don't fade unless you have Jeremy Gallon [Eric Upchurch]
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The goal line fade! Don't do it. Data from NFL two-point conversions:
Coaches! Check out my article on two-point conversions. I recorded every 2-point conversion attempt from the past 7 NFL seasons and did a statistical analysis on the success rates of the different play calls.https://t.co/DmRIty477F pic.twitter.com/N994fxn253
— Noah Riley (@NoahRiley21) July 8, 2018
Also intriguing that every color commentator's favorite option—the rollout pass—is the second-worst decision. Probably because everyone in the world thinks it's a good decision.
Slot corner. The Athletic engages Mike Renner of PFF to detail Michigan's 2019 NFL draft prospects. Many of the same stats you've seen on PFF's tweets—David Long's silly numbers, Chase Winovich's general relentlessness—feature but the most interesting new bit is a negative one on Tyree Kinnel. Not a surprising one, really:
Kinnel was a full-time safety for Michigan who also covered the slot at times. In the NFL and in college, he projects much better to the former. On 91 snaps covering the slot, he allowed 208 yards and a passer rating of 110.7. As a deep safety, he looked much more comfortable.
It is my contention that opposition WRs caught more than their fair share of heavily contested balls against Kinnel a year ago and that even if he's the same player that should be less of an issue this year. But if they've got three really good corners they should probably put one on the slot whenever the opposition has a passing down.
Some good news from the article is that PFF doesn't think Hudson has an NFL position right now and Lavert Hill isn't a slam dunk early entry guy, so Michigan could get them back next year.
[After the JUMP: lies, damned lies, and rosters.]
Mike McCray: not a DE. ESPN article on roster fictions features Mike McCray as a particularly egregious example:
Halfway through the Senior Bowl weigh-in, the same kind of pained look unfurls across the face of Michigan linebacker Mike McCray. Listed at 6-4 his entire college career, McCray does a double take when Boni announces his actual height as barely 6-1. It's the biggest fib by a linebacker anyone has heard since, well, since the year before, when Michigan linebacker Jabrill Peppers turned out to be 5-10, more than 2 inches shorter than the Wolverines claimed.
... he grew to enjoy being thought of as 6-4 and even convinced himself it was an acceptable embellishment because in his heart he knew he was taller than his dad, Mike McCray Sr., a linebacker and captain on the 1984 Ohio State team who was listed on the Buckeyes' roster at 6-3. The only problem? Now an assistant high school principal in Ohio, Mike Sr. admits that he's -- wait for it -- only 6-1 in real life. "When I have my cleats and helmet on and I'm feeling good, I do feel taller than I am," Mike Jr. says after his first Senior Bowl practice. "What else can I say? I honestly don't know what I'm going to say, but I'm sure teams will have questions about it."
Less than five weeks later, a duly chastened McCray found out exactly how much the NFL worries about this kind of blatant heightening when he reported to the NFL combine in Indianapolis. Terrified that he had messed up his draft status, the first thing McCray did after checking in was look up his new official draft bio.
After a few anxious clicks, there it was, in big digits right at the top of the page, his new NFL-approved authentic height: 6-4.
The NBA does a good job of measuring in shoes and out, and usually all but an inch of any discrepancies is explained by the "in shoes" number. I'm guessing McCray is 6'1" in bare feet and then Michigan rounded up. For a given definition of "rounded up" that includes adding one and then rounding up.
RIP NCAA: the game. This is the five year anniversary of the last NCAA Football, and a reminder that Denard was—for now—the last cover gent. People like the game so much that even five years later they're updating Iowa's offensive coordinator:
Seven gamers have formed an “editing team” that’s done the lion’s share of OS’ work to keep NCAA 14 as fresh as possible.
“But there are dozens more contributing to the roster thread with relevant info,” Chris Sanner, the forum’s executive editor, writes in an email.
It takes a few weeks each offseason to get the rosters done. A trip through the forums shows fans of different teams chiming in over several weeks to offer help and feedback.
“I would love to do Georgia Techs roster I could 100% have it done by Monday,” one fan wrote in February 2017. “I can contact Muck on twitter about it.”
A couple folks have taken the opportunity to remind us that the problem wasn't with EA, which would happily pay for image rights to the players if they could make a game, but the NCAA, which thinks that players getting money over the table is a grave affront:
EA knew that consumers wanted those improvements to the videogames, and increased sales would result. But the NCAA remained steadfast in its prohibition against sharing revenues with players and worried that any additional similarities between the athletes and the videogames would further expose the fiction that the videogame "avatars" did not represent real people.
Of all the bizarre consequences of amateurism, the NCAA refusing money because it would result in other people also getting money is way up there.
Veteran backup quarterbacks: nope. Paul Myerberg quantifies a trend you've probably noticed:
...transfers are up across the board, and not just at quarterback. There were 211 graduate transfers playing in the FBS in 2017, a drastic increase from the 117 such transfers in 2016 and the just 17 in 2011. But no other position embodies the transfer craze quite like quarterback, perhaps due to the overwhelming attention always paid to the position in the first place.
It’s led to the near extinction of a certain type of college player: the career backup. Once a roster staple, senior quarterbacks who begin their careers on scholarship and stay with the same program through four years of eligibility without ascending to the starting role are now the sport’s rarest breed. ...
There are only seven quarterbacks in the Football Bowl Subdivision who fit the criteria. Just two, California’s Chase Forrest and TCU’s Grayson Muehlstein, play in a Power Five conference.
Michigan benefited from this when Jake Rudock didn't take an offseason benching kindly; then they lost Wilton Speight this offseason. The last senior non-starting QB Michigan had was David Cone in 2009, who probably didn't have a shot to win a job at another D-1 school. The last guy who probably could have found playing time elsewhere was Scott Dreisbach all the way back in 1998. So... yep. Quarterback who doesn't win the job is going to transfer, especially in the grad-transfer era.
Haven't you invented clocks yet? 538 tackles one of my biggest pet peeves in sports: stoppage time. Namely, that it absurdly under-counts actual stoppage time:
Actual stoppage time is a wildly inaccurate measure of how long the game was actually stopped. The average added time flashed on the board for these 32 games was 6:59, which includes both halves. By our calculations — which adhered to FIFA’s rules on the matter — the time that should have been added to each game was 13:10. This means stoppage time was roughly half of what it should have been for most games.
This is probably generous since 538 didn't start counting balls out of play as stoppage time for at least 20 seconds (on a throw-in) and up to a minute for a free kick or penalty kick. "Arguing with the referee" even gets a 30 second allowance.
People know this, and thus you get soccer's epidemic of flopping about and substitutions with two minutes left and all manner of other junk designed to avoid playing soccer when someone's trying to hold on to a result. The game tells them to do it, so they do it.
And while I'm complaining about soccer rules, yellow cards need to mean something more than "don't do that again." Proposal: the free kick after a yellow card foul outside the box can be moved anywhere you want on the field except the penalty box. Let's turn tactical fouls at mid-field into dangerous set pieces instead of nothing.
On the other hand. 538 calculates that video reviews take about 30 seconds in the average game. 30 seconds! I spend five times that much watching ref butt in every basketball game so they can reset one shot clock. How did soccer get replay so right on the first try when every American sport is getting it as wrong as possible? Every efficient VAR usage in the World Cup sends me into helpless conniption fits as I remember the Charles Matthews Zapruder Call against Purdue, which took literally seven minutes.
Etc.: Jack Johnson signs with the Pens. Little bit of 2020 D commit Ethan Szmagaj scouting. My goal is to be able to spell "Szmagaj" without looking it up by the time he enrolls. Money: there is a lot of it. Bush, Gary, Hudson on the Sporting News's preseason AA teams. Sounding slightly grim for Quinn Hughes's return. Heisman snub lists that don't include Ron Dayne over Mike Vick can get bent! That didn't take long: AFC's Stanley Okumu is trialing with a USL team.