Just back from vacation, trying to catch up (I had close to zero internet access). Doesn’t look like I missed much, as the “off-season” has finally arrived. OTAs are happening, but I tend to believe the lead to far more overreaction and hype than genuine intelligence.
Don’t read into the day-to-day depth chart (who’s running with the 1s and so on) too much. Kelly is just getting a feel for every player and will likely use this as an opportunity to test some potential offensive ideas out and see how various personnel groups handle it.
I do, however, think the high-tempo offenses are a very good thing. The risk is that they aren’t coordinated correctly and end up too frantic and scattered. However, if done correctly they:
1) give more reps to everyone, which should help ease the offensive learning curve. It also gives the coaching staff more tape on everyone, meaning players that are lower on the depth chart should have a better chance of getting serious consideration.
2) maximize the inherent advantage of the offense. As everyone knows, prior to the snap, the offense knows the play and the defense does not. Standing at the line for a while or taking a long time in the huddle mitigates this advantage, as it allows the defense to swap personnel and gives them time to read the offensive alignment.
The no-huddle minimizes this time, and therefore takes full advantage of the natural information asymmetry at the snap. It’s not easy (or it’d be more common), but running sprint-paced practices is obviously a key step towards being successful.
3) While it’s tough to tell without watching practice, you’d think lots of reps would also help the overall fitness level of the team. I’ll be keeping an eye on this during the season, particularly as it relates to the O-line play late in the game.
If the O-line is in better physical shape and the opposing D-line can’t rotate (no time with the no huddle), that should translate into a late-game advantage for the Eagles.
I missed this. It’s another great example of why I love having Jerry Jones in our division. As Tommy said, the Cowboys had Sharrif Floyd ranked #5 overall and he was available at their #18 pick. For most people, that’d be a no-brainer pick, immediately followed by a draft room celebration. There are only a handful of elite players in each draft, and getting them is usually very expensive if you don’t have a high pick to begin with. If the Cowboys believed Floyd was one of them (as their draft board suggests), then the decision to trade down is absolutely outrageous.
As readers here know, the key to the draft is two-fold: Find elite players (who are usually selected in the top 15), and maximize value (sticking to “tiers” and getting those players with the lowest possible pick).
The Cowboys obviously do not believe in this strategy, which goes a long way to explaining why they’ve won just 2 playoff games since their 1995 Super Bowl win.
Though most people have probably moved on, I’ve found additional ratings for my TPR draft rankings. Haven’t yet incorporated them, but I will soon. As I’ve explained, consensus rankings should be more accurate than any individual ranking (over the long-term), and each additional set of realistic ratings should improve the overall set.
Thanks to everyone who pre-ordered their 2013 Almanac. We’re doing our best to make sure it’s worth much more than you paid for it.