Football

The Rundown: Stevan Ridley, Russell Wilson, and More

Stevan Ridley

It’s a Hard Knock Life

Good times, friends. Training camp is almost here, and with it, HBO’s Hard Knocks. Did you know we have a Hard Knock’s Cheat Sheet? And a profile of a deep-sleeper Falcons’ wide receiver? And a look at Julio Jones’ post-injury ADP? And an exploration of Roddy White’s potentially troubling outlook? Now you do.

Russell Wilson & Joe Montana

Over the weekend HawkBlogger ran a great article comparing the Seahawks to the early ’80s San Francisco 49ers. It’s well worth a read, as it highlights several eerie similarities between the teams’ style of play, coaches, and quarterbacks:

It all started in the 80s with Walsh finding a young franchise quarterback in Montana, who was a winner wherever he went. He was the same age, 25, as Russell Wilson when he won his first Super Bowl in 1981. Both players featured lethal efficiency. Montana threw for more yards, on average, but had only one season where he eclipsed Wilson’s gaudy 8.5 yards per attempt from last season. Both were clutch performers, but Montana had only one season where he registered as many fourth-quarter comebacks (4) and game-winning drives (5) as Wilson registered last year.

I’d venture that most everyone remembers Joe Montana as a great quarterback, and thus perhaps we mis-remember the 49ers as a passing team. But they were quite committed to the run and played great defense,1just like the Seahawks. The knock on Wilson has always been that he’s a “game manager” that wins because of his defense. Well, in that case, shouldn’t we say the same about Montana? Or at the very least, shouldn’t we say that Wilson’s career is off to a Montana-esque beginning? Take a look at this chart compiled from Pro Football Reference.

Wilson Year Age Y/A+ NY/A+ AY/A+ ANY/A+ Cmp%+ TD%+ Int%+
2012* 24 116 111 117 114 112 125 104
2013* 25 127 113 124 116 108 123 108
Montana 1980 24 91 99 106 110 132 116 116
1981* 25 106 113 116 119 127 96 126
D.Brees 2011* 32 125 130 128 132 137 131 111
2012* 33 112 117 112 116 108 123 99
2013* 34 120 120 121 121 129 118 114

This table presents an Index ranking for each metric. The Index is scaled to era,2higher is better, and 100 is league average. I added Drew Brees’ 3 consecutive 5000 yard seasons for comparison. I’ll take that kind of “game management” on my team any day.

Jordy Nelson

Over the weekend it was reported that Green Bay is working on a contract extension with Jordy Nelson. Justin Winn wrote about this possibility back in May. Check his article for insight into how this affects the rest of Green Bay’s receiving corps.

As for Nelson, he should have a few good years left. If anything, his production is still increasing. Perhaps this is the season he’s finally recognized as an elite receiver. Take a look at his career graph.

nelson

Stevan Ridley

The Boston Globe reports that it’s too early to give up on Stevan Ridley. Max Mulitz made the same case last week, noting just how well Ridley fits the Pats offense. Here’s another way to look at it, courtesy of Fantasy Data.

Player Team Gms Snaps Snaps/Gm Snap Pct Rush Pct Tgt Pct Rec Pct Touch Pct Util Pct Point Pct
Ryan Mathews SD 16 471 29.4 42.4 60.5 7 5.5 66 67.5 39.1
LeGarrette Blount NE 16 323 20.2 23.9 47.4 1.5 0.6 48 48.9 36.8
Jamaal Charles KC 15 845 56.3 78.3 30.7 12.3 8.3 38.9 43 36.4
Stevan Ridley NE 14 333 23.8 27.8 53.5 3.6 3 56.5 57.1 35.4
Marshawn Lynch SEA 16 711 44.4 70.3 42.3 6.2 5.1 47.4 48.5 33.6
Knowshon Moreno DEN 16 706 44.1 58.2 34.1 10.5 8.5 42.6 44.6 33.6
LeSean McCoy PHI 16 872 54.5 79.1 36 7.3 6 42 43.3 32

Last year, among running backs who played at least 300 snaps, Ridley ranked fourth in the NFL in point percentage.3 Look who was second: LeGarrette Blount. Know who’s not in New England any more? LeGarrette Blount. So hypothetically anyway, the potential is there for Ridley to double his workload. I don’t think he’ll get that much more work, but if he did, he’d be on par with Ryan Mathews, who is being drafted about 30 picks earlier.

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  1. They ranked second in the league in their first Superbowl year, 1981.  (back)
  2. Specifically, the three year window of which the subject year is middle year.  (back)
  3. That is, percentage of snaps where he recorded a fantasy point.  (back)
By James Todd | @spidr2ybanana | Archive

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