Well that was pretty damning. I would give more than +1 if I could. Bravo.
A statistical response to BlueSeoul's critique of Martavious Odoms
Earlier today (7/7/09) BlueSeoul posted a diary where he discussed the utility of statistics and why new ones are needed. He used Martavious Odoms as an example of why stats don't tell the whole story of a player's effectiveness.
Specifically, he said:
Because what you're not seeing in those stats is the number of drops he had. You're not seeing the number of times he gained 3 yards when we needed 4 on third down. And you're not seeing his pathetic work on returns.
Well, I decided to do a quick look back through the 2008 UFRs to see exactly "how bad" Odoms performed. Looking through the games, there weren't many drops at all (one definitive one against Minnesota where the DB almost broke his knee 4 seconds late). Yes, he had fumbles the last four games. One of those games was the weather-horrific Northwestern game. 6 in 4 games is too much - I'm sure he'd agree with you. However, what I consistently read in the UFRs was that Odoms was put into bad situations by missed blocks and bad throws.
Don't believe me? Here are the relevant notes on Odoms' season:
Utah - Out pass (4 yards);
Bubble screen (-3 yards, bad throw by Sheridan);
Checkdown (4 yards);
Bubble screen (4 yards, bad blocking);
Jailbreak screen (-2 yards, Massey no blocking).
Brian said "Odoms didn't get much of a chance."
Miami (NTM) - First play - Bubble screen (50 yards, "great YAC from Odoms");
Zone read bubble (1 yard; "if a read, Threet screwed up");
Bubble screen (6 yards, no block on LB).
Only 6 balls thrown past LOS, 5 uncatchable. The "worst QBd game in modern era of Michigan football."
ND - Bubble screen (14 yards);
On McGuffie's twirling TD, Odoms got a good block;
Bubble screen (9 yards - Safety read it, Odoms spun out of first tackle);
Zone read bubble (7 yards - thrown significantly behind him, leaping catch and pirouette);
Wheel route (34 yards);
Hitch (5 yards).
Wisconsin - Bubble screen (-2 yards, thrown low, taking Odoms off his feet);
Cross (8 yards, "good job cutting up")
Illinois - PA Flag (26 yards);
Seam (27 yards - good adjustment);
PA Waggle (25 yards);
Bubble screen (6 yards, Mathews whiffs on block);
Hitch (5 yards on 3rd and 2);
Flag (30 yards); Waggle flat (10 yards);
Yes, Odoms fumbled the kickoff after Illinois went up 38-20. Regardless, Odoms was a "hero" according to MGOBLOG.
Toledo - Out. (and btw, up to this game, the UFRs are All McGuffie, Almost All The Time).
Penn State - Hitch (First play - 1 yard, Mathews missed block);
PA Wheel (27 yards);
Screen (5 yards - Koger missed block)
Little Brother - Screen (0 yards, forced inside);
Bubble screen (7 yards on 2nd and 3);
Bubble screen (7 yards on 1st and 10);
Bubble screen (6 yards on 3rd and 1);
Bubble (3 yards on 1st and 10; Koger missed block);
Bubble (7 on 1st and 10; Clemons whiffs on block);
Deep hitch (18 yards);
"Odoms continues to prove himself the best receiver on team."
Purdue - Punt return for touchdown, and fumble on punt;
Bubble screen (6 yards, 1st and 10 - Savoy misses block);
Rollout (3 yards, thrown "crappily" by Threet);
Odoms KO return to Purdue 42;
Bubble (13 yards on 1st and 10 - had to come to full stop before ball arrived);
Bubble (4 yards on 1st and 10);
Brian declares "Odoms" is positive for 2009.
Minnesota - 1st play, bubble (8 yards);
Diamond Screen (-3 yards and fumble - "Stonum messes up - if he gets a block, looks like a TD, instead a fumble")
Bubble (9 yards on 2nd and 3);
Rollout hitch (11 yards on 3rd and 8);
Bubble (3 yards on 1st and 10; Rogers whiffs on block);
Bubble (-4 yards on 1st and 10; safety charged play);
Bubble (15 yards on 1st and 10 - "slippery little bastard" says Brian);
On long Shaw run, Odoms got +1 for attempted downfield block;
Bubble (4 on 2nd and 7; Savoy "weak blocking")
Northwestern - Bubble (8 yards on 1st and 10, and fumble OOB);
Ohio State - Fumbled punt, 5 catches for 37 yards.
What does this prove?
Of the 44 catches that I have a UFR to analyze (you'll remember the WLA did the Ohio State UFR), 6 of the catches were made on throws that were bad enough that Brian felt it was worth mentioning because it affected the play. 12 of Odoms' catches were directly curtailed because of crappy blocking (or whiffs on attempted blocks).
However, on Odoms' 26 catches that were executed with even marginal competence by the QB and the blockers, he averaged 14 yards per catch. His average was pulled down 5 yards a catch by crappy throwing and blocking. That's a significant variance.
Also, you'll notice above that many of his catches were long enough for first downs, which confronts BlueSeoul's assertion that the stats don't show "the number of times he gained 3 yards when we needed 4 on third down." This didn't happen more than 2 or 3 times all year.
While Odoms' fumbles were disappointing, his receiving was not. In a normal year, Odoms wouldn't have seen the field. However, the experience will help him play even better this year, and the depth behind him (Gallon et al), Tate's accuracy, and better blocking will give the offense the versatility to use the slot more effectively this year. And Odoms will be a large reason for that. If he averages 14 yards a catch on predominantly bubble screens and wheel routes this year, I think the offense will be operating pretty darn successfully.
this is the kind of intensive research that makes this blog the best.
I suspect your evaluation provides better insight, but regardless, this and the next season will show whether blueSeoul's reservations of Odom's freshman performance is warranted.
That first sentence was so full of win.... I don't even know. Kudos to you, sir (the OP.)
Stats wins again. Nice work.
I <3 you!
I don't understand making excuses for Odoms. He was bad last year. Plain. Simple. Fumbled punts in games 10, 11 and 12. Are you kidding me? Where's the basic knowledge of fundamentals? More importantly.....where's the coaching? How does that possibly happen in so many games?
His receiving skills are TBD because the QB play was so horrendous and they couldn't put a bubble screen within five yards of the receiver. Still, it's impossible to grade Odoms at anything higher than a "C" (being generous) based on actual results on the field.
I'm not saying that there's no reason to be optimistic about his future. What I am saying is that his freshman year was a disaster (and he had a lot of company).
Mike Hart fumbled 2 punts in his last game. A crucial bowl game. He was bad that year. Plain. Simple. What a tool. No fundamentals.
"His receiving skills are TBD because the QB play was so horrendous and they couldn't put a bubble screen within five yards of the receiver.
Yet he repeatedly caught them and this was praised and noted in the UFRs.
Mike Hart didn't fumble any punts in his last game. He fumbled two carries at the goal line. I think those were his first fumbles since his freshman year. Oh yeah, and he was hit while doing it.....not catching a punt. So Mike Hart fumbles the ball three times in around 40 games. Martavious Odoms fumbles it three times in three consective games (and I'm not counting anything that happened earlier in the season). Nice comparison. Tool.
2) Fun with small sample sizes.
3) How do you feel about Brandon Minor?
I'm not sure you can go on a rant about Odoms on special teams - to be fair the ENTIRE TEAM was having this problem for some freak reason.
So you're saying that one of the best running backs in Michigan football also fumbled his freshman year? So why is it no okay for a freshman wr to fumble a few times too? Shit like that happens when you are a true freshman, and as many others have said, under normal circumstances he would not have seen the field last year. He also had some very good plays for a true freshman and was hindered by poor blocking and qb play.
Those were his first 2 "lost" fumbles since freshman year. He had fumbled since freshman year however those balls were recovered.
I love how when someone makes a stupid comment they get punished.
-2 imaginary mgopoints from me bud.
WHERE IS THE COACHING!!!!?
Where's the BLOOD!!!?
Yeah, because leading the team in receptions as a true freshman and averaging 9 yards a catch (14 if you only consider the plays that were actually well thrown and blocked) is a disaster because he fumbled his first time playing in cold weather. Never mind the fact that most players have a year or two to get acclimated to the weather before they are given enough touches to fumble as many times as Odoms did.
You sir have earned my first thumbs down vote.
That's pretty funny about the 14 yards on plays that were well thrown and blocked. Isn't every play designed to be a TD if it's optimally thrown and/or blocked? There's a little thing called "the other team" that occasionally gets in the way.
Look, I'm not trying to throw Odoms under the bus. I hope that he has a great career. And (if you read my post), I wasn't really talking specificially about his receiving abilility. It's really hard to tell because so many bubble screens were thrown over his head.....and do you really want your leading receiver to be a guy who catches screen passes? I was talking about his INability to catch a punt. There's no excuse for it (especially in games 10, 11 and 12). Not inexperience. Not weather conditions.
"The other team" did not affect every poorly thrown ball, or every whiffed block. In fact, I'd say "the other team" affected the minority of poorly thrown balls. Disclaimer: I'm not stating this from stats in front of me, I'm stating it from watching every game in person or live on TV. QB play was absolutely horrible. Horribly horrible. It was so bad that claims of "my grandma could throw better than that" were probably true in some cases.
Dude, you're going to blame a fumble in Game 11 on something other than weather? Wow - that game specifically was horrible for weather; that was the coldest I've ever been and I wasn't even trying to catch a slippery ball hurling at me, end over end, with snow & rain in my eyes as I'm trying to locate it against a grey sky, and 11 people with nothing better to do than rip my head off if I DO manage to field said ball successfully. OH, and in this hypothetical situation, I'm a kid from Florida who probably hasn't seen a day of snow in my life.
My point, you can't NOT blame weather in Game 11. If you do so for 10 and 12, okay fine, that's legit. HOWEVA, I'd also state that you're absolutely delusional if you don't think the coaches did everything they could to correct those fundamentals. This season, I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that we see 90% fewer fumbled punts upon fielding, and 100% fewer from carrying the ball in the wrong hand during the return.
edited; I noticed a few grammatical mistakes that occluded my sentences
I don't see it as making excuses but understanding the context. I agree with the sentiment that the fumbles were disappointing but he was also often put into tough situations with a lot of expectations.
I think he has a lot of potential and I hope he has a great year.
The punt against Purdue - yeah, suck.
The fumble against Minnesota - he got throttled because of a Stonum missed block.
The fumbles against Northwestern - were you at that game? I was - see my avatar? It took my clothes 3 days to dry out. I could barely stand upright, let alone catch a punt.
The fumble against Ohio State - he ran forward 20 yards and tried to catch a ball he shouldn't have.
His receiving was better than a C. When the team functioned even moderately adequately, he averaged 14 yards a catch. As a point of reference, Braylon Edwards averaged 13 and change per catch in 2004 (I know, Braylon had twice as many catches, more TDs, but still, Odoms was operating in pretty impressive company AS A TRUE FRESHMAN). That average is also better than Adrian Arrington's career average per catch.
If Odoms keeps this pace up, he will graduate the #2 receptions leader in Michigan history. I'd say that's better than average.
Again, Odoms shouldn't even have been on the field last year. If this were 2010, he wouldn't have been because the depth would be there (imagine next year if all our slots were gone and Drew Dileo was the only true slot receiver on the roster. Now stop, it won't happen). Someone had to play the slot, and he was the best. As a true freshman. You should be concerned about a receiver like Stonum, who has proven little and needs to step up.
As a point of reference, Braylon Edwards averaged 13 and change per catch in 2004 (I know, Braylon had twice as many catches, more TDs
And he at least had a freshman Henne throwing at him. Could Edwards would make ThreetsheriDAMNIT look better? Maybe. His 2004 season better? God no.
edit: Also, excellent work on the original post. That is the kind of breakdown I love to see in diaries.
Good OP and another good point regarding Stonum. With the poor line play early on and the poor quarterback play all year, none of our receivers had a banner year.
He struggled on some returns. He had a lot of company in this regard. As I recall one of the subtitles for the year could have been "Can anyone hold on to a kick?" Blame the coach if you want (I didn't see RR drop any) but I think he was more frustrated than anyone on this board with the inability to find a player who could field a kick.
However, I can not see how anyone could call Odom's freshman year a disaster. He set the freshman record for catches, and although there are some problems with any stat, whether he averaged 9 or less YPC, the kid made some chicken salad out of chicken shit without a QB that could hit him in stride or a wideout that could spring a block consistently.
He may not end up being Braylon, Breaston, Avant, etc. but few end up at that level. I'll let his time here play out.
There were few bright spots last year: Minor's running when healthy, Mesko's punting, the play of Brandon Graham. I could be missing one. Oh yeah, a promising year for a freshman slot receiver named Martavious who needs a little work holding on to the ball.
I love chicken salad.
what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you negative points, and may God have mercy on your soul.
"I'm not saying that there's no reason to be optimistic about his future. What I am saying is that his freshman year was a disaster (and he had a lot of company).
3-9 is not acceptable (under any circumstances)."
I kept reading your comment hoping that I would find a glimpse of satire. Instead I found a really bitter guy. A horrible freshman year? Really? You're serious?
to Godwin's law on here, so I just decided to make my own law. Poole1dan's law states that if a thread goes on long enough, someone is bound to act like poole1dan and complain and bitch about everything in site. Thankfully, on this site, you can easily get docked a bunch of points and banned before good posters get annoyed and kill themselves.
Just because the WLA did that UFR, doesn't mean you shouldn't go back and look at it. If I recall, Martavious' most impressive play of the year was when he "cha cha'd real smooth" in that game. I think that is all that is needed to shut the doubters up.
that Odoms will be one of the MVP's on the team in the next two years. He is a great fit. Dude just has to get his Midwest hands. He still has his FL hands.
Yeah - I agree, Odoms was impressive and has the potential to be one of the greats.
Lest we not forget he also had a shoulder injury. He was in one of my classes and said it affected him for quite a while
First, I echo Blue Durham's comment. I love that rather than attack the original poster, you come back with analysis to counter the claim. On to your post..
While Odoms' fumbles were disappointing, his receiving was not.
I agree with this comment specifically. But please don't excuse fumbles by saying "well, he did run 20 yards to try and catch that punt." In all fairness, it's a bad decision to try and field that punt. Just let it go without excuses. Yes he's a freshman. All that means to me is,
A) He shouldn't have been in that situation (as you stated)
B) He should be better coached so he knows not to do this (probably also comes with experience.)
At the end of the day, he still fumbled. This doesn't mean he's horrible, it's just that plain and simple, no matter the reason or excuse, he fumbled. That can't happen as frequently as it did. I'm sure if he is still our returner, he'll be awesome. He's got tremendous talent and I look forward to seeing him on the field next year.
How many times have you seen a punt returner field a punt inside of their own 10? Everyone knows that they are told not to but, they are playmakers and sometimes playmakers take chances.
Receiver Odoms was one of the few people I consistenly loved watching last year.
Punt Returner Odoms? Not so much. Though that could be said for Punt Returner Anyone.
Thank you. I thought that post could be taken apart by going back to review Odoms play-by-play but that was a daunting task; I totally agree with you.
Brian agrees, enough said
This is prototypical MGoBlog research...eschewing simple stats, even esoteric stats in favour of play by play analysis...great job...a cheesy "thumbs up" to you.
It was easy to be a H8er last year...lots to H8 on. Lets see how things go this year...
I am convinced that there are metrics which are not easy to measure. Brian referenced an article last year about Battier, and how he just wins. The article shared that Houston did great analysis, and there were significant ways Battier measured "success," beyond points scored, assists, steals, etc., etc. I believe this is true for many, Odoms being a case in point.
Odoms was a fucking freshman put in a bad offense with bad QBs and bad people blocking around him. He still made some contributions and showed some flashes. Yeah the fumbles were bad, but the kid was a fucking freshman...get over it and stop dissing him so much....he has 3 years left and quite possibly will be a key contributor. geeze.
Well at least we know he's not a virgin.. you know, because he's a "fucking freshman."
...and picking on Odoms undermined the persuasiveness of his point. I still think that a stat like "yards per thrown at" has some value even if it doesn't prove that Odoms was terrible or magnificent.
I'd actually quibble with that. Blue Seoul's point was disproved because jg could show that on a preponderance of Odoms' catches, the ball was either poorly thrown, the play poorly blocked, or some combination of the two. If you accept that those disprove the example of Odoms, then how are they accounted for in Blue Seoul's stat? All "yards per thrown at" does is add drops into the denominator of the division problem. Sure, it helps, but it's a really marginal change and doesn't address the larger problem that jg has laid bare.
The issue with receiver stats specifically, and many football stats in general is that they're difficult to use in order to attribute credit or blame to specific individuals. It's hard, without play-by-play information, to seperate Odoms' performance from that of the QB's and his blocking. It's hard to evaluate Minor's performance from the offensive's lines and vice versa.