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Interesting blog post about NY Giants Strength & Conditioning


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http://ultimatenyg.com/uncategorized/who-is-luke-richesson.html?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=who-is-luke-richesson

 

 


 

Who is Luke Richesson, and why does it matter to the NY Giants? I mean, this is a NY Giants blog, so why are we interested in the Strength & Conditioning Coach of the Denver Broncos? The answer is that he is just an ordinary guy doing his job to keep his team healthy, fit and strong enough to be competitive in the NFL. He’s not perfect. He has had some good years and some bad years with his teams. He was with Jacksonville in the same capacity in 2009-2011, and with the Broncos from 2012+. Here is his stat line along with that of the Giants and the 32 team averages for Adjust Games Lost to Injury (“AGL”) in those 6 years

 

[see link about for chart]

 

The NFL averages 62 lost starts due to injury (AGL’s) per season. The Giants have averaged 92 lost starts over this period. When comparing vs each year, 2009 4% worse than average, then 14% worse, 31% worse, 28% worse, 108% worse and 84% worse… The NY Giants have suffered 45% more lost starts than the rest of the league. That is really hard to do. This is why we believe that it is an outlier. It passes the eye test. You look at the data on the bell curve in the previous post, and there are the Colts and Giants, gapped apart from where the rest of the NFL resides. (Skip if you are not a nerd… Technically, one way to determine if a data point is an outlier is to ask if the data point is 1.5 times the spread between the 25th percentile and 75th percentile away from that range. In this case, from 52 AGL’s per year to 68 AGL’s per year is the distance from 25th to 75th percentile, or 16. 16 * 1.5 = 24. So we add 24 to the upper quartile of 68, that is 92, and the Giants (92) and Colts (94) are both Outliers in the 6 years of data.)

 

The common critique I hear from naysayers who want to dismiss or belittle the data’s conclusions is that it is luck. Victor Cruz tears his patellar tendon… how can you assign blame to the Strength & Conditioning coach for that? The answer is that we do not. We are not Doctors. And even for the injuries that are more preventable than others, you still do not know exactly what the situation was for each particular event. So this is why we rely on a much larger sample of data. We do not cherry pick 1 year. So why did we start in 2009? 2009 was the first year we spoke out about the injuries. We noticed a rash of hamstring injuries and knew intuitively that COLLECTIVELY, it was crazy for a team to have 7 players all with hamstring injuries at the same time. The Giants were not significantly below average (i.e. significantly higher AGL) that year in the NFL, but they were below average. Since hamstring injuries are nagging, players played through some, healed enough through training camp etc.. to limit the number of adjusted games lost. But that was the first time we saw evidence of a potential problem, and the data shows the trend only progressively got worse over the following 5 years.

 

Victor Cruz tore his patellar tendon. You know what? Every team has crazy sh*t that happens. That is why we look at averages. That is why we look at larger sets of data, not just one year. Even so, Cruz lost 10 games to that injury. If we ignored that injury, the Giants would still have 91 AGL’s per season instead of 92 AGL’s per season. IT DOES NOT MOVE THE NEEDLE WHEN YOU LOOK AT LARGER DATA SETS. And that is the point. We have been objective about not pointing the finger at any single year. Heaven knows that if we looked at the last 2 seasons when the Giants finished dead last, we would not be on Pluto, we’d be in the next solar system. That is not fair either. What is fair is a 6 year progression of a bad trend which collectively spells underperformance.

 

Is the entire problem that of the Strength & Conditioning Coach? No. He does not have control of what the General Manager does. As an example, if the NY Giants consistently draft players with poor injury track records in college, that would set up the S&C Coach for underperformance. Oza Odighizuwa is a possible example of this. He was taken in the 3rd round, and our Draft analyst had him as 2nd round value. Perhaps one of the reasons he fell in the draft was that he had hip problems in college. But he checked out with the Medical evaluation of the NY Giants Doctors. So the Medical staff gave their blessing. (Is the S&C Coach involved in this evaluation? We do not know.) The fact is that Reese consulted with his staff and the team picked him. Now his data is not in the 6 year analysis. But we respect that the S&C coach cannot control everything. While we leave some grace in this variable, we respectfully will contend that even if the Giants do draft players with weaker injury histories (which we really do not know, one way OR the other), the data set is SO large that it would make any 1 or 2 instances average out anyway. And all teams take chances on injury-prone players. Todd Gurley was picked super high in Round 1 (10th overall) despite an ACL tear in his senior year. AND, if a player gets hurt, he generally stops accumulating more AGL’s for a team because he is shed from the team. Unless a team is consistently drafting (and signing FA) players who are (significantly, 45%?) more prone to injury, you still have to assign plenty of responsibility and accountability to the S&C program when looking at a data set as large as this.....

 

 


 

....Summary: The Giants are suffering 45% more lost starts due to injuries over a 6 year period than the average NFL team. This is serial underperformance. The rapid increase in 2014 GM veteran high profile signings contributed to higher AGLs the past year, but for the entire period from 2009-2014 this was not a contributing factor. We are fairly certain that over such a large period of time, there have to be ways that this franchise can obtain significant improvement. We do not imply that people like Luke Richesson and Chip Kelly have a monopoly on success or the secret to no injuries. They merely tell us that a little bit of change can go a long way.

 

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yeah, thats what brought us to this point.

 

But around 2011, they never really got credit as a contender; the title run was a shock to almost everybody. But they got the rings.... and did it despite being far below league average in games lost to injury.

 

The last two years (108% worse and 84% worse).... well, I don't know if any team could have weathered that storm, even if the drafts leading up to those seasons weren't extra crappy.

 

It is a reason for optimism though...

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Will Beatty injured himself, lifting weights. That's not bad luck in my opinion. That's either Beatty doing something wrong, or the Giants training staff doing something wrong, or maybe a combination of both.

 

It's just another example of a program that needs a top-down review, and if people need to get replaced, so be it.

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Will Beatty injured himself, lifting weights. That's not bad luck in my opinion. That's either Beatty doing something wrong, or the Giants training staff doing something wrong, or maybe a combination of both.

 

It's just another example of a program that needs a top-down review, and if people need to get replaced, so be it.

 

Talking to my fiancée about it, and reading online. Torn pecs usually happen through weight lifting.

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Will Beatty injured himself, lifting weights. That's not bad luck in my opinion. That's either Beatty doing something wrong, or the Giants training staff doing something wrong, or maybe a combination of both.

 

It's just another example of a program that needs a top-down review, and if people need to get replaced, so be it.

 

Exact same thing said in the middle of the 2003 season. Giants changed the system then and we're getting same results 10 years down the road.

 

If there is something that can be changed who knows where to even begin or end.

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