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 False Inferences 
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Post False Inferences
I'd post this in one single thread, but it pretty much goes for all the LT vs QB debates in all the various threads on that subject.

Let's throw some facts out there:

1. The Lions of 2009 are not the Steelers of the 1970s, or the Colts of the late 90s, or the Cowboys of the mid 90s or the Patriots of the last decade or...well any other franchise ever. Football is a very fluid sport and every team every year is a completely different situation.

2. Matt Stafford is not Peyton Manning or Carson Palmer. He is not Big Ben or Joe Flacco. He is not Joey Harrington or Tim Couch. He will never be them. He is his own player and his career will be unlike any other.

That said, all this talk lately of QB vs LT has centered around a number of citations of past experiences. And because of that, its all inherently flawed. Using figures like "X% of QBs are busts in round one" or "XYZ team won the SB four years after drafting QB X" are irrelevant to the current situation of the Detroit Lions. The Lions are not those teams, and Matt Stafford is not those QBs.

To assume that the past experiences of those players and those teams is any indication of the future success or failure of the Lions with or without Stafford is utterly ridiculous and completely unjustifiable. Let us remember that we are dealing with merely a handful of examples. There have been only a few hundred QBs in the modern NFL and only 40 or so drafts. The examples that everyone likes to mention in these discussions is only a few dozen: its the same guys over and over.

What this roughly amounts to is the following scenario: I bought a Ford car ten years ago and it was a lemon. I sold it and bought a Toyota, which proved to be a reliable and great car. I post on this bored telling everyone they should buy Toyotas because all Fords are lemons. Someone else posts and says they've owned a Ford for years and its a great car, and in fact from their experience Toyotas are overrated. Sound ridiculous? It is. And that's exactly what you're doing when you cite all these old examples.

We as humans like to make patterns out of old data. I know, I've been guilty of it myself in the past. But sometimes there are no patterns. Every QB is a human, and every human is fundamentally different.

So, you can argue on whether Stafford makes good decisions or shows up in the big game. Or whether or not Andre Smith is a better choice because he's ultimately the better player, but you can't use past examples to back your reasoning up because it doesn't hold water.

Every individual and every situation is different. What's more, you're drawing conclusions from a very small set of data. You're making false inferences.


February 3rd, 2009, 2:16 am
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Blueskies, you are right on. I think everyone on this board has probably done that a time or two (myself included) and its good to see someone bring us all back down to the ground for a while. I think it could be said about a lot of the debates that we have here, it goes beyond the qb vs. lt debate imho. Anyways, spot on man.


February 3rd, 2009, 7:30 am
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'You say Joey, I say Backus, you say Ware, I say McDougle...Joey, Backus, Ware, McDougal let's call the whole thing off!'

Funny post. I agree but I also enjoy a good argument with evidence and examples. However, any person can build any sort of stat circumstance to back up their stance.

But this is a forum and I like reading the raging debates :wink:

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February 3rd, 2009, 11:31 am
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theAlphaMale wrote:
'You say Joey, I say Backus, you say Ware, I say McDougle...Joey, Backus, Ware, McDougal let's call the whole thing off!'

Funny post. I agree but I also enjoy a good argument with evidence and examples. However, any person can build any sort of stat circumstance to back up their stance.

But this is a forum and I like reading the raging debates :wink:


Yeah, but lately this board has become:

"Well the Steelers built their team before they drafted a QB!"

"Well the Colts and the Cowboys didn't!"

"Defense wins championships! Look at X, Y, and Z teams."

"What about team W?"

"That's an exception!"

"No, those teams are exceptions. You need a QB to win. Look at team A, B, C"

And the whole thing just goes round and round and round, with the same dozen examples being cited endlessly.

No one wants to debate about the individual prospects themselves, just the theory on building a team, as if there was some grand equation that could be found by looking at past examples. There isn't any particular hard and fast equation that always hold. Even simple things like "build from the lines" can be dis proven with one or two examples. The NFL draft is not a science, yet people continue to argue as if it is.

No one's mind is changed, and people repeat the same arguments ad-nausea.


February 3rd, 2009, 11:41 am
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Blueskies wrote:
theAlphaMale wrote:
'You say Joey, I say Backus, you say Ware, I say McDougle...Joey, Backus, Ware, McDougal let's call the whole thing off!'

Funny post. I agree but I also enjoy a good argument with evidence and examples. However, any person can build any sort of stat circumstance to back up their stance.

But this is a forum and I like reading the raging debates :wink:


Yeah, but lately this board has become:

"Well the Steelers built their team before they drafted a QB!"

"Well the Colts and the Cowboys didn't!"

"Defense wins championships! Look at X, Y, and Z teams."

"What about team W?"

"That's an exception!"

"No, those teams are exceptions. You need a QB to win. Look at team A, B, C"

And the whole thing just goes round and round and round, with the same dozen examples being cited endlessly.

No one wants to debate about the individual prospects themselves, just the theory on building a team, as if there was some grand equation that could be found by looking at past examples. There isn't any particular hard and fast equation that always hold. Even simple things like "build from the lines" can be dis proven with one or two examples. The NFL draft is not a science, yet people continue to argue as if it is.

No one's mind is changed, and people repeat the same arguments ad-nausea.


Welcome to most draft talk IMO
Its the same crap spewed by everyone and most people refuse to hear the other side and demand that they're right. And to think we have another 3 months of this crap..... :shock: :confused:

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February 3rd, 2009, 11:53 am
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Then don't get on the Ferris wheel :wink:

And maybe the arguers are not budging...but I have been a reader of many threads and had my opinion swayed on occasion. Debaters often times will not and more or less get entrenched in their own perspective. They come to the table with their mind made up. Phunny will always fight against the QB early draft and Pablo will always support it as the best method for securing the franchise QB the Lions have never had. They will not convince one another otherwise. What I like is when someone brings a fresh perspective to the argument or presents information in a new light. Instead of someone showing me all the flop QBs, show me all the 1st overall LT's and their teams success ratio. Or make the argument of risk/reward when talking about QBs versus other positions. I agree about stale information...people need to focus on reformulating their cases. I personally like it most when I read a post and I think "wow, I never thought of it that way."

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February 3rd, 2009, 12:42 pm
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Quote:
show me all the 1st overall LT's and their teams success ratio.


Then you don't get my point.

Statistics like this don't matter. How many first overall LTs have their been? A handful? And you're going to draw conclusions from that? That's ludicrous.


February 3rd, 2009, 1:25 pm
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Blueskies wrote:
Quote:
show me all the 1st overall LT's and their teams success ratio.


Then you don't get my point.

Statistics like this don't matter. How many first overall LTs have their been? A handful? And you're going to draw conclusions from that? That's ludicrous.


lol...that was an outta my butt example of asking for the arguments to be made in new ways...I am not seriously asking for anyone to go gather that :wink:

I will say that statistics (the right ones) do matter and can suggest something. You may be able to anectdotally point out this guy and his situation or that guy and how they go against trend x but statistics do matter.

I posted just recently that of all the teams that entered the playoffs this year only 3 of them were not led by a 1st round QB. And I would bet that it is a common trend. Is it causal is a totally different question but I would bet that the majority of teams that enter the playoffs have a 1st round drafted QB at the helm. It would then prove via numbers that this is a statistically significant correlation. It doesn't mean for certain that 1st round QBs are the only way to get to the playoffs or that some individual teams do not defy this trend. But if it were a fact (cause I am postulating this) then there would be an undeniable relationship there.

There are many potential conclusions from that though:
- 1st round picks get more experience than lower round picks and therefore have a much easier time securing a starting role.
- 1st round QBs are the best from their previous level of experience and it stands to reason that they will more likely succeed more than other round drafted QBs.

Health Care, Insurance, all areas of Science, Governments, Marketing, Entertainment, Manufacturing, blahblahblah...everyone uses stats...everyone. So applying them to the NFL draft, is a completely valid methodology. Maybe not by analyzing Safeties taken with the 3rd overall pick true...but there are many valid ways to do it.

I do get your point and I am not sure how this has become a debate about debates. I don't want the same drab recycled debate either...I would much prefer fresh information or new perspectives...but I still think it's ok to debate.

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February 3rd, 2009, 2:11 pm
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theAlphaMale wrote:
Blueskies wrote:
Quote:
show me all the 1st overall LT's and their teams success ratio.


Then you don't get my point.

Statistics like this don't matter. How many first overall LTs have their been? A handful? And you're going to draw conclusions from that? That's ludicrous.


lol...that was an outta my butt example of asking for the arguments to be made in new ways...I am not seriously asking for anyone to go gather that :wink:

I will say that statistics (the right ones) do matter and can suggest something. You may be able to anectdotally point out this guy and his situation or that guy and how they go against trend x but statistics do matter.

I posted just recently that of all the teams that entered the playoffs this year only 3 of them were not led by a 1st round QB. And I would bet that it is a common trend. Is it causal is a totally different question but I would bet that the majority of teams that enter the playoffs have a 1st round drafted QB at the helm. It would then prove via numbers that this is a statistically significant correlation. It doesn't mean for certain that 1st round QBs are the only way to get to the playoffs or that some individual teams do not defy this trend. But if it were a fact (cause I am postulating this) then there would be an undeniable relationship there.

There are many potential conclusions from that though:
- 1st round picks get more experience than lower round picks and therefore have a much easier time securing a starting role.
- 1st round QBs are the best from their previous level of experience and it stands to reason that they will more likely succeed more than other round drafted QBs.

Health Care, Insurance, all areas of Science, Governments, Marketing, Entertainment, Manufacturing, blahblahblah...everyone uses stats...everyone. So applying them to the NFL draft, is a completely valid methodology. Maybe not by analyzing Safeties taken with the 3rd overall pick true...but there are many valid ways to do it.

I do get your point and I am not sure how this has become a debate about debates. I don't want the same drab recycled debate either...I would much prefer fresh information or new perspectives...but I still think it's ok to debate.


Yeah, you can show that most playoff teams are lead by a first round QB. I'm sure you can show that most playoff teams are historically led by a first round offensive tackle--or most SB teams have a 1rst round OT or a 1rst round QB or whatever.

You can drum up whatever statistic you want to show how significant high drafted LTs or QBs are. But all these statistics show is something we've all known for a long time--that the LT and the QB position are both vitally important. That's all they show. Nothing more. What they do not show is what will happen to the Lions depending on who they draft this year.

I suppose that if you could somehow produce a set of statistics based on drafts and SB wins and whatnot that proved that the LT is much more vital of a position than the QB or vice versa, then you may be able to give a recommendation on who the Lions should draft.

But I've said, the set of data is so small, and as you've said, the amount of conclusions one can draw is many and varied. So, to put forth such an argument is virtually impossible.

I'm not trying to turn this into a debate about debates...I'm trying to change what the debate has become. To quote the title of the main thread, "QB vs LT". If you're arguing who the Lions ought to draft based on position alone, you are making an enormous assumption: that Stafford and Andre Smith/Mike Oher/whoever are equally as talented at their respective positions. But that isn't the case.

The debate should be on whether Stafford is as a good of a QB as Smith is an offensive tackle. It should not be on which position is more important--which is what it has become.

And worst of all is the glaring and terrible generalizations constantly thrown in nearly every post. How many times have you read "The Lions absolutely must not draft a QB or he WILL be a bust!" or "The Lions WILL NOT WIN until they find a franchise QB." Then, the posters back these positions up with broad statistics or a handful of anecdotal examples. When the poster in the opposite camp responds with the same (except their anecdotes and broad statistics back up their POV) the first poster ignores them or discounts them, not recognizing their own hypocrisy.

Bottom line:

Matt Stafford QB
Andre Smith OT

In this list, the names are more important than the abbreviations which follow them.


February 3rd, 2009, 3:16 pm
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Quote:
Phunny will always fight against the QB early draft


Not ALWAYS.....

I just have really been convinced that a QB that has a supporting cast arounf him has a MUCH better chance for success. I just finished a long detailed post on the "changed my mind about #1" thread.

In this day of intense media scrutiny.... most QBs rarely get any longer than 3 years to prove themselves with their original team. The Lions are most likely at least 3 years away from being a playoff caliber team... which makes for an increasing chance of a QB failing.

If the QB and coaches don't turn this team around in 3 years, the Lions are likely firing & hiring the head coach all over again.

Then there is NO CONTINUITY.


Quote:
Bottom line:

Matt Stafford QB
Andre Smith OT


I guess my main point is that Matt Stafford does not strike me as a QB that is ready to handle the job he would be asked to do here. He is a "true" junior, and QBs have traditionally struggled early when coming out early. He doesn't strike me as an "exception" to this generalization.

The Lions will likely be trailing in most games next year. Asking a rookie QB to throw the ball 25+ times per game and have success is incredibly difficult..... even with a good O-line.

In his 2nd year..... would it get much better?

That could leave Stafford in a make or break 3rd season.... Or.... he could be fighting issues with his confidence by this time.


I think it takes a "special" player..... as in a hall-of-fame type of player to succeed at QB when taken by a truly "rebuilding" franchise. It is THE most important position indeed..... but is perhaps THE MOST DIFFICULT position to have success early in a career.

I don't see Matt Stafford as being THAT player.


BTW.... I also don't like the idea of taking Andre Smith #1 overall either.... because his lack of ideal height combined with concerns of weight problems are big RED flags for me. I wish we could trade down, but this year seems like the most impossible year since 2005 to do so. :(


February 3rd, 2009, 4:06 pm
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Blueskies wrote:
Quote:
show me all the 1st overall LT's and their teams success ratio.


Then you don't get my point.

Statistics like this don't matter. How many first overall LTs have their been? A handful? And you're going to draw conclusions from that? That's ludicrous.


You may want to just avoid watching the Lions for the next few seasons cuz the New Head Honcho is considered 1 of the Most Statistics Based Coaches in the NFL. A lot of his decisions will be based on the metrics that you personally feel have no real value.

Personally I believe metrics/statistics are very important.... as a basis to grow on. You have to take it for what you have pointed it out as. Raw data that can be twisted many different directions from a small sample.. but to ignore it is to ignore history.. and those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.

It sounds like you want someone to come in, shoot emotionally from the Hip and potentially reach for a player ignore past established values , metrics , etc... just seems like you are asking for another Joey Harrington.

Maybe I am reading you wrong. Not trying tob e offensive. Just disagreeing about the whole statistics angle. Whether you have a small sample or not, it is still a sample, and enough of 1 to see pretty clear trends. To ignore those trends is to risk repeating the mistakes of predecessors.


February 4th, 2009, 4:54 am
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