E.J. Biggers Puts Up Big Time Stats

March 19th, 2011

Many Bucs fans mocked Joe for his insistence that pining for Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik to sign Nnamdi Asomugha is crazy talk. Not only do the Bucs have much, much, much bigger needs than throwing megacash on a cornerback, the Bucs secondary is the one area of the team where an upgrade is not needed.

It seems the numbers crunchers at FootballOutsiders.com  agree with Joe. Aaron Schatz decided to put his Excel spreadsheet to work and found out that Bucs reserve cornerback E.J. Biggers was one of the top 10 cornerbacks in the NFL last year.

Per Schatz, Biggers was targeted 65 times by opposing quarterbacks and 63 percent of the time the passes were incomplete (for perspective, Darrelle Revis, the top-rated cornerback, had a success rate of 70 percent). Of the passes that were completed against Biggers, receivers only had an average of 2.9 yards after catch, or the all important, YAC, which is pretty impressive.

Yes, the Bucs secondary is in good hands and there is no need to run and get a high-priced free agent there when money could be spent elsewhere to bolster the Bucs roster.

Joe hopes this silliness of acquiring Asomugha would just fade away.

36 Responses to “E.J. Biggers Puts Up Big Time Stats”

  1. HIRE GREG OLSON! Says:

    Another 7th round gem found by Mark “Magic Man” Dominik…

  2. Tom Says:

    I wonder what Justin Pawlowski has to say about that given that he seems to think there’s a decent chance the Bucs could go corner in Rd 1. Wouldn’t make sense if you have “top 10 corner” E J Biggers on your roster right? LOL

    But seriously, we know the spendthrift owners would never allow the GM to spend that much money on a player unless it had to do with cap compliance (see Albert Haynesworth attempted signing and subsequent Clayton signing in 09). So it’s a pretty moot point.

    But if you can add a top flight player for nothing short of the owners money why not, and if you really think EJ Biggers is a top 10 corner I think we need to start an intervention for Joe, drugs are bad…mmmmkay?

  3. Joe Says:

    Tom:

    Here’s a novel concept:

    Why not spend money on a player at a position that is needed?

    Neat thought, huh?

  4. Gary Says:

    Talib is nowhere on those lists, he must have made the minimum passes required so its very interesting.

  5. espo Says:

    Talib is a ball hawk and people know it. He doesn’t get targeted as often. Thats just as important but never as evident as passes defensed.

    I’ve been very high on Biggers all along. I’m thankful someone decided to lay these stats out like this. I had no idea he was so efficient.

    Imagine how great he’d be with a PASS RUSH!

  6. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    A) i thought that “stats were for losers” i guess it is only the stats that prove how pathetic this defense is.

    B) if those stats say that biggers is better than talib it shows you the value of them.

    Biggers has good size for a corner but that is about all. Of those 65 targets i bet a vast majority were in zone. Unlike revis who is mostly locked up in man. The evaluation of corner skills is very different on a zone play versus man. I agree that biggers understands where to be in cover 2, he just is not an above average cover corner like talib, bailey, asoumgha etc.

    If they believed that biggers was starting material why draft the lewis kid? Makes no sense. Football outsiders stats are not widely accepted.

  7. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    “But if you can add a top flight player for nothing short of the owners money why not”

    ——————

    Because it IS the owners money and they are not going to waste it on a non-need. What have the Glazers done that would ever make you feel that was something they liked to do? I would say that our secondary is the last thing that we need to address .That money needs to be spent on filling our needs, not our wants. Besides if we don’t put pressure on the QB, it doesn’t matter who is the CB, they are eventually going to get beat.

    As for Biggers, the film doesn’t lie. Watch the games. He was targeted quite consistently all season, and he held up extremely well in every game. With the exception of the Cleveland game, he was never really beat, and he is a very good tackler. Even though the master scout Thomas doesn’t like his hips, he showed that he is a very good starter in this league.

  8. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Thomas,

    So if we play mostly zone, wouldn’t it make more sense to judge him on how he played zone? Why do we care how good of a man corner he is if we don’t play man. That sounds like the “Ronde Barber is a system CB argument”. Also, they drafted Lewis because they hadn’t seen Biggers play yet, as he spent his rookie year on the IR. He is what you would call a pleasant surprise.

    And no, he is not a top 10 CB. He is not better than Talib, Revis, etc. So in that regard, I agree with you. And yes, I don’t buy into Football Outsiders stats. However, if you watch the actual games, he played excellent last year. He was challenged consistently, and he always held up. Nobody abused him, even when he was covering everyone’s #1 when Talib got hurt. I know the master scout won’t agree because he’s not one of your 3 players on the team you approve of, but what else is new.

  9. gotbbucs Says:

    it really amazes me that some nfl team hasnt given thomas a shot at a front office position yet. his patience with young players and incredible scouting analysis would surely come in handy somewhere.

  10. thomas 2.2 Says:

    Hawaiian, for once you make some good points. I agree mostly with your analysis with these exceptions: “he played excellent last year . . . he always held up. Nobody abused him.” He played okay, better than I anticipated. I have alawys said that he is fine for a fourth or fifth corner and special teams player – but he is not from a cover standpoint a starting nfl corner. I would agree that I felt the same way about Ronde early in his career but I did not know that Ronde had intangibles like toughness, instincts and smarts that are off the charts.

    JOe, I would say that you, unintentionally im sure, stretched the conclusion drawn by football outsiders when you posted this: “It seems the numbers crunchers at FootballOutsiders.com agree with Joe. Aaron Schatz decided to put his Excel spreadsheet to work and found out that Bucs reserve cornerback E.J. Biggers was one of the top 10 cornerbacks in the NFL last year.”

    He was top 10 in the success rate category (based only on completion percentage against him and the stat didnt rule out obvious drops). He was not top 10 in the other two ratings categories (YPP and YAC) – where Ronde was 8th in YPP. So to say that his global rating would be top 10, I couldn’t see how you concluded that. He was 25th in YAC – which isnt terrible but probably would pull him outisde the top 10 collectively. Also, the #1 success rate corner was Asante Samuel but he wasnt included b/c he was targeted 4 shy of the min.

    However, all of your suggestions are true that corner and really secondary are way down the list in order of importance for this team and defense. I would start with D end and outside linebacker, O-Line, RB, Tight End, QB (back-up of course). I can’t stand our D Tackles (with the exceptions of maybe Price and Okam) but I doubt that they will draft a fourth one in two years early. I know you guys think that McCoy will develop I just have my doubts. It is not that I think that he wont develop into an okay Under tackle, he is not #3 overall worthy – Price is better – Miller might even be better – Okam appears better.

  11. Tom Says:

    Joe,

    Next year you have Talib, Barber, Biggers, Lewis and Mack. Talib is one more punched cabbie from a 1 year suspension, Barber is in his final year, Lewis hasn’t proved anything, Mack is a fringe guy and Biggers got some love from a stats site but still hasn’t proven he can play often and consistently. You think that’s a strength of the team?

    Your own draft expert has mocked the Bucs taking a CB in rd 1. But apparently it’s more sensible to spend a 1st round pick on one than to spend the owners money? If you think spending the owners money on a proven CB is “crazy” what did you think about your own draft coverage talking about spending a premium pick on one, genius?

  12. Matt Says:

    It is a strength RIGHT NOW. May not be a year from today…

  13. gotbbucs Says:

    I’ve got a question for you Tom.
    How is a team supposed to find out if a player can be a starter if that player in question is never given the opportunity to play or start? Lewis and Biggers could both be great players for all any of us know.
    At least give some of these guys a chance to prove themselves before we run out and spend $20 million a year on a 30 year old FA or spend another 1st round pick on a replacement.

  14. Capt. Troll killer Tim Says:

    I won’t argue- those are impressive numbers. Those would imply he’s ready to start. If Lewis lives up to billing, we are probably good a cornerback.

    But we face Matt Ryan twice a year- every year- for years to come. We face Drew Brees twice a year- every year- for years to come. If Barber slips this year( or it’s his last year)- we have Talib and Biggers, with Lewis as the nickle. Mack is our starter for 4 reciever sets. The Falcons and Saints play lots if 4 receiver sets.

    Do the math with an injury for a 4 reciever set

  15. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Fair enough Thomas. Again, I don’t think Biggers is a top 10 cornerback, but I wouldn’t rule that out for the future. However, I challenge you to tell me a game he played poorly. I’ve watched every game again since the season ended (except the last NO game) and every time they threw at him, he was right there. The overwhelming majority were incomplete (we played a lot more man last year than a lot of people realize BTW). He is also a very good tackler, which is a pretty important job for a CB (especially in a Tampa 2). To me, the biggest improvement he needs to make is to actually intercept the ball instead of just knocking it down. Hopefully that will come with time. I did not see one game that would have me doubt that he is a #2 corner (at minimum) in this league.

  16. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Tom,

    Talib is not one more punched cabbie from a 1 year suspension. That statement is just completely false. You don’t go from a one game suspension to a 16 game suspension unless it would have been 16 games regardless. You can’t make statements to prove a point if they are completely incorrect. Besides, that cab punching incident happened nearly 2 years ago – let it go.

    As for Biggers, how can you say he hasn’t played consistent? Please inform me of a game he played poorly in. He played all 16 games last year, and played well in every one. If you disagree, tell me a game he didn’t? Again, you can’t just make statements that are inaccurate to prove a point. As for Lewis, of course he hasn’t shown us much, he’s a rookie that battled injuries all last year. However, the coaches and the GM’s have seen him and they know what they have in him. If we do draft a CB early, then you are probably right. If we don’t (which I highly suspect we won’t), then that should tell you something. I can’t defend Mack, so I won’t.

    Our secondary is a strength of the team, plain and simple. If you disagree, then you obviously didn’t watch the games last year. We were close to leading the league in INT’s, all with no pass rush. You can try to spin it however you want, but that is the truth. Everyone and their mother can see it, not sure why you can’t.

  17. Piratic Says:

    Thomas 2.2 Says:
    March 19th, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    “…i thought that “stats were for losers…”

    There you go thinking again.

    “Biggers has good size for a corner but that is about all…”

    No, that is NOT about all. He runs well, plays physical, has good instincts, works hard, and remember, as far as playing time goes, he was still a rookie, AND he was coming off of IR. The ceiling is high.

    “…he just is not an above average cover corner like talib, bailey, asoumgha etc.”

    And he’s not asked to be. That’s #25′s role, and the reason he was drafted in the 1st round. #31′s role is to complement the #1 corner.

    “…Makes no sense…”

    I agree, oftentimes you “makes no sense”.

    thomas 2.2 Says:
    March 19th, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    “Hawaiian, for once you make some good points.”

    Uh, reality check. Hawaiian Buc makes good points ALL THE TIME.

    “…I have alawys said that he is fine for a fourth or fifth corner and special teams player – but he is not from a cover standpoint a starting nfl corner…”

    The caliber of player you’re talking about is actually more like #33. Or #53. Or #85.

    #31 is already on his way to being a very productive starter.

    Tom Says:
    March 19th, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    “…Biggers…still hasn’t proven he can play often and consistently…”

    Totally disagree.

    Capt. Troll killer Tim Says:
    March 19th, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    “…Mack is our starter for 4 reciever sets…”

    Not for long, IMO.

  18. thomas 2.2 Says:

    I have not gone back and watched the games in some time.
    My memory is that he got beat on the TD to Massaquoi that could have caused them to lose but for a Free comeback later.

    I also thought that Biggers was toasted on a couple of the big plays to Megatron. I do remember analyzing his cover skills during the year and was not impressed.

    He is a good tackler, has good size, and gets in decent position in zone coverage so he apparently has command of the Tampa 2 – that makes him okay not great. I think that even the bucs scouting department would agree that Lewis projects as a better cover corner but maybe Biggers has more on the intangible / football smarts side. I think that there is some evidence of that b/c he is usually in position when they are in zone.

    If Rah wants to run more man schemes I believe that Biggers wil be a liability.

  19. gotbbucs Says:

    they’ll draft another corner in the mid/late rounds to replace mack, beyond that they’re going to let biggers and lewis play.

  20. Gary Says:

    On the subject of a pass rush we need to stop depending on price. PR had an article on his injury and it wasn’t good. His hammy basically tore off his pelvis and is re attached with screws. No athlete has had this procedure so no one knows how he will hold up. With him being a big man and exploding off the line like that I’m pretty worried. I hope he is a beast but we need to stop saying “price and McCoy” like it’s a given.

  21. Gary Says:

    As for the corners biggers did play well. The only guy that flat out sucks is Mack. I don’t know why he is still on the team. I will never forgive rah for putting him on megatron at the end of that game. I would have taken the goat over him, seriously.

  22. Diary of a Wimpy Ruud Says:

    Why does Joe make the argument that too many good players is a BAD thing ?

    Can you really ever have too many good corners in a passing league ? can you ever really have too many corners in a division with Drew Brees , Matt Ryan , and soon to be Cam Newton ( or some other stud ) ?

    …and don’t even make the “money” argument”. We are going to have a harder time getting over the cap floor than staying under the ceiling. We could sign whoever the hell we want at this point…

  23. BamBamBuc Says:

    Too many good players is not a bad thing. Not allowing young players that are very possibly good players themselves is a bad thing. The thought process here is that if we bring in Asomugha, Biggers and Lewis will see the field less and therefore regress and never become what they could or should become with more time on the field.

  24. Capt. Troll killer Tim Says:

    We play at least 4 games every year against team’s that play 4 reciever sets frequently. You need 4 quality CBs, Plus 2-3 good ones in reserve. That’s to compete! If you have a couple shut down corners, a couple very good ones, then you win the matchup- and the game. The NFL has changed to a passing dominated league. You will face more 3 or 4 reciever sets than 2 reciever sets. You need 3 quality starters. Again- Aquiring one of the best in the league for nothing except money is amazing good fortune. It’s money we’ll have to spend. Make our secondary the best in league! Why not- it’s a passing league! If we are the best at stopping the pass, then we are shutting down Ryan and Bree’s- that’ll win ya the Central division!

  25. gotbbucs Says:

    Capt. Tim, what happens if they bring in Asomugha and give him somewhere around $18 million a year and Talib puts up better stats? Guess who’s gonna be wanting $20 million a year.

    Spending $15+ million a year on one player is what desperate teams who think they are right on the brink of a championship do, and then they later regret it. Let Al Davis, Jerry Jones, and Dan Snyder be the goats that sign that deal, meanwhile smart franchises like Pittsburgh, Indy, New England, and if we’re lucky, Tampa Bay choose to draft well and develop their own Pro Bowlers.

  26. Fear The Glo Says:

    Im glad you put this up. It was really obvious that teams were picking on him when Talib went down and I remember thinking that he was doing well. I guess he was doing better than I thought.

  27. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Thomas,

    You are correct, Biggers made a terrible play on the ball against Cleveland and was responsible for the TD. That was the first game (early in the game) of his rookie year (basically), I’ll cut him some slack. Also, it’s funny how you remember that but you forget that he made a late INT in that same game late in the fourth quarter.

    As for Megatron, not really. He was rarely matched up on him. Besides, seriously, who does stop Calvin Johnson? Like I said, he’s a #2 corner, and a rookie, I wouldn’t expect him to lock down Johnson.

  28. MichiganBucsFan Says:

    That’s another thing to look at. He was rarely, if ever, matched up on Megatron. And that was when Talib was out and injured. His pass efficiency being in the top ten does not even come close to making him a top 10 CB when he was our nickel corner… that is an asinine statement

  29. BigMacAttack Says:

    I truly look for a few surprises from Dom this year as far as players drafted, signed, acquired or released. As some here have said, I too don’t believe anything he puts out in the press this time of year. I think that He and the Glazers know they have the nucleus and are ready to make a run, whatever it takes. JMHO

  30. Architek Says:

    I will be glad when the draft comes because some of you guys are very idiotic and senseless.

    Biggers is an asset to our team and that has nothing to do with the Glazers spending.

    If I were paying for something, would I vounteer to overpay? Ask yourself that…

  31. Capt. Troll killer Tim Says:

    What happens if we bring in Nnanamdi and pay him 15 million . .? Hopefully Talib will stop fighting with Refs in the tunnels, or hitting teammates or Cabbies, or generally acting like an idiot, so that we pay him 15 million dollars also! If he doesn’t, at least while he’s suspended, he can see what a talented and class act that Nnanamdi is! He can sneak in the stadium and see the best CB in the league( IMO) show the talented Mr. Biggers and Mr. Lewis the right way to play and behave in the NFL. And Maybe those three can still be a dominant secondary- with Talib(preferred) or with out

  32. gotbbucs Says:

    Capt. Tim, at least learn to spell the guys freaking name if you’re going talk about him every day. I normally ignore the name misspellings, but I would think with the love fest that you throw for him every single day that you would at least attempt it.

  33. IMHO... Says:

    Biggers did his thing 4 being a 7th rd pick, but he’s far from top 10, considering him covering # 2 & 3 WR’s and posting those stats. Long as he continues 2 work on his craft and gain about 15-20 pds, he’ll be A-ok

  34. BigMacAttack Says:

    … Mr. Samir Naga… Naga… Naga… Not gonna work here anymore…

  35. Biggers is awful Says:

    HE SUCKS!!!

  36. Patrick Says:

    “the Bucs secondary is the one area of the team where an upgrade is not needed.”

    Want to rethink that now Joe?

 
 

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