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Author Topic: I love Willie ... BUT  (Read 4187 times)
altimusprime
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« on: Aug 18, 2007 at 13:02 »

My gut tells me that Willie is a top back. Speed, some power, I think he is a fine back. His final rushing numbers were good.

But I was under the impression that rushing totals (per game) of 20, 57, 47, 46, 22, 61 and 29 within one season for a back means he is NOT a top back. Seven games out of 16 that look shitty does not equal a top back. Plus the 8th lowest was 70, also not great. So 8 games, half a season, was comprised of rushing totals 20, 57, 47, 46, 22, 61, 29 and 70.

He had two games over 200 and another 2 over 130.

Outside of those 4?




 





 
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vcuram
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« Reply #1 on: Aug 18, 2007 at 13:49 »

I think FWP made a lot out of nothing last year.  In the games where he struggled, we had no passing offense (maybe to the other team) and very inconsistent o-line play.  Top backs can sometimes overcome those obstacles, but when there are nine defenders keyed in on a RB and the o-line has no chance to stop him, his stats in those games aren't going to be good.
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pensodyssey
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« Reply #2 on: Aug 18, 2007 at 14:46 »

You'd also have to account for the score progression in those games.  Hard for a back to go over 100 when you're playing catchup in the second half.

To look at the numbers just in terms of yards rushing is misleading and oversimplified.
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altimusprime
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« Reply #3 on: Aug 18, 2007 at 14:46 »

Ok. Thanks for the info.  I don't know as much about football as a lot of you guys. I just looked at raw stats and saw a lot of small totals.

Other factors probably made things harder on FWP than stats could ever show.

I guess I just never would have figured that top backs would rush for less than 58 yards 6 times in a season very often.

My gut DOES tell me that FWP is a top back. I just got concerned after seeing his game - to - game totals.

Less than 58 six times?  I certainly hope it was because of other factors. And I guess it was. Looking at his season totals, it's obvious that the guy piled up some fucking yardage. He is not lacking in talent.




 
 
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steelerfaninCO
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« Reply #4 on: Aug 18, 2007 at 14:54 »

You have to take into account the number of carries for FWP in most of those down games. Jax- 11 carries, SD- 14, Den- 14, Cle- 16, Bal- 10, Bal- 13. In case you didn't watch the games last year, the OL totally struggled to both protect BR and keep tacklers out of the backfield for FWP. The team was taken out of their offensive gameplan straight away by falling behind early in all those games (except Cle). Teams knew BR was struggling and stacked the box against FWP to make BR throw it. As for games like the Atl one (20 car, 47 yds) and TB ( 22 car, 61 yds), even LT has 2-3 down games a year. Let's see what happens this year when the O tries to stretch the field vertically and laterally to create more room for FWP. It all comes down to OL though. I've only seen 2 players capable of running wild behind a terrible OL, Sweetness and Barry. And certainly FWP isn't playing at that level................ ................yet
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buccobenny
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« Reply #5 on: Aug 18, 2007 at 16:23 »

Quote
You have to take into account the number of carries for FWP in most of those down games. Jax- 11 carries, SD- 14, Den- 14, Cle- 16, Bal- 10, Bal- 13. In case you didn't watch the games last year, the OL totally struggled to both protect BR and keep tacklers out of the backfield for FWP. The team was taken out of their offensive gameplan straight away by falling behind early in all those games (except Cle). Teams knew BR was struggling and stacked the box against FWP to make BR throw it. As for games like the Atl one (20 car, 47 yds) and TB ( 22 car, 61 yds), even LT has 2-3 down games a year. Let's see what happens this year when the O tries to stretch the field vertically and laterally to create more room for FWP. It all comes down to OL though. I've only seen 2 players capable of running wild behind a terrible OL, Sweetness and Barry. And certainly FWP isn't playing at that level................ ................yet
I'm glad we went out and adressed our O-line issues through the draft.

Oh wait.
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padgfrombf
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« Reply #6 on: Aug 18, 2007 at 16:37 »

Agree, it tells you almost as much about the O-line as it does about FWP.  I think if FWP had been playing consistently in the rush happy 15-1 season in 2004, you would have seen more even game totals.  

For example, Clinton Portis has similar seasonal numbers to FWP over 4 years.  In most years, he was consistently around 100 yds/game, but in 2004, he had a year that looked a lot like Willie Parker's.  And last year, his totals looked more like Willie Wonka.

Interesting point by altimus, but I wouldn't read too much into the game-to-game stuff for another couple of years.  

FWIW, another back that consistently has this type of low-high rush total pattern in all years is Jamal Lewis.  I hope I'm right on this and that he sucks eggs in Clevehole, but my contention was that Lewis was never a true power back in the pros.  He was more like Chuck Muncie, a big back that had quickness and speed.  When some of that left via wear, tear, and prison, you end up with a generic 3.5 yd/carry back.  

 
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vcuram
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« Reply #7 on: Aug 18, 2007 at 18:08 »

Quote
I'm glad we went out and adressed our O-line issues through the draft.

Oh wait.
If Faneca leaves after the season, we may have an awful o-line next year.  I think we're going to have to address those concerns both through the draft and possibly a FA singing.  I'm really hoping to see a lot of progression from Kemo, Starks, and Colon this year to make me feel a little bit better about the future.
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altimusprime
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« Reply #8 on: Aug 21, 2007 at 16:23 »

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You have to take into account the number of carries for FWP in most of those down games. Jax- 11 carries, SD- 14, Den- 14, Cle- 16, Bal- 10, Bal- 13. In case you didn't watch the games last year, the OL totally struggled to both protect BR and keep tacklers out of the backfield for FWP.

Ok. I'm willing to buy that he had low rushing totals some times because of other factors, like teams stacking the line or because of BR struggling or poor OL play.

But if the argument is that he just had too few attempts? Well then surely he had good yds./att, right? I mean, if it was just a case of too few attempts....

You pointed out Jax, Den, Cle, SD, Balt and Balt again. For Den and SD, I agree with you.
BUT:


jax  11 att for 1.8 yards/att

cle   16 att 2.9

Bal  10 att for 2.2

and Balt again 13 for 2.2 yards/att.



So for almost half of his games his rushing totals were ick. And for most of the ones you pointed out as him having too few attempts he did shit for the attempts he DID have.

I hate playing devil's advocate when it comes to Willie, since I like him, but it's very easy. Dudes who know more about football than I do have explained that there were factors out of his control that held Willie back. And he STILL ended up with a fine rushing total. But I would feel a lot better if he could put up consistent real estate game to game. And maybe he will if given a decent OL and good play from BR.


6 times he put up 2.9/att or less. In almost half of his games, his total ydg was less than good.


Maybe it was the OL, maybe it was BR, but he was NOT an elite back for half of his games last year.  Were his att limited because they were behind? Then shouldn't the other team NOT expect them to run? Were they behind and that limited his ATT or was he ineffective and they fell behind?

No one can argue that Willie has tons of talent. But it's also hard to argue that he was consistent last year. That said, my prediction for this season is that he gains consistency and blows away his previous season high in yardage.









 
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jonzr
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« Reply #9 on: Aug 21, 2007 at 17:32 »

Quote
Quote
You have to take into account the number of carries for FWP in most of those down games. Jax- 11 carries, SD- 14, Den- 14, Cle- 16, Bal- 10, Bal- 13. In case you didn't watch the games last year, the OL totally struggled to both protect BR and keep tacklers out of the backfield for FWP.

Ok. I'm willing to buy ...
 
You're talking about some of the toughest, slobber-knocking defenses in the league with Jax and Balty twice.  Hey, look back at what Tomlinson did against the
Steelers last season:  13   attempts for 36 yards (2.8 ypc).  Furthermore, he had 8 receptions for a measly 34 yards.

It matters who you're playing and the Steelers generally play a tough, run-stopping schedule.  Go look at how well other RBs did against Jax and Balty.  I'd wager that FWP is in the pack.


 
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