The second lives of football players

On the heels of the news that Warren Sapp — who made over $60m during his pro football career — has filed for bankruptcy, this is of interest:

Through the injury-plagued seasons — the first signs that his career may be coming to a close — and two years after his retirement, Searcy still lived as if he were untouchable. His denial that the end was near became clear in several real estate transactions.

In 1998, Searcy bought a condo in Miami for $865,000. In 2000, he bought a house in Clermont, Fla., for $399,900. In 2001, he bought another house in Baltimore for $870,000. “I was punch drunk,” Searcy says. “It was a facade, what I was living. I still wanted to give people the impression that I was big-time. I’d see the guys who were still in the league in the night clubs, and I had to look the look. I was in character.”

In 2002, the bank foreclosed on Searcy’s Baltimore property for $550,632. In 2003, another bank foreclosed on his Miami condo for $568,263.

Read the whole thing.

Draft Day 2012: I could watch these guys all day

In honor of the yearly spectacle of reading name off of a list as prime time television event, do yourself a favor and just watch clips of Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, two total maestros of the art of quarterbacking. In terms of the draft, I don’t think you can go wrong with either one, but feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments. Happy drafting.

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Get Smart about Urban Meyer’s Ohio State Spread

One of the best recent developments in the blogosphere has been the addition of my friend Ross Fulton to what was already one of the best blogs around, the Ohio State site Eleven Warriors. Ross has been a perfect fit, not least of all because he’s got great material to analyze in the form of Urban Meyer’s offense (along with offensive coordinator Tom Herman) are installing at Ohio State. Check out the links below for a learned preview of what we can expect from the Buckeye offense this fall.

Smart Links – Kellen Moore, Louis CK, George Whitfield, Kevin Sumlin, WR NFL Draft Rankings – 4/13/2012

Gruden camp with one of my favorite college quarterbacks ever, Kellen Moore:

I don’t know what, if any, kind of pro Moore will make. I think arm strength in is general overrated, but Moore’s lack of arm strength does concern me. To me arm strength is not a matter of more is always better — JaMarcus Russell is proof of that — but you do need a threshold level of arm strength necessary for each level. And it’s not about chucking deep bombs; it’s about the ability to throw the ball on a line 25, 30 or even 35 yards from the far hash to the sideline. But Gruden spends a lot of time in this piece on Moore’s uncanny anticipation and that focus is exactly right: If Moore can succeed — indeed the reason he has been so successful so far — it will be because he uses his smarts, accuracy, and anticipation to overcome some of his limitations. As Gruden points out in the video too, Boise State’s multifarious offense is just awesome to watch, but it’s also not easy, making Moore well prepared for an NFL offense — if he can physically perform.

(Also gotta love Moore drawing up two classic pass plays, Sluggo Seam and Spacing.)

- Final column by Rick Cleveland.

- The rise of George Whitfield as the premiere QB guru, including mentor to Cam Newton and Andrew Luck.

- Pre-Snap Read fires up for 2012, with a look at the fighting Bob Davies.

- Behind the scenes with Kevin Sumlin.

- Ultimate Fighting and Math.

- Matt Waldman on this year’s wide receiver NFL draft class. I don’t know if there is a single, super dominant wide receiver in this year’s draft class like a Calvin Johnson or Randy Moss type, but I think there is a solid group of guys who will be consistent NFL contributors for a long time: I expect Justin Blackmon, Kendall Wright, Mohammed Sanu, Reuben Randle, Juron Criner, Marvin McNutt, Joe Adams and Ryan Broyles to all make NFL rosters and hang around with fairly consistent production for the next five to eight years, with at least a couple turning into pro bowl receivers.

After the jump, Mike Leach operates a crane because . . . why not? (H/t cougcenter.)

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The Life Cycle of a Blog Post, From Servers to Spiders to Suits — to You

Click to embiggen:

This is from Wired; click here for an interactive graphic.

Smart Links – Strategery Round-Up – 2/27/2012

Strong Scrape Fire Zone and Fire Zone Adjustments:

scrape

I have borrowed a lot from Manny Diaz when it comes to Fire Zone adjustments. There are many adjustments that can be run, which include having the DT being a dropper at times, but there are two adjustments that I think are the most important. Diaz talks about how the coverage needs to be the easiest thing as far as Fire Zones go, so it is important that we not over-complicate things. If a defender blitzes the wrong gap, you may have a bad play but it won’t be a disaster. Now, if there is a mistake in coverage, that’s a disaster.

- Bill Belichick’s blitz package versus empty:

The Ravens have five potential pass blockers. It doesn’t take great mathematical abilities to realize that if the defense brings 6 rushers there will be a defensive player unblocked. New England gets a free rusher while only rushing 5 by having the Mike and SS execute a read out blitz based on the slide of the protection.

blitz

The SS is reading the block of the Left Guard. If the LG blocks the DT the SS blitzes and is unblocked. That is both what is diagrammed here and what happened in the video clip. The Mike is reading the guard to his side as well. If the guard is stepping toward him he will drop out, looking to cover the hot route from the opposite side. The Mike knows where the hot route is coming from because the protection and hot routes are linked. The offense can pick up 3 rushers to the defensive right of the center with 3 blockers. . . .

The offense is more likely to slide to the Mike linebacker than toward a SS. Bill Belichick is manipulating the pass protection by exploiting the offense’s expectation of the SS’s role on defense. A SS should be covering a receiver or a zone not walked up into the B gap to blitz. Where else can you find this pressure concept? In the Alabama playbook of former Bill Belichick assistant Nick Saban.

- In defense of success rates:

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Is it worth it to actually go to games anymore? Yes, but not too many

Another broad problem: the younger the sports fan, the less they enjoy being in an arena where their smartphones can’t get a signal. “People don’t like to be out of touch,” said Doug Perlman, founder and CEO of consulting firm Sports Media Advisors and a Duke graduate. “They want to be sharing the experience with their friends.”

That is from this piece in the WSJ, about declining attendance at ACC basketball games. (H/T Senator and Elkon.) That’s a rather ridiculous reason not to go to a game. But I do generally agree with this statement:

Chris Bevilacqua, the founder of a media-consulting group and architect of the Pac-12′s nearly $3 billion TV-rights deal, pointed to another general culprit: the affordability of clearer, larger televisions. The at-home TV experience, he said, is better than ever.

The sports-at-home experience has gotten better and better while the stadium and arena experience — despite the incredible infusion of taxpayer money — has only improved at the margins, if at all. I can honestly say that I do not enjoy going to a lot of games every year in any sport, including football, and for me there is a high degree of diminishing returns: I make it to a few games a year, but after those few the idea of going to more — and to think of the transportation, parking, weather, etc — gives me a particular kind of nausea.

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Urban Meyer’s 2012 Ohio High Schools Coaches Clinic Lecture

Excellent stuff from Urban Meyer at this year’s OHSFCA clinic for Ohio high school coaches:

It will be very interesting to see how Meyer, who has had some success in the past of his own (to say the least), continues to evolve and change now that he’s at Ohio State.

Smart Links – Eli Manning, Success Rate, Back-Up Quarterbacks, Receiver Routes – 2/13/2012

Kendall Wright and not drifting away from the ball out of a cut. Matt does a good job of discussing the difference between drifting away from the ball after a receiver makes a cut while still having different “types” cuts, like “flat” breaks and “speed cuts.” A lot of scouts have an instinctive reaction to speed cuts, claiming the receiver “rounds off his route,” but that’s actually what you teach on certain timing patterns; you don’t want the receiver to lose speed out of his break which he will on any true “flat” break.

- Peter King on the growth of Eli Manning. Also, it’s worth revisiting Michael Lewis’s piece on the “Eli Experiment” from a few years back.

- Indy Football Clinic Spread Offense Notes.

- “Bench Wren,” a great boundary defensive pressure concept.

- The best negative book reviews of the year.

- NFL quarterbacks and their backups.

- The return of Van Halen.

- Why Success Rate is not as important in football as it is in baseball. Note that one of the few useful applications of Success Rate is with respect to individual runningbacks, which was discussed here.

- The physics behind music. Interesting piece.

- The universe from nothing.

- Obituary of Lucian Freud.

- Inside Instagram. I’m not convinced that the goal of all of these start-ups should be to “get big fast” via venture funding, but different contexts require different approaches.

Best of Billick 101: Chalk talks with NFL coaches

Good stuff:

<a href='http://msn.foxsports.com/video?videoid=ca002bd1-848c-4f15-9626-c8d9a3108a3e&#038;src=v5:embed::' target='_new' title='Coach Speak: Best of Billick 101' >Video: Coach Speak: Best of Billick 101</a>

After the jump are some full segments (note that it will load a bit slowly):

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