2019 PFF All-Big Ten Team

2019 PFF All-Big Ten Team


December 6, 2019
Brad Hawkins

Pro Football Focus named their All-Big Ten team (LINK), and while I won’t go about posting every all-conference team, I wanted to make note of this first teamer:

[Brad] Hawkins was one of the most balanced defenders in the BigTen, with grades hovering around 80.0 in run defense (80.6), tackling (83.9) and coverage (80.3),” they wrote. The longest catch he allowed on the season went for only 25 yards, and it was the only catch of 20-plus yards he allowed all year.”

Hawkins was the culprit on K.J. Hamler’s long touchdown against Penn State. Some people – including former Michigan defensive backs – were going off on Twitter, blaming Don Brown for putting Josh Metellus on Hamler one-on-one.

Hit the jump for more.

Here’s the link to the video (LINK).

Don Brown didn’t put Metellus in man coverage against K.J. Hamler. That was a blown coverage, and it was almost certainly on Brad Hawkins, who’s standing in the middle of the field, doing nothing. Otherwise, this is a Cover 0 look with no blitz. If you’re going Cover 0 with four down linemen, that means you’re sending at least two blitzers.

Nobody blitzes. The two corners take the two wideouts, Metellus takes Hamler in the slot, Glasgow takes the H-back, Hudson takes the running back, and McGrone just sits in the middle of the field because he has nobody to cover. If Michigan was running Cover 0, McGrone and Hawkins would have blitzed. If they were running Cover 0 with a spy, McGrone or Hawkins would have blitzed, and the other would have sat in the middle of the field watching Clifford.

Hawkins did nothing.

This is not about bashing Hawkins. This is about my dislike for Pro Football Focus grades and many of the heuristics I find across the internet. To believe in their grades, you have to trust the people doing the grading. And I don’t. I see way too many issues like this popping up with PFF. Pro Football Focus has way too many games to grade and probably not enough qualified people to do the grading.

Of course, the other options are to trust opposing coaches and media members. So nothing’s perfect.

11 comments

  1. DonAZ
    Comments: 510
    Joined: 8/12/2015
    DonAZ
    Dec 06, 2019 at 6:06 PM

    I’ve wondered about PFF and how they could possibly grade all those players in all those games. I was pretty sure there’s no such thing as an image-recognition program that could do that grading auto-magically. I’m guessing they do a watch of each play, then grade each player rather quickly.

    Who pays for PFF’s services? Someone must, otherwise they wouldn’t spend the time. Any idea?

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3639
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Dec 06, 2019 at 9:05 PM

      Some teams, media outlets, etc. pay for the information from PFF. It’s not just based on ad revenue or fan subscriptions.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 5941
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Dec 07, 2019 at 9:37 AM

        I hadn’t heard of teams paying for it. Very interesting. Wonder how they use the info.

  2. Avatar
    Comments: 1863
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Dec 07, 2019 at 1:35 AM

    Me either, and this includes UFR. I will reference it on occasion, but as SUPPLEMENTAL information. Not the first or even second point in conversation

    “To believe in their grades, you have to trust the people doing the grading. And I don’t”

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 5941
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Dec 07, 2019 at 9:36 AM

      I think Welching JE you mean you like it only when it agrees with your opinion.

      • Avatar
        Comments: 1863
        Joined: 1/19/2016
        je93
        Dec 07, 2019 at 9:43 AM

        No Lank. See, unlike you, I played & coached: I know sports & what I’m watching. I don’t NEED the Excel spreadsheet, but have used it

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 5941
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Dec 08, 2019 at 1:32 PM

          Welching JE – As always you have no idea what you are talking about. You are ignorant and it seems to be willful. Perhaps not, though I don’t know if that’s any better.

          • Avatar
            Comments: 1863
            Joined: 1/19/2016
            je93
            Dec 08, 2019 at 2:04 PM

            Wait, why the insults? Name-calling?

            Be better than that sir

            • Lanknows
              Comments: 5941
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Dec 08, 2019 at 4:54 PM

              It’s never too late to learn to get comfortable with the truth, Welching JE.

              • Avatar
                Comments: 1863
                Joined: 1/19/2016
                je93
                Dec 08, 2019 at 6:06 PM

                That’s fine; I’ve got think skin. I’m proud of you avoiding your annual online emotional meltdown. If this is the alternative, it’s probably the more healthy one.
                Glad I can help Lank, GO BLUE ?

  3. Lanknows
    Comments: 5941
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Dec 07, 2019 at 9:35 AM

    You buried the story here. That’s a very interesting play breakdown. Adding a replay would be killer.

    As for PFF – like you said – nothing is perfect. One play wrong doesn’t mean anything other than lack of perfection which we already know.

    Nobody can watch every game, play, player so PFF and similar systems can give good information for what you don’t see. That said — you CAN watch all of one or two teams.

    PFF’s results for Michigan don’t really pass the sniff test. I feel like they used to generally align with the all-conference teams, UFR, etc. but seeing more and more “surprising” results every time I see PFFs details this year.

    You WANT some surprises otherwise what’s the point? But too many raises doubt. PFF has earned the skepticism.

    Maybe the quality has gone down. Would be a shame if PFF doesn’t get better, because if something like this can be trusted it’s highly informative.

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