What IF the Cleveland Browns could hire a UFA that gave 400 more yards
and 25 more pts than his season-long starter in 2011....guaranteed.
Would they do it? Of course not. This is the risk adverse, no innovation, "What is sabermetrics?" NFL.
But the Browns, Jets, Rams and many other teams are missing a sure thing. They need a Touchback Kicker.
With the changes in the kickoffs to the 35 yard line in 2011 the NFL has given a defensive gold mine to teams. I have droned on about the JUMP in touchbacks with the new 2011 rules. The stats are now in. Look at them HERE
Look at the numbers and compare them to 2010. Most teams jumped from 15% TB to 45%. BUT there were 5 teams in the 60s. Thin air Denver and a couple of domes, but also Carolina and Jacksonville.
60% TBs are not just for domers anymore.
What happens if you find a guy, let's call him Todd Carter, who has a leg that will give your team a TB 100% of the time.
In 2011 teams averaged 5.1 KOs per game (up from 4.8 in 2010). Football outsiders estimate the value of field position by taking the drives starting at each field position, totalling the points scored and dividing by the number of drives to get a "Expected Point Value" for field position.
In 2011 the average starting position for Kickoffs without TB/onsides is the 25. That's 5 more yards you give your opponnent if you don't kick a TB. 5.1 kickoffs per game. For the Browns that was about 4.3 kickoffs per game which were non-TB. Which means about 21.5 yards per game that the opponents have to gain, more if the opponent is a talented return team.
The difference between EP on the 25 and EP on the 20 is .25 per drive. Again for the Browns that's about 1.5 pts per game, 24 pts for the season. 24 Pts Allowed is the difference between the Redskins and the SB Patriots.
Is the dog pound a bad stadium for TBs? Is it anti-TB for some local reason? Nope. Home and Away for the Browns in TBs are about equally poor. The Browns just suck at it. And they are not alone. NYJ, Rams, plenty of others need a bowl.
Can you find a leg that will boom it 100% of the time? Sure you can, and they are CHEAP.
From a national Kicker/Punter camp:
Todd played for KC in 2010 but currently is not in the NFL.
The Browns and others need to TAKE that 400 yards away from their opponents and kick it in the stands ALL THE TIME.
They need a TB Specialist. Put him on the roster and cut the guy that breaks the wedge. And watch your Pts Allowed go down.