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Another Draft where we miss out on a proven Running Back. How do we address this need?

Discussion in 'Miami Dolphins Forum' started by Dorfdad, Apr 30, 2021.

  1. Pennington's Limp Arm

    Pennington's Limp Arm Well-Known Member

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    Gaskin - 7th rd (43K guaranteed)
    Ahmed - UDFA (0.00 guaranteed)
    Laird - UDFA (3K Guaranteed)
    Brown - FA (1.5M Guar)
    Doaks - 7th rd (?100k?)

    Two 7th round picks and around 1.646M in guaranteed $$$ invested in RB.

    I think this draft is confirmation that this brass is following the modern analytics theory....running backs aren’t worth investing capitol (‘or don’t matter’).
    Countless arguments to support this theory.
     
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  2. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Club Member

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    I think you're likely right that they feel this way. I feel completely differently, and ill keep complaining.
     
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  3. PhinFan1968

    PhinFan1968 To 2020, and BEYOND! Club Member

    ^^^

    I'm fine with seeing how this strategy works out for 2021 w/o sweating a top-tier RB.
     
  4. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Club Member

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    And then get a top tier RB next offseason. Please.
     
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  5. PhinFan1968

    PhinFan1968 To 2020, and BEYOND! Club Member

    Ya I mean if it doesn't work well, and the run game still stifles us, I'm all in.
     
  6. The_Dark_Knight

    The_Dark_Knight Defender of the Truth

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    And a dynamic running game will open up play action pass for big gains. How’s that guy Tannehill doing in Tennessee with Derrick Henry again?
     
  7. TheHighExhaulted

    TheHighExhaulted Well-Known Member

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    Winning super bowls left and right
     
  8. thetylernator

    thetylernator You're as cold as ice, Officer Friendly.

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    Send a 4th for James Robinson.
     
  9. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I don't think you should have "extreme concerns" because this is not a linear problem. Sure, I'd love to see an offense that can score 50 per game while the defense only gives up 6 points, but that's not a realistic goal in today's salary cap era. A 50-6 win is exactly the same as a 14-13 win...in that they're both wins.

    With Waddle and Fuller, this offense completely changes from the last stretch of the year in 2020. Back then, we had basically no receivers healthy and the offense had to go plain vanilla to gain any yardage at all. Defenses just weren't scared of our 5th string receivers and that let them control the line of scrimmage.

    This coming season with everyone healthy, it's impossible to stack the box unless you're straight-up challenging Tua's release under pressure. I think it's a completely different offense where we'll be able to move the ball a lot more fluidly via pass and run. Does that equal 50 per game? Nope...but our already elite defense has improved as well. The goal here is probably 17 to 21 points per game to fall into the W column. And I don't think that comes down to throwing bombs to make that happen either.
     
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  10. Finatik

    Finatik Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    True if its a win. 14-13 leave a lot to wrong and not get a win. 50-6 not so much. So while they are the same in the scorebook, I would rather have the 50-6 win and not the nail biters we endure EVERY GAME.
     
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  11. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Absolutely....me too! But my main point was that if the defense shows up like we're expecting them to, then we don't need the offense to be all-world this season. We could probably still get to that 10-win mark scoring 20 a game.
     
  12. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    More like 25.5 points per game is needed by the offense if the defense performs similarly to last year, using last year's stats.

    Last year our defense was 0.9991 z-scores above the mean, and the equation for win% as a function of offensive and defensive z-scores across NFL history is: Win% = 11.29*OF + 10.76*DF + 50.

    Since 10 wins in a 16 game season is 62.5%, you plug that in for Win% and plug DF = 0.9991 and you get 0.1550 z-score on offense that's needed. Last year the average points per game was 24.8 with a standard deviation of 4.3 giving you around 25.5 ppg (just a tad above league average) that the offense needs to score for 10 wins.

    Times have changed. Teams are scoring close to 25 ppg now so you need to adjust expectations.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2021
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  13. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Well, last year our team gave up 21.125 points per game (338 points total if I added right), which is where I calculated we'd need to score around 20 PPG. That average would have been considerably lower if the Bills didn't drop 56 on us in week 17 though (and 31 in week 2). Of course, it also helped that the Jets scored 3 total points against us in two contests, so maybe it still averages out closer to normal.

    Anyway, 20 or 21.125 or 25 is all in the same ballpark and it's not an unattainable goal in my opinion with this roster.
     
  14. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    Yeah it's actually a big difference. Remember, on offense the standard deviation was 4.3 ppg, so going from 20 or 21.125 to 25 is about ~1 standard deviation difference, enough to go from average to #7 or so.

    Also, when you match points scored with points allowed, it doesn't really matter what those numbers are you should expect 8 wins in a 16 game season. So from 21.125 points allowed per game the intuition should be that you need to score quite a bit more to win 10 games. Note that the Dolphins scored 404/16 = 25.25 ppg last season so right in line with expectations.
     
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  15. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Here's the other side of my thinking- is it unrealistic to expect the defense and special teams to score 7 points per game next year? My mind says no, but I'm guessing you'll say that it's unreasonable. With the way we generate turnovers, it may not be a true 25 points on the offense to score.
     
  16. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    The way they record stats, "offensive points per game" includes points scored by any unit. I know, it's weird.

    Looking at all TD's scored it looks like defense and special teams scored 3 TD's last year (scroll down to Touchdown Log):
    https://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/mia/2020.htm#all_scoring

    So that's 1.3 points per game difference. Not immediately sure how that compares to the rest of the league, but worst case scenario if let's say only the Dolphins got that extra 1.3 ppg difference from defense and special teams while no other team did that means that with our defense of last year we'd need to score about 27 ppg for 10 wins. So not much more than 25.5 (again this includes contributions from all units). And that's assuming no other team had ST or defense TD's in 2020. So not much difference even if defense and ST don't score as much as last year.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2021
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  17. Galant

    Galant Love - Unity - Sacrifice - Eternity Staff Member

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    From Barry Jackson:

    "Two more names to keep in mind if the Dolphins add another running back: Detroit’s Kerryon Johnson and New England’s Sony Michel.


    NFL Network reported on Wednesday that Johnson will be released, but Lions general manager Brad Holmes told Pro Football Talk that Johnson’s status is not resolved.

    The former second-round pick from Auburn averaged 5.4 yards on 118 rushes as a rookie in 2018, but that average tumbled to 3.6 per carry on 113 attempts in 2019 and 3.5 on 52 attempts last season. He started 16 games and caught 61 passes (8.6 average) in his Lions career.

    According to Pro Football Talk and ESPN, Michel could lose his spot on the Patriots roster if rookie Rhamondre Stevenson beats him out for a job.

    The Patriots this week declined the 2022 fifth-year option on Michel, the former Plantation American Heritage star who was drafted 31st overall out of Georgia in 2018.


    Michel started eight games and averaged 4.5 yards per carry (209 attempts) as a rookie for the Patriots, then started 14 games in 2019 but slipped to 3.7 per carry on 247 attempts.

    His playing time dropped dramatically in 2020; he had 79 carries, averaging 5.7 yards on those attempts, in nine games and six starts. He has caught 26 passes in his NFL career.

    The Patriots have six running backs: Damien Harris, Michel, James White, Stevenson, J.J. Taylor and Brandon Bolden.

    Mike Reiss, ESPN’s Patriots reporter, noted that “Stevenson, the fourth-round pick from Oklahoma, could threaten Michel for a spot on the game-day roster [and possibly the 53-man roster] because he’s more likely to be a factor on special teams. This appears to be a spot with quality depth, which the Patriots have needed in recent seasons because of injuries.”
     
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  18. Phin McCool

    Phin McCool Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  19. texanphinatic

    texanphinatic Senior Member

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    Kerryon Johnson is garbage.
     
  20. Dorfdad

    Dorfdad Well-Known Member

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    when did this become the meta? Growing up it was ALWAYS the ground game opened up the passing attack. When defenses don’t respect your running game they shift their defense to cover more wideouts and receiver patterns and leave less men on the dline.

    A stud running back changes all that you have to count for them as they are able to control the clock more efficiently than any passing game. They also force the defense to assign more players to short yardage / running plays which opens up the defense for more one on ones and passing plays.

    Maybe I’m old school but without a Solid game breaking RB I don’t believe you can be a dominating team in the NFL unless you have a lights out defense and special teams to compensate for the quick 3 and outs on offense
     
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  21. Two Tacos

    Two Tacos Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    It's not "meta". It's the new reality that the rules of the game have changed to favor passing. QBs and WRs are more protected, they cannot be blown up like they used to be. Less contact is allowed when running routes. It is why smaller quicker guys are flourishing. Which dominating team is doing it now? Tennessee? Their D sucks, and the best season that they've managed is 11-5. Seattle is the last team to get it done that way, and that was in 2013.
     
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  22. Dorfdad

    Dorfdad Well-Known Member

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    @Two Tacos i hear you rules have changed but what hasn’t is that you can not control the game clock with a passing offense. I can’t be told otherwise. When you need to move short yardage and your passing on 2-4 yard plays constantly because you have no confidence in your line and RB to get those yards it’s over.

    I don’t care what a si for season or statistics say you can find a way to spin anything. Without a solid running game to control the speed of the game your done 8-10 times
     
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  23. Two Tacos

    Two Tacos Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Not if you score and your opponent doesn't. Points matter more for wins. Which is obvious. Running game doesn't influence ToP like it used to, your defense does. Stopping the other team matters more, keeping them from scoring means they have to be throwing regardless of their rushing attack at the end of games.

    Top 5 rushing teams were Baltimore, Tennessee, Cleveland, New England and Minnesota. They finished 3rd, 28th, 15th, 23rd, and 19th in ToP. Not the correlation that you'd have if running was still that important to time of possession. That's not spin, that's what happened.

    Top 5 scoring Ds were Baltimore, LA Rams, New Orleans, Miami and Pittsburgh. They finished 3rd, 5th, 2nd, 7th and 10th in ToP. Much stronger correlation. And again, not spin, it's what happened. It also explains why Baltimore was the sole top rushing team above average in ToP.

    I get not caring what some esoteric formula based statistic says. But, wins are a statistic. So, clearly they matter.
     
  24. Dorfdad

    Dorfdad Well-Known Member

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    I still want one!!!!!

    lol all good points but I’m a *****ing till we settle on a good RB!!!
     
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  25. Pennington's Limp Arm

    Pennington's Limp Arm Well-Known Member

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    I think you’re missing the argument.

    Analytics are saying Running BACKS don’t matter. They are not saying the running GAME doesn’t matter.

    The premise is the offensive line and run scheme/play call will determine the success of the run game... not whatever dude happens to have the ball in his hands.

    Fins are investing big time in the run GAME. We have loaded offensive line in the draft. We have also promoted the run game coordinator to a co-offensive coordinator.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2021
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  26. Two Tacos

    Two Tacos Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I cannot argue with that.

    **edit** Barry Sanders is still my all time favorite player to watch.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2021
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  27. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    Actually, the analytics say that the passing game matters FAR more than the running game. They also show that teams are increasingly emphasizing passing rather than running.

    To the first point, you can look at the correlations between efficiency stats and win%. For example, the average correlation between passing Y/A and win% across NFL history is about 0.55 while it's about 0.163 for rushing Y/C. Those translate to about 30% of the variation in win% being due to passing efficiency (measured by Y/A) and only 2.65% due to rushing efficiency. That's just one example. Other stats like passer rating show an even greater difference.

    As far as how much teams value rushing vs. passing, consider the following graph that shows average rush percentage for the league per league year, and also for the playoff and SB winning teams. Note how teams went pass heavy after that momentous 1978 rule change, and that rush percentage has continuously decreased since then.

    So yes the analytics say that the running game doesn't matter anywhere as much as the passing game, and they also show that teams are adapting to rule changes by emphasizing being good at passing efficiency and limiting passing efficiency of opponents.

    Rush percent per year for playoff and SB team.png
     
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  28. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Club Member

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    I feel that BOTH the passing game and running game are important, and both need to be used to control the clock, gain first downs, and run as many plays as possible while you're on offense.

    Secondly, I just don't trust defense. I never have. And so keeping them off of the field as much as possible needs to be a priority.
     
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  29. PhinFan1968

    PhinFan1968 To 2020, and BEYOND! Club Member

    Both important, yes, but the level of importance of using both to gain ToP advantages, would be equal...if the team being considered equally used them in that regard, to equal efficiency and success. If that's how you structure your offense and team, sure, if it works it works. Teams don't do that though.
     
  30. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Club Member

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    Well, that's how I would ideally structure my offense, absolutely. With the goal of being able to pass and run with good success, focusing on moderate gains and not big plays. Keep the defense honest, take what's there to be had, audible in both directions, and always focus on getting the next first down unless there is a clear glaring weakness to be exploited.
     
  31. TheHighExhaulted

    TheHighExhaulted Well-Known Member

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    Big plays. Big plays. Big plays.

    How many times has Miami gone on a 10 play 60 yard drive to settle for a field goal only to have the opposing team score an 80 yard touchdown the next play over the past 10 years?

    It totally deflates the opposing team.

    Miami needs big plays and more big plays.
     
  32. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Club Member

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    We'll never agree on that point. I view any drive that ends in a score as a success, and at least throughout Dolphins history, you can tell which offenses are the ones that functioned the best by how many field goals were scored that year, most of the time. The seasons that featured scattershot and inconsistent offense generally have a low number, even if the TD numbers look good by themselves.

    Now, touchdowns are better than field goals. Of course. But if you score 35 TDs and 35 FGs, that's better than 40 TDs and 20 FGs. That's true in the most basic sense of points scored (350 points vs 340), but it also has the added effect of putting the team in a more favorable field position at a greater rate, owning the time of possession, and most importantly having the offense get into a rhythm that they can repeat over and over. Along with of course punting ten fewer times, and giving the other team fewer chances to run one back.
     
  33. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    This is factually untrue. Below I plotted all FGs, TDs and wins for the Dolphins from 1978, the first year there was a 16 game season. I started from 1978 so that we wouldn't have to deal with percentages, just raw numbers. The strike shortened 1982 season is left out.

    The correlation between TDs and wins is 0.5564 while the correlation between FGs and wins is -0.0224. In other words, the number of FGs gives you no information (on average) about the number of wins while the number of TDs explains about 31% of the variation in win% over that time, for the Dolphins only of course.

    So no, it's number of TDs that matter, not FGs. The number of FGs are in fact statistically irrelevant, at least for the Dolphins. Oh, and note that peak with Marino. 70 TDs and only 9 FGs in the most impressive year during this period.

    FG vs TD vs Wins.png
     
  34. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Club Member

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    I never said anything about the number of wins. I said that those years had a good offense. Why do you always have to twist things into that direction?

    My personal time frame also starts around 1990, which is when the FGs start to go up.
     
  35. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    Dude if it shows up in wins it's an even bigger effect on offensive stats. The correlation to offensive ranking is a whopping -0.7331, so 53.74% of offensive ranking is explained by TDs. FGs? Correlation is 0.0556, so basically nothing.

    Just admit you're completely wrong about this.
     
  36. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Club Member

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    We look at things differently. My view is always subjective. I looked at the years where the team had a greater number of FGs made (not attempted) and in those seasons, much more often than not, my feeling was that the team had an offense that they could rely on.

    Using the eyeball test and my human feelings, not stats on a page, I believed in the offenses in those years. In most of the years with lower FGs made (again post 1990), I did not believe in those offenses.

    I cannot be wrong when I'm talking about my subjective feelings.
     
  37. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    That's a disclaimer you really need to put in from the outset because every measure of offensive production says you can't actually predict that measure from FGs but you can do a pretty good job predicting it with TDs.

    You're right though. As long as you're divorcing yourself from any measure of offensive production and only talking about how you felt there's no right or wrong. It would be nice however if you state that clearly. Then there's no need to discuss stats.
     
  38. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Club Member

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    We look at things at such polar opposite ends of the spectrum, that you should probably just ignore me.
     
  39. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    You're part of a discussion going on in which a useful question was asked, and your post included many stats. It certainly didn't come across as just talking about your feelings irrespective of objective measures. I can't just ignore that. It's important to set the record straight in such cases (when talking about objective measures).
     
  40. Dorfdad

    Dorfdad Well-Known Member

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    i hate that we constantly feel the defense needs to win things. We just need a defense than can generate turnovers and keep opposing teams around 21 points

    no way we should expect our defense to constant win. It’s to hard and they always have 2-3 bad games early on
     
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