clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Pro Football Focus wants everyone to know they hate J.R. Sweezy's play

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers just signed J.R. Sweezy to a five-year deal to come play left guard. The Seattle Seahawks wanted him back, but the Bucs outbid them. That's curious, because Pro Football Focus really doesn't like Sweezy. In fact, they seem to think he's garbage: he was their 66th-ranked guard last year, and has never been evaluated positively by the outfit.

PFF wasn't content to just show their opinion, though. They put on a full-court press to make sure everyone got just how much they hate Sweezy's play.

Now, there's a kernel of truth there. Sweezy's play in Seattle wasn't perfect.. Over at Field Gulls, Danny Kelly was largely positive but not exactly universally so, and most accounts suggest he's a far better run-blocker than pass-blocker.

But Pro Football Focus isn't infallible by any means. While their system works best for linemen, it still misses both context and opponent quality. Sweezy has played his entire career on unsettled offensive lines, protecting a quarterback who holds on to the ball far too long and likes to scramble a little too much -- things that make guards' jobs a lot more difficult. Which is how you get things like this:

PFF isn't the be-all end-all of NFL evaluation, just one tool in a larger toolbox -- like traditional statistics, advanced statistics, simply watching tape, and listening to NFL insiders. They make mistakes, and their system isn't all-knowable. They're not useless, just imperfect and insufficient. That's okay!

But then they go out and full-on attack a player, and it just feels malicious -- or at least like a whole lot of hubris.

We'll see who's right this year. Because it sure seems like Sweezy's going to be starting.