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Old 06-15-2007, 11:17 AM   #1
tony hipchest
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Default Great News for our Turnover Woes

Pat kirwan talked about a study he just did where he looked at the bottom 4 teams in turnover differential dating back to 2003. (last year steelers were right above cleveland, detroit, and the raiders, who, not suprisingly, had the 3 worst records in the league).

100% of these teams did better the following year, and improved their turnover by an average margin of 20. speaking of the raiders specifically who was worst at -24, recent history says there is no reason they shoulnt expect to be at -4 next season. he says hes gonna get it up on nfl.com but really wants to get it out to the 4 coaches to show to their team. in fact he said a current HC told him he reads kirwans articles to the team all the time.

i cant remember if we were 4th wost in t.o. margin or actuall turnovers, but its kinda moot anyways. the point is we will not be getting worse and can look at getting better by 20.
when we missed the playoffs because of 2-3 specific turnovers a difference of 20 will put us right back on track as one of the top teams in the nfl. if someone wants to bet you the steelers will get worse, the odds say to count that as money in the bank.
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Old 06-15-2007, 11:50 AM   #2
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Default Re: Great News for our Turnover Woes

That's an interesting observation. I'll look forward to seeing the article.
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Old 06-15-2007, 12:59 PM   #3
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Default Re: Great News for our Turnover Woes

Quote:
Originally Posted by tony hipchest View Post
Pat kirwan talked about a study he just did where he looked at the bottom 4 teams in turnover differential dating back to 2003. (last year steelers were right above cleveland, detroit, and the raiders, who, not suprisingly, had the 3 worst records in the league).

100% of these teams did better the following year, and improved their turnover by an average margin of 20. speaking of the raiders specifically who was worst at -24, recent history says there is no reason they shoulnt expect to be at -4 next season. he says hes gonna get it up on nfl.com but really wants to get it out to the 4 coaches to show to their team. in fact he said a current HC told him he reads kirwans articles to the team all the time.

i cant remember if we were 4th wost in t.o. margin or actuall turnovers, but its kinda moot anyways. the point is we will not be getting worse and can look at getting better by 20.
when we missed the playoffs because of 2-3 specific turnovers a difference of 20 will put us right back on track as one of the top teams in the nfl. if someone wants to bet you the steelers will get worse, the odds say to count that as money in the bank.
We were 5th worst in turnover margin at -8 I think..and 4th worst in total turnovers with 37.
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Old 06-15-2007, 01:41 PM   #4
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Default Re: Great News for our Turnover Woes

Im trying to think of logical reasons why this trend should exist.

Maybe teams with a huge negative turnover tend to play more conservative the year after in order to limit turnovers - maybe they more aggressive on defense..... who knows?

One of the first things that springs to mind would be having a rookie QB going into his 2nd year in the year the results suddenly improve.

I'd like to hear Kirwans theory on why the trend exists because after a little more digging there is a very erratic nature to the results.

We'll start in 2003 with the 4 worst teams in terms of turnover margin.

29. Chargers -11
30. Cardinals -13
31. Bills -16
32. Giants -16

In 2004 all teams show a remarkable improvement - 2 teams improve their differential by 26 turnovers! (I think thats statistically crazy)

3. Chargers +15 (+26)
7. Bills +10 (+26)
15. Giants +4 (+20)
18. Cardinals +1 (+14)

In 2005 only 1 team continues to improve (Giants) while the other 3 suffer a pretty large relapse, especially the Chargers.

6. Giants +11 (+7)
13. Bills +4 (-6)
25. Chargers -8 (-23)
30. Cardinals -11 (-12)

In 2006, the only team to show consistent improvement over the previous 2 years (Giants) have a sudden dropoff in production.
Chargers massively improve again, as do the Cardinals and Buffalo continue their downward trend from the last 2 years.

3. Chargers +13 (+21)
12. Cardinals +3 (+14)
19. Giants +0 (-11)
23. Bills -5 (-9)

I can see the trend Kirwan describes for the bottom teams in 2003, but if you follow their progress through the following 3 years no two teams seem to share the same pattern.

The Giants steadily improve for 2 years then have a sudden drop off.

Buffalo have a great improvement in 2004 but the next 2 years are spent going backwards.

Arizona are all over the place between 'okay' and very bad.

San Diego are even more erratic going from truly awful, to excellent, to awful and then back to excellent again.

I may take a look at the top 4 teams over the last 4 years and see if they show a more consistent pattern.
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Old 06-15-2007, 02:19 PM   #5
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Default Re: Great News for our Turnover Woes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Livinginthe past View Post
Im trying to think of logical reasons why this trend should exist.

Maybe teams with a huge negative turnover tend to play more conservative the year after in order to limit turnovers - maybe they more aggressive on defense..... who knows?

One of the first things that springs to mind would be having a rookie QB going into his 2nd year in the year the results suddenly improve.

I'd like to hear Kirwans theory on why the trend exists because after a little more digging there is a very erratic nature to the results.

We'll start in 2003 with the 4 worst teams in terms of turnover margin.

I may take a look at the top 4 teams over the last 4 years and see if they show a more consistent pattern.
what kirwan did, is like you did for 2003:

Quote:
29. Chargers -11
30. Cardinals -13
31. Bills -16
32. Giants -16

In 2004 all teams show a remarkable improvement - 2 teams improve their differential by 26 turnovers! (I think thats statistically crazy)

3. Chargers +15 (+26)
7. Bills +10 (+26)
15. Giants +4 (+20)
18. Cardinals +1 (+14)
he then did that for the 4 teams at the bottom in 2004, 2005, 2006 (for instance baltimore was 1 of the bottom 4 in 2006 who had a dramatic increase). he didnt just track 4 teams for 4 years.

so out of the 16 teams who finished in the bottom 4 in the last 4 years, all of them showed an increase the following year at an average of 20. that is pretty amazing. he said the trend he saw was mainly a coaching change (tomlin?) and qb change (say baltimore switching to mcnair). he also said most teams will make turnovers more of a focus in camp like his jets did the year they were at the bottom.

i would say 1 year would be a fluke but 4 years is definitely a steady trend i dont see a team as focused and talented as the steelers breaking.

nevertheless its a good piece of research and i cant wait for the article (especially if he thinks its important enough for the coaches to read and present to their players).
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Old 06-15-2007, 02:33 PM   #6
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Default Re: Great News for our Turnover Woes

Hey Tone,

It will be a very interesting article to read for sure.

I did realise he was referring to the bottom 4 teams of each year (which would typically be 4 different teams) but if this article was set-up an exercise in coaching id be very interested to hear why he thinks the improvement can't be maintained and the reasons some teams fluctuate wildly (San Diego) despite having a solid coaching staff.

If there were sound coaching techniques, and increased focus on turnover differential, I would ask why the coaching staff can't maintain a similar level of performance the next year.

Of course there are only so many turnovers out there and at the end of the day the balance over all 32 teams has to be +0.

I wonder if the same applies to the top 4 teams each year?

Do they experience a sudden drop off?

As San Diego featured in and around that top 4 mark for 2 out of the 4 years, maybe they do.
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Old 06-15-2007, 05:20 PM   #7
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Default Re: Great News for our Turnover Woes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Livinginthe past View Post
Hey Tone,

It will be a very interesting article to read for sure.

I did realise he was referring to the bottom 4 teams of each year (which would typically be 4 different teams) but if this article was set-up an exercise in coaching id be very interested to hear why he thinks the improvement can't be maintained and the reasons some teams fluctuate wildly (San Diego) despite having a solid coaching staff.

If there were sound coaching techniques, and increased focus on turnover differential, I would ask why the coaching staff can't maintain a similar level of performance the next year.

Of course there are only so many turnovers out there and at the end of the day the balance over all 32 teams has to be +0.

I wonder if the same applies to the top 4 teams each year?

Do they experience a sudden drop off?

As San Diego featured in and around that top 4 mark for 2 out of the 4 years, maybe they do.
kirwan wasnt suggesting to take the stats to the coaches and have them break down what each team did to correct mistakes and have a turnover turnaround based on all the methods the bottom dwellers used since 03. he was merely suggesting a coach tell his team "we can get this turned around, we will get this turned around, and heres the proof. call it simple motivation, or dangling the carrot of success and achievement in front of the players noses.

i dont know, maybe you think thats to trivial for professionals but i guess its about as trivial as tom coughlin spending 5 minutes with tiki barber to teach him how to hold onto the ball using the "3 points of pressure" technique.

coaching is made up of both simple and complex aspects. marvin lewis could simply instill a professional attitude amongst his players, or simply not draft thugs.

as far as why a team may make a dramatic turnaround in turnover differential and then slip back again, i would think once a problem is diagnosed 1 year, more time is devoted to fixing that problem the next year. once the problem appears fixed, less attention and practice is paid to it, and the problem returns. this can be seen with the steelers actually spending more time on special teams under tomlin.
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Old 06-15-2007, 09:02 PM   #8
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Default Re: Great News for our Turnover Woes

I was thinking the same thing. TO's are glaring and embarrassing errors, and it seems like TO's breed TO's. If your team falls behind, then you need to take more chances with more passes and risky plays thereby increasing your odds of turning the ball over more, and so on and so forth. What was that football movie where the kid who always fumbled had to always carry a ball with him and the players were always trying to knock it away? "The Program"? It's probably a lot like that. The coaches make it a high profile issue.
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Old 06-16-2007, 04:39 AM   #9
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Default Re: Great News for our Turnover Woes

This is true--we should expect things to turn around. Statistics play a far larger roll in player's and team's success than many people understand.

My example is flipping a coin: statistics say you'll get heads 50% of the time. People interpret that to mean you'll tend to get heads/tails/heads/tails... with maybe a double or triple run of either heads or tails from time to time. Actually, you're likely to get a run of 5, or ten in a row! In fact, you'll only see the 50% average when you flip for a large sample like 100 times or more. (Easy experiment to try if you disagree.)

I don't doubt there are other factors at work here. Teams likely work on the problems they have the year before. Certain players might be more to blame for a string of fumbles, and that player doesn't get the ball the next season, etc.

Still, if ONLY statistics were at play (again, take the coin flip as an example), you're likely to get RUNS of good (heads) and bad (tails).
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Old 06-16-2007, 06:21 AM   #10
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Default Re: Great News for our Turnover Woes

I don't think our tunovers can be any worse than they was last year.
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