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Author Topic: Calling ESPN Insider(s)  (Read 1027 times)
Big Virgil
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« on: Jan 18, 2011 at 14:07 »

http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/playoffs/2010/insider/columns/story?columnist=joyner_kc&id=6033214&action=login&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fnfl%2fplayoffs%2f2010%2finsider%2fcolumns%2fstory%3fcolumnist%3djoyner_kc%26id%3d6033214

Article about how Wallace can put a beat down on Revis.
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jcharding
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« Reply #1 on: Jan 19, 2011 at 15:11 »

Why Jets should fear Mike Wallace
Steelers speedster runs routes that Darrelle Revis struggles against

By KC Joyner
ESPN Insider
Archive

In his new "Historical Baseball Abstract," Bill James pondered if there was "any such thing as a hitter so good that it would make sense simply to walk him every time he came to the plate?"

The obvious hitter who might fit this bill would be Babe Ruth, so James crunched the numbers. He ran two 1,000-game computer-simulated seasons in which a slightly improved 1921 version of Ruth was teamed up with a group of mediocre players. He then gave the computer two different sets of instructions regarding how to deal with the Bambino. In the first, the computer was ordered to walk Ruth every time he was at bat. In the second, the computer could pitch to him, except for those times when it would normally walk him.

After running both scenarios through the process, the answer to the question was quite clear: Walking Ruth every time was a whole lot worse than pitching to him, both in runs scored and outs generated. James concluded that this study shows "there is no such thing as a hitter so good that he should be routinely walked."

NFL offensive coordinators are of the same mindset when it comes to targeting dominant defensive backs. New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis saw this last season when he was targeted a league-leading 102 times, despite posting a phenomenally low 3.6 yards per attempt (YPA) total.

That means Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians will likely be looking to find ways to get the ball to vertical threat extraordinaire Mike Wallace, even if Revis is assigned to follow him around the field. Since Revis is playing exceptionally well of late (4.3 YPA since Week 9), it begs the question of how does one go about getting productivity out of a receiver when he is going to spend the day on Revis Island?

It may seem like an impossible task, but a closer look at the game tapes and metrics shows that, if handled properly, life on that archipelago can be hospitable.

The first key is to remember that even when the Jets focus Revis' efforts on taking the leading receiver on the opposing team out of the game, they often don't make this his sole assignment.

A good example of this can be found in Sunday's AFC divisional matchup against the New England Patriots. Rex Ryan decided to send Revis after Deion Branch for most of the contest. All in all, Revis ended up opposite Branch on 52 out of the 73 plays Branch was on the field.

That equates to a 71 percent coverage rate, which is a high number but is also the glass-half-empty way of viewing it. The glass-half-full perspective is that Branch was lined up opposite someone other than Revis 29 percent of the time.

That number is even higher when one considers that Revis was on Branch on 33 out of 48 pass plays. That means Branch had someone else in coverage 31 percent of the time, which is a rate that offers ample opportunities for production away from Revis.

A second fact to note is that in the Week 15 contest between Jets and Steelers, Revis was almost never assigned to cover Wallace: They did not square off in coverage on any of the 45 pass plays. On running plays, Wallace was on the field and lined up across from Revis only once.

The reason Revis didn't face Wallace is that the Jets had decided to assign Antonio Cromartie to the Steelers speedster. This tactic was fairly effective, as Wallace gained only 32 yards on three targets (two completions) when facing Cromartie in coverage.

The bad news is that, just as Revis didn't always follow Branch, Cromartie didn't always follow Wallace, and that is when New York got burned. Wallace was 5-for-5 for 70 yards on passes when he was allowed to run through a New York zone coverage. Tally the two together and it means Wallace was 7-for-8 for 102 yards, or 12.8 YPA in this matchup.

That last number is a primary reason Ryan will probably approach this game differently than he did last time. Even if he does send Revis after Wallace, the Steelers can take solace in that there are certain route types that work quite well against Revis.

Over the course of the season, Revis-covered receivers are 10-for-21 for 153 yards and two touchdowns on routes that cut to the inside (e.g. slant, post, skinny post, deep in, etc.).

Some of that production came early in the season, but Revis still struggled late in the year against slants and skinny posts, as pass catchers were 4-for-5 for 54 yards on those routes against Revis since Week 8. If the 15-yard slant completion that was nullified by a penalty in the Week 9 game against Detroit is included, it would move that total up to 69 yards on six targets.

Since Wallace is 6-for-10 for 117 yards on routes of that nature this year, it means he is adept at the one area where Revis has shown a historical propensity to give up yards.

Put it all together and it likely means Wallace will post quality numbers even if his weekend travel plans include a stopover on Revis Island.

KC Joyner, aka the Football Scientist, is a regular contributor to ESPN Insider. He also can be found on Twitter @kcjoynertfs and at his website. He is the author of "Blindsided: Why the Left Tackle is Overrated and Other Contrarian Football Thoughts."
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #2 on: Jan 19, 2011 at 15:25 »

The takeaway would seem to be that when Revis is on Wallace, we should be looking at slant and go type routes.  When Cro is on him, think deep ball.

Got it.
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aj_law
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« Reply #3 on: Jan 19, 2011 at 15:25 »

'Sup, JC.  

Thanks.

Long time no see.
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aj_law
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« Reply #4 on: Jan 19, 2011 at 15:35 »

The takeaway would seem to be that when Revis is on Wallace, we should be looking at slant and go type routes.  When Cro is on him, think deep ball.

Got it.

Yeah, from the games I saw with Revis, it seemed like his MO was to jam the receiver up at the LOS, then backoff a bit and shadow him in coverage.  If they go for the quick strike slant, it would seem to attack that narrow window of vulnerability.

Considering the state of the O-line, I'm not sure how many deep shots Pittsburgh's gonna have anyway...unless it's in the form of a busted play/QB scramble heave down field.

Dunno why, but I've gotta feelin' that we're gonna see an end around handoff, throwback to #7 for a big strike downfield in this one.
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VaBchSteelersfan
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« Reply #5 on: Jan 19, 2011 at 16:07 »

Speaking of those fine folks over at ESPN, did anyone hear/read about this?

On Saturday, ESPN’s Bob Holtzman raised eyebrows in league circles by reporting, more than four hours before kickoff of the Ravens-Steelers game, that the Steelers had a trick play up their sleeves.

“Two Steelers have told me, if they catch the Ravens in the right defense, they have a trick play ready to go today that they’ve never run before,” Holtzman said.* A league source predicted in response that the “Steelers will be pissed” about the advance disclosure of the play.

The source predicted right.

On Wednesday, Holtzman asked Steelers coach Mike Tomlin how much extra time is needed to prepare to face the defense of Jets coach Rex Ryan.

“It depends on whether or not you give him my plays,” Tomlin replied, per Gary Mihoces of USA Today.

Holtzman had no comment.
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #6 on: Jan 19, 2011 at 17:56 »

Speaking of those fine folks over at ESPN, did anyone hear/read about this?

On Saturday, ESPN’s Bob Holtzman raised eyebrows in league circles by reporting, more than four hours before kickoff of the Ravens-Steelers game, that the Steelers had a trick play up their sleeves.

“Two Steelers have told me, if they catch the Ravens in the right defense, they have a trick play ready to go today that they’ve never run before,” Holtzman said.* A league source predicted in response that the “Steelers will be pissed” about the advance disclosure of the play.

The source predicted right.

On Wednesday, Holtzman asked Steelers coach Mike Tomlin how much extra time is needed to prepare to face the defense of Jets coach Rex Ryan.

“It depends on whether or not you give him my plays,” Tomlin replied, per Gary Mihoces of USA Today.

Holtzman had no comment.

Saw that.

Great quote by Tomlin.

Wondering why our players are flapping their gums tho.
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kluisi61
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« Reply #7 on: Jan 20, 2011 at 07:51 »


Wondering why our players are flapping their gums tho.

Yeah...didn't they see Family Guy this week...anything you say to a reporter is fair game.
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aj_law
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« Reply #8 on: Jan 25, 2011 at 16:14 »

"Rumors:  On whether Lebeau would go to Arizona"

I'm sure it's the usual "I-don't-have-shit-to-write-about-during-the-two-weeks-leading-up-to-the-Super-Bowl-so-I'll-make-up-some-off-the-wall-shit-and-try-to-pass-it-off-as-a-legit-article," but based on the topic, I'm curious as to content.

Any help would be much appreciated.  Thanks.
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pensodyssey
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« Reply #9 on: Jan 25, 2011 at 18:04 »

It's not the article you're asking for, but Flipper Clayton apparently thinks Wheezingcunt is gonna throw a bunch of dollars at him.  He's put it twice in his articles in the last week and a half, IIRC.  

He either has some inside dope, or, like you suggest, merely a word count to meet.
« Last Edit: Jan 25, 2011 at 18:16 by pensodyssey » Logged

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