knownone wrote:Simple probability theory would tell you that the chance of getting an onside kick is almost completely random. The average rate of recovery before the rule change was right around 20% now it's roughly between 10-15%. So, from a probability standpoint being upset about going for the onside kick solely because Seabass is your kicker is kind of ridiculous.

When you say "completely random" here, what do you mean? It doesn't seem to fit will with your second sentence; are you just saying it can be modeled as a random process (due to all the variables) with a distribution that lends itself to a low probability of success? It's not a truly random process, which is how I read "completely random", but some of the variables in the process are.

knownone wrote:Seymour wrote:knownone wrote:Simple probability theory would tell you that the chance of getting an onside kick is almost completely random. The average rate of recovery before the rule change was right around 20% now it's roughly between 10-15%. So, from a probability standpoint being upset about going for the onside kick solely because Seabass is your kicker is kind of ridiculous.

The probability would not be the same for every kicker obviously. If he tends to kick it too far, it drops the chance of recovery. 17 years with none....did that not sink in with you?

The amount of time does not matter the sample size matters. Going 0/25 is not a significant enough sample size to determine if Seabass is bad or simply unlucky. Considering the best of the best is only recovering 4/25 onside kicks and each attempt is an event with its own independent set of variables, meaning no two onside kicks are the same. Then you could reasonably conclude that the gap between Seabass and the very best kicker at recovering onsides kicks is less than 5%. In other words, if Seabass has a 15% chance to recover an onside kick, the very best kicker in the world only has a 20% chance... and with those odds quibbling about it seems slightly silly.

You're entitled to your opinion though.

Seymour is probably right here to an extent, in that certain kickers are going to be better at this than others. But you're also right that we don't have enough data to make reasonable distinctions about who might be better at it than others. Even if a kicker is better at it, it matters a lot just how good (and lucky) the players are on both sides trying to recover the ball are as well.

Clearly onside kicks (at least expected ones) work out a low percentage of the time, and they're relatively rare events in the NFL. Comparing one onsider kicker to another using numbers may not be that useful; it may be way more useful to use a trained "eye test" to determine who might be better at it.

Given how rare this is, I don't think this is a critical factor in kicker performance. If a kicker is really effective at kickoffs, field goals, and extra points, then that is what is going to get you the high probability things you need. Onside kicking may be right up there with the ability of a kicker to throw a pass or run; it's really great when you're desperate or doing trickery, but it's used so little that the other things drown it out.