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As a sometime game charter for Football Outsiders, I get to submit a few words at the NFL mid-season about whatever is on my mind, relating to the games I've watched. Since I'm a huge Giants fan, I wrote about the Giants big off-season decision at running back - do they keep Brandon Jacobs or Derrick Ward? It is unlikely that they'll keep both because neither would want to return to split time with the other when they could be a feature back elsewhere. On top of that, the cap cost of retaining both is also too much to take.

The obvious choice is Jacobs, but being a generally disagreeable contrarian, I wrote about 10 paragraphs explaining why Ward would be the better choice. Basically it comes down to the fact that Jacobs can't catch, Ward isn't as big of a drop off from Jacobs as people think, Ahmad Bradshaw is a similar RB to Jacobs despite the nearly 100 lb. weight difference, and Jacobs will be able to command much more money on the open market. It sounds ridiculous, but I actually think I'm right.

Well, the internet has registered it's disapproval. In the Football Outsiders: Gamer Charters Speak comments, it hasn't been that bad. People disagree, and some actually think there's possibly something to the idea - but generally, it's a site where people saying things that sound ridiculous at first are taken seriously. Conventional wisdom has been proven wrong so often by the site that anything is given a fair shake. It has dominated the sparse comments - getting 9 of the 12 comments despite there being around 10 people contributing.

But over on my other time-waster, Big Blue Interactive - my thoughts have been declared a complete and total fail. Complete with FAIL blog pics. The funny thing is that I didn't even start the discussion. Be the time I realized the cloumn had been posted, there were already 20 comments at BBI telling me what an idiot I was.

Mostly they were of these strains:

  1. I HEART JACOBZ!!!! YOU THE SUX0R!!! - Enough said.
  2. Jacobs is a singular talent, and you don't let that get away. - This is probably the best argument for Jacobs there is. There has never been a player of Jacobs' size and speed in the NFL. That being said, Jacobs and Ward are both a product of this amazing offensive line. Jacobs cannot evade backfield penetration. If a run-blitz is not picked up, Jacobs is toast. That may be why we see FB Madison Hedgecock in with Jacobs so often, but mostly see Ward in on his own.
  3. Ward isn't that good, he's just a product of the Offensive line and Jacobs wearing the opposing defense down. - Ward would probably be easier to replace - but I think people really fail to consider just how good Ward is. He's a good receiver, a very good blocker and a very good runner. His vision and decision-making at the line are top-notch. Watch Ward run - there's no hesitation. He just finds the hole and accelerates through it. He may not hit people as hard as Jacobs, but he's as effective as a runner and a much better receiver. The DVOA backs me up here.
  4. Why are you saying Jacobs sucks? - I'm not. I want both of them back. You're an idiot.
  5. What about Danny Ware replacing Ward? - That's a damn good point. If Ware can do it, that may tip the scales back in favor of Jacobs.

My main argument is that Ward + Bradshaw can replace 90% of Ward + Jacobs (loss of intimidation is the missing 10%). Jacobs + Bradshaw only fills 70% of what Ward + Jacobs can do (who would be the 3rd down back in that duo? Bradshaw is likely too small to reliably block on blitzing downs and Jacobs can't catch). Throw in that Ward is likely going to be cheaper and you see what I was thinking.

However, if Danny Ware can be that 3rd down back (and Ware looked good enough to get me excited in the preseason, but I didn't see enough to plan around him next year), then that pushes the Jacobs + Bradshaw + Ware equation to around 90%, and then I see the point in re-signing the once in a lifetime Jacobs.

On a personal note, I was surprised by how I reacted to the comments. I figured that I was writing a minority position, but in my narcissistic mind I thought that people would just tip their cap and say, "You've made a compelling argument, Chris Boylan. Well done. With reason and logic like that, I now offer you any of the women in our village."

Instead, I felt stupid and mortified. Was I delusional? Does Ward actually suck?

After an hour or two, my mind went back to normal and I began agreeing with myself. (I rock!) Mostly, I'm angry that I don't have this site finished in any way to capitalize on my quick brush with non-fame. The phpBB comments thing is harder than I thought. I've written the plugin to link to exisiting comment threads, but I can't get new articles to auto-create new threads. So that's going to be tomorrow's plan.