Yes, I had to reuse the picture. It’s the only picture of him there is. Perhaps there is a reason for this? Maybe there are no pictures of KC Joyner because he’s never featured because people know he is a fraud? Maybe there are no pictures of KC Joyner because no one gives a shit who he is? Just throwing ideas out there.
Why am I being so hard on KC Joyner? Well, after writing an absolutely terrible piece about how the Giants are the favorite to win the NFC East (see our response here) he just couldn’t stop himself. Today, Joyner posted more BS points over on ESPN New York.
The column covered a lot of ground, but, detailed as it was, there were actually many other items that bode well for the Giants that couldn’t fit into that article.
The ESPNNewYork.com editors don’t want Big Blue fans to miss out on seeing those, so they asked if these plusses could be covered in a blog post. I was more than happy to oblige, so here goes!
Here we go… Again.
McCoy fared quite well in this metric, as his 8.0 GBYPA (Good Blocking Yards Per Attempt) total ranked tied for 8th highest in the league (the leaguewide rankings can be found in the 2011 TFS Fantasy Football Draft Guide).
Brown did not do nearly as well, as his 5.3 GBYPA ranked tied for next to last in that category. This wasn’t a matter of Miami’s blockers not opening up quality gaps in the defense, either, as fellow Miami RB Ricky Williams posted a 6.4 GBYPA last year.
Now contrast those figures to the ones posted by Bradshaw and Jacobs. Jacob’s 8.8 GBYPA ranked tied for 3rd best and Bradshaw’s 7.0 GBYPA ranked tied for 15th best. The Eagles may have rushed for more yards than the Giants last season but these figures show that the Giants runners are actually appreciably better than Philadelphia’s when given good blocking situations.
Philly has an edge in running back pass production, but it isn’t enough to give them an overall edge. At the very least, this is a push and since the Giants have two quality ballcarriers versus the Eagles one, it could be said that they have a deeper and therefore stronger backfield pairing.
So basically the Giants running backs are really, really good when the offensive line blocks well for them. Who would have thought it? Running backs running well when they get good blocking?! NO WAY! This is such a useless stat. Every running back in the NFL can run when they get good blocking, the great backs separate themselves when they’re not getting good blocking. How many plays were there that were deemed to have ‘good blocking’? How big of a sample size are we talking about here? And quite frankly running behind good blocking really isn’t indicative of actual skill running the ball.
And this brings me to another problem with KC Joyner, he is the only guy who puts his stats together. Are we really going to trust a guy who collects all his data all by himself? Does anyone verify what he is getting? There is no way that his data is perfect or entirely accurate, especially on something as subjective as ‘good blocking’.
Prior to the signing of Ronnie Brown I said the Giants had the superior running backs but that is simply no longer the case.
|Category||LeSean McCoy||Ronnie Brown||Ahmad Bradshaw||Brandon Jacobs|
|All Purpose Yardage||1612||976||1549||882|
|YPC Up the Middle||4.7||3.0||3.0||4.9|
As you can see LeSean McCoy is clearly the best running back of this group. LeSean was the second best third down back in the league last year, he led the league in yards after the catch, he was a good blocker (albeit Bradshaw is better), he was the best running back in the NFL against the loaded box, he was one of the best short yardage backs in the league and he led the NFC in yards from scrimmage last season.
The real sticking point here is the comparison between Ronnie Brown and Brandon Jacobs. KC Joyner has a habit of taking a specific point and using it to define a player. For example, he says Brandon Jacobs is better than Ronnie Brown just because he ran better last year. He completely ignores other aspects of the game. He didn’t acknowledge that Ronnie Brown is clearly a superior receiver, a better blocker and is a more versatile playmaker. Ronnie Brown pass blocked on 135 snaps last year, in those snaps he didn’t allow a sack and he only allowed 7 QB disruptions. Brandon Jacobs was pass blocking on 37 snaps last year and he allowed 3 QB disruptions. That means that Jacobs allowed a QB disruption on 8.1% of his pass blocking snaps while Ronnie Brown allowed one on 5.1% of his pass blocking snaps. And on his career, Brandon Jacobs has caught 65 passes. Ronnie Brown has caught 184. Clearly Ronnie Brown is the superior receiver. Brown is also the more versatile playmaker. We all know about Ronnie Brown’s wildcat ability. Ronnie Brown is truly a complete weapon on offense with his ability to run, catch and even throw the ball.
And some people may get down on him after seeing Brown’s low yards per carry stat but remember that he won’t be a feature back for the Eagles. In the first half of the season Ronnie Brown averaged 4 yards per carry. He won’t wear down as the season progresses since he won’t be required to carry the load. And for anyone that watched him in the pre-season game against the Ravens they know he will be a good addition to the Eagles. Ronnie Brown looked quick and shifty running behind a line that clearly wasn’t very good, he made people missed and he showed he wasn’t afraid to lower his shoulder and attempt to run through people.
Another item of note is that New York may actually be in pretty good shape with Travis Beckum and Domenik Hixon as the starting TE/number three WR.
Here is some backup for that statement. Last year Boss posted a 7.9 YPA, a total that ranked 15th out of 39 qualifying tight ends (32 targets being the minimum bar to qualify). What this means is Boss was a slightly above average tight end.
Beckum did not fare quite as well in YPA last year (6.4), but it was based on only 18 passes and therefore might not be an indicator of his true performance level. Even if it is a true indicator, the Giants are not likely to throw him a ton of passes, as Boss only had 68 targets last year. A drop-off of a yard and a half on 68 passes is only 100 yards, or not a huge loss.
Wait… So let me get this straight.
Point #1- Kevin Boss was a slightly above average pass catcher
Point #2- Beckum played poorly and thus he didn’t see many snaps or targets
Point #3- Beckum is a downgrade from Kevin Boss that will not be as productive.
Isn’t this supposed to be a piece about why the Giants will win the division? How does getting a player who couldn’t get off the bench and played poorly when he did stand as a point that supports what Joyner is proposing? It doesn’t.
And once again, Joyner completely ignores what Kevin Boss really brought to the Giants offense, blocking. Kevin Boss blocked more than he ran routes. The Giants don’t have anyone on the roster that can bring the combination of blocking ability and pass catching ability that Kevin Boss brought to the table.
The Giants might be able to make up for that loss if Hixon returns to his earlier performance level. Let’s not forget that in 2008, he posted an 8.7 YPA on 73 targets. The YPA total was tied for 24th highest in the league. If he comes back to close to what he was that year, he can be just as, if not more, productive as Steve Smith was last year (7.2 YPA on 77 targets).
Joyner seems really focused on the whole YPA stat. I’m assuming that YPA means yards per attempt. That means that this is the exact same thing as yards per target. Why KC Joyner seems so focused on this is beyond me. Its so irrelevant and it isn’t indicative of performance at all. If anything its more indicative of the way a player is used than a player’s skill set. Just because Hixon was used on more deep routes while Steve Smith worked out of the slot on shorter stuff doesn’t mean Hixon is a better player.
I’ll be my life that Hixon doesn’t produce the way Steve Smith did. Hixon will not tie or break the team record for catches in a season that Steve Smith set. Hixon will not lead the NFL in first down catches. Hixon will not catch nearly 70% of his targets. Hixon’s skill set is different from Smith’s. Smith runs pristine routes, gets separation and has reliable hands. Hixon doesn’t do those things as well as Smith and no YPA stat changes that.
But I’m still dumbfounded at what KC Joyner is saying. Maybe all these players do step up (they won’t though, I’ll bet on that) but why is he completely ignoring the improvements the Eagles have made? Its as if the Eagles don’t even exist. The only Eagles move that Joyner even acknowledged was the Ronnie Brown signing and compared to all the other moves that the Eagles have made that is one of the least impactful heading into the season.
I’m not going to lie, KC Joyner is making this too easy.