Latest Articles Written

Full Archive »

About

I am the owner of Pre Snap Reads and a staff writer for FootballGuys.

Bulletin Board

Default-user-icon-comment
or to post this comment
  • Jake Burns posted 28 days ago

    Jake Burns

    Hi Cian,

    I very much enjoy your work on here, on Football Guys, and on Presnapreads. For some reason you have my twitter account @thewireseason4 blocked. We have had nothing but positive interactions on there and I like reading your takes. I am sorry for commenting on your profile asking for this, but I believe it was a mistake and I am missing on football knowledge. Thank you.

  • Joe Savinell posted 74 days ago

    Joe Savinell

    With regards to your Power Ranking for every QB's supporting cast article, did you do any research at all? Or did you just randomly assign a numerical value between 1 and 32 for each team and then make up some info for each player you found on the team's depth chart?

  • AJ Williams posted 74 days ago

    AJ Williams

    Just read your Power Ranking for every QB's supporting cast. Wow, not good at all. Your lack of research when it came to ranking the offensive lineman was truly appalling. You say Green Bay's line isn't great except according to PFF Lang and Sitton were the 2nd best combo of G in the league and both graded out top 10. Then you never mention Linsley who, as a rookie, graded out as a top 5 C in the league according to PFF. Then you mention how Bulaga isn't an "All-Pro" RT when just last week, your own site B/R. Rated Bulaga as the best RT in the game last yr. How does that work? Then you mentioned Mangold has, "lost it and isn't what he once was" is I believe what you said. But again, you apparently didn't check with your colleagues. Because again just last week B/R rated Mangold as the BEST C in the league. I really gotta ask did you do any research before writing this piece or did you put it all together on opinion?

  • Milan Milanovich posted 99 days ago

    Milan Milanovich

    Hey just read your make or break season for Kap. It would be super interesting to see something like this for Jay Cutler. I get into multiple debates with a coworker of mine that says they'd prefer Kap, I'm on the other end. I have faith the Jay can put things together, but the fuse is getting short. That would be very appreciated.

    Thanks for the good read.

  • Milan Milanovich posted 99 days ago

    Milan Milanovich

    Hey just read your make or break season for Kap. It would be super interesting to see something like this for Jay Cutler. I get into multiple debates with a coworker or mine that says they'd prefer Kap, I'm on the other end. I have faith the Jay can put things together, but the fuse is getting short. That would be very appreciated.

    Thanks for the good.

  • Benjamin kingsley posted 117 days ago

    Benjamin kingsley

    Solid article on Melvin Gordon and the BPA strategy. May want to reread it though. It has a lot of errors that should be edited like "turning the cornerback" instead of the corner (reffering to starting north-south movement around the trenches, ).

  • Roo Mal posted 133 days ago

    Roo Mal

    Cian can you do an article breaking down the NYGiants McAdoo offense? I know, it's not a 10 win team. But there's millions of fans curious about their team's tactics, the Kelly Eagles have numerous X and O sites and videos. Seahawks have a great one in Fieldgulls. The rest, are yours to teach.

    I was at NFL.com to find obscure stats, and I had time, so they requested I fill out one of those surveys and I finally did. "How can we make the site better" I mentioned you and the F.O. crew. If NFL.com expects me to go there, they'd better have some film study, some .gif animations, to become a bookmark to compete with you, Tanier and Bowen at B.R.

  • Roo Mal posted 133 days ago

    Roo Mal

    Cian, love your work, keep plugging away. You study the film, and say what you see, and that's dangerous on a site like this. You said Hoyer had limitations and the Cleveland fan boys are out for blood. I don't know if its a better strategy to be diplomatic, like Matt Bowen, or caustic, like Nolan Nawrocki to further your career. Nawrocki is the famous scout who printed cafeteria gossip as actual scout report: 'Newton has a fake smile'; he DID get his entire 2014 Dirty Laundry list published by NFL.com, a one shot article titled 'character concerns'. But you and Bowen and Tanier are printing REAL stuff using Footballoutsiders and film study.
    Page Clicks are page clicks....I suggest you Print 'Why Big Ben is a Great QB", and show with diagrams why he's great, most of us including myself don't actually know. That would get shared by a million Yintzers. Show the great QBs on the teams with large fanbases. Compare them with rivals and predecessors. There's alot of offseason to go, your readers are the kind who want to learn more. So show us Greatness !

  • D'Arcy Mackenzie posted 177 days ago

    D'Arcy Mackenzie

    I really liked your piece about Revis. I can't judge the degree of accuracy of your assessment, but it seems an honest attempt to understand how Belichick sees it. As a Patriots fan, I am disappointed by the news of Revis going back to the Jets. But this article gives me a sense why the Patriots didn't want to match the offer: they don't overpay. It may cost them a shot at repeating. but overpaying does not guarantee anything, It seems they used Revis really well last year - their success in the second half of games is evidence of great coaching, using players really well, and Revis was a big part of that. But that is not the same as Revis Island; the Jets contract is worth it if he can return to being Revis Island. The analysis and comments you make about the SB - Baldwin's numbers reflecting Wislon's indecisiveness - are telling. Come to think of it, the concept of Revis Island doesn't match with Belichick, and in a way with team football itself. It seems right that Brady has been slightly underpaid over the years because Brady's success is due to his relationship with Bill. Football is such a complex sport, where the moving parts have to fit. One of the under-analysed aspects of the recent SB was how the Patriots took Richard Sherman out to the game, made him a relative non factor. To do that required a player like LaFell to run hard routes all day knowing he wouldn't see the ball much - the game plan was set up for guys like Edelman and Vereen to get the ball, but LaFell has to run hard to keep Sherman honest. BTW - I am much sadder about Vereen going than I am Revis - he loved playing for NE; then again, he is another player getting paid after playing so well with NE (Welker, Woodhead, Talib, etc.). A final thought about Revis - I don't consider him greedy, as I guess is that the return to the Jets fits with who he is, in terms of his business skills, and probably where his heart is. So while his chances of getting another title are reduced - the odds are never high, but seem to be higher playing for a coach/QB combo who have been there before - it is probably the best fit for him personally.

  • Dan Boyn posted 220 days ago

    Dan Boyn

    SCIENCE, DEFLATEGATE AND THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE

    DeflateGate has erupted onto the National stage, and seems poised to stay there through Superbowl Sunday and beyond. It has been a fascinating, tortured soap opera that has vexed most of us and brought out the worst in some of us. What if this controversy can be resolved through a more reasoned process? What if it could provide a teachable moment for the country about how justice and fairness can be undermined by our collective ignorance of established science and fact, and how what we don't know can distort our beliefs and actions? It is with such high hopes that I share these thoughts with you about under-inflated footballs.


    INTRODUCTION

    To determine if the New England Patriots have violated NFL rules about ball inflation, the main question is, "Was the drop in ball pressure due to natural causes or tampering?" As Coach Belichick explained last Saturday, the best way to truly answer this question is to do an experiment. Before such an experiment, a scientist will need to form a testable hypothesis, a prediction, based on the facts of the situation and what is known about natural laws. In this case, the relevant physical law is the Ideal Gas Law (Pressure x Volume = n x R x Temperature) combined with the fact that friction generates heat.

    Check out this informative video which also explains the science behind the pressure-drop: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hf8oQ4rhR-A


    THE FOUR PHYSICAL PHASES OF DEFLATEGATE

    Knowing the conditions at the AFC Championship game and how the Patriot’s footballs were treated, it’s not hard to anticipate the result based on the four different physical phases the balls went through. The logical prediction is that ball pressure would drop significantly below the NFL minimum 12.5 psi. In fact, this is a certainty:

    1) Rubbing Phase - Before the AFC Championship game, Brady's balls were in the locker room, where the air temperature was likely 70-75 degrees. His balls were then rubbed vigorously for a substantial preparation period. The rubbing created heat from friction. The heat increased the air Temperature in the footballs above the indoor temperature. The warm air couldn't expand the footballs by much, so the Pressure would increase.

    2) Cooling Phase A - Brady's warmed balls were given to referee Walt Anderson, who was asked to set the pressure at 12.5 psi. The warmed balls stayed in the official's locker room for over 2 hours and gradually cooled back to the indoor temperature. This initial drop in Temperature would result in a corresponding drop in Pressure (approx 1 psi per Coach Belichick).

    3) Cooling Phase B - 10 minutes before kickoff, the balls were taken by NFL staff to the sideline. The temperature was approximately 50 degrees, but would have been lower on surfaces exposed to rain and wind-chill. Over the course of the first half, Brady's wet balls would have cooled to below 50 degrees. This second drop in ball Temperature would result in a further drop in ball Pressure (psi).

    4) Stretching Phase - In addition, the leather of a wet football stretches, increasing the Volume inside it. Increased ball Volume would cause a third drop in ball Pressure (psi). Did you see the condition of the balls? Several pictures show them dripping wet and soaked through in the hands of the players and referees. The leather would have stretched - how much would have to be determined by experiment.

    Taken together, these physical and climate factors would definitely drop the pressure in the footballs to substantially below the 12.5 psi set, per NFL protocol, by officials 2 hours pregame. This is not a possibility, it is a certainty.

    Just like when you hold a solid object in your hand then let it go, it will fall according to physical laws (gravity), so it is that whenever a referee in their locker room inflates a warmed ball to the lower limit of 12.5 psi, then takes it out into cold, wet, windy weather, that ball will be underinflated 100% of the time. There is no question that this has happened countless times in late season, cold weather games throughout the history of the National Football League. Asterisks all around for everybody, especially the Packers!


    A MATTER OF DEGREE

    Aside from the certainty of cold weather pressure drop, the real question we are left with is, "How much does it drop?" This will be answered not by rifling through the team's email, text messages and surveillance video, but rather by an experiment. Hence Coach Belichick's usual common sense in taking the opportunity to do just this before the team left Foxborough. Until someone else performs and documents the definitive experiment (several amateur scientists have posted attempts on YouTube), we should all take him at his word that ball pressure would have dropped enough, without any tampering, to account for what was observed by the referees during the recent AFC championship game.


    THE CATCH-22

    It should be pointed out that an NFL football team could have avoided football deflation below the league minimum 12.5 psi in very cold weather by checking the ball pressure on the sideline during the game and pumping more air into them (increasing the “n” in the Ideal Gas Law). However, this would violate NFL rules by tampering with the balls. Teams have been placed by the NFL in an untenable situation where they’re “damned if you do and damned if you don’t”… and double-dog-damned if they happen to be the New England Patriots.


    THE BLIND LEADING THE BLIND

    During this fascinating, frustrating, all-consuming week of DeflateGate, some might wonder how could so many intelligent, highly paid NFL executives and officials have established such a flawed rule, a rule that appear ignorant of the fact that cold weather drops ball Pressure.

    The DeflateGate "scandal" rages on because so many remain mystified by the inexplicable deflation of footballs in a cold, wet game. The science needed to dispel this mystery is not hard to grasp. In fact, the ideal gas law was formulated back in 1834, and is taught in high school physics class. Tragically, many journalists and commentators lack this knowledge and have plunged ahead recklessly with false accusations and little curiosity about the basic facts of the matter. They think that for the pressure to drop significantly, someone must have let air out of the Patriots balls. They just know it. Emboldened by ignorance and sinister suspicion, they have proclaimed the Patriots must have cheated by intentionally let air out of the balls by tampering with them. We wonder why so many media pundits have been so blind to their ignorance.

    Answers to these questions come from the other important scientific field at play in DeflateGate: Cognitive and Social Psychology. Discussion of this is complex and goes way beyond the issue of football pressure, but is extremely relevant to the media and society at large. If you are interested, please look up "Cognitive Bias" and "The Dunning-Kruger effect: Why The Incompetent Don’t Know They’re Incompetent".

    The science of cognitive bias is necessary to help us to understand how overconfident NFL officials established unworkable inflation rules. It also helps us to better understand why so many pundits have failed to appreciate the reasons for football deflation in a cold wet game yet have gone on to lob accusations of ball tampering with great confidence and righteous indignation (and a few tears).


    THE SOLUTION

    While the science of human cognition and its limitations is probably powerless to eliminate the mass hysteria of DeflateGate, Obama birthers or Climate change luddites, high school physics can reliably keep NFL footballs properly inflated during games in any kind of weather. It could, in some small way, embody the way an enlightened society can solve problems in a rational, effective manner. Like most true solutions, the fix for NFL balls is simple, cost effective and elegant. Here it is:

    1) Keep the current process of the teams giving their game balls to the officials 2-3 hours before kick-off. The officials have time to inspect the balls and allow time to correct any concerns.
    2) At least 90 minutes before kick-off, the officials place the balls in breathable tamper proof bags or other containers, seal the containers with tamper-proof fasteners, and take them down to the field. This will allow the air inside the footballs to equilibrate to the climactic conditions (i.e. temperature) on the field.
    3) The bags should be placed in plain sight of both teams, fans and officials in the center of the field. In any case, they must not be left near sideline heaters or fans.
    4) The outside of the containers should be reflective White in color. (If the containers were black or other dark color and left in the sun, they will heat up the balls and prevent equilibration.
    5) Whether to keep the balls dry from any rain will have to be determined.
    6) The officials will break open the tamper-proof seals 10-20 minutes before kickoff, remove the balls, and adjust air pressure to NFL specifications.
    7) Officials should be allowed to check and readjust ball pressures at half-time or other times during the game.

    Problem solved.


    SUMMARY

    DeflateGate is the unfortunate outcome of irrational rules for pregame football inflation that have been adopted by NFL executives, lawyers and business owners who clearly lacked common sense and a knowledge of basic high-school physics. Robert Kraft’s indignation is certainly justified, but should be tempered by the realization that he joined so many others in implementing these rules. While apparently competent to manage business and legal matters, one wonders about the competency of NFL officials to handle all the other important matters facing the unprecedented sport of American football (like the epidemic of concussions and head injuries, for which there is also a simple scientific solution).

    DeflateGate is not about who said what to who, about whether a coach or player is popular or likeable, about whether anyone should have felt a drop in football pressure by squeezing the ball, about how long it takes a ball-boy to relieve himself before heading to the sideline, or about whether deflation makes it easier or harder to hold, throw or catch a football. At least, this is not what it should be about. No, this controversy is simply about the pressure-drop in footballs during a cold, wet game. To determine whether or not pressure would have naturally dropped without tampering, the NFL needs a few scientists, not a team of lawyers on a witch hunt in need of a conspiracy. Most importantly, there is a simple, science-based process that NFL referees can easily follow to prevent similar problems in the future. It involves leaving the balls in sealed white bags at midfield for 90 minutes then adjusting ball pressure 15 minutes before kick-off.


    Please consider these comments and feel free to publish, print, reproduce and pass on any portion of them.

    REFERENCES

    http://www.nfl.com/rulebook/ball

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ideal_gas_law

    http://www.spring.org.uk/2012/06/the-dunning-kruger-effect-why-the-incompetent-dont-know-theyre-incompetent.php

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning-Kruger_effect

    http://www.psmag.com/health-and-behavior/confident-idiots-92793

More