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Take a moment to read and laugh: Football Outsiders pegged Welker as a reach pre-2007

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Shockt327, Jun 12, 2012.

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  1. Shockt327

    Shockt327 Rookie

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    It's slightly off topic, but I found it amusing....

    Here's the article: FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | Welker? I Hardly Know Her.

    Bill Barnwell wrote this article during the summer of 2007, after The Pats acquired all of our WRs for that year. We gave up a 2nd and a 7th for Welker. In the article Barnwell surmises that Welker is a "victim of his own success" because his stats will fall in NE. Why? Well, he cites a ton of statistical reasons. It's not just his own personal opinion. Again, it's the stats. It's an interesting read. Even more interesting is just how wrong it all is. So, so wrong. Keep this in mind next time you read a reasonable sounding argument from FO.

    Oh! And in the comments section go read post #21. Someone points to Welker as being a future 1000 yr receiver and a pro bowler for 2007. Yet, the response from our author? "This made me laugh. I don't know about anyone else, but it made me."(In post #40)

    Hmmm. If I were a mean spirited troll; I would so try to get a response from Barnwell over at ESPN (where he now writes) ;)

    EDIT: The author predicted Welker's stats at just 35 catches, 445 yards. Not being able to predict 100+ receptions and 1000 yards is one thing. But going that low? Embarrassing.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012
  2. Palm Beach Pats Fan

    Palm Beach Pats Fan Rookie

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    Re: Take a moment to read and laugh: Football Outsiders pegged Welker as a reach pre-

    That's right up there with the "Clint's Corner" analysis of the 2000 Patriots draft

    GoPats.com - Patriots Unofficial - Clint's Corner Archive

    :p
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012
  3. Rob0729

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    Re: Take a moment to read and laugh: Football Outsiders pegged Welker as a reach pre-

    People forget that prior to 2007, Brady was not a guy who put up gaudy numbers. He was just very efficient. Prior to 2007, he had over 4,000 yards just once. I think he had only one receiver to ever get a 1,000 yards or more up to that point (Troy Brown got 1,199 in 2001). Thinking Welker would not put up gaudy stats in New England before the start of the 2007 season is not as stupid as it sounds now.
  4. BSR

    BSR Rookie

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    Re: Take a moment to read and laugh: Football Outsiders pegged Welker as a reach pre-

    I don't have a problem with the article at all. Nobody was realistically predicting that type of production from the offense. As for post #21, I think he was mostly laughing because it was broken english.
  5. Ron Sellers

    Ron Sellers Rookie

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    Re: Take a moment to read and laugh: Football Outsiders pegged Welker as a reach pre-

    A couple of takeaways from the 2007 column.

    - Barnwell made the assumption that Moss and Stallworth would bet the bulk of the pass targets. Apparently his theory was that because Brady did not previously have as good outside receivers in the past that they would have 100 passes thrown to each of them.

    - Barnwell does account for shorter pass routes, but on top of not accounting for enough of them he opines that Ben Watson will get the most of those passes.

    - The most important benchmark Barnwell uses is the number of passes thrown to Troy Brown (60 in 2003, 76 in 2006, 59 in 2005) as his basis for projecting Welker to have 55 pass targets.

    - Kudos to Oswlek for his response #8, even if his projections were a bit low:


    What this article fails to touch upon is how important the slot WR is to NE's offense. Last year, they had significant trouble converting 1st downs because their best slot guy, Brown, was both old and outside to help the team break in the new WRs. Despite the obvious WR issues NE had, their best set was the spread. They love to have other teams get their nickle and dime CBs on the field, or have a WR/LB matchup and take advantage by having better than average 3rd and 4th guys. Obviously the 1 and 2 guys need to be good enough to command some attention, but NE generated a lot of their success in 2003 and 2004 with those spread matchups. Because of this, and how often NE spreads the field, a #3 guy to NE was much more valuable than he may be to another team.

    Because of all of this, Welker seeing time in the slot is in no way a denegration of his ability. Unlike many teams who just line up their best guy off left and their second best off right and their third best guy in the slot, NE doesn't have that "rank by position". The slot is nothing more than where the WR will line up. If anything, the most important ranking is "where is the WR on Tommy's confidence list?" At this point, Welker is a solid #2, right behind Brown. And Brown and Welker won't be fighting for the same ball very often.​
  6. Shockt327

    Shockt327 Rookie

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    Re: Take a moment to read and laugh: Football Outsiders pegged Welker as a reach pre-

    Guys. You are creating a false dichotomy. There is a huge difference between a 1000 yard season and just 36 receptions at 445 yards. That's what they predicted for Welker in 2007. That's severely low-balling it. Low balling even by the standards of Welker's 2006 season in Miami; at 67 rec 687 yrds. So, Football Outsiders? They thought Welker couldn't even live up to that. Again, they predicted just 35 catches, 445 yards. Essentially surmising that Welker was little more than a special teams maven who would be a rather limited slot WR in NE. A reach of a trade.

    So again, I'm not bashing them for not foreseeing a statistical giant of a season. Rather I'm bashing them for thinking that Welker couldn't even live up to his stats from Miami. Huge difference. Huge failure for FO.
  7. ay-yo

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    Re: Take a moment to read and laugh: Football Outsiders pegged Welker as a reach pre-

    Look, I know Maroney played good that season but :bricks:
  8. DaBruinz

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    Re: Take a moment to read and laugh: Football Outsiders pegged Welker as a reach pre-

    Shockt37 - I'm not sure why you find this surprising. There were many people on this board who felt that Welker was nothing but a glorified slot receiver and that he wouldn't put up better numbers than he did in Miami. There were many of those same people who felt that the Pats gave up too much in the 2nd and 7th to get Welker. There were very few who actually wanted the Pats to grab Welker because we could envision what he could do in this offense. There were even fewer who started prior to the start of the 2006 season saying that we wanted Welker during free agency the next year because of what we saw from him.

    It happens. Some things go right. Others don't.
  9. ausbacker

    ausbacker Brady > Manning. PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Take a moment to read and laugh: Football Outsiders pegged Welker as a reach pre-

    It's safe to say the Welker acquisition has gone right, James Right for the Patriots. :p
  10. MoLewisrocks

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    Re: Take a moment to read and laugh: Football Outsiders pegged Welker as a reach pre-

    And lest we forget, NEM predicted Welker would be traded to save face or a camp cut proving that BB made a mistake in acquiring him and once Moss and Stallworth were secured because there was no need for another midget receiver...
  11. AndyJohnson

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    Re: Take a moment to read and laugh: Football Outsiders pegged Welker as a reach pre-

    You can find fans on this board complaining and criticizing everything. Some have wanted Brady traded, and BB fired, even recently.
    It is not surprising that anything would be posted on this board, what is surprising is that someone with the credibility of having a job writing about football would say it.
  12. Shockt327

    Shockt327 Rookie

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    Re: Take a moment to read and laugh: Football Outsiders pegged Welker as a reach pre-

    Yes.

    Also, to add to that sentiment. The author is using the same football-sabermetrics, statistical models that Football Outsiders lives and breathes with, to come to that conclusion on Welker. Look how utterly wrong it was. So it's not just a bad opinion. It's a bad way of viewing stats to jump to conclusions.
  13. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Take a moment to read and laugh: Football Outsiders pegged Welker as a reach pre-

    Football, more than most sports, and WR, more than most positions have stats that are not always indicative of the quality of the player (for better or worse) because of scheme, philosophy and teammates.
    There have been many WRs in this league to catch 60-70 passes, who were not as good as guys sitting on the bench on other teams, or guys with a QB who is weak. Using stats in one situation to conclude what a player will do in another is naive, unless of course, you take into account the circumstances and varialbles.
  14. Ron Sellers

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    Re: Take a moment to read and laugh: Football Outsiders pegged Welker as a reach pre-

    That's the thing with statistics, and using them to project the future. I can interpret them one way, another person can interpret them another way, and a third person comes to yet another conclusion.

    While Barnwell was indeed off with his analysis, did anybody - even Welker or his mom - think that he would lead the NFL in receptions in 2007? And because nobody saw that coming, should sport fans and the media stop making predictions, or predictions based on stats?

    Football Outsiders missed on this prediction, but is anybody 100% in that regard? No, of course not.

    I think it's a great read and well worth linking, to look at how off base some can be as well as reminding us how many viewed the acquisition at that time. However, I would stop short of implying that FO should be discredited as untrustworthy because of this miss. If you think somebody is going to be right every single time, then it is only a matter of time before you will find out that you were wrong for thinking that way.
  15. AndyJohnson

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    Re: Take a moment to read and laugh: Football Outsiders pegged Welker as a reach pre-

    I don't think anyone but you is implying that anyone feels them being wrong on this means anything more than them being wrong on this. I saw no one saying they as a whole should be discredited as untrustworthy, or that there is a standard of being right 100% of the time.
    This is like the BB criticizers who's only response to disagreement is that the disagreement thinks the other poster believes BB is perfect and infallible.
    You are expanding the comments made into territory that isn't close to what was said.
  16. eom

    eom Rookie

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    Re: Take a moment to read and laugh: Football Outsiders pegged Welker as a reach pre-

    An injury to Brady or Maroney would be catastrophic

    just imagine 10 injuries to maroney.
  17. Shockt327

    Shockt327 Rookie

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    Re: Take a moment to read and laugh: Football Outsiders pegged Welker as a reach pre-

    ...am I experiencing Déjà vu; or did we not just address this?

    So, Barnwell was "off" on his analysis? Off? You say it as though there is a rather minor difference between falling short of a 1000 yard season and just 36 receptions at 445 yards. What's worse is that the aforementioned prediction essentially cuts Welker's production from 2006 in half. Forget 1000 yards.

    It's like taking a Wonderlick test and trying to argue two different grades are merely "below average." Receiving a "20" is one thing. Receiving a "4." That's just utterly awful.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012
  18. Ron Sellers

    Ron Sellers Rookie

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    Re: Take a moment to read and laugh: Football Outsiders pegged Welker as a reach pre-

    You're missing the point.

    Who did predict Welker would have the season he had in 2007?
  19. DaBruinz

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    Re: Take a moment to read and laugh: Football Outsiders pegged Welker as a reach pre-

    I had forgotten that.. I didn't think NEM was still around at that point.. Just one of the MANY things he and I differed on..
  20. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #50 Jersey

    Re: Take a moment to read and laugh: Football Outsiders pegged Welker as a reach pre-

    Actually, quite a few people felt that there was no reason why Welker, with Tom Brady throwing to him, couldn't exceed 1000 yards if he could rack up 687 with the likes of Joey Harrington, Duante Culpepper and Cleo Lemon throwing the ball to him.

    As Shockt showed, there was a person in response to Barnwell's article who said as much back then as well.

    And yes, I am fairly certain I predicted over 2000 yards for Welker and Moss. I had little faith in Stallworth, to be honest.
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