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  • #16
    Originally posted by lex
    The salary cap wasnt so much the issue as much as it was lean operations. When they first had the salary cap it was still about adding talent vs the lean operations era which was about paring down talent enough to get by.

    Also, if you look at Denvers offense they didnt have the talent from man to man like SF or Dallas did but their offense was better (the 98 Broncos scored 500 pts as a run first team and outscored opponents 300-144 in first halves of games). Shanahan had a lot to do with that. With that kind of offense, youre right, Denver did take chances on defense but a lot of that was schematic because of how good their offense was. But if you look at Denvers personnel on defense, it could definitely be considered very good...just not as good as their offense which was great. Plus, whenever Denver played against staunch defenses in the playoffs, they would sill get 100 yards...againt, if you can dictate terms like that in your running game and you have Elway as a QB who can punish the defense, it allows you to take chances. But either way, none of the teams of the 00s can compete with the teams in the 90s that one SBs. Again, too much balance. Im not saying that they were not as good as Dal or SF in all areas but they were good at the very least and that goes for the Rams, the Packers, the Redskins, etc.
    That's what we were missing this year. We had the defense to go 13-3 or 14-2, but the fact that the offense didn't pull ahead early in games and force the other team to pass allowed the opposition to run all day long and eat up clock. It absolutely murdered our poor D. You notice they had a much easier game in AZ, when we did put up points early and force Leinart to pass. I think that if the O had managed to score more first half points and put the other team in a 14 point hole, we would have dominated this year. When you force the other team to pass, all they get is a good dose of our Pro Bowl secondary. We often couldn't score until the second or even the third quarter. It drove me bananas.

    /rant


    RIP D-Will and Nash

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by lex
      The salary cap wasnt so much the issue as much as it was lean operations. When they first had the salary cap it was still about adding talent vs the lean operations era which was about paring down talent enough to get by.

      Also, if you look at Denvers offense they didnt have the talent from man to man like SF or Dallas did but their offense was better (the 98 Broncos scored 500 pts as a run first team and outscored opponents 300-144 in first halves of games). Shanahan had a lot to do with that. With that kind of offense, youre right, Denver did take chances on defense but a lot of that was schematic because of how good their offense was. But if you look at Denvers personnel on defense, it could definitely be considered very good...just not as good as their offense which was great. Plus, whenever Denver played against staunch defenses in the playoffs, they would sill get 100 yards...againt, if you can dictate terms like that in your running game and you have Elway as a QB who can punish the defense, it allows you to take chances. But either way, none of the teams of the 00s can compete with the teams in the 90s that one SBs. Again, too much balance. Im not saying that they were not as good as Dal or SF in all areas but they were good at the very least and that goes for the Rams, the Packers, the Redskins, etc.
      Those are good points, but I think Dallas was the last team loaded to the hilt with talent. The Denver SB teams are one of the strongest teams after the salary cap, but they'd probably be underdogs if they faced the 49ers or the Cowboys. That team would've probably been favored over all the other teams that came afterwards. So maybe Denver was the in-between between eras.

      I'm not exactly sure I understand what you mean by lean operations. With the salary cap, you'd have to decide which good players to get, keep, and let go off. The 49ers stockpiled talent, putting players on injured reserve lists, because they could hire all the best and most expensive players they wanted. Since the cap, they could no longer do that, and neither could any other team, so with the playing field evened with respect to spending power to acquire or keep talent, parity in the league was achieved.

      The Pats let go of proven, talented players because of the cap, hoping they could make do with the draft. They weren't just trying to save money. Heck, they resurfaced their field, because Tom Brady said it was affecting his throwing.

      Man for man, I doubt if there have been, or ever will be teams in the salary cap era as loaded with talent as SF and Dallas before the salary cap. The only other way to achieve this now is to lose a lot of games and consistently get great possition at the draft.

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by evendelae
        That's what we were missing this year. We had the defense to go 13-3 or 14-2, but the fact that the offense didn't pull ahead early in games and force the other team to pass allowed the opposition to run all day long and eat up clock. It absolutely murdered our poor D. You notice they had a much easier game in AZ, when we did put up points early and force Leinart to pass. I think that if the O had managed to score more first half points and put the other team in a 14 point hole, we would have dominated this year. When you force the other team to pass, all they get is a good dose of our Pro Bowl secondary. We often couldn't score until the second or even the third quarter. It drove me bananas.

        /rant
        Yep, we were ranked about 21 in offense. Well, Shanny promises a top 5 offense next season, and he looks like he's doing a lot of spending to get it.

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by Morambar
          Personally, I thought the Colts were an awful team last year; all offense and no D. Watching that error filled SB was painful, especially watching Chicagos D play their hearts out in a terrific game only to have their offense leave them hanging time and again. It was like watching a repeat of our season distilled into one horrible game. There weren't any solid teams last year, not like ours in the '90s, or the Cowboys, or the 'Niners, or the Pack when they won. The Chargers were the closest, but you could always point to the Saints secondary, or the Bears QB or the Eagles front seven. The good news it that leaves an opening for a truly good team (which I think ours can be) to go all the way.

          The Pats teams this decade have been the best, hands down; they ran well, they passed well to everyone, and their D was generally lethal, especially before Bruschis stroke. They're still the model Pro Team of today (sorry, ya'll, just callin' 'em like I see 'em). That's why I worry about our LBs; the Pats did it with solid D and playing hot potato with the ball, very much like the Colts did on offense last year. Shut down their run and their top two receivers and they can STILL beat you with solid D and the rest of their receivers.

          Apart from the Pats I can't think of any really great Champs this decade; the Steelers probably come closest, but Roethlisbergers showing he's more Warner than Elway, and their D ain't what it was against the pass. The Falcons won because their coach wrote the other teams playbook; we've seen what they've done since. The Giants probably shouldn't have been IN their SB, so it's hardly surprising the Ravens and their scary D handled them.
          You mean Bucs
          Bronco fan from Packer Land.
          Lefty Writer on The Sports Show with Woody Paige and Les Shapiro
          Tweet me @JoRo_5551

          Comment


          • #20
            I thought Aught meant zero??

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by JoRo
              You mean Bucs
              Yeah, I did; sorry. My bad.
              SIGN RANDALL GODFREY FOR SLB AND BACKUP MLB NOW!!!

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by omac
                Those are good points, but I think Dallas was the last team loaded to the hilt with talent. The Denver SB teams are one of the strongest teams after the salary cap, but they'd probably be underdogs if they faced the 49ers or the Cowboys. That team would've probably been favored over all the other teams that came afterwards. So maybe Denver was the in-between between eras.

                I'm not exactly sure I understand what you mean by lean operations. With the salary cap, you'd have to decide which good players to get, keep, and let go off. The 49ers stockpiled talent, putting players on injured reserve lists, because they could hire all the best and most expensive players they wanted. Since the cap, they could no longer do that, and neither could any other team, so with the playing field evened with respect to spending power to acquire or keep talent, parity in the league was achieved.

                The Pats let go of proven, talented players because of the cap, hoping they could make do with the draft. They weren't just trying to save money. Heck, they resurfaced their field, because Tom Brady said it was affecting his throwing.

                Man for man, I doubt if there have been, or ever will be teams in the salary cap era as loaded with talent as SF and Dallas before the salary cap. The only other way to achieve this now is to lose a lot of games and consistently get great possition at the draft.
                No, NE let go of guys when they had room under the salary cap...kind of like the Ravens in 2000. Instead of teams saying, "lets be as good as we can be", teams went to saying, "lets identify what we can get away with losing in terms of talent and still be successful though not as good"...ergo lean operations. NE and Phila have been able to get away with it because they have been in good shape at the QB position in a time where there is a dearth of great QBs (another disparity between now and the nineties)...and in Phillies case, McNabb is a big drop off from Brady but it has helped them that they play in the NFC.

                To elaborate a little on the point I made about a dearth of QBs. This is a result of a couple of things. Coaches have less time to turn a team into a winner and so they try to play game managers (ie QBs who simply try not to lose games and arent really expected to consistently make playes...like Jay Fiedler) and also the more mobile QBs. A competent pocket passer in the long run is the best but they take time to develop and a lot of coaches dont have this time (because their jobs are on the line)...so the pressure on coaches often has not been congruent with developing good pocket passing QBs. This has been something that has been occurring simulteneously with lean operations and such and as a result there are fewer teams that have good pocket passing QBs (upper echelon like a slew of QBs from the 90s) and because there are fewer teams with quality QBs that gives teams like NE and Philly more leverage when it comes to lean operations. The Patriots havent exactly been paying a lot compared to many teams. So its not like theyve been able to acquire talent like they have done this past offseason. But the fact that more quality pocket passing QBs are entering the fold has caused NE to ditch its lean operations and acquire talent. The fact that NE has done this is proof of what Im telling you. New England wouldnt have gotten away with this approach back in the 90s when Young, Marino, Aikman, Elway, Kelly, Favre etc were in the fold because there were too many good QBs and they would have had to acquire more talent. They wouldnt have been able to get away with being so far under the salary cap and just let talent walk away. It wouldnt even have been in their thought process.


                Also, I agree the Cowboys were truly "loaded" on talent. If you look at Denvers individual parts on offense though, they didnt have that kind of talent (at least what one commonly thinks of) but they were more productive. In the 1995 SB, Smith didnt get 100 yards rushing even with all that talent. In 1997 Denver went into Pittsburgh and won with their running game and Davis had over 100. Those Dallas teams were run first on offense...they were successful by dictating terms in the running game (but, like Denver, also had the ability to punish you if you were too committed to stoping the run) and so was Denver but Denver had the superior running game. It might be because of Shanahan,..it might be because Elway had a deeper arm and made the defense play all parts of the field, or it could have been because Denver had better blocking WRs than those Emmitt Smith teams... but it doesnt matter because in the end, it is what it is and Denver had the better running game over a period of 3 or 4 years than what Dallas had in their best 3 or 4 years...in spite of not having the personnel Dallas had. And when a team is that proficient at running the football, they have a chance against any team. So while you make a good point about personnel, you are neglecting to consider that there is something more than that and whatever that something more is, Denver had more of it...lets just call it synergy (though it was the combo of Shanahan, Elways big arm or Smith and Eddie Mac as blocking WRs). Those Denver teams were easily the best of the salary cap era teams. But, again, it wasnt about the salary cap. Denver was able to get talent in a way similar to how Dallas was able to get Charles Haley.
                Last edited by lex; 05-06-2007, 08:47 AM.

                Comment


                • #23
                  First of all, very nice post.

                  Originally posted by lex
                  No, NE let go of guys when they had room under the salary cap...kind of like the Ravens in 2000. Instead of teams saying, "lets be as good as we can be", teams went to saying, "lets identify what we can get away with losing in terms of talent and still be successful though not as good"...ergo lean operations. NE and Phila have been able to get away with it because they have been in good shape at the QB position in a time where there is a dearth of great QBs (another disparity between now and the nineties)...and in Phillies case, McNabb is a big drop off from Brady but it has helped them that they play in the NFC.
                  Is that so? I never knew this. That's taking a huge risk. Was this done by a majority of teams, or only very few ... with the case you mentioned, only those with excellent quarterbacks? Aside from the Pats ... Colts? Rams? Jaguars? So there's a significant drop off in talent a team could have since the salary cap; then, if teams used this concept of lean operations, there would be an even greater drop off.

                  Originally posted by lex
                  To elaborate a little on the point I made about a dearth of QBs. This is a result of a couple of things. Coaches have less time to turn a team into a winner and so they try to play game managers (ie QBs who simply try not to lose games and arent really expected to consistently make playes...like Jay Fiedler) and also the more mobile QBs. A competent pocket passer in the long run is the best but they take time to develop and a lot of coaches dont have this time (because their jobs are on the line)...so the pressure on coaches often has not been congruent with developing good pocket passing QBs. This has been something that has been occurring simulteneously with lean operations and such and as a result there are fewer teams that have good pocket passing QBs (upper echelon like a slew of QBs from the 90s) and because there are fewer teams with quality QBs that gives teams like NE and Philly more leverage when it comes to lean operations. The Patriots havent exactly been paying a lot compared to many teams. So its not like theyve been able to acquire talent like they have done this past offseason. But the fact that more quality pocket passing QBs are entering the fold has caused NE to ditch its lean operations and acquire talent. The fact that NE has done this is proof of what Im telling you. New England wouldnt have gotten away with this approach back in the 90s when Young, Marino, Aikman, Elway, Kelly, Favre etc were in the fold because there were too many good QBs and they would have had to acquire more talent. They wouldnt have been able to get away with being so far under the salary cap and just let talent walk away. It wouldnt even have been in their thought process.
                  If NE has adopted this concept of lean operations, and have been dropping quality players just to save money, I'm not convinced it's because they know there aren't that many good QBs. I think they just believed they were that much better than every other team; maybe arrogance ... or maybe just cheapskates.

                  They're attacking the free agency now with more money, because they realize Tom Brady can't win it all by himself. He needs quality targets, quality support. The teams are just getting better ... maybe some, because of their quarterbacks.

                  I do agree, though, that a lot of the really good pocket passers were getting old, and very few young ones were rising up to take their place; also about the game managers ... heck, Denver's been one of those teams.

                  Originally posted by lex
                  Also, I agree the Cowboys were truly "loaded" on talent. If you look at Denvers individual parts on offense though, they didnt have that kind of talent (at least what one commonly thinks of) but they were more productive. In the 1995 SB, Smith didnt get 100 yards rushing even with all that talent. In 1997 Denver went into Pittsburgh and won with their running game and Davis had over 100. Those Dallas teams were run first on offense...they were successful by dictating terms in the running game (but, like Denver, also had the ability to punish you if you were too committed to stoping the run) and so was Denver but Denver had the superior running game. It might be because of Shanahan,..it might be because Elway had a deeper arm and made the defense play all parts of the field, or it could have been because Denver had better blocking WRs than those Emmitt Smith teams... but it doesnt matter because in the end, it is what it is and Denver had the better running game over a period of 3 or 4 years than what Dallas had in their best 3 or 4 years...in spite of not having the personnel Dallas had. And when a team is that proficient at running the football, they have a chance against any team. So while you make a good point about personnel, you are neglecting to consider that there is something more than that and whatever that something more is, Denver had more of it...lets just call it synergy (though it was the combo of Shanahan, Elways big arm or Smith and Eddie Mac as blocking WRs). Those Denver teams were easily the best of the salary cap era teams. But, again, it wasnt about the salary cap. Denver was able to get talent in a way similar to how Dallas was able to get Charles Haley.
                  We agree on most points in this statement; Dallas had more talent. I don't disagree that Shanahan could be the much better coach with a much better system ... like I said, part of which was learned from his days in SF. And I don't disagree that Denver was the best team of the salary cap era if we talk specific years, not with regards to dynasty/consistency, because Elway's retiring ended that fast.

                  Where we disagree is the salary cap; Shanahan attacked the free agency and got some real draft steals in order to make the team good, while still adhering to the salary cap. He surrounded Elway with as much talent as they could afford. Even then, he had to choose where Denver made it's money, and he chose offense. There were a few weaker players on defense; the corner Favre and Freeman kept burning during the SB; the defense took gambles because they had to, and like you said, because they could rely on their offense.

                  Part of what made them more competitive, though, was SF and Dallas were no longer SF and Dallas. Every team has the same amount of money to spend on talent. It's also not surprising that those teams that exceled in the era before the cap, wouldn't do anywhere near as well afterwards.

                  Our points of view, though different, have their intersecting points.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by lex
                    Its not as much the salary cap as it is lean operations...like I said. It also took good coaching back in the day. The best teams stayed there and it was harder to become an upper echelon team...you needed good coaches and the talent. The reason there is more P-A-R-I-T-Y is because of the lean operations. Non guaranteed contracts kind of offset the salary cap even though you still take hit for the SB. But you see a lot of teams that lose players who are well below the salary cap. Knowledge loss is a factor but at some positions more so than others and the knowledge loss becomes a bigger factor the more players you lose. And you certainly can give Gibbs a pass on the talent if you are going to hold him against his previous tenure. Again, you cant ignore the fact that there are different people in charge of personnel. Mangini, had a cream puff schedule. BTW, for your theory about good coaching to be correct, there wouldnt be so many teams making a run one year then stinking up the joint the next. Mora, Gruden, Fox, and several others have all had mixed success. If it takes great coaching to be successful, then what is that coach the next year when the team tanks? How do you reconcile that? You cant. Even though your observation is fairly common, it has holes and isnt exactly thought through as well as it should be.

                    Guys like Mora, Fox, Gruden are more the exception than the rule. But only one of the guys you mentioned is a superbowl champ. I think teams with new coaches can start off fast like they did because they are in the honeymoon phase. Guys like Michael Vick start off fast because their style is so unique that teams don't know how to beat it. Once teams figured out how to contain Vick, he hasn't been considered one of the best qbs in the league like he was in his early years. I think that same priniciple can be applied for coaching. Dungy, Cowher, Belichick, Billick, Shannahan, and Vermil have won 9 of the last 10 Superbowls. They are all good coaches and have had success past their SB years. So to answer your question, I think guys like Gruden are the exception to the rule. It is possible to win a Superbowl without great coaching, because there is more to it than just coaching. But guys like Shannahan, Vermil, etc... prove that the better coaches win more often that not.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Is that so? I never knew this. That's taking a huge risk.

                      Originally posted by omac
                      First of all, very nice post.
                      Thanks.


                      Is that so? I never knew this. That's taking a huge risk. Was this done by a majority of teams, or only very few ... with the case you mentioned, only those with excellent quarterbacks? Aside from the Pats ... Colts? Rams? Jaguars? So there's a significant drop off in talent a team could have since the salary cap; then, if teams used this concept of lean operations, there would be an even greater drop off.
                      Not all teams did this (or are doing this) but some. But its the Patriots and Eagles who can best get away with it because they are in decent shape at QB. The Eagles let guys like Trotter and Douglas (I think) go and the best known example with the Pats was cutting Lawyer Milloy. In 2003 the Pats had acquired Harrison off of what many thought was the scrap heap at that time and then cut Milloy. In 2002 they didnt even make the playoffs so it definitely a calculated risk. But it worked out because teams werent required to be strong at passing, rushing and defense at this time. The Pats won the SB with Antowain Smith that year. Very poor. Theres no way they could have done that in earlier years.



                      If NE has adopted this concept of lean operations, and have been dropping quality players just to save money, I'm not convinced it's because they know there aren't that many good QBs. I think they just believed they were that much better than every other team; maybe arrogance ... or maybe just cheapskates.
                      Whether they factored that in isnt so relevant. The bottom line is that they were able to get away with it because of the issues Ive been talking about. Why they did it isnt as imporant as how it was able to happen for them...at least in the context of this discussion.

                      They're attacking the free agency now with more money, because they realize Tom Brady can't win it all by himself. He needs quality targets, quality support. The teams are just getting better ... maybe some, because of their quarterbacks.
                      Yeah, again, more quality QBs are entering the fold. Pitt has R'berger, SD has Rivers and Denver has Cutler. All of those teams have typically been strong running teams prior to getting a good QB. None of them may be as good as Brady yet, but they are good enough to get NEs attention and make them realize they need to change their approach.

                      We agree on most points in this statement; Dallas had more talent. I don't disagree that Shanahan could be the much better coach with a much better system ... like I said, part of which was learned from his days in SF. And I don't disagree that Denver was the best team of the salary cap era if we talk specific years, not with regards to dynasty/consistency, because Elway's retiring ended that fast.

                      Where we disagree is the salary cap; Shanahan attacked the free agency and got some real draft steals in order to make the team good, while still adhering to the salary cap. He surrounded Elway with as much talent as they could afford. Even then, he had to choose where Denver made it's money, and he chose offense. There were a few weaker players on defense; the corner Favre and Freeman kept burning during the SB; the defense took gambles because they had to, and like you said, because they could rely on their offense.
                      Actually, they added as much to their defense as they did their offense. They added a couple of undervalued OL and Eddie Mac who was also undervalued. But they probably spent more money on Alfred Williams, Bill Romanowski, Neil Smith and D. Gordon.

                      Part of what made them more competitive, though, was SF and Dallas were no longer SF and Dallas. Every team has the same amount of money to spend on talent. It's also not surprising that those teams that exceled in the era before the cap, wouldn't do anywhere near as well afterwards.
                      I hear what youre saying. Dallas and SF had more of what people typically think of when it comes to talent. But having the better "talent" is a seperate question from who had the better team. And like I said, Denver's run offense was too good to simply be disregarded. The 1997 Broncos were able to go on the road and beat KC and Pittsburgh both of whom had excellent personnel on defense...especially against the run. Dallas on a neutral field only 2 years before had a hard time running against Pittsburgh. Again, Im not so focused on who had more talent as much as Im focused on who was best and Denver was better than Dallas when it came to running the football...even with Emmitt Smith, Erik Williams, Larry Allen, etc. Again, those guys are typically viewed as more talented and part of it is because Denver used a system and scheme that made use of players who didnt fit the mold in terms of what people typically thought of as "talent". Dallas had the better "talent" on both sides of the ball but their superiority in running the ball and the fact that Denver took risks on defense because of it were a tough combination. They gave up some big plays and they created some big plays but their ability to run the ball made sense of it all.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        So would you say that those SF and Dallas teams would NOT be favorites over that Denver team?

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Br0nc0Buster
                          Guys like Mora, Fox, Gruden are more the exception than the rule. But only one of the guys you mentioned is a superbowl champ. I think teams with new coaches can start off fast like they did because they are in the honeymoon phase. Guys like Michael Vick start off fast because their style is so unique that teams don't know how to beat it. Once teams figured out how to contain Vick, he hasn't been considered one of the best qbs in the league like he was in his early years. I think that same priniciple can be applied for coaching. Dungy, Cowher, Belichick, Billick, Shannahan, and Vermil have won 9 of the last 10 Superbowls. They are all good coaches and have had success past their SB years. So to answer your question, I think guys like Gruden are the exception to the rule. It is possible to win a Superbowl without great coaching, because there is more to it than just coaching. But guys like Shannahan, Vermil, etc... prove that the better coaches win more often that not.
                          I always thought Gruden was a pretty good coach. Oakland has definitely never been the same without him. Don't know what happened to Tampa Bay after the SB though?

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by omac
                            I don't know, man. Ever since they fired Steve Marriucci after the 2002 season, the 49ers have had bad to really bad seasons. Because of their poor seasons, they've gotten great draft possitions, having the first pick in every round during 2005, and the 7th to 3rd pick every round in 2006. This year, they've again gotten great possition because of their poor record, having possitions ranging from 12 to 10 in every round of the draft.

                            It's much easier to build a strong team on both sides of the ball when you always pick high in the draft; just look at the powerful Chargers team now. At least the Chargers have been reaping dividends, the 49ers haven't.

                            I agree with your post but I think the 49ers will start reaping long awaited dividends this season. Also I never figured out why they fired Steve Marriucci, he certainly wasen't the problem IMO.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by ROCKIES
                              I agree with your post but I think the 49ers will start reaping long awaited dividends this season. Also I never figured out why they fired Steve Marriucci, he certainly wasen't the problem IMO.
                              Yeah, Jeff Garcia was having some monster seasons with him as his coach. Mariucci was fired supposedly because he lost a power struggle.

                              http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/foo...ucci_released/

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by omac
                                So would you say that those SF and Dallas teams would NOT be favorites over that Denver team?
                                No, they (SF and Dallas) would most likely be favorites.

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