Sunday, November 19, 2006

Rating NFL Players

Adam Schefter writes over at that Marvin Harrison is a better Wide Receiver than Terrell Owens. I don't necessarily disagree with his conclusion, but I definitely take issue with his methodology. Schefter argues that Harrison's superior stats mean he's the better receiver. That's way too simplistic of an approach. Harrison has been playing in a completely different system than Owens all these years. Yes, the West Coast offense that Owens had played in before coming to Dallas features the passing game, but it's not primarily known as a deep-threat offense. Also, the nature of the West Coast offense is such that it involves the Running Backs and Tight Ends more in the passing game than the Colts wide-open approach.

Harrison may be the better Receiver, and he's most likely the better person, but just looking at the raw numbers isn't the way to prove it.

1 comment:

oso diablo said...

first, not sure why you would ever craft a post in defense of Terrell Owens. second, you can't really say that Schefter even used a "methodology". He just quoted some stats.

That all said, you may be forgetting how potent the 49ers offense was in TO's time there - partly to his credit, of course. But they had a QB named Steve Young, who was pretty good. And even Jeff Garcia was stellar in his heyday.

Speaking of stats, not only is Marvin ahead of Owens in catches, but so is Keyshawn Johnson, also in that 1996 draft class. Even Rod Smith has more catches (granted he came out a year earlier, but hardly played in his rookie season).

The crux, though, to this discussion is how would one tease out the difference between individual performance and team system? You didn't offer an alternative (and i don't have one either).