Saturday, August 25, 2007

Ye Gods!

I've been getting into the stuff they post over at, as well as reading the 2007 Pro Football Prospectus.

In the 2007 Pro Football Prospectus, the Patriots' section has an article about how the Patriots secondary is always hurt, and last year was particularly bad, and how we should feel bad for them. So they analyzed the number of injuries (looking at how much time players missed). The results confirmed their suspicion that the Patriots far and away have had the most injuries to their secondary over the past five years. However, the Browns were number two on that list.

And when they broke the list down to most secondary injuries in a single season? The 2006 Browns had the single worst secondary injury situation in the NFL over the past 5 years. In fact, 2006 accounted for nearly half of our total secondary injuries out of the past 5 years.

The authors throw out some hypothesis to explain why both Crennel's former and current team have lead the league in secondary injuries. They think that Crennel views defensive backs as eminently replaceable so he does not mind taking a gamble on an injury prone back. I find that one kind of hard to believe. Last year's Browns secondary had injuries to Bodden and McCutcheon who both predate Crennel, and Gary Baxter whose freak injury is just rotten luck. Injury-prone guys get turf-toe and high ankle sprains and knee problems. They do not tear their patellar tendons.

Then just yesterday I was reading this over/under on the Football Outsiders website, and I caught this interesting note:

The other somewhat hidden factor that should bounce back for the Browns this season? Injuries, particularly on the defensive side. The Browns, as a whole, were more hurt in 2006 than any team has been in the six years we’ve tracked injuries. A likely regression to the mean on those injuries would result in a healthy, deep team. There’s a serious success story brewing here, and a real chance to make money.

As much as I bitch-and-moan about injuries, I am glad to finally see some statistical backing that the Browns truly are getting the short end of the stick. Although, I do not buy into their point that we will regress to the mean. Sure, in theory the injuries should let up, but this is the Browns. We don't regress to the mean, we skew the entire distribution.

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