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What would need to occur to extend or fire McDermott?

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5 minutes ago, Ronin said:

 

This is a very good discussion!  

 

Oliver will be what he is, either the answer or not the answer.  Not much to discuss until the season when we find out there.  

 

I'll address the bolded parts.  

 

Yes, the secondary can excel, no argument there, ours has, but only generally speaking, it has struggled against top passing teams and QBs.  But I wish that instead of continually pouring resources into an already excellent secondary that McBeane would focus on the other parts of the team more.  To me that means that they're A, in over their heads, and B, in McD's case, focusing, overly so, on what he's known because he's good at it.  The problem is that there's 80% other parts of the team that he's not as good at running.  

 

But if teams can run the ball down your throat pretty much at will, then that's a way around our excellent secondary to overcome it, and as everyone knows, that's how good OCs will take advantage of our D overall until the entire unit is corrected.  That is what in fact happened.  If that doesn't change this season then IMO McBeane's competencies need to be examined.  

 

That addresses the next part in bold.  A pass D is more than just a secondary, it's the very directly related ability to put pressure on opponents passers, which we are not good at.  

 

In pass D yardage we ranked 1st, but as I just explained, a good reason for that was because we ranked 16th in rush D yardage allowed.  Combined with the notion that against average-plus passing teams we shut no one down that didn't run the ball ridiculously well on us.  

 

We ranked 26th in sacks. 

We ranked 21st in QB hits. 

We ranked 17th in sack %.  

 

But again, also don't dismiss the notion that while yes, overall our pass D based upon the secondary was tops, we still didn't play well in that regard against above-average passing teams that didn't run all over us.  

 

That's not a good sign.  All it means is that as long as we play only below-average passing teams we're fine, our pass D is great.  But the moment we play passing teams that are above-average, we are not good.  That's not the mark of a playoff-competitive pass D or D, it's something else.  

 

Against the 6 above-average passing teams that we played, we lost 5 of those games. 

 

Against Indy they didn't need to throw because they ran for 220 yards.  Still, Luck posted one of his most efficient games of the season.  74% complete and 4 TDs on only 156 yards.  

In the first NE game Brady threw for the 4th most yards he had all season.  

In the second NE game Brady didn't play well but he didn't have to since we allowed nearly 300 yards of rushing.

Against the Chargers Rivers ripped us to shreds on 85% completion, 256 yards and 3 TDs.  He posted similar games against defensively horrific Arizona and Oakland.  

Against Green Bay in what was considered a bad game for Rodgers, he posted his 5th highest yardage passing game in what was still a rout. 

Even Cousins played a good game, 73% complete (40 or 55) for his 6th best passing yardage game on the season.  Yes, I realize that it was a blowout, but still, he had literally zero rushing support.  His RBs ran the ball 4 times for 12 yards.  Cook didn't play that game b/c he was injured.  Cousins did all that by himself.  

 

None of those 5 teams had above-average rushing games except for NE.  

 

To me that's highly problematic as a team attempting to cement itself as a playoff team.  It doesn't even approach showing that we can hang with playoff caliber teams, which is why we didn't beat any.  

Ahem.  

 

They should focus on other parts of the team vs. the DBs?  You mean like brining in six new  O linemen this off season?  Or two new WRs and several new TEs.  Or drafting a new DT in round 1?  Or drafting their leaders on O and D in round 1 last year?

 

Just because you think your opinion is the be all and end all does not mean they haven't addressed other areas of the team outside of the DB.  In fact, they have been diligent especially on the O side doing just that.

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Fired:  breaking the unwritten rule, jay walking, mopery, aggravated mopery, mopery in the first degree, hangnail

 

Extended: a witty hashtag, kissing a baby, mopery, a boob job, cameo in high profile show like Days of Our Lives

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22 hours ago, Ronin said:

 

LOL, yes, Dillard, I do that all the time.  I'm sure I'll keep doing it.  

 

Keep in mind that teams are still, unless something has changed, built from the lines outward.  A great secondary is good to have, but it's no replacement for an equally good front-7.  Otherwise, the players that you mention, A, were here last season so there's no change.  Sure, we can expect improvement form Edmunds, as I've chimed in, I fully expect Edmunds to be Kuechly-like in a couple of seasons and a premier MLB.  Milano, who knows, but if we had a dollar for every time we heard that a player was going to improve upon a rookie or soph year and didn't, ...   Those could very well be offset by dimishment in Lorax's and Hughes' play, we don't know, but it's fairly safe to say that that group overall isn't going to be a huge difference on its own.  We definitely need an infusion of talent and a pass rush.  Absolutely none of McBeane's players brought in have added to that signiifcantly and to levels that will make out pass-rush above-average much less stellar. 

 

Also, there's a whole lot of talk about Milano and how great he is, look, he's good, I'd put him at above-average, and he was a fantastic 5th-round pick, but let's not get ahead of ourselves, he's hardly Von Miller either.  A pleasant surprise but still, no premier or impact player.  In two seasons, 18 starts, he's got 1 sack, so he hasn't really been a boon to our pass-rush either.  He seems to be good in pass coverage however.  He's been a very pleasant surprise, but let's also see if he can keep it up.  Maybe he'll improve, maybe he'll stay the same, or perhaps he'll not keep it up.  We don't know.  

 

Either way, that core was here last season, we'll see how it develops.  But I'm not sure it's wise to assume that it's going to propel us to correct what was a 30th ranked Red Zone D and 18th ranked scoring D.  Do you?  

 

I'm optimistic in Edmunds and Milano, hugely so in Edmunds per above and possibly more so than anyone here, but not at all about Lorax who's been as inconsistent as can possibly be during his stint here.  I've pointed this out numerous times before, but Lorax came on with a bang for us logging 10 sacks in his first 9 games here, but after that he finished that season with 2.5 sacks in his last 7 games.  In '17 he posted 3 sacks in 16 games for 5.5 sacks in his last 23 games at the time.  He began last season with 1 sack in his first 5 games for 6.5 sacks in that stretch of 28 games.  He then had a stretch where he posted 5.5 sacks in 7 games again before finishing the season with 0 sacks in any of his last four games.  Inconsistency has been the operative term regarding him.  And remember, he was considering retirement last season, I'm not sure that there's much basis for optimism at the age of 36.  He's trending downard, not upward like Edmunds.  So is Hughes.  

 

As far as Hughes, if we're living in 2013 & 2014, yes, perhaps I'm optimistic, but we're not.  For a DE that's averaged a mere 5.5 sacks/season over the past four seasons, and with that as his primary role, I'm not sure I'd say I'm "optimistic."   He'll nail down one DE position with still a huge weakness at the other DE position, and he'll do it until his contract expires following the 2021 season.  

 

That's how I view it.  

you sure are a long winded sort. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Ronin said:

 

This is a very good discussion!  

 

Oliver will be what he is, either the answer or not the answer.  Not much to discuss until the season when we find out there.  

 

I'll address the bolded parts.  

 

Yes, the secondary can excel, no argument there, ours has, but only generally speaking, it has struggled against top passing teams and QBs.  But I wish that instead of continually pouring resources into an already excellent secondary that McBeane would focus on the other parts of the team more.  To me that means that they're A, in over their heads, and B, in McD's case, focusing, overly so, on what he's known because he's good at it.  The problem is that there's 80% other parts of the team that he's not as good at running.  

 

But if teams can run the ball down your throat pretty much at will, then that's a way around our excellent secondary to overcome it, and as everyone knows, that's how good OCs will take advantage of our D overall until the entire unit is corrected.  That is what in fact happened.  If that doesn't change this season then IMO McBeane's competencies need to be examined.  

 

That addresses the next part in bold.  A pass D is more than just a secondary, it's the very directly related ability to put pressure on opponents passers, which we are not good at.  

 

In pass D yardage we ranked 1st, but as I just explained, a good reason for that was because we ranked 16th in rush D yardage allowed.  Combined with the notion that against average-plus passing teams we shut no one down that didn't run the ball ridiculously well on us.  

 

We ranked 26th in sacks. 

We ranked 21st in QB hits. 

We ranked 17th in sack %.  

 

But again, also don't dismiss the notion that while yes, overall our pass D based upon the secondary was tops, we still didn't play well in that regard against above-average passing teams that didn't run all over us.  

 

That's not a good sign.  All it means is that as long as we play only below-average passing teams we're fine, our pass D is great.  But the moment we play passing teams that are above-average, we are not good.  That's not the mark of a playoff-competitive pass D or D, it's something else.  

 

Against the 6 above-average passing teams that we played, we lost 5 of those games. 

 

Against Indy they didn't need to throw because they ran for 220 yards.  Still, Luck posted one of his most efficient games of the season.  74% complete and 4 TDs on only 156 yards.  We logged no sacks.  

In the first NE game Brady threw for the 4th most yards he had all season.  

In the second NE game Brady didn't play well but he didn't have to since we allowed nearly 300 yards of rushing.

Against the Chargers Rivers ripped us to shreds on 85% completion, 256 yards and 3 TDs.  He posted similar games against defensively horrific Arizona and Oakland.  

Against Green Bay in what was considered a bad game for Rodgers, he posted his 5th highest yardage passing game in what was still a rout.  Again, it was a bad game for him.  

Even Cousins played a good game, 73% complete (40 or 55) for his 6th best passing yardage game on the season.  Yes, I realize that it was a blowout, but still, he had literally zero rushing support.  His RBs ran the ball 4 times for 12 yards.  Cook didn't play that game b/c he was injured.  Latavius Murray was no better than any of the garbage we had after Shady.  Cousins did all that by himself, literally.  

 

None of those 5 teams had above-average rushing games except for NE.  

 

To me that's highly problematic as a team attempting to cement itself as a playoff team.  It's masked because of the overall global stats.  It doesn't even approach showing that we can hang with playoff caliber teams, which is why we didn't beat any.  

 

In that sense, as I see it, you're overrating it.  We've learned this lesson as Bills fans in the past, both ways, that having a stellar secondary and building from that on in is not the way to build a team.  Our SB teams were top-notch front-7s with the secondaries being good but never great.  We almost never had top-notch talent in our secondaries.  They were good, good enough, but that was about it.  

 

A great secondary w/o a matching front-7 isn't going to help a team become a playoff caliber team and it's the wrong bass-ackwards way to create such a team.  It really is that simple.  

 

 

 

The fact is though every single team in the NFL plays bad teams each year. That is why the rankings are done on a 16 game season. Yes Baltimore and Chicago did better against better teams than we did. That is because you are right to identify them as better all round defenses. But the people who take a 16 game ranking and then start picking at 2 or 3 games within that are doing it wrong. We rank through 16 games for a reason. That is the season. If we want to start nitpicking specific games I'd say you should throw the entire Baltimore game and the first half to the Chargers game out when the Bills wer eplaying with 10 players and only count the remaining 14 and a half games. But that isn't the way that it works. The ranking is the ranking and encompasses the good days and the bad days and values them the same. That is the way the league works. 

 

As for the right way to build a team - I have a slightly (though not radically) different take. I think you start with the cornerstone pieces - QB, LT, Pass rusher, #1CB, #1WR. They are the pieces that are hardest to find and that you really need to try and draft because if you don't they are very expensive in FA. Then after that you focus on being stout up front on both sides. I agree the lines are more important than the skill positions. But where I disagree is the resource the Bills have put into the secondary. You make it sound like they have spent a load of high picks and / or cash there. If they HAD done that I'd agree with you - it is the wrong way to attack a rebuild. But other than a 1st round pick on a clear #1 corner who meets my test of being a cornerstone player (and who was picked in a trade back acquiring an extra #1) they have spent 1 mid range FA contract on Micah Hyde, a cheap as chips FA contract on Jordan Poyer, an 4th round pick on Taron Johnson, an UDFA starts at the other corner spot in Wallace and then Kevin Johnson and EJ Gaines are on one year prove it deals. This secondary is hugely outperforming the cost sunk into it. So I don't really understand that argument. They are not building that secondary at the expense of building the defensive line. It isn't like the money there has stopped them signing DLinemen. If they were paying Hyde, White and Poyer all north of $10m a year I'd be 100% with you. But they are not. In fact they have spent more resource on the DLine in terms of the same level of major draft investment (a 1st on Oliver, a 3rd on Harrison Phillips) one big FA deal on Star and two mid range deals (on Murphy and Jordan Phillips). Now if you want to argue that as yet their talent evaluation hasn't been as good on the Dline as on DBs that is fair - wasn't a big fan of the Star signing and while I think Murphy could play pre-injury I'm less convinced he will ever stay healthy again. But they have invested there. It just as yet hasn't borne fruit. I think Oliver will be the first step towards changing that but I still think edge rusher remians arguably the biggest need on this team. 

 

 

EDIT: And likewise - I think this is a good discussion. Others might enjoy the same good discussion with you if they read your posts and responded objectively rather than emotionally. I think you have demonstrated you are capable of constructive debate and disagreement. 

Edited by GunnerBill
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, GunnerBill said:

 

The fact is though every single team in the NFL plays bad teams each year. That is why the rankings are done on a 16 game season. Yes Baltimore and Chicago did better against better teams than we did. That is because you are right to identify them as better all round defenses. But the people who take a 16 game ranking and then start picking at 2 or 3 games within that are doing it wrong. We rank through 16 games for a reason. That is the season. If we want to start nitpicking specific games I'd say you should throw the entire Baltimore game and the first half to the Chargers game out when the Bills wer eplaying with 10 players and only count the remaining 14 and a half games. But that isn't the way that it works. The ranking is the ranking and encompasses the good days and the bad days and values them the same. That is the way the league works. 

 

As for the right way to build a team - I have a slightly (though not radically) different take. I think you start with the cornerstone pieces - QB, LT, Pass rusher, #1CB, #1WR. They are the pieces that are hardest to find and that you really need to try and draft because if you don't they are very expensive in FA. Then after that you focus on being stout up front on both sides. I agree the lines are more important than the skill positions. But where I disagree is the resource the Bills have put into the secondary. You make it sound like they have spent a load of high picks and / or cash there. If they HAD done that I'd agree with you - it is the wrong way to attack a rebuild. But other than a 1st round pick on a clear #1 corner who meets my test of being a cornerstone player (and who was picked in a trade back acquiring an extra #1) they have spent 1 mid range FA contract on Micah Hyde, a cheap as chips FA contract on Jordan Poyer, an 4th round pick on Taron Johnson, an UDFA starts at the other corner spot in Wallace and then Kevin Johnson and EJ Gaines are on one year prove it deals. This secondary is hugely outperforming the cost sunk into it. So I don't really understand that argument. They are not building that secondary at the expense of building the defensive line. It isn't like the money there has stopped them signing DLinemen. If they were paying Hyde, White and Poyer all north of $10m a year I'd be 100% with you. But they are not. In fact they have spent more resource on the DLine in terms of the same level of major draft investment (a 1st on Oliver, a 3rd on Harrison Phillips) one big FA deal on Star and two mid range deals (on Murphy and Jordan Phillips). Now if you want to argue that as yet their talent evaluation hasn't been as good on the Dline as on DBs that is fair - wasn't a big fan of the Star signing and while I think Murphy could play pre-injury I'm less convinced he will ever stay healthy again. But they have invested there. It just as yet hasn't borne fruit. I think Oliver will be the first step towards changing that but I still think edge rusher remians arguably the biggest need on this team. 

 

 

EDIT: And likewise - I think this is a good discussion. Others might enjoy the same good discussion with you if they read your posts and responded objectively rather than emotionally. I think you have demonstrated you are capable of constructive debate and disagreement. 

 

Great stuff there! 

 

And thanks!

 

I'll respond to the bold after this, but think about what you just said?  Essentially you implied that the secondary was built all but by accident and in spite of their best efforts elsewhere.  Hyde was always a good pick-up outta the gate, but the others as you say they more or less "lucked" into.  "Cheap free-agents" as you put it and day-3 draft picks, and I concur.  

 

But then, consider, their bigger moves haven't really panned out as such which raises several questions, doesn't it?  

 

Phillips (3rd round) hasn't worked out particularly well.  I think he'll take a big step this season but until that happens ...  

 

Here's the thing, their (McBeane's) entire MO seems to be "cheap free-agent contracts," particularly involving players with known injury histories.  It almost reads as if it's a sling as much "acquisition mud" up against the wall that you can and hope that enough sticks and sticks well to effectively build the team.  That's my take, but I also don't think that's how championship teams are built.  I can't think of any other teams that have used such an approach while getting as little from their day 1 & 2 draft picks as we seem to be.  

 

Quote

I think you start with the cornerstone pieces - QB, LT, Pass rusher, #1CB, #1WR. They are the pieces that are hardest to find and that you really need to try and draft because if you don't they are very expensive in FA.

 

Agreed although I would add C to that list along with MLB if you're running a 4-3.  But let's take a closer look at that.  

 

#1 CB they've done well with in White although he was inconsistent from his first to second season.  

QB - jury's still very much out until this season. 

LT - Dawkins, jury's also out there but for a 3rd he's fine, but I don't really see any big effort to fill that role, hence my draft strategy of having taken Dillard.  

Pass rusher - Murphy, with a signicant injury history was their solution.  He was never great to begin with and questionable straight up.  I don't see that signing as a great move by any measure.  

#1 WR - Jones was their big effort and that's failed.  I don't see that changing this season.  If Jones manages to put up 1,200 yards and 8+ TDs we can discuss further when it happens.  Not seeing anything even close however.  If anything I think that Jones is closer to being off the roster next season.  

C - Morse, again, another player that they're heavily relying upon that has a very significant and recent injury history having kept him out of nearly half of his games over the past two seasons.  It's already an issue.  

MLB - LOOOOVE the Edmunds pick, as I've oft said, I'd have taken him at 12th.  

 

But the long and short of it is that they're overall strategy, as I said above, appears to be one of mass 1-2 year low-risk signings, often featuring players with previous significant injury histories apparently hoping that those histories don't arise here.  But as you said about the stats and data above, it's about averages etc., which means that probably at least half of them will again rear their injury-issue heads.  

 

Either way, their draft strategies and results certainly aren't earning them league honors at present, and if Allen and Oliver don't pan out to anything besides the sales pitch associated with each, their strategies as such will have been pivotal in terms of them being shipped out of Buffalo.  

 

 

Quote

The ranking is the ranking and encompasses the good days and the bad days and values them the same. That is the way the league works.

 

Well, sort of.  I'll assume that you have a working knowledge of statistics.  

 

But you can take two averages, one with a standard-deviation of say 1 sigma, and the other with 2-sigma, and the 2-sigma one means far less consistency.  The closer that s.d. is to zero the better.  

 

Statistical Process Control typically applies to other things, like production processes and the like, but it can quite easily also be applied to sports as such although it rarely is at this level.   That's what sites like Football Insiders and PFF do generally speaking.  The closer a production/manufacturing process can get to hitting the mean/average every time, the better for overall quality.  That's what "6-sigma" quality that no doubt you've heard about is all about.  The "6-sigma" is the error or "unsatisfactory" part of it, meaning that fewer than one in one million pieces fails.  The same applies here although to a far higher (less minute) level.  Either way, the consistency of a defense, offense, or any aspect of a team definitely falls into this category.  

 

Chicago and the Ravens were much closer to their "means" than we were.  This means far greater consistency regardless of the opponents.  

 

The greater your s.d. is the more one must look into the reasons why.  This is particularly true for production/manufacturing processes but again, equally so in this case.  

 

Our s.d. was notably higher and I explained why, but that shouldn't be dismissed for a thorough and proper understanding of the workins behind it.  

 

Again, our schedule is absurdly favorable this season for both O and D.  For D, we only face three teams that were ranked among last season's top-10 passing teams.  The Pats, Eagles, and Steelers.  If our defense plays lights out ball against them we can consider it an improvement.  All other things remaining equal, that would narrow down that s.d.  If not however, then we'll have two straight seasons of history w/o any indication whatsoever that our pass D, including secondary, is even capable of hanging with playoff caliber offenses with great passing offenses.  

 

But it's statistically erroneous to assume that two teams with the same average in one area are necessary equal in that area, as in this case, particularly given the plethora of varying factors that influence the average in question.  In short, it doesn't actually value them the same at the "end of the day" analysis.  In trying to conjure up an analogy I can't really come up with a good one, but I will add that when a standard deviation is larger than another, it's a very good idea to look at the individual data to see if there are any trends or patterns that explain it.  That's what I did and do, constantly, the proverbial nine-ways-to-Sunday.  It's not popular if it's not favorable amongst fans, hence the entirely objective mathematical approach, which takes most (never say never) of the subjectivity out of it. 

 

Someone here constantly posts that "stats are for losers" - Bill Belichick.  But consider, the man that Belichick leans on the most is long-time analyst Ernie Adams, who does specifically that as a full-time job for Belichick.  

 

I had no idea before I looked, that our pass D simply didn't play well against passing teams that couldn't run all over us on those game days.  That includes teams like Minny or GB that had crap for RBs.  I only noticed that trend/pattern upon looking specifically for trends and patterns as such. 

 

Frankly, the team, all teams in fact, should be doing this for themselves, it would DRASTICALLY help them improve, in many ways.  I don't know why they don't other than to suggest that the likely reason is that the people that tend towards football admin and coaching do not have Operations Research & Analysis masters degrees, Industrial Engineering degrees, or Management Science degrees.  The field is littered with people possessing liberal arts degrees, communications degrees, sports admin, etc.  That's why when James Lofton threw his hat into the mix for coaching us years ago I was all over him, he has an Industrial Engineering degree from Stanford no less.  I have no idea how he would have worked out, but he got stuck coaching college for WRs, which is likely because no one saw what I saw in him, but I would have loved to have found out.  

 

 

Edited by Ronin

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1 hour ago, Ronin said:

 

Great stuff there! 

 

And thanks!

 

I'll respond to the bold after this, but think about what you just said?  Essentially you implied that the secondary was built all but by accident and in spite of their best efforts elsewhere.  Hyde was always a good pick-up outta the gate, but the others as you say they more or less "lucked" into.  "Cheap free-agents" as you put it and day-3 draft picks, and I concur.  

 

But then, consider, their bigger moves haven't really panned out as such which raises several questions, doesn't it?  

 

Phillips (3rd round) hasn't worked out particularly well.  I think he'll take a big step this season but until that happens ...  

 

Here's the thing, their (McBeane's) entire MO seems to be "cheap free-agent contracts," particularly involving players with known injury histories.  It almost reads as if it's a sling as much "acquisition mud" up against the wall that you can and hope that enough sticks and sticks well to effectively build the team.  That's my take, but I also don't think that's how championship teams are built.  I can't think of any other teams that have used such an approach while getting as little from their day 1 & 2 draft picks as we seem to be.  

 

 

So first of all - I wasn't really debating with you how well the Bills have done in building a championship team - we broadly agree on that. Nor was I arguing that they had done a good job at filling all of my cornerstone positions, I was just setting out what my approach to roster building would be. I was debating your comment that the Bills are "continually puring resources" into the secondary. They are not and they haven't. They have spent judiciously (a Beane word) on the secondary and left thesmelves plenty of resource to build elsewhere. That said I don't agree they have lucked into guys either. I think they have a very clear idea of what they want at those positions - it is, as you rightly stated, McDermott's area of expertise, and they have done a good job of talent evaluation. I am someone who absolutely passionately rejects any assertions that the draft is a "crapshoot" it comes down always to how well you evaluate talent and the fit of that talent for your scheme.

 

In other positions they have to do a better job of that. I am pretty convinced they hit a home run with Ed Oliver though. He is a hell of a football player. I do also object a little bit to Harrison Phillips not having worked out particularly well. I think he was good, not great but good, last year. He should have played more. He was the most effective 1tech on the team but Star has the bigger name, bigger contract and bigger reputation. All in all I think their rotation inside on the dline this year should be better - but it will require them to play the best guy and not just keep playing Star on reputation. As I keep saying the edge is a different matter, a very legitimate concern and a legitimate question. 

 

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1 hour ago, Ronin said:

Well, sort of.  I'll assume that you have a working knowledge of statistics.  

 

But you can take two averages, one with a standard-deviation of say 1 sigma, and the other with 2-sigma, and the 2-sigma one means far less consistency.  The closer that s.d. is to zero the better.  

 

Statistical Process Control typically applies to other things, like production processes and the like, but it can quite easily also be applied to sports as such although it rarely is at this level.   That's what sites like Football Insiders and PFF do generally speaking.  The closer a production/manufacturing process can get to hitting the mean/average every time, the better for overall quality.  That's what "6-sigma" quality that no doubt you've heard about is all about.  The "6-sigma" is the error or "unsatisfactory" part of it, meaning that fewer than one in one million pieces fails.  The same applies here although to a far higher (less minute) level.  Either way, the consistency of a defense, offense, or any aspect of a team definitely falls into this category.  

 

Chicago and the Ravens were much closer to their "means" than we were.  This means far greater consistency regardless of the opponents.  

 

The greater your s.d. is the more one must look into the reasons why.  This is particularly true for production/manufacturing processes but again, equally so in this case.  

 

Our s.d. was notably higher and I explained why, but that shouldn't be dismissed for a thorough and proper understanding of the workins behind it.  

 

Again, our schedule is absurdly favorable this season for both O and D.  For D, we only face three teams that were ranked among last season's top-10 passing teams.  The Pats, Eagles, and Steelers.  If our defense plays lights out ball against them we can consider it an improvement.  All other things remaining equal, that would narrow down that s.d.  If not however, then we'll have two straight seasons of history w/o any indication whatsoever that our pass D, including secondary, is even capable of hanging with playoff caliber offenses with great passing offenses.  

 

But it's statistically erroneous to assume that two teams with the same average in one area are necessary equal in that area, as in this case, particularly given the plethora of varying factors that influence the average in question.  In short, it doesn't actually value them the same at the "end of the day" analysis.  In trying to conjure up an analogy I can't really come up with a good one, but I will add that when a standard deviation is larger than another, it's a very good idea to look at the individual data to see if there are any trends or patterns that explain it.  That's what I did and do, constantly, the proverbial nine-ways-to-Sunday.  It's not popular if it's not favorable amongst fans, hence the entirely objective mathematical approach, which takes most (never say never) of the subjectivity out of it. 

 

Someone here constantly posts that "stats are for losers" - Bill Belichick.  But consider, the man that Belichick leans on the most is long-time analyst Ernie Adams, who does specifically that as a full-time job for Belichick.  

 

I had no idea before I looked, that our pass D simply didn't play well against passing teams that couldn't run all over us on those game days.  That includes teams like Minny or GB that had crap for RBs.  I only noticed that trend/pattern upon looking specifically for trends and patterns as such. 

 

Frankly, the team, all teams in fact, should be doing this for themselves, it would DRASTICALLY help them improve, in many ways.  I don't know why they don't other than to suggest that the likely reason is that the people that tend towards football admin and coaching do not have Operations Research & Analysis masters degrees, Industrial Engineering degrees, or Management Science degrees.  The field is littered with people possessing liberal arts degrees, communications degrees, sports admin, etc.  That's why when James Lofton threw his hat into the mix for coaching us years ago I was all over him, he has an Industrial Engineering degree from Stanford no less.  I have no idea how he would have worked out, but he got stuck coaching college for WRs, which is likely because no one saw what I saw in him, but I would have loved to have found out.  

 

 

None of that statistical theory undermines my point. The Bills last year had good games and bad games. Their defense as a rule did less well against the better teams. But every single defense in the league had good games and bad games too. That is why we rank over the course of a season. The reason Baltimore's defense and Chicago's defense had performances that fluctuated less than our is because they were better all round defenses. That has never been at issue. But also your patterns are still missing important football variables. Just as an example the reason Minnesota didn't run on us was they were 27-0 down by halfway through the 2nd Qrtr. They were pretty much throwing on every down for 2 and a half quarters because they were well behind the score. And the Bills were letting them have completions and letting them have yards if they wanted to dink and dunk beause that was in our favour. For all those passes they didn't have a single pass play over 20 yards. So that needs to factor in too. In the game against the Chargers the Bills played the first half (when the Chargers amassed most of their yards) with a retired player out there. That factors in. The reason Bill Belichick is a genius is because even though he loves statistics he applies football to them. That is why when everything was going crazy around him in a Superbowl and every statistical model known to man was telling him he should call time out Bill Belichick let the clock run and then told his guys to go and play goalline. Because sometimes football is more than pure statistics. And Belichick, even as the most statically literate coach in the NFL, knows that. 

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6 hours ago, Ronin said:

 

 

I had no idea before I looked, that our pass D simply didn't play well against passing teams that couldn't run all over us on those game days.  That includes teams like Minny or GB that had crap for RBs.  I only noticed that trend/pattern upon looking specifically for trends and patterns as such. 

 

 

 

Didn't know there was a statistical basis, but this makes sense.

 

The explanation that I believe supports the data is a lack of pass rush. Lawson. Meh. Murphy. Meh. Star doesn't make plays and Kyle wasn't the same player. Hughes is good, but he's not elite. Adding Oliver should theoretically help quite a bit, but I would have loved to see them add a premiere edge rusher. I think it would have been the safest route to a .500 season or even a playoff berth. Even if the offense were to only improve slightly, an elite defense can still lead you to a lot of wins. Premiere edge rusher transforms this defense from very good, but inconsistent to elite.

 

Let's just hope Oliver is a true stud and gets going early. I love him as a prospect, so I think he'll help. Not enough to make the pass rush elite, but he'll help.

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5 hours ago, GunnerBill said:

 

So first of all - I wasn't really debating with you how well the Bills have done in building a championship team - we broadly agree on that. Nor was I arguing that they had done a good job at filling all of my cornerstone positions, I was just setting out what my approach to roster building would be. I was debating your comment that the Bills are "continually puring resources" into the secondary. They are not and they haven't. They have spent judiciously (a Beane word) on the secondary and left thesmelves plenty of resource to build elsewhere. That said I don't agree they have lucked into guys either. I think they have a very clear idea of what they want at those positions - it is, as you rightly stated, McDermott's area of expertise, and they have done a good job of talent evaluation. I am someone who absolutely passionately rejects any assertions that the draft is a "crapshoot" it comes down always to how well you evaluate talent and the fit of that talent for your scheme.

 

In other positions they have to do a better job of that. I am pretty convinced they hit a home run with Ed Oliver though. He is a hell of a football player. I do also object a little bit to Harrison Phillips not having worked out particularly well. I think he was good, not great but good, last year. He should have played more. He was the most effective 1tech on the team but Star has the bigger name, bigger contract and bigger reputation. All in all I think their rotation inside on the dline this year should be better - but it will require them to play the best guy and not just keep playing Star on reputation. As I keep saying the edge is a different matter, a very legitimate concern and a legitimate question. 

 

 

Concur, although I was addressing some of your more specific comments.  

 

In my estimation we're going to see more from Phillips than we saw last season, I think he'll become very good but not premier or impact however.  We'll see to what extent Oliver does the same, we'll find out if he's a "hell of a football player" in the NFL.  Phillips was the third youngest defender on the team last year older than only Edmunds, who was the youngest in the entire league, and Taron Johnson, the next youngest on the D.  

 

 

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5 hours ago, GunnerBill said:

 

None of that statistical theory undermines my point. The Bills last year had good games and bad games. Their defense as a rule did less well against the better teams. But every single defense in the league had good games and bad games too. That is why we rank over the course of a season. The reason Baltimore's defense and Chicago's defense had performances that fluctuated less than our is because they were better all round defenses. That has never been at issue. But also your patterns are still missing important football variables. Just as an example the reason Minnesota didn't run on us was they were 27-0 down by halfway through the 2nd Qrtr. They were pretty much throwing on every down for 2 and a half quarters because they were well behind the score. And the Bills were letting them have completions and letting them have yards if they wanted to dink and dunk beause that was in our favour. For all those passes they didn't have a single pass play over 20 yards. So that needs to factor in too. In the game against the Chargers the Bills played the first half (when the Chargers amassed most of their yards) with a retired player out there. That factors in. The reason Bill Belichick is a genius is because even though he loves statistics he applies football to them. That is why when everything was going crazy around him in a Superbowl and every statistical model known to man was telling him he should call time out Bill Belichick let the clock run and then told his guys to go and play goalline. Because sometimes football is more than pure statistics. And Belichick, even as the most statically literate coach in the NFL, knows that. 

 

Yes, I passively mentioned that some of that factors in.  

 

Quote

The reason Baltimore's defense and Chicago's defense had performances that fluctuated less than our is because they were better all round defenses.

 

That's been exactly my point, they were better because their front-7 performance was notably better than ours.  Point being, w/o that front-7 performance, we're always going to have those issues, eh.  

 

So yes, it will come down heavily to whether Oliver plays up to expectations, whether Phillips or someone can fill Kyle's shoes otherwise, either individually or by committee, and to what extent an inconsistent and aged Lorax and aging Hughes see their play diminish, if at all, and who picks up that slack if it does.  Either way, this is Lorax's last season and Hughes is aging to the point where expectations will have to be lowered and accounted for as such.  

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, LSHMEAB said:

Didn't know there was a statistical basis, but this makes sense.

 

The explanation that I believe supports the data is a lack of pass rush. Lawson. Meh. Murphy. Meh. Star doesn't make plays and Kyle wasn't the same player. Hughes is good, but he's not elite. Adding Oliver should theoretically help quite a bit, but I would have loved to see them add a premiere edge rusher. I think it would have been the safest route to a .500 season or even a playoff berth. Even if the offense were to only improve slightly, an elite defense can still lead you to a lot of wins. Premiere edge rusher transforms this defense from very good, but inconsistent to elite.

 

Let's just hope Oliver is a true stud and gets going early. I love him as a prospect, so I think he'll help. Not enough to make the pass rush elite, but he'll help.

 

I generally agree with that although I'd say that a good edge rusher would only transform the D moderately given the losses and diminishment due to retirements and aging.  A good edge rusher doesn't address our very average run D and we still have to elevate our Red Zone D from 30th.  I don't know if a simple edge rusher pushes us from 30th to elite.  

 

You know my take on Oliver, I hope you and everyone else are correct.  If not, and if Allen doesn't make play equivalently, we'll be looking for a new coach and GM.  

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13 minutes ago, Ronin said:

 

I generally agree with that although I'd say that a good edge rusher would only transform the D moderately given the losses and diminishment due to retirements and aging.  A good edge rusher doesn't address our very average run D and we still have to elevate our Red Zone D from 30th.  I don't know if a simple edge rusher pushes us from 30th to elite.  

 

You know my take on Oliver, I hope you and everyone else are correct.  If not, and if Allen doesn't make play equivalently, we'll be looking for a new coach and GM.  

I would disagree on the difference a dominant edge playmaker can make in the red zone. Yes, the run defense wasn't great, but we got thrown on as well. You add that premiere edge rusher and you're going to create negative down and distance situations. That goes a long way towards keeping teams out of the endzone. Outside of Milano, I don't remember anyone tackling people behind the LOS in the RZ.

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33 minutes ago, LSHMEAB said:

I would disagree on the difference a dominant edge playmaker can make in the red zone. Yes, the run defense wasn't great, but we got thrown on as well. You add that premiere edge rusher and you're going to create negative down and distance situations. That goes a long way towards keeping teams out of the endzone. Outside of Milano, I don't remember anyone tackling people behind the LOS in the RZ.

 

Oh, it would make a huge difference, but pushing it from 30th to elite?  

 

Milano had 12 TFLs and 3 QB Hits last season.  Not sure how many were in the Red Zone.  Would have to go thru the game logs to find out.  All that is easily ascertainable is that 10 of the 12 were in losses.  

 

Kyle had 6 TFLs and 14 QB Hits.  

 

The only other players with double-digit TFLs were the diminishing Lorax and Hughes.  

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If it was me, a worse record than last year should be an instant firing IF all key pieces stay healthy. Getting less than 6 wins would be an amazing failure but hey, this regime convinced everyone Peterman was good on 3 separate occasions so who knows. 

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8 minutes ago, Elite Poster said:

If it was me, a worse record than last year should be an instant firing IF all key pieces stay healthy. Getting less than 6 wins would be an amazing failure but hey, this regime convinced everyone Peterman was good on 3 separate occasions so who knows. 

 

They tried to I don't think they succeeded.

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4 hours ago, Elite Poster said:

If it was me, a worse record than last year should be an instant firing IF all key pieces stay healthy. Getting less than 6 wins would be an amazing failure but hey, this regime convinced everyone Peterman was good on 3 separate occasions so who knows. 


Elite people should not be fans of this team.  You are NOT?  So okay everything is OKAY and makes sense.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Elite Poster said:

If it was me, a worse record than last year should be an instant firing IF all key pieces stay healthy. Getting less than 6 wins would be an amazing failure but hey, this regime convinced everyone Peterman was good on 3 separate occasions so who knows. 

I recall Beane referring to Peterman as their "Steady Eddie" prior to the season.😂

15 hours ago, LSHMEAB said:

I would disagree on the difference a dominant edge playmaker can make in the red zone. Yes, the run defense wasn't great, but we got thrown on as well. You add that premiere edge rusher and you're going to create negative down and distance situations. That goes a long way towards keeping teams out of the endzone. Outside of Milano, I don't remember anyone tackling people behind the LOS in the RZ.

Edmunds had many opportunities to do so and whiffed on just about all of them last season. 

Edited by ScottLaw

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Nothing less than a play off berth in the very near future. 2020 at the latest.

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59 minutes ago, ScottLaw said:

I recall Beane referring to Peterman as their "Steady Eddie" prior to the season.😂

Edmunds had many opportunities to do so and whiffed on just about all of them last season. 

Because rookies should just walk in and be perfect

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Posted (edited)

it seems, aside from the wrecks ryan circus who only had 31 games as a HC, most before that had 3 years to get the job done, and didn't. going all the way back to wade who was fired after 3 years with a 29-19 record as HC.

 

all those before ryan were under ralphs ownership so you have to wonder with terry/kim being inexperienced owners whether or not they would follow the 3 year rebuild traits from the past, or give them more then 3 years?

 

I tend to be more optimistic this year then in years past, yet cautiously. you could say the team rebuild process has been decent but until they get out there on the field no one can say with certainty either way, whether they'll be good or bad?

 

this is year 3, I believe some pretty big steps need to be taken on both sides of the ball, all phases for that matter, winning no less then 10 games. the single digit win seasons have to be over come. if he and the team manage that, along with a possible playoff berth given winning 10 games, Beane/McD should be extended?

 

 

if not, I believe heads should turn if they have 9 wins or less and no (if they manage to sneak in again with 9 wins, all good) playoffs. then again, I can not predict what the Pegulas will do, they could give them 5 years?

Edited by DaBillsFanSince1973

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guess I missed the memo as to under what premise the OP launched this thread (NOT surprising for Oldtime- senior moments prevail)...CLIFF NOTES VERSION: don't we have a helluva long way to go before we start talking extension and/or termination?...isn''t the entire "process" and personnel/coaching newness transformation in the infancy stages, yet to be determined?....OR...should have Pegula just heeded the "expert TBD advice" of ...fire McBeane...fire McDermott....fire the Rockpile Beerman( something MUST be his fault), et all"?.....

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5 hours ago, Limeaid said:


Elite people should not be fans of this team.  You are NOT?  So okay everything is OKAY and makes sense.

 

Ah, so your the type of person who wishes the team should...keep losing?

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I haven't seen this posted anywhere and I think it's an interesting list and relevant to this discussion, so here's CBS Sport's list of the NFL's top-10 coaches:

 

https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/top-10-head-coaches-in-nfl-bill-belichick-still-reigns-but-who-fills-out-the-rest-of-the-list/ 

 

I think there's a much higher perception in "league circles" of McDermott than Bills fans have.  At any rate, should we be discussing firing a top-10 coach??  

9. Sean McDermott, Bills

The Bills are just 15-17 in two seasons under McDermott, but he earned a lot of respect around the league for coaxing a 10-6 campaign out of a subpar roster in 2017. The Bills' offense took a step backward last year amid a massive personnel overhaul and quarterbacking done by rookie Josh Allen and injury replacements, but the defense showed significant strides, and that's the side of the ball McDermott calls home. 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, 17years&waiting said:

I haven't seen this posted anywhere and I think it's an interesting list and relevant to this discussion, so here's CBS Sport's list of the NFL's top-10 coaches:

 

https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/top-10-head-coaches-in-nfl-bill-belichick-still-reigns-but-who-fills-out-the-rest-of-the-list/ 

 

I think there's a much higher perception in "league circles" of McDermott than Bills fans have.  At any rate, should we be discussing firing a top-10 coach??  

9. Sean McDermott, Bills

The Bills are just 15-17 in two seasons under McDermott, but he earned a lot of respect around the league for coaxing a 10-6 campaign out of a subpar roster in 2017. The Bills' offense took a step backward last year amid a massive personnel overhaul and quarterbacking done by rookie Josh Allen and injury replacements, but the defense showed significant strides, and that's the side of the ball McDermott calls home. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It could be as simple as 2 wins in one season this year over New England plus a winning record to get him a 2-3 year extension. The onus isn't just on showing we will be winners, its on showing we are the heir apparent to the division.

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