing is valid. Are they all All Stars or do they just make each other look better?

I totally believe that Brace benefited from playing next to Raji and I've stated as much before. I think Brace is the most overrated prospect in this draft.
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Old 04-16-2009   #8
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Default Re: How do you evaluate individual players who benefit from teammates?

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I don't think Smith benefited from Curry too much unless it was because Curry was blitzing on a pass. In which case all CB's benefit from their teammates getting pressure on the QB.

The USC thing is valid. Are they all All Stars or do they just make each other look better?

I totally believe that Brace benefited from playing next to Raji and I've stated as much before. I think Brace is the most overrated prospect in this draft.
I'd say Alphonso, DJ Moore, Rashad, those guys are good players no matter what system they play in and who they play with.
Or Slaton is a good RB in whatever formation you want to put him.
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Old 04-16-2009   #9
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Default Re: How do you evaluate individual players who benefit from teammates?

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Originally Posted by The Pencil Neck View Post
This isn't exactly the point you're trying to make but...

What does this say about the stiffs we've had on the line with Mario since he's gotten here?
nfl is a different level.
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Old 04-16-2009   #10
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Default Re: How do you evaluate individual players who benefit from teammates?

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Originally Posted by The Pencil Neck View Post
This isn't exactly the point you're trying to make but...

What does this say about the stiffs we've had on the line with Mario since he's gotten here?
They aren't much good in dropping back in zone coverage.
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Old 04-17-2009   #11
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Default Re: How do you evaluate individual players who benefit from teammates?

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All this makes me want Clay even less.
I just don't think that a #15 pick should have too much to learn about a new position.

He had hardly played enough DE, now he needs to learn OLB.

And it's not like we are a team that have the luxury to not fill an immediate need.

I feel that his skill sets will allow him to be a solid LB.
I just don't know how much time it will take.

If we want to use him more as a pass rusher and an attacking LB at first, then OK.
But then again, we have another needs.

Maybe his uncle knows better about his developmental schedule!?!
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Old 04-17-2009   #12
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Default Re: How do you evaluate individual players who benefit from teammates?

This line of thinking makes me want to stay away from all the USC guys completely and start looking at CB, SS, FS, OG. Let's stay away from Maualuga, Cushing, and Matthews there's just to many if's and maybe's surrounding these guys.
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Old 04-17-2009   #13
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Default Re: How do you evaluate individual players who benefit from teammates?

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I just don't think that a #15 pick should have too much to learn about a new position.

He had hardly played enough DE, now he needs to learn OLB.

And it's not like we are a team that have the luxury to not fill an immediate need.

I feel that his skill sets will allow him to be a solid LB.
I just don't know how much time it will take.

If we want to use him more as a pass rusher and an attacking LB at first, then OK.
But then again, we have another needs.

Maybe his uncle knows better about his developmental schedule!?!

He's the type of guy Philly drafts when they have an OLB with a year or two left to groom until they let him walk for a compencitory. Then he does well. I wish we ran our team like they do.
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Old 04-17-2009   #14
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Default Re: How do you evaluate individual players who benefit from teammates?

Great thread and question gtexan. I think it's much harder and nearly impossible for the casual fan to get a good grasp sometimes by just watching the game or watching highlights or just looking at stats. You've really got to look at film and study study study these prospects. Scouts miss all the time that's for sure.

The important thing (in my mind) is looking at the film. Watching what the prospect does on the play and just as importantly, what was he supposed to do. That's often hard to know.

This goes for all positions. A DE like Mario may be told to contain the outside edge and never let the RB go to that side of the field- push him back inside or make him reverse around. Mario could do what he's told and just grab onto the LT and block that side... the casual fan will believe the LT won the battle and neutrilized him. They'll say Mario was ineffective all game, when in actuallity he could have been a HUGE reason for their success.

Same goes for the LB's, CB's and S's. Maybe their stats don't look all that good, but it's how they effect the team and the opposing offense that's important. If they do their job and don't allow any catches but also don't get any interceptions... I find that a much better CB than one that allows 5 TDs but gets 3 INTs.

On to the USC Lineback trio. This is such a valid concern to have, imo (same with the NC St. DL)... I'll focus on USC. On one hand, there's no denying they've got talent. If you look at the stats strictly, Clay didn't necessarily get outperformed if at all. Total tackles were all pretty similar, TFL, Sacks, etc. The trick is studying the film and seeing how they made their plays or how did they neutrilize the offense (yet not show up in the stats). Each of the LBs were asked to do completely different things so it's unfair to compare their stats with one another and say one is better than the other. Rick Smith and the scouts have got to watch the film and say, "This is what the prospect was most likely asked to do all game, this is what he did in one scenario, this is what he did in another, are these correctible?, what will WE ask him to do? has his performance at that in college been successful...etc."

You can even look at it on our own team. Zac Diles was playing great while he was healthy and outperforming everyone with tackles... better than Demeco. That doesn't make him better though. Were Diles' responsibilities different than Demeco's? Absolutely the were. That's the nature of the positions and each individual players' talents. Diles had more pass deflections, an interception and more sacks than Demeco during that time. So the USC arguement would be that Diles a better pass rusher and better in coverage than Demeco. The arguement of Weaver vs. Clay Matthews. Well Anthony Weaver had more interceptions last year than Demeco Ryans did. Does that mean Weaver is better than Demeco in coverage? Freakin Anthony Weaver!!??

Again though, I think you're dead on that it's so tough to tell who's making who better. There is just SO much that goes on during a game, so many little "butterfly effects" that happen each play. How Dunta lines up at the beginning of the play could result in an interception by Barber b/c Dunta tricks the QB... it's such a game of chess on each play with each player when you get down to the basics and I think thats amazing.
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Old 04-17-2009   #15
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Default Re: How do you evaluate individual players who benefit from teammates?

PS- I'll be sure to write a longer post next time. I got distracted and came back and wrote more and didn't realize it was already long.
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Old 04-17-2009   #16
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Default Re: How do you evaluate individual players who benefit from teammates?

This is good stuff.

Roy Miller dominated even with Orakpo out of the lineup. That should count for something.
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Old 04-17-2009   #17
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Default Re: How do you evaluate individual players who benefit from teammates?

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This is good stuff.

Roy Miller dominated even with Orakpo out of the lineup. That should count for something.
As a huge Texas fan I will be the first to admit that it is going to be way more difficult for us to replace Miller than Orakpo.

Having "The Predator" step into Orakpo's hybrid role doesn't hurt though.
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Old 04-17-2009   #18
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Default Re: How do you evaluate individual players who benefit from teammates?

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As a huge Texas fan I will be the first to admit that it is going to be way more difficult for us to replace Miller than Orakpo.

Having "The Predator" step into Orakpo's hybrid role doesn't hurt though.
Totally agree. Sergio is going to make alot of money for himself. I am assuming that Houston will take his place and he is not even in the same league as Roy Miller and I have no idea who else is an option.

I am sooooo ready to see Collins, Williams and Shipley run wild on everyone this season. Although my favorite player is Cody Johnson, the sledgehammer.
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Old 04-17-2009   #19
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Default Re: How do you evaluate individual players who benefit from teammates?

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Totally agree. Sergio is going to make alot of money for himself. I am assuming that Houston will take his place and he is not even in the same league as Roy Miller and I have no idea who else is an option.

I am sooooo ready to see Collins, Williams and Shipley run wild on everyone this season. Although my favorite player is Cody Johnson, the sledgehammer.
We are the same. Johnson is easily my favorite of the RB's and supposedly has played himself into getting the first crack at the position.

I don't understand the obsession with Fozzy. Yes he is a good player, but for some reason he seems to have some sort of cult following among the fans. I think he is our third best back right now and Whaley may pass him up by the end of the season.

I would rather see CJ as the starter with McGee & Whaley backing him up.
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Old 04-17-2009   #20
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Default Re: How do you evaluate individual players who benefit from teammates?

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We are the same. Johnson is easily my favorite of the RB's and supposedly has played himself into getting the first crack at the position.

I don't understand the obsession with Fozzy. Yes he is a good player, but for some reason he seems to have some sort of cult following among the fans. I think he is our third best back right now and Whaley may pass him up by the end of the season.

I would rather see CJ as the starter with McGee & Whaley backing him up.
I didnt know he had that kind of following. I figured he wasnt that popular because well, he kinda sucks. Ive seen him break a handful of runs. Goes down easy, and doesnt produce like Vondrell who I agree is the 2nd back. Havent heard much of Whaley.


Sorry. Didnt mean to hijack this thread with UT football.
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