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I'm guessing from American members reactions that this is a bit of a ManU v Arsenal FA Cup final situation equivalent; nobody in England gives a stuff (ManU & Arse fans aside) but there's big interest Worldwide.

Not overly happy to be a "fan" of that type of club but as I've said before I started with the Patriots 32 years ago so I'm no bandwagon jumper.

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36 minutes ago, MikeO said:

I'm guessing from American members reactions that this is a bit of a ManU v Arsenal FA Cup final situation equivalent; nobody in England gives a stuff (ManU & Arse fans aside) but there's big interest Worldwide.

Not overly happy to be a "fan" of that type of club but as I've said before I started with the Patriots 32 years ago so I'm no bandwagon jumper.

i'd say this is more of a Man U and West Ham or Leicester type match.  Eagles have never won the super bowl, been to it before but lost (in the 80s).  Anyone else wanna have a try at guessing what the matchup is like?

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2 hours ago, markjazzbassist said:

i'd say this is more of a Man U and West Ham or Leicester type match.  Eagles have never won the super bowl, been to it before but lost (in the 80s).  Anyone else wanna have a try at guessing what the matchup is like?

I'd agree with the West Ham shout. Not necessarily a bad team, but their fans think they're better than they really are and historically haven't won much.

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On ‎24‎/‎01‎/‎2018 at 13:53, markjazzbassist said:

Eagles have never won the super bowl, been to it before but lost (in the 80s).  Anyone else wanna have a try at guessing what the matchup is like?

Eagles were last at the Super Bowl in 2005. Lost to the Patriots 24-21, so a bit of payback is in order, hopefully. Pundits appear to be giving them a bit of respect now. Defence always wins championships, as we know, so they do have a shot, but I would prefer them coming in with the underdog's collar round their neck. Go Eagles! 

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On 1/26/2018 at 08:26, Formby said:

Eagles were last at the Super Bowl in 2005. Lost to the Patriots 24-21, so a bit of payback is in order, hopefully. Pundits appear to be giving them a bit of respect now. Defence always wins championships, as we know, so they do have a shot, but I would prefer them coming in with the underdog's collar round their neck. Go Eagles! 

It is a shame that they lost their QB Carson Wentz because I think they’d have a much better shot at winning. Foles is an OK game manager, but Wentz can run and has a cannon for an arm.

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Can't be doing an early morning/late night effort to watch, must be getting to old (need my bed); but I'm still hoping, against the majority, that I wake up to a Patriots win.

Having said that I won't be heartbroken if it goes the other way:).

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1 hour ago, Formby said:

Hurray!!!!!!!!!!!! What a great advert for the game and what a performance from Foles. If the Eagles can fly, surely Everton can get off the ground...

we don't really need any more adverts :lol:

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1 hour ago, sibdane said:

I was hoping for a Saints/Chiefs final, so now I'm kind of indifferent to who I want to win. This championship feels manufactured. 

Completely agree, my wife is a saints fan so we are boycotting.  Went to dinner, grabbed a drink, now home and going to relax.  

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1 hour ago, nyblue23 said:

That game was decided by a phantom holding call and a non-call on what should have been defensive pass interference. The Patriots are the Liverpool of the NFL Mike.

i didn't watch the game but this is why i am so against VAR.  NFL has had it FOR YEARS and still routinely gets it wrong and messes up MAJOR games with it.  look at the saints game massive blown calls at the end against them that threw the game.   No VAR and keep the human element of mistake in the game. 

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33 minutes ago, markjazzbassist said:

i didn't watch the game but this is why i am so against VAR.  NFL has had it FOR YEARS and still routinely gets it wrong and messes up MAJOR games with it.  look at the saints game massive blown calls at the end against them that threw the game.   No VAR and keep the human element of mistake in the game. 

You could argue that if they would have used VAR in the Saints game then there wouldn't be so much controversy. The call was missed without any review whatsoever.

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2 hours ago, nyblue23 said:

That game was decided by a phantom holding call and a non-call on what should have been defensive pass interference. The Patriots are the Liverpool of the NFL Mike.

I don't care:P. Mentioned it before but I'm no "bandwagon jumper" because I started supporting them in SB XX where they were destroyed by Chicago and I had a few yank mates at the time so engaged with it. They are who they are and I'm who I am, some things can't be helped!

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8 minutes ago, sibdane said:

You could argue that if they would have used VAR in the Saints game then there wouldn't be so much controversy. The call was missed without any review whatsoever.

that's the issue though, per the NFL rules if there is no penalty on the play, it is not reviewable.  so even though they missed a massive call, per the rules they could do nothing about it.  Which is the same with VAR.  so you have the replay, but you can't right the wrongs.  so why have the replay?  that's my issue with it.  either its all or nothing for me.

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Not an American sport, but what is played on the highest level in America - Basketball. Just a brilliant sport. Any other American sport I've seen is dull. I don't mind NFL that much, but MLB is horrendously boring.

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1 hour ago, Haiku said:

Not an American sport, but what is played on the highest level in America - Basketball. Just a brilliant sport. Any other American sport I've seen is dull. I don't mind NFL that much, but MLB is horrendously boring.

Basketball was invented in America and the best league and players are in America, so I’d say it definitely qualifies as an American sport.

Baseball is pretty boring; I’ll hand it to you. No more or less boring than cricket, though.

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1 hour ago, MikeO said:

I don't care:P. Mentioned it before but I'm no "bandwagon jumper" because I started supporting them in SB XX where they were destroyed by Chicago and I had a few yank mates at the time so engaged with it. They are who they are and I'm who I am, some things can't be helped!

Ha fair enough. I’m happy to hate them based on the fact that their owner and QB are Trump supporters, but I hate them for so many more reasons including league favoritism. That said, Bill Belichick is the greatest football coach of all time, and I hate him for it.

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Just now, MikeO said:

Cricket is only boring to those who don't understand cricket.  

I could say the same for baseball, but I still gotta concede that unless you’re diehard, it can be pretty damn slow.

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4 hours ago, Bailey said:

Which can also happen with VAR.

This is true, which is why there needs to be a second person in the ref's ear that has some decision rights. 

Considering how blatant of a call the ref missed in the Saints game, I wouldn't be surprised to see a rule change in the future. 

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Just now, rubecula said:

Come on baseball is boring and cricket lasts for 5 days  I know which I prefer  yes 5 days on the piss would suit me perfectly.

I prefer rugby though  good game of rugby and you are set up for the week ahead  I loved playing it too.

 

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NFL tangents are acceptable.

 

 

Buck Fama and War Eagle!

Auburn is loaded this year, maybe the best talent we have had overall in a decade. But we are either going to start a true freshman or a redshirt freshman at QB. And we play SIX of the teams that are in top 13 preseason....road games at Texas A&M, LSU and Florida, and the season with the Georgia Leghumpers and Alabama Cousin-Grinders at home. And we open the season with Oregon in Jerry's World with aforementioned freshman QB. 9-3 would be a hell of an accomplishment with that schedule.

Clemson is loaded with an easy schedule, not sure who can beat em.

Bama is $tocked as always and a favorable schedule, LSU at home, A&M and Auburn on the road.

Oklahoma with Jalen Hurts....interesting.

 

What about your team, conference, national thoughts, Heisman and such?

@SpartyBlue what's the chatter up there? Are they going to run Harbaugh if he loses to OSU again? What do The Fighting Dantonios look like this year? They are like the Auburn of the Big10 to me. Everyone knows them, they usually fumble around at 8-4 or so, overshadowed by the in-state rival, but then knock off OSU and UM randomly and rattle off a 10-2 and Sparty goes to the Rose Bowl. Then go back to 8-4. War Eagle.

I love college football, but it sure is nice to have 3 weeks of EPL to fill up August prior to kickoff.

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45 minutes ago, Ghoat said:

NFL tangents are acceptable.

 

 

Buck Fama and War Eagle!

Auburn is loaded this year, maybe the best talent we have had overall in a decade. But we are either going to start a true freshman or a redshirt freshman at QB. And we play SIX of the teams that are in top 13 preseason....road games at Texas A&M, LSU and Florida, and the season with the Georgia Leghumpers and Alabama Cousin-Grinders at home. And we open the season with Oregon in Jerry's World with aforementioned freshman QB. 9-3 would be a hell of an accomplishment with that schedule.

Clemson is loaded with an easy schedule, not sure who can beat em.

Bama is $tocked as always and a favorable schedule, LSU at home, A&M and Auburn on the road.

Oklahoma with Jalen Hurts....interesting.

 

What about your team, conference, national thoughts, Heisman and such?

@SpartyBlue what's the chatter up there? Are they going to run Harbaugh if he loses to OSU again? What do The Fighting Dantonios look like this year? They are like the Auburn of the Big10 to me. Everyone knows them, they usually fumble around at 8-4 or so, overshadowed by the in-state rival, but then knock off OSU and UM randomly and rattle off a 10-2 and Sparty goes to the Rose Bowl. Then go back to 8-4. War Eagle.

I love college football, but it sure is nice to have 3 weeks of EPL to fill up August prior to kickoff.

Full disclosure first, I attended MSU. Harbaugh is definitely starting to feel some heat about his record vs his two main rivals but I can't imagine he's going anywhere. He's a legend there and has had success on both the college and NFL level. Who are they gonna get that's a better fit? Short of Saban deciding to head north again I think he's pretty entrenched. 

My boys are pretty hard to gauge. We were pretty decimated by injuries last season. We will be better no doubt and we have a lot coming back but it's hard to give a prediction. I learned years ago not to doubt Dantonio so it wouldn't surprise me if they surprised me. 

This is a great time of year for sports. The start of football and the start of futbol. Anyone in the SEC a threat to the big dogs?

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Hoping my Bulldogs can finally hit the heights they're capable of. We reached number 1 for a week back in 2015, and have been bowl contenders since, and we had 3 first round draft picks for the NFL this year. We're finally recruiting good talent, and I think we're darkhorses for an SEC run.

We have some good competition at QB too, which somehow we've managed to be successful with for the last few seasons (see Dak Prescott at Dallas). Btw, @SpartyBlue, there's only one MSU, and it's Mississippi State. :unsure: 

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2 minutes ago, Sibdane said:

Hoping my Bulldogs can finally hit the heights they're capable of. We reached number 1 for a week back in 2015, and have been bowl contenders since, and we had 3 first round draft picks for the NFL this year. We're finally recruiting good talent, and I think we're darkhorses for an SEC run.

We have some good competition at QB too, which somehow we've managed to be successful with for the last few seasons (see Dak Prescott at Dallas). Btw, @SpartyBlue, there's only one MSU, and it's Mississippi State. :unsure: 

I'll believe that when they win something...anything. Georgia always seems to me the most likely one to knock Bama off their perch.

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1 minute ago, SpartyBlue said:

I'll believe that when they win something...anything. Georgia always seems to me the most likely one to knock Bama off their perch.

Low blow, my friend. We have some bowl wins here and there. National Champions to be at some point in the next 50 years.

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Grew up Ohio state fan, but my dad played college ball (he was a center) for University of Cincinnati, so I root for them now to honor him and have something to talk to him about on weekends.  

 

Honestly I barely follow college.  NFL for me with my Browns.  Mayfield and Beckham will leAd is to the promised land this year!!

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Mayfield still has that walk-on chip on his shoulder - and that's a good thing. That 0-16 is it too far in the past, but I'll tell you what the Browns exceptional business in the last couple of years.

I have fallen out of love with the NFL and I really don't even have a team anymore at 10 more followed keep up for the Auburn guys are doing. I've got to watch something after EPL is over, and there is a standing "Sunday Funday" two doors up from my house which if nothing else means my neighbor and I are drinking beer by the pool all day, and he's a huge Lions Fan. To be honest you can do the same thing on Saturday for college football and sometimes they bleed together, but I actually am aware and keep up with the NFL strictly by osmosis exposure lol.

And the Bearcats have some pretty cool uniforms :)

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On 08/08/2019 at 08:30, Sibdane said:

I'm a Packers fan myself. Watched the 96/97 Super Bowl and heard Favre was from MS and have been hooked ever since.

He graduated from HS the same year I did, he played down south at Kiln, I played at Meridian. We were ranked #1, but got upset in the first round of the playoffs or we might have played them in a couple of rounds. Meant little at the time, but in retrospect it would have been very cool.  I then sat in Jordan-Hare and watched him lead his very over-matched Southern Miss teams to upset wins at Auburn both his junior and senior year. The Pack has been my favorite NFC, if not NFL team since. Loved they way that guy played the game!

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10 minutes ago, Ghoat said:

He graduated from HS the same year I did, he played down south at Kiln, I played at Meridian. We were ranked #1, but got upset in the first round of the playoffs or we might have played them in a couple of rounds. Meant little at the time, but in retrospect it would have been very cool.  I then sat in Jordan-Hare and watched him lead his very over-matched Southern Miss teams to upset wins at Auburn both his junior and senior year. The Pack has been my favorite NFC, if not NFL team since. Loved they way that guy played the game!

Not many quarterbacks like him anymore. He had some true grit.

A guy I work with down here rides bikes with him along the Trace. I'm hoping to get a chance to meet him at some point but haven't had much luck yet!

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2 hours ago, MikeO said:

Not that American commentators are prone to exaggerate, Christian Wade "...shows the ability that made him an international rugby superstar!"

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/av/american-football/49291121

He actually played for England twice😂.

Dammit, you made me re-setup my VPN, so I could view that (UK only)! To counter your exaggeration comment (not that it isn't TOTALLY accurate) the top of the page lists American Football--->fixtures--->tables   There are NO fixtures and NO tables in American football. There are games, and there are standings! Damn soccer dweebs 🤣

Hell of a run and cool story! Did you see the Bill's official page account? "A Christian Wade fan account until further notice" That's awesome :) 

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3 hours ago, MikeO said:

Not that American commentators are prone to exaggerate, Christian Wade "...shows the ability that made him an international rugby superstar!"

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/av/american-football/49291121

He actually played for England twice😂.

I'm sure it's happened before, but I can't think of a single (notable) English player that has played in the NFL.

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18 minutes ago, Sibdane said:

I'm sure it's happened before, but I can't think of a single (notable) English player that has played in the NFL.

Without resorting to google I'm pretty sure we had a kicker some time back, my memory is telling me he played for Atlanta but I could be wrong. Beyond that I think you're right.

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1 minute ago, MikeO said:

Without resorting to google I'm pretty sure we had a kicker some time back, my memory is telling me he played for Atlanta but I could be wrong. Beyond that I think you're right.

I don't recall that kicker - but I don't follow the NFL nearly as close as NCAA. There are VERY few "foreigners" that I can recall from the NFL who didn't play college football in the US, tho there could be an Aussie punter somewhere. Honestly I can't recall anyone. I was thinking Christian Okoye (The Nigerian Nightmare) but I think he actually played at Pacific or some small college. I am resisting the temptation to Google.

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Just now, Ghoat said:

I don't recall that kicker - but I don't follow the NFL nearly as close as NCAA. There are VERY few "foreigners" that I can recall from the NFL who didn't play college football in the US, tho there could be an Aussie punter somewhere. Honestly I can't recall anyone. I was thinking Christian Okoye (The Nigerian Nightmare) but I think he actually played at Pacific or some small college. I am resisting the temptation to Google.

I did resort to google:).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mick_Luckhurst

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Now I hate me some Pete Thamel w a passion, but this is a good piece. Kinda of hot topic with we Auburn fans, as we just announced our starting quarterback, and he's a true freshman. 5 stars, ranked #1 in the nation, his Daddy was a legendary QB at Auburn (and his HS coach), he enrolled at Auburn in December went through bowl practices and went through all the spring training and now summer training...but the last competitive snap he took was 6 months ago in high school. And his next snap will come against the #11 team in the nation, when Auburn (#16) plays against Oregon in Dallas at Jerry's world.

 

 

Why evaluating QBs may be hardest job in sports: 'Like putting a jigsaw puzzle together':Pete 'suck my dick' Thamel

WESTLAKE, Calif. – The drafting and recruitment of quarterbacks remains the most unpredictable variable amid two billion-dollar industries that rely disproportionately on the productivity of that position.

The most important position in all of sports still somehow remains the most difficult to evaluate, as attempting to quantify how a quarterback processes information, reads defenses and works through his progressions resonates simultaneously as one of the game’s most critical and difficult ventures. In the NFL and college football, there are millions poured annually into scouting, recruiting and attempting to decode football’s final frontier.

“The makeup of the quarterback is such a rare and unique collection of factors,” said longtime NFL executive Mike Tannenbaum, now a draft analyst for ESPN. “Processing is so important, and until [the quarterback is] under center and taking snaps, you really don’t know.”

For all that’s tangible in quarterback evaluation – arm strength, athleticism and speed – there’s so much that’s difficult to ascertain.

Why were Tom Brady and Russell Wilson passed over by every NFL franchise before becoming Super Bowl champions? Why will Jake Locker, Geno Smith and JaMarcus Russell long be remembered as busts? Why did Mitch Mustain turn from a five-star to an afterthought while Andrew Luck soared to the top pick in the NFL draft?

Image


Why is it so hard to identify quarterbacks who will excel at the highest levels of football? Because processing at the most important position in sports is a science that hasn't yet been mastered. 

Much comes down to the intangible and unquantifiable – processing seamlessly amid chaos, adjusting to defenses pre-snap and the ability to react and think under pressure. There are some scientific attempts to quantify the brain, reaction and instinct, but for now it remains one of the sport’s great unknowns.

“Whoever figures out how to teach processing and can explain how they do that to everyone is going to be a rich man,” said Will Hewlett, a Texas-based private quarterback tutor. “It's harder to put your finger on than physical traits, skills, even leadership qualities.”

The unrefined process behind figuring out how well a quarterback processes information begins, in most cases, long before their senior year of high school. UCLA coach Chip Kelly has tried to crack the code of the quarterback’s mind as both a college and NFL head coach.

In recruiting, he said the best way to evaluate the mind of the quarterback comes from an unofficial visit early in the prospect’s career. There’s a chicken-egg dynamic that makes this a tricky tightrope, as Kelly wants to sit down with a quarterback recruit and go over offense on the board with him to get a sense of how he processes and thinks about the game.

Ideally, that would happen on campus on an unofficial visit. But sometimes recruits won’t take the unofficial visits without having already received a scholarship offer.

“The [recruiting] process is going faster and faster with people offering freshman and sophomores, and I think they're just throwing offers out and hoping they hit on somebody,” Kelly said. “I think it has [made things harder]. And the kids feel like, ‘Well you don't like me because you haven't offered.’ Well, I don't know if I like you because I haven't met you yet.”

Stanford coach David Shaw, like many coaches, puts an importance on getting recruits to camp to evaluate their processing ability.

“I like to see when he goes from his primary to his secondary and third read,” Shaw said. “The timeframe for him to see it, diagnose it and get the ball out of his hands. That usually shows processing speed, to see it and get it out of his hands quickly.”

At camps, Shaw likens giving quarterback recruits new plays and concepts to the processing speed of a computer. “How quickly can you diagnosis it and make a decision?” Shaw said.

Everyone agrees that time with quarterbacks helps clear the fog of mystery in how well they process. Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald says his program takes concepts that teams use at the NFL Combine to evaluate high school quarterbacks.


Fitzgerald and the Northwestern staff pull out a series of a quarterback recruit’s plays and grills them on what they’re seeing. What was called? What’s the protection? Can you check off the play? He adds: “If we call apples, do you only look left? If we call oranges do you only look to the right?”

Fitzgerald says that conversations with both the high school coach, coordinator and independent quarterback coach can also help piece together the quarterback’s processing ability. “It’s like putting a jigsaw puzzle together,” Fitzgerald said.

In the NFL’s quarterback evaluation, the proliferation of simplified college spread offenses has made the evaluation of processing more complex. Rams coach Sean McVay told Yahoo Sports at the QB Collective this summer that he’s always certain not to hold the system against the quarterback.

“You never want to punish a guy for not getting exposed to certain looks or operating out of a certain system,” McVay said. “There are so many nuances to that position, but I think it’s a product of what he’s being asked to do. How quickly do you see him process based on what you anticipate that concept is for?”

Hewlett points out that much of high school quarterback recruiting is done on pure physical talent and through traditional paradigms. For example, 6-foot-4 quarterbacks are almost always going to have more offers than 5-foot-11 quarterbacks.

Hewlett makes an interesting point at the NFL level, as he notes that the physical difference between the eighth-best quarterback in the NFL and the 25th-best is slim. At that level, they look for context clues that show the quarterback’s mind is working fast. Hewlett says that a throw that arrives early with enough velocity and arc is a sign of ability to process and anticipate. A quarterback’s feet can be a window into his mind, as calm feet show a comfort in what a quarterback sees. Happy feet show a disrupted mind.

Hewlett says variables offer important clues: “Is the ball coming out on time or does he look hesitant? When he connects with a receiver, is it in rhythm or is it more reactionary? Is there timing with accuracy? Is the throw late or flat?”

One of the looming existential conversations about evaluating processing explains in part why it’s still layered in mystery: “Is processing innate or can it be taught?” Shaw, a former NFL quarterback coach, is convinced that some of it has to be natural. “We can't build it from zero,” he said.

Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy, a longtime former NFL scout, uses Brady as the example for the “innate quality” in processing. “That’s what made Brady so good, the game has happened slow for Tom,” he said. “That’s one thing that got overlooked at Michigan.”

Can technology change the mystery and help quantify the way that quarterbacks get developed and hone in on weaknesses? Shaw thinks so, as he’s an advocate of reps on virtual-reality machines.

“It works,” Shaw said. “What the eyes see, the brain believes, and now that’s getting an extra 20 minutes, 30 minutes of ‘practice,’ which counts toward your 10,000 hours to be an expert at something.”

Two men with PhDs in cognitive neuroscience have dug deep on attempting to quantify the brain’s processing ability in football and baseball. Scott Wylie and Brandon Ally are co-founders of SportsSense, which works with three NFL teams, three Power Five football teams and one MLB team in each division. (They also have begun testing elite quarterbacks at the QB Collective.)

Wylie said in a phone interview that factors they can quantify in quarterbacks by using cognitive brain-testing techniques include impulse control, tracking capacity and how the brain picks up subtle tendencies and patterns. All are critical amid the uncontrolled chaos of the quarterback’s pocket.

Wylie scoffs at tests like the Wonderlic, long a barometer for NFL intellect, and says that SportsSense can measure things like a quarterback’s likelihood to make impulsive mistakes while under pressure. “It’s like a combine for the brain,” Wylie said. “We are in the business of quantifying instincts.”

While there’s serious and furious work to control the variables, the most important position in sports remains the trickiest to evaluate. And that’s why nearly every year, two billion-dollar businesses struggle to identify and develop the right people at the most important position.

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Through fairly foggy beer goggles, Florida kind of looked like crap against Miami on Saturday night. I know it's the first game of the season but for the number 8 team in the nation they couldn't tackle with a damn.

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5 minutes ago, Sibdane said:

Noticed Andrew Luck retired. Pretty crazy as he was only 29 and one of the best QBs in the league.

yeah, injuries took a toll, still pretty wild.  he's got millions in the bank so he probably figured it would be better to just hang out then deal with doctors anymore.

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That was a shock, but I don't blame the guy at all. Obviously the Colts don't either, or they would have demanded the 12 or 13 million dollars back but they didn't.

However I still cannot forgive that commerical where Andrew Luck was plucking his beard and giving the hair to people - I believe it was some Ameritrade or some type of financial investment company.

Creepy *shudder*

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i don't have TV so i haven't seen the commercial.  i just didn't like the guy because after manning left he was the new saviour of football.  he was not.  he was above average.  i hate the hype and hyperbole in american sports.  that's why i love baker mayfield, people thought he shouldn't have been the first pick, he was and did well.  he's brash and outspoken and a plain old son of a bitch.  and i love it.  screw the nice guys, i want a nasty MF'er whos gonna win it for us.  the TV and radio guys already have it out for him, espn bashing him, fox bashing him, skip bayless ranting.  go ahead guys.  this dude has a chip on his shoulder the size of texas and he's a bad MFer, i got tickets to the opener with my brother, i'm gonna be going wild up in there.

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