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Talent, Math, and Luck


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#41 Kevin Greene

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:40 AM

fox would have gone back to bledsoe.



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#42 GRWatcher

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:26 AM

Yeah it's not luck....sure there is element of it in games. But if this is true for football then the same could be said for college football. Look at Saban....Alabama is not lucky they're good, they didn't luck out on all their recruits they developed them. I understand that there is more "parity" in the NFL, and maybe this article is solely focused on a talent evaluation perspective. But the problem that we've had in Carolina is development. Their seems to be a lot of players that don't develop well here then go somewhere else and all of a sudden.....developed. Sure, there are a lot of "x factors" in player development specifically from a player psychology perspective but to say that it's nothing but luck is a bit off. In the 6th and 7th rounds.....sure you cherry pick talent there and hope it works out, but you have to maximize development because that's what raises the odds. But there wasn't a whole lot of luck in Andrew Luck, Cam Newton, or Peyton Manning when he was drafted.


I agree with this statement, it happens quite often especially with the defense. And while personalities always play a role between coaches & players, I do think there's a coaching philosophy that Rivera is changing now. Teaching. I remember some of Fox's first words were about hiring coaches that are good teachers. Similar words were spoken by Rivera. Teaching is a damn good thing but it should not be the focus of coaching. Because talking about teaching assumes that there is something you don't know. Teaching and development are two different things. Development puts the focus on building and improving not on learning. Because the players are paid to already know. And I believe that is why we are looking for so many coaches now. A change in philosophy.

I also believe that luck does play a large part in football. Heck, it does in any sport. Luck with the weather, the coin toss (lol), what refs you have for a game, the bus ride, the draft, etc. But good preparation will overcome the impact luck has on any game and that's where the better teams excel.

#43 Marguide

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:31 AM

Let me throw my 2 cents in...

Those that don't think coaching makes a difference need look no further than the 2012 New Orleans Saints. Sure, there is nothing more important than a true franchise QB, but coaching comes in at #2.

My complaints with Rivera are a little different than Rayzor's, and there are 3 principal problems that make me think he's in over his head:

1) Rivera coaches scared. From not letting Medlock try an end of half FG because Ron thought it would hurt his confidence, to not going for it on 4th and 1 even when you're down big and have nothing to lose (see last game vs NO in 2011), ron consistently tries to take the easy way out. He loves to talk about guys needing to make plays, but you have to give them the opportunity first. If you don't show confidence in your players, they are not likely to play with confidence.

2) Ron's lack of judgement this year in not reeling in Chud in week 4 or 5 when we still had a chance to make something of 2012 really bothered me. It was obvious to every thinking person that Chud's offense wasn't working, but it took Hurney getting fired before Ron did anything.

3) Ron has been very hesitant to pull underperforming players. We put up with almost a full year of Fua starting at the nose last year when he was being outperformed by the other guys on the roster. He finally goes out hurt and suddenly our defense looked legit. Fast forward to this year and only putting Luke in at MLB once Beason's injuries finally got the best of him. Everyone could see that Jon was playing poorly, but Ron did nothing until there was no choice. Same with Nakamura. Same with Norman.

He'll have my full support to start 2013, but in my opinion, we're going to be disappointed.

#44 rayzor

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:54 AM

Let me throw my 2 cents in...

Those that don't think coaching makes a difference need look no further than the 2012 New Orleans Saints. Sure, there is nothing more important than a true franchise QB, but coaching comes in at #2.

My complaints with Rivera are a little different than Rayzor's, and there are 3 principal problems that make me think he's in over his head:

1) Rivera coaches scared. From not letting Medlock try an end of half FG because Ron thought it would hurt his confidence, to not going for it on 4th and 1 even when you're down big and have nothing to lose (see last game vs NO in 2011), ron consistently tries to take the easy way out. He loves to talk about guys needing to make plays, but you have to give them the opportunity first. If you don't show confidence in your players, they are not likely to play with confidence.

2) Ron's lack of judgement this year in not reeling in Chud in week 4 or 5 when we still had a chance to make something of 2012 really bothered me. It was obvious to every thinking person that Chud's offense wasn't working, but it took Hurney getting fired before Ron did anything.

3) Ron has been very hesitant to pull underperforming players. We put up with almost a full year of Fua starting at the nose last year when he was being outperformed by the other guys on the roster. He finally goes out hurt and suddenly our defense looked legit. Fast forward to this year and only putting Luke in at MLB once Beason's injuries finally got the best of him. Everyone could see that Jon was playing poorly, but Ron did nothing until there was no choice. Same with Nakamura. Same with Norman.

He'll have my full support to start 2013, but in my opinion, we're going to be disappointed.

what i posted was my biggest beef, but i agree with your three as well, esp.the first two. coaching scared kind of plays into mine quite a bit. being too reluctant to change things that need to be changed is another big thing. you've only got such a small window of opportunity within a season and within a game that you can't just hang in there and hope that your process will work because it can cost you a game or a shot at the playoffs. if your plan isn't working, find something that will. if teams arent acting the way you thought they would, adapt. if players aren't catching on to what you want to do, adjust what you want to do to fit what they can do. if a player isn't working out and you've got someone else who can, make a change.

you have to be willing to deviate from your plan if you aren't in control of the outcome and you've got to be smart, swift, and decisive. your team is looking at you expecting you to have an answer when things aren't working out the way you hoped and you've got to look in control of the situation.

most of rivera's tenure here he hasn't delivered that.

#45 Marguide

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 02:09 AM

You know, I also was thinking about JR's priority for Rivera last year, the development of Cam Newton. For Rivera and Chud, they seemed too caught up in "the process" and development than in winning games. Being caught up in "the process" continued as we started 2012, and continued until Rivera got his ass put on the hot seat. I have seen an over emphasis on process in a business I was involved in a number of years ago, and it didn't work very well there either.

That's not to say developing a process and culture isn't important, but it has to play 2nd fiddle to results in all but the youngest organizations.

Hopefully, Ron has learned this lesson.

#46 iamhubby1

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 02:18 AM

I can agree with this, but it's very important that our next OC capitalizes on the momentum we gained at the end of the year instead of blowing it all up and sending us back to the stone age.


Now this may be only me. But, I have to think that Rivera, with Gettlemen's input, will take this into consideration when hiring a new OC. I just happen to believe we are not going to take a step back with this. We will hire an OC that can continue the growth we have already started.

Now whether that guy is someone we all know, or someone who just deserves a shot, is still up in the air. Rivera, and to a certain degree Gettlemen, know their future may be tied to this hire. They will do what they feel is the right thing.

You just have to trust the guys you hire to do the job right. I have that feeling now.

#47 TheMaulClaw

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 02:26 AM

Now this may be only me. But, I have to think that Rivera, with Gettlemen's input, will take this into consideration when hiring a new OC. I just happen to believe we are not going to take a step back with this. We will hire an OC that can continue the growth we have already started.

Now whether that guy is someone we all know, or someone who just deserves a shot, is still up in the air. Rivera, and to a certain degree Gettlemen, know their future may be tied to this hire. They will do what they feel is the right thing.

You just have to trust the guys you hire to do the job right. I have that feeling now.



Naturally they won't purposely unravel the positive gains we've made on offense, if it happens it would be unintentional for sure. My fear is Cam's learning curve when it comes to learning a completely new terminology and it costing us games early in the season again. We have to find a way to combine the old terminology with the new stuff. Because more then anything we have to come strong out of the gate next year.

#48 frash.exe

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 02:29 AM

Yeah it's not luck....sure there is element of it in games. But if this is true for football then the same could be said for college football. Sure, there are a lot of "x factors" in player development specifically from a player psychology perspective but to say that it's nothing but luck is a bit off.


you were on a good path thinking that it isn't luck, but you took a wrong turn somewhere

Look at Saban....Alabama is not lucky they're good, they didn't luck out on all their recruits they developed them.


Alabama's successful because they've gotten talented recruits to start off

http://www.usatoday....-class/1804409/

I understand that there is more "parity" in the NFL, and maybe this article is solely focused on a talent evaluation perspective. But the problem that we've had in Carolina is development.


I think the problem in Carolina is more philosophical than anything else. "Hey you need a HC with a defensive background if you wanna win the big one". That's great to know, especially considering that 4 of the last five superbowl winning teams have had HCs with offensive backgrounds. Ditto for paying an obscene amount of money to run the ball when other teams are just as productive there even though they spend like a fifth of what we're paying. We're fortunate to have two productive DEs since we barely made an initial investment in that position (which was a 3rd round pick for CJ; before the contract extension). It's a QB driven league and the Panthers are still trying to make running backs happen.

Talent evaluation is a problem, but more specifically, talent allocation is a huge problem. In addition to the aforementioned wasted money on a position where the players get hurt more than anywhere else, we spent a 2nd round pick for a 3rd round pick to select a retard with dreadlocks from Appalachian State that can't even outrun a punter. And if we had kept that 2nd rounder, which turned out to be the 33rd pick in the 2011 draft, we could've picked a better prospect DT like Jarvis Jenkins who is developing nicely right now and then I wouldn't have to watch this happen to Sione Fua every time Ron puts him in the game:

Posted Image

File that under "reasons why Marty Hurney is no longer General Manager of this team"

Their seems to be a lot of players that don't develop well here then go somewhere else and all of a sudden.....developed.


When has this happened recently? Yea you could argue that Darius Butler has produced some but then you would have to say the same thing about the Patriots because they drafted him, and remember that time we signed Frank Kearse off Miami's practice squad and he turned out to be the only DT we had that graded positively against the run in 2011? These isolated cases happen with every team. So it's not like Everette Brown left us and all of a sudden turned into a poor man's DeMarcus Ware overnight on another team.

In the 6th and 7th rounds.....sure you cherry pick talent there and hope it works out, but you have to maximize development because that's what raises the odds. But there wasn't a whole lot of luck in Andrew Luck, Cam Newton, or Peyton Manning when he was drafted.


The real problem with the last 4 rounds is that NFL scouting in general has become so much better over the years due to people getting sick of drafting guys like R. Jay Soward in the first round that the talent pool is almost barren by the time you get to the end of the third round. By then you really have to nit and pick and find guys who have huge potential but just haven't come through yet. Cases like Greg Hardy come to mind, and even then you don't know if that player will ever overcome the injury that set him back.

You can pretty much squeeze out 3 starters from a draft if you're a top shelf talent evaluator, unless you have like 6 first round picks or something. If the scouting was as good now as it was in 2000, Tom Brady would be picked a lot higher. Remember this was an era when Ryan Leaf was considered a great talent, and it took his failure along with a ton of other ones to get scouts to refine their craft. Compared to the resources and superior judgment the scouts are endowed with today, you might as well have taped prospects' names to a wall and thrown darts blindfolded to make your pick if you were a scout in the 80s.

#49 iamhubby1

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 02:31 AM

You know, I also was thinking about JR's priority for Rivera last year, the development of Cam Newton. For Rivera and Chud, they seemed too caught up in "the process" and development than in winning games. Being caught up in "the process" continued as we started 2012, and continued until Rivera got his ass put on the hot seat. I have seen an over emphasis on process in a business I was involved in a number of years ago, and it didn't work very well there either.

That's not to say developing a process and culture isn't important, but it has to play 2nd fiddle to results in all but the youngest organizations.

Hopefully, Ron has learned this lesson.


As much as folks hate to admit the fact, but it is still a fact. First time coaches need to grow into the job, just as rookies and younger players need to grow. Some do. Some don't. I, and a few others, feel Rivera IS growing.

My main judgement of Rivera is, he started with a glutted roster. With no Cap space. IMO, he has done well with what he had to start with. Sure he has made mistakes. Hell, even established coaches make mistakes. But contrary to popular belief, he has acknowledged those mistakes.

The main reason I am still on the Rivera train. He started coaching to win games. He is more aggressive with a pedal to the metal mentality. I also see improvement. I want to see if he can finish the job he started. 2 years, in the situation he inherited, is not enough.

Gettlemen will help Rivera fill out this roster. Something Rivera probably thought Hurndog was incapable of doing. We have a brain trust in place that just may be the final solution.

#50 Marguide

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 02:34 AM

I don't think we need to be overly worried about Cam learning a new offense or terminology. He has proven in college and the pro's that he can pick up new things quickly.

Our problem early this year wasn't that Cam couldn't learn Chud's new approach, our problem was it was a bad approach.


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