The Not-So-Secret Sleeper Among Edge-Rushers

There are many difficulties with performing statistical analysis on college edge-rushers. Sacks are relatively rare, which can distort results. Blockers range from future NFL starters to pudgy future high school phys ed teachers. Many top edge-rushers rack up big sack totals against Middle Nowhere State or benefit from schemes that give them unblocked paths to the quarterback. Others are double-teamed on every snap.
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There are several methods for sidestepping these problems. One is to meld analysis with game study. Anthony Chiado does just that each year for the Optimum Scouting Draft Guide, tracking how often each top pass-rusher is double-teamed, how often he’s unblocked, where he lines up, which of his pass-rush moves are most successful and so forth.

NC State’s Bradley Chubb looks as solid as you might expect in the breakdowns. Marcus Davenport of Texas-San Antonio blows the field away, albeit against lower competition levels. But Chiado’s research uncovers a variety of secrets about other edge-rushers, most notably Oklahoma’s Ogbonnia Okoronkwo.cheap custom nfl jerseys
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Okoronkwo pressed opposing quarterbacks on 25.4 percent of passing plays, second only to Davenport. He was rarely unblocked (just 3.6 percent of his pressures) and beat his opponent with some sort of countermove 25.0 percent of the time.

The countermoves reveal Okoronkwo’s ability to do more than just explode out the gate and beat a left tackle to the edge. The Optimum Scouting analysis quantifies Okoronkwo’s ability to work through blocks and find alternate routes to the quarterback, two important skills for success as an NFL pass-rusher.cheap customized nfl jerseys

Okoronkwo also performed well at the combine and the Senior Bowl and was a major-program superstar, cheap nfl custom jerseys so he’s hardly a “sleeper.” Analytics aren’t just about evaluating players but also describing them in more precise and useful terms than “he’s explosive” or “he’s a winner.”

(And if you are protesting that counting double-teams and countermoves is scouting, not Moneyball, then here’s a news flash: That’s a false distinction. Good analysis and careful observation always go hand-in-hand. It’s when one rejects the other that teams start making foolish decisions.)

Brazilian first division is set to kick off, whether anyone has noticed or not

In their book “Soccernomics,” written in 2009, Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski make “rosy predictions for Brazilian football,” including that the investments in the 2014 World Cup would help lift the country’s domestic game to a level similar to that of the major European leagues.cheap custom nfl jerseys

It is a rare false note in a fascinating work. A recent editorial in Brazil’s sports daily Lance! paints a truer picture of contemporary reality.

“Our club game is in the global third division,” it laments. “Brazilian football is today further behind the main centres than it has ever been, by any indicator.
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“We are easily beaten in terms of average crowd, TV audience, income of the clubs and interest of the sponsors.
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“Violence keeps people away from the stadiums. And we are exporters of talent, helping other leagues to be more attractive than our own.”

There are many explanations for such a state of affairs, in which the Brazilian game operates absurdly beneath its potential. Many of these explanations come back to leadership and organisation — in particular, a structure of football in which the tail wags the dog.
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Power inside the Brazilian football association, the CBF, does not rest with the clubs. It lies with the presidents of the 27 state federations. They, in turn, owe much of their allegiance to clubs so tiny they barely, if at all, qualify as professional.

As Lance! concludes, “The clubs and their fans are the biggest losers of our unhappy dynasty. Especially the big clubs — subjected to a disastrous calendar that obliges them to make a loss in the interests of those at the top.”nfl jerseys cheap nike

Quite why the clubs have yet to break away to form their own league is one of the major mysteries of Brazilian football. But the undeniable truth, the point overlooked by Kuper and Szymanski, is that there is little benefit in having 21st-century stadiums if they have to coincide with a 19th-century calendar.

Arsenal Transfer News: Everton Reportedly Confident of Signing Jack Wilshere

Everton are reportedly growing increasingly confident they will sign Jack Wilshere from Arsenal in the summer.
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Wilshere is out of contract at the end of the season and has rejected a new deal with the Gunners as it would involve taking a pay cut. He is also not too happy with the way he has been treated by the club, according to Football.London’s Charles Watts.cheap custom nfl jerseys

The situation has given Everton hope they can land Wilshere, as they would be willing to match his current wages as well as offer him “a sizeable signing on fee.”
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The 26-year-old has endured an injury-plagued career, but he has managed to prove his fitness at Arsenal this season and has made 35 appearances in all competitions.

Arsenal’s reluctance to offer Wilshere a big contract is perhaps understandable given his injury record. However, they do risk losing him on a free transfer in the summer if he does not renew.

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown said it would be a disaster if Wilshere left, per Indy Football:
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Everton manager Sam Allardyce has spoken about Wilshere and said he has “always admired him” in an interview with TalkSport.

A move to Everton would also see Wilshere reunited with former team-mate Theo Walcott, who moved to Goodison Park from Arsenal in January 2017.
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There’s no doubt that a fit Wilshere is a quality midfielder who is yet to fully realise his potential. However, his injury record is a concern and is likely to have an impact on any decisions regarding his future.

AJ McCarron to Buffalo Bills

The Bills missed out on the bigger names in the free-agent quarterback merry-go-round. Cousins landed a massive contract with Minnesota. Case Keenum got a nice payday with the Denver Broncos. Sam Bradford landed with the Cardinals.cheap customized nfl jerseys

And that might be for the best.

From a financial standpoint, it’s hard to argue Buffalo didn’t get a good deal when it signed former Cincinnati Bengals backup AJ McCarron to a two-year, $10 million contract.

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis told Tim Graham of the Buffalo News that the team got a winner.cheap nfl custom jerseys

“AJ’s always been a really confident player in himself and his abilities,” Lewis said. “He’s had a great deal of success, and he believes that he will always continue to have success. That’s part of him.”0b9036d1087a4c93e2a2f65456d42fa9_crop_exact

Just about everyone believes the Bills will still make a push to trade up in this year’s draft to select a quarterback—$5 million a nike nfl jerseys cheap year isn’t a contract that shows a ton of confidence in McCarron long-term.

But the Bills don’t have to sell their souls to do so. If the price is too high for them to move up, they have a Plan B. The 27-year-old McCarron has shown (albeit in a small sample size) the ability to have some success as a starter at the NFL level.

From the moment that Ndamukong Suh landed in Los Angeles, pundits have been breathlessly forecasting how formidable the Rams will be with Suh joining Aaron Donald up front.

Minnesota’s signing of Sheldon Richardson to a one-year, $8 million contract may not have generated the headlines that Suh’s move did, but it could wind up being every bit as impactful—or perhaps even more so.

Richardson, who had 44 tackles and one sack for the Seattle Seahawks in 2017, isn’t a huge numbers guy. nfl jerseys cheap nike He piled up eight sacks and made the Pro Bowl with the Jets in 2014, but he has just 7.5 sacks in the three seasons since.

However, the numbers don’t tell the whole story. In his first year in a four-man front last season, Richardson showed the potential to be a disruptive 3-technique in the mold of, well, Suh.

Baltimore Ravens: Sign a Perimeter Weapon for QB Joe Flacco

At the 31 years old, Mike Wallace will hit free agency. customized nfl jerseys Breshad Perriman hasn’t lived up to his first-round billing. Jeremy Maclin didn’t move the needle in his 12 appearances during the 2017 season, racking up just 40 receptions for 440 yards and three touchdowns.

In two seasons under offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, the Baltimore Ravens offense doesn’t look dynamic and has held onto its run-heavy approach, with running back Alex Collins nfl custom jerseys cheap emerging as the primary ball-carrier in the previous season. 504f1908471124403827189fc65887a2_crop_exact

In order to instill offensive balance, the front office must consider cheap custom nfl jerseys adding playmakers on the perimeter to help much-maligned quarterback Joe Flacco. Baltimore’s aerial attack ranked 29th in yards last year.

Flacco hasn’t thrown more than 20 touchdown passes since the 2014 campaign in which Steve Smith led the wide receiver group. Bring the man some offensive weapons.

The Buffalo Bills signed 10th-year veteran cornerback Vontae Davis to a one-year deal, per Rapoport, but the front office’s work isn’t done at the position.

Davis snagged just one interception in his last 19 games. He’s coming off a shortened season due to a groin injury, which required surgery, and his Pro Bowl years have passed him since he was last honored in 2015.

The Bills should avoid pushing all their cornerback chips toward Davis as the No. cheap customized nfl jerseys 2 alongside Tre’Davious White and acquire someone who’s proven in defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier’s system.

Injuries forced Gaines to miss five contests during the previous campaign, but he flourished in 11 starts. The 26-year-old’s history of missing games (all of 2015 and five games in ’16) will hurt his value on the market, but the Bills should have an opportunity to re-sign him at a reasonable price that corresponds to his value. Davis alone isn’t the answer.