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Bengals1181
06-16-2014, 07:29 AM
The Five Best Secondaries

1. Seattle Seahawks
That was easy. Here's a harder question: Where do the Seahawks rank among the greatest secondaries of all time? Too soon, you say? I disagree, and over at the Tailgater blog, I am ready to put them in the all-time Top Five (http://miketanier.sportsonearthblog.com/all-time-great-secondaries-the-seahawks-are-rising).

2. Cincinnati Bengals
When we think about the Bengals defense, we generally think about the front seven. And yes, the line and linebackers made a contribution to this ranking; the same can be said of all defenses. But the Bengals finished third in the NFL at stopping No. 1 receivers, third against No. 2 receivers and sixth against Nos. 3-5 receivers. They did it with Geno Atkins hurt for much of the year, sapping some of their pass-rush capability. So the secondary was doing something right.

The Bengals have an odd mix of veterans and youngsters at cornerback and safety. Terence Newman is still finding a way to hold down a starting job at 35, Reggie Nelson and Adam Jones are both 30 (Pacman at 30: the lion in winter) and 31-year old Danieal Manning has arrived as a veteran option at safety. Across the generation gap are first-round pick Darqueze Dennard, third-year pros Dre Kirkpatrick and Geogre Iloka and second-year project Shawn Williams. Leon Hall probably decides which radio station gets played in the locker room.

Mike Zimmer was capable of getting the best out of both the veterans and kids last year. Hall played at a high level before getting hurt, with Kirkpatrick coming into his own as a replacement, contributing to that high "slot receiver" ranking. Jones still has 90 percent of the off-the-charts talent of his younger years but has cut down on the silliness by about 75 percent. The Bengals played lots of man coverage last year, with Nelson sometimes blitzing or covering a tight end/slot guy and Iloka roving, so Bengals corners often faced difficult assignments. They kept plays in front of them well, tackled flat and screen receivers for minimal gains, shut down first reads and of course helped the defense intercept 20 passes.

When you watch Bengals game tape (I watched an extra allotment this week, because this ranking looked fishy to me), it's enlightening how often quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers and Philip Rivers pump-fake, check down and leave the pocket to buy time, a sign that the Bengals secondary has clamped down on the original route combination.

Dennard's arrival provides an additional boost. He is a natural cover corner who should step in as Newman finally runs out of Just for Men. Williams barely played last year but appeared to be coming around late in 2013 training camp. There is tons of depth here, and new coordinator Paul Guenther won't be making any major changes. The Bengals secondary does not pop out at you, but it doesn't let you complete many passes, either.

http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/79959820/nfl-best-worst-secondary-rankings-seattle-seahawks-arizona-cardinals#!ZGdkN

Bengals1181
06-16-2014, 07:32 AM
But the Bengals finished third in the NFL at stopping No. 1 receivers, third against No. 2 receivers and sixth against Nos. 3-5 receivers.


Dennard was a nice addition for the future, but I think many continue to hugely underrate the Bengals secondary. Even after Hall went down, Newman, Jones, and yes even Kirkpatrick, played very well.

mongo
06-16-2014, 08:27 AM
Considering how everyone had us taking a CB in the draft all off season, I'm a little shocked by those rankings. I thought our secondary was pretty good, but I didn't think people outside of Cincinnati thought they were very good.

Bengals1181
06-16-2014, 10:18 AM
Understanding secondary depthThere were a few high-profile cuts around the NFL last week -- namely cornerbacks Chris Houston of Detroit and Brandon Flowers in Kansas City.
Both signed big contracts with their respective teams in recent years. Flowers signed a six-year, $50 million contract in 2011. Houston signed for $25 million last year in Detroit to be their top corner. The Lions ate more than $5 million just to let him walk.
Yet, I get questions repeatedly asking if the Bengals will be going after either of these two players, particularly Flowers.
In honor of my predecessor Joe Reedy, here's an answer to that question:
In a time when the Bengals are attempting to sign three of their best players to big-money second deals, there is no reason to chase an expensive veteran cornerback particularly at a position with as much depth as anybody in the NFL.
I would go as far as to say the Bengals FIVE corners would all be a starter on another team. Not on all teams, but some. Leon Hall and Terence Newman start here and Adam Jones at the level he played the last two years would be an upgrade for about half the league at the No. 2 CB position. Darqueze Dennard was the top CB in the draft by many analysts. You better believe he could start. Even Dre Kirkpatrick, who is yet to make a significant impact, could get a chance in the starting lineup of a few teams lacking depth there.
How many first-round corners do you need?
Remember the days when Morgan Trent was the third corner? That's when you need to acquire depth. Not when you've built up this top stable.
Don't believe me? Mike Tanier of Sports On Earth ranked the top secondaries in the league (http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/79959820/nfl-best-worst-secondary-rankings-seattle-seahawks-arizona-cardinals#!ZHrqQ) and found himself surprised when the numbers churned out Cincinnati as the second-best secondary in the league. He even retraced his steps with more film to back it up. The film doesn't lie.
The team would love to have a playmaking safety like Ed Reed was and Troy Polamalu still is across the division, but Reggie Nelson has been one of the most underrated players on this team for a while. George Iloka played well in his first season on the field, minus dropping too many interceptions. There's probably a need to replenish that spot in the future, but the team still sits pretty with developing third-rounder Shawn Williams and versatile veteran Danieal Manning on board.
I understand every time a player is let go, fan reaction is for the Bengals to go get them. If you are doing so in this case, you're forgetting the quality already on the roster.

http://www.cincinnati.com/story/blogs/2014/06/16/walkthrough-616-understanding-secondary-depth/10571991/

coup000
06-16-2014, 10:48 AM
Interesting that the first part of his article takes what I think is a direct shot at PFF...

Football Outsiders uses the DVOA metric to break down the success level of every passing play of the season, cutting through much of the distortion. They also break down success rates by wide receiver, and you will see some of that analysis in the ratings below. If a defense consistently shuts down Calvin Johnson and Dez Bryant while giving up big games to Kris Durham and Cole Beasley, we can hypothesize that their top cornerback was great but their second cornerback wasn't.

The key word is "hypothesize." Football Outsiders uses game charting to determine how many passes each cornerback allowed, broken up and so on. Here's a link to the top cornerbacks of 2013, and another to the worst. Other stat services use similar play-by-play analysis, usually tabulating similar results. Here's the problem: There is no way a tabulation of catches and yards can account for man or zone defense, safety help (or lack thereof) or -- and this is a huge one -- quality of pass rush. So a top cornerback isolated in man coverage against Julio Jones will have a hard time looking as good as a nickel corner covering Harry Douglas in an underneath zone with a safety behind him. And both will look far better if the quarterback is pressured consistently.That's why Football Outsiders does not accumulate all of its data into some scientific-looking individual rating for players. The data is part of an evaluation process, not an evaluative conclusion.

He does write for football outsiders so maybe he is just pumping their product in relation to PFF, but I still thought it was interesting.


As for the actual content, I'm just hopeful that Dennard and Dre can pick up for whatever decline Newman and Hall may have due to age/injury.

Complete tangent, I am in Cincy visiting grandparents this weekend, I saw Hall and Boling in the airport picking up their golf clubs. Turns out my dad was on their flight from Atlanta. Both were walking around completely fine with no braces or anything at all. And obviously playing golf, so that's a good sign.

Bengals1181
06-16-2014, 10:51 AM
Interesting that the first part of his article takes what I think is a direct shot at PFF...

Football Outsiders uses the DVOA metric to break down the success level of every passing play of the season, cutting through much of the distortion. They also break down success rates by wide receiver, and you will see some of that analysis in the ratings below. If a defense consistently shuts down Calvin Johnson and Dez Bryant while giving up big games to Kris Durham and Cole Beasley, we can hypothesize that their top cornerback was great but their second cornerback wasn't.

The key word is "hypothesize." Football Outsiders uses game charting to determine how many passes each cornerback allowed, broken up and so on. Here's a link to the top cornerbacks of 2013, and another to the worst. Other stat services use similar play-by-play analysis, usually tabulating similar results. Here's the problem: There is no way a tabulation of catches and yards can account for man or zone defense, safety help (or lack thereof) or -- and this is a huge one -- quality of pass rush. So a top cornerback isolated in man coverage against Julio Jones will have a hard time looking as good as a nickel corner covering Harry Douglas in an underneath zone with a safety behind him. And both will look far better if the quarterback is pressured consistently.That's why Football Outsiders does not accumulate all of its data into some scientific-looking individual rating for players. The data is part of an evaluation process, not an evaluative conclusion.

He does write for football outsiders so maybe he is just pumping their product in relation to PFF, but I still thought it was interesting.


As for the actual content, I'm just hopeful that Dennard and Dre can pick up for whatever decline Newman and Hall may have due to age/injury.

Complete tangent, I am in Cincy visiting grandparents this weekend, I saw Hall and Boling in the airport picking up their golf clubs. Turns out my dad was on their flight from Atlanta. Both were walking around completely fine with no braces or anything at all. And obviously playing golf, so that's a good sign.



in case you missed this video of leon and clint the other day:


Lindsay Patterson @lindzpatterson (https://twitter.com/lindzpatterson) · 2h (https://twitter.com/lindzpatterson/status/477106404277645312)

Leon more off to the side workout. http://instagram.com/p/pJgvNYjJ6Q/ (http://t.co/gf7bsKJ3Ny)

Oldcat
06-16-2014, 01:09 PM
Actually, Morgan Trent was very effective in 2009 as a slot corner. The next year he misplayed some deep balls during one of our collective meltdown games vs Gradkowski.

Oldcat
06-16-2014, 01:16 PM
Interesting that the first part of his article takes what I think is a direct shot at PFF...

Football Outsiders uses the DVOA metric to break down the success level of every passing play of the season, cutting through much of the distortion. They also break down success rates by wide receiver, and you will see some of that analysis in the ratings below. If a defense consistently shuts down Calvin Johnson and Dez Bryant while giving up big games to Kris Durham and Cole Beasley, we can hypothesize that their top cornerback was great but their second cornerback wasn't.

The key word is "hypothesize." Football Outsiders uses game charting to determine how many passes each cornerback allowed, broken up and so on. Here's a link to the top cornerbacks of 2013, and another to the worst. Other stat services use similar play-by-play analysis, usually tabulating similar results. Here's the problem: There is no way a tabulation of catches and yards can account for man or zone defense, safety help (or lack thereof) or -- and this is a huge one -- quality of pass rush. So a top cornerback isolated in man coverage against Julio Jones will have a hard time looking as good as a nickel corner covering Harry Douglas in an underneath zone with a safety behind him. And both will look far better if the quarterback is pressured consistently.That's why Football Outsiders does not accumulate all of its data into some scientific-looking individual rating for players. The data is part of an evaluation process, not an evaluative conclusion.

He does write for football outsiders so maybe he is just pumping their product in relation to PFF, but I still thought it was interesting.


As for the actual content, I'm just hopeful that Dennard and Dre can pick up for whatever decline Newman and Hall may have due to age/injury.

Complete tangent, I am in Cincy visiting grandparents this weekend, I saw Hall and Boling in the airport picking up their golf clubs. Turns out my dad was on their flight from Atlanta. Both were walking around completely fine with no braces or anything at all. And obviously playing golf, so that's a good sign.

There are many of the PFF ratings that I find questionable and I think the entire methodology of rating based on 0 average allows a huge distortion. It makes a guy with 70 plays a game netting 0 look worse than a guy with one play that looked good. Lots of teams would like to have an 'average' fellow at some position each year. You really need average performance to have some positive value.

That said, I think the FO team DVOA rankings have their own methodology problems and produce distortions that the true believers there seem unwilling to face.

coup000
06-16-2014, 02:13 PM
in case you missed this video of leon and clint the other day:


Lindsay Patterson @lindzpatterson (https://twitter.com/lindzpatterson) · 2h (https://twitter.com/lindzpatterson/status/477106404277645312)

Leon more off to the side workout. http://instagram.com/p/pJgvNYjJ6Q/ (http://t.co/gf7bsKJ3Ny)

I did miss that. Makes walking around the airport carrying a rolling bag seem a little less impressive. Oh well, still kind of cool to see them in the airport. No one seemed to recognize them by the way.

mongo
06-16-2014, 04:02 PM
I did miss that. Makes walking around the airport carrying a rolling bag seem a little less impressive. Oh well, still kind of cool to see them in the airport. No one seemed to recognize them by the way.

Last year, I was flying out of CVG the morning after the Thursday night loss at Miami. We must have seen 6 players and 2 coaches heading to various gates for flights out of town. They looked exhausted so I didn't bug them, but it is totally cool seeing them out and about... And usually, I don't recognize anyone famous until my family points them out to me. I think my brain tells me they only exist on TV, and what I'm seeing must be someone who kind of looks like a famous person. :)