Randy Gregory Breakout? – Probability v Possibility
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Seven seasons after the 2015 NFL Draft brought him to the Dallas Cowboys roster, will Randy Gregory breakout? Will he live up to the Jerry Jones hype of being a “top 5 talent” or will he again be having to divert his attention to focus more on the battle with his own personal demons? As someone who has followed the young man’s story closely, I have to say, at 28 years of age, the stars seem to be finally aligning themselves in regards to his future. As important, Jerry Jones hype aside, what “level” of breakout are we really talking about here?
The definition of a breakout season for a player is wide, varied, and rarely agreed upon. For an injured player who makes it through a full season, that’s a milestone. An underperforming guy who gets his stats into the respectable neighborhood after flashing talent for seasons has arguably turned things around. But for many, fair or not, it’s all tied to a player’s original purchase price. To wit, if a seventh-round pick hangs out on special teams for a few seasons before breaking into the starting lineup he is considered a success story. The same thing happens with a player from the first 3 rounds and they are labeled a bust. Exactly where does Gregory, entering his contract year, fit in this conversation?
When looking at the future there are probabilites and possibilites. One is gennerally more exciting than the other. Let’s take a look at the two categories as they apply to the Cowboys pass rusher.
Randy Gregory Breakout – Probabilities
Being There – After missing offseasons, preseasons, partial and full seasons Gregory has been a full participant in OTA’s and is looking forward to a full preseason involvement as well. This has never happened before in his career. That is freaking awesome and a mini-breakout all on its own. Critical, until this milestone gets achieved the chances of consistent improvement or a meaningful breakout are low. Barring injury, it looks like this is a checkbox item.
Probability Rating – 90%
“It’s a big deal. I missed, what, I think the last time I had an actual training camp where I was involved or minicamp or OTAs or anything like that was rookie year. So it feels good. It’s real refreshing. I’m really working on the fundamentals and details and trying to get down in this playbook, but it’s fun to be around the guys this early and feels good to be out there.“DE Randy Gregory
Impressing the Coaches – In order for Randy to have a solid shot at making an impact he has to have the opportunity. To get that he has to impress the coaches and word is he is doing just that. Head Coach Mike McCarthy recently stated “I plan on playing him more. I think the most important thing for him is he’s been here every day. He looks great.” THAT is impressing your coaches.
Probability Rating – 100%
Consistent Stats – Over his 7 year NFL career Gregory has produced 10.5 sacks, 66 combined tackles, 49 solo tackles, 5 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, 15 tackles for loss, and 35 QB hits. Not “top 5” NFL Draft talent production by any stretch of the imagination. In 2014 Gregory played 14 games (his most in a season) and delivered 6 sacks and 15 QB hits. Nice, not exciting. Let’s be frank. The talented pass rusher needs to deliver double-digit sacks in 2021. Minimum.
Probability Rating – 80%
Randy Gregory Breakout – Possibilities
Chemistry – A great player is always good to have. A great player who is in the perfect situation for his skill set is nirvana. Welcome to that all-elusive term we call “chemistry.” A player can have it with a scheme, a coach, a play-caller, and their teammates. You can’t have too much of it. Hard to define, it’s like porn, you know it when you see it. So far Randy seems to be hitting on all cylinders this season. His teammates and coaches alike are reporting fantastic interactions. This is exciting and necessary news for a full and impactful Randy Gregory breakout season. Regardless of how it looks now, it’s how it looks once the whistle blows that counts.
Probability Rating – 75%
Explosive Stats – There are consistent stats and then there are explosive stats. Giving your team 10 sacks in a full season is consistent. Putting 20 QB takedowns on the opposition is explosive. Can Gregory deliver anything like this? I believe he can. 15 would be the minimum here. I think he can tease higher.
Probability Rating – 60%
The arrow is pointing up for a Randy Gregory breakout season. I don’t see it being a bad year for the (still) young man. He has plenty of tread on the tires with his limited usage and enough age to get his perspective where it needs to be (for him) to excel. Will it be enough to justify his 2nd round tag and lofty Jerry Jones assessments?
What do you think Cowboys Nation?
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