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Inigo Montoya

The Value of Team Discipline

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Posted (edited)

One of the most frustrating experiences every Sunday watching the Bills play during the Drought was the number of senseless, drive killing, or drive extending penalties that the Bills always took at the worst possible moment.

 

That “third and long” play that was successfully defended, but a senseless late hit on the qb or a holding penalty on the other side of the field, twenty yards away from the ball, would keep the drive alive. Or the long pass play or run for the Bills that always seemed to get called back because of a holding penalty or illegal formation. It drove me crazy.

 

How many games swung on those plays, that lack of focus and discipline on the part of the Bills?  I think one of the most important things that McDermott has done is to work on cutting down on those self-inflicted wounds.  I believe that effort is an under appreciated factor in finally ending the Drought, and it’s the sign of a good coaching staff and a clear sign that the culture is finally changing in Orchard Park

 

Below are some stats from Marrone and  Rex Ryan’s tenure and the first year under McDermott to illustrate that point;

 

NFL Team Rank; Penalties Per Game;

2014 -  31st

2015 -  32nd

2016 -  24th

2017 -  10th

 

NFL Team Rank; Penalty Yards Per Game;

2014 -  29th

2015 -  32nd

2016 -  22nd

2017 -  10th

 

You just can’t win in this league if you are not a disciplined football team. McDermott is creating a culture of accountability and is building a roster of high character players who will buy into that culture.  I think the elimination of senseless penalties is one of those changes that flies a bit under the radar compared to some other football metrics,  but I think it was a big part of last year’s success and one of the main reasons I’ve become a big McDermott fan.

 

 

Edited by Inigo Montoya
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Posted (edited)

Agreed on all accounts. I dislike this thread because I can't find anything to argue with you about :P

My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my thread response, prepare to die

Edited by Bills4Ever4Life
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A while back before the Draft there was a Jerry Hughes discussion I chimed in on, and while I took a bit of a beating (can't lie...kina liked it) about trading Hughes due to the net yards he actually produced due to penalties was interesting. I took all the sacks he created and the yards lost by the opposing team vs. the penalties he took and the total yards he essentially gave back due to the penalties, and the result was about as expected: the net yards were very minimal meaning, for his sacks compared to the yards he gave back on penalties, he wasn't even close to earning his contract. 

 

Now, it seems he's gotten better - and to the OP's point probably because McD is a man about team discipline - but his production in terms of sacks and pressures has also steadily decreased over the last three years. So, I'm hoping he rebounds this year with a monster year in production but keeps the discipline by avoiding penalties but if he does it this year - it will be his first ever.....so, we'll see. 

 

Thanks for bringing up a good point OP...these kinds of sneaky numbers can lost once all the information about TDs and turnovers and sacks get discussed. But as you've already said, they're important factors in the totality of the outcome of many games. 

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16 minutes ago, Inigo Montoya said:

One of the most frustrating experiences every Sunday watching the Bills play during the Drought was the number of senseless, drive killing, or drive extending penalties that the Bills always took at the worst possible moment.

 

That “third and long” play that was successfully defended, but a senseless late hit on the qb or a holding penalty on the other side of the field, twenty yards away from the ball, would keep the drive alive. Or the long pass play or run for the Bills that always seemed to get called back because of a holding penalty or illegal formation. It drove me crazy.

 

How many games swung on those plays, that lack of focus and discipline on the part of the Bills?  I think one of the most important things that McDermott has done is to work on cutting down on those self-inflicted wounds.  I believe that effort is an under appreciated factor in finally ending the Drought, and it’s the sign of a good coaching staff and a clear sign that the culture is finally changing in Orchard Park

 

Below are some stats from Rex Ryan’s tenure and the first two under McDermott to illustrate that point;

 

NFL Team Rank; Penalties Per Game;

2014 -  31st

2015 -  32nd

2016 -  24th

2017 -  10th

 

NFL Team Rank; Penalty Yards Per Game;

2014 -  29th

2015 -  32nd

2016 -  22nd

2017 -  10th

 

You just can’t win in this league if you are not a disciplined football team. McDermott is creating a culture of accountability and is building a roster of high character players who will buy into that culture.  I think the elimination of senseless penalties is one of those changes that flies a bit under the radar compared to some other football metrics,  but I think it was a big part of last year’s success and one of the main reasons I’ve become a big McDermott fan.

An organizational overhaul from top to bottom needed to create a new culture; good post.

 

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7 minutes ago, BigBuff423 said:

A while back before the Draft there was a Jerry Hughes discussion I chimed in on, and while I took a bit of a beating (can't lie...kina liked it) about trading Hughes due to the net yards he actually produced due to penalties was interesting. I took all the sacks he created and the yards lost by the opposing team vs. the penalties he took and the total yards he essentially gave back due to the penalties, and the result was about as expected: the net yards were very minimal meaning, for his sacks compared to the yards he gave back on penalties, he wasn't even close to earning his contract. 

 

Now, it seems he's gotten better - and to the OP's point probably because McD is a man about team discipline - but his production in terms of sacks and pressures has also steadily decreased over the last three years. So, I'm hoping he rebounds this year with a monster year in production but keeps the discipline by avoiding penalties but if he does it this year - it will be his first ever.....so, we'll see. 

 

Thanks for bringing up a good point OP...these kinds of sneaky numbers can lost once all the information about TDs and turnovers and sacks get discussed. But as you've already said, they're important factors in the totality of the outcome of many games. 

To be fair, the day they traded Dareus, after I stopped swearing, I called that our sack and overall front line production would take a hit. You just HAVE to have a big guy in there sucking up the double teams. Dareus did that beautifully. He soaked up guys to allow the likes of Hughes to get to the QB. He soaked up guys and allowed our LB's to get better gap control. He may not have had shiny sack / tackle numbers but the man was consistently making the line better as a starting point. He takes on two guys which puts KW one on one which is dangerous. So they shift and all of the sudden Hughes has a much easier time. No matter what they did, Dareus being out there caused a snowball effect that made our line better. Now that we have Phillips I believe we have that "big guy" back again and you will see sack numbers go back up. Wait and see, wait and see

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1 minute ago, Bills4Ever4Life said:

To be fair, the day they traded Dareus, after I stopped swearing, I called that our sack and overall front line production would take a hit. You just HAVE to have a big guy in there sucking up the double teams. Dareus did that beautifully. He soaked up guys to allow the likes of Hughes to get to the QB. He soaked up guys and allowed our LB's to get better gap control. He may not have had shiny sack / tackle numbers but the man was consistently making the line better as a starting point. He takes on two guys which puts KW one on one which is dangerous. So they shift and all of the sudden Hughes has a much easier time. No matter what they did, Dareus being out there caused a snowball effect that made our line better. Now that we have Phillips I believe we have that "big guy" back again and you will see sack numbers go back up. Wait and see, wait and see

 

Of course, I hope you're right!! I want Hughes to be the Hughes he was when he first arrived - absent the stupid penalties. So be Hughes, but smarter. 

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As much as this thread highlights the cultural changes that Beane/McD brought to the organization (thanks OP), it also illustrates just how poor of a coach Rex Ryan was in that regard.  The proverbial inmates were certainly running the asylum during Rex's tenure.  Yuck.... 

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1 hour ago, Bills4Ever4Life said:

Agreed on all accounts. I dislike this thread because I can't find anything to argue with you about :P

My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my thread response, prepare to die

I think we can start the argument with McDermott has been head coach for one year, Rex only had two years 2015 and 2016, and 2014 was Marrone's team.

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What? The bracelets didn't work. Rex=Fat Blow Hard 

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3 hours ago, BigBuff423 said:

A while back before the Draft there was a Jerry Hughes discussion I chimed in on, and while I took a bit of a beating (can't lie...kina liked it) about trading Hughes due to the net yards he actually produced due to penalties was interesting. I took all the sacks he created and the yards lost by the opposing team vs. the penalties he took and the total yards he essentially gave back due to the penalties, and the result was about as expected: the net yards were very minimal meaning, for his sacks compared to the yards he gave back on penalties, he wasn't even close to earning his contract. 

 

Now, it seems he's gotten better - and to the OP's point probably because McD is a man about team discipline - but his production in terms of sacks and pressures has also steadily decreased over the last three years. So, I'm hoping he rebounds this year with a monster year in production but keeps the discipline by avoiding penalties but if he does it this year - it will be his first ever.....so, we'll see. 

 

Thanks for bringing up a good point OP...these kinds of sneaky numbers can lost once all the information about TDs and turnovers and sacks get discussed. But as you've already said, they're important factors in the totality of the outcome of many games. 

I really do think Hughes is the least of our problems. With pressure coming from the other side this year, his numbers will go up and it's not all about sacks either. If he's all over the field making plays, I'm fine with 6 or 8 sacks and a lot of pressures and some hits. Those penalties hurt him, though.

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1 hour ago, Jauronimo said:

I think we can start the argument with McDermott has been head coach for one year, Rex only had two years 2015 and 2016, and 2014 was Marrone's team.

 

Yeah, I was wondering how long it would be before that was pointed out. "You just can't win..."; the Bills won 9 games in 2014. Granted they had a very good defense, but part of being aggressive is the idea that you may have an inflated number of penalties as a result.

 

But the point being made is what's important. Its not really about how many penalties or penalty yards, but rather when those penalties occurred, and the impact that they had. 

 

I had some free time yesterday, so I decided to watch the Dolphins @ Bills game last year. There were 2 plays where this issue arose, and they had a big impact. One was on Landry. The Dolphins converted, but he was flagged for OPI, and then for UC. 

 

The other was on Washington. The Bills made a couple of nice goal line stops, but well after one of those plays, he swatted the ball out of the RB's hands on the sideline. Shortly after, the Fins scored a crucial TD. And IIRC, that drive started well into Bills territory, after a long return was aided by a horse collar call against Buffalo.

 

The Bills may have won the game, after a very good 1st half by Taylor (but the Bills offense was putrid in the 2nd half), but the Dolphins got back in the game after being down 3 scores in the second half, and they were moving the ball pretty well. They recovered an OS kick and had a chance, but Cutler threw a terrible pick to seal it.

 

That penalty by Washington was exactly what the Dolphins needed. Totally unnecessary, and at the most inoppotune time. Those types of damning penalties seem to be less frequent under McDermott, but they won't completely disappear. But the change in culture is evident. McDermott wants you to present yourself like a winner. Harrison Phillips said that it doesn't matter what you're doing to McDermott, do it like a winner. When you step out of your car, do it like a winner. With Rex, it didn't matter how you stepped out of your car, as long as you made it to Dave and Busters by 8 o' clock...

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2 hours ago, Jauronimo said:

I think we can start the argument with McDermott has been head coach for one year, Rex only had two years 2015 and 2016, and 2014 was Marrone's team.

 

My mistake!  Thanks for setting the record straight, I edited the original post.

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Great topic, OP. Thanks!

So many close wins last year. If any of those past foibles showed up -Even ONCE in those last minute wins, there’d be no donations to Dalton’s charity..

😲😇

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Ya see! This why I come here. To learn how to spell foibles. Well done!

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11 hours ago, Johnny Hammersticks said:

As much as this thread highlights the cultural changes that Beane/McD brought to the organization (thanks OP), it also illustrates just how poor of a coach Rex Ryan was in that regard.  The proverbial inmates were certainly running the asylum during Rex's tenure.  Yuck.... 

 

What surprises me is how bad the team was in 2014 under Marrone.  I had bought into the narrative that Sexy Rexy was Loosey Goosey.

I guess Marrone was more of a Maroon thataways than I'd realized.

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26 minutes ago, Hapless Bills Fan said:

 

What surprises me is how bad the team was in 2014 under Marrone.  I had bought into the narrative that Sexy Rexy was Loosey Goosey.

I guess Marrone was more of a Maroon thataways than I'd realized.

 

I blame Russ Brandon 😁

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12 hours ago, Hapless Bills Fan said:

 Sexy Rexy was Loosey Goosey.

 

Ewww ! My stomach turned upon reading that.

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, I am the egg man said:

Ewww ! My stomach turned upon reading that.

 

I apologize to your gastrointestinal tract

21 hours ago, Drunken Pygmy Goat said:

That penalty by Washington was exactly what the Dolphins needed. Totally unnecessary, and at the most inoppotune time. Those types of damning penalties seem to be less frequent under McDermott, but they won't completely disappear. But the change in culture is evident. McDermott wants you to present yourself like a winner. Harrison Phillips said that it doesn't matter what you're doing to McDermott, do it like a winner. When you step out of your car, do it like a winner. With Rex, it didn't matter how you stepped out of your car, as long as you made it to Dave and Busters by 8 o' clock...

 

Well-put points about the Dolphins vs Bills and impact of penalties.

 

I got to say though, "do it like a winner" seems like BS to me.  Just how do you step out of your car "like a winner"?

Marv Levy's old mantra, "Don't be Dumb, Don't be Dirty" seems much more a-propos. 

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1 hour ago, Hapless Bills Fan said:

 

I apologize to your gastrointestinal tract

 

Well-put points about the Dolphins vs Bills and impact of penalties.

 

I got to say though, "do it like a winner" seems like BS to me.  Just how do you step out of your car "like a winner"?

Marv Levy's old mantra, "Don't be Dumb, Don't be Dirty" seems much more a-propos. 

 

I think that was just Phillips' way of exaggerating the mentality and approach to football and life that McDermott wants from his players. Always confident, head held high kind of thing. That kind of attitude resonates and permeates.

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