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Green Zone League Articles

A Demonstration of Progression Done Right
By Garth Pearce
Special to gzl-football.com

The GZL custom progression has had 5 seasons of use now and is a boon or bane to different GM's. Some in the past of decided it is too hard or not worth the effort and completely ignored it. Others keep forgetting to make mid-year submissions and are left with big numbers to distribute at season's end. Other still meticulously assign their points at every period and these are the ones that get the greatest benefit and see noticeable and consistent growth in their players. But what does this achieve at the end of the day? To what level can you get a player with the occasional influx of points to important attributes? When is the best time to spend those points and on what skills?
When we inherit a team we have a mish-mash of players that we like and those we'd prefer to see shipped out. The longer you stick with a team the more time you have to mould it to your liking and improve those players you've decided to put the effort into. Drafted players are the most obvious focus of progression spending as they have the longest time to benefit and the greatest return for the expenditure. Even so getting this right is still a skill as most positions have more than one attribute they need working on, so you can either spread the points across the board or focus one at a time. It is a personal preference and each method can have their benefits for a team, so I'd like to think that my focus into a secondary player over the first couple of years of his career will be of benefit. So far he's progress along these lines to this. The secondary is one area where you can focus in on awareness first and technically he now qualifies as his own mentor Smile (bet that was never considered when the system was setup). This isn't a once off thing and it is achievable by anyone. You can also make similar gains without the full speed fast track that I've done, but I will lay out how to achieve the best point allocation from day 1:

Step 1 start the player in their rookie year. In most cases, having the player starting on the field for about 10 games will get them the bonus +3 AWR for playing over 500 snaps (or 400 for defenders).

Step 2 get them a mentor. If you have the cap room and can find a suitable candidate, don't underestimate the added bonus a mentor can give. In most cases you'll be saving at least 2 points of progression per year and speeding up their development in a fashion that can't be reciprocated by any other means. All mentors give at least +1 AWR and +1 primary attribute per year for up to 3 years, which is worthwhile.

Step 3 invest in the player from the beginning. Rookie year costs are at least twice as expensive as normal, but its well worth it to kick them off as soon as possible. You can get them at least +4 points each year through the system, 2 more if you make the playoffs. If the player is in your long term plans for the team, start the spending early. If you think the points are too expensive, don't. If you don't think you have enough then take some of those older guys you're just ticking along. Remember these young guys will be around a long time and if you spend lots early they'll be a stud in shorter order.

Step 4 If you really want to continue the boosts, add an extra point via offseason training & conditioning and/or training camp. If you don't have physical skills to improve (they are more important than say AWR or THA), then spend a point or two to get those skills even higher.

Step 5 Performance points. If your player does well enough than they'll also get performance progression for pre-season and regular season. Try not to count on this too much and some positions are a challenge to get even one of these per year until a player is skilled enough.

Summary:
+3 AWR: Playing enough snaps in a year, for their first 3 years
+1 AWR, +1 attribute: Mentor
+4-6 points: regular season and playoff progression
+1-2 points: OT&C and TC

+0-5 AWR, +0-5 attribute: performance progression (varies, not reliable for your calculations)

By controllable means you can give 10-12 points into AWR in a single year, which means nearly any player could be at 90 AWR in 3 years with focused training (and a starting AWR of 60 or more). If this gives you another 5-6 years of affordable progression points (at 4-6 points per year) to raise other primary skills than it's possible to get a star player out of nearly anyone.
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