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Thread: Fumbling and RB position

  1. #1
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    Default Fumbling and RB position

    Do I need to make a strong case that ball security is the most vital attribute of a modern running back? Or are we already there. I can't read y'all's mind. MO? Jaded?

    I'm not even sure I'm right.

    Talk to me.
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    Hmmmmmm.....

    I think turnover battle is the single biggest teller of winning and losing. Regardless of position.


    Having said that, when a players production vastly outweighs another turnovers cannot be the deciding factor.



    We all want Watson here. If we do, we will see more sacks than with Drew. Buuuut Watsons play and production are increased so much more that its still easily worth it. Easily.
     
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    Yeah the fumble ratio has to be weighed against big play ability and amount of production and especially scoring production. The way the runner is separated from the ball should have some thing to do with it too. Is their upper body strength suspect? Do they have small hands? Are they practicing solid ball handling habits? Do they get stood up a lot so half the defense can get a stab? Or are they just the victims of bad luck helmet to ball missiles? There are a lot of fumbles I have seen lately that I don’t know if anyone could have avoided. But if a runner is constantly double arming the rock with their head down, their explosiveness suffers badly. They gotta be quick and consistent at changing their posture, switching the ball when necessary. Definitely a skill a runner needs to stay on the field and out of the doghouse.

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    When Dan Reeves was our HC in from '81-'92, he made eliminated fumbles a high priority. Not only did he have Vance Johnson fair catch every single punt he fielded, no matter how much room he had to return, but he also had a stable of RBs who couldn't convert a 3rd & 1 to save their lives. There are RBs that can move the chains & hold on to the ball, but most of the time you need to decide which is the higher priority, and how much you are willing to sacrifice 1 to improve upon the other.
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    I think there is some NFL "alpha" (to borrow the CAPM term) in this idea. I think you could use maths and make a good case. This is my gut feel. I should look into it--but I need access to good stat databases.

    My proposition is this:

    The optimal NFL roster uses replacement level running backs with elite ball security.
    What evidence would prove this?

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    My instinct tells me that prioritizing a ball security back who is less talented over a more talented back who has a higher chance of fumbling is equivalent to taking a knee with time in the 4th quarter in the playoffs at home to go to OT instead of trying to win the game.

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    Can’t fumble. Can’t do it.
    *The statements above are my opinions, unless they are links, because then they are links, which wouldn't make them my opinions, and I suppose stats aren't necessarily opinion, but they are certainly presented to support an opinion. Proceed accordingly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MOtorboat View Post
    Can’t fumble. Can’t do it.
    This is what my gut says--you can't build a roster around players who are scoring own-goals.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaded View Post

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawgdriver View Post
    This is what my gut says--you can't build a roster around players who are scoring own-goals.
    Yes

    but then no.

    Every player fumbles/ints. Lindsay is extremely RARE in this regard.
     
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    Quote Originally Posted by underrated29 View Post
    Yes

    but then no.

    Every player fumbles/ints. Lindsay is extremely RARE in this regard.
    Especially impressive considering his size

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    Quote Originally Posted by underrated29 View Post
    Every player fumbles/ints. Lindsay is extremely RARE in this regard.
    What if...it could be shown--with SCIENCE--that running backs have a *stable* trait called 'ball security' (aka fumble rate)?

    What if it was also shown that this trait followed a generic distribution among ALL NFL running back candidates?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    What if it was then shown that it was the single most important trait in winning games? (NOT saying other traits are unimportant. They are.)

    At this point, one might conclude that if NFL teams prized an explosive, average-fumbling 4.3 40 yard dash in a 220# body but neglected a non-fumbling 4.6 40 yard dash in a 220# body (ie, UDFA), they should scoop the freebie and devote scarce draft and FA resources toward other assets.

    This isn't Lindsay vs. Freeman, exactly, but it applies. You could make a case that durability (so damned difficult to measure and harder to predict) is another one of these sneaky important traits.

    But fumble rate seems to track from college to the pros, and it seems to conform to a generic distribution (like a 40 time might).
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaded View Post

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawgdriver View Post
    What if...it could be shown--with SCIENCE--that running backs have a *stable* trait called 'ball security' (aka fumble rate)?

    What if it was also shown that this trait followed a generic distribution among ALL NFL running back candidates?

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	fumbrate.jpg 
Views:	3 
Size:	31.8 KB 
ID:	18342

    What if it was then shown that it was the single most important trait in winning games? (NOT saying other traits are unimportant. They are.)

    At this point, one might conclude that if NFL teams prized an explosive, average-fumbling 4.3 40 yard dash in a 220# body but neglected a non-fumbling 4.6 40 yard dash in a 220# body (ie, UDFA), they should scoop the freebie and devote scarce draft and FA resources toward other assets.

    This isn't Lindsay vs. Freeman, exactly, but it applies. You could make a case that durability (so damned difficult to measure and harder to predict) is another one of these sneaky important traits.

    But fumble rate seems to track from college to the pros, and it seems to conform to a generic distribution (like a 40 time might).

    You're not trying to apply analytics to football are you?

    Going with the gut feeling is better. Pick the running back with the prettiest girlfriend.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawgdriver View Post
    What if...it could be shown--with SCIENCE--that running backs have a *stable* trait called 'ball security' (aka fumble rate)?

    What if it was also shown that this trait followed a generic distribution among ALL NFL running back candidates?

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	fumbrate.jpg 
Views:	3 
Size:	31.8 KB 
ID:	18342

    What if it was then shown that it was the single most important trait in winning games? (NOT saying other traits are unimportant. They are.)

    At this point, one might conclude that if NFL teams prized an explosive, average-fumbling 4.3 40 yard dash in a 220# body but neglected a non-fumbling 4.6 40 yard dash in a 220# body (ie, UDFA), they should scoop the freebie and devote scarce draft and FA resources toward other assets.

    This isn't Lindsay vs. Freeman, exactly, but it applies. You could make a case that durability (so damned difficult to measure and harder to predict) is another one of these sneaky important traits.

    But fumble rate seems to track from college to the pros, and it seems to conform to a generic distribution (like a 40 time might).
    So show it.
    I'm going with the "it depends" cop out.
    I'll take a Barry Sanders' rookie year, 1500ish yards, 14 tds and coughed it up 10 times. Walter Payton dropped the rock 86 times, plus 4 times in the playoffs.
    Sometimes freakish running skills (and hot girlfriends) override the "hold the damn ball" rule.
    Melvin Gordon does not have freakish skills or a hot girlfriend.
    I'm trying real hard to be the shepherd

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    Quote Originally Posted by Softskull View Post
    So show it.
    I'm going with the "it depends" cop out.
    I'll take a Barry Sanders' rookie year, 1500ish yards, 14 tds and coughed it up 10 times. Walter Payton dropped the rock 86 times, plus 4 times in the playoffs.
    Sometimes freakish running skills (and hot girlfriends) override the "hold the damn ball" rule.
    Melvin Gordon does not have freakish skills or a hot girlfriend.
    I was completely wrong. Gordon's wife is gorgeous. He makes he team.
    I'm trying real hard to be the shepherd

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    It's a project unlikely to fetch a reward worth the time spent.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaded View Post

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