Saturday, October 21, 2006

Football Algebra: 1Cool dude>Lloyd+ARE

A post by Atlanta Skins Fan on EXTREMESKINS argues that the Redskins downgraded the passing game by bringing on Brandon Lloyd and Twaan Randle El and targeting them for receptions in preference to Chris Cooley, the Redskins' number two receiver last year.

Atlanta Skins Fans backs up his argument with an assessment of the reliability of each receiver. He compared the number of receptions to passes thrown to each player. By this analysis, Chris Cooley was more reliable by far than either ARE or Lloyd. Expressed algebraically, you would say that one Cooley is greater than Lloyd and Randle El combined, or C>(BL+ARE).

Atlanta Skins suggests that the passing game would be better if the Redskins lined up its most reliable receivers in a two wide receiver set - Moss and Randle El - with Cooley at tight end, and targeting Moss, Cooley and Randle El in that priority.

It's a unique look and the numbers are intriguing. I believe that, of the three parts of the passing game: blocking, throwing and catching, blocking is 51% of the result. Atlanta Skins' post looks at the receiving. You can see the full post on ExtremeSkins here.

There are two implications of this analysis. The first, pointed out by Atlanta Skins, is that Mark Brunell's problem may not be that he can't find receivers, but that his alternatives to Moss are not reliable targets. Thus, they get high percentage, short passes. The second is that Deputy Head Coach Saunders just needs time, maybe a season, to really adapt to his personnel.

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