Chat with KC Joyner
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, ESPN Insider KC Joyner, will be here to answer your NFL questions.
Joyner, aka The Football Scientist, uses game film to track, tabulate and analyze nearly every measurable statistic in an NFL game. He is a regular Insider contributor and has his own website at thefootballscientist.com.
Send your questions now and join KC Thursday at 4 p.m. ET!
KC Joyner (4:04 PM)
Good afternoon! Let's talk some football!
KC Joyner (4:04 PM)
Apologies for being a couple of minutes late - had to help Mrs. Scientist get into the attic.
KC: I follow all kinds of NFL offseason chatter regarding the future of the Oakland Raiders. For the first time this year, I have heard a negative prediction about the Raiders in 2011. Jim Mora Jr. believes the team will regress next season and said head coach Hue Jackson was all smoke and mirrors. Is he right?
KC Joyner (4:05 PM)
It depends on how much Jackson had to do with Oakland's passing resurgence last year. Their metrics were actually more than a bit solid and if he was a big reason for that, the Raiders offense should be in good shape this year.
From top to bottom, starting with owners down to the gm and so on. Who are the top franchises? I've been a long time NFL fan and for the longest time i found myself cheering for players. First was Jim Kelly to Randy Moss and now Reggie Bush. But now im 23...ha wanting to be a die hard fan and i want to cheer for a stable franchise so thanks for your help...excluding the packers, steelers, patriots and cowboys...thanks!!!
KC Joyner (4:07 PM)
Got to mention the Ravens in that group. Ozzie Newsome runs a terrific organization. The Polians do a superb job, as do the Eagles. There are more than a few well run front offices in the NFL, in other words.
when do the Titans go for their quarterback and who do you think it will be i read either locker or mallet? or fairley with the 8th pick and cassey matthews in the 3rd?
KC Joyner (4:08 PM)
My QB picks are quite different than many other draft pundits. Locker is far too inconsistent (check out today's TFS article that compares Locker to Ponder and finds Ponder as the better pick). The Titans almost certainly won't take Mallett but he will likely be the best QB option on the board in round 1.
Cheesehead Sports Nut (Chicago, IL)
Unless a new CBA is reached before the NFL Draft, only picks as opposed to picks and players can be traded. It seems to be in the best interest of some current NFL players (i.e. Kevin Kolb and Carson Palmer) to be trade before or during the NFL Draft as opposed to staying with their current team. Is it possible that the NFL and NFLPA could reach some type of interim agreement that would allow teams to trade picks as well as players despite not reaching a new CBA?
KC Joyner (4:09 PM)
It's a good idea but it almost certainly won't happen.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Do you think that the NFL Players should be tested for HGH If they test Positive then Suspensions?
KC Joyner (4:10 PM)
It's something that will have to be worked out with the NFLPA but keeping those kinds of substances out of the NFL is in everyone's best interest.
Hey KC! Other than the OT out of USC is there anyone Dallas should be looking to take in the first round?
KC Joyner (4:11 PM)
Getting some secondary help wouldn't hurt, but not sure the right fit will be there for the Cowboys in the first round.
Josh (Washington, DC)
Larry English has had two rather unimpressive seasons in the NFL. Do you think he can break out in 2011?
KC Joyner (4:12 PM)
It isn't a matter of a lack of physical skill. If he stays healthy and is motivated to play better, he can still be a good NFL player.
Similar to baseball, is there any NFL team currently using advanced metrics when assessing and making draft picks, trades, and so on? If so, which ones?
KC Joyner (4:13 PM)
There are more than a few. Philadelphia's owner was even quoted a couple of years ago saying that Lito Sheppard was released in part because of a high YPA. This type of thing is going to take longer to proliferate in the NFL than it did in baseball but eventually just about every team will come around.
Shane (Los Angeles, CA)
KCJ, looking back over the last 15ish SB winners, every team except for 2 (Tampa w/ Brad Johnson, Balt w/ Dilfer) had an elite QB at the helm. Looking at the current elite QBs in the NFL all of them except for Brady were drafted in the first round or very top of the 2nd (Brees at 33). What can teams really expect from the QBs in this year's draft? While a team might find a mid-tier starter, I really wonder if there are any future elite QBs in this draft, and I am not buying much of the hype with the projected 2nd round QBs (including Mallet, even though you had a really good writeup on him). Thoughts?
KC Joyner (4:15 PM)
This year's draft looks like it has more good starter QB prospects than truly elite ones. Mind you, good starters can pilot teams to Super Bowl wins, so it isn't as if this year's crop is precluded from having long term success.
Chase Turner (Clemson,SC)
Why is Locker still being thought of as a possible first round pick? It seems the only thing he has going for him as of now is his athletic ability, but running qb's have little to no success in the NFL. His hype was generated two years ago, he did everything he could to show teams he's not good enough, yet he's still pretty highly regarded. Why is this?
KC Joyner (4:16 PM)
We are on the same page on this one. Check out today's TFS article along this line. Ponder has equaled or surpassed Locker in pretty much every way and yet he isn't thought of as being a better prospect because scouts still have their initial impressions of Locker on their minds.
Tom (MN) [via mobile]
KC, a bill for a new Vikings stadium might be days away but without NFL funding it doesn't seem possible or is there a loophole during the lockout with the NFL would be able to help?
KC Joyner (4:17 PM)
Not aware of any loopholes that would help, but if the league is motivated to get a new stadium, they have more than enough financial clout to make it happen if they put their minds to it.
Is HGH really that bad? I know it is prescribed by doctors to help patients heal faster. I would think that would be a benefit to the league. What are the health risks with taking HGH? Is it just being banned because it's a performance enhancer? Or is it an actual health risk?
KC Joyner (4:18 PM)
Can't say that I know much about the health effects of HGH but its status as a performance enhancer is pretty well known. The idea of banning it is not as much for health as it is for leveling the playing field. Otherwise everyone will have to use HGH just to compete on an even level.
Do you think Jacoby Ford WR of the Raiders has a chance to be a player near the caliber of a Desean Jackson?
KC Joyner (4:19 PM)
His metrics were solid, so that is in his favor. Having the same playcaller and QB also helps. Not sure he'll reach the Jackson level but it is foreseeable that he will take big step forward this year.
Kim Deal (CA)
M. Williamson said that he likes Johnson too and the unit should be solid. If the Raiders lose both Namdi and Huff, do the metrics say that the Raiders secondary still could be solid? Thanks!
KC Joyner (4:21 PM)
Routt had good numbers last year, but Johnson had a very down season (double digit YPA if memory serves correct). Oakland could use Nnamdi but their D isn't like the Jets D that focuses very heavily around Revis' skills. They would be better served having Asomugha but they can survive without him.
Shane (Los Angeles, CA)
KCJ, I also took a look at SB winners transactions back to the 2001 season. The only significant move I could see was the acquistion of Corey Dillon by the Pats. No SB winning team made a big splash in free agency the year they won the SB. My point is fans shouldnt be overly concerned about the lack of free agency unless their team is horrible at drafting. SB winners have built their team through the draft and augmented it with free agency. Thoughts?
KC Joyner (4:23 PM)
You are totally correct in that free agency is not a quick fix route to get a team to the Super Bowl. Not having it makes for a somewhat dull offseason but it isn't a make or break issue for teams trying to build to the next level.
John Jacob JingleHeimer Schmidt (His name is your name to)
I read the article on the Ponder/Locker debate, the thing I wonder though is did you look at what previous quarterbacks had done for FSU and Huskies, or under similar offensive systems with closer talent.
KC Joyner (4:24 PM)
E.J. Manuel actually had better numbers than Ponder, albeit in a much smaller sample size. The talent differences between those teams is notable but Locker's frequent abysmal performances says that he isn't the type of player who can overcome talent deficiencies.
Out of all the QBs in this draft that will be available from the 2nd round on, who would you say would be the best candidate for Hue Jackson to mold to eventually take over for Jason Campbell?
KC Joyner (4:25 PM)
If Mallett is there (and he likely won't be), he's the best option. If Mallett is gone, Ponder will likely be the best option available.
Chase Turner (Clemson,SC)
KC, The safety position is obviously one of the weakest positions in the draft, do you see any of these guys becoming solid to great starters in the league?
KC Joyner (4:26 PM)
Haven't had a chance to look at safeties yet, but the team that drafts Peterson will have the option of using him in the same way GB uses Woodson - CB most of the time, coverage safety on some plays. It's a big playcalling advantage to have players who can do this effectively.
KC, what is your take on the recent take of Cam Newton? Was that reporter/scout's take accurate (aside from the personal stuff regarding disingenuis smile, etc.)?? What is your take on Cam?
KC Joyner (4:29 PM)
Newton by his own admission does pay attention to the entertainment part of this industry. Peyton Manning's PR approach over the years is another facet along these lines, so he shares good company in that sense. My bigger issue with him is his abysmally poor mechanics/footwork.
Do the character concerns of Mallett not bother you?
KC Joyner (4:30 PM)
It depends on how prevalent they are. If there are reasons to think his off-field issues are more than just a college age guy doing what lots of college age guys do, then it is an issue. If it wasn't anything more than that, than it isn't enough of a concern to justify a team avoiding him in the draft.
Hey KCJ! Quick question about DA BEARS. Not who they used to be on the defensive side of the ball and the offense isn't always reliable with Cutler under center. Where are the problems within their team that they need to address this draft and free agency?
KC Joyner (4:32 PM)
As good as Matt Forte is, he isn't enough of a home run hitter. If they could get someone who can add a bit of explosiveness to the running game and use Forte as a Brian Westbrook-type of passing catching RB, it would do a lot for the entire offense.
Shane (Los Angeles, CA)
KCJ, is there any chance you could put together KCJ's "Big Board"? I am definitely interested in your opinions and would like to see how you stack up the college prospects. For example, I'd like to see where you think Cam Newton is worth risking a draft pick on. From your article, Im guessing no earlier than late 2nd round.
KC Joyner (4:34 PM)
The draft articles I do are heavily focused on a few players. They probably won't cover quite enough players to do a full first round mock. Maybe we'll find a way to cover more players in future years.
Is it better to run a 4.2 in the 40 or to be quicker than a hiccup?
KC Joyner (4:34 PM)
That would depend on how fast someone hiccups!
John T (Eagan, MN)
Would you say Locker is better, equal to, or worse than Brian Brohm comming out of college? Both seem to have similar pedigrees in that they could have been #1 overall picks had they come out as juniors.
KC Joyner (4:36 PM)
Haven't had a chance to look at tape of Brohm but his numbers look to be much better than Locker. The big concern on Locker is that a team might not know game to game which Locker will show up. The top-notch Locker is capable of winning games on his own but the subpar Locker is just as capable of losing games on his own.
Chicago doesn't look like the same defense that was there against the Colts a couple superbowls back. And with Cutler under center I don't think they have a chance of winning their division over the Pack. Who does the organization need to draft this first round?
KC Joyner (4:38 PM)
It won't happen but it would be great if Chicago could find a way to get one of the top WR prospects of this draft. Giving Cutler a really strong pass catching target might be enough to help the overcome the passing game edge the Packers currently have.
KC, thanks for the piece on Jake Locker and Ponder. I've been screaming the overatedness of Locker. Scouts make excuses for why Locker was so inaccurate. Jay Cutler worked with less and played better compitition at Vanderbilt. If you take him why not just wait till the 4th and take Tyrod Taylor!?
KC Joyner (4:40 PM)
Thanks to you for reading the article. The amazing part of the research process on Locker was how his numbers almost always came up bad no matter how they were parsed. It wasn't a matter of it being one thing or another - he was inconsistent regardless of circumstance. Why the scouts are continually willing to overlook this because of his physical skills is just beyond belief.
Following up on HGH, if it would be prescribed to a regular joe who is coming back from an injury, doesn't it seem a little over-reactive to prevent nfl players from using the same prescription drugs if they are coming back from the same injuries? There's got to be a way to allow players to take advantage of current medicine/science despite the fact that the medicine/science may be used improperly by athletes who are not coming back from injury. At least that's the way it seems to me.
KC Joyner (4:41 PM)
These are very good points. There is a movie that you might be interested in - Bigger, Stronger and Faster. It's about the world of steroids and in one of the chapters it covers more inconsistencies like the one you presented. It's an interesting documentary that is also quite funny at times.
KC Joyner (4:43 PM)
Well, I hate to cut it short but I've got to run. Before going, want to note that all of the TFS material is posted on Twitter @kcjoynertfs. Hope to see you all next week!