Thanks again to Harry and Dan from the Locker Room on 950 ESPN for having me on last night to talk about the Eagles. We covered a range of topics, from McNabb's shoulder to DeSean Jackson's hamstrings to Westbrook's contract and some of the more nitty-gritty stats stuff as well.
I started a little rough, but then things smoothed out. They've podcasted it again, so click either the red button or June 10th link in the middle column to listen to the interview.
And yeah, they notice how many people listen, so if you're at work, just turn the sound off and listen on mute. That's fine with me.
Here are links to past posts that cover many of the topics we discussed in more detail:
Finally, something weird is going on with the site that's causing Internet Explorer to close at times when it loads. I'm trying to figure out what's going on there. Sorry if that affects you in the meantime.
Yeah, I'm kind of a wuss, because while I knew I would be doing a radio hit with Harry and Dan on the Locker Room on 950ESPN last night, I didn't want to make too big a deal about it in case I, well, sucked.
Fortunately, I avoided any complete verbal train wrecks and I think the discussion ended up going pretty well. But hey, don't take my word for it, check out the podcast on the 950ESPN website and decide for yourself. Then feel free to come back here and tell me what I screwed up in the comments.
Also, it would probably greatly help my case for making future appearances on the show if lots and lots of people were to follow that podcast link, so go ahead and listen to it twice.
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One point of follow-up on an issue the guys discussed after I hung up. You can't use the average kickoff numbers for David Akers to tell whether or not his leg strength is diminishing. Sure, on the surface, it looks like he wasn't kicking the ball as far last year, but look a little closer at the game-by-game stats. Against Chicago, Akers averaged on 46.4 yards on four kickoffs because the Eagles had him kicking those moonballs to avoid Devin Hester. And his numbers didn't look good against Dallas a few weeks later, but that's because he had an onsides kick that lowered his overall average.
I've thought about doing a kickoff comparison before that stripped out all this variation and only looked at true distance attempts, but frankly, that's a lot of work. Even using touchbacks as a metric is tough because if the coverage teams get worse, returners will be more likely to take the ball out of the endzone against you.
Finally, one other point on the field goal thing. It doesn't seem like it makes any sense, but in last year's edition of the Pro Football Prospectus, the Football Outsiders guys found there was minimal year-to-year correlation in field goal accuracy. So bad results one year don't really mean bad results the next. Heck, they even found a negative correlation (-.10) for accuracy on attempts beyond 40 yards (especially good news for Akers).