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26 Rookie


  • NFL Team
    Cleveland Browns
  • MLB Team
    Cleveland Indians
  • NBA Team
    Cleveland Cavaliers
  • NHL Team
  • College Team
    Ohio State
  • Players
    Denzel Ward

Other Information

  • Location
    Fairfax, Virginia
  • Job
    Ph.D. Student
  • Hobbies
    International affairs + stats
  1. Denzel Ward

    No, at the end of the day it is totally fine. The bigger issue is if he gets beat by a receiver that can get past him. But, honestly, he is so far along as a rookie that I am really not concerned at all. The kid is going to be a beast.
  2. Denzel Ward

    I was high on Ward after we drafted him, and he has looked like an impressive rookie this preseason, so here is my analysis. Ward has played 34 snaps this preseason, with 21 in coverage. Out of those 21, he allowed five catches on six targets, but limited those catches to 36 total yards and only one first down.What is more impressive is that, on all 34 snaps, Ward has covered the other team's primary corner. So out of 21 passing plays, the #1 opposing wide receiver has only caught five passes, and averaged a little over seven yards per catch.Ward definitely looks like a rookie. He has struggled when he gets beat on short-yard pass attempts. Nonetheless, even on those attempts, he recovers well, and he has been elite at defending intermediate- and long-range passes.
  3. Thread needs title change: "Drew Stanton No. 43 in the draft, No. 2 on the depth chart"
  4. Maybe I am crazy... But I think the likelihood of both Darnold and Mayfield being top-15 starting QBs is noticeably higher than both busting, or one busting and the other becoming the next Tom Brady. They both project to be very good. We just will need to wait and see for both of them to start.
  5. This is amazing! Thank you!
  6. If Davis Webb is cut

    I really think Saquon will be the perfect NFL RB. He’s a great talent. but I would have been *livid* if we took a RB at #1 or #4. In the top-five, QBs, OL, and elite defensive talents at CB or pass rush are they only positions a team should draft. RB, WR, run D, etc. are too replaceable to draft that high.
  7. Football is back; Preseason Week One GDT

    This is what happens when the Browns draft someone. There is no world in which Ward could not "hit stick" guys in college. He is an incredibly physical corner. But the talking heads love to invent issues.
  8. If Davis Webb is cut

    Especially when the alternative was drafting a stud player at the least important skill position. That will be a pick NYG regrets if they cannot find an Eli replacement soon.
  9. The 53: Player, Roster, & Acquisitions Talk

    Just as an update, I turned this into a blog post with a few more stats, talk about Mitchell, and two videos. https://sportsbystats.com/2018/08/09/three-big-reasons-why-the-cleveland-browns-will-improve-in-2018/
  10. The 53: Player, Roster, & Acquisitions Talk

    Alright, given that tonight is the first preseason game, here is why I feel better about the Browns this season. Given my background, also, I will try to add in some stats discussion. 1) QB play. Football Outsiders has a stat that tracks "yards over replacement/average player." Last season, Kizer was worth -756 yards, and Tyrod was +121. That amounts to a four win difference. Now, the stat is not supposed to be applied that way, but it does signal the sizable improvement. 2) Defense. So the Browns' rush defense last season was amazing. Football Outsiders had us as the fourth best rush defense (yards allowed vs expected average), NFL.com as seventh best (rush yards allowed), and PFF as ninth best (more numbers). The problem is that our pass defense was awful. Because of the value of passing, this made the run defense less important. --The Browns had the worst pass rush in the NFL last year by every statistic. You literally cannot find one that had the Browns as above God awful. A big reason why is that, even though we blitzed a lot, receivers torched our secondary and QBs could find the open man easily. --As a consequence, the Browns have revamped and improved their secondary, which should also help the pass rush. We drafted Denzel Ward who Football Outsiders and PFF had ranked as one of the two best corners in college football last year. This is surprising because Ward does not create a lot of turnovers, and turnovers are the easiest way for a corner to build value. At OSU, Ward just created an island because he is so great at marking receivers and preventing them from getting catches and making clean routes. He is the perfect corner to improve our pass defense and pass rush. ---the analytical reasoning is straight-forward. Every second your team is on offense increases the odds of you scoring. The opposite is true on defense. So corners that create turnovers increase the odds of you scoring more and the defense scoring less. --The Browns also brought in EJ Gaines and TJ Carrie. Both guys were solid but not spectacular coverage corners. They won't win you games, but they can do a good job on the other team's second/third best receivers. They also brought in BBC who is great at defending the slot and Damarious Randle who can fill the opposite safety position to Peppers. --In sum, I think the secondary is much improved, and that this will lead to less opposing completions and more effective rushes against the other team's QB. 3) Receivers. Our best receiver last year was either Higgins or Louis. That is terrifying. Landry, Gordon, and Calloway should totally transform the routes our receivers can run, leading to a more complex offense, and greater production in the passing game. This, in turn, should improve our already-good running game. Ultimately, we are young, and do not have any position group that is clearly in the top-10 in the NFL. With that said, I really believe that 8-8 is in the cards, 9-7 is the high-end, and I would be shocked if we win less than 6.
  11. Would you be able to make a Jarvis Landry Browns sig with the text "Bless 'em"? I know it is a busy time of year and a lot, so if not, no worries. Thanks for doing this in general. Your work is awesome!
  12. Football is back; Preseason Week One GDT

    Bless 'em
  13. Cornerbacks; Preview.

    They are definitely different players. But I think he could have a similar impact throughout their respective careers. Analytics almost exclusively favor corners that create turnovers. It is pretty straightforward. If you have the ball, you score, and if your opponent does, they can score and you cannot. Thus, turnover creation is viewed as incredibly important. But interestingly, Ward consistently ranked in the top-2 corners in this class and top-4 over the past two years without strong turnover creation. That should explain how dominant he was in coverage. He is so good that his ability to lockdown a receiver over the course of a game is similar to a corner that generates one turnover per game. That is pretty insane.
  14. Cornerbacks; Preview.

    I think Ward will take four or five games to start looking like an impact player. BBC is one of the better slot corners in the NFL. He is not great at doing much else, but I think he will have a positive impact. Gaines, Carrie, and Mitchell are all pretty average. Gaines and Carrie were both analytic pluses last year, but neither can cover the other team's best receiving threat. I think we will have a good cornerbacks group... Probably between 12-15 in the NFL. With that said, I think it could look like one of the worst units in the NFL those first few weeks, because we still do not have anyone that can guard the other team's best.
  15. Dorsey shakes up the front office

    Do you read Pro Football Focus at all? I do not always love them, but, they have had a few great reads on the Chargers' defense. I think our defense this year should (not just "can") be as good. Two great pass rushers, a bunch of good pass rushers, and a secondary that gives those pass rushers time to get to the quarterback. I really do not know about the offense. The line scares me a bit, I am not sure how good Tyrod can continue to be (he is on a very slow downward trend the past few years), and the receivers are variable. My most realistic hope is we could have an offense ranked somewhere between 16th-18th. Still, I think we can have a top-12 defense, and maybe even better depending on how quickly they gel, how good Ward can be right away, and how long our offense can stay on the field. So I am very excited to watch the team this season.