Review of a Champion!

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Ushikawa
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Joined: Mon May 11, 2015 2:36 pm

Review of a Champion!

Post by Ushikawa »

Well the cards fell our way and it's time to review some of the GM and coordinating decisions and outcomes that got us here.

Firstly, much like the real NFL, winning a championship entails a good bit of luck both for die rolls in-game as well as with regards to injuries not just the severity but also the timing as we were extremely helathy in the playoffs.

As a GM we really try to build coherent depth as we have a very defined playbook and defensive profile, so that when our future HoFer TE Givgore has to miss a few games we have another TE who can give us 80% of his production and our 6th OL guy, albeit pretty terrible, at least has a similar bar pattern to what we normally have in a starter. We also are big believers in endurance at all positions, preferring to rotate 5-6 CBs with low endurance and different skillsets to 3 guys who are just average and this also likely has a good bit to do with our success in closing out games and comebacks.

At QB we have Montgomery, a dude who puts up great numbers because he has the bars in the right places for our system predicated on moving the chains and spot big gains. His huge liability is his single digit Sense Rush bar and typically more than half of our opponent's pressures result in sacks but hey if you want a guy who can throw it effectively for $15MM a year there has to be a tradeoff and while it is a big one he is a 60 QB in all the other bars that we value as well as being able to take a beating.

This year we signed WR Hall hoping to have a threat outside but really he ended up just being a decoy mostly at the Z spot occupying the top CB and he Fd up our quintuple affinity in passing which resulted in QB Monty throwing an average of a pick and having half a fumble per game. Slot WR Treadwell is efficient but really very replaceable and our other outside receivers rarely see more than 2 targets a game, rookie Watson may get some more use next year especially on deeper routes.

You will note we don't pay any of our WRs big money although you could certainly argue we overpay guys to just prevent doubles, build cohesion and (previosuly) stack affinities. That is because our passing O runs through TE Givgore who is just a revelation at all levels of the field. He seemingly converts a 3rd and 15 plus at least once a game as well as generating YAC consistently. Even when he is out we have our other TE Adams, who doesn't cost much, and is a mauler in run blocking and can also get open and generate yardage. Nominal RB Wilson gets a ton of carries but also gets 400-600 yards receiving most years running flats and outs as a secondary option but also intermediate routes against teams with coverage liabilities at LB.

RB Wilson will be on the last year of his rookie deal next season and we almost certainly will have to save our franchise tag for him. Keep an eye out as if we can get another between the tackels runner you may see him in the slot or split out wide a good bit in the near future. While his rushing average numbers weren't great this year as our O in general suffered many times, the bottom line is he puts up 1800-2100 yards each season and while we would love to flip him I have no idea what we would do with his touches. Our other RB took over for longtime SaintRB Matthews as the guy we use in formations where we don't passs to the RB and put up great numbers, and we leaned heavily on him in 3rd and short and goalline istuations as well with his nice HoleRecognition/Elusiveness split. We would love to add another quality runner of his type with a bit more endurance but they are hard to find.

Of course, just about anyone can run behind our OL which has well over 400 points of run blocking on it plus TEs and FBs easily adding another 150 or so in our 122 or 212 sets. While this will be the last year we can keep the core together likely, this line has been together for 4-5 years now including 6th man Parliman and is affinity-heavy. The premise is that it allows us to run at any hole where the opponent is weak and also spread out our runs as even a top run defender will have a tough matchup acrosss from him. We also frequently put hte setting way up to 5 minutes per score to run out the clock so a 2 score advantage in the 4th can quickly become game over.

I have to say when our passhappy late 20s build flamed out we took a hard look at which teams had success and of course looked a good bit at WilleB's WAS squad and its endless supply of 1st round talent at all OL spots and decided that is where we would invest. Whle the rest of our O is pretty different from WAS we both get top QB and RB production from middling assets there by investing in the OL. 3 of our guys are on the last year of their deal now and on the wrong side of 30 but you can count on us to have 450 carries again next year for sure.

It took us a good while to figure out the roster and gameplanning necessary to have the type of D that was needed to compete with the big boys and it all came together in the second half of this season.

We run a True 34 so finding front 7 with the size and play diagnosis necessary to hold up in the scheme takes patience. NT Flowers manned the middle for us this year and while he is very susceptible to draws and +/- doesn't like him much he checks the other boxes and is cheap. Our expensive and risky addition was hybrid DL ubermensch Holmes who we paid $40MM in guarantees and has been worth every penny despite missing some games each year. While we love to have him at DE where he gets elite pressure sometimes he will play inside as well as Flowers can't really play all the snaps like Holmes. The other DE spot is rotated based on opponent but we have a passrusher, a savvy playmaker, a runstopper and a kinda balanced dude who all play 100s of snaps a season. We would love to have another pure starter there but have gotten by with the flexibility and every year take a close look at some trades. Holmes will be getting the franchise tag this year and may not be resigned as he will be pretty dang old and we likely will be in a minor restructure in a couple years.

The real growing pains took place at LB after blowing 2 1sts and more trying to find our WLB but we finally bit the bullet last season and traded a 1st for stud LB Weinsmeister and paid him top dollar. He is our interchangeable piece playing SILB against running teams and WLB if we dont fear their rushing attack. In previous seasons we played OLB Clark at WLB due to his ability to pay man in our Cover-1 scheme but he never was an effective rusher (pass rush strength is not nearly as effective as technique we have learned) so this year he moved to SLB and put up great umbers as a rusher and in coverage. At ILB we have longtime roleplayer Hepburn as the run stopper which allowed us to play Weinmeister at WLB for some snaps and a couple of well-balanced guys who struggle a bit against the run but definitely are worth their salaries. OLB Clark is entering the final deal of his rookie contract and with the franchise tag destined for RB Wilson we may have to just let him go with no compensaton but if we get some space then he is a guy we definitely want to resign. We have a lot of pass rush at LB as well but unless the opponent has a really weak OL the numbers don't bear out the advantage of sending 5 versus 4 and I see lots of top Ds rush 3 a lot even when they have a topflight DL rush.

The secondary is another spot where we spend very little with a bunch of guys at CB that can play man coverage and maybe have 1 other bar above 50. The thing is it wasn't working we never had a good pass defense percentage and gave up a ton of YAC. So while we had never interpreted it this way we finally came to understand run defense as tackling and tried to matchup the guys with some run defense on the YAC receivers. Another thing is we lucked into some nice in-season pickups allowing us to play some press coverage and we now firmly believe that mixing up coverages at leat some is necessary, you can't just play Cover-1 and Cover-2 and stop even decent QBs. At S we had Roffman and Patterson both making a bit above their value but nothing too drastic. We liked Patterson for his man coverage but at SS we seemed to get beat on the ground a good bit so he started playing more FS and even NB as we realized our experiment of having a 212 pound CB Hopper wasnt working also so he moved to SS for Cover-3 and Cover-1. All of this led to us skyrocketing to top 5 in completion percentage and not giving up those big gains that ahd plagued us for several seasons. We have a couple decent FSs in development so one of these Ss will hopefulyl be traded going forward.

Overall, on O the primary goal is get 1st downs. This is done by being run heavy on 1st down and throwing past the sticks on 2nd and 3rd mostly. On D we started playing more Cover-2 instead of so much Cover-1 and it helped us control those big gains and force the opponent to consistently win 3rd down where our specialists were on the field to stop 3rd and long.

Onto 2034 where we hope to catch some more breaks and be in the dance again!
New Orleans (S)Aints
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WilleB
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Re: Review of a Champion!

Post by WilleB »

Some good stuff.
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Ushikawa
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Re: Review of a Champion!

Post by Ushikawa »

Learned from the best WilleB
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WilleB
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Re: Review of a Champion!

Post by WilleB »

I wish I had more time to do stuff like this again. Helps you learn the team inside and out.
GM Since the ImageEra

APFL Champions - 2015, 2021, 2026, 2031
NFC Champions - 2015, 2021, 2026, 2027, 2031, 2032
NFC East Champions - 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2023, 2024, 2025, 2026, 2027, 2028, 2031-41
Ushikawa
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Re: Review of a Champion!

Post by Ushikawa »

I'd love to see us go to 2 Sims a week letting more people go in depth with the gameplanning
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Clown
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Re: Review of a Champion!

Post by Clown »

Ushikawa wrote: Fri Sep 07, 2018 5:46 pm I'd love to see us go to 2 Sims a week letting more people go in depth with the gameplanning
no
NO FEAR
jzicc
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Re: Review of a Champion!

Post by jzicc »

great write up USHI ---
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ezlee2
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Re: Review of a Champion!

Post by ezlee2 »

Nice insight
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