My memories of Ralph Wilson Jr

Throughout college I was lucky enough to work for the Bills as a part-time job.  The job was selling tickets and merchandise, not hard but it was fun to be part of the team and the benefits were amazing!

I know what you are saying… how can the benefits be amazing?  Well first of all we got to go to the employee Christmas party.  That meant all staff and players just hanging out like a normal business would do.  It was always catered to the nines and a really really cool night.  Something I would look forward to every year.  In fact Mr. Wilson would be there and I talked with him in line once for some food, as a young college student it was the coolest thing ever… he was just like your grandpa.

Mr. Wilson also gave all staff a Christmas bonus… it was a substantial bonus compared to what I made as a part-time employee.  It made Christmas a lot easier for me and was always greatly appreciated it.  But that’s not all you got for Christmas… every year you got a big chocolate football and a Christmas card that would basically say “Another year gone… another chocolate football”  Even as a small part-timer it made me feel important.

Finally, I would be remiss in stating how thankful I am that Mr. Wilson kept the Bills in Buffalo.  He could have made more money running the Bills in different ways.  But when I was involved it was always a big family.  I hope that the next owner does the same, keep the team here and treats everyone like family.  My thoughts go out to everyone affected by Mr. Wilson’s passing… family and team employees as his death could cause big changes for everyone.


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The curious case of 3rd and 2

Everyone knows 3rd and 1 is a run down… teams run over 70% of the time.  But what about 3rd and 2?  It is only 1 more yard, so teams should still be running a lot… right?

To quote Lee Corso… Not so fast my friend.

There were 809 3rd and 2’s (between the 20’s) the last 2 years.  The general conversion rate was just under 52%, (which I think is pretty low).

When teams ran the ball they converted at a 60% rate, but when they passed the ball they only converted at a 48% rate.

Here’s where it gets good… Teams chose to pass the ball 70% (567 passing plays called) of the time!!!!

That’s right, they only needed 2 yards and chose to pass 70% of the time, even though the average conversion rate is 12% less.  That means teams took the better option only 30% of the time.

So then I thought… well maybe the avg gain by passing the ball was so much higher than running the ball, passing was still the better choice.  Teams that passed had a YPA (adjusted for sacks) of around 5.5 and turned the ball over 24 times (a little over 4% of the time).  Teams that ran the ball had a YPC of around 4.5 and turned the ball over 3 times (a little over 1% of the time).  So you gain on average 1 yard more, but your turnover rate goes up by 3%.

Generally speaking, running on 3rd down is underutilized as far as play calling is concerned.  But 3rd and 2 is the most egregious error I could find.

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The Welker Edelman pick route

I don’t know why Bill Belichick got so upset over the Welker hit, as many stated Edelman did the same thing and I would argue had more intent to injure (if either had any, which I don’t think either did).  Just thought it was weird that he would complain about a play that his WR committed 3 plays earlier.

edelman welker

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A look at the snag route

Here is a quick look at the snag route combination.  This is one of the most popular ones the Bills run, it is a quick pass with a quick and easy read.

First thing you do is determine if you have a 1-high or 2-high safety look or MOFO, MOFC.  If there is 1-high your coverages are typically some type of cov1, cov3.  If 2 high, then typically some type of cov2, cov4.  Here you can see there is 1 safety in the middle of the field and the Jags are in cov3.

When against cov3, in the snag route combo the QB’s main read is the OLB.  If the OLB sinks under the curl, the throw is to the RB, if the OLB widens then you look at the curl.  In the rare case that the OLB widens and the CB who has deep 1/3 responsibility sits on the curl, the corner should be wide open.  Basically you are playing 3 on 2.

presnap diagram

Here you can see the play as EJ hits the final step of his drop back.  The OLB looks like he is widening to cover the RB, which brings his read back to the curl.  While the CB might be jumping the curl, but also sees the TE coming his way.

deciding time

Here is the moment when Woods catches the ball.  You can see the OLB w/ the RB, you see the CB dropping under the corner and the WR settling in between 3 defenders on the curl and making the catch.  Snag is a great route combo vs cov3, but the reads must be made on time and the ball thrown w/ no hesitation or else the defense will catch up.  Here the execution was perfect all the way around and the result was a TD.

catch TD

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Thad throwing 4 verts against cover 3

Quick post on Thad throwing 4 verticals against the Dolphins.

He really does a great job here… Presnap he sees single high, this generally means cov 1 or cov 3.  Far side CB is deep and outside shade of WR, most likely cov 3 (which it is)

presnap game 1 diagram

3 defenders covering 4 guys going deep… Weakness is the seam and you have to fit it in there.  Here is Thad throwing up the seam away from the rotated down SS into the open seam, just like you are supposed to.  Great throw, gain of 20

presnap game 1 pass

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