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Watson and Kamara

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Long winded work avoidance rant to follow.  Be prepared, but enjoy my procrastination of other more important matters to discuss sports and theory.  

Both Watson and Kamara were amazing in 2017.  

It is sometimes difficult to compare players across situations because football is the ultimate team sport.  11 players on field at once more so than most sports.  

In basketball for example there are 5 at once on the court and they play offense and defense.  In raw terms, one player is 20% vs 9% in football, in more nuanced terms that 20% is worth much more than the number suggests because the player plays offense and defense.  If a player in basketball is good enough to require 2 players attention that is 40% of a teams defensive resources vs 18% for football.   

Larger number of players generally  = more specialization and more specialization = more strategy and more strategy means coaching and game plans play a much larger role.  Chess vs. checkers to use a cliche example.  I'm not downplaying or insulting other sports.  There is complex strategy in any sport or competitive activity.  2 boxers playing a very simple sport can be playing an incredibly intricate strategic mental game that constantly changes on the fly.  But make it 3 boxers vs 3 boxers and suddenly the strategy and game takes on all new meaning.  

You say well soccer has 11 players, yes but the rules of soccer are simpler than football.  The basics can be explained in seconds to a child and he is off playing.  You can watch a game knowing nothing and understand what is happening, same as basketball or hockey.  Specific rules like offsides or icing are a bit confusing, but you would grasp basics of game instantly.   Not so in sports like cricket, baseball, rugby, football and the like.  If you came from past to future you would be really confused watching those games without someone to explain them to you. 

People say, well the QB is most important position in sports.  It is most important in football, but not really most important in all of sports.   Michael Jordan, Shaq, or Lebron James mean more to an NBA team than any QB in history does to an NFL team.   People were amazed at Ohio St. Buckeyes national championship run. They used 3 different QBs and still won out.  They had 3 great QBs!  Who knew?  But did they really?  A great team in any sport can make a good player look really good, even QBs.  Numerous historical NFL examples of same.   Just last year back up QBs were looking pretty darn good thrust into action on good teams.  Not saying back up QBs were bad, but usually a back up is a back up because he is not as good as the starter.  Sometimes the backup is better, but he is new    

You say Watson made a bad Houston team the best offense in league when he played.  That makes him super great.   He did, there is no denying that.  He played amazing, historically amazing.  And Houston was really bad without him.  I would not argue that Watson would not be better on any team in league than MT would be and that's including 2017 Bears.  What I would I argue is that MT has more overall talent than Watson and has the higher upside.  Had Mitch got the starting job at NC two years earlier he would likely have been a lot better by now --- but ifs and buts.   It's one of those gambles, better now for sure or potentially better later.  Right now in hindsight Watson looks the better gamble, but he did suffer a major injury already.  Those can add up quick.  I would also argue that as bad as Houston's offense looked with other QB's playing, it was still a very talented offense.  Other Houston QBs were just that bad or played that bad.  They have a lot of speed and elite playmakers on every level of that team.  I don't think anyone would argue that Watson could have been just as good on 2017 Bears and he was on 2017 Texans.   

A tough, inaccurate and unfair comparison, but remember that Vince Young and RGIII were the next decade plus superstars of the league after their spectacular rookie years.   Goff was a surefire bust after his rookie year.  Reality shows made Goff look like a moron, untrue as it turns out.  Jameis Winston has had a ton of talent around him and hasn't done much with it to date despite being a can't miss prospect.   Point is a lot can change after a few seasons or a relatively short period of time for a variety of reasons and factors.  Memories of short term great play or bad play, even 2 or 3 seasons worth can fade fast.   If Wentz, as good as he was last year, doesn't come back and play well from here on out he will be quickly relabeled.  Even Luck may be thrown in the memory hole if he can't make a comeback.  

As for Cohen vs. Kamara.  NO was also loaded offensively and made leaps and bounds defensively last year.  Like others have said were Cohen on that team he would have made a lot of breathtaking plays in that offense, he made a lot of breath taking plays on Bears and teams were afraid of no one else save Howard.  This with everyone and their brother knowing exactly what Bears were going to do on nearly every play.  His hands are really underrated too.   I would say Kamara definitely looks to be the better overall player, but Cohen was better than advertised and is probably a bit underrated.

  

 

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13 hours ago, G08 said:

You didn't hear it from me but he caught a 65 yard TD in OTAs.

By Loggains/Fox logic, that means he’ll have to come off of the field when teams double him to stop this.

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Fact is, 8 teams needed an immediate or successor QB and didn’t take Watson. Kamara was the 4th RB off of the board and went at #67, so every team hypothetically passed on him twice. So there’s that.

On top of that, both fell into good situations, which plays a bigger part in the success of a draft pick than anybody wants to admit. Watson landed in a place where he seemed to fit the culture and had a coaching staff that played to his strengths. Kamara landed as the #2 back in a pass-heavy scheme that typically has utilized the RB as a runner-receiver/playmaker. So there’s also that.

All of this revisionist history is just a bunch of BS that hack journalists spout off to get clicks. It’s the same as saying things like, “Man, people sure were stupid for not investing in Google years ago!” Hindsight is 20/20.

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18 minutes ago, IronMike84 said:

By Loggains/Fox logic, that means he’ll have to come off of the field when teams double him to stop this.

Or if it's 3rd down and/or if the game is on the line (which, by their logic is the best time to bench your best play-makers).

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On 5/23/2018 at 8:43 AM, G08 said:

You didn't hear it from me but he caught a 65 yard TD in OTAs.

He has underrated hands.  Definitely surprised me last year.

From a DC perspective he was literally only player on Bears that was feared last year.  Howard was respected, but no RB is feared when basically everyone knows run or pass by formation and you can play 8 to 9 guys as run first regardless in all situations save 3rd and long.

Bears have actual high level offensive weapons and talent for first time since Forte, Marshall, Jeffery, Bennett and Cutler.  The Cutler bunch was talented, very talented, on paper most physically talented Bears O ever, but aside from Forte were head cases of all different types.  They weren't conducive to good winning chemistry.  They were jaded and surly in a sense.  

2018 Bears seem both talented and have personalities more suited to cohesion.  Personalities a coach can work with.  Younger rah rah guys.  Problem with 2018 Bears is experience.  2019 seems really exciting, but try not to get ahead of ourselves.  

 

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5 minutes ago, dll2000 said:

Bears have actual high level offensive weapons and talent for first time since Forte, Marshall, Jeffery, Bennett and Cutler.  The Cutler bunch was talented, very talented, on paper most physically talented Bears O ever, but aside from Forte were head cases of all different types.  They weren't conducive to good winning chemistry.  They were jaded and surly in a sense.

They lacked speed as well... defenses eventually squatted on everything and Trestman couldn't adjust.

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16 hours ago, G08 said:

They lacked speed as well... defenses eventually squatted on everything and Trestman couldn't adjust.

Yes.  

But, I think biggest issue wasn't coaching in terms of scheme or adjustments. It was Trestman didnt have forceful persona to control those players.  Then when adversity hit they staged little rebellions all over place and it was over and the blow outs started. Coaches unfortunatley have to be feared dictators because in football everybody has to be pulling in one direction or it falls apart.   It just doesn't work.  Discipline and loyalty to the cause and direction is paramount even if you disagree.  Players dont like it because they are human, but they should understand it. 

You can be a 'players coach' in sense that you are willing to take amd consider input and you are nice.  That is wise even.  But once a decision is made, by you, it is law and they need to put their everything into implementation of that law.  If they cant handle it, you need to handle them or its over.  

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Houston gives up two 1s for Watson: universally applauded

KC gives up two 1s for Mahomes: universally applauded

NO gives up two 1s for Davenport: mild confusion, then “he could be a big time pass rusher!”

Pace gives up a 3rd, 4th, and future 3rd for Trubisky: “FIRE THIS GUY RIGHT NOW, ALL THOSE PICKS, ALL THOSE PICKS!!!

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On 5/26/2018 at 2:25 PM, IronMike84 said:

Houston gives up two 1s for Watson: universally applauded

KC gives up two 1s for Mahomes: universally applauded

NO gives up two 1s for Davenport: mild confusion, then “he could be a big time pass rusher!”

Pace gives up a 3rd, 4th, and future 3rd for Trubisky: “FIRE THIS GUY RIGHT NOW, ALL THOSE PICKS, ALL THOSE PICKS!!!

I'm not trying to be dense but those teams moved up "quite a bit" compared to us going up one slot. I've heard different versions of the story, but at the end of the day I've come to this conclusion: Pace wanted his guy, felt a threat of losing him so he did what he needed to do to get him. I'm fine with it.

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Just now, G08 said:

I'm not trying to be dense but those teams moved up "quite a bit" compared to us going up one slot. I've heard different versions of the story, but at the end of the day I've come to this conclusion: Pace wanted his guy, felt a threat of losing him so he did what he needed to do to get him. I'm fine with it.

I have heard dif stories too.   Heard SF bluffed Pace into giving up picks when he could have stood pat and gave up nothing.  That was what all criticism was about primarily.   Also heard there were legitimate buyers for the spot that SF was considering, but SF didn't want to go down so far as to lose out on Thomas who they coveted greatly which is why they chose the Bears to deal with when they could have got more picks elsewhere.   It doesn't matter now.    

Bottom line it was a gamble and you had to weigh risk/rewards.  SF was selling that they had buyers for their pick and was looking for competing offers.  That much is known and everybody agrees on.  From Pace perspective you don't know if its true and if true who those teams are targeting.  Pretty much you trade into top 5 only for QBs these days.  SF also needed a QB at time.   So if they stayed pat there was a chance they select MT.  

He went into draft with 3rd pick wanting MT.   Widely known Cleveland was going to take Garrett.  He still needed to get to no. 2 to be assured of getting his QB of choice.  Makes sense that he was talking traded with 49ers from get go.   Yeah, maybe he could have called SF bluff, if it was a bluff as many claim, but if he lost his gamble his whole plan is shot.  Not calling the bluff was right move given the stakes and the information available.   

As for capital they gave up two 3's and a 4.  I don't care that it is one slot, giving up two 3's and 4 is loads better than giving up two 1's.  

 

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I heard Cleveland and possibly another team was looking to move up to draft Trubisky. Adam Schefter speculated that Pace was playing Cleveland and saying that he might be interested in dealing the #3 pick while he had San Fran on the other line so as to make sure Cleveland didn't move into that slot and draft his QB.

Who really knows, maybe a story will come out one day but it seems like even San Fran didn't know that Pace wanted MT10.

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I'm not trying to be dense but those teams moved up "quite a bit" compared to us going up one slot. I've heard different versions of the story, but at the end of the day I've come to this conclusion: Pace wanted his guy, felt a threat of losing him so he did what he needed to do to get him. I'm fine with it.

If I wasn't so technologically unsavvy, I'd post the screenshot, but the day after, Rapoport tweeted that the 49ers did indeed have another big offer for the #2 pick.

BTW, the Bears gave up #3, #67, #111 and this year's #70. They overpaid by 167 draft pick value chart points. That's it. The jump from 2 to 3 is 400 points as it is. So did he overpay? Yes, but not by much- a mid 3rd round pick, to be exact.

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I have heard dif stories too.   Heard SF bluffed Pace into giving up picks when he could have stood pat and gave up nothing.  That was what all criticism was about primarily.   Also heard there were legitimate buyers for the spot that SF was considering, but SF didn't want to go down so far as to lose out on Thomas who they coveted greatly which is why they chose the Bears to deal with when they could have got more picks elsewhere.   It doesn't matter now.    

Bottom line it was a gamble and you had to weigh risk/rewards.  SF was selling that they had buyers for their pick and was looking for competing offers.  That much is known and everybody agrees on.  From Pace perspective you don't know if its true and if true who those teams are targeting.  Pretty much you trade into top 5 only for QBs these days.  SF also needed a QB at time.   So if they stayed pat there was a chance they select MT.  

He went into draft with 3rd pick wanting MT.   Widely known Cleveland was going to take Garrett.  He still needed to get to no. 2 to be assured of getting his QB of choice.  Makes sense that he was talking traded with 49ers from get go.   Yeah, maybe he could have called SF bluff, if it was a bluff as many claim, but if he lost his gamble his whole plan is shot.  Not calling the bluff was right move given the stakes and the information available.   

As for capital they gave up two 3's and a 4.  I don't care that it is one slot, giving up two 3's and 4 is loads better than giving up two 1's.  

 

Agree. The odds you get a good player in round 3 or 4 is slim to none. Let's look back from 2011-2015. The following were "good" players selected in the 3rd round:

Justin Houston
Jurrell Casey
Brandin Cooks
Russell Wilson
Trumaine Johnson
Mohamed Sanu
Nick Foles
Akiem Hicks
TY Hilton
Travis Kelce
Larry Warford
Keenan Allen
Tyrann Mathieu
Jordan Reed
Trai Turner
David Johnson

There were 166 third round picks from 2011-2015. There were 16, by my count, good or great players selected. That comes out to 9%. Going by the odds, that's right around the normal odds- 25% in round 1, 15% in round 2, 10% in round 3, and it dwindles even more beyond that. Sure, you can add some quality, depth pieces here, but the majority of the time the players don't make it or they're ST help. The Bears already have too many solid players, and if you give up your chance at the next Trumaine Johnson, for instance, for a chance at the next great QB, you do it every time.

 

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2 hours ago, beardown3231 said:

Agree. The odds you get a good player in round 3 or 4 is slim to none. Let's look back from 2011-2015. The following were "good" players selected in the 3rd round:

Justin Houston
Jurrell Casey
Brandin Cooks
Russell Wilson
Trumaine Johnson
Mohamed Sanu
Nick Foles
Akiem Hicks
TY Hilton
Travis Kelce
Larry Warford
Keenan Allen
Tyrann Mathieu
Jordan Reed
Trai Turner
David Johnson

There were 166 third round picks from 2011-2015. There were 16, by my count, good or great players selected. That comes out to 9%. Going by the odds, that's right around the normal odds- 25% in round 1, 15% in round 2, 10% in round 3, and it dwindles even more beyond that. Sure, you can add some quality, depth pieces here, but the majority of the time the players don't make it or they're ST help. The Bears already have too many solid players, and if you give up your chance at the next Trumaine Johnson, for instance, for a chance at the next great QB, you do it every time.

 

You can get undrafted HOFers, but playing the odds you most often find great players in first round.

Game is about "momentum changers" like Jimmy Johnson used to say about prospects.  Football is a game of momentum.  Role players are great, but you need a number of guys who just flip the script on occasion.  Match up problems.  Guys that need extra attention.  Guys that have a nose for the ball offensively and defensively.  Guys that strip the ball, intercept the ball or hit so hard it effects the game.  With rule changes the hard hits may be less of a thing, but its still a thing.   That hit on Cooks early in Superbowl isn't spoken of much, but the margin for error in that game was such that without it the Eagles probably lose a close one instead of winning a close one. 

 

That and the LOS.  Many games are won and lost on LOS.  Philly's O line and D line was stellar last year.  Dallas was dominate in 90s with historic O line and some good d linemen.  Denver won all their SBs with great o line and d line.   85 Bears, Steelers dynasty were all largely about line play.   Planet theory plus momentum changers = championships.  Bears are finally starting to get some of those. 

 

 

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On 5/26/2018 at 2:25 PM, IronMike84 said:

Houston gives up two 1s for Watson: universally applauded

KC gives up two 1s for Mahomes: universally applauded

NO gives up two 1s for Davenport: mild confusion, then “he could be a big time pass rusher!”

Pace gives up a 3rd, 4th, and future 3rd for Trubisky: “FIRE THIS GUY RIGHT NOW, ALL THOSE PICKS, ALL THOSE PICKS!!!

Forgot to add: don’t forget about genius GM John Lynch, who reeeeaaallllyyyy wanted to use that #2 pick on Reuben Foster and then secured his Gold Jacket by trading up to take him at #31 instead. Of course Foster was still sitting there by sheer happenstance and not because every other NFL team figured he was boat racing Joe Mixon to see who would get charged with domestic battery first. MAN HE PLAYED PACE SO HARD!

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