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Joe Staley talks Jason Pierre-Paul with Pro Football Focus on Twitter

Joe Staley got into an interesting Twitter discussion Wednesday morning about about the pass rush skills of Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul.

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Stephen Dunn

Joe Staley is in the midst of an interesting discussion this morning, and I thought it was worth sharing. Pro Football Focus put together an article about Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, and their conclusion was that he is an elite edge defender, but not an elite edge pass rusher. 49ers left tackle Joe Staley disagreed with that opinion, and got into a discussion with them on Twitter about the subject:

PFF has a rating system they use to grade every single player in every single game. You can read more about the system at PFF. Any eyeball grading system is going to be inherently subjective. PFF takes as much as they can into account, and for that they should be lauded.

That being said, grading NFL players is extremely difficult because of all the behind the scenes information that is lacking. When a quarterback throws an interception, we can make certain judgments about the pass, but without knowing the specifics of the wide receivers' routes, we can't know if the mistake is on the receiver or the quarterback. Did the receiver shave a fraction of an inch off his route and that resulted in the interception of a well thrown ball? Or did the quarterback overthrow a receiver who ran a perfect route?

The upside to PFF's ratings is that they do help focus the discussion a bit more. We can take a look at how they rate a player and consider how they fits into preconceived notions. We can look at the specific games where a player was given a particular rating, and see if we agree with it. It's a step in the right direction for better understanding what we'er seeing on the football field.