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#pounditMonday, April 22, 2024

‘The system is terrible’ – JJ Watt blasts PFF grading system

JJ Watt looks on

Jan 4, 2020; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) warms up before the AFC Wild Card NFL Playoff game against the Buffalo Bills at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

JJ Watt made it clear on the X platform Tuesday that he is not a fan of Pro Football Focus. On Wednesday, he elaborated on why he dislikes PFF.

PFF is a stats-based football website that assigns grades to players based on the evaluations made from their staff members who watch film. Their grades are subject, but they are often referenced and cited as an authoritative source by the sports media. PFF’s grades are frequently cited on “Sunday Night Football” because NBC commentator Cris Collinsworth is one of the founders of the site.

On Tuesday, Watt was critical of PFF’s grade for Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs. Stroud played very well and helped the Texans eliminate the Cleveland Browns. Stroud’s stats were nearly identical to Jordan Love’s. Despite that, Stroud was graded lower than several other quarterbacks who competed in the Wild Card Round. Stroud was given a 77.8 from PFF, while Love, with nearly identical stats, got a 92.5.

Watt took aim at PFF’s grading system via X.

“This is what happens when you try to grade football players with an algorithm…,” Watt wrote on X.

“CJ Stroud’s performance was ‘graded’ a 77.8

“And people treat this s— as gospel,” Watt wrote (profanity censored by LBS).

A day later, Watt appeared on “The Pat McAfee Show” and was asked for his feelings on Pro Football Focus.

Watt stated that PFF is a business and one that is successful. But he criticized their grading system. The future Hall of Famer also made clear that he doesn’t hold a vendetta against PFF because they graded him poorly in the past. On the contrary, he says they graded him highly in the past, but he still has issues with them.

“The system is terrible,” Watt said of PFF. “Do they watch a lot of film? Sure, great. Do they know everybody’s assignments? Do they know exactly what’s supposed to happen? Do they know how they’re waiting and how they’re supposed to do different things? No. It’s just a terrible system, and the fact that they have the ability to affect not only what the public thinks about players, but literally are affecting voting for awards, how players contracts are being handled … it’s really pretty scary and crazy that they’ve gotten that level of power.”

Watt said it’s “ridiculous” that PFF’s rankings are shown on “Sunday Night Football.” He really doesn’t like how PFF is regarded as such an authority.

“They come from a high and mighty place. And they speak like they know everything there is to know about football … as somebody who’s done it … I’ve literally sat in a meeting with coaches and put the grades side-by-side, from a coach’s grade and from the PFF grade. I’ve done it. And it’s not even remotely close,” Watt said.

“So don’t sit here and tell me, ‘you don’t know what you’re talking about. You don’t know how all this works.’ Yeah, I do. I’ve literally done it. I’ve sat in that room and done it with coaches in the National Football League. So take your sh– and shovel it somewhere else, because I’m not dealing with it.”

You can watch a video of Watt’s comments but beware of the profanity.


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