Lyle B. Style

Pederson - the hinky voice of the Saskatchewan Riders dropped some big poo bombs on Frothin' Jim Toth and the rest of the TSN 1290 a.m. show today.

First, he said he had to leave the festivities at Wpg's convention centre early as bomber fans were tormenting him to no end. Good on Wpg fans. Physical threats are their specialty (Lyle Bauer followers, I assume)

Then when asked for a prediction on the season - he rated the Riders as a 13 win team (Note: he always picks the riders to win out)

But he said the bombes would finish 5th. QUITE THE SHOCKER!!!

Obviously if Matty Nichols gets damaged Bombers are a lock for 5th - especially if it happens in the first half the season.

But the holes not dealt with by Walters are the primary concern.

Key issues for bombers:

1. Thin depth in almost every area other than o-line
2. No real proven backup QB (2nd year in a row)
3. Worst defensive coordinator in CFL
4. Unproven tactical head coach (shaky in many situations would be kind)
5. Weak to mediocre southern scouting
6. Traditionally poor draft record

Other than that they're fine. Should still have 18,500 to 19,750 season ticket holders (aka lemmings). Most games should house 25,000 to 27,500 at beginning of game - 10,000 to 12,500 by mid fourth quarter.
WAITING FOR A  MIRACLE - 28 YEARS, COUNTING!

joe

Pederson - the hinky voice of the Saskatchewan Riders dropped some big poo bombs on Frothin' Jim Toth and the rest of the TSN 1290 a.m. show today.

First, he said he had to leave the festivities at Wpg's convention centre early as bomber fans were tormenting him to no end. Good on Wpg fans. Physical threats are their specialty (Lyle Bauer followers, I assume)

Then when asked for a prediction on the season - he rated the Riders as a 13 win team (Note: he always picks the riders to win out)

But he said the bombes would finish 5th. QUITE THE SHOCKER!!!

Obviously if Matty Nichols gets damaged Bombers are a lock for 5th - especially if it happens in the first half the season.

But the holes not dealt with by Walters are the primary concern.

Key issues for bombers:

1. Thin depth in almost every area other than o-line
2. No real proven backup QB (2nd year in a row)
3. Worst defensive coordinator in CFL
4. Unproven tactical head coach (shaky in many situations would be kind)
5. Weak to mediocre southern scouting
6. Traditionally poor draft record

Other than that they're fine. Should still have 18,500 to 19,750 season ticket holders (aka lemmings). Most games should house 25,000 to 27,500 at beginning of game - 10,000 to 12,500 by mid fourth quarter.
Pederson may have last laugh the way things are going. 

John Ojo @ 6'2 vs Gaitor or Clarke @ 5'9 says it all. Collaros returning to form is the only question.

Don't see the Riders winning the cup but think they finish ahead of the Bombers given what we know today.

Lyle B. Style

Pederslump is the homer of all homers - he instantly imbeds himself in whoever occupies the GM or head coach spot with the riders. Had a few problems initially imbedding with Chris Jones but finally broke thru the anal crust.

He'd tout the riders for the Grey Cup if they had Max Hall & TJ Rubley quarterbacking with Benji Dial on the clipboard.

Bombers hoping against hope at this stage of proceedings!

papazoola

....Didn't Pedersen pick the green gang to finish in first place last year....The guy has green pom poms as a continual part of his dress code....I think his first mission is to dump on the Bomber organization anyway he can...Never did get over Milt calling Regina the armpit of North America or Troy Westwood calling them a bunch of in breds...Pedersen does a good job of confirming Milt and Troy's comments  
...one of the most integral parts overlooked in conversation....is to hear what\'s NOT being said....Anonymous

depopulationINC

Pederson - the hinky voice of the Saskatchewan Riders dropped some big poo bombs on Frothin' Jim Toth and the rest of the TSN 1290 a.m. show today.

First, he said he had to leave the festivities at Wpg's convention centre early as bomber fans were tormenting him to no end. Good on Wpg fans. Physical threats are their specialty (Lyle Bauer followers, I assume)

Then when asked for a prediction on the season - he rated the Riders as a 13 win team (Note: he always picks the riders to win out)

But he said the bombes would finish 5th. QUITE THE SHOCKER!!!

Obviously if Matty Nichols gets damaged Bombers are a lock for 5th - especially if it happens in the first half the season.

But the holes not dealt with by Walters are the primary concern.

Key issues for bombers:

1. Thin depth in almost every area other than o-line
2. No real proven backup QB (2nd year in a row)
3. Worst defensive coordinator in CFL
4. Unproven tactical head coach (shaky in many situations would be kind)
5. Weak to mediocre southern scouting
6. Traditionally poor draft record

Other than that they're fine. Should still have 18,500 to 19,750 season ticket holders (aka lemmings). Most games should house 25,000 to 27,500 at beginning of game - 10,000 to 12,500 by mid fourth quarter.
Pederson is about the furthest thing from a reporter as possible while being a member of the media lol...he is a glorified team booster.

The CFL week was fantastic.  It was great last year and it was great this year.  Thy are really still tweeking the formulas on this...but I think it is a fantastic tool for the league.  What is great is that they can look outside of cities that have a CFL team for something like this in time.  

Anyways...like many recent years, the West is going to be tough to make bold predictions in.  I have heard a fair amount of people say the Bombers could finish 5th...sure...they "could" but I see no reason why that is likely.  I have seen many predict the Stamps will finish 3rd or 4th...same goes there.

IMO the Riders are improved over 2017...so is 13 wins outlandish when they had 10 in 2017?  Not horribly.  Their question marks really are LT and MLB.  I don't see a lot of massive gaps there other than will Collaros return to form of a couple seasons ago.  Obviously that is a huge deal if he doesn't approach that...if I had to bet I would bet on him....and they do have some competence behind him in Bridge at least.  

As for the Bombers...I think that an already great O is going to be even better...but I would be concerned on the OL. Weird stat from last season...the Bombers gave up the least pressures in the CFL in 2017, but were middle of the road in sacks.  they gave up 0.535 sacks per pressure.  here is the breakdown across the league:

edm-0.216
ham-0.279
tor-0.307
bc-0.348
ott-0.379
cgy-0.385
mtl-0.433
ssk-0.512
wpg-0.535

I found this a very interesting stat...it is one of the stats I started trending a bit more last season and is something I will be watching a lot closer this year.  I look at Toronto...they gave up 40 sacks, 130 pressures....both high numbers and both in 6th place.  But look at the ratio of .307...Ray was good at getting rid of the ball, despite 40 sacks...shows a poor OL.  Bombers gave up only 71 pressures but piles of sacks in comparison.  Now this is a new way of looking at stats for me, so I admit I don't have my head wrapped around it fully, but to me it would appear the OL played very well, but Nicholls was poor at getting rid of the ball under pressure.  Now...conversely, it could mean that they designed a lot of plays around having a very quick dump option (and there was, admittedly, a lot of that with Harris) and they simply never got pressures on them because of that.  Like I said, it is a new way of looking at this for me, but it is a flag.

Now I look at someone like Reilly...we know he is elusive and that ratio supports that.  Glenn is immobile as F and he is at the bottom as well.

So...if (I stress if) there is some truth to how I am starting to look at this, then it would indicate that the OL needs to improve because the stat indicate he is struggling under pressure.  Has the Bomber OL improved?  The only change I can think of is Bond out and nobody in.  Bond was a beast at LG (we will see if he can indeed translate that to OT...we know he can push around better than anyone, but that is not an OT job) and he really seemed to stabilize the OL for the Bombers.  You indicate that the OL has good depth...my question is who?  

Chungh, Couture and Goosen are the only nationals I would want to see play...Neufeld IMO is a liability, Spooner and Speller...have they ever taken a rep yet?  They might be great, but that is a huge question mark thus far.  Am I missing a name (honest question)?

Internationals...Bryant is a stud.  Hardrick I have some issues with...I have talked about those here in the past and you seem to agree.  I don't recall what Foketi looked like other than I know that the bit he played in 2016 motivated them to keep looking.  

So...I see 3 nationals that can start and nothing at all proven for backups...other than Patty, who I see as a liability.  I see Bryant for an international (and a solid one), a backup who was not viewed as good enough 2 years ago, and Hardrick the headcase.   and out is arguably the best OL they had last season.

If my still needing some more time stat holds any weight, they have at best stayed in place on the OL when they need to be upping it.  Now if either Spooner or Speller pan out this season...hey, laughing (and I think Spooner just might).  



As for backup QB...I don't see Durant as a bad backup....He was in a crap situation last year and looked horrible, but I don't think many would have looked good there.  You could have a whole pile worse of a backup, and if he plays at all to potential give you a chance when he comes in.  No, not building for the future, but he can by all means play a few seasons in that role.  I wouldn't be overly concerned there for 2018 anyways...this gives them development time with someone else.



oh...If I had to bet on 5th place...BC.  Only because it is changing of the guard and they sat their last season...so it makes sense.  Should be an intense west.




Additional info...to add, Nichols had the lowest pressures applied to him in the league in 2017 at 15% and had 64 pressures and 32 sacks.  IMO teams applied less pressure on him largely due the the average receiver height of the Bombers.  I think teams wanted them to throw into the size advantage to the D hoping to get tight coverage and winning out those balls...the Bombers have improved in size a lot with Bowmann and now Adams stepping up and becoming a premier guy, so some of that might change.  I know that TSN has a stats guy who actually tracks completions, average yards per completions, thrown into coverage, thrown away, lame ducks, etc for QBs under pressure...would love to see those stats.

Lyle B. Style

Superb, learned commentary by Depop - thanks for it . . . .

The sacks per pressure ratio is fascinating.

Major (obvious) reason is that Nichols, like most CFL QBs (excepting perhaps Collaros) likes to retain the ball til last possible micro-second.

Guys like Collaros dump the ball early, thereby risking picks but avoiding bone-crunching sacks.

A sluggish guy like Nichols has a bit more hero complex - so he'll hold and eat when he sees no receivers materializing - he doesn't have a great step-up move (he's average actually) to avoid pressure - SO HE'LL TAKE A CLEAN SACK EVERY TIME VS. STARTING A RAMBLE WHICH CAN ULTIMATELY RESULT IN SLOPPY OR AWKWARD TACKLES THAT CAN DAMAGE THE BOMBERS PRIMARY ASSET.

NOTE: A guy like Durant (only thing I disagreed vehemently with Depop on) will also hold the ball til hell freezes over - BUT because Durant might be the physically strongest QB north of the border - he'll stay upright longer, use some escape moves but get tackled unexpectedly or awkwardly at poor angles that cause damage (see his injury record, it ain't pretty)

papazoola

......Riders are predicating a lot of this years success on Collaros...IF he returns to the form he showed before that bad injury he received, then I'd say maybe Pedersen has a shred of credibility...There's no guarantees he will and if he stumbles back into the rut that caused his demise in Ham....then all bets are off on rider's being any better than last years crossover..Matter of fact the Leo's will push them for that spot...Bridge is Bridge....not great...not bad and in the mediocre category......As for the rest of the West....this is going to be one heckuva dog fight right out of the gate AND I certainly like our chances

depopulationINC

Superb, learned commentary by Depop - thanks for it . . . .

The sacks per pressure ratio is fascinating.

Major (obvious) reason is that Nichols, like most CFL QBs (excepting perhaps Collaros) likes to retain the ball til last possible micro-second.

Guys like Collaros dump the ball early, thereby risking picks but avoiding bone-crunching sacks.

A sluggish guy like Nichols has a bit more hero complex - so he'll hold and eat when he sees no receivers materializing - he doesn't have a great step-up move (he's average actually) to avoid pressure - SO HE'LL TAKE A CLEAN SACK EVERY TIME VS. STARTING A RAMBLE WHICH CAN ULTIMATELY RESULT IN SLOPPY OR AWKWARD TACKLES THAT CAN DAMAGE THE BOMBERS PRIMARY ASSET.

NOTE: A guy like Durant (only thing I disagreed vehemently with Depop on) will also hold the ball til hell freezes over - BUT because Durant might be the physically strongest QB north of the border - he'll stay upright longer, use some escape moves but get tackled unexpectedly or awkwardly at poor angles that cause damage (see his injury record, it ain't pretty)
It is an interesting stat, and I think really makes you look at each QB and OL a little differently.  With Collaros many, including myself, have said he is a younger improved version of Glenn with much better mobility...that is the 'trestman O' thing that so many run now, so plays into it well for the green guys. I think what you say about Nichols plays pretty well into that statline and falls in line with how I was looking at it...seeing a stat pop at you just kinda puts a quantitative reality on a qualitative observation that we have all head...it is a bit of a measuring stick.  Stats can lie very easily...you need the qualitative analysis behind it all, but things like this can help draw attention to things...there is too much there to observe it all with the eye unless you have something to measure it with.  

When one on focuses on passing plays of 20+ yards down field (ball in air) with the pressures allowed and the OL grading on those plays in 2017
- Montreal's OL actually ranked #1 on long plays, Bombers was #4
- grading goes Montreal, Saskatchewan, Calgary, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Toronto, Hamilton, BC...BC was worst by a lot).  Montreal?  IKR...crazy...wholdathunkit
- The BC Lions (Jennings) had hands down the worst OL on those plays, yet Jennings had the highest accuracy (catchable balls).  
- Actual completion percentages, Durant was #1...I know, mind blown, (which is why I say he may be a good fit) while Nichols was 9th.  
- If you do a breakdown of "catchable passes" on the 20+ plays vs "caught balls" Ray was at 91.8%, Durant was at 90.1%...they made good decisions on deep balls when they weren't being sacked lol. Harris was at 77.6, Reilly 72.7, Jennings 66.1, Glenn 65.6, BLM 58.5, Nichols 50.2, Collaros 41.9.  This shows a combination of WRs "making it happen" and QBs making good passes deep.


Aaaaanyways....I took these numbers and put them to work

RR1.35
DD1.58
JJ1.64
MR1.65
TH1.66
KG2.50
BM2.66
MN3.35
ZC3.65

This was the rating on longballs based on positive protection from the OL.  I rend to not look at Collaros too much, because that was really 2 different teams last season...I never ran the numbers on Massoli. I also did have numbers on Lulay, but have apparently deleted them...I can say he scored I think a 2.2 or something like that.  I look at this as a stat that is "taking advantage of good blocking" and a high number is bad.

Idunno...I run some weird stats for hahas...but it is another stat that shows Nichols under performing on deep balls...somewhere you usually get more pressure.  They need to keep him clean....every team needs to keep their QB clean, but it shows that it is perhaps more important for him.  If he can improve on that (moving pocket, improving accuracy on deep balls), this will be a damned good team...he has only been the starter for about 1.5 years...no reason to think he can't and this would be about when he would take that step progression wise.  He has shown he is a tough mofo and not afraid to take the hit...I would speculate he might take that step, but based on OL last year, right now it is at best equal to last year and more likely not as strong....so it should be a concern and the very strong focal point of the QB coach should be on deeper stuff, not stuff underneath.

depopulationINC

......Riders are predicating a lot of this years success on Collaros...IF he returns to the form he showed before that bad injury he received, then I'd say maybe Pedersen has a shred of credibility...There's no guarantees he will and if he stumbles back into the rut that caused his demise in Ham....then all bets are off on rider's being any better than last years crossover..Matter of fact the Leo's will push them for that spot...Bridge is Bridge....not great...not bad and in the mediocre category......As for the rest of the West....this is going to be one heckuva dog fight right out of the gate AND I certainly like our chances
Absolutely.  I view the likelihood of his return to form as a lot to bank on and really not much better than a coin flip.  dubbing a team as a 13 win team on the back of a QB that hasn't won a game in 1.5 years (no matter the circumstances) is a bit crazy to me.  That said...I don't think it was him who caused the rut in Hamilton.  There is a reason Austin fired himself.

IMO the top 3 teams on paper are Stamps, Bombers, Riders.  I think the Esks have fallen some....and they already had last season.

I think anyone who watches knows what Zach can do....time will tell if he achieves that.  Thing is that I don't see them as needing a lights out QB to be successful.

pw13



As for the Bombers...I think that an already great O is going to be even better...but I would be concerned on the OL. Weird stat from last season...the Bombers gave up the least pressures in the CFL in 2017, but were middle of the road in sacks.  they gave up 0.535 sacks per pressure.  here is the breakdown across the league:

edm-0.216
ham-0.279
tor-0.307
bc-0.348
ott-0.379
cgy-0.385
mtl-0.433
ssk-0.512
wpg-0.535

I found this a very interesting stat...it is one of the stats I started trending a bit more last season and is something I will be watching a lot closer this year.  I look at Toronto...they gave up 40 sacks, 130 pressures....both high numbers and both in 6th place.  But look at the ratio of .307...Ray was good at getting rid of the ball, despite 40 sacks...shows a poor OL.  Bombers gave up only 71 pressures but piles of sacks in comparison.  Now this is a new way of looking at stats for me, so I admit I don't have my head wrapped around it fully, but to me it would appear the OL played very well, but Nicholls was poor at getting rid of the ball under pressure.  Now...conversely, it could mean that they designed a lot of plays around having a very quick dump option (and there was, admittedly, a lot of that with Harris) and they simply never got pressures on them because of that.  Like I said, it is a new way of looking at this for me, but it is a flag.

Now I look at someone like Reilly...we know he is elusive and that ratio supports that.  Glenn is immobile as F and he is at the bottom as well.

Really interesting stat, thanks for posting it.

joe

Good analysis and discussion. 

My opinion is it is difficult to compare individual components without looking at the overall system they are deployed in. Falls into spin doctor country very quickly.

The plan in BC appeared to be  one of put it up and see what happens. Many passes of over 20 yards and the resulting desperation of having to try more plays over 20 yards just to make up for the ones that did not work. Longer routes take more time to develop putting more pressure on the o line and qb creating a host of finger pointing opportunity about who is not doing their job.

Bomber plan is a shot gun snap and immediate 3 yard toss to Harris or if the defence was cheating too much second read a similar under 5 yard pass to Dressler and done. Bomber system makes Matt Nichols and the o line look good. Put Nichols in BC where he needs to buy his receivers time to run the route and he is in trouble. Durant might be better suited for that app.

Also thinking Bond leaving is a bigger issue than people are making of it and he will be missed. Couture stepping up to fill that hole would be a miracle. Neufeld playing 18 games seems wishful thinking. Bond made both Stanley Bryant and Matt Goossen better at their jobs by not having to worry about his. He will be good for Sask as well and is one area where they improved and we did not.

Saw where Andrew Harris says he will not be getting the ball as much in 2018 and wonder about the new look. 

The Bowman signing seemed like a new beginning at the time that has evolved back to the same old cone of silence let us worry about the football team and our salaries and you just buy a ticket and a $20 beer and a hot dog and enjoy.

I am less optimistic at this time than earlier.  





depopulationINC

Good analysis and discussion.

My opinion is it is difficult to compare individual components without looking at the overall system they are deployed in. Falls into spin doctor country very quickly.

The plan in BC appeared to be  one of put it up and see what happens. Many passes of over 20 yards and the resulting desperation of having to try more plays over 20 yards just to make up for the ones that did not work. Longer routes take more time to develop putting more pressure on the o line and qb creating a host of finger pointing opportunity about who is not doing their job.

Bomber plan is a shot gun snap and immediate 3 yard toss to Harris or if the defence was cheating too much second read a similar under 5 yard pass to Dressler and done. Bomber system makes Matt Nichols and the o line look good. Put Nichols in BC where he needs to buy his receivers time to run the route and he is in trouble. Durant might be better suited for that app.

Also thinking Bond leaving is a bigger issue than people are making of it and he will be missed. Couture stepping up to fill that hole would be a miracle. Neufeld playing 18 games seems wishful thinking. Bond made both Stanley Bryant and Matt Goossen better at their jobs by not having to worry about his. He will be good for Sask as well and is one area where they improved and we did not.

Saw where Andrew Harris says he will not be getting the ball as much in 2018 and wonder about the new look.

The Bowman signing seemed like a new beginning at the time that has evolved back to the same old cone of silence let us worry about the football team and our salaries and you just buy a ticket and a $20 beer and a hot dog and enjoy.

I am less optimistic at this time than earlier.

Yep...Like I said, you need to put qualitative data to the numbers...it just gives you a tool to see stuff to watch as it is tough to take it all in unless you are some coach or something who is actually doing hours upon hours of film breakdown...even then, it is pretty easy to lose yourself in qualitative data so you still need measuring sticks.

And yes, BC had 148 20+ attempts, next closest was Bombers at 15 less (133), then the Esks, a couple below that (131).  Montreal was the lowest (by 20) at 64.  This is exactly why these stats are so good...Bombers had the second most deep shots in the league (20+)...and I will be perfectly honest, w/o the stats I would assume the same you have based just on recollection...I even touched on this mentioning the short plays to Harris.  Why do we feel like the Bombers run a much lower number of deep balls?  A couple reasons likely...they had a good season so it is easy to ignore, especially as their O was very potent.  The other is success rate, or lack there of...Remember that Matt Nichols was at the bottom of the league on completion rate on those...but that gets overlooked because of the wins and overall success of the O.  This is exactly why you can not generally trust in qualitative data / observations alone over the course of a season.  I recall at about midpoint of the season that Nichols actually lead the league by a fair margin on 20+ attempts, so things did seem to tighten up as things moved along.

Agreed on Bond...I recall there was a stat that got released at some point after the season that over 2 seasons of play that there were only 3 starting OL that had given up fewer pressures in 2017 than that two year total.  WOW.  TWO seasons and he gave up fewer pressures than almost everyone in one!!!  That is amazing.  Of course you generally want a national at OG...but yeah, he has been hands down the best OG in the league....we will see if that translates to tackle.


OH...what was the difference between BC and Winnipeg for those 20+ plays?  Well, as I already laid out...BC's accuracy was 20% lower or whatever (airballs, like you say), yet their completion percentage was 19% higher...go figure.  Nichols had a horrid time actually completing deep balls in 2017.  Also factors...BC's OL was horrendous.  Like just terrible.  Beyond that, Nichols had the 2nd least amount of pass rushers to face on average over the season (Montreal's QBs were very slightly lower)...BC's combo had the 2nd most to face (Sask's combo had the most, actually by a shockingly large margin...like 4.79 per pass vs BC's 4.58 per pass...to put it in Perspective, the least rushed was 4.12, so 2nd most to least is a difference of 0.46 bodies, yet 2nd to 1st is a 0.21 difference...pretty staggering.)  As I said before...I think that teams looked to take advantage of size in the secondary against the Bombers (makes sense, and something they should be much improved on for 2018..) thus there was less pressure...I think many teams also kinda said F it when facing that left side with Bond and focused elsewhere with manpower.

joe

Good stuff Depop. Any chance you are Derek Taylor?

Seems logical that less pressure would encourage longer attempts. Would be interesting to know what % of Nichols low completion rate was on him vs the receiver. I know Darvin made all star somehow but he had a few drops along the way. Nichols is a gamer but only an average QB imo.

Wondering about the injury to the hand as well and the snowball from that. Passes got shorter.Maybe on a team with a back up Nichols sits out and could be one of the reasons they signed DD.

What gets me is only last year they dump the veteran insurance policy proclaiming Dom Davis as the man only to turn around and acquire a more controversial veteran insurance at what I am guessing is a higher price for this year. I will be surprised if a 2 quarterback system is used although I think it could work well. Just not the way MOS is wired.

Seems the boys have no clue imo and are truly flying by the seat of their pants. Hopefully 2018 brings a resolution one way or the other. Definition of insanity applies, again imo.

joe

Reading back I see you have it all. If I interpret your numbers correctly incomplete passes are on Nichols 50% of the time on the over 20's vs Ricky Ray at 10%. Seems about right. Makes Nichols look overpaid imo.

Would add that running the plays to Harris and the expectation of more of the same would have to draw the defence closer to the line perhaps opening up the 20+ yard pass. Should bode well for Adarius Bowman if Nichols can improve his accuracy.

No numbers to back it up. Pure unproven theory.

Dilly, dilly

depopulationINC

Reading back I see you have it all. If I interpret your numbers correctly incomplete passes are on Nichols 50% of the time on the over 20's vs Ricky Ray at 10%. Seems about right. Makes Nichols look overpaid imo.

Would add that running the plays to Harris and the expectation of more of the same would have to draw the defence closer to the line perhaps opening up the 20+ yard pass. Should bode well for Adarius Bowman if Nichols can improve his accuracy.

No numbers to back it up. Pure unproven theory.

Dilly, dilly

w/o looking back...Ray was at about 60% completion with 66% accuracy or something like that.  Nichols was something like 26% and 52%.  "accuracy" is subjective.  It is a stat based on judgment.  It does not, obviously, mean that 26% of the Bomber deep balls were dropped.  They could have been defended or they could have been within an area....most try to say 'about 3 yards' when they call it "accurate" but my numbers are all from the same source so should be reasonably consistent in judgement. 

I wouldn't say it is necessarily that he is overpaid...I think he is about where he should be.  He was a leader in 20+ attempts, and it is only one aspect of his game...he also suffered from Ds anticipating it some and a shorter set of targets, which doesn't help...teams rushed him least in the league...that means he is throwing into more coverage than anyone.  Adams is now established, Bowman is a big add...and IMO they have some good guys in the system.  I think L Washington has a lot of promise and a nice frame.  Unfortunately, Coates will probably see less action this year, which is a shame as he seemed to be developing into a good situational guy who could take legit reps. 

And yes...agreed on drawing Ds in.  They did that last year as well, and those 8-15 yard passes is where Nichols earned his pay...he is extremely accurate on those and throws them with a lot of confidence.  That is part of the willingness to toss some of those balls down field knowing that most won't do anything...it opens up stuff for a talented backfield.  It is the same principle that drives many people nuts with a lot of teams...run plays right up the gut that go nowhere...purpose isn't the yards, it is drawing the LBs in.
 


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