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Ethan in Portland

What would need to occur to extend or fire McDermott?

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3 hours ago, GunnerBill said:

 

You mean Dillard. 

 

What about still having one of the best secondaries in the NFL? What about having young talent in Edmunds and Milano at linebacker? No reasons for optimism there? The ageing of the edge rushers - Hughes and Lorax is a legitimate concern, as is the lack of depth behind them, but beyond that there is a lot to like on defense. 

 

I don't disagree with you that a lot is riding on Josh. And if they turn out to have got the Josh Allen decision wrong it will ultimately get them fired (whether after this season or next) That is the NFL. 

 

 

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.  

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4 hours ago, GunnerBill said:

 

I am certain we will be better than the Bengals. I think they will be one of the worst teams in the NFL. I think we are probably better than the Ravens this year too (though Harbaugh is such a good coach he often gets more than he should out of that team). The Eagles are better than us but we get them at home and I think that is a 50-50 game. Pats x2 and then Steelers, Browns and Cowboys on the road are the ones I have circled as the 5 most likely losses. I think Bengals, Fish x2, Giants and Skins are the 5 most likely wins. Then the other games are the ones that are in the pot and will ultimately decide our fate. 

 

Of course it is never that easy. But that is the way I see the schedule. 

 

Yeah, who knows right now and we haven't studied that changes that they've all made either.  Some will be better than we think while others won't.  Which bring up something else, McDermott. 

 

Last season of the 6 games we won, I'd say that we were better than the Jets, Jags, and Fins but comparable to the Titans, Lions, and Vikes.  The best team we beat in terms of record was the Titans at 9-7 which was probably overachievement for them.  Unless you're a Mariotta believer they didn't have much better talent than we did, perhaps worse.  Their top-3 WRs were Corey Davis, Taywan Taylor, and Tajae Sharpe.  Hardly inspiring.  

 

On the flip side, we also lost to the Jets, the Fins, and Green Bay which wasn't good last season.  So you never know who we'll beat and who we won't.  But if we assume that we're capable of beating teams that finish with 9 wins or fewer, as we did last season, and using last season's records, we could win 12 games, it's an easy schedule.  Besides the Pats the only two teams on our schedule that won 10 or more games were Dallas and Baltimore, both at 10-6.  It couldn't possibly, literally, be any easier.  Only 5 of our opponents ranked above-average in sack production including Denver, Washington, and Philly, and only 6 ranked above-average in INT production including Miami, Washington, Giants, and Denver.  

 

Re: McD, keep in mind that we beat the Titans and Lions by merely a point and the Jags by only 3, all three of those games were home games.  We averaged 17 points in those three games.  

 

Who knows what's going to change this season, which is why IMO predicting record is among the most difficult things to do except for teams like the Pats.  

 

 

Edited by Ronin

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2 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.  

 

So on the edge rushers I agree with you and have made this point all offseason. Lorax and Hughes are the Bills' two best edge rushers and they will be combined age if 67 when week 1 rolls round. That is a legitimate concern. For every Julius Peppers who remains productive well into his 30s there is a Mario Williams or Brian Orakpo who falls off a cliff in his early 30s. Though I have no doubts about the impact Ed Oliver will have. You do and it is fair to when a guy hasn't played a snap in the pros but I had him as basically the best player in the draft (well 1B with Bosa as 1A). 

 

That said the Bills D line has not been great the past two years either in terms of pass rush and yet for the most part (exclude the two games the retired Vontae Davis started - and by the way I was on here a year ago saying they shouldn't bank on him still being able to play) the secondary has been really good. I think that is because a) McDermott is a really good DB coach and b) Hyde and White are outstanding football players and Poyer is a very good player too. They have also added significant depth this offseason with Kevin Johnson and EJ Gaines. Plus Wallace in year two... that unit could be even better - despite the lack of rush. Because they are really talented and really well coached. That is a cause for optimism. 

 

At linebacker I think what Milano has put on tape in the NFL through two seasons would suggest he is better than "above average". If I have a concern about that unit it remains Edmunds's ability to master the fundamentals. I know he can do the spectacular I need to see more of the routine. But the talent level of those two alone is a reason for optimism. 

 

And let's say, for argument sake, that with mainly the same personal the defense is mainly the same as last year. Among the league leaders in pass defense, among the league leaders in yards and among the league leaders in yards per play and 3rd down. Even if it continues to not be as stout in the redzone as maybe it could and is middle of the pack in points it still comes down to me to Josh Allen. 

 

The Bills D was good enough in 6 wins last year. If they got good Quarterback play to support that they could win 9 or 10 games in my view without the defense needing to improve. 

 

So in short, I do see reason for optimism, both with the defense and for the Bills chances of being above .500 in 2019. But it comes down to Josh Allen. If he does not take a step this team wins 5 or 6 games again and the pressure on the regime would be immense. I am not sure in that scenario they survive. 

 

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21 hours ago, Ronin said:

 

Indeed, and on defense, given that they could have had an LT like Hilliard, they went with Oliver, so they're really counting on Oliver to improve the D too in Kyle's absence.  

 

I mean think about it, if Oliver doesn't do that, then there's no way this D is as good as last year's w/o Kyle, with Lorax at 36 and with Hughes aging, whom all pre-dated McBeane.  

 

But where will they be if Allen doesn't do that?  

This year is all about how much Allen improves..... or doesn't. It will be the deciding factor on if they are a playoff team or a another subpar one. I was hoping they'd do more to ensure that with additions at the reciever position.  

 

Even if the defense regresses a little bit but Allen takes a big step forward, they'll be fine. It's all about the QB..... my concern with the defense was their inability to stop the run at time last season.'

 

Jacksonville and NE ran the ball at will on them late in the year. It was hard to watch. Hopefully Edmunds and Harrison improve, Star has a better year and Milano comes back healthy. 

Edited by ScottLaw

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7 hours ago, GunnerBill said:

 

So on the edge rushers I agree with you and have made this point all offseason. Lorax and Hughes are the Bills' two best edge rushers and they will be combined age if 67 when week 1 rolls round. That is a legitimate concern. For every Julius Peppers who remains productive well into his 30s there is a Mario Williams or Brian Orakpo who falls off a cliff in his early 30s. Though I have no doubts about the impact Ed Oliver will have. You do and it is fair to when a guy hasn't played a snap in the pros but I had him as basically the best player in the draft (well 1B with Bosa as 1A). 

 

That said the Bills D line has not been great the past two years either in terms of pass rush and yet for the most part (exclude the two games the retired Vontae Davis started - and by the way I was on here a year ago saying they shouldn't bank on him still being able to play) the secondary has been really good. I think that is because a) McDermott is a really good DB coach and b) Hyde and White are outstanding football players and Poyer is a very good player too. They have also added significant depth this offseason with Kevin Johnson and EJ Gaines. Plus Wallace in year two... that unit could be even better - despite the lack of rush. Because they are really talented and really well coached. That is a cause for optimism. 

 

At linebacker I think what Milano has put on tape in the NFL through two seasons would suggest he is better than "above average". If I have a concern about that unit it remains Edmunds's ability to master the fundamentals. I know he can do the spectacular I need to see more of the routine. But the talent level of those two alone is a reason for optimism. 

 

And let's say, for argument sake, that with mainly the same personal the defense is mainly the same as last year. Among the league leaders in pass defense, among the league leaders in yards and among the league leaders in yards per play and 3rd down. Even if it continues to not be as stout in the redzone as maybe it could and is middle of the pack in points it still comes down to me to Josh Allen. 

 

The Bills D was good enough in 6 wins last year. If they got good Quarterback play to support that they could win 9 or 10 games in my view without the defense needing to improve. 

 

So in short, I do see reason for optimism, both with the defense and for the Bills chances of being above .500 in 2019. But it comes down to Josh Allen. If he does not take a step this team wins 5 or 6 games again and the pressure on the regime would be immense. I am not sure in that scenario they survive. 

 

 

That's fair and that's pretty much my position, except that I think you're overrating the impact of a stellar secondary w/o the associated pass-rush.  Other than that, and particularly in that this team, including McBeane, goes as Allen goes we're in full agreement.  

 

But as to the optimism, I guess I have as much optimism to hope for the same as last season on D, but no more, again, pending Oliver where we disagree, but that's a sizeable disagreement with you and others expecting greatness while I'm expecting Phillips to outplay Oliver.  

 

All we can do is wait and hope that Allen steps up as such and that I'm completely wrong on Oliver.  :) 

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7 hours ago, ScottLaw said:

This year is all about how much Allen improves..... or doesn't. It will be the deciding factor on if they are a playoff team or a another subpar one. I was hoping they'd do more to ensure that with additions at the reciever position.  

 

Even if the defense regresses a little bit but Allen takes a big step forward, they'll be fine. It's all about the QB..... my concern with the defense was their inability to stop the run at time last season.'

 

Jacksonville and NE ran the ball at will on them late in the year. It was hard to watch. Hopefully Edmunds and Harrison improve, Star has a better year and Milano comes back healthy. 

 

Yeah, again, agree on Allen. 

 

My big problem with the D is that they played very well against below-average teams while it didn't play well against above-average teams, it was anything but consistent.  Granted, better teams are more difficult to play against, but if a D is really that good then it'll play consistently all season long, which we did not do.  

 

As an example, we were #2 in yardage D and the Ravens were #1.  Yet, we were 18th in scoring D, which is more important, while they were 2nd in scoring.  The Bears were 3rd in yardage D and 1st in scoring D.  Both the Ravens and Bears were consistent, we were not.  

 

We allowed 20+ points in 11 games, the Ravens in 8 games, and the Bears in 6 games.  

 

No need to throw out stats, our pass D was better than the Bears or Ravens pass Ds.  

 

But our rushing D was nowhere near as good.  We allowed over 200 yards three times, neither the Bears or Ravens allowed a 200 yard rushing game.  we held opponents to under 100 rushing 8 times, the Ravens held teams to under 100 rushing in 11 of 17 games, the Bears in 13 of 17 games.  

 

The Bear rushing D was ranked 1st in yards, the Ravens 4th, us 16th.  

In yards-per-carry allowed, Ravens 3rd, Bears 4th, us 10th.  

In rushing TDs allowed, Bears 1st, Ravens 6th, us 25th.  

 

That's the problem with our D, it's weak up front.  That's why we were 6-10 and the Ravens were 10-6 and Chicago 12-4.  Neither team had a great passing O.  Bears 21st, Ravens 22nd.  In rushing O Ravens were 2nd, we were 9th, Bears were 11th.  So it wasn't their offenses that carried them much more than ours didn't.  It was their Ds, which again, were far more consistent.  

 

It all stems from the DL/Front-7.  The effect of a great secondary w/o the associated pressure up front is grossly overrated.  

 

The thing is that even in today's NFL rushing yards on a yard-for-yard basis are more valuable than passing yards, easily.  So despite the notion that it's passing that generates today's higher scoring games, teams that can run on you have a better chance of winning if they do.  It was true with all three teams.  Of the 6 games in which we allowed the most rushing yards we lost 5 of them, we beat Jax who sucked otherwise on offense.  Same for the Ravens, 5 of their worst 6, they beat Denver, who also sucked otherwise on offense.  In the Bears worst 4 they lost 3 and beat Detroit, also not good on offense otherwise last season.  

 

Here's the big difference between us and them, in the aforementioned games, we averaged 163 rushing against us, the Ravens averaged 123 against them, and the Bears averaged 129.  That's an enormous difference and in the other games the Ravens averaged 61.4, the Bears 61.6, us 75.3.  

 

Again, that's due to the lack of a solid DL, which is a more significant issue than most care to prefer it to be.  

 

Obviously wins/losses are more complex than merely one thing, but that's a big thing that contributed to the differences between us and those teams.  Offensively there were similarities as all three QBs ran significantly.  

 

In short, one needs to be able to shut down an opponent's passing game, which we were only able to do essentially against poor passing teams.  The only teams that we held below average passing yards that didn't run the ball down our throats (Indy 220, Pats 273) were below-average passing teams.  We cannot say the same thing about the Bears and Ravens who both held several top passing teams to well below-average passing yards w/o allowing bookoo rushing yards.  

 

Again, that can all be attributed tthe respective DLs.  

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, Ronin said:

except that I think you're overrating the impact of a stellar secondary w/o the associated pass-rush.  

 

I don't think I am overrating it. I am saying the evidence from the tape over the past two years is that this is a secondary that can excel even without much front 4 pressure. That, I agree, is a rare thing but it has been the case and has helped us to wins both years including the 2017 playoff seasons where on 3 separate occasions the Bills basically won games on turnovers forced by the defensive backfield on opposing teams' final drive. We still need to improve the defensive line - of that there is no doubt. We disagree on Oliver, that's fine, but we agree we still need edge rush and better play out of our NT than we got out of Star last year. But I'm basing my view on what this secondary can do without associated pass rush on what they have already done without associated pass rush. And that is be one of the top defenses against the pass in the NFL. 

Edited by GunnerBill

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1 hour ago, GunnerBill said:

I don't think I am overrating it. I am saying the evidence from the tape over the past two years is that this is a secondary that can excel even without much front 4 pressure. That, I agree, is a rare thing but it has been the case and has helped us to wins both years including the 2017 playoff seasons where on 3 separate occasions the Bills basically won games on turnovers forced by the defensive backfield on opposing teams' final drive. We still need to improve the defensive line - of that there is no doubt. We disagree on Oliver, that's fine, but we agree we still need edge rush and better play out of our NT than we got out of Star last year. But I'm basing my view on what this secondary can do without associated pass rush on what they have already done without associated pass rush. And that is be one of the top defenses against the pass in the NFL. 

 

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.  

 

 

Edited by Ronin

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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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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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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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