For reasons that cannot be explained, ESPN is spending an entire week selecting “All Decade Teams“. Of course, this is utter foolishness, principally because the decade still has two full years left in it. As everyone who graduated from 8th grade can tell you, decades run from the first year to the 10th year. Hence, this decade began in 2001 and will end in 2010. The media loves round numbers, however, and most “All Decade” teams and honors will be calculated from 2000 to 2009, even though 2000 was not part of the current century, much less the current decade.
Let’s set aside our nerd-based complaints for a moment, and deal with the list at hand, in a more geek friendly way. That is to say, we’ll look at the numbers. Of course we all know that while nerds lose themselves in arcane arguments based on minutia, geeks resort to numbers to solve disputes. It’s a war that will rage endlessly.
Mike Sando’s team concerns me at only one position: defensive end. He selects Michael Strahan and Jason Taylor for the team. Now, even allowing for the fact that he begins the count in 2000, there is still a whole season to play before the decade ends. The selection of Taylor is fair, as he still totaled 104.5 sacks this “decade”. He also forced 35 fumbles and averaged 41 tackles a year.
Strahan on the other hand, is more in question. This “decade” he totaled 89 sacks, 15 forced fumbles and 49 tackles a year. Stellar numbers to be sure, but also ones that will not improve, as he has already retired. It bears mentioning (because I am evidently a geek/nerd hybrid) that if 2000 is not counted as part of this decade, he loses 9.5 sacks.
I’m sure by now you can all guess which player I would rather see on this team. Yes, it’s one Mr. Dwight Freeney. Freeney did not enter the league until 2002, so he is working with two fewer seasons (one if we were actually calculating the calendar correctly) than Messieurs Strahan and Taylor. Freeney for the decade, has racked up 70.5 sacks, 34 forced fumbles, and 29 tackles a season. If the decade were calculated correctly, Freeney would have two more season to match Strahan’s new total of 79.5 sacks. One would certainly expect him to do that with room to spare.
I would argue that with one (two!) year to play in the decade, it is far too soon to crown Strahan a “DE of the decade”. Freeney will post similar sack numbers, while forcing far more fumbles. I know some will charge, “Ah! But Strahan played the run as well!”.
The DE playing the run issue is interesting, but note that neither Taylor nor Strahan actually accrued large numbers of tackles. Taylor averaged about 12 tackles more per season than Freeney, or less than one a game. Strahan fared better, averaging 20 more tackles per season, or just more than 1 extra tackle a game.
The trade off is that Freeney (in one fewer season to this point) forced 19 MORE fumbles than Strahan, and one fewer than Taylor (in two less seasons). I’m not sure which is more valuable: 1 tackle a game or 19 more fumbles forced. One extra run tackle a game, probably only saved the team 3 to 4 yards
even if we are generous. Run tackles are rarely big plays, and
don’t have nearly the impact on the game as a sack or forced fumble
Ultimately, Strahan and Taylor are deserving at this point, but the decade is far from over. It’s just too early to engage in this kind of exercise.
Joey V is on the scene. WOO HOO.
CHFF says that 49 and 50 aren’t as impressive as 36. I agree.
I’m rooting for the Pike guys (Teague and Vaden). Vaden could accomplish the impossible dream of playing for the Red Devils, the Hoosiers, and the Pacers. He would instantly become one of my favorite athletes ever. If he winds up in Blue and Gold, we are going to effort an interview. I don’t know how, but that has to happen.
No surprise when it comes to the Offensive team. Again, you really have to wonder what the rush to select this team a full year early is. Williamson selects 88 as the WR, but picks Brady over Manning…because of Super Bowls. But if the Colts win this year, would he still make that call?
SCHEIN! FOR THE LAST TIME! Moore and Mudd are not gone. Stop making crap up.