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On whether it's worthwhile to tank for a QB

Discussion in 'Miami Dolphins Forum' started by DolphinGreg, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. DolphinGreg

    DolphinGreg Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    There’s been a lot of talk recently about whether or not it’s really necessary to tank in order to get a quality QB. After last Sunday’s crushing defeat and the perspective that seemed to provide as to just how much we’re going to struggle this year, I know a lot of people are concerned that being THIS BAD just isn’t worth it.

    People throw out names like Mahomes and Watson who were taken in the same draft at #10 and #12, respectively. People cite mid-rounders like Kirk Cousins, Russell Wilson and Dak Prescott as evidence that you can still nab guys later in the draft who can play well enough to earn large contracts. Of course, one could also cite examples of guys like Joe Flacco, Andy Dalton and Derek Carr as QBs taken outside the top-15 that produced quality play for their teams, too.

    TBH, that’s all well and good. I get it. Maybe there are quality options outside the top picks in the draft? Maybe tanking isn’t necessary? Maybe that’s going over-board?

    Well, if that didn’t convince you. Here’s an even scarier argument! Take a look at some of the busts that’ve been taken highly. There are a slew of guys who are recent picks but who played so badly you barely remember they came out.

    I went all the way back to 2008 and counted 28 QBs taken in R1. Here’s how they look by draft position:

    1 – Stafford / Bradford / Newton / Luck / Winston / Goff / Mayfield / Murray
    2 – Griffin / Mariota / Wentz / Trubisky
    3 – Ryan / Bortles / Darnold
    4
    5 – Sanchez
    6 – Jones
    7 – Allen
    8 – Locker / Tannehill
    9
    10 – Gabbert / Mahomes / Rosen
    11
    12 – Ponder / Watson
    13
    14
    15 – Haskins
    16 – Manuel
    17 – Freeman
    18 – Flacco
    19
    20
    21
    22 – Weeden / Manziel
    23
    24
    25 – Tebow
    26 – Lynch
    27
    28
    29
    30
    31
    32 – Bridgewater / Jackson


    Just look at some of those names. Some were so bad you barely remember them playing: Christian Ponder, Jake Locker, EJ Manuel, Brandon Weeden, etc. You literally only remember these guys BECAUSE of posts like the one I’m making now that bring their names back into your brain.

    Then there are those guys who just make you cringe: Tim Tebow, Mark Sanchez, Johnny Manziel, etc. Oof.

    Even then there are still guys who flat out sucked (Josh Freeman) as well as others who had issues that essentially turned them into journeyman (Griffin, Bradford, Bridgewater, etc.) And these are guys taken over the last 12 years! Just saying…that’s a lot of misses. That’s enough to scare me into questioning whether you should even drop a R1 pick on a QB!


    I’ve often said that the dominance of pocket passers in the mid-00’s is partially to blame for teams getting overly-excited about the QB position.

    There was a significant period there where you basically weren’t relevant as a franchise unless you had a Hall of Fame QB. There were at least 6 of those QBs all dueling it out: Brady, Manning, Roethlisberger, Rodgers, Rivers and Brees. You could also throw Kurt Warner into that mix as his time in Arizona gave that team an incredible offense that put them in the Super Bowl.

    Point being, those guys were setting records left and right and trading off Super Bowls one after the other:

    2003 – Brady
    2004 – Brady
    2005 – Roethlisberger
    2006 – P. Manning
    2007 – E. Manning (vs. Brady)
    2008 – Roethlisberger (vs. Warner)
    2009 – Brees (vs. P. Manning)
    2010 – Rodgers (vs. Roethlisberger)
    2011 – E. Manning (vs. Brady)

    After that ridiculous period of QB-dominance I would forgive someone if they came away thinking that success in the NFL was merely governed by who a team had at QB. For basically a decade straight it didn’t seem like you could win a Super Bowl unless you had one of those 7-8 guys.

    But as I just laid out, the last 12 years have been sort of ugly in terms of drafting QBs. A lot of guys have been elevated up into R1 that probably should never have been there.

    For the sake of fairness I’m going to ignore the last 2 drafts. We haven’t seen much from Mayfield, Darnold, Allen, Rosen, Jackson, Murray, Jones or Haskins. It’s not yet clear whether they’re hits or misses at this point. Let’s agree it’s too early to judge those guys at this moment.

    So for the guys with at least 200 passing attempts, here’s a quick list which I’ve sorted in order of career passer rating:

    >110:
    113 - Mahomes

    100-110:
    103 – Watson

    >95 - 100:

    >90 - 95:
    95 – Ryan
    95 – Goff
    93 – Wentz
    90 – Mariota
    90 – Luck

    >85 – 90:
    89 – Stafford
    89 – Griffin
    87 – Tannehill
    87 – Winston
    86 – Newton
    86 – Trubisky
    86 – Bridgewater

    >80 – 85:
    85 – Bradford
    84 – Flacco
    81 – Bortles

    <80:
    79 – Locker
    78 – Freeman
    77 – Manuel
    76 – Weeden
    76 – Ponder
    75 – Tebow
    74 – Manziel
    73 – Sanchez
    72 – Gabbert


    First thing to note is that the average passing rating is 85. That’s not far from the league average. It means that on average these R1 QBs can at least play NFL football even if they don’t light the world on fire.

    Second thing to note is that there are way more misses and duds than big-time hits. We talk about R1 QBs like they’re reliable upgrades but that’s not the case. Sure, a R1 guy has a better chance of being a star than a R5 pick—obviously—but to expect to get a good QB just because it’s R1 is naïve.

    Consider that our very own Ryan Tannehill ranks 10th on this list of 26 guys. Think about that. We ditched him because of lackluster performance and he was the 10th BEST GUY!!!

    Second thing to note is that there is no floor. Some of the busts are EPIC. And they’re all different. Some are injuries. Some are lack of ability. Some involve drugs and scandal. And that’s not saying anything about the punishment associated with just going to a bad team!


    But the real question is whether it’s worth it to tank in order to move from #15 down inside the top-5. That’s what people want to know. I’m not going to sway anyone from picking QB in R1 despite all the scary stuff I’ve just laid out:

    Yes, in the race to find the next Hall of Fame franchise QB a lot of guys got over-drafted.

    Yes, the odds of finding an elite QB in R1 are slim.

    Yes, the potential to draft someone who ends up a complete bust is real.

    But most of us still favor drafting a QB. The question is whether guys are right when they point to Watson and Mahomes and say, ‘you can get good QBs outside the top picks, too!’

    Is that really true or is it cherry-picking?



    Well, if I ignore the guys from the last couple drafts (as well as Lamar Jackson who has fewer than 200 passing attempts) and make a list of just the guys I would have preferred to have ended up with it would like this:

    Luck, Mahomes, Stafford, Newton, Goff, Wentz, Ryan, Watson

    Their average draft position is 3.6. So if you want to land someone who’s REALLY GOOD, you’d better have a top-3 pick.

    If I look at the average of the rest of the QBs who range from solid down to complete bust it comes to 11.9.

    For the record, the "rest" include these guys: Mariota, Griffin, Tannehill, Winston, Trubisky, Bridgewater, Bradford, Flacco, Bortles, Locker, Freeman, Manuel, Weeden, Ponder, Tebow, Manziel, Sanchez and Gabbert.

    I have left out Lamar Jackson and Paxton Lynch because of lack of playing time.


    Soooo, yeah. There you go.

    I think that if you want to maximize your chances of landing a true franchise guy you need to do better than the middle of R1. You really need to be amongst those very top picks.

    If I isolate the guys we’ve seen taken in the top-3 it looks like this:

    1 – Stafford / Bradford / Newton / Luck / Winston / Goff / Mayfield / Murray
    2 – Griffin / Mariota / Wentz / Trubisky
    3 – Ryan / Bortles / Darnold

    Here they are by career passer rating:

    95 – Ryan
    95 – Goff
    93 – Wentz
    90 – Mariota
    90 – Luck
    89 – Stafford
    89 – Griffin
    87 – Winston
    86 – Trubisky
    86 – Newton
    85 – Bradford
    81 – Bortles

    That’s a pretty tight group!

    The outlier is Blake Bortles and he’s still only at 81. The rest are basically as good or better than Ryan Tannehill who again, wasn’t terrible. And while the best guy (Mahomes) isn’t on that list, there are several who are capable of winning league MVP: Matt Ryan, Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, Cam Newton, and Andrew Luck.

    And that’s not even factoring in what Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray end up doing before it’s all said and done!

    I don’t know how this makes all of you feel but it’s REALLY comforting information to me. It makes me think that regardless of who we draft, we’re pretty sure to end up with a guy who can play. So barring injury issues like those of Sam Bradford for instance (which are rare) I think there’s a strong chance that what Miami’s doing will ultimately end up a relatively safe bet.

    So how badly did teams have to do to get up into the top-3 picks?

    Well, first off, it took the Colts going 2-14 to get Luck at #1. It took the Lions going 0-16 to get Stafford at #1. It took the Panthers going 2-14 to get Newton at #1. It took the Falcons going 4-12 to get Matt Ryan at #3. So for the teams that HIT it usually meant doing really badly.

    The exceptions would be Goff and Wentz. Both the Rams and Eagles went 7-9 and found ways to trade up into the #1 and #2 picks of the draft. But we'd be remiss if we didn't point out that was only possible because STUPID TEAMS like the Browns and Dolphins helped them make those trades!

    So just how badly does a team need to do in order to get into the top of the draft (excluding a trade)?

    Since 2008, the average team that earned the #1 spot won 1.4 games.
    Since 2008, the average team that earned the #2 spot won 2.0 games.
    Since 2008, the average team that earned the #3 spot won 2.5 games.

    So if you want to assure yourself a top pick, you had better have essentially the worst season in franchise history.


    The moral of the story is that when someone asks whether or not it’s worth it to be drafting inside the top-3 the answer is a resounding YES!

    Yes, it is definitely worth it given the outcomes we've seen over the last decade. HOWEVER, the price to be paid is steep. You need to be historically bad and flirt with disaster. The Browns and Lions both went 0-16 while the Dolphins went 1-15.

    But keep in mind that selecting amongst the top-3 not only increases your odds of finding a true franchise guy by a HUGE AMOUNT but it's also somewhat "safe" in that you probably aren't going to draft a bust like you might if you were picking between #10 and #32.

    So the next time the Dolphins get whooped and you find yourself on the fence, go back and read this post again.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
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  2. Surfs Up 99

    Surfs Up 99 Team Flores

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    Excellent write up! I enjoyed reading it! I just worry that Grier will take the Ryan Leaf of the class. I hope Tua is the clear favorite so he can’t screw it up.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
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  3. DolphinGreg

    DolphinGreg Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I'm not entirely sure Chris Grier (or Brian Flores) will end up being the ones charged with rebuilding this whole operation.

    With the reports we're hearing, Brian Flores and his staff are quickly losing respect. He may have lost the team by mid-way through the year. If that process were to happen wherein the players give up on Flores, there would be no going back.

    But more interestingly, Grier is assembling these picks and good on him for doing it. However, there's no guarantee that he's ultimately the one making them. It would be quite easy to lure in a more qualified GM candidate given that Miami will enter the next era with more draft / FA capitol than any other NFL team.

    Just food for thought.
     
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  4. danmarino

    danmarino Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Great write up!

    However, I disagree that Flores is losing the team or respect. I think the players are pissed off and they should be. However, this is the youngest team in the league. Most of these guys were in college a few short years ago and most of them came from decent programs. They are not used to losing so badly. The NFL is a big change and when you get kids without fully formed frontal lobes trying to turn chicken **** into chicken salad there will be some hiccups.

    I think Flores is too strong of a guy to not be able to handle the locker room. He has surrounded himself with some good veteran coaches.
     
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  5. DolphinGreg

    DolphinGreg Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Well, the reason you're not allowed to publicly admit that you're tanking is because your players won't stand for it. Not a single guy is going to go out there and play for you if you admit you aren't competing.

    Football is too dangerous and careers are too short. If you're a player you simply don't have time to put up with someone wasting a year of your career on a gamble. That's just not something you'll risk.

    And between not spending any money this off-season, releasing who we did, trading a couple of proven players and the debacle that was last Sunday's butt-whooping it's now official that the 2019 Miami Dolphins are tanking.

    I didn't believe it either. I made a lot of excuses and talked all off-season about how it was just part 1 of a long-term rebuild, but now I regret that. We truly are tanking and the entire world knows it.

    For that reason, we are getting strong reports (being confirmed by other reports) that multiple players are giving up and asking to be traded. I've seen teams go 0-16 that were bad, but I can't recall a time when after 1 game you had multiple guys asking to be entirely removed from the situation.

    This is unexplored territory for sure.

    That's a mutiny you have on your hands dude. I don't care how awesome Brian Flores is. Nobody can withstand a mutiny brought on by the realization that nothing you do matters. These players are concerned that their long-term value is getting diminished (and they may be right).
     
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  6. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    The need for either a QB that is great over his career or a QB that plays great in the year he won the SB has been a constant since 2003 up to the present day except for 2015 where we need to say Peyton was an exception because he played horrible that year. So it's not just the mid-00's where that was the case. You need a rare set of circumstances to unfold to win the SB without a QB that plays great that year.

    Otherwise.. just one word of caution: average passer rating from 2008-2018 went from 83.2 to 92.9 so there's an upward bias of career passer ratings for guys taken later, even in your 12 year period. Won't change your overall argument but it's important to not take those career ratings literally. Have to adjust by league average (just divide by that year's average and multiply by the target year's average).

    Here are some useful references:
    All QB's taken in the NFL draft: http://www.drafthistory.com/index.php/positions/qb
    League average passer rating: https://www.pro-football-reference.com/years/NFL/passing.htm
     
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  7. DolphinGreg

    DolphinGreg Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Thanks, dude!

    I'd be lying if I said I wasn't expecting you to chime in with that, haha. I didn't even attempt to start crunching league averages knowing you'd probably have the info ready to go.

    And while I agree that it takes a "special" year out of any QB to reach the Super Bowl (Matt Ryan's recent year would be a perfect example!) I still think it's somewhat undeniable that the continued success of certain franchises was viewed (during the 00's) as a sort of end goal.

    If we find our Peyton Manning...

    If we find our Tom Brady...

    If we find our _____ ...

    It just seems like back then that was ALL people cared about.

    Back then you were basically guaranteed a yearly Play-off spot if you had one of those "elite" QBs. I'm just not sure we can say the same about the Goff's and Wentz' of the world, you know? Those guys are not carrying bad defenses the way Rodgers, Brees and Peyton Manning.

    It was frustrating for everyone else back in the 00's. Now, it seems the league is less top-heavy. Not only have a ton of solid QBs come into the league but the current group just seems less dominated by a few elites and maybe less destined for the Hall of Fame, too. I truly can't say.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
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  8. DolphinGreg

    DolphinGreg Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    It's interesting that the league average passer rating was pretty consistent between 2008 and 2017. It varied between 83 and 89.

    Then all of a sudden last year it jumps all the way up to 93. That's pretty incredible.

    Still, it looks like throughout the last decade it was more or less always in the mid-to-high 80's (which was what I was assuming).
     
  9. Fishhead

    Fishhead New Member

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    Jim Caldwell would have been a big help to Flores in this situation, imo.
     
  10. The Guy

    The Guy Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Appreciate all the good work. The question for me is, what is the advantage of NOT tanking for the top pick, when a team has an inadequate quarterback and insufficient surrounding talent to compete at a high level?

    It could be the case that even though there is a decent chance of getting a great quarterback somewhere beyond the top few picks, there is also nothing significant to lose by tanking, over and above what will already be lost by virtue of having an inadequate quarterback and insufficient surrounding talent.

    And if that’s the case, then obviously the argument becomes maximizing your chances to obtain the top projected quarterback by tanking.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
  11. KeyFin

    KeyFin Well-Known Member

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    Here's the only problem I see with that- the top 2-3 quarterbacks in any draft bring a premium....regardless if they're deserving of a 1st round pick. Because the thought is that if you don't take them in the 1st then someone else surely will, even if you have a 3rd round draft grade on them. So I think a lot of folks reach when they shouldn't.

    But that wasn't the question- you asked if it's worth it to tank for that #1 overall QB in any given draft. Keep in mind that we could have had Lamar Jackson at 11 last season instead of Minkah and that's who our owner wanted us to draft there, so if he does in fact develop into a star QB...the answer is automatically NO. None of this tanking was necessary if we had properly evaluated the available QB's.

    Not that I don't like Minkah, mind you...that's a very good "safe" pick. My larger problem is that Grier went against the owner's advice because he couldn't see what Ross's friends saw.....and by friends I mean Dan Marino, Jim Harbaugh, etc. They liked Jackson and convinced Ross that he was the right pick if he was available.

    So now that we're giving up on 2019 and cruising into the 2020 draft with the #1 pick, we're trusting that same person to decide the fate of our entire franchise- what are the odds that he gets it right this time? Your math says "a very good chance in the top 3" but my common sense says, it depends on who declares. The best QB of the class could still be a complete bust if Tua doesn't declare...or Tua himself could be a bust. We just don't know and I already don't trust Grier making the final decision since he probably took the wrong person in the 1st round in the past 2 or 3 drafts.

    To answer your question- we have absolutely no idea if tanking is worth it or not. Maybe it gets us the perfect 15 year QB or maybe it yields nothing. I don't think the results from the past dozen years can tell us that since Grier has already made several critical mistakes in evaluating and handling talent. The much larger problem is how we're tanking though- we might have 15 to 20 NFL-caliber players on the roster at this time. We don't just need a quarterback anymore and that in itself is going to take years to fix.

    As your analysis showed, Tannehill was the 10th best overall QB pick in the past dozen years and we know he stunk with pressure. Would he have been 9th best overall or better if we actually protected him? Of course he would have. And maybe he's still not the guy even at that point, but right now we have NOTHING to protect that generational, game changing QB we plan to draft. We haven't put together a solid line in 15 years...but Grier is going to do it with 15 total picks?

    That's a massive problem all in itself and makes it much more likely that future QB will earn that "bust" label. Because let's face it, no GM has even been this stupid before when it comes to completely dismantling a team in hopes of landing one guy.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
  12. IdrA

    IdrA Rebuilding for Eternity.

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    After the trades we made, we have 4 first day picks, we can get Tua and the guys to protect him in one draft. So we get the top QB prospect of 2020 and revamp most of the OL in one offseason is worth the tank. It's not just the tank that is significant it is the draft picks we acquired.

    So if it's that or forever mediocrity, I'd rather go 0-16 and have a bright future (being actual contenders again) than to keep going 8-8, 9-7, 6-10 ad-nauseum.
     
  13. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    I know.. really amazing. It was the 2nd largest percent increase in passer rating ever with a 6.9% increase, only behind 1979 with its 8.31% increase. Thing is, what happened in 1978 is pretty clear: NFL instituted the illegal contact rule restricting contact to 5 yards, and they also allowed OL to extend their arms and open hands on pass plays. So the result in 1979 makes sense.

    But 2019?? Sure, they've constantly made the passing game easier, but there's nothing that stands out like in 1978. Anyway, it'll be interesting to see where average passer rating ends up this year. Personally, I'd like to see this persistent passer rating inflation go away and either keep things stable or make rule changes (or changes in interpretation of rules.. like offensive holding!!) that help the defense.
     
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  14. The_Dark_Knight

    The_Dark_Knight Defender of the Truth

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    Great write up and I do agree on qb drafts being a roll of the dice. There have been more busts that beauties in the time span you listed but something I truly feel gets lost in the talk of quarterbacks are coaches.

    Mahomes is a GREAT quarterback. I love watching that kid play but...who’s his head coach? Andy Reid, a GREAT coach in his own right.

    Brees has Payton
    Brady has Belichick
    Manning had Dungy
    Marino had Shula
    Montana had Walsh

    You get my point. The list could go on and on. GREAT quarterbacks have great coaches. We’ve had discussions so many times in missed opportunities for certain quarterbacks but in all honesty, does anyone truly think with the recent hot mess we’ve had for coaches here in Miami that Drew Brees or Andrew Luck would have prospered with the Dolphins?

    I like Flores. He’s a hard working dedicated coach whom players love but with the current track we’re on, the absence of Jim Caldwell hurts. I just truly hope he’s back in the picture come this off season other, B-Flo may very well be in over his head and we end up becoming the Detroit Lions if South Florida
     
  15. Surfs Up 99

    Surfs Up 99 Team Flores

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    I am still a little perturbed about us not drafting Jackson. I have supported Grier and I want him to succeed; however, I need to start facing the facts. He’s not very good. To make things worse, I believe he thinks he is better than he is. Ross will stick by him though and let him see his vision for the rebuild through. I hope I am wrong but unless he can learn how to properly scout players we will continue to be in a world of hurt. I fear we are sailing on a ship without a rudder.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019 at 4:32 AM
  16. DolphinGreg

    DolphinGreg Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    True and this "grade inflation" problem also starts seeping into how we evaluate QB's. I think it ultimately hurts all of us when *meh* guys like Tannehill grade out okay despite having obvious flaws.
     
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  17. The_Dark_Knight

    The_Dark_Knight Defender of the Truth

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    I have a sincere question and I’d like an HONEST well thought out answer...

    Is Tua really THAT great because he’s Tua it because he’s coach by one of the greatest college coaches in Nick Saban?

    Potential follow up question depending on responses
     
  18. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    I think it's often the case that great QB's have great coaches, but not always.

    Peyton is actually the best example where that wasn't the case. Peyton won the SB with Dungy, lost the SB with Caldwell, lost the SB with Fox and won the SB with Kubiak. And that was with 2 different teams. Furthermore, his stats were very good regardless of team and coach.

    And Aaron Rodgers is elite while McCarthy isn't. The Guy asked this very same question in a different thread and it's pertinent here.

    But yes you're right about the Dolphins not demonstrating they have the right coach (or GM or QB!).
     
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  19. DolphinGreg

    DolphinGreg Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Well, I'll give it to you with regard to some of those historically great coaches. I won't argue against Bill Belichick. I think he could build a solid team event without Brady. He spent years and years under Parcells. He had a whole career as an assistant that most guys would dream of having. He'd probably be a consistent Play-off guy even with a mediocre offense one he got things turned around as he was about to do in Cleveland. I think Walsh and Shula were historically significant in their hey-day, too, although I'm not so sure that being a once-great makes you a permanently great. I think having Marino gave a huge boost to Shula's career, especially in the 90's.

    But after that, IDK. Without Manning, does Dungy really have success in Indy? Were their defenses any good year-to-year? Not particularly. What about Sean Payton? Is there any reason to believe he'd be successful without Drew Brees. I can't think of any particular reason to make that argument. From a team standpoint they've always been reliant on Brees.

    So while I'm sympathetic, I still think it's safe to say that QB precedes HC in terms of importance.
     
  20. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    On that one I disagree though I can't given you a statistical argument because the way data in football databases are formatted makes it REALLY tough to track coach + QB combinations (it's like no one creating the database ever thought this would be an interesting question!!)

    My intuition however is that the HC is the most influential individual on a team (once players are picked) with the QB well behind in 2nd place, though no other single player comes remotely close to the QB. The reason I'd say this is because the HC influences all parts of the team while the QB is mostly for the offense, and primarily the passing game. So it's really hard for me to imagine QB > HC in terms of influence.
     
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  21. DolphinGreg

    DolphinGreg Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    The whole point of actually studying the historical data is to see what statistical trends are there because that informs you about the likelihood of recurrence.

    Anecdotal narratives like you present aren't helpful.

    Here's one: Russell Wilson was taken in R3 so you don't need to draft a R1 QB.

    That's factually true but it doesn't speak to the probability that it'll work out for you (which is exceedingly low). Arguing that something is possible is entirely different than arguing that it's likely.

    You have to get beyond anecdotal narratives.

    Even factoring in Mahomes at #10 and Watson at #12 which provide the basis for your anecdotal narrative, we can see that the average draft position of good QBs has been 3.6 because of guys like Luck, Newton, Stafford, Goff, Wentz and Ryan all being taken right at the top of the draft.

    That's telling because it means that if you're going to wait on the next Mahomes to fall to #10 you might be waiting 10-12 years.

    It'll definitely happen again. The question is whether or not you have 10 years to wait.

    If you have 1 shot at it, you probably aren't putting your money on the thing that only happens once a decade. Make sense?
     
  22. Finatik

    Finatik Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    SO Cal
    In looking at the top 3 picks from your list (which is where were we most likely will be) the chances of getting virtually any one of those guys would be light years better than what we've has since Marion left.
     
  23. The_Dark_Knight

    The_Dark_Knight Defender of the Truth

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    I don’t know about your assessment of Dungy. He did take Tampa to the playoffs 3 of the 5 years he was there and set them up for the Super Bowl under Gruden
     
  24. KeyFin

    KeyFin Well-Known Member

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    I think you have that backwards- you're looking at what all GM's have done in the past decade; I'm looking at what our GM did in the past few years. The right QB is only half the equation here...we also have to consider the person making that pick. And the fact is that our owner told him to draft Jackson would have completely eliminated the need to tank this season.

    So far Jackson is a 99.0 QB. He doesn't have 200 passing attempts yet; if he did, he'd be 3rd on your list. He's a "franchise QB" in his first 17 games anyway.

    That doesn't invalidate all your work though; I was just showing that there's more factors to consider than taking the best QB available. First you need to figure out who "the best" actually is, and then have faith that Grier will come to that same conclusion. He was wrong on Harris and many would argue that he was wrong picking Minkah over Jackson. That's all I'm saying- there's no guarantee that he makes the correct pick in 2019.
     
  25. texanphinatic

    texanphinatic Senior Member

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    If you want guarantees then sports is a really really bad bet.

    I would be interested to know if Grier passes on Jackson and Haskins because he just didnt like them, or because 2020 has been the plan all along and he has a specific target or two in mind.
     
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  26. DolphinGreg

    DolphinGreg Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Lamar Jackson's passer rating last year was 84.5. As cbrad point out, the league average last year was pushing 93.

    When you say he's at 99 you need to factor in the data size. He's being inflated from 84 up to 99 on the basis of what we saw him do against Miami.

    It's literally the effect of 1 game (against a team that's tanking).

    I'm more sympathetic to the argument that Paxton Lynch is what his rating says. I mean, at least Lamar Jackson is starting. Lynch looks like he might be an entirely wasted pick. Still, both Lynch (128 attempts) and Jackson (190) fall into that too early to tell case for me.
     
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  27. DolphinGreg

    DolphinGreg Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    My exact point was what you're saying.

    If he was such a great coach then why didn't he replicate his Tampa success up in Indy?

    If not for Manning, that team wouldn't have been very good at all under Dungy.

    And the fact that Tampa kept marching right along after Dungy left makes me think that it had something to do with those players!
     
  28. DolphinGreg

    DolphinGreg Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I don't think it's an either-or situation. It's not like having a good HC will produce a good QB or vice versa.

    I'm just saying that if I get to pick between Aaron Rodgers and Andy Reid, I'm probably picking Aaron Rodgers.

    Andy Reid with an average QB like McNabb or Alex Smith is good. But it's not until he has an elite QB that it becomes scary.

    Yet with Aaron Rodgers on your side, you can end up with a Super Bowl title despite Mike McCarthy being somewhat of a footnote.

    You said it yourself, unless you can get the QB position to produce in a special way, you're not winning the Super Bowl. So I'm taking the guy who I know will be special year-in, year-out. I may not get a Super Bowl every year, but over a decade I'll probably get one and I'll make a ton of Play-off appearances.

    I like that more than having a "great" HC who at the end of the day is still at the mercy of his QB.
     
  29. KeyFin

    KeyFin Well-Known Member

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    As I said, my point was that IF Jackson develops (big if), none of the tanking is necessary. This isn't a case of could of/should of in my opinion since Ross was adamant that Jackson was the guy. A good portion of GM's would listen to the owner and make that pick, so this directly reflects on Grier's motives and evaluation skills.

    Again, Jackson may be a bust....I haven't passed judgement yet either. But if we did take Jackson last season and he put up that 84 QBR, would we still be on the same path? I don't think we would be.
     
  30. DolphinGreg

    DolphinGreg Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    We can judge Grier's decision right now.

    waiting years will only bias our judgement as to whether Grier made the right move with information that came after-the-fact and wasn't available at the time.

    Each one of us would've drafted a given guy. It's a risk. If I'm picking from a deck of cards looking for an Ace I don't get to cheat and put my card back in once I look at it.

    From my perspective we took Minkah becuase he was "safe." I think that shows a lot about how Grier thinks in terms of R1 picks. We also took a guy (in Minkah) who played inside as opposed to outside. It doesn't make a ton of sense to sink your R1 pick into a slot corner no matter how good he is. As it turns out there was a good perimeter CB on the board too, who we passed on. That might've been less "safe" than Minkah who was coming out of Bama, but it would've added similar talent to a position of more significance.

    With Jackson, I agree. If the owner is giving you the shot and saying, "I'll back you on this" then it's compelling to go ahead and do it. I wouldn't have hated it. I think it would've been a daring move that might've paid off in the long run.

    I have no idea if Jackson will be good and Sunday's debacle doesn't really tell me anything. He faced ZERO pressure all game long and posted a perfect passer rating as a result. All that does is tell me we're a joke.

    But I agree that right now the Ravens are a year ahead because they took a shot and apparently built an offense around a very non-traditional type of prospect. Good for them. I would have loved to have watched us do that.

    But my worry isn't passing on Lamar Jackson who wasn't a terribly awesome prospect. I worry more about taking "safe" players like Minkah and Wilkins who in the end may only be solid pro's sort of like Jared Odrick was. We're not going to get beyond 8-8 doing that stuff.
     
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  31. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    If QB vs. HC abilities are equal (hypothetically) then you pick the HC if for no other reason than longevity: HC's can last longer than QB's. Besides, if the HC is also the GM then picking the right HC means you also have a higher probability of picking the right QB.

    And Aaron Rodgers won the SB when Green Bay's defense was ranked #2. Only in one other year was it ranked top 10. Otherwise he's had to play with an average or below average defense which is probably why one of the greatest QB's ever has only one SB win:
    https://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/gnb/index.htm

    Statistically speaking the average z-score on offense for a SB winner is 0.9389 which corresponds to top 18th percentile while the average z-score on defense for a SB winner is 0.4072 which corresponds to top 35th percentile. So while offense is on average (not every year of course) more important than defense, the real takeaway is that you need to be good on both sides of the ball and you can't do that without a good HC. The QB isn't giving you a top 1/3 defense.

    So HC > QB, but you need both to be above average if you want to realistically build a team that can win the SB.
     
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  32. KeyFin

    KeyFin Well-Known Member

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    That's my worry as well, especially if Tua isn't on the boards at all. What if we spend the #1 overall pick on another Minkah? Or trade back for more picks in 2021? That's awesome on paper and it still may be a great draft, but we're still not a playoff team in 2020 (unless it's under Rosen....which is the best case scenario regardless).

    But if you don't get your QB in 2020 then what's the game-plan? Do we tank yet another season? That's why I absolutely hate this.
     
  33. DolphinGreg

    DolphinGreg Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Wait, what!?

    We can get to the statistical stuff in a minute but HC's die every day in today's NFL. An elite QB will almost certainly outlast his HC unless he gets injured. Maybe you're saying that hypothetically a HC could remain in place for 20 years but that's not realistic AT ALL. Where has that happened in modern football besides the one place that has the "greatest QB of all time."

    Aaron Rodgers - 1 team, multiple HCs
    Roethlisberger - 1 team, multiple HCs
    Peyton Manning - 2 teams, more than 2 HCs
    Rivers - 1 team, a slew of HCs

    The HC almost always gets fired first due to lack of performance. The QB is usually kept on. Gosh, how many people did Tannehill get fired?

    There are a couple examples where the franchise has remained constant (i.e. Brady & Brees with Belichick & Payton) but even there we've heard rumblings that Payton might be on the hot seat. So it certainly looks to me that most HC's get fired before the team moves on from the (proven) QB.

    We could cite John Harbaugh as a "good" HC who outlasted his QB (Flacco). But even relatively successful HCs like Pete Carroll, Ron Rivera and Andy Reid will likely get fired before those teams move on from their QBs unless those QBs end up becoming too injured to keep.

    The only thing getting in the way might be the tendency for these mobile QBs to slow down (physically) and regress to the mean once they are forced to be more pocket-based game-managers.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
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  34. DolphinGreg

    DolphinGreg Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    But dude, that's my point.

    If you have Aaron Rodgers performing at an elite level for a decade you WILL AT SOME POINT put together a defense capable of winning a Super Bowl.

    People talk about Marino not winning a Super Bowl because it's rare to find an elite QB who never at some point had the benefit of a great defense helping him to a title. You pretty much have to be doing work if you go 10-15 years and never at some point get it across the finish line. Marino's is a cautionary tale, but (thankfully) it's not something that happens to many guys. I guess Rivers would be that guy in this era.

    The Packers did it with Rodgers.
    The Colts did it with Manning.
    The Saints did it with Brees.

    We could go back and find others...the Broncos with Elway at the end for example. Those guys could all have 4-5 Super Bowls if they had dominant defenses. When you look at the guy who did have a great defense most of his career...he does have a fistful of rings, LOL!

    I mean, do you honestly not pick Aaron Rodgers on this, bro? To me, this is obvious.

    If on the one hand you're guaranteeing me elite QB play I can check that box. However, having a great HC does not automatically give me a great team (or defense). So at best, it's an indirect way to help check that other box.

    I agree you need both, but if I can automatically check on box with a single player I'm doing that.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
  35. The_Dark_Knight

    The_Dark_Knight Defender of the Truth

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    You’re kidding, right?
     
  36. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    For elite coaches vs. elite QB's no question the coach outlasts the QB. Most games ever played by any QB is Brett Favre with 302 (298 started). Number of games coached by "elite" coaches: Shula (490), Belichick (385), Landry (418), Noll (342), Parcells (303), etc..

    No question an elite coach can outlast an elite QB. So if abilities are equal you pick the HC.

    If you have an elite coach you will at some point very likely have a well above average offense AND a well above average defense. Given that the coach influences both directly that's far more likely than having the franchise QB and hoping that you'll get the rest right.

    Honestly, if I could pick EITHER Aaron Rodgers or Bill Belichick I choose Belichick. Same with Shula and with Walsh. Yeah it's obvious.
     
  37. mlb1399

    mlb1399 Well-Known Member

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    The big divide in our fan base seems to be around the overall strategy of cleaning house and to what degree. On one hand, we had a lot of players who were way too expensive and it was wise to part ways. Tannehill hasn’t been the answer and I was happy to see us move on from him.

    I think where most draw the line is why cut some of the marginal, less expensive players like Taylor? Why trade an up and coming LT who could be elite? Why trade Wake, when we need pass rushers, he’s been loyal, he’s a fan favorite and we have the cap room until he retires in 2-3 years? While in a complete vacuum, all of these moves made sense. What buy in do fans and players have? They’ve forgotten the emotional side of things in favor of bottom line business.

    I think the issue for most is this has happened so quick. Very few would have expected a winning record. But even less would have expected 59-10.
     
  38. DolphinGreg

    DolphinGreg Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Oh, boy. I flat out disagree.

    You're literally having to go back to ancient history to cite those coaches and good Lord, I imagine the drop-off in incredible once you're not citing historically long-tenured guys. The only relevant guy to us now is the one that coached in the modern era (Belichick) and he's colored by the fact he had one of the best all-time QBs.

    If you're asking me for a guy to take back to 1970 to build a dynasty I'm all about Shula or Knoll. Who wouldn't be!? But if you're suggesting that football hasn't changed since then, OMG.

    I'll give you Walsh in the 80's. I'd give you Belichick now (if he weren't on the verge of retirement). Sure, there can be 1 or 2 in each generation who are the Tiger Woods' of their day.

    But overall? You have to be joking. Coaches are successes if they last 5 years these days. It's a train-wreck out there. You basically get 1 run at it and then you're out. If you win you maybe get a second run (i.e. Carroll, Tomlin, etc.). But people will turn on you in a couple short years.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
  39. DolphinGreg

    DolphinGreg Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I calculate that the Colts averaged the #11 scoring defense during the Dungy-Manning era ('02 - '08).
     
  40. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    Dude.. if you are an "elite" coach they are NOT going to run you out of town. And unlike QB's whose longevity is limited due to physical decline, a coach can continue coaching into his 60's or more in some cases. So no there's no such thing as the nature of the game changing with respect to this question. Remember this is a question of elite vs. elite, not average vs. average.

    Also, even for averages it's not what you think. The average tenure for a NFL QB (4.44 years) is about the same as for a NFL coach (4.3 years) and that's despite QB's becoming backups extending their tenure while no such possibility exists for a HC in the NFL (that is.. going back to OC or DC means you're not a HC while being a backup QB means you're still a QB).
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019

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