Do you want to be more pro at Apex Legends? Read this post. Watch the embedded twitch video. The author of this post is level 226 at Apex Legends, Gold IV in ranked. He’s not “good”, definitely not “pro”, he’s simply a guy who has played the game a lot, especially on King’s Canyon and World’s Edge. Quit dropping new maps, do you notice how your daily players Decrease when you drop a new map?
Dropping from the Airship
If you’ve never played the game before, drop Immediately. The more reps one Practices in what amounts to Extremely Quick Combat, the better one, in theory, will get in the Combat Dynamics of Apex Legends.
Lifeline’s rez you with her healing drone With a Shield is OP’d. She’s mandatory in ranked matches and, apparently, Watson. If becoming Apex Predator is which team of three hides in a building with Caustic, Watson, and Bloodhound the Best, well, I’m never going to be Apex Predator. That, and I’m not good enough to progress past Gold.
Learn the jump step. I’m not trying to show you how pro I am in these embedded Twitter videos, I’m trying to show you how quickly the Combat Mechanics operate. As a new player, the best thing you can do for yourself is drop immediately. Use your game time practicing picking up gear and engaging in Combat. Once you have a gun and a shield, start looking for the enemy. A second gun is nice. Look for the enemy, don’t loot boxes, unless it’s for the shield. Pick up all the ammo even if you don’t have the gun, leaving less ammunition for your opponents.
The Jump – Ranked
When jumping in ranked matches, rotate your view 360 degrees and watch the teams drop. The strategy is different, you’re trying to finish in the Top 10. This post isn’t for competitive gamers, the post is for people who enjoy playing the game and desire to be better. Watching Ninja being pro at Apex Legends doesn’t help me become better. Reps in the game help me become better.
Look to jump 180 degrees (to the “sides”) opposed to along the drop ship flight path. Be patient. After watching the teams jump, because you rotated your view 360 degrees, and observing 180 degrees, you’ll find “space” in the map on either “sides” of the drop ship. Drop in that “space” and work your way to a Top 10 finish.
Don’t be a loot whore
On a “hot drop”, meaning you’re jumping Immediately, or jumping the “blue circle”, finding the enemy is more important than gear once you have a gun and a shield. Being a loot whore leads to poor team spacing. The simplest way to gear in Apex Legends is wining the Combat Mechanics and eliminating enemy squads. On a “hot drop”, two extra magazines of ammunition is enough. Share with your teammates. Three stacks of ammunition is enough until you get purple backpack and are one of the last three teams.
When Lifeline rezzes you after eliminating an enemy squad, fix your shield and health, then Loot the boxes. Lifeline is in the rear with the gear in squad spacing.
Ranked Ideal Comp
Bloodhound, Lifeline, Caustic. Don’t @ me.
Bloodhound leads the charge, Caustic throws gas and traps, Lifeline is in the rear with the gear in case someone gets dropped. Combat occurring inside structures can be easily identified with the enemy easily marked every six seconds during beast of the hunt in the fog of Caustic Haze.
Five ways to be better at Apex Legends
- Learn the jump step
- Learn the map and use the Environment
- Be on top of things. Buildings, boxes, vehicles, walls, etc., etc.
- Be mildly thirsty for the kill
- Don’t be a Loot Whore
New England v New York Jets
Week 9 of the 2020 NFL Season (COVID edition) concludes with the New England Patriots visiting the hapless New York Jets on Monday Night Football.
This week, the spread is double digits and had we followed our adage of laying action on a NFL spread because it is double digits, always taking the points, we would have gone 2-0 in those games instead of 0-1.
Instead of wagering on the spread, we wagered on Under 42. New England 27, New York Jets 10.
Bobby Wagner was drafted 47th overall in 2012 from Utah State. I sure am glad the Cleveland Browns selected Trent Richardson third overall in the 2012 NFL Draft instead of Bobby Wagner.
Here are some names selected in 2012 before Bobby Wagner. Luke Kuechly, Nick Perry, Melvin Ingram, Dont’a Hightower, Courtney Upshaw, and Michael Kendricks were all linebackers selected before Bobby Wagner. Keuchly, selected ninth overall, set the value level for Bobby Wagner in the draft. My cat contends there is no debate Bobby Wagner is worth a Top 10 pick in a NFL Draft.
How do we find the next Bobby Wagner? My cat says we can use sabermetrics and analytics.
2012 Draft – The Browns
The Browns made three selections in 2012 in the first 37 picks. Draft capital from the Julio Jones trade in 2011.
Trent Richardson, Brandon Weeden, and Mitchell Schwartz were the three players selected. Mitchell Schwartz, in retrospect, was mistakenly allowed to leave to the Kansas City Chiefs as a free agent in 2016 and won a title. Mistakes were made. We did not have to go 0-16. We learn from our mistakes of how we overvalued contracts and undervalued all pro right tackle play.
My cat contends other NFL teams are copying the model of tearing down contracts, rebuilding, and dealing with a poor product on the field. My cat contends Mike Maycock is a copycat. The Miami Dolphins are copy cats. The way NFL teams are acquiring draft capital, mostly by trading players to the Houston Texans or Seattle Seahawks, are emulating a model the Cleveland Browns started in 2016.
People have to understand it’s an ebb and flow process. The product on the field for us as the Cleveland Browns in 2020 is Encouraging. The product on the field in Miami is Encouraging. The product on the field in Las Vegas is Encouraging, though my cat says Maycock could have made better draft picks with the Khalil Mack draft capital.
The situation in Miami is particularly encouraging because the model, the model bringing sabermetrics and analytics to the NFL, does not have to go 0-16. Emulation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Tampa @ NY Giants (+13)
Week 8 of the 2020 NFL COVID Season concludes with Monday Night Football with Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers traveling to frigid New Jersey to face the hapless NY Giants.
Tampa should win 45-10. However, observing the large print heading of a home underdog getting thirteen points and two other double digit spreads losing this week make the author of this post nervous because I authorized the dispersal of 5.4 units on measuring our predictive model for the outcome of a NFL game.
After listening to all the opinions regarding a final of Tampa 27, NY Giants 17, or some other score within thirteen points, and a combined score less than 46.5, the author of this post made the decision, as he has for many years, on Tampa -13, O 46.5. The 5.4 “wager” will return 6.5 units if correct on both predictions. The “wager” will lose 1.2 units if only one is correct and obviously the wager will lose 5.4 units if incorrect. Rolling 5% on your prediction is what we call “gutsy”.
Predicting NFL Game Scores
We don’t necessarily want to publish in that space, however, there’s a lot of money to be made in predicting NFL game results and being correct. The public is thirsty for any and all content relating to the outcomes of NFL games. Fantasy football, sports betting, survivor pools … all these “events” drive the thirst for content.
We’ll publish some content. We were never under contract regarding non-disclosure. We simply met in The Town back in the day and I knew a lot more about football than you. We had some mutual friends from chess club. and look, I know the first rule of chess club is you do not talk about chess club and publishing about chess club probably breaks the rule. However, do we not have an obligation to teach others chess?
Photo from Wikipedia
We like to make sports predictions. Week 8 of the 2020 NFL season kicks off in a few hours so we figure we would publish something about the game.
We like Atlanta +2.5, Atlanta +120. A lot of money to be made in NFL predictions. We don’t care about such things, our site isn’t even monetized because we don’t publish for money, we publish to enlighten.
And, perhaps, we place two small wagers, very small by sports gambling standards, to be correct, not for the money. We feel over the long term it’s a 50/50 proposition where one loses one dollar per ten dollars wagered … if, one is decent at making the predictions and bold enough to put their money where their mouth is.
Julio Jones a full go
I’m glad the Cleveland Browns traded down and avoided selecting Julio Jones in 2011. Did Atlanta know he was going to be a hall of famer? Doubtful.
In 2008, Atlanta selected Matt Ryan with the third overall pick. After two encouraging seasons by Ryan, Atlanta decided to trade up for the best receiver available in 2011 … Quintorris Lopez “Julio” Jones.
Ten seasons and 820 catches later, Julio Jones is still burning teams at age 32 though battling through nagging injuries. Against Carolina, Julio Jones is not listed on the injury report and coming off an eight catch, 97 yard performance against the Detroit Lions in Week 7.
Carolina Over Valued
Perhaps the “sharps” agree. Line movement of Atlanta +2.5 to Atl +1.5 indicate money coming in on Atlanta. Their losses on defensive line cannot be overcome as both Brian Burns and Yetur Gross-Matos will miss the rest of the season. Carolina covered the spread last week against New Orleans, losing by just 3 and a close game in New Orleans, where the Saint’s dominance is over valued in the world of sports wagering, generate further opportunity on the underdog in this matchup.
How do we draft the next Julio Jones? Some articles about drafting defensive tackles give insight into analyzing the process leading to the selection of Julio Jones hence the term analytics.
6’3, 226 pounds with his speed is an anomaly. DK Metcalf falling to the second round, pick 64, when he is more anomalous at 6’4′, 229, with more speed than Julio Jones, shows NFL teams are too inside the box about speed and undervaluing size on the offensive edge of your formation.
Belichick selected his 6’4″ edge presence in N’Keal Harry in 2019, however, Harry has not been able to stay healthy, playing just 11 games in his career. Harry’s combine speed was measured at 4.59, Julio Jones 4.39, DK Metcalf 4.33.
There’s six foot receivers galore in the NFL. Deebo Samuel, AJ Brown, and Parris Campbell were all selected before DK Metcalf. The first receiver selected, Marquise Brown, and Andy Isabella, both selected before DK Metcalf, are 5’9″.
Teams value the edge speed more than they value the edge Size. I’m trying to create as many mismatches as possible inside the rectangle where I’m trying to score points to win a game. DK Metcalf is a mismatch for any NFL corner. Teams having to game plan for Metcalf’s size and his speed give Seattle an advantage.
Bro, does anyone look at any of the teams we have to play to actually win the title in the Superbowl? Something tells me, if we want to win a title in the next five years, not only do we have to beat Patrick Mahomes, we have to beat Russell Wilson. He’s a hall of famer. Mahomes too. Teams want to try and duplicate the speed on the edge like KC demonstrates with Tyreek Hill.
We looked at defensive tackles selected between 2005 and 2015 adding a second data set of defensive tackles drafted between 2015 and 2018. The defensive tackles Analyzed, if you will, were all selected in rounds three through five. We became curious about defensive tackles selected in the first or second round 2005 through 2018. These types of articles are impossible without profootballreference.com and stathead.com.
Between 2005 and 2015, 74 defensive tackles were drafted in the first or second round. 54 appeared in more than 48 games, covering three NFL seasons. 43 appeared in more than 64 games, covering four NFL seasons. 32 appeared in more than 80 NFL games, covering five NFL seasons.
Three year defensive tackle – 72.9% … Four year defensive tackle – 58% … five year defensive tackle – 43.2%. Basic Math drawing an extremely biased conclusion when drafting a defensive tackle in the first or second round, 72.9% of the time, the draftee plays in 48 NFL games, or, three NFL seasons. This is not analytics.
The conclusion is biased for a number of statistical reasons we don’t divulge into because we are not mathematicians. Recency bias, for example, are Da’Ron Payne, Vita Vea (bitten by injury in 2020), and PJ Hall solid defensive tackles?
These defensive tackles were selected in 2018 with an available pool of games less than our parameters of 48 NFL games covering three seasons. Phil Taylor was drafted in this data set. Was he a successful defensive tackle? How can we measure that success? Did we get run on when Taylor was playing defensive tackle?
Here was the most interesting part of the data set from our point of view.
Seven of the 74 defensive tackles selected played at least two NFL seasons. I’m sure it’s no big secret defensive tackles are a safe draft pick … but this safe? A 90% chance of a two year defensive tackle?
However, perhaps we Expect more from a first or second round defensive tackle. We expect more from Haloti Ngata, Ndamukong Suh, and Linval Joseph. How do we measure expectation value from the expenditure of a first round pick on a defensive tackle? I want to draft all pros who play fifteen seasons. May I see some data besides bench press and three cone?
Finding DTs in 2021 Draft
Since we’ve drafted just three defensive tackles since 2016, my cat says defensive tackle is the second priority behind finding the next Bobby Wagner in the first round. Bobby Wagner is the Roman God of the Middle and Underneath.
How do we find the next Bobby Wagner in the first round? Analytics. We look at the entire process of selecting linebackers. We already feel the model developed to date as a result of examining the entire process of drafting a linebacker has demonstrated some success 2016-2020.
2021 Draft Needs – LB, DT, CB, DT, WR, TE, CB
Draft Needs should be limited to seven at this point because there are seven rounds in the NFL Draft. Identifying defensive tackles in rounds three through five should be priority. We need to do better than Terrance Mitchell next season. Redwine has to get the reps playing single high safety. The injury bug biting one edge of the offensive Triangle (don’t @ me) allows the team to function more as the team was intended to function.
The injury to #13 allows more reps for Rashard Higgins and Donovan Peoples-Jones allowing evaluation and two receiver sets make more sense. Replacing Beckham on the edge with Size will make our triangle better. Higgins in his spot is what we want from a salary cap standpoint and now we have a chance to truly evaluate Higgins in the role we’d like him to play … a #1 receiver with Size.
The invariable variable
Injury in the NFL is an invariable variable. The event will occur. Teams hope to avoid the invariable variable, fans hope for as few injuries as possible, and players hope for the best and work hard for their bodies to be in the kind of shape mitigating injury. NFL players are the best athletes on planet earth don’t @ me.
The devastating injury to our offense is terrible and we wish him speedy recovery and look forward to the day he is part of the offensive playbook.
We must always remain optimistic in spite of injury although the situation in Dallas is concerning. There have been so many injuries and so many backups installed there’s concerns of even more injuries.
The data says NFL players need three to four “warmup” games before engaging in NFL game conditions
Photo by Travis Essinger.
I wrote some things about drafting defensive tackles in rounds three through five between 2005 and 2015.
What should we expect, based on the information provided in the link above about drafting defensive tackles, between 2015 and 2018?
Between 2005 and 2015, in rounds three through five, 42 defensive tackles were selected
Teams are hardly “missing”
29 of 42 defensive tackles drafted between 2015 and 2018 in rounds three through five appeared in 32 of 64 possible games. Does this mean if I draft a defensive tackle in rounds three through five, I have a 69% of someone who plays in 32 games? No, for a number of reasons. The data set is too small. I would like to incorporate 2019 and 2020, however, we’re digging too deep trying to explain basic statistical principles.
69% chance of a two year rotational defensive tackle. 50% of a three year rotational defensive tackle utilizing a larger data set of eleven drafts. Hardly a “miss” when drafting NFL Prospects.
Statistics are not “analytics”
These articles used basic math, division to produce percentages, and incorporated some basic statistical principles. I’m not going to write an article on Standard Deviation because I got a “C” in a university five hour “Statistics” class.
The analytics start when we look at the decisions leading to the drafting of Grady Jarrett, Teyler Davidson, Matthew Ionnidis, and Larry Ogunjobi.
What metrics were used to draft these players beyond their “combine” results?
How do we place value on Grady Jarrett’s 84 NFL games beyond Tackles and Sacks? How do we correlate a newly determined value on Jarrett’s performance versus the expenditure of a fifth round draft pick to acquire Grady Jarrett? How do we correlate a newly determined value on Jarrett’s performance to a new contract? Is Larry Ogunjobi worth eight million dollars a year?
Is Larry Ogunjobi worth eight million dollars a year when I have a fifty percent chance of drafting his replacement in rounds three through five? How do we value Ogunjobi’s new contract which, in my opinion, we have to give and be looking at drafting a defensive tackle in rounds three through five in 2021 to put a rookie contract in the rotation.
Two defensive tackles could be drafted in 2021 depending on talent’s evaluation on the first and second round prospects.
My cat gets curious about defensive tackles selected in rounds one and two. How safe are these draft picks? However, I think everyone can agree, our top priority is the most talented do it all linebacker available when we pick in the first round in 2021.
Photo by Travis Essinger.
Between 2005 and 2015, 89 Defensive Tackles were drafted in the third, fourth, and fifth rounds. How do we find the next Domata Peko? How do we find the next Jurrell Casey? How do we find the next Malik Jackson?
My cat says we could use analytics.
The anomaly of Peko, and others
Peko, drafted in the fourth round from Michigan State by the Cincinnati Bengals, appeared in 208 NFL games over 14 seasons. Kyle Williams, drafted in the fifth round from LSU, played 183 games over 13 seasons with the Buffalo Bills.
These are not household names because they are defensive tackles on teams with little to no postseason success over the past 15 seasons.
Geno Atkins and Jurrell Casey still making tackles up the middle ten years after they were drafted. 45 of the 89 defensive tackles drafted between 2005 and 2015, in rounds three through 5, played in more than 48 games, equating to three full NFL seasons.
Basic Math principles state, if my team drafts a defensive tackle in the third, fourth, or fifth round, my team has over a fifty percent chance on drafting a three year starter helping defend the run and help pressure the opposing quarterback.
We can’t get run on
When I look at the game of NFL football, I see an indefensible rectangle with a flawed and imperfect understanding of how points are generated. Just like baseball, football has basic principles.
We can’t get run on. Two good defensive tackles in a four down lineman set help us not get run on. I was watching Tennessee/Buffalo the other night and on 3rd and 4, Tennessee had one down lineman. Two others standing at the line of scrimmage over the guards. “Hybrid” defenses and formations are getting sexier based on personnel talent and versatility.
Two good defensive tackles and pressuring the opposing QB with solely our front four is a basic principle.
Aaron Donald pressuring the QB right up the middle are magical moments. Our model does not expect this from the defensive tackle position.
Though, I think Donald performed the job of blowing up the backfield, as is the job of a defensive tackle, better with Ndamukong Suh playing nose tackle.
Of course, I’m in the Belichick and Mike Vrabel camp pressuring the opposing QB and helping in Coverage and making sure we don’t get run all can be accomplished with three down lineman and two “OLB” in a two point stance but w/e.
NFL Prospect: What is your Job as a Defensive Tackle? If he doesn’t answer “to blow up the opponents backfield on every snap. Either by sacking the quarterback, interrupting the hand off to the running back, or tackling the running back for a six yard loss”, then Coaching needs to explain this after we draft him. Analytics don’t measure Swagger.
How do we do a better job expending a third, fourth, or fifth round draft pick, every season, for a defensive tackle?
Beyond tackles, sacks, bench press
When I look at how players are drafted, I see an imperfect and flawed evaluation system based on six metrics:
bench press, forty yard dash, vertical jump, Broad Jump, Shuttle, and three cone.
My guess is Jurrell Casey had a bad combine. Atkins had a bad combine. Kyle Williams had a bad combine. I’m not going to check because the defensive tackles cited in this article obviously fooled the scouts.
How do we not get fooled when we throw a dart in the third, fourth, or fifth round at a defensive tackle prospect? We are throwing a dart at a board with two halves: three year starter or nah, we missed. we can make our dart board more precise if we decide to use the pick on a defensive tackle in the fifth round. Look bruh, you can pass on this DT in the fourth round, but now the dart board is 50% three year starter, because we are taking a DT in rounds three through five (this half of the dart board cannot change), and the other half is “didn’t work out”.
However, the other half of the dart board where he didn’t work out is now easier to hit because of the angle you are throwing the dart by waiting until the fifth round to expend the pick. Do you feel the algorithms bend?
Beyond the film
We have to look beyond the film in talent evaluation. In the stack of defensive tackle prospects, show me everything you don’t like on film and I’ll respond with one question: Can coaching fix this?
He didn’t do a lot of bench presses? Do you think after one season in our NFL conditioning program he’ll be able to do more, with proper form so he does not tear a pectoral muscle? He refused to do three cone? He didn’t participate in shuttle or the 40? Oh noes, however will we measure his NFL game speed? Do you think after a year in our NFL conditioning program he will be faster? More agile?
See bruh, since 2016, we’ve drafted three defensive tackles. Ogunjobi was a hit. How does Jordan Elliott look? Brantley is on a NFL roster and we have to pay Ogunjobi so congratulations, a better way of picking NFL prospects is three for three and batting 1.000 on defensive tackle prospects.
Baseball principles don’t apply to football. Baseball analytics have no place in football. Giggle. No, baseball is a different game on a different shaped field, a diamond. Football is a game where you don’t use your feet and the ball isn’t a ball (at all) so out of the gate you’re dealing with complex principles with no logical explanations.
A basic principle. Let’s not get run on. We’re not getting run on because our front four annihilate opponent’s backfields. Make things crazy back there. Create pressure for the opposing QB.
Sacking the opposing QB> “Franchise QB”. What is a “franchise” QB? The guy who sells the most jerseys? Don’t @ me.
Picture the draft dart board divided again by two sections. One section is guy who sacks the QB in a way worth 20% of the salary cap. The other section is a quarterback playing in a manner worth 20% of the salary cap. Which section of the dart board are you more likely to hit with a first or second round draft pick?
We’re starting to digress into bust rate.
I’m fine to pay Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Mahomes, Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, 20% of the salary cap because their Super Bowl titles earned it.
Too many hall of famers playing or recently retired are creating recency “bias” on “franchise QBs” and what they should be paid. And yeah, ignoring the invariable variable, required, Mahomes is a Hall of Famer. He already has the Super Bowl title and could end up with every passing record in the books, except completion percentage. If we are going to win a title, in the next ten years, we are going to have to beat Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid in January.
Defending the rectangle is difficult and this guy Mahomes, with the speed of Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman, and Travis Kelce running routes over the middle creates too many challenges.
You know how we defend the rectangle? We pressure the opposing QB with our front four and for Mahomes, the pressure has to be constant involving blitz packages.
It’s unavoidable, there will be one on one coverage at the rectangle’s outer edges down field. Does the centerfielder have to help left field or right field?
I expect to see Ward Island on Sunday. Guy was a top five pick, just like Jalen Ramsey who, apparently, is erasing half the rectangle in single coverage. Do I need to describe the advantage created when one of your cornerbacks is erasing half the rectangle, usually against their best outer “edge” receiver? And dude, when the opponent’s best receiver lines up in the slot, Ward Island should follow.