Stat Geeks Just Won’t Let Go

April 5th, 2016

Boy, oh boy, the numberscrunchers sure a stubborn lot. Once they get it in their heads that a guy is bad, they just won’t let go.

Take the case of Donovan Smith, Bucs starting left tackle. A rookie last year, he did just fine, especially when one looks at the defensive ends he tangled with. Talk to senior Bucs officials and smiles break out on their faces.

Hell, Joe, at Super Bowl media day and the NFL Scouting Combine, talked to all sorts of NFL suits, coaches, scouts and analysts. Joe couldn’t find one that thought Smith was a poor left tackle.

But the calculator crowd? If you didn’t know any better, you’d think he corrupted their Excel software. Something about offensive linemen has football people and numberscrunchers seeing totally different things.

Pardon Joe for siding with the football folks.

You want to know how to sniff out a numberscruncher? They’re anyone who claims Smith should be moved to right tackle (not happening, folks) or says the Bucs could spend the No. 9 pick on a tackle. Not one general manager drafts a right tackle at No. 9 and stays employed for long.

So, that brings Joe to one of the best football sites out there,, run by Pat Kirwan of CBS Sports and SiriusXM NFL Radio fame.

John Pollard, an analystics guy for the site, is convinced the Bucs could be targeting offensive line in the first round.

Remember how Joe looks at the third-best player at positions the Bucs may draft? That’s because at No. 9, it is likely the best two players at a position will be gone. Pollard said the same things. He looked at three players who he believes are the second- or third-best players at their positions, offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley of Notre Dame, defensvie end Shaq Lawson of Clemson and Hargreaves.

It is interesting to listen to how Pollard breaks down offensive linemen in a numberscruncher way of thinking.

13 Responses to “Stat Geeks Just Won’t Let Go”

  1. MadMax Says:

    If we do go O line this year, which I dont see us doing, then Spencer Drango if he’s still there in the 4th. He’s probably going bottom of the 2nd. Why another Guard like him? Because I feel Marpet could be our star Center. Maybe not this year. Just looking forward.

  2. Tampa Tony Says:

    Joe won’t let go of the Rockstar and Michael Bennett but complains about others…

    Now that’s funny

  3. Rrsrq Says:

    Stat guys do what stat guys do. BPA, if Stanley is BPA, I would have no problem with it because our o-line could be set for years. Do I wanna see us go defense, of course, it should be very difficult to mess this up with all the talent out there. I’m no GM, but if you roll the dice on someone not projected in the top ten and it works out, you are a hero, cause Kwon and Lavonte have played higher than their draft position

  4. 813bucboi Says:

    @madmax…I agree…marpet would be a great anchor at center…with 7 picks I wouldn’t mind seeing a lineman or 2 with the rest being defense…another player to keep an eye on is Denver Kirkland from Arkansas…the kid is huge and versatile…he played tackle in college but his best position may be guard…warhop loves coaching players that can play multiple positions and if you watched any of Arkansas’s games, you’ll know they are a power downhill running team and each of their lineman are road graders…GO BUCS!!!

  5. Tnew Says:

    Kirkland was a stud. I have watched a ton of tape from him. Should be available in late third maybe even to our existing pickn in the 4th. Stanley wouldn’t cause me any tears either. Protect the franchise!

  6. William Walls Says:

    This analysis by Pollard was the best example I’ve seen yet of both the strengths and the weaknesses of delving deeply into the stat sheets. Pollard is right when he concludes that our defensive backfield needs an absolute ton of improvement over last year’s performance. Where he goes wrong is that, by narrowing his focus so exclusively on statistics, he’s not considering the potentially dramatic improvement we’re likely to gain just from hiring genuine DB coaches and jettisoning the Friends & Family plan.

    He’s looking squarely at stats and ignoring the players. He’s looking at the most previous year and ignoring recent history. When you factor all of the available information into the equation and pull your nose out of the spreadsheets, you can’t help but conclude even from Pollard’s own data, that our first pick in the draft at #9 should be a DE.

  7. Pickgrin Says:

    William Walls Says:
    “you can’t help but conclude even from Pollard’s own data, that our first pick in the draft at #9 should be a DE.”
    Unless the best DE available at the #9 pick is the 5th or 6th or 7th best FOOTBALL PLAYER on your big board – which may well be the case.

    You don’t (or at least shouldn’t) “reach” for position with a top 10 pick.

    If either Stanley or Hargreaves is the #1 player on your board when that 9th pick comes – then that’s who should theoretically be picked.

  8. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Per Joe:

    You want to know how to sniff out a numberscruncher? They’re anyone who claims Smith should be moved to right tackle (not happening, folks) or says the Bucs could spend the No. 9 pick on a tackle. Not one general manager drafts a right tackle at No. 9 and stays employed for long.

    So are you calling Jerry Jones the Multi – Billionaire a fool?
    If I recall didn’t he draft Tyrone Smith 9th overall in 2011 – To replace then incumbent 31 year old RT Marc Colombo?

    Well he didn’t draft him to play LT at the time – because just 60 days prior – to the draft. He signed LT Doug Free to a four-year, $32 million contract, including $17 million guaranteed money. Making him at the time one of the highest paid LT in GAME!!

    Per Jerry Jones (2011)

    “ We now have two bookend young tackles – to protect our franchise player – our #1 asset Tony Romo

    Sounds like a wise, savvy investor – not a quote on quote football guy eh?

    Here’s another reason why – drafting a solid blue chip prospect pays off in the long run#redundancy/contingencyplan

    You see LT Doug Free’s play fell off BIGTIME in 2011.
    He allowed 10 sacks and 33 quarterback pressures along with 10 penalties. After such a debacle 2011 – The Dallas Cowboys decided that Doug Free was more naturally suited to play Right Tackle. Meanwhile moving the more athletic Tyron Smith LT (2011 first-rounder 9th overall pick)

    If you want to become a dominant football team – You’ve gotta control the line of scrimmage. From 2011 to 2014 the Dallas Cowboys drafted 3 Blue Chip Prospects along the online. All have turned into All – Pro/Pro Bowl caliber players


    1st Round (#9) Tyron Smith (2011)
    • 2× Pro Bowl (2013, 2014)
    • First-team All-Pro (2014)
    • Second-team All-Pro (2013

    1st Round (#31) Travis Frederick (2013)
    • Pro Bowl (2014)
    • Second-team All-Pro (2014)

    1st Round (#16) LG-Zack Martin (2014)
    • Pro Bowl (2014)
    • First-team All-Pro (2014)

    Resulting in a playoff birth(2014) – and one of the most dominate offensive seasons
    In the teams long successful history.

    We have a young healthy quarterback – and I would like to keep it that way.
    So bring the WALL to Tampa to Protect our #1 asset please!!!

  9. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    So If Ronnie Stanley is there at #9 draft him. If not trade back a couple spots – pick up an extra 2nd round (+plus a 4th if your lucky) and draft Jack Conklin.

  10. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    The consensus among scouts – is that Ronnie Stanley game resembles former
    – 2011 (9th overall) 1st round DraftTyron Smith

  11. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    I could see a scenario where Licht takes a RT at #9.

    More than likely it will be a DE, but RT IS possible.

  12. BuccaneerBonzai Says:


    To be fair…Tony Romo really isn’t protected that well. He is injured nearly every year.

  13. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    He’s a broken down brittle quarterback now. Plus letting Bill Callahan bolt to Washington has set the unit back some.