Tennessee wide receiver Rishard Matthews has been in the NFL the past six seasons Tennessee Titans Womens Hoodie , and now the veteran is hoping his experience learning other offenses will help him get up to speed very quickly with the Titans' newest scheme. He passed his physical Sunday and was removed from the physically unable to perform list then practiced Monday.That left the receiver watching teammates practice, trying to learn new coordinator Matt LaFleur's offense in meetings and walk-throughs without taking a single snap.Now the 6-foot receiver who led Tennessee with 1,740 yards receiving over the past two seasons can take part in an offense that has him very excited."This is the longest I've been out of football," Matthews said before practice. "It's tough watching, but as far as the offense I'm really excited. I think the sky's the limit for our group. We have a bunch of talented young players. I think Coach LaFleur has explained that a lot of people will be moving around, and people aren't going to be able to get a beat on us so easy, so that's also exciting."That's a big change from last December when Matthews argued for the Titans to use a no-huddle or quick-tempo offense to give quarterback Marcus Mariota more freedom with the team mired in a three-game skid that cost Tennessee the AFC South title. He also said then that the Titans needed more creativity on offense and work more to create better matchups.The Titans fired coach Mike Mularkey after the season ended in January and hired first-time head coach Mike Vrabel. He brought in LaFleur, who also had interviewed for the head coaching job.With new coaches and a new offense, Matthews found himself struggling with an undisclosed injury that he said was not related to an injured hamstring that cost him two games last season. He watched the offseason program from April into mid-June and started training camp on the physically unable to perform list. The Titans weren't too concerned about Matthews' return, signing him to an extension through 2019 last week.Vrabel has been impressed by what he's seen of the receiver who ranks second on the Titans only to three-time Pro Bowl tight end Delanie Walker with 118 catches over the past two seasons. Vrabel called Matthews' attitude "great" and a good reminder to younger players how to be professional at working hard to get back into the lineup. The coach also likes how Matthews plays."There's a toughness to it. There's a grit to it," Vrabel said. "I think Rishard would tell you that he's not the fastest, not the biggest, not the quickest Womens Customized Tennessee Titans Jerseys , but at the end of the day, there's a lot of production, and there's some consistency there which is really valued."Matthews, who started his NFL career with four seasons in Miami, has started 20 of his 30 games since signing with Tennessee in March 2016. He ranks ninth in the NFL averaging 14.7 yards per catch among players with at least 100 catches over the past two seasons.He's also the key veteran in a very young receiving group. Corey Davis is expected to be the No. 1 receiver after being the fifth player drafted in 2017, but is still looking for his first touchdown catch in the regular season. Taywan Taylor is going into his second season, and Tajae Sharpe spent his second season on injured reserve last year."I'm just thankful to be back now," Matthews said.NOTES: LB Brian Orakpo, Walker and rookie LB Rashaan Evans all returned to practice Monday. Orakpo originally hurt a shoulder July 27, and Walker was hurt Aug. 16 in a joint practice with Tampa Bay. Evans returned to practice last week but left early. "It's good to see those guys back out there and working and just fresh faces," Vrabel said.Follow Teresa M. Walker at teresamwalkerWhat to Expect from Marcus Mariota in 2018 After exploring receiver production in Shanahan/Gruden/McVay schemes last week, I decided to do an offshoot article detailing QB production in the same context.This time, however, I broadened the parameters beyond the first year install of each system.Every year in which Kyle Shanahan, Jay Gruden www.titanscheapshops.com , and Sean McVay designed a team’s offense either as head coach or offensive coordinator was included.This way, we can not only get a feel for probable year one results for Marcus Mariota, but also project what his trajectory may look like as long as Matt LaFleur (or a disciple of this style of offense) remains in place.Below is a table which includes all of the data I collected.If you’re viewing it on a smartphone, it’s probably going to be clunky due to the width of the table.My apologies.You’re welcome to dig in deep and play with the numbers yourself—just make sure to comment with any additional findings/relevant projections.If you don’t want to drown in a sea of statistics, feel free to jump ahead and check out what I came away with.
Note: In any seasons in which more than one QB threw 10 or more passes, a composite stat line is also included.This essentially produces a single QB season out of the multiple partial seasons, with averages weighted to the passing attempt share of each QB.Shanahan/Gruden/McVay QB Stats ReferenceLine ItemCoachYearYear #TeamQBAttemptsCompletionsComp. %Yards/Att.TD %Int %QB RatingDYARDVOALine ItemCoachYearYear #TeamQBAttemptsCompletionsComp. %Yards/Att.TD %Int %QB RatingDYARDVOAMmm ... Delicious NumbersWith all that in mind, the fun can begin.What is Marcus Mariota likely to accomplish this season and beyond under LaFleur?Of course, there are near infinite ways to frame the data in order to attempt to answer that question.Here are a few scenarios that I thought were worth noting, realistic, or intriguing:Average QBAn imaginary, generic QB that produced exactly average results based on 18 seasons worth of data on this scheme would:Throw 559 passing attemptsComplete 63.1% of those attemptsAmass roughly 4250 passing yards (7.6 yards/attempt)Throw 24 touchdowns (4.3 TD%)Throw 15 interceptions (2.7 INT%)Achieve a passer rating of 89.4Produce +538 DYARAchieve +4.2% DVOABased on where most pundits tier Mariota league-wide, they should expect something in this range.What’s ironic is that, in all likelihood, a season of this caliber would earn him more respect from those same pundits even though he’d still have been “average”.Production Within the Top Third All-Time in This SystemLet’s put a little ‘spect on MM8’s name and project that he’ll be slightly above average compared to all past QBs who’ve operated this scheme.What would it look like if he placed in the top third all-time in this system (calculated per metric)? I’m keeping the number of passing attempts “average” here Tennessee Titans T-Shirt , because we don’t yet know how pass happy LaFleur intends to be.559 passing attempts>66.3% completion rate=/> 8.1 yards/attempt (>~4530 passing yards)>5% TD rate (>~28 TDs)<2.4% INT rate (<~13 INTS)>97.2 QB Rating>+786 DYAR>+15.5% DVOAIt’s safe to say most of us would be pretty happy with this level of production.“LaFleurenstein’s Monster”By factoring in the tendencies of offenses Matt LaFleur has been directly associated with, as well as the current pieces on the Titans’ offense, I think it’s possible to filter the data set and arrive at a better estimate.We can expect LaFleur’s Titans offense to target running backs way more often than Mike Mularkey’s/Terry Robiskie’s—something in the approximate range of 80-100 targets combined for Dion Lewis and Derrick Henry seems plausible.Both Henry and Lewis have averaged better than 4.0 yards per carry in every one of their pro seasons.We can use that fact to eliminate offenses that could not reliably run the ball and were forced to pass more often because of it.We also can likely assume that, barring injury, Corey Davis will be the WR1 in terms of target share, with Rishard Matthews serving as a complementary possession receiver and Taywan Taylor adding a speed element either from the slot or on the outside.Using this logic, I pared down the number of reference points, arriving at 7 specific seasons that paralleled what we should expect to see from the Titans offense in 2018:2010 Redskins2013 Bengals2015 Falcons2016 Falcons2016 Redskins2017 Rams2017 49ersThe average of these offenses gives us this as an estimated guess at Mariota’s stat line in 2018:581 passing attempts63.5% completion rate~4475 passing yards (7.7 yards/attempt)26 Touchdowns (4.5 TD%)13 (2.3 INT%)92.5 QB Rating+696 DYAR+9.2% DVOAWhat I love about this projection is that it acknowledges the trends in past iterations of this offense while also staying true to numbers we’ve seen from Mariota previously.Put another way: outside of a noticeable increase in passing yards, which we should expect to see in this style of scheme, the rest of the metrics don’t stray too far from the ceiling set by MM8 three years into his career.A season like this would simultaneously be a return to form, a new ceiling, and an outstanding jumping off point for the future for Mariota.That brings us to one final comparison ...Year 1 vs. Year 2I isolated scenarios in which a player was the unquestioned starter (i.e. no significant missed time, no QB by committee) in two consecutive years.Unfortunately, that left us only Andy Dalton (2011/2012), Kirk Cousins (2015/2016) Tennessee Titans Hats , and Matt Ryan (2015/2016).Here are their averages during year one vs. year two.Year One:558 Passing Attempts64.7% completion rate7.3 yards/attempt4.2 TD%2.4 INT%90.3 QB rating662 DYAR+6.9% DVOAYear Two:556 Passing Attempts (2/3 passed more)66.4% completion rate (2/3 improved)8.1 yards/attempt (3/3 improved)5.4 TD% (2/3 improved)2.1 INT% (1 improved, 1 stayed the same, 1 regressed)100.6 QB rating (2/3 improved)1132 DYAR (2/3 improved)+18.0% DVOA (2/3 improved)Admittedly, this is a pretty small sample size.It’s bearing is also predicated on Marcus Mariota staying healthy for the grand majority of the next two seasons.Still, it’s good to see that, overall, things trend upward in year two, corroborating what many wise football minds have suggested about this offense.For what it’s worth, both Matt Schaub and Robert Griffin III were the intended starters for their offenses two years in a row, but both lost too much time to injury, in my opinion, to qualify for this comparison.In their respective year twos, Schaub clearly improved while Griffin III clearly declined.As always, thanks for reading!
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