While poking around SB Nation I came across a post at Field Gulls linking to a very interesting article about holding penalties. It basically argues about the value of taking a holding penalty on a given pass play. It utilizes a whole bunch of equations that are way over my head and concludes that:
The bottom line is that the probability of detection at which committing holding is worthwhile is when it is about 4/5 the chance a pass rusher will get a sack if he beats his blocker. For argument's sake, say that a pass rusher in the backfield gets a sack half the time. The probability of detection would need to be below 0.4 for the hold to make sense.
When I read over this it reminded of the old YouTube video of Kwame Harris and all his various penalties and general screw-ups. Unfortunately it's no longer available online because of the copyright issues. Such a shame.
I post this now for a few reasons. First off, I think it's an interesting take on the subject of penalties. Second, I'm curious how holding is handled by the 49ers offensive line coach. Seeing as this can apply to any offensive line, do we have any former high school or college o-linemen who could contribute to this discussion? Basically I'm curious how coaches address the idea of holding since it really seems to happen on most plays, but is obviously not called every time.
The final reason I bring it up is to get some feedback from everybody on some ideas I have. Thanks to the power of DVR I can record every game and watch it over and over again with great ease (I still have the 49ers-Packers TO catch game from when NFLN showed it a few months ago). I'm thinking that we can use these recordings each week to get a better idea of stats that aren't really accumulated anywhere on a regular basis. I'm talking primarily about penalties on different players. You can find that information sometimes but it's a real pain in the butt to locate.
So, I'm thinking I'll start keeping track of that kind of thing on a regular basis. Each week I'll provide the numbers on player penalties for the past game and cumulative to date. However, I was curious what other random stuff people would like to see accumulated from the recorded games. Are there any particular stats that would be relatively easy to track, but are not readily available anywhere? We've got some time left before the season starts, but now is as good a time as any to start planning for the upcoming season.