FRISCO - A media outlet's talent survey of NFL league executives, coaches, scouts and players is trying to rank the top players by position. The good news for Ezekiel Elliott? He apparently came in as a top-three running back.
The bad news for Ezekiel Elliott? One NFL offensive coach ranked Elliott as the 11th-best back in the NFL, saying, "Very few breakout runs, doesn't look as strong anymore. Feels like he's about 60 to 70 percent of what he was."
Maybe that's why Elliott on Thursday morning is taking to Twitter to defend his record. In a series of tweets, Elliott writes:
"Check the stats. Since I entered this league I have dominated year in, year out. Put some RESPECT on my name. ...
"There are a lot of great backs in this league but I don’t understand why the media has to talk down on my game just to uplift other backs. We all are talented football players and can ball. ...
"Almost 1800 scrimmage yards and 14 TD’s with no training camp and now I'm not the same back.''
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As you know if you are familiar with this space: These lists range from somewhere around "subjective'' to somewhere around "arbitrary.'' ESPN says it "ranked candidates based on number of top-10 votes, composite average, interviews and research. We had several ties, so we broke them by isolating the two-man matchup with additional voting and follow-up calls.''
It's a legitimate endeavor with obvious flaws. And its own non-paywall revelation essentially admits that. ESPN writes, "The game's best running backs can be separated into tiers, each of which has incredibly close arguments for who's better. The top three - Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey and Elliott - traded 1-2-3 spots throughout the process.
We are left to assume, based on that paragraph, that some of the voters considered two-time NFL rushing champion Elliott to be the No. 1 running back in the game, and the consensus (the result of number of top-10 votes, composite average, interviews and research - and by the way, we're not sure what "interviews and research'' have to do with voters' votes, but oh well) has him at No. 3.
We are also left to assume that this is the specific piece that Elliott objects to - though certainly, it is at least this sort of piece that has raised his ire.
But one guy views him as No. 11? This is where "science'' veers into "subjectivity'' ... maybe even something less reliable than that.
Wrote Elliott: "Women lie. Men lie. The stats don’t. Go do your homework.''