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The Strangest, Yet Most Common Criticism of the ST
So that Recent Daisy Ridley interview made me want to dust off an old thesis statement of sorts I’ve been saying since The Last Jedi was released. Not so much what she was saying but the reaction to it. I was going to include this in my post about why I wondered #ReleasetheEdwardsCut was never a thing but it didn’t seem right at the time. So Here Goes Nothing: This is an observation I began to notice about March 2018 or so, when the “””backlash””” for TLJ really began to take form and start getting ugly. A lot of signs went in different directions so it was hard to point to one exact thing. Then, just after Solo’s release Jeremy Jahns uploads that video, the really dumb one where he says TLJ promotes too much Social Justice or some crap like that and tried to justify everything by saying “I like the movie mother!” (because nothing says good movie like a painfully obvious allegory my neighbours ten year old could figure out in addition to watching Jennifer Lawrence have the shit beaten out of her. Also a Baby gets eaten, yeah.) and something he said in to really stuck with me. First he Says Star Wars is a cinematic universe (it isn’t) then says “Did anyone know what RJ was doing!?” And that was it right there, he managed to summarize what I've been observing these last few months but couldn't put into proper words. Star Wars Fans are mad that the ST is too Directo Artistic Driven then Franchise/ Design by Committee/ Business driven. It’s as if Jeremy was saying that he wants more studio control on these things and that directors should just follow orders and shut up. Now obviously he didn’t say those exact words I just typed but he sure as hell seemed to imply it. Now that seems like an oddly specific thing to say people are criticizing them for and I seriously doubt you will hear that exact phrase mentioned anywhere. But Think About it For a Moment.... How many times have you seen variations of these comments: “Rian Johnson should be on a tighter leash” “They should have had a stric plan for the ST from the start” “One person should have written/ directed the whole thing” “They should only do what the fans want” "Take a page from Marvel." Or some comment that eludes to the notion that Disney/ Lucasfilm should have stepped in more and not let the directors do as they were hired to do. What's funny to me is how "They should have had a plan" always translates to "I fucking hated The Last Jedi!!!!" Now that might seem like an odd way to look at it all but this isn't the first time Star Wars has been "criticized" like this. Look at the PT for example. In just about every review I’ve seen, both in print and YouTube, there’s always a moment where the reviewer says something along the lines of “Did no one tell George this was a bad idea?” or “Did no one challenge George on this?” This is RLM’s most common talking point. Or those claiming Lucas surrounded himself with yes-men who would do everything he wanted and that was it. Lucas did pay for the entire PT out of his own pocket mind you. He had an entire VFX company at his disposable to make any crazy thing he imagined. Who’s to tell him what he can and can’t do? Rick McCallum sure as hell wasn't going to. There is a certain "tragedy" for lack of a better word, when comparing Lucas in the 70s/80s to what he became in the 90s/00s. He ultimately became the very thing he rebelled against, the film producing machine where he could call the shots, order people to do as he wanted and no one could tell him otherwise. This is the entire thesis of The People Vs. George Lucas documentary. Very few directors working today occupy the same zeitgeist that Lucas once did. Abrams certainly doesn’t and neither does Johnson or Edwards or even Howard for that matter. How many can say they changed the medium of film with just one movie? I’d imagine anyone who wanted to seriously challenge Lucas would probably be fired on the spot for it. It would be like trying to challenge James Cameron or Steven Spielberg or David Fincher. You’d get about one inch before being kicked out of the door or in Cameron’s case, yelled out till your ears bled while your phone was nail gunned to a wall. You just couldn't do it. The situation the new films have found themselves in pretty much sets up that criticism though. George Lucas is gone, never coming back. He was THE BOSS and nothing was going to change that. Disney now owns Star Wars and will continue to own it until Kingdom Come. It has now crossed the rift from Filmmaker’s creative vision to Valuable franchise used for profit. Another IP to add to Disney's ever growing roster. So now with every new director they have to answer to Lucasfilm, to Disney, to the Mouse but they aren’t treated as servants but as guests. They aren’t ordered around, they aren’t told what they can and can’t do and they have all the resources imaginable at their disposal. A blank canvas and a $200 Million dollar cheque. For better TFA is very much JJ Abrams from start to finish. He loves his mystery boxes and stories about young women trying to find their place in the world and male supporting characters with father issues while ultimately being a pastiche of what he loves . If you seriously think TFA was made to be a remake of ANH (It really isn't) because Disney wanted it that way for a quick buck, welcome to your first JJ Abrams film. For worse, TROS is very JJ Abrams in the most frustrating way possible… but still very much a film made by him. Every decision made in TROS, good or bad(mainly bad), is something that has appeared in all his movies/ tv shows. You see the gear turning in his head with some of the more... questionable choices. Even behind the scenes, when things seem iffy is never feels like “The hand of the Mouse is stepping in.” It always feels like Abrams listening to feedback from his colleagues like Spielberg and DuVernay. Or in TROS's case, bad impulses.... TLJ is pure Rian Johnson from frame one up until the credits roll. TLJ is eerily similar to the Breaking Bad episode The Fly, the first episode he directed. An entirely character focused story that examines who the characters are and what they ultimately want and their greatest fears. And just like TLJ it is still talked about to this day. Frigg, TLJ and Knives Out both have the same ending twist… The Last Jedi’s production however is where things get interesting. TLJ might just have the smoothest and cleanest production of any Star Wars film probably ever. The Story was set and locked before TFA was in theatres. No massive reshoots, no extreme rewrites, no behind the scenes meddling, no studio oversight, no on set drama, no crazy editing changes and finished under budget with months to spare. That doesn’t happen for like 99% of movies made today, blockbuster or not. The PT on the other hand, oh boy.... TPM got off reasonably well. Some bad weather that destroyed sets didn't send them back too much. Some like to point to everyones reaction to the Rough Cut being the ultimate sign that everyone working on TPM knew it was going to be awful. That's the thing though, it's a rough cut, that's the whole point. It doesn't matter how good or bad any movie is at the end of the day, rough cut screenings are brutal.... ATOC and ROTS on the other hand didn't even have a finished script until about a month into shooting. And most importantly Anakin's entire motivation to turn to the dark side was added after the fact during reshoots. Which were done in late 2004 mind you. No Comment. It was funny for a while when I’d glance at STC throughout 2018 to see where the narrative was going and the most common one for a good month was always some variation of “Did Disney mess with TLJ!?” Trying to prove that something must have gone horribly wrong during the making of the movie... except there wasn't. And I’ve seen this play out in real time with in-person conversations, but after realizing that not only is that not the case but they can’t point to any other of the “usual suspects” to say “this is why thing bad” their only option is to say “RJ Shouldn’t have been allowed to do that!!” If anyone is wondering why RJ is getting his own trilogy this is the reason. The dude gets shit done with no issue. Even the death of Carrie Fisher didn’t put a damper on anything(the amount of comments I’ve seen that said “why didn’t they kill of Leia” got comical). It’s what makes watching The Director and the Jedi such a fascinating experience because everyone is looking at everything going “Is this gonna work or no?” With Emphasis on Hamill the most. TFA’s production was kinda messy but manageable. News about TROS's production has been revealed throughout the year and most of it points to it being messy and chaotic. The making of Docs try to hide this by showing us happy faces, people passionate about what they are doing and saying “hey this is awesome!” Then there’s the horrible realization that we live in this shitty era of movies dictated by film franchises that we watch out of obligation and internet culture creating a massive hyperbolic bubble around everything. I remember a time whenever information about any film was released (franchise or not) and if it was revealed that there was some form of behind the scenes drama between director and studio or changes made that the director wasn't part of people got mad. But now whenever we hear that the response is almost always “Hey they probably saved the movie from being a disaster.” A Real Paradigm Shift. It’s just accepted that Franchise Films are the result of produce studio oversight and that’s ultimately a good thing(that’s not to say there aren’t examples where this hasn’t been the case but that’s a discussion for another day). Which Leads Us To... Marvel immediately comes to mind with regards to this. After 23 movies the MCU has gone through 15 directors. Those who left after one or two movies don’t have nice things to say about it and it’s easy to see why. It’s funny seeing some put the MCU on some pedestal for “How Franchises should be,” which I find head-scratching. The MCU might just be the most micro-managed film franchise of all time. The amount of times I’ve read some behind the scenes piece about how scenes were shot literally weeks before release or were in six months plus of reshoots after the fact is staggering or how directors get screwed over and told to take a knee. And that’s not even getting into the nitty gritty of it all like how they don’t allow directors to shoot their own action or characters being shifted roles because it would affect toy sales. They also sure as hell don’t plan everything out. The amount of times the MCU has retconned entire films out of existence or just pretended certain developments didn’t happen could be its own drinking game. Character development in thrown out the window for the sake of appearance. The writers of Endgame can’t seem to keep their answer straight as to where and when Captain America ended up when he wanted to spend his life with Peggy. If anything Marvel is really good at giving the impression that everything is a well maintained car while running on fumes. Compare the Avenger’s Home Base between movies and then tell me with a straight face “Marvel Pays attention to continuity.” As an aside, what exactly do Marvel and Star Wars have in common? Aside from being owned by Disney what do they have in common? Nothing..... The approach, risks taken, sense of awe, the types of stories of told. It's like comparing a nice tasty burger from that one restaurant in town to an all you can eat Buffet. Sure it's all food at the end day but theres a difference. There’s also the matter of the type of directors that Marvel has picked. They largely go for Indie or TV directors with very little experience making films this scale. They also don’t have a huge amount of clout to their name so they can’t make huge demands for what they want. Sure some have more of a style and clout to them but those are the exceptions that proves the rule. For every Ryan Coogler or James Gunn there's The Russo Brothers or Jon Watts. Star Wars on the other hand has actively sought out directors with experience in films this size and those who have their own style that is reflected in the ones they make. To summarize JJ Abrams is Diet-Spielberg while Rian Johnson is Quirky American Auteur. Gareth Edwards could be the next “mostly” poignant blockbuster director while Ron Howard is a seasoned Veteran. Star Wars could have easily have grabbed any number of pencil pusher directors and gave them ultra strict guidelines to follow and nothing else. Have them make movies that are nothing more than giant fan service reels aimed at getting all the fan dollars in the world. And I think that's what so many kind of expected we were getting from the get go and are confused and out right mad that isn't the case. To Quote u/friedAmobo "Disney and Lucasfilm, regardless of what some people may think, are not stupid - they know the best way to make money is to do what the fans want. That would mean Luke being the main character in TFA, the main trio reuniting, and other fan service moments that would make Rogue One blush. The fact that TFA\ ***isn’t*** *about any of that is telling. It means they had an idea for something different, and they made it."* "TLJ is even more condemning for the cash grab argument. Rian Johnson was the sole writer and director of the movie, and as we all know, the movie was very divisive. But how was that a cash grab, then? If Lucasfilm wanted to make tons of money, they could have a powerful Luke train Rey, and then have him beat the First Order on Crait with super Force powers. It’d have made an easy couple hundred million dollars more. The fact that they didn’t do that, but ended up going with a story that had the potential to be divisive is, again, telling." But…. then you have the complete 180 with the anthology films. Rogue One and Solo and reading into their production is mind boggling. For as much as TROS’s production seemed like a nightmare, the production of these two seemed like fighting Nightmare from Metroid: Fusion. No one wants to come clean with what the hell happened with Rogue One. What movie completely reshoots it’s final act with a little over 6 months before release(not saying it doesn’t happen just bare with me here)? Gareth Edwards is probably never going to talk about how he was basically fired from it and replaced with Tony Gilroy. You think it’s anyway surprising that he has nothing to do with this Cassian Disney+ series? Solo had its directors fired midway through production then reshot the entire movie with someone else. That Doesn't Happen…… I remember hearing that during the summer of 2017 and my coworkers and I just laughed our heads off at it. The notion of a Han Solo movie (without Harrison Ford) was such a ridiculous idea at the time and then this happened on top of it. There’s also the uncomfortable truth that no one wants to admit about the Anthology Films. They Aren’t About Anything. Not that they aren’t about “anything” in the literal sense, but more so in the “these films exist to shove Star Wars nostalgia in your face and nothing else.” They are set during the OT era for frigg sake and throw LORE and CANON junk at you to make up for their complete lack of emotional/ dramatic meaning(I say this as someone who enjoys Solo greatly). Because they are side stories you the viewer don’t have to worry about anything of major consequence happening in them that would affect the main narrative (Skywalker Saga in this case). They can do whatever they want and basically a safe bet for an audience. You don't have to worry abut your favourite characters being killed or doing things you don't agree with. It’s like a video game side quest where all you get is a shiny new item by the end of it that’s good for a while until you get something better an hour later. This might not seem like much but I think fans seriously underestimate the power that comes with these being a side story. The Mandalorian fits into this category as well and something that Hello Greedo has praised the show excessively for. Add on the fact that Disney/ Lucasfilm is going to keep making Star Wars content in the form of movies/ Live Action series/ animation until the ice caps melt and we all die. It's not out of the realm of possibility that something you've always "wanted" might one day happen. To quote my very good friend u/SorryNotSpartacus: “They also, very simply, are not the main saga, and I think people underestimate how much of a difference that makes to the fan audience that by and large seems to respond more positively to the anthology films. Most fans are used to reading or watching EU material.” I recall seeing multiple comments early 2018 “RJ should have been given an Anthology film(s) instead.” As if to say “That way he can do what he wants and I don’t have to worry about it,” or something to that affect. But there’s also the sad fact at the end of day that’s all Star Wars fans “Want.” They don’t want a story or anything meaningful but a shrine to their nostalgia, a two hour fan service reel or a big “thank you” for being fans. Fulfill their own expectations and make them feel nothing but superficial joy. Don't let them think or feel anything else in the process. To quote Frank Oz: “All the people who don’t like this ‘Jedi’ thing is just horse crap. It’s about expectations. The movie didn’t fill their expectations. But as Filmmakers, we’re not here to fill people’s expectations.” He’s talking about The Last Jedi if that wasn’t clear. You’d think this would be obvious but so many fans seem to think it’s the other way around that these things exists to validate them as fans and nothing else. Don’t believe me? Go to any Star Wars sub reddit and search “this but un-ironcally,” or just type any number of words followed be “fans.” The results might surprise you… or won’t. Better yet just Search Rogue One and look for the most upvoted post. It's why I take issue with that recent quote from Jon Favreau that's been floating around for the last few weeks. “We alway knew, and this was something I learned from over at Marvel and working with Kevin Feige, is you always want to keep core fans in mind, because they have been the ones that’ve been keeping the torch lit for many, many years, but there are also stories for young people and for new audiences. These are myths, and you always want to have an outstretched hand to people who might not have that background . And so you’re really telling two stories at once. You’re telling the story for the people who are fresh eyes, and you’re telling the story for the people who’ve been there with the property and with the stories and characters for many years, and make sure you’re honouring them as well.” Almost as if he's saying "Just shove enough fan-service onscreen, someone will recognize it and it will make up for our lack of story telling abilities." It's funny how he uses what he learned from Marvel as "collective wisdom" when he got screwed hard when trying to make Iron Man 2 a movie about Tony Stark dealing with his own death. Stop treating these very corporately controlled entities like they are your best friend, they are not and never will be. Even if you think you have, it's not real. You think this wouldn’t have to be said but it needs to: You as a fan do not own Star Wars. Buying all the stickers and Funko Pops doesn’t make you an owner no matter how you stretch it. You do not have a say on how these things go, you do not get to say what can and can’t happen, you are not the writer, you are not the director, you are not the person who wipes the table off after a meeting because same jack-hole split coffee all over it.You are the person who buys a ticket then bitches online about it. Then again there is always the obvious “fans have no fucking idea what the hell they even want anymore.” Not that I’m free from this, I sure as hell don’t know what I want. I could give some vague answer like “More Babu Frik” but even that seems too broad. I saw a really dumb tweet around February 2018 that showed two posters, The Last Jedi and Justice League and the tweeter said "Filmmakers of these franchises should be actively aware what fans want and go out of their way to ensure that." Naturally most of the replies were ridiculing the guy for his flawed logic. The most liked reply came from someone who said the following "This implies that Star Wars fans actually know what the hell they even want." Also Justice League failed because it didn't do what the fans want? Oi Vey....) None of this is to say anything you yourself have criticized any of the ST films isn’t valid to you or someone else. Unless you’re one of those people who thinks “They have a secret political agenda!” in which case please stop. For as much as I talked about the ST being filmmake director driven they are still very much films released by Disney for the sake of profit. It’s just as much an art form as it is a business. Just as much of a product as they are a piece of fiction. For as much as RJ and his cast and crew have talked about the freedom he was given, he's not going to kill off all the characters and have Rey become a film scholar and analyze the works of Zack Snyder. The ST films are not art house epics and never will be. Neither is the PT or OT for that matter. Lucas is a much better businessman than director. He knew damn well the PT was his ticket to make up losing half his fortune after his messy divorce. Keep things going so he can basically retire once ROTS was done. But that’s all I have to say on the matter. This was based entirely on observation and conversations with others. Also there is no JJ-cut of TROS. There is no version of The Rise of Skywalker in which all the past Jedi appear as ghosts and start doing all the kick flips imaginable that was cut because CHINA. It Doesn't Exist.
New Khabib Interview on: Gaethje, GSP, Mcgregor rematch,P4P, critics and more [Translated by Shoorik1987]
This interview was kindly translated by sherdog member: Shoorik1987 About preparation in Dagestan Usually I prepare in US and then a couple of weeks before the fight we flight out too wherever the fight is taking place. This Time we decided to do preparations in Dagestan because of the pandemic, last time my fight was canceled because of that. So this time we’re doing the main preparations here and at the end phase fly to Abu-Dhabi. Who will be accompanying you to Abu-Dhabi? 27th of October Zubaira will have a fight 10th of October Tagir Ulanbekov is fighting. Islam Makhachev and Umar Nurmagomedov and the rest of the guys who will be helping us to prepare. We know about Umar’s opponent and Islam as well. Who will Abubakar be fighting? Tagir got an opponent as well. About Abubakar, we decided to move his fight date to December. We decided that he can reach optimal form in December. So he will preparing with us and help us, but he will fight in December If you compare and rank all of your opponents what level or at what place would you put him? First, second, third? There are different kind of levels depending on what skill you look at. When it comes to take-down defense, he’s in the first place. If you look at his cardio, I think he’s not even top-3 and I’m going to prove this in the fight. His ground game is a big question mark, we’ve never seen his ground game. So we’ll have to see what that’s all about during the fight. You have said that you want to fight GSP in LW. Why LW, 40 year old GSP will have a hard time making that weight. Well, that’s not my problems. I don’t care about that. This fight has meaning only at LW, since it has to be a fight for the title. He doesn’t have a belt at WW, he’s the former champion. So we have to fight at LW if this is going to be a championship fight. Have you changed your stance on changing weight classes? No, I’m a natural LW. And I think that I started my career in UFC at LW and I’ll finish it there. I have no wish to switch weightclasses. What do you think about Jon Jones being #1 P4P and you in #2? To be honest I would myself put Jon Jones at #1 spot. I think he defended his belt 9 times and he is unbeaten even if he has 1 DQ loss. He’s beating big names, many legends. But his last couple of fights he’s not showing his best performances, lost many rounds, many people even argue that he lost a couple of his last fights. There are also PED scandals. But if you look at his skillset I think he’s #1 P4P, justly. They say that co-main event on during your next event will be Poirier vs Ferguson. Who will win and who will you cheer for? Anyone of them can win, but I’m leaning towards Poirier. It would be a good co-main event and it would draw more attention to our event. Ali Abdelaziz says that Usman Nurmagomedov (Khabib’s cousin) who will fight on 9th of September in Moscow is an improved version of Khabib. Is that true? The MMA community will certainly hear about Usman in the future. But instead of praising him, I prefer to beat him up in training. I think that will have a better influence on him. It’s to early to talk about him. The kid has 10-0 streak in MMA, he’s undefeated, we have big plans for him. But at the moment I think it’s not time to talk about him or praise him. He still has a lot to prove. How big is the chance for rematch with McGregor? I’m completely uninterested in this. Sure there is a chance. But right now there are deserving contenders who are good, tough and active. I’m not thinking about him at all. I already did all I had to do with him. I don’t care at all about what media is saying. I proved in 2018, that as an opponent inside the cage, he has nothing to oppose me. When you retire, will you retire for good or is there a chance that you will make a comeback which happens to a lot of fighter? 90% of athletes make comebacks after retirements. I can almost certainly say that I will retire for good. If there will be something it might be some kind of exhibition matches. But it will be impossible to rise to this level after retirement. I will not be returning to UFC after retirement. Do you need a boxing fight with Floyd Mayweather? Is he the only boxer who you’d like to fight? Yes, he’s the only one. Do I need it? It would be a good money fight, but I wouldn’t want to sell out my legacy for millions of dollars. I understand completely Mayweather would be hard for me to beat in a pure boxing match. Maybe if I need money some day. You recently named top-5 Russian fighters (Yan, Zabit, Islam, Askarov and Ismailov). Recently Nemkov won Bellator belt. Is he top-5 in your opinion? Yes, he’s certainly top-5. When I named my top-5 I had Vadim in mind and understood that if he wins his fight he’ll be a top 5. Vadim is not just an MMA fighter, he has a huge body of work in the amateurs, in hand to hand combat and in combat sambo. He has great chance to enter top-5. There are Blachwicz, Rakic, Thiago Silva and Dominic Reyes. I would put Nemkov on the same level as those guys. What do you think about potential fight between Fedor and Brock Lesnar? Sure it’s a good fight. But I think the best fight for Fedor would be against Werdum. He’s a free agent now so this fight can easily be arranged. It would be a good fight for Fedor and he can avenge that unfortunate loss. Is there a fight in MMA that didn’t happen but that you would like to have seen? Yes, prime Cain Velasquez vs prime Fedor. Cain was the dominant champion in UFC and Fedor was the dominant champion in pride with a huge void between them and the #1 contender in their organizations. That would be an epic fight. Gaethje said that Javier Mendez has nothing to do with your gameplans. I think that he’s completely wrong. From 2012, one of the most important people in my career is Javier Mendez. He’s #2 as we said, my father was #1. A couple of weeks ago we spoke on the phone and Javier said to me. We’re preparing for the fight, send me a video of your sparring. I forgot about it and didn’t send so 2 days later he called me up and said, you promised to send me video of your sparring. I understand that it’s hard what you’re going through, but we’re in camp and have to remain professional, so send me a video of your sparring, it’s an order. So we have good, friendly relationship, but when in camp we approach it professionally and responsibly and we’re very critical towards each other. So what Gaethje is saying, he has absolutely no clue about our communication with Javier. After the loss of your father, how has your system of preparation changed. This is the first fight camp without him. The system hasn’t changed, but the atmosphere has changed. This gym where we are, this was his project, he never god to see it finished. The system hasn’t changed, but I miss my father. But what can we do about it? We have to accept it and keep moving forward. There’s no other choice. You either have to leave the sport or approach it responsibly. So I keep training as always, maybe even more than usual. But the system remains. Will it feel like something’s missing without him? He would have been in Abu Dhabi with you. Yes, of course. You know, when I signed the contract, I had 2 options. Either Vegas or Abu Dhabi. I chose Abu Dhabi, because my father could be present. So we signed the contract and then father passed away, but we couldn’t change the place. You’re a famous superstar. What kind of person are you trying to be? I’m certainly not living a superstar life. People around me in my village are not treating me like that. It may be important to some. I don’t like communicating with people like that, I’m a star, you’re not a star, that’s wrong in my opinion. I’m a common person, inside the gym I’m tough of course. Usman can confirm that (smile) and Umar could confirm that yesterday. Outside of the gym we have common human relationships. I have a lot of family and close friends around me. We’ve been close our whole life. I was born and grew up in this village, nothing has changed in 27 years, we’re sticking to our system. But can you show you face in public? Well I can in theory… But usually a lot of people gather and want to take pictures and autographs. I couple of weeks ago I met a friend for 15 minutes in a café. After 15 minutes there were 40-50 people outside waiting to take a picture. So I had to stand there 25 minutes taking picture with women and children. Do you refuse? 95% of the time no. How would you rate your current form? 65%, there is still 50 days before the fight. In that time I will reach optimal form. 24th of October I will try to finish my opponent. I have a goal of finishing him in 2-3 round. Will it be an interesting fight? For me it will be interesting to see how his ground game is. We’ve never seen that. Second when it comes to cardio, I think I’m twice the man he is. When it comes to striking, many people underestimate my striking, but during my 12 years of fighting professionally I never had a cut, a scratch or event a bruise. Justin Gaethje, we’ve seen him knocked out brutally two times, he take a lot of damage in his fights. But he’s a very tough fighter with good chin. I think though that I’m a better striker then him. Many MMA fans often critique you for spending a lot of time wrestling with your opponents on the ground. Because I don’t lose my fights the way that they’d like me to? Maybe it’s like that? Look, the best aspect of my game is my ground game and my top control, why would I fight how fans want me to fight? I’m a dominating champion and have been in this game for 12 years. It has never happened in the history of this sport that a person that is competing for as long as I do, does it without losses. I think that my fight IQ is higher than people asking those questions why I fight this way or that way. It’s up to me to decide how I fight, and the fans can decide if they want to watch it or not. That doesn’t matter to me at all. My fans will watch, my haters will watch as well because they hope they’ll see me loose. I have no issues with that. I just go in there and do my thing. Everyone knows my game plan, let them try and stop me. There is certain excitement in that for the fans.
2020 Offseason Review Series Day 26: The New England Patriots
New England Patriots
Division: AFC East 2019: 12-4, Division Win Before I dive in, I want to give a massive, massive thanks to timnog - who is a national treasure and the resident .gif queen of the Patriots - and arbrown83 - who provides excellent high-quality OC and manages patriotsdynasty.info, a definitive repository for content complete with data and .gifs spanning the past 20 years. Basically everything in this piece that isn't sourced in the click (twitter, youtube etc.) came from one of them and I don't want to imagine what this would look like without them.
Joe Judge: After eight seasons with the team, five as our Special Teams coordinator, Joe Judge has left New England to take on a head coaching job with the New York Giants. New England's special teams units have been consistently good to great during Judge's tenure with the team and particularly played a massive part in the 2018 Super Bowl victory against the LA Rams. With Judge's departure the team faces special teams uncertainty for the first time in nearly a decade
Dante Scarnecchia: One of the few dedicated position coaches in the NFL with broad name recognition among many fans, Dante Scarnecchia has been one of the best position coaches in the league and a franchise legend. Scar has survived 5 General Manager transitions, 4 different head coaches, 3 decades of coaching, 2 sales of the franchise and a partridge in a pear tree return to work after a two year hiatus in retirement. Scar has been pivotal in the franchise's ability to continually identify and develop raw physical talent into serviceable or better starting linemen over the past 20 years. He heads off into retirement (part 2) and will be sorely missed
Bret Bielema: After two years with the team as a consultant and defensive line coach, Bret Bielema has departed with Judge to take on a defensive advisory role with the Giants
Jedd Fisch: Added to the offensive staff as the Quarterback's coach, Jedd Fisch has spent the better part of 20 years bouncing around between college and the NFL with the Texans, Ravens, Broncos, Seahawks and Jaguars before landing most recently with the LA Rams as a senior offensive assistant and assistant offensive coordinator in 2018/2019. Fisch brings a broad scope of experience to the table as an offensive mind. The linked article goes into some schematic possibilities that his addition may foretell, but we'll look closer at that in a later section
Troy Brown: After stepping in last August to try his hand coaching, team Hall of Famer, fan favorite, RecevieReturneCornerback Troy Brown has been officially added to the coaching staff. While he spent much of last season working with the receivers, recent news says Brown will be working with the running backs as we go into camp. Whatever the case, if the man can impart even a fraction of his work ethic and selfless attitude onto the players he will be a welcome addition to the staff
After last year's mass coaching exodus there are relatively few losses among the coaching staff this season, but two of them are major losses that will certainly be felt. The team has remained true to form this year in handling coaching turnover - losses have been addressed by promotions from within and the team has brought in one mid-priority, experienced outsider to supplement.
2 yrs, $50M
Kyle Van Noy
4 yrs, $51M
3 yrs, $30M
2 yrs, $8M
1 yr, $3M
1 yr, $2M
1 yr, $2M
1 yr, $1M
Tom Brady gets his own dedicated posts. It's simply impossible to talk about Tom Brady's Patriot tenure and legacy or what he has meant to the team, fan base and the sport of football inside a larger body post like this. The reddit limit for text posts is 40k characters and I could easily eclipse that talking about Brady and his career. I wouldn't be doing anybody justice by trying to shoehorn that commentary in here next to comments about Kyle Van Noy and Danny Shelton. It's simply a different universe of impact and significance from both objective and emotional angles. Suffice it to say in this section that he leaves a Lovecraftian void in his wake
Kyle Van Noy received a well-deserved payday after delivering above and beyond expectation on his opportunity in New England. Acquired in a trade-deadline deal in 2016, Van Noy worked his way through backup duties into a significant role as a hybrid edge defender. In 2017 after Dont'a Hightower went down for the season injured, Van Noy stepped into the #1 LB role, playing starter's snap share as a valuable run stuffer and pass rusher, from the interior or from the edge, standup or hand in the dirt, even in coverage or blowing up screens, sometimes doing multiple in the same play. KVN became Mr. Utility in the front 7 and spent the past few years making plays in any way a front 7 player can. Van Noy leverages a well rounded skill set to impact games in any manner possible, and he's helped the team to three super bowl appearances and two wins doing it while being one of the best players on the field in SB53. He leaves for Miami to rejoin the man who helped unlock that skill set and I will not be happy seeing him on the other side of the field twice a year in the immediate future
Jamie Collins leaves the Patriots for a second time after an excellent 2019 and a major bounce back from his poor showing in Cleveland. Initially drafted by New England in 2013, Collins rose quickly to become a key defensive force early on, capitalizing on explosive athleticism and a well rounded skill set (I know it's repetitive but it's the truth. I suggest you get used to the terms "well-rounded" and "versatile" now) to create a major impact in the 2014 playoffs, to earn 2nd team All Pro honors in 2015, and to get himself traded away to the gulag Cleveland in a surprise move in the middle of 2016. Collins came back home on a one-year deal in 2019 to try and show the world he deserved one more big pay day. He delivered with gusto. Through the first half of the season Collins was performing at an all pro level for a nightmarish New England Linebacking corps, primarily contributing exceptional coverage and explosive pass rushing skills but also playing a key role against the run. Contrasting with Van Noy, who is much more of a by-the-book type player without any outstanding athletic traits for the position, Collins has made his career largely on his absurd athletic potential and instincts, which were still on full display at age 30 this season. He leaves for Detroit to rejoin the man who helped unlock his skill set and it's nice that the Patriots won't need to see him across the field twice a season
Danny Shelton heads to Detroit as a big man who delivered in a big way on his 2019 one-year prove-it deal. Shelton is not the kind of name that turns heads, but he brought a significant physical presence to the interior of a defense that had been fairly vulnerable to the ground game when opponents could lean into it. He wasn't much of a pass rusher - though he did have his moments - but he was a stout run-stuffer and anchor in the middle of the D, playing the second most snaps of all of Patriot DL on the season. He leaves some large shoes to fill and his loss significantly weakens the Patriot hair game
Ted Karras also heads to Miami after taking on a starter's role at Center with less than one month's notice on the heels of David Andrews' season-ending blood clot situation. Karras, a 6th round pick in 2016, played just 430 snaps over three seasons as a reserve OL before responsibility was thrust upon him this season. Karras played admirably on over 1000 snaps and while he wasn't blowing any doors off the center position - particularly early on when he was still hammering out some snap-issues that had also flared up in 2017 - the fact that he was able to play 90% of New England's offensive snaps from a reserve role without creating glaring issues was nothing short of a godsend. Karras took home the 2nd highest paycheck league-wide from the NFL's Performance Based Pay program for his efforts, and frankly the $3M contract he received from Miami was surprisingly low given how hard it is for some teams to find a competent starting center
Nate Ebner follows Special Teams coordinator Joe Judge to New York after carving out an 8 year career as a dedicated special-teamer. Did you know he also played rugby?
Elandon Roberts wraps up an impressive Patriot tenure that was largely spent wanting to run through mother fuckers' faces. I've given Roberts some shit in the past for being the one player I've seen with a unique ability to fill the right hole at the right time but manage to not even touch the ball carrier, but the guy is an awesome locker room presence, willing special teamer, named team captain and just all around up for anything. Recently seen filling a need at receiver, Roberts heads out to join Patriots south where he'll go do whatever the hell they need him to
Phillip Dorsett heads to Seattle on a minimal 1-year deal. He leaves New England much the same way he came, as a former 1st round pick with a ton of speed and not much production. He has flashed for the team at times in a 3rd/4th/5th target role but struggled when asked to do more. He'll haul in a few long bombs when things go just right though, and that's always a treat
2 yrs, $7M
2 yrs, $6M
1 yr, $1.6M
1 yr, $1.3M
1 yr, $1M
1 yr, $1M
1 yr, $1M
New England entered the 2020 Free Agency period without much cap space to speak of. After placing a franchise tag on Left Guard Joe Thuney and re-signing Free Safety Devin McCourty, the team was left without much of anything to work with. Trading away Duron Harmon turned out to be a necessary move solely for the cap ramifications.
Beau Allen is a very large man who plays in the middle of defensive lines. He's worked as a depth IDL for the Eagles and Bucs, and would seemingly be the replacement for Shelton. Certainly not a disruptive pass rusher with just 2.5 sacks to his name across 6 seasons, he's done some good work against the run in limited snaps and appears to have an open path to a more significant role. He'll even attempt to replace Shelton in the hair game, just with his face
Adrian Phillips has been a depth/rotational safety for the Chargers for 6 years while contributing on special teams at an all-pro level. He's the exact kind of guy Belichick loves to pick up for versatility and depth purposes, but he's also done enough on the field as a true safety to believe he can function in that capacity as well. Phillips is my favorite addition this season and given the age of the other safeties on the roster he'll have an opportunity to break into the lineup with significant snaps
Damiere Byrd is a very fast receiver. He hasn't been able to really break out in the pros, but he's shown up with brief flashes as a returner and deep threat. He'll have an open opportunity to seize that role without many major challenges in his way
Dan Vitale is a Fullback who has opted out of the 2020 season to put in even more work on his biceps due to conerns over COVID-19
Marquise Lee was brought in as a veteran option to compete for a receiver role. He's a talented player who has struggled significantly with injuries in recent years. He has recently opted out of the season due to concerns over COVID-19
Brandon Copeland is a versatile linebacker who has performed mainly in a rotational role for the Jets over the past few years. He's shown an ability to play the deep hole zone coverage, which was a Jamie Collins special, and to put a hand on the ground and rush a passer or run a stunt. He's an unheralded name but those qualities might allow him to step into the giant chasm of opportunity left at linebacker in the wake of Collins and Van Noy's departures
Not much in the way of splashy names. Those signings left New England without even enough money to sign a draft class. Without even enough cap space to fit a veteran minimum contract, the team couldn't have possibly added any more players..... Wait. What?
1 yr, $1.75M
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Kyle Dugger became the 6th defensive back in a decade to be taken by the Patriots in round 2 of the NFL draft. I'm going to take a minute to address this elephant in the room because the track record there is, frankly, abysmal. The most successful second round DB taken by the Patriots in the last decade is Tavon Wilson, and the gap between Wilson and the second best DB the team has taken in round 2 is incomprehensibly large considering Wilson started a grand total of 4 games in New England. Ras-I Dowling was healthy for 9 games in 3 years. Jordan Richards stuck around as a special teamer while inducing panic any time he played in an actual safety role. Cyrus Jones muffed approximately one million 4 punts and fumbled another on just 14 return opportunities before being sent to Baltimore as a sleeper agent. Duke Dawson was traded for a 6th/7th round swap 1 year after being drafted, having played exactly 0 snaps. Joejuan Williams murdered twelve puppies can't be faulted for not breaking into the starting lineup in a ridiculously strong cornerback room in year 1 and isn't a lost cause yet, thankfully. This is what comes to mind when Patriot fans think about drafting DBs in the second round. It's not any player's fault that the Patriots draft them when they do, but it's such a well-known string of failures that it became a talking point when the team traded a 2nd round pick for Mo Sanu. Enter Kyle Dugger. Dugger played for Lenoir-Rhyne, a D-II school with a sports-reference page that looks like this, boasting 6 whole names of NFL players who combined to produce 16 AV. Dugger is the highest draft pick to come out of Lenoir-Rhyne by over 100 slots, and for good reason. He arguably only ended up playing D-II because of a very late growth spurt, and by the time he had it his combination of explosive athleticism and pro-size physique left him looking a man among boys. Film on Dugger is scant, and much of what exists looks like the Zapruder tape, but even in the blurry mess you simply can't miss the guy being disruptive in coverage, flying around like a missile, decleating ball carriers and running circles around - or straight through - punt coverage. Dugger is pretty raw. A few seasons flexing on physically outmatched competition in D-II is not the best way to prepare for sophisticated NFL defenses and opponents with more similar athletic profiles. That said, the physical tools are elite even when measured by NFL standards. He's a 99th percentile SPARQ athlete who reportedly smothered TEs and receivers in senior bowl week. It's hard to say too much about Dugger until we see more but he seems to have every tool he needs to become an impact safety, a box roamer, even play some nickel/dime slot coverage in the NFL. I specifically see a Tight End eraser and eventual Pat Chung replacement if he develops well. I'm more optimistic about him than I've been about any of the other 2nd round DBs since Dowling. The age in the safety group, Chung's opt out and Harmon being traded away have opened things up for someone to take over a large chunk of the snaps and whether it happens sooner or later Dugger looks like he can be the one to break a series of sadness a decade old. I'm ready to either get hurt again or watch him become the next Brian Dawkins. At least he wasn't a projected 6th rounder
Josh Uche became the second Michigan defender drafted to New England in two years. While he played primarily on the edge he was deployed in off-ball alignment and crowding A gaps over guards, displaying the versatility New England loves in its front 7. An excellent quick-twitch athlete, Uche produced a pressure on over 22% of his pass rush snaps in 2018 and 2019, 1st in the nation per PFF and displays explosive ability as a pass rusher off the ball to blow past OTs and as a run defender with a blazing fast closing speed. The major knocks against Uche in the draft process were a general lack of reps - as he did not break out until his junior year and was still ceding snaps to Rashan Gary and Chase Winovich - a slightly undersized frame and a lack of drill numbers owing to a hamstring tweak suffered in the senior bowl then a canceled pro day due to COVID-19. He's shown great bend and reasonably polished hand fighting technique to complement the athletic gifts, and whether he ends up primarily in a pass rushing role or moving around the front, he's a welcome addition to a severely depleted front-7. Find an excellent OC film breakdown by Memokerobi in this thread
Anfernee JenningsAnfernee Jennings mainly filled an edge role in Alabama's hybrid defense. In contrast the quick-twitch and bend we saw in Uche, Jennings provided a stout, strong, physical presence for one of the country's best defenses. Jennings was a productive pass rusher and a particularly dominant run stuffer, at times manhandling some of the best blocking TEs in college to get there. Despite playing a majority of his snaps at the edge last season, Jennings has the physical tools to line up off-ball as a downhill thumper as well. He has experience lining up everywhere from the 4-tech to wide 9, stand-up or hand in the dirt, and he's displayed a sophisticated game IQ in play diagnosis. While his game is markedly different from Uche's, he finds himself facing the same opportunity to make an immediate mark in the linebacking corps. To this point if you think I've been repetitive while talking about the draft picks, it's because I have been. The first three picks in the 2020 draft have all been versatile defensive pieces that should be able to move around the formation fluidly. As the league evolves and offenses adapt to answer the recently-popularized "big nickel" personnel grouping, the need for defenders who can fill a variety of needs has only increased. That factor and the loss of versatile defenders Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins creates a pretty clear picture of what the Patriots were working towards early in the draft
Devin Asiasi became the first TE drafted by the Patriots inside the top 200 picks since 2010. Asiasi is a well-rounded player who has shown the ability to play in-line or split wide, albeit in limited time as he's only had one season of significant usage and production. In that year, he displayed very reliable hands and solid route-running ability while making impacts at all three levels of the passing game. He was also a competent, if raw, blocker with the frame to match many edge defenders. He's a tough runner with the ball in his hands, though he's not going to outrun most defenders and with a bit of development he should be able to fill the all-around TE role the Patriots desperately need filled
Dalton Keene became the second TE drafted by the Patriots inside the top 200 picks since 2010. Keene is a versatile guy, the proverbial H-back type who spent a significant amount of time moving all around the formation at Virginia Tech last year. He's a tenacious blocker and is described by basically everybody as having relentless effort. The main drawbacks with Keene are his production - with just 748 yards receiving across 3 college seasons - and the fact that his route tree is more a shrub. He's a player who has predominantly gotten open by leaking out of a blocking assignment or against motion on play action. That said, George Kittle makes a significant amount of his hay running leak or counter motion routes too so it's not as if that role doesn't have value. Keene is extremely unpolished, but he's shown the skills necessary to become an impactful TE if he can prove himself with a major increase in responsibilities, volume and overall refinement
Michael Onwenu (#50) is a strong, stocky interior lineman who simply bullies people in tight spaces, but he doesn't move very well and can be stiff in his stances and footwork. New England has had success in the past with coaching up stiff or awkward movers into useful offensive linemen - Marcus Cannon is a prime example - and Onwenu should have time to work on his weaknesses as he was drafted into a very strong IOL group with established starters. With some coaching up he could end up a great value for a 6th round investment
Justin Herron is a long Tackle with decent hands and mobility who's main criticisms are a lack of any particular strength or control in the run game. After bouncing back nicely from an ACL tear in 2018, Herron played well enough at Wake Forest to earn a late round draft selection. With the uncertainty around New England's Tackle situation, he could have a good chance to stick as a depth piece for future development
Cassh Maluia was a solid three year starter for Wyoming with good athleticism for the position and notable closing speed. Physically he's similar in build to Elandon Roberts. The gaping void that opened up at linebacker this offseason and the loss of a few dedicated special teamers should give him a chance to make the roster and leave his mark
Dustin Woodard was a long-time starter at Memphis. He moves pretty well but he's on the small, stocky side and will need to add strength and refine his technique if he's going to contribute in the NFL. He'll have some stiff competition for a depth role as an interior lineman
It's never easy to talk about Patriots drafts. In 2020 the team clearly wanted to add versatility on multiple levels, and they did something we've seen them do multiple times before and double dipped at positions of significant need. A number of pundits have panned the Pats 2020 draft class because it didn't include a Quarterback or receiver, while others have praised it because the team moved around a number of picks and that must be a good sign. If forced to give a grade I'd throw out a B/B-. Dugger has a ridiculous potential ceiling but his rawness is scary. I absolutely love the Uche pick. He was a favorite of mine through the process with nice tape who seemed generally undervalued due to lack of volume. He could return major upside. Jennings is a classic Patriots prototype pick who could be great for the team, and he was selected at about "expected" range. Asiasi is someone I liked in the scouting process as a competent receiver but I would have preferred Adam Trautman as the more complete package. I liked Dalton Keene for fit but I didn't expect him before the middle of day 3. Trading 2 4ths to the Jets to move up for Keene there just doesn't sit right. The Rohrwasser pick is another Belichick staple on the current rookie wage scale. Once the 5th round rolls around he starts taking his "reach" shots on special teamers or long-shot projects e.g. Punter Jake Bailey, Long Snapper Joe Cardona, Punter Zoltan Mesko or reclamation projects Byron Cowart and Marcus Cannon. Most of those picks have turned out pretty good for the team. Given that track record and the need, I expected and don't hate taking the kicker there. I know nothing about Rohrwasser except he apparently went 100% from 50+ yards and had a handful of impressive kicks in bad weather, but Belichick has been on point with specialists and the team hasn't brought in any competition so I believe in his ability. The rest of the selections are just prospective depth, which is hard to get excited about but is also something the team desperately needed. I'm glad the team didn't try to take a QB and instead focused on addressing a lack of roster depth, an aging safety group, an eviscerated LB corps and the worst TE room in the league. For the oldest roster in the NFL and for how many contributing bodies the team lost in free agency, this draft class isn't exactly sexy, but it is a necessity and very on-brand for the Patriots.
James Develin, long time fullback, has retired from the NFL and will be sorely missed. That .gif is basically his Patriot tenure and his personality in a nutshell. He gives a relentless effort, displaying hard-nosed tenacity, and you can feel the sheer joy emanating from Legarrette Blount. Develin was a positive personality in the locker room, a versatile utility knife on the field and an all around great guy.
The world is in the middle of a pandemic. This is very obviously affecting every team and the league as a whole. Specific to New England, the Patriots have had eight players opt out of the 2020 season. In order of 2019 snap count, the team has lost RT Marcus Cannon, LB Dont'a Hightower, safety Patrick Chung, RB Brandon Bolden and TE Matt LaCosse. On top of this, Free Agent signings Marquise Lee and Danny Vitale have opted out, as well as Guard Najee Toran, who was signed to a futures contract this past December. This is the highest number of opt-outs in the NFL. When combined with the free agent losses and the trade of Duron Harmon, the New England defense has lost 4,141 high-quality snaps and another 598 role-player snaps from 2019. That represents an absolutely staggering 45% of all defensive snaps lost from year to year. The important takeaway here isn't about football though.
Thanks for reading if indeed you have. If not, thanks for at least scrolling to the bottom. I hope it's been enjoyable and informative. Stay safe and be good to each other. E: Of course within hours of posting this the Patriots finalized multiple roster moves. Lamar Miller was signed to a 1 year deal. While the terms are unknown at the moment, he'll be a strong candidate to come in and carry a significant workload. The signing suggests that the team is unsure of Sony Michel's availability after the foot surgery that currently has him on the PUP list and does not feel comfortable leaning on Burkhead or Harris in the event that Sony misses time. Jordan Leggett has also been signed and could push Ryan Izzo for a roster spot.
My previous post about trading for Barnes was very unpopular, so lets try this again. Gallinari (32 yrs old) is about to be a free agent and there is a chance we can get him in a sign & trade for Danny and Kuzma + second round pick/ our 2020 pick (once it conveys, we can't trade it before) Thunder do this because they
get an exciting and promising player in Kuz alongside Green who will be serviceable for a Playoff run or will get bought out to join a contender.
get 2nd round pick or even our 2020 pick
We do this because Gallinari is exactly what our team needs:
Consistent, smart veteran who can get his own shot and draw fouls
Elite 90% free throw shooter
Elite and consistent 40% 3 point shooter on high volume
Good high IQ defender ( vs bigger guys but struggles 1v1 vs guards)
Gallinari does this, because he comes back to LA to win a chip with the Lakers. Yay or nay? Personally I'd hate to break up this group, but I do it on a 2+1 team option. A player like Gallinari is exactly what we need as our current inconsistent shooting/playmaking/free throws can cost us a series and most imporantly we gotta go all in for LeBron's final years. edit: we have no cap space and there are pretty much no other options out there (harrison barnes trade, melo... thats about it)
Girsky is the Mastermind in the Eron Musk Chronicles
Girsky is the inside conman. He plowed his own and his new investment companies/clients money into Nikola. Maybe he himself was originally conned by Trevor and saw huge IP potential especially as they like to fall back on, "tHeY aRE rEAlLy a hYdrOGeN cOMpAnY", maybe he knew. Then at some point he came to realize what we all know now, Nikola doesn't have shit. His 700 million dollar play netted him a giant hotwheels truck, a dirt patch, no IP, no hydrogen production, no near future production of vehicles and a ship helmed by Milton & Friends. At some point as he watched Milton & Friends spend more time enjoying their newfound wealth than actually making a fucking product, he probably realized that unlike Papa Elon making his own car company wasn't going to grow his hair back. He also probably realized that he is completely fucked and needs to salvage his own and clients money before they plug his holes like the hair plugs he will now never get. So what does he do? Well he can't magic up Enron Musk's claims into reality and he can't get his money out until lockups end. This really leaves him two choices.
Fake it till you make it.
Maximize stonk value until you can unload your concrete bags onto some robinhood retards.
Honestly, his match making with GM is truly an amazing play in this regards. It sets them up for both. He knows they can't just go to anyone, asking for a partner to give them something big enough to meet his goals or "invest" is risky as they would probably actually do some DD. Trying to offer the GM deal to anyone else is also very suspect, as why would this exploding company with awesome tech, potential and IP just be handing out free money for things they allegedly can already do? But with his previous ties with GM he has an inside track and can frame this as using his previous connections and expertise to form forward thinking partnerships. Selling it to GM was easy, offer them free money, EV credits and some hype maybe even a chance to boost some stock prices as they greedily eye the EV stocks mooning. Plus Girsky probably remembers from his time at GM that they are fucking retarded and their number one product is running the company into the ground since the 90's. That play has now set up both the options. Either this lends enough cover for them to fake it until they make it, while they work out how to rebrand from innovator to integrator and try to piggy back of GM to make some half assed product. Hoping people forget about what was originally promised by the time it is ready for market. Or it sets them up to lend enough credibility and make GM a willing accomplice in propping up stock price as now if GM wants to turn that monopoly money into real cash they need to commit to "supporting" nikola. Which considering how outside of bad optics for a company with really not much reputation to lose seems like a no brainer. Finally, why all this? Because unlike Enron Musk, Girsky probably doesn't want to go to jail for fraud. The GM deal is an elegant solution to lie to people with out actually lying to people. Since he probably has at least two more IQ points than Milton he won't just come out and make some easily disprovable claim. Watch this collapse after lockup ends. TL;DR? Girsky is the real mastermind, idiot YOLO'd money onto Enron Musk playing tonka trucks in the dirt and orchestrated the GM deal in only a way he could to save his ass and his money. $NKLA $25p 1/15
Dark Souls 2's infusion system, while much more streamlined than DS1 or Demon's Souls, is still a frequent source of confusion. Hopefully I can break down not only what each infusion does, but when they're beneficial and with which weapons.
Elemental (Magic, Fire, Lightning, Dark)
Elemental infusions work very differently depending on whether the weapon you're infusing already has natural elemental damage. Infusing an elemental weapon with a matching element will cause the base damage and scaling for that element to increase and the physical base damage and scaling to decrease. The elemental scaling shown in the stats is almost always about a letter grade higher than it looks, that B is in reality more like an A. It's not advisable to infuse a weapon with a non-matching element. It does funky things to the damage calculations. Infusing any other weapon causes it to lose a portion of base physical damage and gain a large amount of base elemental damage, usually equal to the now reduced physical base damage. Unfortunately, doing this also wrecks the scaling. The actual values for both physical and elemental scaling will be about half of what the letter grades would lead you to believe. In practice, it shares a lot in common with the Raw infusion; a quick and dirty damage boost that may not be able to keep pace at higher levels. The difference being that physical damage is almost always good, but you'll pretty regularly run into enemies that have high resistance to any given element. There is another angle, though. Buff spells like Magic Weapon and Sunlight Blade are significantly more powerful on weapons with an elemental infusion than those without. This means that if you're capable of casting a buff, infusing with an element is almost certainly the best choice until you run into something with very high resistance TLDR: Elemental infusions are good on weapons with high base damage and low scaling or that already have elemental damage and are at their most effective when you can further boost their damage with a buff.
Enemies inflicted by poison will take roughly 1000 extra damage over the space of 20 seconds, making it able to kill most normal enemies and take large chunks off of the health bars of even the healthiest bosses (unless they're immune). Weapons infused with poison lose some of their base damage and scaling to gain poison damage and scaling. Unlike elemental infusions, the amount of poison damage they gain is not proportional to the damage the weapon does, and in fact is usually the same, regardless of weapon class or damage. Since most weapons, from daggers to great hammers will inflict the same amount of poison per hit, the most effective poison weapons are ones that can hit a lot of times in a very short period of time. Channeler's Trident and Ricard's Rapier are generally the best at this, but daggers, fist weapons and claws are pretty good too. Weapons that have natural poison damage are rare and highly varied, so I'll take them on a case by case basis.
Mytha's Bent Blades - Can't be infused.
Spotted Whip - Highest poison damage per hit when infused. Infuse it.
Manslayer - Uninfused, it's a perfectly good weapon that occasionally poisons tanky enemies on long fights. Infuse if you want, but it's good without.
Black Scorpion Stinger - Same as the Manslayer, but it's better with a Raw infusion.
Sanctum Mace - The only weapon in the game that both has inherent poison damage and can be buffed with Rotten Pine Resin. Don't infuse.
TLDR: Powerful, but only really useful on very specific weapons.
Bleed infusions work similarly to poison infusions with the main difference being that bleed fucking SUCKS. Okay, that's not entirely fair. Filling a bleed meter inflicts 200 extra damage on the enemy and cuts their stamina bar in half for a short time. This can be very scary in pvp, especially low levels, but since NPCs don't actually use stamina it's basically useless for pve. Generally a bleed infusion is only useful in three very specific situations.
Inflicting bleed with a backstab in pvp causes a glitched recovery animation that takes much longer than normal and effectively gives you a second free backstab. Unlike most pvp exploits, this takes basically no skill to do and just feels cheap in general. Don't do it unless you like getting hackusations.
The Forlorn weapons actually get better when bleed infused. For whatever reason, it actually increases their dark scaling more than a dark infusion does and barely harms the base damage. Since they also have very high bleed damage, you're pretty likely to bleed someone in just a couple of hits. Unfortunately, you have a hefty damage penalty if you use them and aren't completely hollow, making them pretty much worthless anywhere but the arena.
Trying to fight Vendrick without any Giant Souls. 200 damage every 20-30 seconds is pretty terrible, but it's better than anything else when you're fighting someone with 96-100% resistance to everything other damage type.
TLDR: Bleed is bad.
Raw infusions severely reduce a weapon's scaling values, in some cases completely removing them. In return you get a boost to base damage. On weapons that don't have scaling, you lose nothing and gain quite a bit. On a few other weapons, you get a pretty decent damage boost if you don't plan to go over the minimum requirements for the weapon. It's not always clear which ones will be good and which ones won't so I suggest checking Soulsplanner before you commit. TLDR: Straight upgrade on weapons with no scaling. Sometimes good on others that you only want minimal stats for.
Much like Raw, the Enchanted infusion heavily reduces existing scaling. Unlike Raw, it does nothing to a weapon's base damage. Instead it adds new scaling that's based on Intelligence, but unlike a Magic infusion the damage it adds is purely physical. It's a very strange infusion and unfortunately not very useful. The problem is that the scaling is so low that in 99% of situations you need extremely high Int (80+) to outperform a Raw infusion, so it's mostly restricted to 99 Int meme builds. The one other situation where it's useful is with the Moonlight Greatsword. An Enchanted infusion converts all of its damage into physical, while still retaining pretty decent Intelligence scaling. It's a surprisingly strong weapon, but it makes the wave motion beams deal no damage so it's not really an upgrade so much as a niche option. TLDR: To be fair, you need a very high IQ to make it not suck.
A very strange infusion. It removes normal scaling and cuts base damage in half, but adds a new type of scaling that's based on your lowest stat. You have to level every stat evenly to get more damage. Now, you may have seen clips or guides on how to make Mundane OP, but those were from before the nerf. At launch, Mundane was completely, utterly, stupidly broken. To fix that, it was patched so that daggers, crossbows and Santier's Spear lose 90% of their base damage with Mundane, making it a straight downgrade. Nowadays, it's just an interesting gimmick and can take terribad weapons like the Broken Straight Sword and Handmaid's Ladle and bring them up to kind of OK. The stats necessary to get decent damage out of Mundane are enough to get better damage out of a Dark build. TLDR: Fun-ish gimmick, no longer OP.
FAQ and tips
It's important to not think of infusions as upgrades so much as specializations. A trap a lot of new players run into is infusing a weapon just because they can. You can remove and replace infusions whenever you want with no drawbacks, as long as you have the required souls and infusion stones. No, there's no infusion that improves physical scaling. If you're doing a Strength, Dex or Quality build, you're probably better off leaving things uninfused and using resin when you need a damage boost. Magic scales with Intelligence, Lightning scales with Faith, Fire scales with either one and Dark scales with both (you have to level them equally). Poison scales with Dexterity and Adaptability. Bleed scales with Dexterity and Faith. This does not mean they'll do more damage, it just means they'll be inflicted faster. Shields can be infused with elements and status effects. This improves how well they block that element/effect but reduces their effectiveness against everything else. It's possible to check how your overall AR will change before you commit to an infusion. Equip the weapon before you talk to McDuff, then before you select a weapon to infuse, press Y or Triangle or whatever to adjust what stats are shown on the right side until it shows the AR of held weapons.
https://preview.redd.it/ulhht7w4cfh51.png?width=900&format=png&auto=webp&s=8160adeefa53ee8d6b739f06be3dcbc6cae0c0df Every year NFL Network puts out a list of the Top 100 Players for the upcoming season, as voted by their peers. I have talked about the flaws of that whole process a few times already – the players only write down their top 20 players, which is understandable, but also doesn’t result in the proper results, since everybody is somewhat to put their guys on, not all players actually get to watch a lot of games, if they don’t include teams they actually face or are limited to watching highlights, and the voting concludes before the playoff are even here, which can be the only somewhat logical reason, Patrick Mahomes was only number four on the official list – even though that would still be wrong. For the purpose of this list, I first put together my rankings of the top players at every single position, but then somewhat went off script by just writing down names in the order that they shot into my head, before comparing it with the positional rankings and trying to weigh guys against each other. And just to make this clear – these rankings are based on players regardless of their position, since otherwise would have almost half the starting quarterbacks in the league within the top 20 or so. And of course this is a bit of a projection and not solely built on what these players did this previous season, but also not about where they will be at the end of 2020. Here is my list: https://preview.redd.it/6lv7eu5ecfh51.png?width=900&format=png&auto=webp&s=7e060476b8bbdf264b77e46aa6eccaff6e78c91d
What is there still to say about Mahomes? In just two years as a starter, he has been a league MVP and just led his team to three consecutive double-digit comebacks to get that Lombardi trophy. He is the most talented player I have ever seen and will now have the Chiefs as contenders in the AFC for the next decade, after signing that blockbuster deal. You can not tell me there are three humans on earth that are better at football than this guy. If we lived in a world without Mahomes, Donald would be the obvious pick here for the best player regardless of position. You can easily argue that the gap between the two-time Defensive Player of the Year and the next-closest players is even bigger (since I have a QB at three), since Donald doesn’t just have the numbers despite facing constant attention, but does so much more that doesn’t show up on the stat sheet, in terms of blowing up plays before they can even get going. Wilson to me has earned his way up to being the second-best quarterback in the league. He throws those unbelievable rainbow deep balls, is elusive as it gets at extending plays as a passer and seems to always come through when his team needs him most. He has covered up a lot of issues for the Seahawks – leading his team to a winning record every single season of his career – and the only thing that can hold him back is his own conservative coaching staff. I “only” have the league’s reigning MVP at number four, because I think there are two more proven quarterbacks and there are definitely things he can still improve upon, but holy crap, was this guy exciting last season. Lamar led the league with 43 total touchdowns and a ridiculous 9.0 touchdown percentage. His QB-record 1206 yards on the ground helped the Ravens break the all-time rushing mark for a team, but as spectacular as he was in the open field, the stats say he was also elite from within the pocket. The reigning DPOY shows up at number five here for me and while there were other worthy candidates, Gilmore was on a different level as the other corners in the league last season. He was tied for the lead-league in interceptions and scored more touchdowns (2) than he was responsible for in coverage (1), while allowing a league-best completion percentage of 44.6 and 41.8 passer rating. Outside of a week 17 blunder, he shut down every top receiver he faced. Julio to me is still the best receiver in the game and it’s not that close to be honest. His freakish combination of size, speed, leaping ability and hands set him apart from most guys, but it is the way he has continued to advance as a route-runner and technician that have paved his way to being an all-time great. Over the last six seasons, he has averaged 1565 receiving yards per season and his 96.2 yards per game is almost ten yards more than any player in NFL history. The best and most complete tight-end today is Kittle. There are only five players in the entire league with more receiving yards over the last two seasons, despite seeing about 60 targets less than the five guys ahead of him, and his 1507 yards after the catch over that stretch is second only to Christian McCaffrey. As impressive as all that is, he is equally valuable as a run-blocker, being a huge factor in setting things up for the 49ers’ second-ranked rushing attack. I know he has only been in the league for two years, but I would already take Nelson over any other interior offensive lineman in football without a doubt. When I evaluated his college tape, I thought he was a generational prospect and he has come nothing short of his expectations. Nelson has only been responsible for one sack in those two seasons combined and been named a First-Team All-Pro in both of them. If you want to know how great Adams is, just check out the kind of compensation Seattle gave up to acquire a disgruntled player at a position that is deemed undervalued by most people. The Jets are probably happy to still get as much back as they did, but Adams was their best run-defender, coverage player and pass-rusher. He is a chess piece, that improves every area of a defense and gives them an attitude and tremendous versatility. The one guy who can challenge Stephon Gilmore for the title as best corner in the league is Ramsey. While the numbers in coverage didn’t look quite as impressive last season, switching teams mid-season and missing four games, he still only allowed 45.6 yards per game and one total touchdown in coverage. Ramsey is one of only two or three guys at the position, who can match up with the opposing’s top receiver every single play. https://preview.redd.it/hd5k3rzfcfh51.png?width=900&format=png&auto=webp&s=44027dfe6dcc5ecee7f8499e0b14b5387ddae6eb
It was a very close race for the top back in the game, but I just had to go with the unbelievable talent of Saquon here. He is so explosive, elusive and powerful. Barkley was banged up for pretty much half of last season, but still averaged 5.4 yards per touch and 60 percent of his rushing yards came after contact, with bad offensive line play in front of him, that had him avoiding defenders as soon as he got the handoff at times. His 279 scrimmage yards against Washington in week 16 was the most since Julio Jones’ 300-yard performance in 2016. McCaffrey comes in right behind Barkley, coming off a highly impressive season. CMac became just the third player in NFL history to put up 1000 rushing and receiving yards in the same season and also easily leading the league with 2392 scrimmage yards. Maybe even more impressive – he had eight yards more after the catch (1013) than total receiving yards. Nobody is a bigger asset running routes out of the backfield, but he has also become a much more efficient in-between-the-tackler runner. Thomas set a new all-time record with 149 receptions last season and led the league with 1725 receiving yards. The crazy thing about that is the fact he lead all receiver in catch percentage last season at 80.5, despite being really the only guy the Saints could rely upon at that position on a weekly basis. He’s not nearly as dangerous after the catch or on vertical patterns as guys like Julio Jones or Tyreek Hill, but he is so physical and constantly comes through on third downs. When you look at what Mack had done in the five years since his rookie season (49 sacks and 76 TFLs over four seasons), he didn’t quite live up to his lofty standards last season. With that being said, he is still the most impactful guy coming off the edge when totally healthy. He is an elite run-defender, routinely puts offensive tackles on skates and has a knack for getting the ball out (11 forced fumbles since 2018). Similar to Mack – and as it has been like for several years now when these two have been right next to each other in any rankings – Miller had a down-year in 2019. He did not reach double-digit sacks for the first time since 2013, when he was put on IR mid-season, but I expect that to go back to normal with more help around him. His burst, ability to bend and smarts for the position will create issue for offenses once again this season. Deshaun is just an absolute baller. Like his former college head coach Dabo Swinney said, he is Michael Jordan-like in the big moments. Over the last two seasons, he has completed 67.8 percent of his passes for just over 4000 yards on average and 52 touchdowns compared to 21 INTs over that stretch. More importantly, he gets the Texans out of the toughest situations and has led five game-winning drives in both years. I don’t think anybody else could have led this team back in that Wildcard game, other than maybe Mahomes. After coming over from Miami via trade early last season, Fitzpatrick completely turned around this Steelers defense by bringing the secondary together and became one of the premiere play-makers in the entire league. He came up with eight takeaways and scored two touchdowns himself, with both of them completely shifting the momentum those respective games. Minkah is most valuable patrolling the deep middle of the field, but offers the versatility to play just about everywhere. I know this may be a little bit of a controversial pick, with other guys at the receiver position deserving consideration, but to me Adams right now is the third-best receiver in the game. He came up with three yards short of cracking the 1000-yard mark due to missing four games and dealing with a banged up toe, but he came up big in two playoff games, with 300 combined yards and two TDs. Adams offers the best releases in the game, as well as beautifully setting up routes with head-nods and body language, to go with tremendous body-control. Now that Luke Kuechly has retired, B-Wagz to me is the clear choice as the top middle linebacker in football. He displays great range and has to cover a lot of ground with how much base personnel the Hawks run. Wagner is also a very secure tackler, who led the league in take-downs for the second time in his career last season, after missing just one of his attempts the year before. What doesn’t get enough attention is his football IQ and the process of getting to the ball in the first place. If I told you the next player has caught 200 passes for 2565 yards and 15 touchdowns over the last two seasons, you would say that’s a great receiver – since that ranks behind only Julio, Mike Thomas, D-Hop and Mike Evans. What is even more impressive about those numbers is that Kelce has averaged 9.0 yards despite that high target share. He is the premiere flex receiving tight-end, who can be moved all over the formation and create problems. https://preview.redd.it/r5uajc1c7gh51.png?width=900&format=png&auto=webp&s=2a39e3d399818439538f76d064580220b18ed765
In a world without Aaron Donald, Cox would be known as the best defensive tackle over the last decade. He has only reached double-digit sacks once in his career and to be fair, dipped a little last season, but the numbers will never tell the whole story as what kind of player he is. He has that quickness to shoot through gaps and show up in the backfield, but he can also bench-press 330-pounders and toss them to the side when he needs to. Just watch him destroy the interior O-line of the Seahawks and almost singlehandedly keep them in that Wildcard Round game without Carson Wentz. Nipping at the heels of Cox is another game-wrecker on the inside of the defense for the reigning Super Bowl champs. Jones may not nearly be the same run-stopper at the point of attack, but his length and burst off the ball allow him to impact plays in a penetrating role and he is an elite pass-rusher at his position. 24.5 sacks and 49 QB hits in his last 29 games is highly impressive, but in the biggest game, he only logged on tackle and still made a huge impact, with a couple of batted passes and directly forcing a pick. The most overlooked edge rusher and maybe overall player in the league over the last several years has been Chandler Jones. Since coming over to Arizona in 2016, he has led the league with 60 sacks and 17 forced fumbles, while also being near the top in total pressure numbers every single season. That is despite playing on one the worst defensive units over the last couple of years and having no legitimate threat up front with pretty much the entire time. Cam Jordan is a very unique player. He has more of a 3-4 defensive end body type, rather than your typical edge rusher. He has great power and strings his hands and feet together really well, but what makes him special is the way he can read pass-sets and take advantage of weight-distribution and how far tackles open up their hips. Not only did Jordan set a personal high with 15.5 sacks last season, but he is also an excellent run-defender (15 TFLs). Even though his trade to Arizona is still confusing for most people, when you see how little his new team had to give up, don’t let that make you think D-Hop isn’t a top-tier receiver anymore. If you take out the 2016 season, when Brock Osweiler could not have gotten the ball to his superstar receiver, even if he were just inches away, he has averaged 1369 receiving yards and 9.6 touchdowns since his rookie season. He may not as homerun-hitter, but he might be the most physical receiver off the ball and at the catch point, plus he has the best hands in the game. Did I just say homerun hitter? Outside of Julio, I think there is an argument to be made that Tyreek is the next-best receiver in the league. He breaks the game open with his next-level speed and changes how defensive coordinators have to call coverages. However, he is much more than just a deep threat, with quick feet to stop and start on his routes, he shows great concentration when the ball is in the air and he does now shy away from the physical aspect of football. We have not seen Rodgers play at that elite level since 2016, when he led the league in touchdown passes (40), but he is still one of the best in the game. He has lost just a little bit of his elusiveness to extend plays and does not take as many chances down the field as we are used to from him, but his quick release, ability to see the field and the arm talent to throw off platform are all still special. Just watch what he does in his second year in Matt LaFleur’s system, with added motivation. The younger T.J. Watt stepped out of the shadow of his older brother last season, when he finished top five in sacks (14.5) and quarterback hits (36), while also leading the league with eight fumbles forced and recovering another four, to go with a couple of picks. He finished behind only Stephon Gilmore and Chandler Jones in the hunt for his first DPOY trophy and will be a terror on Pittsburgh’s ferocious defense for years to come. At 29 is the player that shamefully didn’t even make the official top 100 list. Maybe it is people still saying Nick Foles won the Eagles their Super Bowl or they call him injury-prone, but let’s not forget Wentz set this team up with home-field advantage through the playoffs back in 2017 in an MVP-level season and he has actually missed only eight of 64 career regular season games. Last year he put the team on his back, with practice squad players catching passes and both his tackles missing multiple weeks, and led them to a home playoff game. Closing is the top 30 is the older Watt brother. I gave the slightest edge to the Pittsburgh outside backer. He certainly the track record as one of only two guys to be named Defensive Player of the Year three times in his career, but injuries have started taking a toll on him and over the last four years, he has missed the equivalent of two full seasons. However, when he played all 16 games in 2018, he still topped his little bro with 16 sacks and 18 tackles for loss. He played at a very high level when healthy last season and miraculously returned in the playoffs to make a big impact against Buffalo. https://preview.redd.it/68e2613kcfh51.png?width=900&format=png&auto=webp&s=3f99e76d5524ab4aeff016746711b1012ae62130
One of the most underrated guys on the player’s countdown is Humphrey. To me there are no five corners in the game that you can tell me are better than this guy – and I actually have him at number three. He is long and physical in press-coverage, he can move into the slot, he is a hard hitter from that position and he is like a magnet for the ball, with three interceptions, two fumbles forced and three recovered. Humphrey is only 24 years old and already near the top of football. NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah recently said something pretty interesting, when he tweeted that “if you put all players in a league-wide draft, Derwin James would be the top safety on every board”. To me Jamal Adams has done enough to earn the title as best player at that position and Derwin only played five games, but the Chargers superstar can do pretty much everything Jamal does, in terms of defending the run as a box-defender, blitzing off multiple spots and just being a position-less player, while also having the range to basically play free safety. Big Mike has now become only the second receiver in NFL history alongside Randy Moss to start his career with six consecutive 1000-yard receiving seasons. He gets in and out his breaks better than you would ever think of a 6’5”, 230-pound guy, he is much more of a vertical threat than people label him as, averaging 1.5 yards more per catch than Tyreek Hill (17.5), and he obviously dominates at the catch point, while also bullying DBs as a blocker. At 34 I have another defensive back, who has become a highly underrated player in my opinion. Somehow Eddie Jackson didn’t make the official list, which is still mind-blowing to me, because just a year ago, he was right up there among the premiere defensive play-makers in the game. His takeaways went way down on a Bears defense that took a step back, after coming up with eight of those in 2018 and scoring a league-high three defensive TDs, but he is still one of the smartest and rangiest player on the back-end we have in the game. That third running back behind Saquon and McCaffrey was a tough choice, which is indicated by four players at that position over the next six spots, but I went with Kamara here. He recently that he basically played on one leg last season, which may be a little exaggerated, but when healthy, his explosiveness and contact balance are second to none, plus he is an elite weapon out of the backfield, who is basically un-coverable on option routes. The next guy here is the reigning rushing leader Derrick Henry. This may seem a little low for him and he is the only one of this group to get that second contract so far, but since he is only a factor on screen plays in the passing game, I could not put him any higher. Still, what King Henry did down the stretch was unbelievable. He put the team on his back, rushing for 896 yards over his final six games in the regular season and 374 yards combined in wins over the then-reigning Super Bowl champs and the team with the best record in the league, on the way to the AFC title game. Another corner that I just love to watch is the Bills’ Tre’Davious White. While he plays in a zone-heavy system, that doesn’t leave him on an island as much as a Stephon Gilmore or a Jalen Ramsey, he is tremendous in that role and can match up against some top receivers one-on-one. What makes him special is the ability to anticipate routes and read the receiver and the quarterback at the same time. He was tied for the lead-league with six INTs, while deflecting another 17 passes and forcing a couple of fumbles. Martin has been as consistent as it gets. He has started all but two of his 96 career games at right guard and been named First-Team All-Pro in four of six NFL season. Over the course of his career, he has allowed just eight total sacks and he was flagged for holding just once last season and four times in the last four seasons. He is a road-grader on gap and zone schemes, while having a tremendous anchor and clamps in protection. Did you know Dalvin Cook finished second behind only Christian McCaffrey in scrimmage yards per game? He was tremendous for Minnesota last season in that zone-based rushing attack and a real weapon out of the backfield, catching 53 of 63 targets for over 500 yards. Dalvin is so good at pressing the front-side and then transitioning in one step to cut off the backside, while also having the burst to threaten the edges of a defense, and he has become a very tough runner. My final RB here is Nick Chubb. There were a lot of stars on this underperforming Browns team last season, but this guy was the best player for them pretty much every single week. Similar to Henry, Chubb is not the most valuable receiver, but his physical running style was the best part about Cleveland’s offense. He can run inside and outside zone, does a great job setting up power plays and not only is he patient with letting plays develop, he has great acceleration once he puts on the gas and consistently falls forward. https://preview.redd.it/3zr305de7gh51.png?width=900&format=png&auto=webp&s=f52704036f55e8bf1e5ae2c9396d45338dc07c39
Odell Beckham Jr.
What happened in that week 11 Steelers game was not pretty and I’m sure people will bring it no matter what this kid continues to accomplish, but he just got a mega contract and to me is ready put his name among the elite defensive players in football. Garrett has only played 37 career games so far, but he has already put together 30.5 sacks and 32 tackles for loss, with one QB take-down per game last season. He is obviously an athletic freak, but his pass-rush arsenal has come a long way already. DeFo is one of the most talented defensive linemen in all of football, but his technique has improved every single season and among all that talent on the NFC champions’ roster, he was named team MVP. As great as he was all the way throughout the regular season, he terrorized the interior O-line of the Chiefs in the Super Bowl. The 49ers had to move on from him this offseason due to cap reasons, but he immediately a key piece for that Colts D. He might be the GOAT, but Brady lands at number 43 for me heading into 2020. Contrary to popular belief, his arm isn’t far off from what it was when he entered the league at the start of the millennium and his pocket movement is impeccable, but what bothered me when watching him play last season, was that reluctancy to stand tall in the pocket and take the punishment in order to deliver big plays, which will be an interesting mesh with Bruce Arians’ vertical passing attack. While there about five guys in that conversation for me right now, Ryan Ramczyk earned the top spot here. More of a luxury pick three years ago, he ended up sliding right in at right tackle and has been absolute stalwart for them ever. Ramczyk has started 47 of 48 games and improved every single season, earning first-team All-Pro honors last season, when he did not allow a single sack and had did not have a holding call accepted against him past week two. This is the lowest I have had Odell in my rankings since his rookie season. I have never been a huge fan of the antics with him, but the media constantly bashing on him has turned me into a fan, and I believe he will make all the haters shut up in 2020. OBJ was dealing with a foot injury all of last year and the amount of miscues between him and Baker Mayfield was countless, when it comes to break off or adjusting routes on the fly. He is still one of the all-time talents. New to the list is a guy, who was quietly getting the job done as a rotational piece in Baltimore’s defensive front for a few years, before getting a big contract by the Packers. Smith instantly went from a nice player to one the premiere edge rushers in the entire league. While he “only” finished sixth with 13.5 sacks, he led all players with 93 total pressures and also had the fourth-most TFLs (17). I love the way Mike Pettine moves him around all over the formation in Green Bay. The one thing I actually learned from the official top 100 is the fact Tyrann Mathieu was actually named team MVP, despite playing with the best player in the entire league. As explosive as that Chiefs offense is, the difference for this team was how the Honeybadger helped turn around this defensive unit and the energy he brought to the table. Mathieu can line up in the box, cover the slot, drop into deep coverage, blitz from multiple spots and tackle in the open field. Another guy in that tackle conversation is maybe the most athletic one of the bunch. Johnson only played in 12 games last season, but he was tremendous in those, allowing just one sack and being called for holding once, despite facing some great pass-rushers in the NFC East and the conference overall. He has the feet to seal the edges in the run game and works up to the second level as well as anybody in the league. The top rookie on the list this year is Nick Bosa. Making the top 20 on the official list seems a little rich, but this guy was dominant from the moment he stepped onto the field. Bosa finished one sack short or cracking double-digits, but he easily blew away the rookie record for total pressures (80) and finished tied for fifth overall in the regular season, plus another crazy 22 in the playoffs. He was also tied for fifth in tackles for loss (16) and got a pick, whilst constantly playing with all-out effort. One of the biggest breakout players last season was Godwin. I predicted this already the year prior and wasn’t wrong necessarily, when he finished with 842 yards and seven touchdowns, but he took it to another level in 2019, when he finished third in receiving yards (1333) and tied for fourth in touchdowns (9) despite missing two games. He is so tough going over the middle to get those hard-earned yards, is incredibly hard to bring down after the catch (577 YAC) and led the league in 20+ yard receptions (25). https://preview.redd.it/8chiv76ogih51.png?width=900&format=png&auto=webp&s=2687f4fbab6202fb4312d6aef3704f605c66186a
The title for best center in the league has been in Philadelphia for at least the last three years and to me also for the decade. He may not as powerful as a few other guys, but the mobility to beat linebackers to the spot or can put hands on people as a puller or on screen plays allows the Eagles to do pretty much anything, while also doing a great job of recovering in pass-pro and transitioning assignments. Kelce has allowed multiple sacks just once since 2015. There is a pretty significant drop-off between the first and second linebacker, but right now I would take Leonard behind only Bobby Wagner. Over his two years in the league (28 games), he has put together 284 tackles (including leading the league as a rookie), intercepted seven passes, forced six fumbles, recorded 12 sacks and deflected another 15 passes. “The Maniac” shows up all over the field and truly has a knack for the ball. My top left tackle in the league is Ronnie Stanley. He took his game to another level last season, when he was named a first-team All-Pro. On 515 pass-blocking snaps, he did not allow a single sack and didn’t surrender any pressures in nine games. He also was a huge piece to the Ravens breaking the NFL’s all-time rushing yardage record (3296 yards) that had stood for over 40 years, as Stanley had the lowest percentage of negatively-graded run blocking snaps according to PFF. Joey comes in five spots below his younger brother for me. While I believe Nick Bosa is a little more athletically gifted, Joey came into the league slightly more technically refined in his hand-usage. He may not quite have the burst off the ball like a Danielle Hunter or the ability to bend like a Von Miller, but Bosa is as complete a defensive end as we have in the game. He does a great job setting the edge in the run game and when he gets after the passer, he is so smooth with his hand-combos and finds the weakness of the tackle’s pass-sets. Another one of those enormous snubs from the actual list is Byard, who has become one of the premiere safeties in the game. Over the last three seasons, he leads the league with 17(!) interceptions and broke up another 33 passes. The range he presents as a deep-middle safety and the confidence he has in his game, combined with extremely dependable tackling in space (just two of 86 attempts missed last season), definitely earn him a spot. Since I just talked about Hunter, this is where he comes in. The Vikings D-end is another one of those guys, who has improved pretty much every year, since coming in as a pretty raw product from LSU. Hunter has put up 14.5 sacks in each of the last two seasons, but he massively improved his total pressure number of 97 (including the playoffs) and he actually got the ball out of the quarterbacks as well (three forced fumbles). He is an athletic phenom, who has learned to string moves together incredibly well. We have started a bit of a run on offensive tackles here, with Schwartz coming in slightly outside the top 50. There is a good argument to be made for this guy being the best at his position, especially if you base it off that incredibly postseason run he just had, when he allowed no sacks and just one total pressure on 142 pass-blocking snaps against some of the baddest dudes on the planet. Schwartz wasn’t responsible for any sacks through the regular season either and the Chiefs averaged an NFL-best 5.93 yards per carry through the gaps to either side of him. If you just base the list on this past season, you could argue Kendricks was the best linebacker in all of football. He has been a beast against the run pretty much since coming into the league, but what put him on a different level last season was his play in coverage. Kendricks allowed only 53.3 percent of the passes his way to be completed (very low for a LB) and broke up 12 passes, leading to a forced incompletion rate of 21.9 percent, which is more than four percent better than Luke Kuechly in his best season (who had been the previous record-holder). Let’s get this out of the way – Clowney can be an absolute game-wrecker. However, I really struggled with his ranking, because he is such a disruptive player when on the field – which the stats simply don’t tell you – but injuries have just been too much of an issue for him. That is also a big reason why he is still signed. Yet, you can not overlook how incredibly gifted Clowney is and how much better he has gotten with his hands. That week ten game at San Francisco was the best performance from a defensive player all season long. It’s always great when you predict a player to break out and he actually does. Jones already was on all my fantasy teams two years ago, but I said he would take another step forward in 2019 and he surprised even me. His 1558 scrimmage yards were the eight-most in entire league and he was tied for the most touchdowns at 19, while touching the ball almost 60 times less than the backs ahead of him (285 touches). He is so explosive and can just slither through defenses, while also being a true downfield threat as a receiver. https://preview.redd.it/imk396cc7gh51.png?width=900&format=png&auto=webp&s=7a468004843b4c94a11ceb2890e4b2415daf5aac
I always thought Barrett was a good player as part of that rotation in Denver, but when he finally got a chance to shine, that’s exactly what he did. After posting 14 combined sacks over his four season with the Broncos, he led the league with 19.5 in his first year with Tampa Bay. He also finished second in tackles for loss (19) and forced six fumbles. Watching him rush the passer, his game is built on the bull rush and long-arm, off which he can covert power-to-speed, in terms giving a little hesitation and then winning on a quick burst to the outside. Talking about the top backs in the game, Elliott’s name doesn’t come up too often for me anymore. He still finished fourth in the league with 1357 rushing yards, but that was running behind a top-five offensive line and he just looked a step slow to what we have seen from him, without that explosion through the hole and turning those good runs into big gains. With that being said, he might still be the most complete back in the game and could return to glory in 2020. It almost feels bad to put Bakhtiari this low, but he is still one of those five elite offensive tackles. I think what puts him as last of that group is the fact he is closer to the average in terms of his run-blocking than the other guys. Still, he has been the best pass-protector over the last four years at least, when he did not allow more than three sacks once and the lowest amount of total pressures, despite his QB finishing in the top six of time to throw in all but one of them. While he did allow two sacks through the first half of last season, from week ten all the way through the NFC Championship game, he did not surrender a single one. If you asked me who the best route-runner in the game today was, I would probably say Keenan Allen. He is so elusive off the line, deceptive with how he sets up his breaks and he has that quick-twitch to create separation on the short and intermediate level. He does lack some vertical speed and his YACability isn’t among the best at the position, which is why he isn’t even higher, but if you need somebody to get open on third downs, this is your guy. He terrorized Darius Slay last season. Hicks did miss missed 11 games last season, but unlike the players around the league apparently – I did not forget about him. With just one sack and five TFLs in the five games he did play, it’s understandable that he would drop in the rankings, but let’s forget that in 2018 he rivaled Fletcher Cox and Chris Jones for the league’s best D-tackle not named Aaron Donald. Hicks was a frequent visitor in the backfield, with both ten marks in QB pressures and defensive stops. His impact was felt most when he wasn’t on the field for the Bears last season and they were closer to average than number one. While Kittle and Kelce to me are clearly in a tier of their own, Ertz is still that third guy at the tight-end position. He has been one of the most productive pass-catchers in the entire league for several years now. After setting a new record for most receptions in a season for a TE (118) in 2018, he took a little step back last year. Ertz is by far Carson Wentz’s favorite target, having lead the Eagles in both receptions and receiving yards in all four seasons the QB has been there for. Since he isn’t as much of a downfield or YAC threat as the other two guys at his position – as well as only being an okay blocker – this is where he falls for me. Somehow I think the player just don’t respect safeties, since this is the third guy now that should have clearly made the list at that position. I have always been a fan of Simmons and called for him getting more playing time, after mostly being a backup his rookie season, when the Broncos last won the Super Bowl. His range, instincts and smarts as a single-high free safety have allowed him to become a true difference-maker. And he certainly had the stats to back it up last season, with four picks and 15 more plays on the ball. Matty Ice has never gotten the love he deserves on this list or from people covering the league as a whole. People seem to still think about the 28-3 game and while his MVP season was more of an outlier due to playing with the game’s best offensive mind in Kyle Shanahan, he has thrown for 4000+ yards in nine straight seasons, completing exactly two-thirds of his passes for a TD-to-INT ratio of 2.26 and a passer rating of 97 over that stretch. He has pretty much always been second tier for me, but he has had to deal with some bad O-line play and a couple of questionable years of play-calling under Steve Sarkisian. 2019 was not a good season for Juju by any means. He missed four games and had less than half the production of the year prior. However, a lot of that had to do with the worst quarterback situation in the league and you don’t put over 2300 yards and 14 TDs before you even turn 23, if you aren’t a special player. With Big Ben under center in ’18, Juju finished top five in the NFL with 1426 yards and was named team MVP over Antonio Brown – which the latter let us know later on. I know this is what will get me the most hate, but whenever people want to give me all the stats on Drew Brees, they forget to mention that he is playing behind an elite offensive line, a record-setting receiver, one of the premiere pass-catching backs and one of the all-time great play-callers. I have called him a well-oiled machine in that Sean Payton offense several times and his command of that group is impeccable, but the raw arm talent simply isn’t quite there anymore. https://preview.redd.it/ngz596km7gh51.png?width=900&format=png&auto=webp&s=91b89cf581eefed34fbf6bced8d7170d18de00ed
Hi, hope you all well. I want to ask GGG to consider reduction party bonuses in the next path. Currently, party play is ruining the economy of the new league to fast.Party without any significant investment in gear can do any content incredibly fast. Party should be an option where you can kill the boss or do map easier (with the help of support/curser) by the cost of the reward. Your current party mechanic is terrible, honestly. Current party-state in the game is pure cheating in terms of advantages that party have against solo. (Just to remind you, last harvest league, where six-man party loot a whole headhunter every hour of party play because of the ridiculous party bonuses). ---------------------------------------------------------Do you really want to kill new league economy in 1-2 weeks?---------------------------------------------------------If no consider removing/reduce party bonuses.Reduce loot in the party.Reconsider party mechanic. Party should be something that provides fun.Party should not provide huge economic advantages. We already have instances where people mutliboxing just to catch 6 copy of the rare beasts instead of 1.Think twice please before you force us to multibox next league. Unless you are planning to implement in the game a complete class party gameplay (tank/heal/dps) with an appropriate party content that can't be done solo, In the name of Odin, please stop buffing party. P.S SSF is a very different thing. We are speaking here about trade league and economy. Update: Cheap and available items how it is a bad thing?
When items is cheap you need to spend less time to gear-up. (that means less online time across the league)
Content becomes easy and bored when you overpowered with items. (that means people leaving league after they done with content. Go ahead and see population statistic)
Items and Currency greed is not attractive when you starting to spend more currency that map/boss gives you in return (check poe ninja prices for boss drop/influence base items etc.).
You create a new char level up to 90+ found 1 ex, you bough strong budget build, you did endgame, you become bored because everything is easy and cheap you done with league. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Actions should e done against profit orientated parties who ruin game economy and game mechanic by closing the complete Atlas within the first day of the league. And by abusing item quantities investing in a single map.
Solo player can't compete with this abuse. Solo player don't have +250% IQ/IR bonuses. Solo player can't afford to wear +150 IQ/IR without aurabot.
Solo player have to invest currency and time in the 5 maps to get to same result in outcome as profit orientated parties does.
Been (mostly) bullish on apple since 350 but was a degenerate and only bought 1 week exps and basically lost my gains every other week. Bought the shares at 360 but got a 90 day RH restriction so moved to TOS To get a sense of my iq just know that I paper hands'd my AAPL 380 calls before earnings and bought those worthless 2U calls because of a WSB DD, held NVDA through earnings, and tried to scalp TSLA options with 85% IV Not a lot compared to some of you big dicks but not too bad for a kid on a phone Praise Tim Apple! https://preview.redd.it/t97ncywx0fi51.jpg?width=1242&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=a253f1577a3b1a1c691cc3b7640b55be53972548
$PASO Launch of HealthyAmerica Lets People Securely Share COVID-19 Testing Results TransUnion partnership with CLX Health will help individuals, businesses and schools assess COVID-19 risks #PASO
To support U.S. efforts to move forward safely and confidently in the wake of COVID-19, TransUnion (NYSE: TRU) and its partners are developing the HealthyAmericaTM solution. HealthyAmerica gives people the power to securely share COVID-19 testing results while maintaining individual privacy, helping businesses and schools to minimize risk and reopen with greater confidence. HealthyAmerica combines TransUnion’s verified data identity with confirmed test results through CLX Health, which indicates the presence of illness and/or the existence of COVID-19 antibodies. The results, when received from a national network of CLIA-certified laboratories performing FDA-approved tests, are displayed in a simple application. The solution will easily adapt to changes in testing and COVID-19 care management, including the ultimate development and use of a vaccine. This initiative is being led by TransUnion Healthcare and does not utilize any credit information. Businesses and schools seeking to welcome back their employees and students as well as airlines, hotels and other organizations and events across the country will be able to use the solution to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other communicable diseases. “People want to protect their health and lives and they want the country to open,” said David Wojczynski, President of TransUnion Healthcare. “With HealthyAmerica, we can help them do both. The app helps people share their vital information when they choose to do so. This helps avoid risks related to COVID-19 in everyday interactions while maintaining privacy for individuals.” HealthyAmerica will be rapidly deployed and delivered in a simple application with a user experience and process readily accessible by individuals, employers, businesses and schools. The solution provides real-time access to an established network of clinical laboratories, major hospital systems and Federally Qualified Health Clinics, which combined perform over 90% of all lab transactions in the United States. “The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on the world’s health – physical, mental and economic. This partnership was created leveraging each organization’s expertise to help make the country safer by deploying a solution individuals and businesses can access to make decisions and evaluate health risk based on real-time information,” said Joseph Gonzalez, Chief Strategy Officer of SiriusIQ, part of CLX Health. “Having the ability to assess the risk of where you’ve been and where you want to go is the cornerstone of what we all need to help mitigate the spread of the virus and help the economy to open safely and back to capacity.” How does the HealthyAmerica solution work? Organizations utilizing the solution to help ensure the safety of customers, employees and/or students will prompt individuals to download the HealthyAmerica app. If the user agrees, they can then schedule testing at a certified laboratory near them. Once testing has been completed, results will be added to HealthyAmerica and the individual may choose whether to share their status-verified QR code. An optional feature of the app leverages publicly-available “heat maps” of known cases of COVID-19 and adds the general and de-identified location of users who opt in, allowing to see their proximity to known COVID-19 viral areas which they may have visited or may be planning to visit. The Viral Encounter Risk Assessment (VERA) feature creates the most current map of virus location so people can better assess risk of visiting specific locations and potentially reduce the number of people exposed to the virus. HealthyAmerica is fully operational for those who do not choose this option. “HealthyAmerica enables individuals to protect themselves from unnecessary exposure to COVID-19 and to share their health status with the schools and businesses they choose to. TransUnion, a leading global provider of risk and information solutions, is well suited to provide the data identity functionality of this solution,” added Jim Bohnsack, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer for TransUnion Healthcare. For more information about HealthyAmerica and to request the public memo and presentation, please visit www.transunion.com/healthyamerica. About TransUnion (NYSE: TRU) TransUnion is a global information and insights company that makes trust possible in the modern economy. We do this by providing a comprehensive picture of each person so they can be reliably and safely represented in the marketplace. As a result, businesses and consumers can transact with confidence and achieve great things. We call this Information for Good®. A leading presence in more than 30 countries across five continents, TransUnion provides solutions that help create economic opportunity, great experiences and personal empowerment for hundreds of millions of people. http://www.transunion.com/business About CLX Health, LLC CLX Health is Joint Venture between UST Global and SiriusIQ. UST Global is a multinational provider of Digital technology and transformation, IT services and solutions, headquartered in Aliso Viejo, California, United States. The company has offices in over 25 countries including USA, India, Mexico, UK, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Spain and Poland. SiriusIQ’s cloud healthcare platform has developed interfaces to the top hospital and commercial laboratories in the United States accounting for 90% of the lab transactions by volume.
CALLING ALL 🌈🐻's! OUR TIME HAS COME. Time to buy them SPY puts boys
Hello fellow autists, it's ya boi Tatar here with some boring TA for you to think about. Since understanding simple charts requires an IQ of at least 80, I estimate that 90% of you will have no idea what I'm talking about and just skip to the bottom to copy my position. Lucky for you that I am not so greedy that I don't care about you as well, just look at the fancy chart and let that justify your decision to throw your life savings into more SPY puts. Additional DD is optional. It's better that way. I've been waiting for today for about a month now, and it is a glorious day indeed. Here is the chart in question: (don't worry, I will explain all the fancy lines and circles to you. Wouldn't want you to have an aneurysm) https://preview.redd.it/joo46x355my41.png?width=1560&format=png&auto=webp&s=b53774da10f5a7ec64825731b4d8447298503692 The red and green blocks: volume, retard The fancy orange line: 21 day moving average for volume The confusing white line: 21 day VWMA. I know acronyms are hard, that's okay. Ask your wifes boyfriend for help if you're confused. February 24th and April 6th are the dates in question. Had you then followed what I'm about to tell you then, you'd be swimming in tendies and hunny mussy. Basically, the VWMA line serves as a line of support and resistance. When the price action breaks that barrier, WITH VOLUME, it is a strong indicator of a reversal. I use the 21 day MA for volume as a good indicator to let me see where volume is at at any given time. As you see, on Feb 24th the price action crossed the VWMA with volume and continued until we reached our March 23rd bottom. Two times the price action tested VWMA, but did not have enough bullish buyers to continue. This brings us to the enigma of April 6th... It doesn't take a rocket surgeon to see that the crossover on April 6th was met with lower volume numbers. This is not an indication of a trend reversal but is a warning sign of instability. If you were one of those that thought JPow cancelled the recession, you simply didn't do your DD and are just throwing 50 on black. To be honest, I am surprised the rally lasted as long as it did on continually decreasing volume numbers. As price continued to trend up, volume continued to go lower, staying consistently under the 21MA. UNTIL TODAY So, why is today significant? Not only did the price action cross over the VWMA, but it did so while volume crossed over the 21MA. Increased volume + VWMA crossover = high probability of trend reversal. So, what does this mean for you? Well, depending on your risk tolerance, you can play this one of three ways:
Big Dick Risk: Spy puts at open tomorrow
Good Enough Dick Risk: Wait to confirm one more bar of increased volume met with decreased price, then Spy puts EOD tomorrow
Vaginal risk: Sell everything at open and buy the dip
Position: SPY 255p 9/30, WW 25p 10/16, NAT 5c 6/19 (tanker gang unite ✊)
[PART 1/5] 50+ things I have tried out to improve my channel , now getting over 3000 views and 10k watch time per day [12 month analysis conclusion]
Hello everyone, I have been a part of NewTubers from almost a year now, and in that time I have picked up a lot of knowledge and ideas from here. These next five posts (this is part 1.) are going to be my new contribution to this community, and a way to give back some tried and tested tips, tricks and ideas about improving your channels. This is going to be a very long post, and in five parts, so please take your time in reading it, save it for later and try to process it part by part so you can get the most use out of it. This is my third post on this subject, with the previous two written at the 6th and 9th month of my year long journey of giving my channel my best try at success. I will post the links to those posts as I get to their appropriate place here. The 50+ tips, tricks and ideas that you are going to read about here are not all mine, but I have tested them all in the last 12 months thoroughly. Some I found here, and other places online, some I saw in other creators videos and some I came up by myself, often while siting in the toilet. I kid you not, some of the best ideas I have had in my life popped into my head in that little room. It must have something to do with leaving the worries of life at the door and just thinking freely about the nature of life. I bet there are science papers written about that strange effect of the toilet. But let's get back to the main point of this post. To give you some context about my channel and the data I will be presenting:
I am not a native English speaker, but all my videos are in English, viewers rate my accent 4/5
I started back in 2011. but had numerous off times, lasting from a month to a year, last one being over a year long
For the last 12 months I have made 200+ videos(one every 1.8 days)
I have spent an average of 4 hours per day somehow working on my channel, my skills and understanding of my audience and YouTube's rules
I have a gaming channel with the emphasis on tutorials, how to videos and guides. Add to that let's plays, previews and first look videos of new Indie games, performance benchmarks, and some gameplay/montage videos with minimal or no comments
At the moment of writing this post I have 2,827 subscribers and 660+ videos
My channel has been monetized since 11.05.2019.
Analytics for the last 28 days say:
246.4k minutes of watch time,
+149 subscribers change.
Average view duration 3:04
Likes(vs dislikes) 86.5%
Impression CTR 7.7%
Traffic sources: 43.1% YouTube Search and 14.1% Google Search, Suggested 4.8%, 38% everything else
I think that about covers it? If you have some other metric you would like to know, feel free to ask Three months ago I wrote this post about my progress:
Best channel and video practices/tips, update from 3 months ago. For the first time my channel is getting +100 subs a month, and for the second time 100k minutes watched.
Now I will write down all the things I have tried in the last 12 months and I will talk about each one and it's effectiveness, and the ultimate results of it, for my channel, that I could see and analyze. This first part will explain 1-10. This is a list of what I have tried out, bellow is a list with the explanations:
Changed my thumbnail design
Redid thumbnails for many of my old, but active videos, according to the new design
Redid titles and tags and added very long descriptions to old videos, same as new videos
Analyzed tags of videos which are on the same subject as mine but have more views
Made many playlists, some videos ended up in as many as three playlists
Paid a friend, professional designer, to create my new channel banner and logo
I now try to show off the best parts of the video in the first 30 seconds
Added a call to action, visual and voice over to almost every new video and picture of my channel logo
Used the analytics to tailor my video release times to when most viewers where online (now YouTube analytics shows that data)
Made new, updated versions of my already popular videos
Linked my videos to Steam game pages, asked my friends to like them so they would be placed at the top of the Most popular (week) page (which is the default page)
Reposted my most successful and my best made but not successful videos on weekends and during specific events to all social media
Read forums, discussions, subreddits, discord chat and other places where people ask about problems in games so I could get ideas for videos and link my own videos as answers
Started making video lists of new games upcoming in 2020 and beyond
Writing directly to Indie developers and getting in touch with them about getting press keys for games, interviews, news
Joined programs to get free Indie and small studio's games, before or at release times, payed for AAA from my pocket
Used Tubebuddy free version, and the most expensive version in the trial period to analyze my channel and videos
Used free version of VidIQ to do the same things as with Tubebuddy
All right, time to go into more details, and see what benefits these 55 things had for my channel:
The new thumbnail design.
I took making these far more seriously, installed GIMP (software) and learned many options by trial and error + guides). Thumbnail design is something that keeps evolving but a few things have proven, over the course of two hundred videos, to be universal in increasing CTR: a) 2-3 words max b) text taking up 30% of thumbnail so it can be easily red on the mobile phone (you can test this by simply zooming out to 1/16 of your screen when making it in your software). c) high contrast between the color of the letters and the background. Heavy use of shadow or second layer of black/white letters behind the original text offset by a few pixels. d) every part of the thumbnail must be different size, if you have logo/text/character(face) set sizes to at least 50% difference, for example 1:2:3. f) use large single objects as the main thumbnail picture, anything that has too much detail, and is made up of many tiny sections is hard to see and understand, especially on small screens g) place your own channels logo on the thumbnail so that your content becomes recognizable. Especially if you make a lot of similar content. Because if at an end of a video, a viewer get's recommended 12 thumbnails and your logo is on 4,5,6 of them, you look to be the leader on that subject. People respect that and see you as an authority on that subject. When I compare my most viewed videos, which gain most views from search hits, I can clearly see that now I have 12% CTR compared to the ~7% on the old videos, and these are both tutorial videos, so same type just different game. Here is a link to some of my latest thumbnails: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1qJQL9qwNlKW-s6sxzpdur1Qu6drShbKd
This leads us directly to my second point, redoing thumbnails for many of my old, but active videos, using the new design.
I did this for dozens of videos, and EACH saw improvement in CTR. Some +1% others double the old CTR. Another great benefit of the higher CTR on older videos is that they already have many views, good watch time and with the improved CTR they get suggested more, to the right audience, and that improves the CTR even more which then gets your more watch time and views and so on, you get the loop. This is a great way to get a steady improvement on a good video and keep getting views. If you have many old videos, it's hard work, but it pays off.
Another thing I changed is how I write titles, description and tags.
Here is an example of my older videos: Title: Elder Scrolls Legends Introduction by Perafilozof. Description: "A short introductory video about TES Legends by me with some details about more videos in the future". Tags: Elder Scrolls, Elder Scrolls Legends, introduction, perafilozof, gameplay, short, game, cards, drops, type, release, new, beta, explain, 1080p. The video is from 9th of March 2017. to this day it has 71 views. Dead for years. It's painfully obvious in retrospective that I didn't know anything about Titles, Descriptions, Tags, SEO... Now let's look at another video. Compared to TES Legends this game is obscure, it's an Indie game with low polygon graphics that has tens of thousands of times fewer players then the previous one. Title:How to play Legend of Keepers: Career of a Dungeon Master guide and monster tutorial | Indie game Description: ... well it's so long that it's pointless to copy paste all 3998 characters in here. But these are it's parts: a) 40 word explanation of what is the video about and what will the viewer learn from it b) 30 word explanation of the game's content c) Links to 3 of my previous videos, about this game or similar games, which I mentioned to the viewer during this video d) a playlist of my other videos of this type and another playlist of similar content f) follow me on Twitter + link, Join my Facebook group + link g) another 400 worlds about the game and it's features, content, lore, characters h) hashtags specific to this game #LegendOfKeepers#Dungeons#roguelite Tags: Legend of Keepers 10+ times, but ends differently every time. Example: Legend of Keepers how to play, Legend of Keepers tutorial, Legend of Keepers monster characters. With a few different tags like: Roguelite PC game, New Indie dungeons game... This video was posted on March 19th 2020. and it now has 813 views, last 28 days 60% of views are from YouTube Search, 31% from External, with ~70% of that from Google search + 10% YouTube. Less then 9% is from ALL other sources combined. Now, these two are examples of using a very broad word in the title: "Introduction" and "How to play". If I want to get more views, title has to be more specific, but also about something a lot of people search for. Here is how that looks like in another video: Title:Not enough Goods, Buyers 2019. | How to fix and prevent tutorial for Cities: Skylines | Guide #2. This is a popular game but not exactly AAA, from 2015. It has a massive number of players around the world. Rough estimate 15+ million. Description: very similar to the previous video, but a large part of the description is my actual script which I used to talk in the video. Tags: again, similar to the previous video: Cities: Skylines 10+ times over with variations: Cities: Skylines Not enough goods, Cities: Skylines industry problem, Cities: Skylines not enough buyers... This video was posted on Jun 16th 2019. and it now has ~48k views. Last 28 days 44% of views are from YouTube Search and External 45% with ~38% of that from Google search and 61% from Other ( I am guessing this is from Steam community guides, where this video is linked to a massive text guide. More on this in one of the later points.) 4.4% suggested, 2.3% browse features. I know this was a really long example but I think it's quite clear to you now what makes a video searchable and how they must be presented to YouTube with titles, description and tags for them to be shown as search results and get hits. The more popular the game the more specific you have to be with the content you are presenting to the viewer and data you impute into YouTube. I will talk about how to find subjects for videos with high potential views in a later point.
Analyzed tags of videos which are on the same subject as mine but have more views.
This one can be done using the free version of VidIQ or Tubebuddy. Find a video of yours that you think is one of your best ones, and which has search potential. Search YouTube (using an incognito mode of a web browser, so you preferences are not used for the search) and find videos which have more views then yours but are on the same subject. Read their tags. Compare to your videos tags and change yours to be more inline with the tags, tittle and description of the video what has most views on that subject. What this achieves is that you are making your video more obvious to the YouTube's algorithm as an answer to that specific subject people search for and ask YouTube. The algorithm does it's best to match users question, or a whole group of similar questions, to a video in it's database. Once one video becomes a go to answer for a question it's really hard to dislodge it. But what you can do is get your video closer to it, and to the question itself, by letting YouTube know, through tags (and even description and title) that your video is a good match as an answer. Important note here: DON'T look at tags from videos made by the most successful Channels which don't match the question with it's title or tags. This is because those channels get massive views just by having massive base, startup views, from subscribers and people linking their videos all over the internet. That is why those creators don't bother with correct titles, tags or descriptions. They get their first mass views from faithful audiences and then the algorithm boosts them on the basis of "It has lot's of views already". The thing is that you will rarely see these videos as search results, because they have horrible tags and titles but you will see them ALL the time in the suggestions box and page and other places the algorithm recommends them. In conclusion, when your are "small" you have to do all the hard to work for your videos to get noticed. When your are "big" YouTube does the work for you.
Made many playlists, some videos ended up in as many as three playlists.
This one should be known to you by now. Playlists can create good amounts of extra views. BUT! each playlist has to have a hook, a video that makes it worth watching, starting to watch at least. For example, my playlist with videos of previews of new games gets almost no traffic. Because each video is about something different, a different game even though they are all the same genre. But, a playlist of tutorials about many games of a single game franchise gets views all the times. Why? Because people play more then one game in a franchise. They find my tutorials playlist, searching for one game in that franchise, then they decide to take a look at the other games in that franchise and since they are already there on my playlist they can do that right there and on the plus side learn how to play it at the same time. And, of course, playlists made up of numerous tutorials about the same game get even more views. What is interesting is that you can make custom playlists that are a mix of tutorials and Let's plays. So for example, you play a game, show it off, and then the next video is a how to start tutorial before the second episode. Then after the 3rd episode you set up a video that is a tutorial about some aspect of the game that you had a hard time in episode 3. I get over 1000 playlist views a month and 2200+ video views in playlists a month with about 6%(12+k minutes) of total watch time being from playlists.
Paid a friend, professional designer, to create my new channel banner and logo.
My previous 3 banners and logos where my own creations and very poor in quality. A few months ago I gave my friend some direction, a basic idea of what I want for a logo and banner and he came up with this amazing new logo made up of two elements I chose. The banner is beautiful but I have come to a realization that I might have limited it's looks by being to specific so I will change that a bit. Good thing my designer is my friend, so I won't have to pay for the update. But it's a good lesson. Leave your banner design as open as possible so you can do more different content and the banner will still represent you fully. My personal suggestion is that even if you do rebrand try to keep at least a bit of the old design and incorporate it somehow into the new one so that you can trace your origins and keep that feel of constantly evolving, improving rather then just burning down everything and starting from scratch each time. This way you won't alienate your current subscribers as much when you rebrand or update your banner and logo design.
I now try to show off the best parts of the video in the first 30 seconds.
This is an advice you should be very familiar with and you will have probably noticed it in other peoples videos. It's simple and it works! A big problem with audience attention is that you can get a big drop off after the first 1-15 seconds if you don't show and tell to the viewer why they should keep watching. This is especially true if you are making searchable videos. Example : I want to know about the new Intel processor. I search in Google or YouTube. Chose a video and click on it. Then the person talking starts like this: *"Hello Youtube(guys, etc.) welcome to ... where you can get all the latest about... don't forget I do streams on... I want to say thank you to... my dreams have come true and this new Intel Processor is so powerful and I will show of to you right after... "* And I just clicked off. Some of you probably clicked off at "don't forget I do streams on". Or you jumped 2 minutes in but you jumped over something and now you are out of context, and now you would have to go back 20 seconds... and that is a mess. What the person in the above example should have done is this: "Hello and welcome to my dream come true where I use the new most powerful Intel Processor to date. With X many Ghz and Y cores which gives it an amazing score of Z in this benchmark and 300 fps in this X game. Let's see what gives it some much power..." And then later once you have captured your audiences attention can you talk about other things like who is your sponsor, when you do live streams, what other videos you made and so on. On my own videos I can see incredibly clearly what was my voice over AND video intro just by the viewer attention analytics. A big drop off after 1st second? I had a channel intro in that video. A large drip in viewer attention post 5th second? I was saying hello and some other things not related to the content of the video. Now I open with something along the lines of : "Hello and welcome to my Y tutorial on X game. Here you will learn about Y, Z and X. This video should help you do X faster and get you set up in Y much better so you can Z." Along with the voice over you have to have video clips, you best parts to show off in the first 20-30 seconds. My latest videos no longer have those huge dips in viewer attention after the first few seconds because there is noting to skip. A note here is that you can have large dips in the first few seconds for other reasons as well. Clickbate thumbnail and title, posting/promoting your video on places where many will click but most will not be interested or problems with audio quality.
Added a call to action, visual and voice over to almost every new video and picture of my channel logo.
Calls to action at it's core is nothing else then: "Please subscribe, like and comment my video" to put it simply. Why do you NEED to do this? Because people are generally lethargic (sluggish and apathetic) when watching something on their screen. Even if they like your content there is a high chance they will not bother to like, leave a comment or subscribe. Three things every new channel desperately needs. You can do a call to action with a voice over and with extra visual effects, pictures etc. Some add their logo to the video at that moment. It sounds simple enough but doing this right is everything but simple. I stared to do this a while back, but I did a lot of experimenting. Different places in the video. Different sentences and visual effects. There are a few things that I could call obvious about this after experimentation and analysis : a) People don't like it done right at the start, at least not before you have explain what they will see, hear or learn in the video b) people don't like it long or if it detracts from watching the video, the more seamless it is the better it will go over with the viewer c) doing it at the end of a video will not get you positive results. Very few people watch videos to the end and very few videos are worth watching to the end. d) The optimal placement of a call to action is right before or right after you pass on, give, the most important information that your video has, to your viewer. Before in the event your main point is at the end of the video and later if it is at the middle. This is because you want the Call to action to be seen and heard and these two are the places where the people who are watching your video will be most interested and at the peek of their good will towards you as the creator. I would advice NOT having this in every video and NOT having it at the exact same place(minute/second) every time.
Used the analytics to tailor my video release times to when most viewers where online (now YouTube analytics shows that data).
This one is really easy and simple, and YouTube made it even easier now with the additional analytics table showing this data. My viewers are 30+% from the US. Another 15% from other English speaking counties. And 90+% of them are 18-44 years old. This makes their ON time a bit wide but I aim to release a video a few hours BEFORE the time they are going back home from work/school or have already arrived there. For me, where I live, in my time zone, that time is at 14:00h, and I expect them to watch it between 17h-23h. And the cool thing? I was right on target. When YouTube rolled out their addition to the analytics, which shows you when your viewers are online my viewers are mostly online from 12PM-12AM with the highest numbers between 16h-21h. This is something that can really help you post videos on the time of the day that has the highest number of people available to watch your video. The more views you get in that time the more likely it is that your video will do even better in the long run.
Made new, updated versions of my already popular videos.
This one is a really important one. I have a few videos that are popular on my channel and as I started to work on my channel more seriously I took at look at them and analyzed them. I also went online to see if the subjects of these video is still active online on forums, Reddit, facebook and so on. So, I picked one of my most successful, oldest and most active videos. It was about a single game and about a single game mechanic that was really hard to understand and which created problems if you didn't know how to play with it properly. In essence, very specific, and something people would actively search for during many years. I watched my old video, played the game some more and tried to do an even better video. The old one was named: Let's Talk Not enough Goods, Buyers, Products and Materials in Cities: Skylines. It was part of a series of videos, all named: Let's Talk... then some specific gameplay mechanic. The description was 2 sentences and tags where horrible. It was getting about 40 views a day in 2019., and it's views had been constantly increasing since 2015.(it was getting 1-5 a day back then) when it was released. It had ~26k views in jun 2019. So, I made a new video on this subject and named it: Not enough Goods, Buyers 2019. | How to fix and prevent tutorial for Cities: Skylines | Guide #2. I added 2015. at the end of the name of the old video. This video had a huge description, half of it from my script from the video. It had good tags at first, then much better ones as I continuously analyzed the traffic tab of the analytics and changed tags to be more inline with how the search was hiring it. Thumbnail wasn't, and still isn't perfect, but it is simple and to the point. A few too many words for my linking, but the subject of the video is complex so there was no helping it. I promoted this video in a few places where people will have the most use out if. It started with 40 views per day and "stole" 50% of views from the older video. The views grew constantly, each month 20% more then last month. After 4 months even the old video on the same subject started to get more views. And then... I doubled down. I made a 3rd video about this subject, but 3 times shorter, and much more to the point and mostly only about a single solution of the problem. That one grew even faster, 30% each month. And all three videos where getting more views now. It's name was: How to fix not enough Goods | Policies Solution tutorial Cities: Skylines Guide #3. Today, the oldest video has 44k views, 150 a day, second one, 48k views, 600 a day, third one 21k views, 360 a day. To be honest, it's a dirty tactic, but it works like a charm. As I was writing these explanations I realized just how long they where, so writing all 50+ in one post seamed like a bad idea for multiple reasons. This is why I have decided to post this first part, which contains all the introduction about this post, all 50+ things I have tried over the last year and explanation to the first 10. I will try and post at least one part of this post each week. And I will interconnect them all with links to each other. Thank you for reading, feel free to comment and ask. Do remember that this is all from my experience, and even if my writing style seams like I am telling you what YOU should do, it's only what my advice, from my experience, for you would be. You don't have to use it, you don't even have to agree with it. And if you don't agree with it, I would love to read why, it will help others to hear more opinions and experiences. Have a nice day!
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