In the world of football, analytics play an essential role in how we view players. Some love analytics, others hate it. For example, Chargers DT Brandon Mebane believes he is having a solid season. Mebane has 29 tackles, but no sacks in 15 games with the Chargers, but, according to Pro Football Focus, Mebane is not having a good year. At this point, Mebane has an overall score of 42, which is considered “poor.”
However, according to Mebane, they’re reasons for his numbers:
“I wish I would have gotten more single teams(laughs). It is what it is. I understand my role on the team,” Mebane told Go4it’s Paul Gant “It is what it is. That’s the way teams want to block me. I look at it as a sign of respect. I’m 32-years-old, in my 11th year. They still want to double me.”
Mebane is not a fan of Pro Football Focus, and how they rank players:
“I seen like a blog today and it said I was like one of the most disappointing players of 2017. For the person that wrote that article, it’s to the point to where I would like to sit down and talk to that person and be like: ‘well, let’s watch the same film you be watching, or have you watched some film or are you going off somebody from Pro Football Focus? Because if you look at Pro Football Focus, Pro Football Focus all they go off on is stats,” Mebane said. “So, you’re telling me that you’ll say a person had a good year, but this person is on a 0-16 team. That don’t make no sense. It’s a team game, so how’s this person having a good year if he’s on a 0-16 team? But he has so-called Pro Bowl stats? It doesn’t make sense. It’s like if you don’t win and your team is not successful then how’s he having success? If he’s that good of a player, then he should have his own success, and, it’s like okay, he’s making everyone else around him (better). It’s kind of like Magic Johnson. Now, Magic Johnson had a great team; guys were already talented, but I feel like, Magic Johnson took those guys to another level. They took each other to another level, so I’m saying is when you write these type of articles make sure you have your facts. And make sure you’re watching the film, and make sure you’re not just reading something, and like, ‘all I’m going to type something and just cause it looks good.’ I got a name. I been playing a long time, so it’s like alright, ‘lets just put this guy in here, score!’ And it’s like, well, if you’re getting doubled, then obviously you’re not going to get stats, so it’s just one of those things that I never really understood from people that write articles that have no idea about the game, and especially, have no idea about my position that I play. I would like to sit down and talk to him. It’s like do you actually know what I do? Do you actually know my position, in particular, keeps(helps) a lot of guys to make plays.”
Based on the sack numbers of Joey Bosa(11.5) and Melvin Ingram(10), you can argue that Mebane’s presence is helping those two players have success. Mebane gave his thoughts on that subject:
“Those two guys(Bosa and Ingram) right there potentially could be Defensive Player of the Year. You have two guys on the defensive line, which in my 11 years I never had two guys on the defensive line that could be potentially Defensive Player of the Year,” Mebane said. “So, it takes four guys to rush the passer. It takes four guys or multiple guys, a lot of times, to stop the run. I think that people have to pay attention to that. It’s like two guys on the defensive line can’t do it by themselves; three guys can’t do it by themselves. It takes four, and then sometimes, certain teams have more than four guys. They rotate guys. They might have four behind them that can play just as well.”
Mebane explains why he believes writers would call him out:
“So, my thing is I feel like a lot of times when people write these articles they use these guys names: ‘Okay, let’s put Mebane’s name in, he’s been in there for 11 years.’ People see that article, and they might read it, ‘oh wow! Dang, that’s Mebane, wow!’ It’s like at the end of the day, man, people going to say what they say about me. It is what it is, man,” Mebane explained.
Mebane challenged Pro Football Focus to watch film with him:
“Like I said, people are going to say what they going to say. I can go toe-to-toe and talk about football with anybody. I’d love for that person or Pro Football Focus, or whoever to sit down and watch some film, and I be like, ‘let’s go, let’s do it.’ I ain’t been doing this for 11 years for nothing,” Mebane said.
Mebane was not finished with Pro Football Focus:
“I try to focus on to use things like that person writing that article to show them I can play at 32, and you write that article you probably never picked up a football. You probably was a honor student at a school or something. Not that there’s nothing wrong with that., but you probably never threw a football before. So, it’s like how can you critique what I do for a living if you never, ever experienced (it). You probably watched it on TV, and another thing, too, the position I play is not a sexy position, so I’m not going to get crazy number stats, or I’m not going to get sacks, or create sacks out of this world,” Mebane explained.
Mebane has never been a high sack guy. His career high in sacks was 5.5 nine years ago with the Seahawks. Based on the sack numbers of Bosa and Ingram, maybe Mebane has a point. However, the Chargers are 32nd against the run, so it’s a mixed bag!
According to Pro Football Focus, grades are based on their film study of every single play.
Listen to the interview w/ Brandon Mebane below. He discussed Pro Football Focus at 13:20 mark: