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Will Chad Start The Opener


Will Chad Start The Regular Season Opener?  

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  1. 1. Will Chad Start The Regular Season Opener?



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I don't know, homey. Besides, I don't WANT Dinger making concessions to Chad. If a nack has to get out in the pattern to open up a crossing route, Chad is just going to have to man up and take the hit. You just cannot advocate making concessions to Chad because you're afraid he'll get hit and break. If he can't take a shot, then he can't be your QB. It's that simple. Chad is a tough guy and he's a smart guy, but his three great weaknesses are 1) A weak arm; 2) He doesn't gamble with the ball, even in big spots and 3) He's fragile. Bro, NONE of these things are going to fly with Dinger. I'm telling you, Hackett used to cheer when Chad would settle for a 5-yard dump pass on 3rd and 10 because Hackett was all about his system. Dinger is about putting the ball in the end zone. Guys who aren't helping him do that are going to end up on the bench.

This is why I think it's imperative that Chad has to get back on the field for an entire camp. The guy has developed so many bad habits under Hackett that Dinger is going to have to break. This is going to be HUGE. The first time Chad dumps it five yards short is the first time Dinger is going to scream at him. I;d much rather that happens the first week of camp instead of the first week of the season.

Tom, step away from the ledge.

You missed my point, which could be my fault.

I'm not saying that the offense will be changed to fit Chad's weaknesses. Sure it will - in part, but what I was trying to say is that the offense will be set up to maximize what he does well. That's just smart football.

What he does well is read quickly and make a good decision. The good news is that what qualifies as a good decision is a little different than before.

I don't buy the weak arm thing. The kid throws a nice ball. It's not McNair or Culpepper or Favre, but it's good enough.

He got by with half a wing and competed well at the end of last year. That should account for soemthing.

Fragile? Maybe. He's had two injuries and one was a freak thing.

On the other side of the ledger, I've seen the kid take plenty of hits and get up.

As for the dump-off thing, that is about Hackett. That's what our offense was supposed to do and that's why we all wanted a new offense.

Personally, I think Penny will take to Dinger like a fish to water. I see some problems for us, but Penny getting the new scheme is not one of them.

That said, I do think you make a good point about being on the practice field in TC. Because you are right about changing some habits. I think they'll get that done.

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Tom, step away from the ledge.

You missed my point, which could be my fault.

I'm not saying that the offense will be changed to fit Chad's weaknesses. Sure it will - in part, but what I was trying to say is that the offense will be set up to maximize what he does well. That's just smart football.

What he does well is read quickly and make a good decision. The good news is that what qualifies as a good decision is a little different than before.

I don't buy the weak arm thing. The kid throws a nice ball. It's not McNair or Culpepper or Favre, but it's good enough.

He got by with half a wing and competed well at the end of last year. That should account for soemthing.

Fragile? Maybe. He's had two injuries and one was a freak thing.

On the other side of the ledger, I've seen the kid take plenty of hits and get up.

As for the dump-off thing, that is about Hackett. That's what our offense was supposed to do and that's why we all wanted a new offense.

Personally, I think Penny will take to Dinger like a fish to water. I see some problems for us, but Penny getting the new scheme is not one of them.

That said, I do think you make a good point about being on the practice field in TC. Because you are right about changing some habits. I think they'll get that done.

But here's the deal, bro: What Chad does well is find the hot receiver in his pre-snap read and hit him with it on a 3 step or a 5 step with a nicely timed pass. That's the whole West Coast deal. Unless Dinger makes a huge philosophical shift all of a sudden, that's not what's going to happen here. I'm not saying that Dinger isn't going to bend a little to take Chad's weaknesses into account, but he's not going to scrap his whole Tennesse offense either. Either way, Chad is going to have to almost re-invent himself, almost back to his Marshall days, and there's no question he's going to be opened up to more hits this season than he's ever experienced before. So far, he hasn't shown the ability to stay healthy, freak injury or not. When you look at McNair's injuries--bruised sternum, knees, toes, elbow--those are all contact injuries, meaning there was nothing "freak" about them. Is CHad going to be able to take those hits now and avoid injury when he wasn't taking those hits before without ending up on IR? All I'm saying is that there's a huge question mark there, and as Jets fans, we better keep our fingers crossed. Dinger isn't going to baby Chad and neither should we.

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But here's the deal, bro: What Chad does well is find the hot receiver in his pre-snap read and hit him with it on a 3 step or a 5 step with a nicely timed pass. That's the whole West Coast deal. Unless Dinger makes a huge philosophical shift all of a sudden, that's not what's going to happen here. I'm not saying that Dinger isn't going to bend a little to take Chad's weaknesses into account, but he's not going to scrap his whole Tennesse offense either. Either way, Chad is going to have to almost re-invent himself, almost back to his Marshall days, and there's no question he's going to be opened up to more hits this season than he's ever experienced before. So far, he hasn't shown the ability to stay healthy, freak injury or not. When you look at McNair's injuries--bruised sternum, knees, toes, elbow--those are all contact injuries, meaning there was nothing "freak" about them. Is CHad going to be able to take those hits now and avoid injury when he wasn't taking those hits before without ending up on IR? All I'm saying is that there's a huge question mark there, and as Jets fans, we better keep our fingers crossed. Dinger isn't going to baby Chad and neither should we.

McNair gets injured in large part because of his running days and ways. If he'd played his whole career the way he's played the last few years under Dinger, he'd be in better physical shape today. It's Hemerdinger that has gotten this guy to stick in the pocket and make throws. Sure they call some foot plays for him because he's so good that way, but his Vick days are over.

You are very correct on the quick reads, but there is more to Chad's game than the three yards looks. He looks off guys well and finds a ton of intermediate routes. Granted there was less of that last year.

Chad does have some limitations. He's got average or less than average mobility. His arm is only adequate, bit so were a lot of very successful QB's.

Chad does not need to reinvent himself. He only needs to be healthy.

You are acting as if this coach is Hackett. That he's set in his ways. This is a coach that sees the talent and uses it. He is not going to ask Chad to be McNair. He didn't ask Volek to be McNair.

Dinger is a WCO coach, but unlike Hackett, his offense can change with the times and his personnel.

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med's under the impression that our new OC is some sort of Norman Einstein. A lot of firm opinions about how he'll be utilizing our personnel to the fullest, and the live game adjustments we'll be making.

I hope he's right. I just don't remember anyone talking about this guy in genius terms before the Jets hired him.

And somehow, I think I would've remembered the name "Heimerdinger."

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med's under the impression that our new OC is some sort of Norman Einstein. A lot of firm opinions about how he'll be utilizing our personnel to the fullest, and the live game adjustments we'll be making.

I hope he's right. I just don't remember anyone talking about this guy in genius terms before the Jets hired him.

And somehow, I think I would've remembered the name "Heimerdinger."

You think being adaptive is equivalent to being Einstein? OK.

I am saying that he's not Hackett. His reputation is that he uses his players strengths. Look it up.

Not sure where I equated him with the great minds of our time. As far as his rep, I know that the Titans have been good and that they wanted him back.

What Donnie's rep? How'd that work out?

You always pump that "look for guys from successful programs" thing. That's what they have done two straight years. I'd think you'd be happy.

You two dudes seem to think that Heimerdinger is like Hackett, and will be rigid with the system and fail to use player's strengths. Maybe I am missing something. Please enlighten me.

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But here's the deal, bro: What Chad does well is find the hot receiver in his pre-snap read and hit him with it on a 3 step or a 5 step with a nicely timed pass. That's the whole West Coast deal.

chad does that well b/c that is what was asked of him. when he was at marshall it was much more wide open and down field oriented than hackett's wco.

i would worry more about the surgically repaired shoulder and less about his ability to excel in the offense.

if chad is ready to go at the start of camp and his shoulder is 100% i bet you he makes the pro bowl.

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Chad does not need to reinvent himself. He only needs to be healthy.

He does need to reinvent himself.

Weak arm or not, he needs to put some heat on his intermediate and longer passes. If I was a Jets' fan, I would shudder at the thought of him being in shotgun. He is not facing MAC caliber DBs, he will be facing NFL caliber DBs and with his average arm and touch passes, he is going to struggle.

Oakland exposed him in 2002. Since, he has a nice offense that allowed him to complete a high percentage of passes, to backs to bump up the YPA and ultimately boost his QB Rating. However, when he plays the better teams, they take away his strengths and make him win with his arm. He is 1-9 against Top 10 defenses the last two years. Brady is 16-2.

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I am saying that he's not Hackett. His reputation is that he uses his players strengths. Look it up.

I agree that he's not Hackett. I'm hoping that means he's somebody better.

I have looked it up, but you haven't liked my results. I've found that he rides his starting RB and his #1 WR, and he uses his TE's a lot more than Hackett did. But when I say I expect him to ride our starting RB, I get rebuked.

Tennessee had a pretty good offense before he arrived there, and as OC he ran the system that they had in place. He didn't bring a new system with him. He took over the offense of a team that had gone 13-3 the year before. A pretty good team. They were the #7 scoring offense the year before he arrived, and #'s 13, 12, and 14, respectively, his first three years on the job. Not exactly Earth shattering results. He had the big '03, I guess that's his rep... ?

He comes here, and he's already said that he's keeping the Jets running system in place. So I guess he's part Hackett. The new passing plans are exciting, but could also have some pitfalls. I think we agree on those.

Now... I say all this with a certain level of optimistic expectation myself regarding the new guy. The difference is that I'm not as sold as you seem to be.

That's all I'm saying.

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Med, what adjustments is Dinger going to have to make, exactly, for Chad? If you're talking about keeping backs and TE's in to protect him, I just don't see that happening. If you're talking about having Chad throw to outlet receivers every play, that's not going to cut it either. Now, if you're talking about having Dinger somehow engineer an offense based on short patterns and max protection schemes, then we should have just kept Hackett, as bad as he was. I just don't get what kind of "adjustments" you make to an offense to compensate for an injury prone QB with an average arm and a 47 year-old RB who can't get to the corner anymore. IMO, Dinger should come in and play it his way and make Chad and Martin, or Chad and Blaylock conform to what he has found to be successful. If Chad can't take the beating, he's screwed and so are we. NOT that I see that happening. All I'm saying is that its a source of concern that bears watching.

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He is 1-9 against Top 10 defenses the last two years. Brady is 16-2.

PFSIKH,

Nice stat.

Until PennyBoy can beat the good teams (which he has yet to do) he will remain an average QB at best.

1-9 against top 10 defenses? :shock:

If that doesn't expose him as a fraud, I don't know what will.

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Don't throw out records from the top of your head, give us details on the 1-9 record. Then we can see how much is all on Chad. Did Chad miss a tackle, did Chad drop a ball, fumble etc. How many were due to Hackett crawling into the fetal position when the going got tough? I assume there are four losses to the Pats in there. How many teams beat the Pats over the same span? Give us some details, not an arbitrary stat!

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Don't throw out records from the top of your head, give us details on the 1-9 record. Then we can see how much is all on Chad. Did Chad miss a tackle, did Chad drop a ball, fumble etc. How many were due to Hackett crawling into the fetal position when the going got tough? I assume there are four losses to the Pats in there. How many teams beat the Pats over the same span? Give us some details, not an arbitrary stat!

DNA,

One thing about PFSIKH, his stats are usually 100% accurate.

I'm sure he will give you more details. :wink:

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DNA,

One thing about PFSIKH, his stats are usually 100% accurate.

I'm sure he will give you more details. :wink:

You can't say that "Chad" is 1-9 vs. top defenses because of Hackett. Not to take the heat off of Chad, because he certainly bears some of that responsibility too, obviously, but to say that Chad lost those games to to underestimate how bad Hackett was and, by extension, how stupid Herm is. When you're a QB with a piss-poor audibles, and you're coming up to the line and defenses are actually CALLING the play before it's run--which has been documented repeatedly during Hackett's tenure--you're just going to have very little success, whoever the QB is.

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You can't say that "Chad" is 1-9 vs. top defenses because of Hackett. Not to take the heat off of Chad, because he certainly bears some of that responsibility too, obviously, but to say that Chad lost those games to to underestimate how bad Hackett was and, by extension, how stupid Herm is. When you're a QB with a piss-poor audibles, and you're coming up to the line and defenses are actually CALLING the play before it's run--which has been documented repeatedly during Hackett's tenure--you're just going to have very little success, whoever the QB is.

BTW, did you know Hackett was responsible for the Great Depression as well. :shock:

That excuse is getting old.

PennyBoy is the QB, not Hackett.

And where was all this complaining about Hackett in 2002? :shock:

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BTW, did you know Hackett was responsible for the Great Depression as well. :shock:

That excuse is getting old.

PennyBoy is the QB, not Hackett.

And where was all this complaining about Hackett in 2002? :shock:

Two Words: Rod Rust

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Don't throw out records from the top of your head, give us details on the 1-9 record. Then we can see how much is all on Chad. Did Chad miss a tackle, did Chad drop a ball, fumble etc. How many were due to Hackett crawling into the fetal position when the going got tough? I assume there are four losses to the Pats in there. How many teams beat the Pats over the same span? Give us some details, not an arbitrary stat!

Are you talking to me? Are yooouuuu talking to me? :wink:

Chad vs Top 10 scoring defenses.

2004

W - Buffalo 16-14

L - New England 7-13

L - Buffalo 17-22

L - Pittsburgh 6-17

L - New England 7-23

L - Pittsburgh 17-20

2003

L - Philadelphia 17-24 *Probably unfair as he relieved VT

L - Buffalo 6-17

L - New England 16-21

L - Miami 21-23

Brady vs Top 10 defenses

2004

W - Buffalo 31-17

W - Jets 13-7

L - Pittsburgh 20-34

W - Buffalo 29-6

W - Baltimore 24-3

W - Jets 23-7

W - Pittsburgh 41-27

W - Philadelphia 24-21

2003

L - Buffalo 0-31

W - Philadelphia 31-10

W - Jets 23-16

W - Miami 19-13

W - Denver 30-26

W - Dallas 12-0

W - Miami 12-0

W - Jets 21-16

W - Buffalo 31-0

W - Carolina 32-29

DNA - I understand your point about Hackett and this is not to say Brady is the sole reason for the 16-2 mark. Some of those games the 12-0 wins over Miami and Dallas and the Ravens win last year, Brady had modest stats at best. However, in several of those games, Brady was the difference maker. Go back to 2002, Chad's wonder year and he was 2-4 against Top 10 defenses. Chad is what he is. A good QB that struggles against good defenses.

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Pats fans: If your wives knew what filthy disgusting deviants you were before they married you, would they have gone through with it? The clear answer is 'no'.

My point?

If the defense knows that Hackett is making Chad run the draw play, and they know the draw is coming, and they stop the draw play, why is it fair to blame Chad for that? It would be like blaming your wives for marrying your creepy asses in the first place.

Your honor, the defense rests. Thank you for your time. <Bows>

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If the defense knows that Hackett is making Chad run the draw play, and they know the draw is coming, and they stop the draw play, why is it fair to blame Chad for that?

Please.

Any good QB would check off and audible at the LOS if he saw (and knew) what the defense was going to do.

High school QB's can even do that.

Another weak excuse TS.

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[quote name='"PFSIKH

Chad vs Top 10 scoring defenses.

2004

W - Buffalo 16-14

L - New England 7-13

L - Buffalo 17-22

L - Pittsburgh 6-17

L - New England 7-23

L - Pittsburgh 17-20

2003

L - Philadelphia 17-24 *Probably unfair as he relieved VT

L - Buffalo 6-17

L - New England 16-21

L - Miami 21-23

[/quote']

Okay Sikh, at least we have a valid basis for discussion. Let's keep everything in context though. 3 Pats losses and 2 Steelers losses were to the SB champ in both of those years and the team with the best record in the AFC in each of those years. The Steelers lost a total of 2 games last year. Almost nobody else beat the Pats and Steelers so I guess all of their quarterbacks can't beat the the good D's also. Chad was not alone. The Miami game was a loss on a last second field goal, not Chad's fault. If the D had one stop on the last drive, it is a win. Buffalo is a divisional rival and most divisional games can go either way, that is a fact. It is very tough to sweep a rival every year. One or two plays the other way and the Jets could have beat the Pats in the first gamne last year. Chad also doesn't miss tackles or get burned deep, so it's not all him. On the surface, the numbers say you are right, but if you look at the reality of what's behind the numbers, I say Chad is getting a bum rap. This year will tell.

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Please.

Any good QB would check off and audible at the LOS if he saw (and knew) what the defense was going to do.

High school QB's can even do that.

Another weak excuse TS.

Yeah, he just looks into the hearts and minds of the defenders and sees that they are expecting the draw. Rubbish. Come on dude.

Look at last years performances. You guys say top ten, but four of those ten top ten teams were NE and Pitt. That's better than just top ten. That's four games against one and two and half of those games are conveniently not on Brady's sked. Can we say that he'd be no better than .500 against himself?

The little comparison also conveniently discounts two games against the #11 ranked defense of San Diego and both games were on the road. SD was 12-3 against teams other than us.

Three of the four games against Pit and NE were after his shoulder injury. Another statistical convenience.

Anyway, you want to sing the "Chad has not won the big game" song? Fine. I'd point out that he's won playoff games every year he's played them, so he can win them too. He's had to play three out of four on the road. In one of those years, his road status was partially due to Vinny's 1-3 start.

Brady has had Weiss and Chad has had Hackett. Brady has had Belly to Chad's Herm. Brady is backed by NE's D while Penny has had a far less supportive defense, which is catching up some now. When Brady gets his team in FG range, he sees Vinatieri running in from the sidelines and Chad ... ok, I must stop.

If Pats fans want to play this game, that's fine. I remain confident in Pennington.

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Yeah, he just looks into the hearts and minds of the defenders and sees that they are expecting the draw. Rubbish. Come on dude.

Look at last years performances. You guys say top ten, but four of those ten top ten teams were NE and Pitt. That's better than just top ten. That's four games against one and two and half of those games are conveniently not on Brady's sked. Can we say that he'd be no better than .500 against himself?

The little comparison also conveniently discounts two games against the #11 ranked defense of San Diego and both games were on the road. SD was 12-3 against teams other than us.

Three of the four games against Pit and NE were after his shoulder injury. Another statistical convenience.

Anyway, you want to sing the "Chad has not won the big game" song? Fine. I'd point out that he's won playoff games every year he's played them, so he can win them too. He's had to play three out of four on the road. In one of those years, his road status was partially due to Vinny's 1-3 start.

Brady has had Weiss and Chad has had Hackett. Brady has had Belly to Chad's Herm. Brady is backed by NE's D while Penny has had a far less supportive defense, which is catching up some now. When Brady gets his team in FG range, he sees Vinatieri running in from the sidelines and Chad ... ok, I must stop.

If Pats fans want to play this game, that's fine. I remain confident in Pennington.

Great post. And here's the clincher:

TEAMS win games. INDIVIDUAL PLAYERS do not.

I realize that Tom Brady is a better QB than Chad Pennington. That cannot be disputed at this time.

But Patriots' fans are conveniently leaving out the fact that the New England Patriots franchise is run from top to bottom at a class way above the New York Jets.

Chad bears some responsibility for the inability to move this team into the elite class. But not all of it. He is one man. Granted, he plays the most crucial position in all of sports, but he also had a pair of idiots coaching him and talent around the level of average to above average. It's tough to say how Chad would do with the NE cast around him, but it certainly wouldn't be 1-9 against top 10 defenses.

As per the question asked in this thread: will Chad be ready? I say YES. Say what you want about Pennington, but the man has toughness and will be ready for camp and for the beginning of the season, which we seem to be forgetting is a pretty long way away.

Truthfully, I don't know what to expect from Heimerdinger's offense, I don't know what to expect from Chad, and I refuse to make any predictions.

But I do know that this team has not been put in a better position to win a Super Bowl in over 5 years,

and I'm excited to see what it can do. Chad will not have to carry this team, as Tom Brady has never really had to do, either. The defense is strong and well-coached, the weapons are there on offense, and worst comes to worst, the Jets at least have a proven winner as their backup QB in Jay Fiedler.

The Jets will be fun to watch this year.

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J80 and Meddle -

Good fair and surprisingly unbiased posts. =D>

The numbers I chose are purely arbitrary in nature and obviously not terribly in-depth.

After 2003, when the Chad vs Tom debate was raging and I had a job that allowed me to screw around( :cry: ), I broke down Chad and Tom's won/loss record vs. Top 10, 20 and 30 scoring defenses, vs. winning and losing teams and vs. when the D gives up more then and less then 20 points.

They are not Government sponsored studies by any stretch. There are indicatators, but the outside factors (i.e. class of the organization, supporting talent, etc.) are not weighed in. Maybe if there is a MIT grad on the board they can come up with a better formula.

The numbers are what they are.

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Meddle, Dinger's favorite offensive pass play is the crossing route. These killed the Pats two years ago in the playoffs.

Although the actual routes may not be longer yardage wise, crossing patterns take more time to develop than a quick in, out or curl pattern.

Despite what he may have done versus the Pats, the Tenn offense has featured a wide array of routes, including sideline routes with the larger guys. Derrick Mason ran a lot of curls.

Slats, as for him riding his number one receiver. I'm not sure how to say it, but every team has a top receiver. Tenn has been able to use a lot of guys when they have them. Last year they featured two 1,000 yard receivers who both found the zone with good frequency. That's after losing Ty Calico to injury and McCareins to the Jets.

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According to this site as well, the following have been concluded (based on combination of DPAR and DVOA ratings):

Top 5 most efficient offenses of 2004:

1) Colts

2) Chiefs

3) Vikings

4) Patriots

5) Jets

Top 5 most efficient defenses of 2004:

1) Bills

2) Ravens

3) Redskins

4) Steelers

5) Broncos

6) Patriots

19) Jets

Top 5 Special Teams units of 2004:

1) Bills

2) Saints

3) Eagles

4) Dolphins

5) Ravens

11) Jets

16) Patriots

Top 10 QB's in 2004:

1) Peyton Manning

2) Tom Brady

3) Daunte Culpepper

4) Donovan McNabb

5) Trent Green

6) Marc Bulger

7) Chad Pennington

8) Ben Roethlisberger

9) Brett Favre

10) Drew Brees

Top 10 RB's in 2004:

1) Curtis Martin =D>:shock:

2) Corey Dillon

3) LaMont Jordan

4) Shaun Alexander

5) Edgerrin James

6) Larry Johnson

7) Priest Holmes

8) Jerome Bettis

9) Derrick Blaylock

10) Tiki Barber

Top 15 WR's in 2004

1) Reggie Wayne

2) Michael Clayton

3) Brandon Stokley

4) Joe Horn

5) Nate Burelson

6) Muhsin Muhammad

7) Hines Ward

8) Torry Holt

9) T.J. Houshmandzadah

10) Terrell Owens

11) Javon Walker

12) Lee Evans

13) Santana Moss

14) Ashley Lelie

15) Marvin Harrison

Top 5 TE's in 2004:

1) Antonio Gates

2) Tony Gonzalez

3) Alge Crumpler

4) Jason Witten

5) Jeb Putzier

7) Daniel Graham

17) Chris Baker

25) Doug Jolley

Top 5 Offensive Lines in 2005:

1) Colts

2) Jets

3) Chiefs

4) Vikings

5) Patriots

Top 5 Defensive Lines in 2004:

1) Redskins

2) Steelers

3) Bills

4) Ravens

5) Jets

17) Patriots

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Here is further explanation of "DVOA"

METHODS TO OUR MADNESS

WHERE ARE WE COMING FROM

Football statistics can't be analyzed in the same way baseball statistics are. After all, there are only 16 games in a season. Baseball has ten times more, and even the NBA offers five times more. The more games, the more events to analyze, and the more events to analyze, the more statistical significance.

That is true, but the trick is to consider each play in an NFL game as a separate event. For example, Peyton Manning played only 16 games in 2003, but in those 16 games he had 610 passing plays (including sacks) and 26 rushing plays (including scrambles) for a total of 636 events. Sammy Sosa, in 2002, played 150 games, and had 666 plate appearances. For the most part, a quarterback who plays a full season will have the same number of plays as a baseball hitter who plays in most of his team's games.

A running back will have fewer plays than a quarterback, and wide receivers and tight ends will have even fewer. But there should still be enough plays with most starting running backs and receivers to allow for analysis with some significance. As an example, LaDanian Tomlinson ran the ball 383 times in 2002, and was the target of 101 pass targets (including incompletes), for a total of 484 plays. Tomlinson was used a bit more often than the average running back, but in general a starting running back will have 400-500 plays over 16 games. Receivers are used a bit less, and therefore their stats are likely not as accurate. In general, starting wide receivers who are not named "Harrison" have 75-150 pass targets over a full season.

We're introducing a lot of new statistics here. We think that these statistics show us new ways to look at the NFL, and new things we may not see through conventional stats that don't take game situations into account. But we also admit that these statistics are new. They are based on only one season of the NFL. They will probably be tweaked numerous times over the next few years. To be honest, we are in the "Bill James mimeographing 25 hand-stapled copies of the Baseball Abstract in his garage" stage right now. But hey, James discovered a lot of important things right from the get go, and thanks to the Internet we can share the things we've discovered with more than 25 people. And we don't have to get mimeograph ink all over our hands. Please feel free to contact us with questions and comments about our new statistics (email Aaron at aaron-at-footballoutsiders.com).

VOA EXPLAINED

The majority of the ratings featured on FootballOutsiders.com are based on VOA, or Value Over Average. This stat breaks down the NFL season play by play to see how much success offensive players achieved in each specific situation compared to the league average. (There are a few other statistics, which are explained later on this page.)

Let's start the explanation of VOA with two running backs. One running back runs for three yards. Another running back runs for three yards. Which is the better run?

There are a number of questions that need to be asked to figure that out. What is the down and distance? Is it 3rd-and-2, or 2nd-and-15? Where on the field is the ball? Does the player get only three yards because he hits the goal line and scores? Is this player's team up by two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, so that he is running out the clock, or down by two touchdowns so that the defense is playing purely against the pass? Is our running back playing against Baltimore, or Kansas City?

All of these variables have an impact on what we should expect from any offensive play in football. Three yards is different depending on the situation. Sometimes it is a success, like when it gets a first down. Sometimes it is a failure, like when it comes on first down with the team losing by two touchdowns with five minutes left. And yet, conventional NFL statistics count plays based solely on their yardage. The NFL determines the best players by adding up all their yards no matter what situations they came in or how many plays it took to get them. That's a problem because football has two objectives that get you closer to scoring: gaining yards, and achieving first downs. These two goals need to be balanced to determine a player's value or a team's performance. All the yards in the world aren't useful if they all come in eight-yard chunks on third-and-tens.

The popularity of fantasy football only exaggerates the problem. Fans have gotten used to judging players based on how much they help fantasy teams win and lose, not how much they help real teams win and lose. But fantasy scoring skews things by counting the yard between the one and the goal line as 61 times more important than all the other yards on the field. Let's say Keyshawn Johnson catches a pass on 3rd-and-15 and goes 50 yards but gets tackled two yards from the goal line, and then Eddie George takes the ball on 1st-and-goal from the two-yard line and plunges in for the score. Or, let's say that the Giants take a touchback on the opening kickoff, and the Dallas defense stuffs Tiki Barber twice, and on third-and-10 Kurt "Nine Fingers" Warner throws the ball into the arms of Terence Newman, who gets taken down by Jeremy Shockey at the two-yard line. Then on the ensuing 1st-and-goal, George scores a touchdown.

Has George done something special? Not really. When an offense gets the ball on 1st-and-goal at the two-yard line, they are going to score a touchdown five out of six times. In the first situation, George is getting the credit that primarily belongs to the passing game. In the second situation, George is getting the credit that primarily belongs to the defense.

Can we do a better job of distributing credit for scoring points and winning games? That's the goal of VOA, or Value Over Average. VOA breaks down every single play of the NFL season to see how much success offensive players achieved in each specific situation compared to the league average. It uses a value based on both total yards and yards towards a first down, based on work done by Pete Palmer, Bob Carroll, and John Thorn in their seminal book, The Hidden Game of Football. On first down, a play is considered a success if it gains 45% of needed yards; on second down, a play needs to gain 60% of needed yards; on third or fourth down, only gaining a new first down is considered success.

We then expand upon that basic idea with a more complicated system of "success points." A successful play is worth one point, an unsuccessful play zero points. Extra points are awarded for big plays, gradually increasing to three points for 10 yards, four points for 20 yards, and five points for 40 yards or more. There are fractional points in between. (For example, eight yards on 3rd-and-10 is worth 0.54 "success points.") Losing three or more yards is -1 point, an interception is -8 points, and a fumble is worth anywhere from -2.15 to -6.54 points depending on how often a fumble in that situation is lost to the defense. Red zone plays are worth more, and there is a bonus given for a touchdown. (The system is a bit more complex than the one in Hidden Game thanks to a number of developments, including the larger penalty for turnovers, the fractional points, and a slightly higher baseline for success on first down.)

Every single play run in the NFL gets a "success value" based on this system, and then that number gets compared to the average success values of plays in similar situations for the entire season for all players, adjusted for a number of variables. These include down and distance, field location, time remaining in game, and current scoring lead or deficit. Rushing plays are compared to other rushing plays, passing plays to other passing plays, tight ends get compared to tight ends and wideouts to wideouts. Going back to our example of the three-yard rush, if Player A gains three yards under a set of circumstances where the average NFL running back gains only one yard, it can be argued that Player A has a certain amount of value above others at his position. Likewise, if Player B gains three yards on a play where, under similar circumstances, an average NFL back would be expected to gain four yards, it can be argued that Player B has negative value relative to others at his position. Once we have all our adjustments, we can add the differences between this player's success and the expected success of an average running back in the same situation to get V+, a number which represents that back's number of successful plays over an average back. If you divide a player's total success value (V+) by the average success values of all players in the each of the situations he faced, you get VOA, or Value Over Average.

Of course, the biggest variable in football is the fact that each team plays a different schedule. By adjusting each play based on the defense's average success in stopping that type of play over the course of a season, we get DVOA, or Defense-adjusted Value Over Average. Rushing and passing plays are adjusted based on down and location on the field; receiving plays are also adjusted based on how the defense performs against passes to running backs, tight ends, and wide receivers.

(Confusion alert: Originally, we called the adjusted VOA for defense something else, but finally we decided that it was better to call opponent-adjusted VOA the same thing in every instance, and most people thought "DVOA" just sounded better than "OVOA" or "AVOA" even though, yes, when we're talking about defenses the "D" can't stand for defense. Think of it as standing for "dependent on opponent" or something.)

The biggest advantage of DVOA is the ability to break teams and players down to find strengths and weaknesses in a variety of situations. In the aggregate, DVOA may not be quite as accurate as some of the other, similar "power ratings" formulas based on comparing drives rather than individual plays, but unlike those other ratings DVOA can be separated not only by player but also by down, or by week, or by distance needed for first down. This can give us a better idea of not just which team is better but why, and what a team has to do in order to improve itself in the future. Some readers have criticized us for using DVOA in too many different ways, but that's the idea behind the number -- since it takes every single play into account, it can be used to measure a player or a team's performance in any situation. And, since it compares each play only to plays with similar circumstances, it gives a more accurate picture of how much better a team really is compared to the league as a whole. The list of top DVOA offenses on third down, for example, is more accurate than the conventional NFL conversion statistic because it takes into account that converting third-and-long is more difficult than converting third-and-short.

OTHER THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

One of the hardest parts of understanding a new statistic is grasping the idea of what numbers represent good performance or bad performance. We try to make that easy with DVOA, because it gets compared to average. Therefore, 0% always represents league-average. A positive DVOA represents that the offense is more likely to score, and a negative DVOA represents that the defense is more likely to stop them. This is why the best offenses have positive DVOA ratings (Kansas City: +28.4%) and the best defenses have negative DVOA ratings (Baltimore: -32.0%). Ratings for teams and starting players generally follow that scale, with the best being around 30% and the worst being around -30% (opposite for defense).

In team efficiency stats that combine a team's offense and defense, the team total is given by offense minus defense to take into account that better defenses are more negative.

With fewer situations to measure, the numbers spread out a bit more, so you'll see more extreme DVOA ratings for part-time players and for measurements of teams in more specific situations (for example, passing on third downs). The charts listing players in order of DVOA have cut-offs for number of attempts, because players with just a handful of plays end up with absurd VOA and DVOA numbers (In 2002, for example, Henry Burris, -103%, Jake Delhomme +52%).

Passing statistics include sacks as well as fumbles on aborted snaps. Receiving statistics include all passes intended for the receiver in question, including those that are incomplete or intercepted. At some point, I hope to be able to determine just how much impact different receivers have on completes vs. incomplete passes, but various regression analyses make it clear that both quarterback and receiver have an impact on whether a pass is complete or not. The word passes refers to both complete and incomplete pass attempts.

AN EXAMPLE OF HOW VOA WORKS

Let's show an example of how the numbers work with one specific play -- and watch out, this gets seriously geeky. In 2002, Week 4, in the third quarter of the Philadelphia-Houston game, Philadelphia faced second-and-10 from their own 39. Donovan McNabb passed the ball to Chad Lewis for a 9-yard gain, but Lewis fumbled the ball at the end of the play and Houston recovered.

In general, that play is worth 2.14 to McNabb as a passer, since he's not responsible for the fumble. On average, pass attempts on second-and-10, with the team up by more than a touchdown and the ball in the BACK zone (from the team's own 21 through 39) are worth 0.86. So McNabb on this play is 1.28 over average. But Houston's pass defense is better than league average against tight ends, and better than league average when down by more than a touchdown (heck, they had a lot of practice for it) so that adds 0.15, making McNabb's rating for this play equal 1.43.

Things don't rate so well for Lewis. He gets -8.0 for the turnover, no matter how many yards he received for the reception. The average value of this play is a slightly different, .82, since we're only comparing Lewis to other tight ends in this situation. So his rating is -8.82 before we adjust for Houston's defense. For receptions, we compare defenses according to position and down, and Houston allows 0.42 less than the league average on second down TE receptions, so the final rating for the play for Lewis is -8.40.

Philadelphia's team offensive efficiency also credits this as a fumble, -8.0. The average for second-and-10 in the BACK zone, for all offensive plays (rushes and passes) is 0.59, so the rating is -8.59 before adjusting for defense. Houston is a tiny .07 better than league average on second down pass plays in the BACK zone, so Philly ends up with -8.52.

Turn it around, and we adjust Houston's defensive team efficiency score based on Philly's offense. We start with that same -8.59. The Philly offense is worse than league-average in the BACK zone, but better than league average on second down, and combined that makes Houston's value on this play -8.69.

How would different circumstances change things? What if Houston had recovered the same fumble, in the same situation, against the Raiders? Well, the Raider' passing game was much better than league average in the BACK zone, and roughly league average on second down, so if Houston had been facing Rich Gannon and company this play would count for -9.07.

VOA FOR SPECIAL TEAMS

What about special teams? The special teams method is different, since each play on special teams has a single goal instead of two goals like rushing and passing plays. Either you want to get the ball through the uprights, you want to kick the ball really far, or you want to return the ball for as many yards as possible. Punts and kickoffs are judged based on the difference in point value between each kick and an average kick from that position on the field. Punt returns and kick returns are judged based on the difference in point value between each return and an average return from the spot where the ball is picked up. Each field goal is compared to the league-average percentage of field goals from that distance. The whole method is described in detail here, although it has recently undergone a major revision, improving the value of touchbacks and adding an adjustment for weather, stadium, and altitude. An article on those revisions is coming later this season.

PAR EXPLAINED

After dealing with DVOA for a few months, we had to deal with a strange tendency; well-regarded players, particularly those known for their durability, had DVOA ratings that came out around average. Players along these lines included Deuce McAllister, LaDainian Tomlinson (in 2002, not 2003), and Jeremy Shockey.

The problem is that DVOA doesn't take into account the value of a player being involved in a greater number of plays, even if his performance is league-average. A player who is involved in more plays can draw the defense's attention away from other parts of the offense. If that player is a running back, he can take time off the clock with repeated runs. And most importantly, nearly every player is a starter for a reason: he is better than the alternative.

Let's say you have a running back who carries the ball 300 times in a season. What would happen if you were to remove this player from his team's offense? What would happen to those 300 plays? Well, the player would not be replaced by thin air. This is why you have to compare performance to some kind of baseline; two yards is not two yards better than the alternative. On the other hand, while comparing players to the league average works on a per play basis, it doesn't work on a total basis because a player removed from an offense is not generally replaced by a similar player. Those 300 plays will generally be given to a significantly worse player, someone who is the backup because he doesn't have as much experience and/or talent.

To take this into account, we borrowed the concept of replacement level from Baseball Prospectus. Using a scale similar to the scale BP uses to determine baseball's replacement level, we've determined that a replacement level player has a DVOA of roughly -13.3%. (If you want to know why, it is explained in the original article introducing PAR.) Instead of determining value by comparing each play's "success value" to the average, as in DVOA, each play is instead compared to a number roughly 13.3% below the average success value of similar plays. That gives us value over a replacement level player, a better representation of a player's total contribution to his team on all his plays.

Actually, while in general replacement level is -13.3%, technically it is different for each position depending on whether we are measuring passing, rushing, or receiving. And, of course, the real replacement player is different for each team in the NFL. Chicago's backup quarterback (Chandler) was better than its starting quarterback (Stewart). Houston's second-team running back (Davis) was better than the guy who began the year as a starter (Mack). Both of Steve McNair's backups performed well. Sometimes, the drop from the starter to the backup is even greater than the general drop to replacement level. Despite being known over the years for depth, Denver last year had a massive drop when they went from their starting running back to his backup, and when they went from the starting quarterback (Plummer) to his backup (Beuerlein). Since you need to generalize for the league as a whole, and no starter can be blamed for the poor performance of his backup, we use the same general replacement level across the league.

Of course, giving a number of "success value points over replacement level" would be fairly useless to the average fan and even the non-average fan. If I tell you Tommy Maddox was worth 77 success value points over replacement in 2003, you would have no idea what the heck I was talking about. So we translate those success value points into a number that represents actual points. After working through statistics from the past four seasons, our best approximation is that a team made up entirely of replacement-level players would be outscored 407 to 260, finishing with a 4-12 record. Conveniently, this is close to the average record of the last four expansion teams. But part of the reason this team gives up so many more points than it scores is that it has replacement-level special teams. Those replacement level special teams are worth -27 points, making the actual baseline for determining offensive value 274 points (the baseline for defensive value is 394 points).

With a bit of math, it works out that each "success value point" over replacement level is worth about .48 actual points above this offensive baseline. We also adjust this number for the strength of the opponents each player has faced. Now I can tell you that Tommy Maddox was worth 37 points more than a replacement level quarterback in 2003, or 37 DPAR (which stands for Defense-adjusted Points Above Replacement). That's nothing compared to Peyton Manning, of course, who was worth 127 points more than a replacement level quarterback in 2003, or 127 DPAR.

ISSUES WITH DVOA/DPAR

You need to have the entire play-by-play of a season in order to compute it, so it is useless for comparing players of today to players of history. As of this writing, we have processed four seasons, 2000-2003.

DVOA is limited by what's included in the official NFL play-by-play, so we can't say which teams have the best offensive DVOA when play-faking, or the best defensive DVOA against three-receiver sets.

Since play-by-play lists tackles, sacks, and interceptions, but not attempted tackles, or attempted sacks or interceptions, we don't have individual DVOA or DPAR for defensive players at this point.

DVOA is still far away from the point where we can use it to represent the value of a player separate from the performance of his ten teammates that are also involved in each play. That means that when we say, "Priest Holmes has a DVOA of 17.6%," what we are really saying is "Priest Holmes, playing in the Kansas City offensive system with the Kansas City offensive line blocking for him and Trent Green selling the fake when necessary, has a DVOA of 17.6%."

DIRECTIONAL RUSHING EXPLAINED

One exception to the use of VOA/PAR, and the use of "play success" instead of raw yardage, is the rating system for offensive and defensive lines. Actually, these are only measures of running plays, and of course the defensive numbers don't measure just the defensive line, but the whole front seven against the run.

One of the most difficult goals of statistical analysis in football is somehow isolating how much responsibility for a play lies with each of the 22 men on the field. Nowhere is this as obvious as the running game, where one player runs while up to nine other players -- including wideouts, tight ends, and fullback -- block in different directions. None of the statistics we use for measuring rushing -- yards, touchdowns, yards per carry -- differentiate between the contribution of the running back and the contribution of the offensive line.

What we do have from the data is the direction of each play: left, middle, or right. By isolating each of these three sets of rushing plays, we can begin to get an idea of the strengths and weaknesses of each offensive line.

Unfortunately, most play-by-play reports do not differentiate between a planned quarterback run, and a scramble off a busted pass play. Under the assumption that there are very few runs called for quarterbacks not named "Vick," the directional rushing statistics do not include QB runs. They also don't include runs by wide receivers, since these are mostly trick plays and reverses that don't depend on conventional offensive line blocking.

I took one more step in order to try to analyze the importance of the offensive line. At a certain point on every rushing play, the back has gotten past all of his offensive line blocks. From here on, the rest of the play is dependent on the runner's own speed and elusiveness, combined with the speed and tackling ability of the defensive players. If Priest Holmes breaks through the line for 80 yards, avoiding tacklers all the way to the goal line, his offensive line has done a great job -- but they aren't responsible for most of that run.

So at what point past the line of scrimmage has the offensive line done all it can do, leaving the back on his own to make it the rest of the way? My best guess is 10 yards, but that's a bit conservative. It's probably more like seven or eight yards. Nonetheless, we'll use 10 yards for now, so in the directional rushing numbers all runs over 10 yards have been reduced to 10 yards to give a number called line yards. That should remove the bias caused by a back with great breakaway speed, or a defensive secondary that can't tackle. It also allows us to measure a running game's ability to break long runs separately.

That's the first measure of directional rushing. We also have adjusted line yards, which makes an adjustment on each rushing play based on down, distance, location on field, and score (in the fourth quarter only). Finally, we have defense-adjusted and offense-adjusted line yards, which take into account the quality of the opponent on each play.

The system is far from perfect. When analyzing rushes to the left, for example, we cannot isolate the ability of the left tackle from that of the left guard. We know that some runners are just inherently better going up the middle, and some are better going side to side, and we can't measure how much that impacts these numbers. On top of that, we have no way of knowing the blocking contribution made by fullbacks, tight ends, or wide receivers.

To make things worse, NFL.com and ESPN.com actually report rushing direction differently. NFL.com game reports give rushing attempts as Left End, Left Tackle, Left Guard, and so on; ESPN.com game reports give rushing attempts only as left, middle, or right. In fact, these two don't even always agree. Sometimes during the 2002 season, ESPN.com would list a play as a run left while NFL.com would list the same play as a run Right Guard. For now, I found more statistical significance using ESPN's three directions than using NFL.com's seven. I did adjust plays so that any play listed left on one site and right on the other is now listed as middle. (I thought that was a safe assumption, at least.)

(Note: Screwing us up entirely, ESPN.com ceased publishing directions of plays in Week 8 of 2003.)

So with all that in mind, directional rushing statistics give us a start towards separating the quality of an offensive lineman from the quality of the back that runs behind him (particularly the tackles and center, since guards are often leading on both runs up the middle and those to their side). Looking at the numbers does reveal a good bit about each team's strengths and weaknesses in the running game. In the future, the ability to create a database of multiple seasons should allow us to compare stats when linemen switch teams, bringing us closer to isolating line play from the running back.

To help clarify, here are the statistics for an average NFL team. Note that adjusted line yards are higher than line yards because adjustments in the red zone are nearly always positive to take the shorter field into account.

NFL AVERAGE ADJUSTED LINE YARDS FOR 2003

All directions: 3.60 yd/carry

26% Left: 3.76 yd/carry

50% Middle: 3.54 yd/carry

24% Right: 3.56 yd/carry

Over 10 yards: 17%

Power success: 65%

Stuffed: 24%

The first line states that rushing attempts averaged 3.65 yards per carry after adjustments. The second line states that 24% of rushing attempts in the NFL went to the left in 2002, for an adjusted average of 3.79 yd/carry. The following two lines give the same data for runs up the middle and to the right.

Over 10 yards gives the percentage of the team's rushing yards that come from double-digit runs, past the first 10 yards of each run. So for a 15-yard run, five yards are counted; for an 80-yard run, 70 yards are counted. This number gives you an idea of how much of a team's running game was based on the breakaway speed of the running backs -- not to mention the opportunity provided by getting past the front seven with a lot of field in front of you. After all, you can only run 80 yards if you're on your own 20. This number is not adjusted in any way.

Power success measures the success of specific running plays rather than the distance. This number represents how often a running attempt on third or fourth down, with two yards or less to go, achieved a first down or touchdown. Since quarterback sneaks, unlike scrambles, are heavily dependent on the offensive line, this percentage does include runs by all players, not just running backs. This is the only stat given that includes quarterback runs. It is not adjusted based on game situation or opponent.

Stuffed measures the percentage of runs that result in (on first down) zero or negative gain or (on second through fourth down) less than one-fourth the yards needed for another first down. Note that this is slightly different from the definition of "stuffed" used by STATS, Inc.

A NOTE ON PLAY-BY-PLAY DATA

Our data may differ slightly from official NFL numbers due to discrepancies in different play-by-play reports. In addition, we've adjusted clock plays, with kneels no longer counting as rush attempts and spikes no longer counting as pass attempts.

This is really the best you're going to get out of the pure raw numbers in the NFL. These guys broke down EVERY SINGLE PLAY as best they could. Therefore, I think this system is as good as you can get to make a statistical analysis of a team or individual players.

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Good work, 80. That's interesting stuff. And here I thought you were retarded.

Well, truth be told, you CAN be mildly retarded and still fully functional.

But alas, my IQ is in the 120-130 range, so that's that. :lol:

In any case, this was not my work, so it doesn't prove anything about my intelligence (or lack thereof).

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I have to say yes. If he could play with it when it was torn, I'm sure he could play with it when it is surgically repaired. :D But seriously though, he's got 2 1/2 months to come back, and you know he's going to be working his ass off to make sure he gets back in time.

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I do not know whether Chad will be ready. Had the surgery been done in October, during the season, I would feel much more comfortable, but I simply do not know.

Each athlete responds to injury differently, but Rich Gannon quickly comes to mind when I think of Chad. They are both cerebral, accurate qb's. Gannon never had a strong arm, but he did have an accurate downfield throws and was able to beat teams deep, despite having two shoulder surgeries. Then again, I do know for a fact one was on his throwing arm, I'm not sure about the injury he suffered in Washington.

Gannon did injure his arm during the season and had the surgery in November, which gave him plenty of time to rehab. Some of the articles I found show him participating in training camp, and he even stated his arm was stronger, better. He felt no pain. Chad says the same thing. I know, it sounds like I'm a homer, but Chad did have a stronger arm in college, and the injuries he suffered in 2000 could have stripped him of some strength. I's alot to ask a player to return STRONGER after surgery, but it does happen. It did for Gannnon. I just think that even in a best case scenario, Chad will not be ready in a month for camp. Gannon had 8 months, Penny 5.

Keep in mind that the pre season games will take place the first/second week of August. How will Chad be ready if he's just lobbing passes now? He has not been under center and has not practiced the O.

Anyway, he's an article I found on Gannon:

Rich Gannon, OAK

Injury: Recovering from surgery to repair torn labrum in right shoulder.

Insight: Gannon missed the final 9 games of the season after tearing the labrum in his right (throwing) shoulder against the Chiefs in Week 7.

He had surgery to repair the tear last November and by all accounts he has made a tremendous recovery. Rich was given clearance to throw without restrictions back in early May and in the team's first minicamp he silenced critics and speculators by throwing 100 passes, many over 35 yards and some up to 50 yards, without experiencing any pain or discomfort. The only problem now is of course will Gannon and his $7 million salary still be a part of the Raiders' franchise come September.

Whether he's still with the team he lead to the Superbowl 2 years ago, or with another franchise, he will be at full strength for the start of the 2004 regular season. Obviously his draft day value would be higher if he is still with the Raiders, but even if he is a cap casualty he will quickly catch on with another team and be that team's starter this year.

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