Confessions of a Polluted Mindset - June 17 2020

The Weekly Packers Brain Drain from Jersey Al.

Packers Legacy: I know I'm late to the game, but I've finally gotten around to watching the Packers Legacy Documentary. I've watched the first two installments, the decades of the 1920's, and the 1930's. There were a few things I learned that I didn't know before (or had forgotten). Things like Curly Lambeau's grandfather shooting his wife and then taking his own life in and attempted murder-suicide (his wife survived).

After they won three straight championships from 1929-1931, the Packers basically got screwed out of winning a fourth straight in 1932. The Packers' record that season was 10-3-1, while the Bears were 6-1-6. Under the system at that time, the Bears earned first place in the standings and the NFL Championship. The following year, the NFL would establish a playoff system, perhaps in response to the injustice of the Packers having four more wins than the Bears and finishing in second place.

Most fans know the story about the depression-era Packers going into receivership in 1933 after losing a lawsuit to an injured fan at the same time their insurance company went bankrupt. They were saved by a local businessman, C. Lee Johannes, who "lent" the Packers $6000 to pay off the lawsuit judgement. Unbeknownst to most, Johannes was secretly installed as the owner of the Packers for 17 months until they came out of their financial woes. In 1935, Lambeau had perhaps the greatest year in NFL free agent history, signing future Pro Football Hall of Famers Arnie Herber, Clark Hinkle and Don Hutson.

Draft Capital: Really interesting stuff here for you numbers freaks as Football Outsiders analyzes the draft for the years 2010-2019. First they look at what teams SHOULD have gotten the most talent based on their "Draft Capital" (where they were picking). Next they examine the success teams have had with their draft picks (Draft Return). Finally, they put it all together and examine teams' draft return relative to their draft capital. It answers questions like did teams with a lot of draft capital squander it or did teams with less draft capital overachieve? So how did the Packers do? Over that 10-year period, only one team, the Seattle Seahawks, got more return on their draft capital than the Packers. A very interesting read if you like numbers.

Jace Sternberger: It's great to know Jace is a loves penmanship and writes "super nice" when taking notes. I can't begin to tell you how vital that is in today's... OK, I'm just joking. What IS important, is this is a young guy that is dedicated, versatile and adaptable (played under 4 different offensive systems in five years). He stepped in and performed really well as a blocker when Danny Vitale was injured late last year. But more importantly, he has considerable upside as a receiver. In all, Jace could turn out to be the most "complete" TE the Packers have had in quite some time. It will be real interesting to see how much competition recent draftee Josiah Deguara provides for Sternberger in training camp. Or will two TE sets with two versatile "swiss-army-knife" players be utilized more to keep opposing defenses guessing? Can't wait to see what transpires.

Raven Greene: This undrafted James Madison product is my choice for the Packers' breakout defensive player of the year in 2020. Truth be told, I had high hopes for him in 2019 and he got off to a great start, which unfortunately only lasted six quarters. Then when he returned from IR late in the season I had hopes he would play in the 49ers game (as it turned out, they sure could have used him), but he was inactive for that game. A healthy Raven Greene will have a significant impact on this Packers defense. 

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"Jersey Al" Bracco is the Editor-In-Chief, part owner and wearer of many hats for CheeseheadTV.com and PackersTalk.com. He is also a recovering Mason Crosby truther.  

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Comments (61)

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RCPackerFan's picture

June 17, 2020 at 06:39 am

Packers Legacy:
Sounds like I need to be watching these.

Draft Capital:
While they may have gotten some good bang for their buck, the truth is under Thompson in the 2010's, he was not nearly as good as he was in the 2005-2009 drafts.

Jace Sternberger:
I think Sternberger is going to break out big time in year 2. There were a number of times he ran some sort of a wheel route and was running wide open. Had Rodgers been able to find him on any of those plays, they would have been big plays.
I think Sternberger will play a bit more of a traditional TE role wheres as Deguara will be more of a H-back type of role. Last year Graham I thought was better as a blocker then what he was given credit, but both Sternberger and Deguara should be upgrades there. And both won't be nearly as stiff as Graham has been. I think TE will have a bigger impact on the offense this year.

Raven Greene:
The defense never was the same after Greene got hurt. yes it was only 6 quarters but, he made a huge difference in how they played defense. His ability to play in the box and deep really made the defense play on another level. It gave Pettine a guy that he could do whatever he wanted to with. I believe the injury to Greene really changed what Pettine wanted to do on defense. And he never really adjusted after he got hurt. He tried running the same style without the player he needed to run it that way.
Greene is definitely one of the players that I am looking forward to seeing in camp.
Greene, Gary, Savage, Keke, Sullivan, Jackson, Burks are all guys that I think could take a major jump this year. I think any and/or many of those guys could be the breakout player in 2020.

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dobber's picture

June 17, 2020 at 09:00 am

Agreed: a player LIKE Raven Greene makes the defense go. I would argue they need a bigger, stronger Raven Greene (instead of 6', 185 lbs) who can still run. Not too much to ask, is it?

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Johnblood27's picture

June 17, 2020 at 10:14 am

All it takes to get one of these is a top 10 draft pick...

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Coldworld's picture

June 17, 2020 at 01:25 pm

How about 5’11, 197 lb Raven Greene per Packers website?

In all seriousness, I believe he bulked up for the role from memory, but we did bring in a number of low 200s candidates this off season.

I’m not sure that the particular injury Greene suffered last year would not have taken out a 250 pounder, but it is a fair question to raise.

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dobber's picture

June 17, 2020 at 02:43 pm

I see now...Wiki brings him up at the numbers I gave, so I'll defer to yours. It also says his injuries were ankle injuries (2018 and 19), so mayhap not a size issue, but I think most would like to see a guy with more traditional size who can run in that spot.

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Coldworld's picture

June 18, 2020 at 08:14 am

I think you are seeing a move to 200-215lb types with a number of oversized DBs and undersized ILBs being brought in. As to Greene, I’ve no idea what his real weight is, but he did look bigger last off season. Last year he was rolled up on by a TE of about 250 pounds.

Greene appears to have instincts, remains to be seen which of these have the instincts and athleticism together. Both are required. I think it’s also fair to point out that the lack of depth at ILB may have obscured the distinction between ILB 2 and the Hybrid roles Pettine would ideally like. Will be interesting to see if we see any camp.

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jannes bjornson's picture

June 17, 2020 at 04:51 pm

Should carry around 220lbs or 225 to maintain as a rover back.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

June 17, 2020 at 09:46 am

"Sounds like I need to be watching these."

It's great. I thought I knew a lot about the Packers before watching these.

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jannes bjornson's picture

June 17, 2020 at 04:52 pm

Sternberger should end up as the TE the meatpackers have been looking for since Chumura moved on. Blocks and catches. Tough dude.

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Coldworld's picture

June 17, 2020 at 06:41 am

If Greene can stay healthy and not need to play if banged up due to lack of depth, I think you are right on his potential this year.

I don’t think Deguara will compete with Sternberger. At least I hope not. That is Tonyan’s role. Deguara was signed as an Hback if you think about what has been said. Sternberger should be focused as a classic TE. He was game in his attempts to play HBack when asked, but we need him to play to his strengths and establish himself as a TE.

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Leatherhead's picture

June 17, 2020 at 09:07 am

Tonyan gets love, but in two years he hasn’t shown much as a blocker or receiver. 14 receptions for 177 yards, and it’s not like the guys ahead of him were All World or anything.

It’ll be Lewis and Looney as the blockers, Sternberger and Deguara as the receivers who can also block.

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Johnblood27's picture

June 17, 2020 at 10:30 am

Im with ya LH, Tonyan needs to show up in a big way this camp or he will be seeing the Turk.

If he cannot provide more value than Looney or my pick for TE4 if the roster falls that way, Evan Bayless, he needs to move on.

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GLM's picture

June 17, 2020 at 07:51 pm

Tonyan trains with Kittle. If he has any kind of upside, it ought to show this year.

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jannes bjornson's picture

June 17, 2020 at 04:56 pm

Tonyan is on the fine line to Dallas.

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Samson's picture

June 17, 2020 at 06:28 pm

Dam it!... I hate it when I have to agree with OS... Tonyan will be history by September.

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Coldworld's picture

June 18, 2020 at 08:25 am

Good chance you are right, as is always the case with a player yet to break out. Tonyan needs to improve his blocking, but we really didn’t see much last year due to injury in week 5 that sidelined him for 5 weeks.

He had core muscle surgery in February, which indicates that while he returned to the field he was likely pretty hampered. So I think it is possible we have somewhat unfair impression after last season and that he will show development this year.

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jannes bjornson's picture

June 17, 2020 at 04:55 pm

Deguara is a ChrisCooley clone.

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Since'61's picture

June 17, 2020 at 07:20 am

AL - Packers Legacy is an excellent docu-series. I’ll be interested to read your thoughts on the remaining decades. I found it all to be very well done.

The fact that the Packers did very well with their draft capital just strengthens the argument that if TT had added some FAs, especially when injuries hit, it m just may have been enough to put the Packers over the top.

Looking forward to seeing both Sternberger and Deguara in their roles.

Our defense definitely felt the loss of Greene last season. I hope that he is ready and able to play a full season in 2020. Our defense is better with him on the field.

Everyone stay well. Thanks, Since ‘61

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murf7777's picture

June 17, 2020 at 08:25 am

61’......I think TT didn’t bring in more outside free agents because he tended to sign more of his own FA players first. Most years that I remember there wasn’t much SC dollars left on the table. I agree that I wish he would of tried getting fringe FA to fix a weakness or injury situation. I believe he felt his own players on the practice squad were more prepared to help the team succeed. We will never know whether he was right or wrong, but you can’t argue with his success.

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dobber's picture

June 17, 2020 at 08:50 am

"Most years that I remember there wasn’t much SC dollars left on the table. "

My recollection was that TT never really bumped up against the cap and always tried to maintain a healthy cushion.

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murf7777's picture

June 17, 2020 at 09:21 am

That’s true dobber, with an eye towards the next years need to sign the upcoming FA’s on the team.

Gutey is more aggressive. we will find out over the next year with not nearly enough money to sign our own. I would say Gutey is much less of a protégée to Wolf then TT was. We will see how that works in the coming years.

I’m still a believer in draft and develop strategy more then signing big outside FA’s. So far, bringing in the “big 4” FA’s last year has worked, but it will hamstring the Packers next year to sign their own and we will see how that works out over the next few years. I predicted that last year after the signings and was downvoted. These contracts used up a lot of SC $’s.

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Johnblood27's picture

June 17, 2020 at 10:26 am

BTW Wolf readily admitted that he walked away because of the salary cap limits to the wheeling and dealing that he saw as his style in management.

If TT was indeed his clone protege, that explains the capology and lack of FA becoming an impediment to success much as Wolf saw it becoming to him.

TT signed his own, sometimes to his detriment and also by using league-wide negotiating values as guides used all of the allotted cap leaving none for team addition through non-Packer FA's.

Salary cap era issues when you have good players on your own team from draft successes and you wish to keep them at league-wide rates. It would take a lot of Home Town Discounts to keep the roster together under those conditions. Just a few bad decisions (like Perry...) can destroy your financial ability to keep your roster strong.

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PhantomII's picture

June 20, 2020 at 11:10 pm

We had to bring in defense because we had a big talent deficit and aging players who's contracts were up. We would have been an 8-8 team instead. Gute is refitting our "D" and drafting our offense. Gute is playing it slow with RT leaving in FA. He could have moved Lindsley or cut him and Taylor for that matter. It would have created Cap space, but I believe his reasoning about not changing to much at a time on the OL that did well last year. Gute drafted multiple OL prospects and we have quite a few from last year also. I expect a different Center and OT and possibly RG next year. Bak I'm 50/50 on because he's going to make a lot of money and GB may not have it for him and we are becoming a more balanced run/pass team and a lot younger on offense. Gute has a vision of what he wants and as fans we are baffled at some things. I predict Sternberger will be a top 3 TE his first year and the Dillon/ A.Jones combo will work most effectively having them both on the field at the same time.

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Tundraboy's picture

June 17, 2020 at 11:26 am

And that was a rational healthy approach most years, but in some years you need to spend your rainy day money now.

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Leatherhead's picture

June 18, 2020 at 06:39 pm

And we did that last year. Now, we’re facing the reality of being unable to re sign a number of our own good players.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

June 18, 2020 at 02:49 am

Agreed. The exception for TT always leaving a substantial cushion was 2016 when he would have entered the season with just $1.5M in cushion, which is barely really enough in a favorable injury year if the team has players who don't have an active game roster bonus go on IR.

As it happens, GB cut Sitton at the last minute (something I don't think was planned) and saved $6.5M on the cap by releasing Sitton. That $6.5M constituted the cushion for 2017, 2018 and Gute dipped into it in 2019 (rollover into 2020 was $5.3M).

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Coldworld's picture

June 18, 2020 at 08:35 am

Interesting insight. I agree, Sitton was likely not planned.

Perhaps this also indicates that draft and develop can eventually lead to a team with overpriced repeat contract players forcing degradation at depth. It also potentially speaks to the dreadful retention decisions around that time. If so, draft, develop and retain is not a cap panacea just as is likely not enough to produce a truly great team alone just a slower burning cap fuse.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

June 19, 2020 at 11:30 am

Yes, though that's a large subject. If I have twenty hours to do research on it, it might be worth an article.

My initial (no research) reaction is that draft-and-develop teams should only sign core players. That formed my luke warm reaction to GB's decision to extend Lowry. He is okay, but not a core guy.

OTOH, that leads to mistakes. Hyde and Hayward probably didn't look like core players to the Packers. Hyde probably should have since he was playing starter-level snaps at a good, though not elite, level. Hayward looked good (PFF loved him every year) but GB seemed to think he was limited in terms of where he could play.

It probably comes down to correctly assessing a player's value and possible future development if the decision whether to extend comes at an awkward moment. To wit: extending Nelson the first time was genius (because he made the jump); not extending Shields was a mistake (because he made the jump); and it looks like extending Lowry was a mistake (because he didn't make the jump and/or even regressed - jury is out though).

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Johnblood27's picture

June 17, 2020 at 10:20 am

The argument could certainly be made that TT left some SB appearances and perhaps titles on the table, thus falling short on the success metric of many.

The Patriots strategy of using inexpensive gap fillers via FA underscores that a supplementary route to addressing short term needs might have been productive.

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jannes bjornson's picture

June 17, 2020 at 05:00 pm

Never let the accountants run your business.

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CoachDino's picture

June 17, 2020 at 06:35 pm

The accountants only present the facts - They don't make the decisions. You can't underestimate the value of an accountant, they are critical to any viable business.

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Coldworld's picture

June 18, 2020 at 08:27 am

They are, but they shouldn’t be driving.

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splitpea1's picture

June 17, 2020 at 10:57 am

Ted should have done something meaningful a lot sooner to replace Collins, that's for sure.

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PeteK's picture

June 17, 2020 at 07:43 am

Put that in your pipe and smoke it , all TT deniers. If Gary improves even nominally and Greene stays healthy, two reachable goals, the D could be stifling. First I heard of this documentary, where can I view it?

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mnbadger's picture

June 17, 2020 at 08:33 am

It's on YouTube

Watch "Legacy Documentary: 100 Seasons of the Green Bay Packers | 1919-1929 | Humble Beginnings" on YouTube
https://youtu.be/Bl82r_fYxt0

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murf7777's picture

June 17, 2020 at 08:09 am

“Over that 10-year period, only one team, the Seattle Seahawks, got more return on their draft capital than the Packers. “

To all you TT and to some extent Gutey haters.......maybe you exude unwarranted, non substantiated criticism.....over expectations is what feeds pessimism. IE: Don’t expect a top 5 player with the 22nd pick. I’ve always felt we were lucky to have TT who learned from one of the best Ron Wolfe. I also believe if you don’t draft and develop players well you will not be consistent winners.

There’s a reason Packers are one of the most successful teams over the past 25 years and it’s not only QB’s, it’s called great leadership. Keep in mind, before you criticize the picks remember that all teams have their draft duds and the reality is their picks bust more often then our beloved Packers.

The packers rarely draft the player who the pundits have next on their draft board. This irritates some Packer fans and so they immediately criticize the pick(s). Sure, criticism is warranted at times, but continuous criticism is annoying. Give the draft a few years before you want to fire the GM for what you think is a lousy draft. The GM deserves more.

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dobber's picture

June 17, 2020 at 09:15 am

This finding really messes with the narrative, doesn't it?

If they measure success based on player games, though, you can always manufacture your own success by just playing your drafted guys--whether they merit the time or not. And with an all-time great at QB, maybe he could cover for a lot of those average Joes. Over time, the general talent level would decline. Maybe it doesn't mess with the narrative after all...

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murf7777's picture

June 17, 2020 at 09:25 am

I think what it tells you is more about how well you develop the players vs what players you actually take. You need to be an algebra major to understand it...lol

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jannes bjornson's picture

June 17, 2020 at 05:02 pm

One SB win the net result. Read 'em and weep.

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Samson's picture

June 17, 2020 at 06:22 pm

TT never used the full range of opportunities afforded him as GM (ie...Free agency).. He spent too much time scouting to draft all his 7th round picks. --- Thus... 1 SB.

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NickPerry's picture

June 17, 2020 at 08:19 am

I'm different than Al...I started with the Ron Wolfe years which was AWESOME. Gotta get back to it and watch the rest from start to finish AND in the order of the series, but what I've watched has been enjoyable.

I'm looking forward to especially Sternberger this season. I was bummed about his injury last year because this kid could turn out every bit as good or better than Fant or Hockenson were taken in the 1st round. He's already a better blocker than Fant IMO.

Deguara is my sleeper from the 2020 draft. This kid is athletic as hell and gives 100% on every play that I've watched from College. Obviously those u-tube videos on draft picks are all the GOOD stuff, but effort was always something that really stuck out with Deguara.

I don't know how many read the piece by Cory about Aaron Rodgers trade rumors but I took a look. Got to say this Grant Cohn who wrote the piece is a real WEINER. He takes his shots at the Packers and comes out and says MLF is a bad coach.

Hmmm...14-4 in year one on a team that had 2 straight losing seasons, hardly anyone to work with from the 2015, 2016, & 2017 drafts on your roster, and doing it in the first year of a new offensive scheme doesn't suggest that at all. Now I did notice he only had 2 followers so it seems his own fan base knows he sucks too!

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murf7777's picture

June 17, 2020 at 08:39 am

Deguara is my sleeper as well, can’t wait to see how they use him, he is so, so versatile. I also agree with Sternberger and think he has a good chance of being that next rising star in the league. MLF pieces are all coming together and I’m really excited to see year 2 of his O.

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dobber's picture

June 17, 2020 at 01:08 pm

I hope you two are right...I see Degaura as being mostly a blocker and not catching a lot of balls in 2020. He can still be an impact player that way, but will need to be talked up in that regard without box-score-watchers calling him a wasted pick.

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murf7777's picture

June 17, 2020 at 01:23 pm

I’m not sure we will see as much from Deguara in year 1 but from 2 on I think he could provide some interesting match up opportunities.

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jannes bjornson's picture

June 17, 2020 at 05:06 pm

He will be utilized quite a bit. McCarthy is long gone.

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Samson's picture

June 17, 2020 at 06:26 pm

No doubt, if Josiah Deguara can add to the "O", he'll be on the field.... Did MM even talk to rookies?

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Handsback's picture

June 17, 2020 at 08:51 am

I started watching the Packers during the Lombardi era. Love the team and always hope for the SB but understand when they fall short.
TT made some mistakes, but drafting in the bottom and limited FA pick ups really crimped MM in his coaching. JMHO. Now that he's with the Cowboys we will see if he gets another SB.
MLF will have another playoff run this season if they play. It's just common sense in that they got the crap beat out of them by the 49ers. Outside of that, they can play with the best if they play tougher against the run. Yes they were lucky last year...but they will also be more focus with better understanding of both offense and defense. Of course injuries can still play a negative part in the season's outcome but expect great things this year.

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jannes bjornson's picture

June 17, 2020 at 05:08 pm

His mistake was signing McCarthy.

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Samson's picture

June 17, 2020 at 06:35 pm

You're on fire!... One-liner truths..Love it.

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13TimeChamps's picture

June 17, 2020 at 06:41 pm

Huge mistake.

135-85-2
6 NFC North titles
4 2nd place NFC finishes
Super Bowl win
Having to deal with TT's refusal to sign FA's, other than his first couple of years.
Terrible defenses for most of his tenure, due to TT constantly drafting players out of position.
8 straight playoff appearances.
What a loser!!

It's been over 18 months since the Packers have moved on. Maybe it's time for you to move on as well. Ya think?

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Samson's picture

June 17, 2020 at 07:55 pm

So you're blaming TT alone... Many blame both TT & MM.... We'll find out how 'great' MM is with a very talented roster in Dallas... He may actually succeed in Dallas in spite of himself. Talent usually rules. ----- Also, FYI, 18 months is a very short period of time in today's world... A year ago is a lot different than today.... Think about it.

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Tabin's picture

June 17, 2020 at 09:13 am

TT was good drafting until 2010. From 2011 until 2017 got more than average hits on lower round picks but the first 3 rounds where very bad in general. According to the statistics they got a lot of return from the draft picks because since TT was averse to improve the team with FA they have to play good or bad.
A look at the 1st round since 2011 Sherrod, Jones and Perry are out of the league, Dix two 1 year deal for very reasonable money an average player, Randall 1 year deal with the Raiders and the Browns let him walk with no attemp to negotiate, very average and problems in the locker room. Clark a beast. The second round Cobb good player, Worthy, Lacy, Rollins out of the league, Adams a great hit, Spriggs, Josh Jones both a bust. King solid player when healthy. Third round, Green bad player, Hayward very good player just not for Capers system, Thornton out of the league, Montgomery average at beast, Fackrell a one year wonder, M.Adams looks like a bust.

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Nate-1980's picture

June 18, 2020 at 05:14 pm

Great post, very truthful..:) I give TT all the credit in the world for the gutsy move drafting Rodgers, and he did hit on a few playmakers in the first three rounds.. But yikes, there are some bad picks on that list, some I had forgotten to save my soul ha..:)

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Razer's picture

June 17, 2020 at 10:16 am

I know that you can make almost anything look good with numbers but I don't buy the Draft Capital message. Recently, I heard Vic Ketchman refer to the Packers as "Aaron Rodgers and a bunch of guys". He went on to add that our high round draft picks have been below average. I think our performance over the last decade reflects this summary. Through injury and decreased performance from Rodgers, this team has become increasingly average. I think that Gutekunst is reversing that trend but too many prime Rodgers days were wasted in the process. Unfortunate.

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splitpea1's picture

June 17, 2020 at 12:20 pm

Football must have been fun to watch in 1932; the Packers threw six shutouts, the Bears, eight. The three head-to-head contests: 0-0, Packers 2-0, Bears 9-0. The Bears' first three games all resulted in scoreless ties--jeez.

But the few official programs left from the championship game are worth a bundle.

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Ferrari-Driver's picture

June 17, 2020 at 11:55 am

Al, Great article.

When I was about 16 or 17 years old and happened to be in the little town of Oconto, WI at one of the hangout we kids used, Arnie Herber drove up in a truck and hauled in a case of beer. Pretty famous delivery man who made the day for a couple of starstruck kids who loved football and the Packers.

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ILPackerBacker's picture

June 17, 2020 at 12:18 pm

Kind of misleading to say TT gets credit for drafting a player that TT refused to offer a 2nd contract and who became a pro bowler on the next team. Hyde? Would SD be higher if they got credit for ted's considerable failings as a GM and with veteran players. Ted was GM if he had been limited to the draft and not had authority over the nfl side his tenure and that of packers history would be fairly different.

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stockholder's picture

June 17, 2020 at 12:42 pm

Over that 10-year period, only one team, the Seattle Seahawks, got more return on their draft capital than the Packers. Truthfully; No Team should have been ahead of the Packers. TT loved his picks. He made a lot of them. ( I believe more then any other team.) But you only have to look how many switched positions since 2010. Let alone the defensive failures in the 2nd round. I believe TTs problem was Capers. Listening to the coaches more then your own intelligence, was his Failure. The failure of development will happen. But his second biggest mistake was being cheap. MM had Rodgers. While others like New England signed cast-offs. And Traded picks. TT believed in Rookies. And if Sam Shields or Nick Collins, could develop. They surely could. Well that just didn't happen. The result was a defense that was a revolving door. IMO Gutey is making the same mistakes TT Made. Reaching for players that fit a scheme, switching positions, being cheap, won't help the team or the coach in the long run. Failure to get/Keep the best Players available, will cause turmoil in Green Bay. Grasping for straws will Dash the Hopes of the Faithful.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

June 18, 2020 at 05:20 am

AV is not a great system, but it, DVOA, and PFF are probably the best available. PFR's system is flawed for defensive players and deeply flawed for offensive players. An average offensive team gets 100 points to be distributed to its offensive players as AV. A team like the 2000 Rams got 170 offensive points. The 2013 Cleveland team got about 85 points distributed to its offense. [The 1992 Seahawks team got 44 points to distribute to its 24 to 28 offensive players: probably not going to fare well even if you are a good player on that Seahawks team.]

Now let's make the system worse. PFR distributes 45.5% of Cleveland's 85 points (39 points) for blockers. OL are 100% blockers, while a TE's AV is 30% due to blocking (70% receiving) and a FB's (if there is one) AV score is 70% blocking (20% Rec., 10% running, IIRC). WR's get zero for blocking, btw. It doesn't matter whether blocking was the strength of the team or the biggest weakness: blockers get 45.5%.

Now let's compound the problem. Players who start or play on offense in X amount of games automatically get X amount of points even if they suck to high heaven. That's how Byron Bell for GB got 4 AV points despite an horrendous 40 PFF grade (which was well-deserved). Bell started 9 games and played in 12, and had 527 offensive snaps.

Four of Cleveland's backup guards combined to start 7 games and play 456 snaps in 2013, led by the incomparable Oniel Cousins, who once received a PFF grade of negative 3.4 (that's -3.4) for one of his starts. These four nonentities combined to get 4 points. TE Gary Barnridge (74.4 PFF grade), who is a very good blocker but had just 127 receiving yards, snagged just one point (probably from the blocking points) despite playing 529 snaps (because there were no points left). 2013 Pro Bowler TE Cameron Jordan snagged 6 points based on 80 Recs for 917 yds and 7 TDs, two of which probably came from blocking. Roughly 32 points left to distribute among the 5 starting OL, including LT, pro bowler, First Team All-Pro Joe Thomas (PFF grade 90.2), and Pro Bowl OC Alex Mack (85.1 PFF grade), and a good LG in John Greco (73.5 PFF grade but played 83% of possible snaps). What to do? Slight Joe Thomas and award 11 points to him when great LTs get 15 to 19 or so. Slight Mack by giving him 8 when he deserves 12, and slight Greco by giving him 3 when he deserves 6 or 7. This is getting too long, so I will skip the rest of the offense and just note that WR Josh Gordon, pro bowler, first team All-Pro, with 1,646 receiving yards, an elite 18.9 yds/rec, an elite 10.4 yards per target, a stupendous, almost never duplicated 117.6 receiving yards per game stat gets a paltry 11 points.

The problem is that QB is so important on offense. Clevelands QBs were McCoy (8 games), Weeden (4) and Senaca Wallace (4) in 2010, McCoy/Wallace in 2011, Weeden in 2012, Jason Campbell/Weeden/Hoyer in 2013, Hoyer (13)/Manziel (3) in 2014, McGown/Manziel/Austin David in 2015, Kessler/McGown in 2016, and Kizer (15) in 2017, with Baker Mayfield in 2018 and 2019.

Good luck getting any CarAv points as an offensive player if drafted by Cleveland between 2010 and 2019. [Joe Thomas in his 6 years as a 1st Team All-Pro only got 11 points per year in those years on average playing for the horrible Browns - what's a decent to good player going to get?] Things might be looking up a bit with Mayfield, though with a 93.7 passer rating in 2018 which went down to 78.8 in 2019 and under 10 yards per game rushing, the jury is still out on Mayfield.

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Coldworld's picture

June 18, 2020 at 08:41 am

I think you just convinced me that this measure is completely pointless unless comparing players on the same team.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

June 19, 2020 at 11:56 am

Well, Byron Bell got 4 AV despite his 40 PFF grade and Linsley got 6 points playing all 16 games and having a 77 PFF grade. Bulaga got 7 AV points in 14 games with his 75.0 PFF grade.

CM3 got 19 AV in 2010 on a great defense (2nd and 5th in points and yards allowed). [The 23 listed under his stats seems to be a misprint - look under gbpackers roster starters for PFR and there is the 19. CM3 never again approached such heights, and looking just at his raw stats, while 2010 might have been his best year, 2011 and 2012 look reasonably close, and certainly not worth 10 and 11 AV.
CM3 PFF Grades:
2010: 80.2 PFF grade;
2011: 84.3 PFF grade; - this is the best grade of his career
2012: 80.6 PFF grade.

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