Upgrades Since '17 - O Edition

Discussion in 'Miami Dolphins Forum' started by fansinceGWilson, Jul 3, 2018.

  1. fansinceGWilson

    fansinceGWilson FinHeaven VIP Finheaven VIP Donator

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    This one is more difficult because there seems to be more emotion to some players.
    The projected comparisons are . . .

    OC - Pouncey v Kilgore - equal. The ability for an OLman to practice during game week can not be overstated. Pouncey couldn't. Kilgore can. And the OL din't seem to suffer when Brendel subbed for Pouncey.
    OG - Larsen/Bushrod v Davis/Sitton - no debate. Better
    OT - Tunsil/James v no change - equal
    WR - Stills/Parker/Landry v Stills/Parker/who knows - difficult for a number of reasons. The debate over Landry, which seeps in to discussions on Amendola and Wilson. Not listed, but Grant '18 should put up better numbers than Grant '17. IMO, equal at worst.
    TE - JT/Fasano v Gesicki/pick one. Better.
    QB - Cutler v Tannehill. No discussion neded
    RB - Ajayii/Drake/Williams - Drake/Gore/Ballage. Another emotional position. I wasn't a huge fan of Ajayi. Not that he wasn't good, but he seemed addicted to 200 yard games and would bounce in the hope of 20 yards instead of powering for 3. And I was no fan of Williams. Plus, a better receiving group. Better.

    I see no 'worse' positions and 3 obviously better positions. depth appears better.
     
  2. Pandarilla

    Pandarilla A True Fan

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    Just hope it doesn't take four games to gel.
     
  3. ckparrothead

    ckparrothead Premium Member

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    Depth should be widely acknowledged to be much better with the exception of the QB position.

    I don't know if the OL are built to be better run blockers than 2017, though I also can't say they're built to be worse run blockers, but they are most certainly built to be better pass protectors in 2018 than they were in 2017. And they weren't bad in pass protection in 2017, either.

    Josh Sitton is an obvious upgrade particularly in this pass protection department. It's straight forward in that he's a guy who is better at certain things than the people that played here before him.

    There's a tough comp between Mike Pouncey and Daniel Kilgore only because there's no way Pouncey should have played 16 games last year. We got really, *really* lucky in that regard. It just shouldn't have happened and I think the Chargers are kidding themselves. If you stack up what Miami got out of Pouncey one year ago versus what they can expect out of Kilgore this year, then as you suggest we might be talking about more or less a tie, although there is one important factor that is clearly in Kilgore's favor which I'll get to in a second. However if you're stacking up 2018 Mike Pouncey (now of the Chargers) with 2018 Daniel Kilgore (now of the Dolphins), I think you have to take Kilgore hands down because he's about the same quality on the field, and you should expect him to actually be on the field for the season whereas it feels like the Chargers will be lucky to get 8 games out of Pouncey.

    On the other hand, there is one important factor working in Kilgore 2018's favor versus Pouncey 2017, even accounting for Pouncey having played all 16 games. That is the amount of practice work Pouncey missed because of the plan they developed for him to try and get him to play all 16 games. The plan WORKED, and is a testament to the skill of our sports performance, training and conditioning, and analytics staff. They should be applauded. But the plan had big drawbacks. He never practiced, and as a result the chemistry of the line suffered, particularly toward the beginning of the year. Daniel Kilgore is a cerebral guy, noted for how quickly he can digest a new playbook, and he will be practicing all spring, summer, and autumn with the same four guys around him (Tunsil, Sitton, Davis, James).

    That should improve the OL's effectiveness in ways that may not be quite as obvious as seeing a guy on the field that has better anchor or better mobility, etc.

    The other upgrades on the OL are what we in my business might think of as either evolutionary catalysts, or based on easy comps.

    Ja'Wuan James only played 8 games. Could that happen again? Sure. Is the expected value of his 2018 games played at 8.0? No. He's played about 72% of his games in the pros, so you figure 11 or 12 games in 2018. But I would argue that number is low if you account for his college career, where he was an injury-free stalwart. He doesn't have degenerative issues. I would argue that he might be more in line for some upward reversion to the mean in terms of his health and availability. I am personally thinking 13 to 16 games but that's just me. And he was one of the best right tackles in football when he did play, so getting 4 to 8 more games out of him would be a pretty nice sized upgrade.

    Jesse Davis played his final 6 games at right guard. He played right guard better than he did left guard, particularly in pass protection. He's already been declared the starter at right guard. If he simply plays the full year at right guard the way he did the last 6 games then Miami will have a second upgrade on the guards unit. On the other hand, if the better play for those 6 games was more or less some random noise, small sample stuff, there could be a reversion, and perhaps we do not see an upgrade versus 2017. But there's an evolutionary catalyst lying in the wait here. Last year was literally his first year playing NFL football. He'd been around the NFL a year before but hadn't played. Don't young players grow with experience? Isn't that a thing? Especially as they stop being moved around and are allowed to focus on one spot? It's not something you should BANK on, but it is something that you should expect to be true more often than not.

    Same with Laremy Tunsil. He wasn't actually that bad in 2017, penalties aside. But he was in his first year playing NFL left tackle. Don't we expect, as a matter of default, young players to grow as they get more experience? Especially true if they're former high picks with great tools.

    So overall I think the outlook of the OL should be very good. Expectations should be high in pass protection, though a little less clear in run blocking.
     
  4. superphin

    superphin don't go clown shoes on us Finheaven VIP

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    It is better on paper but we have to see how they perform on the field. Realistically not every free agent we signed is going to work out, not all our young players are going to improve, not all the players who made improvements last year are going to continue making improvements. Some players might just regress.

    Hopefully coaching can mask some of our potential weaknesses.
     
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  5. fansinceGWilson

    fansinceGWilson FinHeaven VIP Finheaven VIP Donator

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    Don't disagree, but every same person sees Davis, Sitton, Gesicki, and Tannehill as upgrades. Throw in just a couple of the remaining replacements and a better O seems reasonable.
     
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  6. ckparrothead

    ckparrothead Premium Member

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    We're either in the prediction/expectations game or not. If we're not, then that's fine. Head into the year with no predictions as to how they're going to do, be it Super Bowl champs or 0-16. If that's what you want to do, that's fine. Doesn't seem to me like most people actually want to do that though. They want to develop intelligent expectations or predictions on how the team will do. This is a discussion board, after all.

    If that's the case, then I've never understood the value of coming in and being the guy that says "that's just on paper, we'll have to see how they actually do on the field." Umm, ok? Yeah I suppose it's not historical fact until it is, in fact, history. But this is a message board. We're discussing how we think the team will do. And discussing the idea of whether a unit is "upgraded" or "downgrade" is inherently inseparable from the predictions/expectations game. So what value is there in being the guy in the room to point out that the games haven't been played yet?

    No offense to anybody, I just have never understood that.
     
  7. ckparrothead

    ckparrothead Premium Member

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    That always pisses me off when it happens. But some things that give me hope about this:

    1. Chris Foerster is gone. I've never been a fan, even before I knew he was snorting lines at work. His method of teaching has been specifically cited as responsible for some of Ja'Wuan James's early season 2016 struggles, as it took him a while to un-learn some things and re-learn it the new way. Unlike some, I don't necessarily assume the new way is better. Just different. So when I hear about that, I don't assume that the "new way" is responsible for James playing well. I just know that the transaction cost caused him to play poorly for a stretch. That's just one example.

    2. Under Foerster we always seemed to mix and match and cross-train everyone, never letting the players get a lot of chemistry. That's over now. They declared their five SUPER early. They will work together all spring, summer, and fall. If we see immediate chemistry with things like pull and pin blocking, picking up stunts and blitzes in zone protection, I don't think it would be ridiculous to say this alone may have been a big factor in that.

    3. As I said, the center Daniel Kilgore will practice with the first unit throughout. He won't spend the week mummified, only to be unwrapped on Sundays. That has to be a factor.
     
  8. Ray R

    Ray R FinHeaven VIP Finheaven VIP

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    I think there are some posters that feel they need to "coach" the board with their "historical insight", ignoring the fact that others may have as much or more "historical insight" and are willing to apply it in predicting a seasons performance.

    Predictors will have something more to look forward to than the game itself. We will enjoy reviewing what went right or what went wrong, based on what we saw and what we predicted. This adds another dimension to the season that the "coaches" just don't seem to get. I wish they understood how much they are missing out on.
     
  9. Tureo

    Tureo Seasoned Veteran

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    I can't just assume that rookies will perform better than veterans regardless of the quality of play by those vets. I understand placing lofty expectations on players returning from injury or those new to the team but I just can't do it with rooks.


    This year more than any is a wait and see approach with so many rookies and nrw players. It's difficult to predict success for me based on past years and the number of new players
     
  10. crumpdaddy

    crumpdaddy FinHeaven VIP Finheaven VIP Donator

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    nothing personal Chris, but I used to be the guy that stood around and said this keg is going to float in an hour we need more beer before it was even tapped. Some of my buds would want to argue one way or another and discuss it but I would just keep saying nope, we'll need more beer. so someone has to point out the obvious so that when it takes place you can say "damnit I told you we'd need two kegs" I think that's why we have planned pretty good depth for this year, that way if we start floating too many kegs then we are still good to go.....

    BTW, the mods must love you, in the ask the mods anything post, I was trying to be funny and posted "Does Chris need to invite Omar on his podcast so he can get some dolphins knowledge" they didn't post that one :-D
     
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  11. crumpdaddy

    crumpdaddy FinHeaven VIP Finheaven VIP Donator

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    I'm with you on the rookies. only one was even mentioned and that was on the OP with Mike G. some people would call it an exaggeration.,..and maybe it is..but im saying that most posters on this page under the age of 50 could prob be a better target than JT was last year, so I don't see how TE can be a downgrade. hell not fielding a TE would be an upgrade to what we had last year. but as far as Fitz, MG, KB, JP, im hoping to see a lot, mainly out of those first 3, but if it doesn't happen, then you're correct they are rookies, and really only the first two of those should have lofty expectations just because Fitz was rated by some as a top 5 player and MG top 3 TE by most
     
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  12. russdoe

    russdoe Rookie

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    I agree we should be much better. However, every year at this time the view is optimistic. I'm prepared for the rookies and McMillan to make rookie mistakes.

    I'm most scared of whoever our kicker is costing us a game or two unless the offense puts up 30 points

    I think this is the year we see age catch up with Wake.
    I don't think Thill will be running the read option anymore for fear or injury.

    Rome wasn't built in a day.
    I can see this team is being built over the last few years
     
  13. ckparrothead

    ckparrothead Premium Member

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    I'll assume the "he" referred to Omar and the mods just didn't want to offend Omar.
     
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  14. fansinceGWilson

    fansinceGWilson FinHeaven VIP Finheaven VIP Donator

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    I kinda dump "on paper" in the same bucket as 'we haven't seen them play yet,' or 'we'll see when the season starts.' That is, I see it as a disclaimer similar to 'yeah, it looks good, but who knows.' I just roll over it as acknowledging the unknown.

    In the case of my two posts on upgrades, I divide them into 3 categories. 1) Very likely (e.g., Gesicki over JT, Tannehill over Cutler), 2) likely (e.g., Fitz and McMillan), and 3) personal opinion (e.g., Tank '18 over Tank '17). Given that, I see little disagreement Sitton, Davis, Gesicki, Tannehill, Fitz, and McMillan (compared to Maualuga) will be upgrades. I also expect SOME of Drake, Harris, Quinn, X, and Tank to play better than '17. I see none of that as unreasonable and I've named half of 22-24 "starters." Throw in just a couple of Kilgore, Tunsil, a 2nd TE, Phillips, Hayes, Branch, Harris, and McCain, and it looks better. Now is when we add "on paper," "haven't seen them play," or your favorite disclaimer.
     
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  15. jnozag

    jnozag Well-Known Member

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    we lost our leading rusher and receiver from 2016 (when we went to the playoffs). you can't just look at paper and say we're better. we need to see, but it's probably doubtful we're better than we were in 2016.
     

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