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If Rams cut Michael Sam, his NFL options would be few (one?)

Discussion in 'RAMS - NFL TALK' started by -X-, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. Blue and Gold Well-Known Member

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    I think he could be a rushbacker in a 3-4 as well, a 4-3 is not only scheme he could play, a one-gap 3-4 team like Steelers, Packers . . . hje's just not going to be great at either one, if he works hard, he can make it and be okay player in either.
     
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  2. NukeRam I test nuclear weapons

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    I rewatched the game and maybe I missed something but the two times I saw him in the backfield..........he was totally unblocked. Even so, he missed the sack on the first one. Not hatin', jus sayin. I think people want him to succeed so bad they are giving him the benefit of the doubt. If he wins a spot, it should be all because of talent and production. Period.
     
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  3. JackDRams Well-Known Member

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    I highly doubt he gets starting time anywhere man. No matter where he goes, he's gonna be a backup, rotational guy. At least for the time being. But I know where your coming from, he could flourish elsewhere on teams with less depth. But he's learning from the best right now.
     
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  4. fancents86 Well-Known Member

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    Of course for the time being, but he would be so down on the depth chart here... Unless Fisher rotates him in.
     
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  5. Yamahopper Well-Known Member

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    Long term if can't crack the Rams 53 is to go on the practice squad and tune his game for the pro's. Perfecting his technique is the best thing any young player can do.
     
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  6. AutumnWind New Member

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    Ok...I'm fan of football, I enjoy the Rams and several members of my family are Rams fans although I am a Silver and Black Fan....Raiders baby. Through thick and thin. I'm intrigued by the situation the Rams are in with Michael Sam and Ethan Westbrooks. I've been kind of shocked yet pleased with the acceptance of Michael Sam, I think it is what it is...this is 2014. Let's just play ball and enjoy the game of football. BUT......in watching this past preason game I saw Michael Sam get unlimited publicity and all the media attention (which is fine). Ethan Westbrooks has gotten minimal coverage in comparison but he has gotten some (to be fair in my comment). Sam had ONE solo tackle and in my opinion if the other guys weren't there to finish off the tackle, that would have been questionable. He lost grasp of the running back (look at it again...it's all over the internet). He rushed the quarterback and showed some quickness no doubt, that was great. Westbrooks had THREE solo tackles and a QB hit in the final stats. All of his tackles were HIS and were no doubt tackles and he smacked the heck out of the QB although he got the ball off just prior to the hit. Now I'm just saying....especially with only three practices under his belt, YES.....he outplayed Michael Sam in that first preseason game. Sam had 33 snaps on defense, Westbrooks had 35. I'm just hoping that Westbrooks gets a fair shot at beating Sam out.......without all of the politics getting in the way because it looks absolutely possible that could happen. I'm gonna sit back and enjoy the competition between the two.

    On another note...how many players does a team get to keep on the practice squad? That's one thing I'm not well versed on...but now after asking, I'm going to look it up! Thanks for reading and GOOD luck Ram Fans! In memory of my BIG Cuz Michael Bivins.....Ram Fan.....RIP
     
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  7. Thordaddy Binding you with ancient logic

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    I agree on all counts and think that if he makes the 53,he will have earned the slot in all the coaches minds,if however we PS him I think it would be a case of giving him time and hoping and would be at the behest of Stan K.
     
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  8. AutumnWind New Member

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    Another quick expiriment of mine........just tried to google or otherwise locate ANY photos of Westbrooks from the first preseason game....no luck. Then I googled Sam, just for shits and giggles........you know what that yielded. Just an example of why "I hope Westbrooks gets a fair shot at making the team if he earns it." But hey....perhaps some other team will recognize the talent. I'm not the most computer savvy dude in the world, but if anyone can find a pic online.......post it. I'm curious now.
     
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  9. Slappy967 Well-Known Member

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    Maybe it's rose colored glasses impairing my judgment but I think if he strings together 1 or 2 more performances like game 1 he makes this team. Westbrooks is looking good as well but I feel needs to put on a show this weekend. As a fan I feel like it's a win win however it plays out.
     
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  10. DaveFan'51 Well-Known Member

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    But Coach, Bernie, over at PD, swears by the PFF Stats! ( Oops! I guess that proves your point! )
     
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  11. junkman Well-Known Member

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    @CoachO , @DaveFan'51 , others...

    The OP author misused the PFF stats horribly, same mistakes made by most fans.

    ~~

    First the full ratings as it relates to the author's comments -

    Westbrooks was +4.2 in 34 snaps including +2.4 in pass rush D +1.7 in run D. Credited with 2 QB hits, 3 tackles and 2 stuffs.

    Sam by comparison was +0.2 in 33 snaps including -0.7 in pass rush but +0.8 in run D. Credit with 1 hit and 1 hurry to go with 1 tackle.

    PFF didn't just give Westbrooks the score because of the three tackles vs the 1 tackle. It's because Westbrooks consistently beat his guy where Sam was mostly neutralized.

    If you haven't read PFF's "how we grade", it is informative and explains what they do better than I can.
    http://www.profootballfocus.com/about/grading/

    If you're not familiar with PFF ratings, 4.2 in 33 snaps is an eye opening score. Not only was it the 2nd best DE, but it was one of the best scores of any preseason player at any position (yes, I looked). It was the best Ram grade by far. 2nd best D was Gaines at +2.1, best offensive grade was Barksdale at +1.2.

    On a per snap basis, it is better than JJ Watt in 2013 (+99.8 on 998 snaps) or Robert Quinn (+74.6 on 849 snaps), where their scores were curve busters in and of themselves. Greg Hardy, the 2nd ranked DE in 2013 got +25.6 on 891 snaps and Calais Campbell, the 2nd 3-4 DE had +34.1 on 990 snaps).

    What this should tell you is that if you didn't see Westbrooks flash, you weren't paying attention. He played RDE, LDE, both DT (A and B gaps). He had outside speed from RDE, inside spin move. He was double teamed (really? in preseason?). He hustled downfield. His 2 QB hits came from DT, shooting his gaps in a very Donald-like way - one was on the Brandon Cooks TD, the other was at 10:10 in the 4th on that 3rd down play where the RB stepped out of bounds too early, where in both cases the QB just got rid of the ball a touch before Westbrooks got there.

    Make no mistake about it, Westbrooks had a very nice performance and no doubt caught people's attention.

    ~~~

    The FLAWS in this argument are painfully obvious, starting with this: it is a preseason game. The classic problem with PFF is that it does not consider strength of schedule. Where Sam was in during the 1st Q presumably against Saints 1sts, Westbrooks was there all the way through the 4th playing against other UDFAs.

    2nd. It's the FIRST preseason game. This is the first real live action any of these players have seen. There's a difference between OTA and training camp rust vs real game action rust.

    3rd, it is one game and really only half a game for each player. You can't extrapolate a season any more with PFF scores based on a small sample set any more than you could a skill player. Alex Bayer is not going to lead the Rams in receiving this year with 1136 yards. The assumption with PFF (and a pretty good assumption) is that these things even out over the course of a season, same reason why they don't hand out the Lombardi trophy in September. Over the course of a full season, the PFF numbers gain statistical relevance to the point where their quantified measures are usually spot on with what people intuitively "know", and they do it for positions where we frankly have little first hand basis for comparing players (e.g. OG).

    But ok, so we have a pre-season data points to look at with Westbrooks and Sam. I'm not cutting Sam yet.

    ~~~

    I do, however, have my eye on Carrington, however, who I thought was especially unimpressive when watching the game and I watched for him specifically trying to figure out why our DL was not holding up against the run. PFF backs up what I saw... -1.8 rating including -1.3 in run D in only 21 snaps, completely shut out other than a missed tackle. It didn't take long for me to conclude that we really need Brockers and Langford in there, as has pretty much every Rams fan on this forum. As a comparison point, Donald had a +0.4 rating including +0.1 in run D. If Donald was paired with Brockers (e.g. a DT who did his job), I believe Donald's numbers would have been much more impressive, as would the Rams D in general.

    The reason I'm singling out Carrington is that I have an idea in my head that Carrington doesn't have any lock whatsoever on that #8 spot. Watching this Saints game only reinforced that idea in me.

    ~~~

    Other noteworthy Rams getting bad grades:
    Ray Ray -4.5 on 40 snaps
    Cody Davis -3.0 on 39 snaps
    Eugene Sims -2.8 on 31 snaps (this one surprised me, I didn't think his play was that bad)
    Dunbar -1.9
    Carrington -1.8
    TJ McD -1.3 on 13 snaps

    The one player who stood out in a positive way was EJ Gaines who played on the starting unit and was still +2.1 despite the Rams D overall getting gashed.

    Also impressive score was given to Marcus Roberson (who caught Holt's eye) with a +1.3 on 43 snaps, 3rd best Rams defender, but like Westbrooks, this was mostly later action.
     
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  12. bluecoconuts Well-Known Member

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    Westbrooks will need to look significantly better because he is further down on the depth chart than Sam is. Sam is running with the 2s and the 3s, meaning when his stats aren't as good, he's still playing against better guys. So Westbrooks needs to not only outplay him on the stat sheet, but do so significantly to the point they move him up. Right now Sam is clearly ahead in the coaches eyes, and I think it will be his spot to lose, with him doing nothing to show he should lose it thus far. Both players will need a season or so to develop, so that means little to me. What I think they will want to know is, can they play in this league (looks like it), which one cam contribute more overall (sub in for different plays, ST, etc), which will hurt the team less (giving up plays, flags, etc), and things like that. Which is mostly why I see the job as Sam's to lose at this point. The staff is giving him more opportunities to suceed thus far.
     
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  13. CoachO Well-Known Member

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    I have a few questions and comments regarding your post.

    First you did a great job of compiling this information ,so kudos for that.

    That being said, my question is two fold.... In their grade and ranking, they seem to list Westbrooks as a DE. Did they also have a grade on him when he took snaps at DT? Because if I recall, he had at least one (if not 2) of his 3 tackles from the DT position, NOT DE. SO that right there taints his ranking for me. And if they didn't make that distinction, who can these grades be the least bit accurate?

    The biggest issue I have had, and continue to have, is they grade every play without having any knowledge of the actual assignment within the play call. They look at each player, and assume he is only responsible for beating the guy lined up across from him. And they rank EVERY player, regardless of the number of plays. In other words, a player who is on the field for ONE play, but yet, does something to earn a positive grade, is ranked higher than someone who makes a dozen positive plays in the course of that same game, but because he was on the field for 50 plays, his AVERAGE grade is obviously lower.

    When you take that into account, and have so many people (media) use these rankings as some sort of bible in their evaluation of players, its very misleading.
     
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  14. junkman Well-Known Member

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    Hey @CoachO . First things first, you know I have MAD respect for you! I love what you do and am grateful for every bit of your perspective. You can presume that is the case any post of any kind where I mention your name.

    Your point about PFF not considering position shifts during a game is valid. PFF will typically label a person as a single position for a game, but still grades every play. The labeling of positions is mostly just to compare them to other similar players. So even though William Hayes lined up over the G occasionally, they still called him a 4-3 DE. Same with Westbrooks. But this is certainly part of the nuance that needs to be considered when looking at players.

    This is even more important when looking over the course of a year. A great example of that would be looking at Rodger Saffold last year, where they have him listed as 5 games RT, 1 game LT (Seattle final game), 6 games RG. He's graded at +10.6 for the G games, -3.3 for the T games (with +0.5 at LT). If you look at Saffold and his +7.3 overall, sign him as a FA (like Oakland did) with every intention of putting him at T (like Oakland intended), you might be disappointed. If you understand (and trust) PFF grades, his gifts are obviously at G.

    In this Saints game and Westbrooks, I don't recall where the tackles were, but I do remember both of the QB hits. Both came from the DT position. He was lined up on the right A-gap on the Brooks TD, and on the left B gap on the 3rd down missed conversion. Both QB hits had completed passes, but the Westbrooks plays were splashy imho! Enough to cut Sam? Heck no! But if you see value in Senior Bowl reports and OTA reports where people say things like "Donald was unblockable", this is similar. PFF giving Westbrooks a grade of +4.2 on 34 snaps is PFF saying that Westbrooks was unblockable in a very quantified way.

    Your point about PFF not considering the assignment? 100% true. Michael Brockers was a -7.1 last year on PFF. But every real Rams fan knows that he's the foundation of the defense.

    The one point where I need to correct you is where you say: "In other words, a player who is on the field for ONE play, but yet, does something to earn a positive grade, is ranked higher than someone who makes a dozen positive plays in the course of that same game, but because he was on the field for 50 plays, his AVERAGE grade is obviously lower."

    If you have a dozen positive plays (each worth +0.2), you'd be +2.4 on the day and ranked higher than someone who had a single positive play at +0.2. PFF is very much like golf scoring, where on every hole you can move higher or lower relative to par, but the tournament winner is the one who gets a -12 over 72 holes (obviously, a higher score in PFF is better, a lower score in golf is better). Getting an eagle on the first hole is great (Westbrooks), but that doesn't win you the tournament. Getting a double bogey on the first hole (Carrington and Sims) doesn't lose you the tournament either.

    That said, you still need to look at per-snap grades occasionally (which is something PFF NEVER does). So when looking at Saffold and his +10.6 over 6 games, that is a GREAT score. One could reasonably project that if Saffold played G for the full season, he'd be more like +28.2 (10.6 * 16 / 6), which would make him a top 4 guard. That's more of an apples-to-apples comparison than comparing the 10.6 to #1 G Evan Mathis and his +48.3 over 16 games.

    Your final statement is the really the main point, and I 100% agree: "When you take that into account, and have so many people (media) use these rankings as some sort of bible in their evaluation of players, its very misleading."

    PFF scores are frequently twisted and mis-used by "fans" and media to make their points. If the OP author used these stats as a bible, they'd be talking about cutting Sims and Carrinton rather than Sam (who was on the field at the same time as Sims and Carrington). Sam's grade of -0.8 was right next to Lamarcus Joyner at -0.7, but nobody would consider cutting Joyner in favor of Roberson at +1.3. PFF is not a bible and should never be treated as such. But it is a good quantified measure, which imho over a series of games provides useful insight as overall performance and trends become apparent. Afaic, I value the numbers from PFF much more than the insights of talking heads who have obvious homer biases and are there more for entertainment value and catering to the demographics (I seriously don't give a F about the Cowboys or the Lakers, they are irrelevant, stop talking about them!) more than providing factual perspective.

    PFF pre-season grades, yeaaaah... no. Don't even go there unless you really trust the person using the stats. Even over a full regular season, the stats can be twisted. The real question is always the same: do you trust the person using the stats?

    Any stat can be twisted e.g. "Benny Cunningham is a much better RB than Zac Stacy because his YPC of 5.6 is much higher than Stacy at 3.9." Interesting? Sure. Conclusive? No. Take out Cunningham's 56 yd run against Indy when the game was over, and consider that 109 of his 261 yards came against the pathetic Bears run D, the picture changes.

    Hope this helps!
     
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  15. CodeMonkey Likes You

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    ohhhh the drama.
     
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  16. CoachO Well-Known Member

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    While I realize that the PFF guys have a place, I view that with a great deal of skepticism. While they are using the same parameters to grade everyone across the board, the biggest problem I have always had with their "grading" is they have no concept of what different players responsibilities are within the confines of the offense/defense are from one play to the next.

    Who "blew the coverage", without knowing the coverage which was called, or missed the blitz pickup, without knowing which protection was called? And the fact that the people they have watching the game tapes are not necessarily "football" people, but analysts sitting in front of a computer screen in the UK trying to decipher the details of a sport, makes me question the validity.

    Kinda like the whole Sabermetrics argument in baseball. To devalue traditional stats like batting average... Again, it's not that they don't have their value, and place in the discussion. But I don't need some computer formula to tell me if a guy hits .340, he's probably a damn good hitter. Just as I don't need what I will always say is an inaccurate "grading" of an linemen telling me if a guy can play the game or not.
     
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  17. CodeMonkey Likes You

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    here here! :golf clap:
     
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  18. Alan Well-Known Member

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    Many of you guys make very good points both for and against PFF but when it comes to overall player evaluations I have NEVER read an overall evaluation on a player, compiled over an extended period, that I didn't have a high degree of agreement with. I'm not talking about predictions like rankings because they're all crap no matter who makes them. No one has a crystal ball.

    At the end of the day, despite the perceived inadequacies in their methodology, their evaluations play play a significant role when making my own evaluations of a player.

    Just saying.
     
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  19. Noregar New Member

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    I am an Engineer (not a statistician) by trade and I use mathematical models for analysis and design. Statistical/mathematical models should be evaluated/calibrated to see how they fit with empirical data (real world conditions) and a good one should yield results that are realistic.

    For the Rams there are some very basic empirical results we can use for comparison:
    The 2013 Rams finished 7-9 in the toughest division in football with the one of the toughest strength of schedules. PFF ranks the Rams roster # 31 based most likely on last year’s grades. Great calibration (NOT)

    The Rams 2013 defense was ranked 15 overall (8th in rushing and 19th in passing based on yards allowed) and it obviously played better down the stretch. PFF ranks the Rams defense 22nd. How does an 8th ranked run defense have an interior D-line and linebacker group ranked so low? This just does not calibrate.

    Note: Even most non-ram fans and those in the drive by media at least are starting to show some respect for the Rams and especially their defense but not PFF.
    So what are we to believe, a flawed evaluation/scoring system that yields ratings, which do not coincide with actual rankings/records or do we let the Rams record speak for itself.

    IMO, PFF is utterly useless and a load of crap. Every time I see it quoted/used, I just roll my eyes because they have no credibility with me.

    PFF - Pro Football Fallacies – Pontificating Fiction as Facts – Pooping Fictitious Facts……. Hey Join in the fun…
     
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  20. junkman Well-Known Member

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    The way I usually use the PFF stats is to provide reality testing and quantification for players where there are not a lot of stats to help quantify. It helps me have rational discussions with people about we think. E.g. the following are topics I've discussed (refuted) using PFF stats to support my comments:
    • Kendall Langford was a bust, another terrible FA acquisition from TN.
    • Jake Long has been terrible at pass blocking and ok at blocking in 2013. Nothing left!
    • Rodger Saffold should be moved back to T to replace Long.
    • Robert Quinn is a one trick pony and sucks against the run.
    • Joe Barksdale must be the worst RT in the game. After all, the Raiders with all their OL problems simply cut him.
    • Courtland Finnegan still has something in the tank. We need his veteran presence!
    It sometimes makes me think twice about what I think:
    • How good is Joe Barksdale?
    • How good of a blocker is Harkey?
    It tells me about players I don't know well
    • Is Davin Joseph recovered?
    • Was Kuechly really deserving of the DPOY award?
     
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