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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.

Friday, August 31, 2007


The Jaguars plan to make a significant announcement at 5:30 p.m. at a press conference at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium.

Stay tuned. As soon as we find out, we'll post it.

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.