Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Kirwan watch continues
It's been a long time since I did a "Kirwan watch", mainly because I gave up reading Pat Kirawns articles on NFL.com. But today I stumbled across his most recent work; a look at if/how Cover 2 defenses contribute to helmet to helmet hits. It is truly a masterpiece example of an analyst who only knows half the puzzle of football. What makes me laugh is the comments section, where some people praise Kirwan for his "expert analysis". Jesus. My main point of contention is diagram 2 and the description that goes with it. Thankfully the person who made the diagram for Pat has a bit better understanding of what they're doing. I say this because Kirwan describes a shallow cross route as being run "... at a depth of about 10 yards." Really Pat? I was always inclined to believe that it was run at barely 5 yards deep. The clue is kind of in the title my friend; Shallow Cross. But even then, when we get to figure 3 the guy doing the diagram drawing loses the plot as well. Maybe he was just confused by Kirwans instructions. In diagram 3a the point is made about what happens to receivers running a shallow cross through a zone coverage; they often get hit hard during/shortly after a catch. Yet in figure 3b the slot receiver is shown as "sitting down" (that is, finding an open space between two defenders and stopping) at pretty much the exact spot that was just highlighted as being dangerous. The receiver on the crossing route should ideally be sitting in the throwing lane aligned between the MLB and SLB. Then you catch the ball, turn up field and try not to get your head taken off. It just amazes me. There are ex-players working for the NFL Network and NFL.com. Cant one of them point out to someone in a position of power that Pat seems to know as much about the ins and outs of football as the dude I'll be going to Wembley with on Sunday? It just seems odd. NFL.com is a big hub for the league. Articles like this just make the whole thing look stupid and amateurish. Oh, and if anyone knows how to make fancy graphics like in Kirwans article, let me know! (firstname.lastname@example.org) Have a great day everyone.