The statistical-minded folks over at the football website ProFootballFocus are always coming up with new formulas to help quantify what's taking place on the gridiron and in the fantasy football world. The latest newfangled equation from PFF writer Bryan Fontaine is named for a former Redskins wide receiver - and indicates a potential breakout season for one of the current options (here's a hint - the tall one)The "Lloyd Factor" named after Brandon Lloyd, came to be after the receiver in 2010 went from NFL afterthought to dominant force. After totaling59 receptions between 2006 (his first season in Washington) and 2009, Lloyd exploded for 77-148-11 with the Broncos. What accounted for the dramatic turnaround? Redskins nation surely ponderedthat question after watching his two uber-frustrating seasons in Washington.Obviously, on a basic level, Lloyd simply had tons more targets. That helps.What Fontaine sought to uncover was whether Lloyd's breakout campaign couldhave been predicted. The answer, yes, along with those authored by the likes of Stevie Johnson and Lance Moore. The essence of the discovery: forgettotal stats, but rather focus on per play production."What is more important is how efficient a wide receiver is on a per play basis and if they can make the most of a limited number of targets. With the benefit of our exclusive data, we can go beyond the box score to see detailed snap data and identify players who were targeted frequently when on the field and produced fantasy points when given the opportunity."Which brings us to one Leonard Hankerson, the Redskins third round pick in 2011. During his rookie campaign the 6-foot-2 targetstruggled, sat and eventually wound up injured, missing the bulk ofthe final two months. In between there were two rather glorious weeks as Hankerson appeared proficient and at times dominant, including his eight receptions for 106 yards outing against the Dolphins. It's those two weeks that caught the attention of Fontainte's "Lloyd Factor"."After seeing just 12 snaps in Weeks 7 and 8 combined, Hankerson played in 91 of the total snaps in Weeks 9 and 10 before a hip injury ended his rookie season. Hankerson was impressive in his two starts, totaling 12 receptions on 15 targets for 140 yards. He now faces a crowded depth chart with the additions of Josh Morgan and Pierre Garcon and a resurgent Santana Moss. Garcon is projected as one starter (93 at RWR the last three years with Colts), with an open competition for the other spot. There is a good chance Hankerson could win the other spot at split end as a featured player. He has the size, speed and hands to be a No. 1 wide receiver in time."If a breakout season for Hankerson is truly in the cards, Lloyd's tangential contribution would be his most significant involving the Redskins. Better late than never.
The day after the Eagles 32-14 loss to the Bengals on Sunday, Philadelphia coach Doug Peterson said that he didn’t think that all his players played hard.
“Not everybody, and that’s the accountability that I talk about,” Pederson said, via the Birds 24/7 blog. “I hold coaches accountable for that; I hold myself accountable for that because it all starts with me. I pride myself each week to make sure the guys are ready to go, but at the same time, it comes down to a mentality by each individual player. This is a business where we have to be ready to go every single weekend because every team in the league — there are some teams that are better than others, but for the most part anything can happen any weekend.”
This sort of vague shot fired at the team did not sit well with the players. Safety Malcolm Jenkins, one of the most respected voices on the team, said that the comments put players in a bad spot.
“I know the intent of the guys that I practice with and play with every day, and I didn’t see effort being an issue,” Jenkins said. “It puts us in a little bit of a tough position as players because now everybody wants to know, ‘Well, who were you talking about?’”
Some in the media in Philadelphia surmised that two of the players Pederson was talking about were tight end Zach Ertz and safety Rodney McLeod. One on play it looked like Ertz failed to block Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict on a Carson Wentz scramble.
“I’m not going to get into the details of every thought I had on that play,” said Ertz. “I’m focused on giving this city everything I have on each and every play. I promise going forward, I will do that. I think I have done that in the past.”
It didn’t look like McLeod did everything he could to keep Bengals running back Jeremy Hill from scoring a touchdown on a two-yard run in the first quarter.
“I thought the ball was going to hit somewhere else, and then obviously it came through. By the time I could react, Hill already crossed the plane,” said McLeod. “Just got caught flat-footed, tried to react and by the time I did, I feel like if I were to hit him it could possibly be late. Just a tough situation.”
We don’t know if Ertz and McLeod are among the players that Pederson was talking about when he spoke of issues with effort. Leaving things vague like that doesn’t do much for the coach’s credibility in the locker room. And when that starts to be in doubt the coach gets asked about his job security. Pederson said that owner Jeffrey Lurie and GM Howie Roseman have been supportive.
“From both of them, it’s been 100 percent support on everything. I meet with Jeffrey and Howie every week and we discuss a lot of things and go over a lot of things. Every week, it’s very positive,” Pederson said. “I just don’t think you can base a guy’s career on one season. I think you got to give it time to develop.
But the fact that these questions are being asked after he has been in his job for a dozen games is an indication that he is facing at least a minor crisis as his team prepares for four games that are likely to be meaningless in terms of the playoff picture. We will see if he can get the train back on the tracks by Sunday.