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Wright On

Florida Times-Union reporter Michael C. Wright covers the ins and outs of the Jacksonville Jaguars. In this blog, he'll share behind-the-scenes anecdotes not published within the pages of the T-U, in addition to offering up incessant ramblings about nothing such as road trips, crummy hotels and not-so-delicious press box food. Perhaps he'll even delve into serious discussions about NFL issues. So ask questions, participate in conversations, or just learn more about the Jags.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

A case for Leftwich?

From time to time, readers send interesting emails that argue a certain position in a cool-headed manner while providing data to support their position. Well, that's what Trip Stanly did in an email to me this morning. I decided to post his email verbatim on this blog. Trip even went through the trouble of putting together a spreadsheet to explain things a little more thoroughly. I can't post that on here (technical reasons), but I'd be happy to forward it through email to anyone that would like to see it.

Trip's email:

As a Byron supporter since Day 1, I decided to crunch the numbers to find out (a) who truly is the better QB for the Jags, and (b) how Byron compares to his peer group. Attached is my analysis (please print both “Leftwich v Garrard” and “1st Round QB” worksheets). The cold hard numbers/facts state…

-- Leftwich is better than Garrard
-- Leftwich has improved more than Garrard
-- Leftwich is better than the majority of other 1st round QBs
-- Leftwich is playing right at the level he was drafted
-- Leftwich gives the Jags the best chance to win
-- There is no QB controversy

I was not surprised by the “Leftwich v Garrard” numbers/facts, but I was surprised by the “Leftwich v. 1st Round QBs” numbers/facts. Leftwich was drafted in 2003 so I looked at his class and the two adjacent classes (2002 and 2004). There were a total of 11 QBs drafted in the 1st round of those 3 drafts. I used the same stats/ratios as the Leftwich v Garrard analysis and then I ranked Leftwich in all major categories to see where he ranks relative to his peers. Well guess what ... on average Leftwich is #3 out of 11!! Only Palmer and Rivers are ahead of him, but that makes sense and is to be expected since both were drafted higher than Leftwich (Palmer #1 and Rivers #4). In fact, based on that line of reasoning, you could argue Leftwich is playing right where the #7 pick should be playing. And now for the stats that debase the negative perceptions about/against Leftwich ... rushing, interceptions, and sacks.

-- Rushing: Look who is ranked #1 in Rushing TDs and Rushing TDs per Attempt and is also ranked #3 in Rushing Average? Who says he is not a good running QB?

-- Interceptions: Look who is ranked #2 in highest Attempts per INT and ranked #2 in lowest Turnovers per Game? Who says he throws too many interceptions or turns the ball over too much?

-- Sacks: Look who is ranked #1 in least amount of Yards per Sack and ranked #4 in highest Attempts per Sack? Who says he gets sacked too much? It's a shame that in a court of law the evidence is irrefutable, but in the court of public opinion it is indefensible. It is also a shame that the average Jag fan (a) cannot see the forest from the trees (winning is more important than who actually starts), and (b) is so emotionally irrational right now they are actually hurting our chances of winning by fueling the fire of dissension and discord (the last thing this teetering franchise needs right now).
Leftwich deserves better! He has earned the right to be the unquestioned starter on this team and anyone who says differently is not looking at the facts.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't go trying to confuse these people with facts and logic. Does not work here.
It only makes them yell louder to cover the sound of their brain grinding to a halt while attempting to process it.
Thankfully, there are people who are paying attention.
I'll bet someone will still find an argument to the way this fancy "book learnin' " has been applied to the debate.

August 30, 2007 at 4:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's also good to compare Leftwich's first 44 starts to Brunell's first 44 starts. Statistically they are virtually identical, Leftwich is 24-20 and Brunell was 23-21.

August 30, 2007 at 5:56 PM  
Anonymous JJ Jones said...

The team is better with Byron at QB. The OC can open up the offense with Byron back there. One reason Garrard looks good in preseason is he does best with a scaled back playbook. That is why he is good in preseason and for a game or two. When teams start gameplanning and realize he is limited as a QB, he loses. See Tennesse and KC last year.

August 30, 2007 at 11:42 PM  
Blogger Terri said...

"Jaguars cornerback Dee Webb (23) and safety Jamaal Fudge (right), both White High School graduates, prevent the Redskins' Carl Berman from catching a pass Thursday night. However, Webb was called for defensive pass interference"

That was a BS call, Webb was behind him. That guy was holding Webb all night and not one hint of a call!

August 31, 2007 at 9:04 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

Trip is preaching to the choir here, but I'd interject a few issues:

1. Garrard seems to have improved this offseason. Enough to overtake BL? I don't know the answer to that one.

2. Where does BL rank with his peers on games missed due to injury?

3. I've been steadfast in my belief that BL is the MAN the past 4 years, but he put some doubt in my mind in the 3rd preseason game. That was too ugly to overlook.

August 31, 2007 at 10:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

August 31, 2007 at 6:06 PM  
Anonymous Robbydoo said...

Anyone with two good eyes could clearly see that Leftfeets was slow, clumsy, injury prone and inconsistant. He is a bust period. I predict that he will be equally effective anywhere he goes as there is no offensive line anywhere that could protect him well enough as slow as he is. Thank you Coach. You may have just saved this franchise.

September 1, 2007 at 10:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brunell had Jimmy Smith and Keenan. Who do the Jags have? Henderson and Stroud don't catch passes.

Rush yds/ ints/per attempt/ and sacks allowed are not good indicators as to a quarterback's effectiveness. Byron is not a good deep ball QB either....for some reason, people always say he, "has a big arm", but he doesn't. Neither does Garrard. So, if you're left without star WR talent, stuck with a short to intermediate passing attack, and leaky offensive line...then you have to go with Garrard, who adds the dimension of escapability. Great job coaches, but you may be 5 months too late. We passed on Brady Quinn TWICE for BL. great.

September 1, 2007 at 3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Garrard has more mobility, but gets sacked more per pass play and takes bigger losses per sack? WHAT GOOD IS HIS MOBILITY THEN, GENIUS?

September 2, 2007 at 8:04 AM  

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