Charles Woodson is No. 4 on one of those stupid, pointless lists ESPN likes to make.

Submitted by Colt McBaby Jesus on January 27th, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Woodson is No. 4 on ESPN's defensive "Any-Era Team." Yes, this is one of those dumb lists ESPN does when there is nothing better going on, but old guys say nice things about No. 2, so it's worth a read.…



Brown Bear

January 27th, 2012 at 12:34 PM ^

Charles Tillman on the Bears is incredible at the rip and punch out of the ball. I know their are a lot of Bears haters on here but bear with me here(see what I did there). TheBears under Lovie Smith have taught "forcing" turnovers since he's been coaching here and they are usually always near the top of the league in FF. That's one thing that bugs me when I always read that on here about forcing turnovers isn't coachable. It is and the NFL is all about teaching that.

MI Expat NY

January 27th, 2012 at 12:46 PM ^

The argument isn't so much about forcing fumbles, it's about recovering them.  When it was brought up with our defense early in the year, it was because seemingly ever fumble bounced into our defenders' hands.  That's where the chance for regression comes in.  

There are certain fumbles that favor a defensive recovery, such as when receivers fumble downfield after a catch.  There are also those that favor an offensive recovery such as fumbled snaps.  But many seem to be completely random in terms of odds of recovery: RBs in a pile, QB hits in the pocket, fumbles along the sideline.  When a defense is recovering an inordinate amount of those fumbles, there can be regression.

Brown Bear

January 27th, 2012 at 1:11 PM ^

it out as if you can't teach turnovers.   The fact is that if you are teaching and preaching to your defense to get to the ball and  get the ball you will get more turnovers.  A lot of the early season fumbles bounced right into our hands because the defense was swarming to the ball and if a defense is swarming to the ball and trying to get the ball it is more likely it will bounce right into our hands.  I see your point though, not trying to argue even though I am arguing. 




January 27th, 2012 at 1:26 PM ^

First it was all turnovers are random. Then defensive ones were, but not offensive, where it depended on QB experience.  Then it was turnovers aren't always random, but recovery is.  So it's been a moving target. 

The difference is a turnover that was never caused can never be recovered. So by causing turnovers you're givine yourself a better chance of recovering. If recovering them is 50-50, half of 0 is still 0. So the more you can create, the more you can recover.

It's just gone to some regression due to bounces from regression to the mean because it's a totally random occurrence.

MI Expat NY

January 27th, 2012 at 2:49 PM ^

I agree, but I also think you're leaving out some nuance to the arguments as well.  I never agreed with the argument that all TO's are essentially random, if that argument was ever truly proffered.  Players are taught to strip the ball carrier, better defensive back play results in more tipped ball interceptions; etc.  On the offensive side of the ball, a more experienced QB should make less bad decisions, ball carriers can be taught better ball security, etc.  So yes, a statement along the lines of TO margin should regress to the mean, just because, is certainly false.

However, even in the NFL, from year to year, evidence does show that for many if not most teams, TO margin is not consistent from year to year.  The reason is that many of the factors contributing to TO margin don't remain constant.  And this appears to be even more true for college teams where there is greater roster turnover.  

So while, yes, actually causing or preventing turnovers is not a metric purely based on luck, expecting the same performance in TO margin, as a whole, from year to year will likely leave you dissappointed.  However, of course, instead of simply making some bold prediction based purely on one's belief in TO margin regression (or lack thereof), one should rather study the conditions likely to affect TO marginr, such as percentage of fumbles recovered on both sides of the ball from the previous year, returning depth chart, etc. and decide whether TO margin is likely to improve/get worse/remain the same.

1 percent

January 27th, 2012 at 2:32 PM ^

On defense your eyes are always on the ball. On offense, the vast majority of the time, your eyes are never on the ball unless the ball carrier has already run by you and is streaking down field. Usually someone on offense is blocking someone that is trying to get to the ball, but their eyes are not on the ball. So any fumble would favor the defense only because they would have more time to react because they would see the fumble first and would/should already be running in the direction of the ball carrier.. Of course you never know exactly how the ball will bounce and who is going to be standing next to the fumble but overall, without actually looking at stats, I tend to think a fumble favors the defense.


January 27th, 2012 at 12:32 PM ^

so...they polled a bunch of former players and John Clayton on which current players would be successful regardless of when they played the game...and one of the twenty was Tim Tebow who ins't even successful in THIS era? got it. 


January 27th, 2012 at 1:51 PM ^

I would argue that success is not just wins and losses but your performance therein. Tebow did win most of the games that he started, and a playoff game. However, in games where he was relied on (read: threw more 20 or more times) he never accumulated a passer rating over 100 (and only twice broke 90). He threw all six of his interceptions in those games, went just 4 and 4 in those games, threw for a steaming hot 45.1 completion %, committed 10 turnovers to 10 touchdowns. You could go ahead and speculate fairly accurately that his team won despite him. Not because of him. If those are "successful" numbers to you then Joey Harrington ought to be PISSED that he's not starting somewhere.  


ed: regular season starts. 


January 27th, 2012 at 12:39 PM ^

Of their "Who's Now?" contest/bracket a few years ago.

This list is shocking, you mean to tell me that elite players who are also great athletes would still be good if they played 30 years ago with players who were smaller and slower??