Thursday, June 30, 2016

Helmet Oddity: The Off-Silver Color of the Detroit Lions Helmets in the Early 1970s

LOOKING BACK
By John Turney










Some of you who grew up in the 1960s and 1970s and followed NFL football may remember that in several product lines that featured helmets the Detroit Lions silver helmet was a different hue than other silver helmets like the Cowboys or Raiders.

We've posted that the Raiders equipment manager liked to tweak the color of the Raiders helmets from year to year, but that didn't occur with the Lions helmets.
Above is a set of cardboard helmets and as you can see there is a different tone, however in our view this is an exaggerated example, but it does illustrate the maker of the product was working with a different hue than Dallas or Oakland's hue.

Here is a display of some NFL game-used helmets. Not the Lions color compared to the Seahawks, Cowboys (that has a blue hue) and Raiders.

And the off-color  seemed to be a theme in lots of NFL helmet products as well.

Here is 1970s helmet plaque:

And a Rawlings kids helmet:

There was something to it as you can tell from these shots, there is a slight gold tone or hue to them:
 

Some we've discussed this with think it may go back the the1950s when there was also a time when the helmets had a gold hue, but that disappeared, as far as we are aware in the 1960s. Here are some shots from the 1950s:



 Dr. Del Rye of Helmet Hut.com was asked if the Lions ever wore gold helemtshis answer is found here. Essentially, he says the gold hue was caused by the products in the helmet, when they aged, that caused a yellowing finish.

But, that never explained to us why the 1970s helmets has a similar, but less drastic look.

Dr. Z's New York Post All-Pro Teams

LOOKING BACK
By John Turney
I first became familiar with Paul Zimmerman's work in 1979, especially when he chose who All-Pro team for Sports Illustrated after that season. I was perplexed because I didn't see the familiar names that were on the AP, PFWA and NEA All-Pro teams, the ones that were usually published in the NFL Record and Fact Book.

Every year after that I'd enjoy looking forward to seeing his teams. In his books he'd mentioned that began his practice of choosing his teams in the New York Post in 1969, I once called him to see if he kept copies of those teams, and he said, "You'd have to contact the Post".

Eventually, through the miracle of Interlibrary loan and microfilm, I was able to get those teams. I first published them in 1999 in All-Pros: The Modern Years.
Zim was proud of picking a guy a year before the rest of the football writers and eliminating those who were All-Pro at the end of a long string, thinking that sometimes a player got honors a year or two after he's lost his effectiveness.

I once sent him a list of his selections that seemingly preceeded the rest of the All-Pro world catching up, here are those from 1969-78:

1969
Randy Rasmussen

1970
Rayfield Wright
Larry Little
Chuck Walton
Ed Flanagan

1971
George Kunz
Cedrick Hardman
Isiah Robertson

1973
Jack Youngblood
Bob Kuechenberg
Otis Sistrunk
Lemar Parrish

1974
John Hannah
Wally Chambers
Dave Elmendorf

1975
Blaine Nye
Vern Den Herder
Jerry Sherk
Robert Brazile

1976
Tom Jackson
Charlie Waters

1977
Steve Nelson
Louis Wright

1978
Lee Roy Selmon
Jim Youngblood
Pat Thomas

Since Sports Illustrated and MMQB is celebrating Paul Zimmerman this week, we though we'd add our two cents. Here are his selections from 1969-78. (1979 to the end is available in Sports Illustrated Vault)

New York Post 1969 All-AFL Team
Selected by Paul Zimmerman
Offense:
WR      Don Maynard, NYJ
WR      Warren Wells, Oak
TE       Bob Trumpy, Cin
OT       Jim Tyrer, KC
OT       Winston Hill, NYJ
OG      Ed Budde, KC
OG      Randy Rasmussen, NYJ
C         E.J. Holub, KC
QB      Daryle Lamonica, Oak
RB       Floyd Little, Den
RB       Matt Snell, NYJ
  
Defense:
DE       Rich Jackson, Den
DE       Gerry Philbin, NYJ
DT       John Elliott, NYJ
DT       Tom Keating, Oak
MLB   Willie Lanier, KC
OLB    Bobby Bell, KC
OLB    Larry Grantham, NYJ
CB       Willie Brown, Oak
CB       Butch Byrd, Buf
S          Dave Grayson, Oak
S          Johnny Robinson, KC

New York Post 1970 All-NFL Team
Selected by Paul Zimmerman
Offense:
WR      Gene Washington, SF
WR      Marlin Briscoe, Buf
TE       Charlie Sanders, Det
OT       Winston Hill, NYJ
OT       Rayfield Wright, Dal
OG      Larry Little, Mia
OG      Chuck Walton, Det
C         Ed Flanagan, Det
QB      Fran Tarkenton, NYG
RB       Larry Brown, Was
RB       Ron Johnson, NYG

Defense
DE       Rich Jackson, Den
DE       Deacon Jones, LA
DT       Alan Page, Min
DT       John Elliott, NYJ
MLB   Dick Butkus, Chi
OLB    Andy Russell, Pit
OLB    Larry Stallings, StL
CB       Jimmy Johnson, SF
CB       Willie Brown, Oak
FS        Spider Lockhart, NYG
SS        Jerry Logan, Bal

New York Post 1971 All-NFL Team
Selected by Paul Zimmerman
Offense
WR      Paul Warfield, Mia
WR      Otis Taylor, KC
TE       Charlie Sanders, Det
OT       George Kunz, Atl
OT       Rockne Freitas, Det
OG      John Niland, Dal
OG      Larry Little, Mia
C         Forrest Blue, SF
QB      Len Dawson, KC
RB       John Brockington, GB
RB       Larry Csonka, Mia
  
Defense
DE       Carl Eller, Min
DE       Cedrick Hardman, SF
DT       Alan Page, Min
DT       Bob Lilly, Dal
MLB   Willie Lanier, KC
OLB    Ted Hendricks, Bal
OLB    Isiah Robertson, LA
CB       Jimmy Johnson, SF
CB       Willie Brown, Oak
FS        Bill Bradley, Phi
SS        Ken Houston, Hou

New York Post 1972 All-NFL Team
Selected by Paul Zimmerman
Offense
WR      Harold Jackson, Phi
WR      John Gilliam, Min
TE       Ted Kwalick, SF
OT       Rayfield Wright, Dal
OT       Winston Hill, NYJ
OG      Larry Little, Mia
OG      Tom Mack, LA
C         Forrest Blue, SF
QB      Joe Namath, NYJ
RB       Larry Brown, Was
RB       Larry Csonka, Mia

Defense
DE       Claude Humphrey, Atl
DE       Jack Gregory, NYG
DT       Joe Greene, Pit
DT       Bob Lilly, Dal
MLB   Willie Lanier, KC
OLB    Chris Hanburger, Was
OLB    Dave Wilcox, SF
CB       Willie Brown, Oak
CB       Jim Johnson, SF
FS        Bill Bradley, Phi
SS        Dick Anderson, Mia

New York Post 1973 All-NFL Team
Selected by Paul Zimmerman
Offense
WR      Harold Jackson, LA
WR      Harold Carmichael, Phi
TE       Charle Young, Phi
OT       Rayfield Wright, Dal
OT       Art Shell, Oak
OG      Reggie McKenzie, Buf
OG      Bob Kuechenberg, Mia
C         Jim Langer, Mia
QB      Roman Gabriel, Phi
RB       O.J. Simpson, Buf
RB       Larry Csonka, Mia

Defense
DE       Claude Humphrey, Atl
DE       Jack Youngblood, LA
DT       Joe Greene, Pit
DT       Otis Sistrunk, Oak
MLB   Willie Lanier, KC
OLB    Isiah Robertson, LA
OLB    Phil Villapiano, Oak
CB       Robert James, Buf
CB       Lemar Parrish, Cin
FS        Jake Scott, Mia
SS        Dick Anderson, Mia

New York Post 1974 All-NFL Team
Selected by Paul Zimmerman
Offense
WR      Cliff Branch, Oak
WR      Drew Pearson, Dal
TE       Rich Caster, NYJ
OT       Ron Yary, Min
OT       Art Shell, Oak
OG      Bob Kuechenberg, Mia
OG      John Hannah, NE
C         Jim Langer, Mia
QB      Ken Anderson, Cin
RB       Lawrence McCutcheon, LA
RB       Terry Metcalf, StL

Defense
DE       Claude Humphrey, Atl
DE       Bill Stanfill, Mia
DT       Joe Greene, Pit
DT       Wally Chambers, Chi
MLB   Bill Bergey, Phi
OLB    Ted Hendricks, GB
OLB    Jack Ham, Pit
CB       Robert James, Buf
CB       Roger Wehrli, StL
FS        Tony Greene, Buf
SS        Dave Elmendorf, LA

New York Post 1975 All-NFL Team
Selected by Paul Zimmerman
Offense
WR      Lynn Swann, Pit
WR      Mel Gray, StL
TE       Rich Caster, NYJ
OT       Dan Dierdorf, StL
OT       Art Shell, Oak
OG      Bob Kuechenberg, Mia
OG      Blaine Nye, Dal
C         Jim Langer, Mia
QB      Fran Tarkenton, Min
RB       O.J. Simpson, Buf
RB       Chuck Foreman, Min

Defense
DE       Jack Youngblood, LA
DE       Vern Den Herder, Mia
DT       Wally Chambers, Chi
DT       Jerry Sherk, Cle
MLB   Jack Lambert, Pit
OLB    Jack Ham, Pit
OLB    Robert Brazile, Hou
CB       Mel Blount, Pit
CB       Roger Wehrli, StL
FS        Paul Krause, Min
SS        Ken Houston, Was

New York Post 1976 All-NFL Team
Selected by Paul Zimmerman
Offense
WR      Cliff Branch, Oak
WR      Roger Carr, Bal
TE       Dave Casper, Oak
OT       Dan Dierdorf, StL
OT       Art Shell, Oak
OG      John Hannah, NE
OG      Gene Upshaw, Oak
C         Jim Langer, Mia
QB      Bert Jones, Bal
RB       O.J. Simpson, Buf
RB       Chuck Foreman, Min

Defense
DE       Jack Youngblood, LA
DE       Coy Bacon, Cin
DT       Wally Chambers, Chi
DT       Jerry Sherk, Cle
MLB   Jack Lambert, Pit
OLB    Jack Ham, Pit
OLB    Tom Jackson, Den
CB       Monte Jackson, LA
CB       Mike Haynes, NE
FS        Cliff Harris, Dal
SS        Charlie Waters, Dal

New York Post 1977 All-NFL Team
Selected by Paul Zimmerman
Offense
WR      Nat Moore, Mia
WR      Lynn Swann, Pit
TE       Dave Casper, Oak
OT       Art Shell, Oak
OT       Dan Dierdorf, StL
OG      Randy Rasmussen, NYJ
OG      George Buehler, Oak
C         Jim Langer, Mia
QB      Bob Griese, Mia
RB       Walter Payton, Chi
RB       Franco Harris, Pit

Defense
DE       Lyle Alzado, Den
DE       Harvey Martin, Dal
DT       Cleveland Elam, SF
DT       Larry Brooks, LA
MLB   Steve Nelson, NE
OLB    Jack Ham, Pit
OLB    Tom Jackson, Den
CB       Rolland Lawrence, Atl
CB       Louis Wright, Den
FS        Cliff Harris, Dal
SS        Charlie Waters, Dal

New York Post 1978 All-NFL Team
Selected by Paul Zimmerman
Offense
WR      Wesley Walker, NYJ
WR      Lynn Swann, Pit
TE       Dave Casper, Oak
OT       Dan Dierdorf, StL
OT       Leon Gray, NE
OG      John Hannah, NE
OG      Joe DeLamielleure, Buf
C         Mike Webster, Pit
QB      Jim Zorn, Sea
RB       Earl Campbell, Hou
RB       Walter Payton, Chi

Defense
DE       Al Baker, Det
DE       Lee Roy Selmon, TB
DT       Randy White, Dal
DT       Louie Kelcher, SD
MLB   Randy Gradishar, Den
OLB    Jack Ham, Pit
OLB    Jim Youngblood, LA
CB       Louis Wright, Den
CB       Pat Thomas, LA
FS        Thom Darden, Cle
SS        Charlie Waters, Dal


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

And Now For Something Completely Different: Mays and Mantle

LOOKING BACK
By John Turney
 Allen Barra  is an excellent researcher and writer and I really enjoyed his book Mickey and Willie: Mantle and Mays, the Parallel Lives of Baseball's Golden AgeIn my view it was well researched and a great read.

However, being honest, I had one problem with the book. In my view it seemed to have a slight "Mickey Mantle is better bias" and it showed up in two ways. First, the term "Gold Glove" did not appear in the book. Mays won twelve and Mantle three. Second, in the two appendices Barra used two baseball metrics that favored Mantle. One was Pete Palmer's player rating (TPR) and the other was Bill James's Win Shares (WS). There are other metrics, such as WAR and versions of it that are not so clear cut.

Thus, I've searched the Web and found all the metrics and put them into one chart so folks can take a look and make their own determination as to may have been better (if anyone really was).

Here are the various WAR with TPR and WS in a chart.
(click to enlarge)

With Plamer's total player rating, I added 2.5 to both to make the totals more similar to the WAR numbers, it could also be called TPR above average with 2.5 being average. I did the same for both players so this will still favor Mantle. Most analysis of the AL and NL in that era rated the average player higher in the NL than the Al due to better integration of the NL but I ignored that for TPR. Had a good analysis of what the average player in each league was, the 2.5 number I chose would be different. Perhaps 2.5 for NL and 2.2 for AL, for example.

With Bill James's Win Shares I divided it by 3.5 to make it come out to about the same as others so it would be weighted more evenly. Again, it still favors Mantle.

I also adjusted Mickey Mantle's 1963 to a full season, which helps him in the graphs down below, the 3-year, 4-year averages, etc.

You can click on links to go to source for charts.

Key:
TPR+2.5Pete Palmer's version
http://www.amazon.com/Total-Baseball-Official-Encyclopedia-League/dp/1930844018
WS ÷ 3.5Bill James's version
http://seamheads.com/baseballgauge/player.php?playerID=mayswi01
http://seamheads.com/baseballgauge/player.php?playerID=mantlmi01
BFW+3retrosheet.org version
http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/M/Pmaysw101.htm
http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/M/Pmantm101.htm
BR-WARbaseball-reference.com version
http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/m/mayswi01.shtml
http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/m/mantlmi01.shtml
FG-WARfangraphs.com version
http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=1008315&position=OF#advanced
http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=1008082&position=OF
WARPbaseballprospectus.com version
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=25672
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=25475
BP-WARbaseballprojection.com version
http://www.baseballprojection.com/war/m/maysw101.htm
http://www.baseballprojection.com/war/m/mantm101.htm
BG-WARBaseballgauge version
http://seamheads.com/baseballgauge/player.php?playerID=mantlmi01
http://seamheads.com/baseballgauge/player.php?playerID=mayswi01
DR-WARPDan Rosenheck's version baseball think factory
http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/hall_of_merit/discussion/willie_mays/P100
http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/hall_of_merit/discussion/ranking_the_hall_of_merit_center_fielders_discussion/P100
T-WARMy own version of WAR
Uses Michael Humphrey's revolutionary new fielding statistic, called Defensive Regression Analysis (DRA)   DRA for defense, WPA/ LI for offense and Smith's "holds" from Baseball refernce.com

So, as you can see above there were peaks and valleys for both players. Here are some different averages for different periods of time.

People can make up their own minds, as Coach TJ Troup, who saw both play, says, "Mantle was amazing power" and "Mays was sustained greatness". These charts show that those comments are true.

(Click to enlarge)

































































































































































































Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A Few Diagrams From Buddy Ryan's Playbook

LOOKING BACK
By John Turney
Ryan with the Jets. Colorization by PFJ
With the passing of Buddy Ryan we thought it might be appropriate to show a few pages from Buddy Ryan's playbook, specifically the 46 scheme and a few of the blitzes from that alignment.

Here is the 46 alignment. the "J" is the left linebacker, in the 1985 version it would have been Otis Wilson. The "C" was the right linebacker, moved to the left and Wilbur Marshall was that player.  By 1985 the SS was Dave Duerson, Todd Bell held out and #46 Doug Plank was long gone. It was Plank's uniform number that the 46 took its name from.
This is the 46 Jayhawk alignment where the SS goes outside to the slot receiver and Charlie and Mike slide to the right.




The is the 46 Hamburger blitz. Both Jack and Charlie blitz and the defensive linemen rush upfield. It's man coverage with the weak safety taking the tight end and the middle linebacker taking the fullback and the strong safety taking the halfback.
 This is the 46 Cheesburger blitz. Al most the same as Hamburger, but the strong 3-technique and the nose tackle run a loop (in other defenses it this may be called a "twist".
This one is called the 46 Mike Blitz.  Below it there is a short video clip for educational and critical purposes. It is reversed in that the tight end is to the left, and Jack and Charley are to the right and Richard Dent is to the left. You can see Marshall take the tight end man to man and Otis Wilson and Mike Singeltary blitz with Wilson getting the sack.
46 Mike Blitz (for educational and criticism purposes)

This is the 46 59 blitz. In this all three linebackers blitz, but Jack is in a blitz-peel technique, meaning if back releases he takes that back but usually, that back will block him. Again it's man coverage.

This is the 46 SS blitz. Here it shows the SS blitzing through the A-gap, but that could vary depending if there is a line call that would ask the defensive linemen to twist.
This is the 46 Cover-3 when the 'backers or safety may show blitz, but fall back to a four-under three-deep zone and only the four linemen rush.


There are, obviously quite a few more, but this gives us a flavor of the 46 defense.



Here are a few excerpts from the 1993 Houston Oilers defensive manual. In most playbooks there will be goals set and a defensive philosophy and terminology expressed.




Here are the1993 Oilers defensive goals. In red we have added the actual season totals:



.