January 29, 2009

Can you predict who will be a good NFL quarterback?

One of the starting quarterbacks in Sunday's Super Bowl, Kurt Warner, famously wasn't drafted out of college, so he had to bag groceries, then became an Arena Football League quarterback, then an NFL quarterback, then a league MVP and Super Bowl winner, then he became a has-been, and now he's back in the Super Bowl at age 37.

This kind of thing is not hugely uncommon in the NFL (consider the career of Jeff Garcia, who didn't make it to the NFL until he was 29, has been twice given up on, and still was 9th in the NFL in passer rating this season at 38), even though, as the top job in American sports, a huge amount of expertise is devoted to evaluating potential quarterbacks.

In the New Yorker, Malcom Gladwell says:

This is the quarterback problem. There are certain jobs where almost nothing you can learn about candidates before they start predicts how they'll do once they're hired. So how do we know whom to choose in cases like that? ... The problem with picking quarterbacks is that [U. of Missouri quarterback] Chase Daniel's performance can't be predicted. The job he's being groomed for is so particular and specialized that there is no way to know who will succeed at it and who won't. In fact, Berri and Simmons found no connection between where a quarterback was taken in the draft—that is, how highly he was rated on the basis of his college performance—and how well he played in the pros.

From that, Malcolm extrapolates that we should completely change the way teachers are selected in America. Which may or may not be a good idea, but, let's first figure out if he's right about NFL quarterbacks.

When Malcolm makes a quantitative statement, it's usually time to fire up Excel and check for yourself. I went to Pro-Football-Reference.com and looked up all 277 quarterbacks chosen in the NFL draft in the 1980s and 1990s. (I wanted recent QBs but not so recent that we can't get a sense of how there careers will turn out.) Here are the average career achievements (keeping in mind that some, like Peyton Manning and Donovan McNabb, aren't done yet):

# of QBs
Pro Bowls Seasons Starting Games Yards
7 Number 1 Picks 4.1 11.0 171 37,089
17 Top 5 Picks 2.4 7.8 124 25,480
23 Top 10 Picks 1.8 6.1 103 20,296
31 Top 20 Picks 1.6 5.6 97 18,643
54 Top 50 Picks 1.5 5.1 91 17,338
43 Picks 51-100 0.3 2.1 57 6,461
70 Picks 101-200 0.2 1.1 32 4,307
110 Picks >200 0.1 0.3 13 1,531
In other words, seven quarterbacks were chosen first overall in the draft, and, on average, they earned 4.1 Pro Bowl recognitions each, started for 11 years, played in 171 games, and threw for 37,000 yards. On average, the QBs picked number #1 ended up being worth it, although not necessarily to the teams that drafted them (e.g., Vinnie Testaverde's two Pro Bowl selections came at age 33 and 35, with his third team, and he started six games as a 44-year-old -- an odd career, but a pretty good one).

In contrast, 110 quarterbacks were chosen 201st or worse in their draft year, and, on average, they achieved 0.1 Pro Bowl selections, 0.3 years as a starter, a 13 game-long career, and threw for 1,531 yards.

For these two decades, draftees can be lumped into roughly four categories:

- the seven #1 overall picks (Tim Couch, Peyton Manning, Drew Bledsoe, Jeff George, Troy Aikman, Vinnie Testaverde, and John Elway), who had 29 Pro Bowl appearances among them. Hall-of-Famer Steve Young might have been another first-player-chosen in the NFL draft if he hadn't signed with the upstart USFL. (He was the #1 choice in the NFL's subsequent "supplemental draft" of USFL players, as was Bernie Kosar the next year.) On the other hand, the quarterbacks taken first overall in the entire draft in this decade (Michael Vick, David Carr, Carson Palmer, Eli Manning, Alex Smith, and JaMarcus Russell) probably won't match their predecessors. So far, they only have five Pro Bowl appearances.

- Picks in each draft from #2 to #50 overall. The two top yardage quarterbacks fall here: Dan Marino was the 27th player picked his year, and Brett Favre the 33rd. Gladwell's contention was closest to truth here, where there didn't seem too much of a trend between being a #2 and being a #50. The quarterbacks who were picked 51-100th went to 12 Pro Bowls, while the guys who were picked 1-50th went to 81, so, when Gladwell says, "there is no way to know who will succeed at it and who won't," don't believe him. There are ways. They are far from perfectly reliable, but 81 to 12 is a pretty good indication that the NFL guys aren't just throwing darts. There is some bias in most of the statistics toward the high draft picks in the sense that once a team makes a big investment in a quarterback, they often feel obligated to play him. But the Pro Bowl statistics are fairly objective.

- Picks from #51 upward -- Lots of good quarterbacks were taken down here, like Rich Gannon (#98), Mark Brunell (#118), Matt Hasselbeck (#187) (and Tom Brady went #199 in 2000) but the average achievement level is low because the pyramid is so broad. The lowest drafted quarterback during these two decades to make the Pro Bowl was Doug Flutie at #258. He was also no doubt the shortest Pro Bowl quarterback.

- And then there are the undrafted quarterbacks, such as Warner, Garcia, Tony Romo, Jake Delhomme, and Jon Kitna (and Warren Moon back in the late 1970s), who emerged out of the couple of thousand or so college quarterbacks who went undrafted during these two decades. No doubt there were other undrafted quarterbacks who, with the right breaks, could have been stars in the NFL, but the percentages have to have been very low -- the pyramid gets very, very wide down here.

In conclusion, contra Gladwell, the NFL teams can predict quarterback performance in the NFL a lot better than random chance would dictate. And yet, considering the huge amount of effort that goes into selecting the most promising college quarterbacks in the NFL draft, there is much that remains delightfully unpredictable, as Kurt Warner's career demonstrates.

One of Malcolm's biggest problems is that he has very little sense of where he is on a bell curve. He looks at people on the 99.999th percentile (top 50 draftees) and says that nobody can predict who will make it to the 99.9999th percentile, and, therefore, we should throw out prediction methods. Well, swell, but that doesn't mean that you can't predict ahead of time with some degree of accuracy who will wind up at roughly the 10th, 50th, and 90th percentiles out of the general population. But, Malcolm just doesn't get it.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

57 comments:

Anonymous said...

"When Malcolm makes a quantitative statement, it's time to fire up Excel and check for yourself."

Brutal and true. Maybe he should try testing out his ideas on his blog for criticism BEFORE filling the New Yorker with falsified garbage.

jody said...

i still remember that you thought jamarcus russell was going to be a great player.

the NFL now seems to know ahead of time that black players with inferior combine measurables and NCAA numbers, are actually better quarterbacks. except that they aren't, but that hasn't stopped the NFL from using this method when drafting players at any other position, either.

in NCAA football, matt jones started ahead of tarvaris jackson. yet in the NFL, it was jones who was forced to play receiver instead of quarterback. in classic NFL style, jones, who is bigger, more athletic, and more intelligent, was automatically denied the chance to play his natural position, while jackson was made a starting quarterback quickly.

and now there is tim tebow, who, despite being better than vince young in almost every measurable way, finds himself in real danger of not being allowed to play quarterback in the NFL. he regularly has to defend himself against NFL scouts who constantly tell him, to his face mind you, he's not an NFL quarterback. he's easily better than tarvaris jackson, and it will be insulting if the NFL is allowed to work it's now standard anti-white magic on tebow, forcing him to play tight end or fullback.

despite the CRUSHING pressure to make quarterback a black position, white players still somehow manage to succeed at it in the NFL. i'm not sure for how long though, as we are in a strange era in american football, where being black is literally all that matters, and white players are merely tolerated so long as they perform at a very high level. the moment they don't perform up to a high standard, they are under review, and if they fail to perform a few times in a row, they are shown the bench. black players are given every advantage, every benefit of the doubt, and endless chances.

despite the level of quarterback play being higher now that ever, bashing white quarterbacks is great sport, and the US sports media loves to tell us how terrible every white quarterback played. one of the US sports media's favorite tactics is ignoring when black quarterbacks play badly in favor of bashing white quarterbacks. when they're not telling us how bad they played on sunday, they're busy telling us how unathletic they are. when they're not busy downplaying or flat out denying their athletic ability, they're busy ignoring just how critical many of them are to their team's success. one begins to wonder, for example, if philip rivers not only sucks at playing quarterback, but is not a good athlete either, how well the chargers could do if a REAL athlete were the quarterback. and furthermore, why a billionaire would pay a non-athlete millions of dollars every year to be the most important player on his football team?

perhaps this a natural consequence of the modern american dialog in which black skin is a suit of armor that protects you from criticism, leaving white players as the only ones who are fair game. as white quarterbacks are the only white players who are still allowed to figure prominently in the NFL game anymore, guess who gets bashed? at least maybe today, due to the utterly ridiculous rooney rule, there are enough black head coaches that spineless managers are not afraid to fire bad ones anymore. though i'm not too convinced of that yet.

RF Interference said...

Football Outsiders did a statistical study of college quarterbacks a while back and identified the following three things that correlated with success in the pros:

1. Career completion percentage.
2. Number of games started.
3. Did not declare for the draft until after senior year.

You do have to discount completion percentage some if the quarterback was playing against vastly inferior competition, say at a 1-AA school or the like.

Texas Tech's Graham Harrell should be a stud by that criteria, and he's also 6'3" so he passes one of Malcom's tests.

FYI, Harrell is currently projected to fall to the second or third round because teams don't like that his counting stats are inflated by a very agressive passing offense and there are other quarterbacks in the draft with more impressive physical tools.

The joke of it all, is that while there are minimum physical requirements a pro quarterback must meet, rapid decision making is by far the main qualification for the job, and it's what eats up gifted athletes who can't make the necessary reads in the three seconds they have to get rid of the ball.

If you look at the three things Football Outsiders found correlate, two directly relate to how much experience a quarterback had in college and the third measures how well he actually made reads (with some degree of throwing accuracy factored in as well).

Harrell played in all four of his seasons, was the starter by his sophmore campaign and has a career completion percentage around 70 in over 2,000 attempts in what is a very complex passing offense by college standards.

Drew Brees fell to the second round of the draft for similar reasons (Perdue ran a similar spread shotgun offense while Brees was there). Fitting he was drafted in the second round the year Michael Vick was taken first overall, the epitome of the superior athlete at quarterback. Vick's passing statistics prior to his incarceration were very mediocre, while Brees has been lighting up the league for several seasons now.

Whoever grabs Harrell in the second or third is going to come out quite well.

The problem is, the front offices of professional sports teams have historically been populated from within the good old boys network of their sport. This is why retards like Matt Millen get to run franchise into the ground. Baseball wised to this and began brining in Ivy League grads with statistical backgrounds, but football is at least a decade behind.

There's a tremendous bias towards projectability. Duds like Minnesota's Tarvaris Jackson are thought well of by their teams for their raw physical gits while the corresponding mental gifts aren't given enough attention.

There will be more athletes who can't read coverage taken ahead of Harrell in the next draft, just like Vick was taken ahead of Brees, and just like Ryan Leaf was taken ahead of Peyton Manning (to steal a line from Bull Durham, Leaf had a million dollar arm and a ten cent head).

Joe Dirt said...

We live in an age of intellectual fraud.

Malcolm Gladwell, Alan Greenspan, Tom Friedman, Christopher Hitchens, Jared Diamond. Not to mention people like Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Al Gore.

Of course it has always been this way. The public is continually being bluffed by people who aren't actually holding any good cards.

The list at the link below is full of liars, frauds and bullsh*t artists. No wonder the world is in such trouble today.

Top 100 Public Intellectuals

Acilius said...

That's a good post, but why do you keep referring to Malcolm Gladwell as "Malcolm"? It's confusing. The surname "Malcolm" is common enough among writers that a reader will likely have to go back over your post to make sure that you aren't referring to one of them. And if it's an attempt to needle Gladwell into making more hostile remarks about you and giving you more free publicity, it doesn't seem to be working.

rightsaidfred said...

fire up Excel and check for yourself.

Steve, we are not to do things for ourselves. It is supposed to be left to carefully vetted experts who have the proper credentials and are paid by an objective, correct central government. So just sit back and wait for your check from the new, improved Obama administration who is going to fix things.

Anonymous said...

Gladwell needs to hire you as his fact-checker, Steve. Heck, he needs you as his creative consultant.

Black Sea said...

"Berri and Simmons found no connection between where a quarterback was taken in the draft—that is, how highly he was rated on the basis of his college performance—and how well he played in the pros."

I thought the New Yorker employed fact checkers.

Gladwell must not follow football much, since the claim made above is so obviously improbable that it would stand out as a huge red flag to even a casual fan. The Kurt Warner story is interesting precisely because it's so unusual.

beowulf said...

Malcolm gets paid by the word. If no one cares about your errors, why bother correcting them?

In fairness, he's a very good writer and you usually feel better about yourself in a SWPL way afte reading his articles. So he's worth every penny the New Yorker pays him.

Ha ha, I feel bad just writing that. I can picture Steve talking to Malcolm's book photo like Tony Hopkins as Nixon talking to JFK's portrait, ""When they (read) you, they see what they want to be. When they (read) me, they see what they are."

Anonymous said...

Tim Couch, Peyton Manning, Drew Bledsoe, Jeff George, Troy Aikman, Vinnie Testaverde, and John Elway.

Three of those quarterbacks are among the best who have ever played the game. The rest were not worthy of being the first pick in the draft. It does seem like a bit of crap shoot to draft a QB with the first pick based on those examples.

derek sutton said...

Interesting post. One thing that can't be controlled for is opportunities. First picks in the draft will always get a chance to play a full season or three no matter what. Look at JaMarcus Russell, a player so obviously awful but started all of last season and will probably start at least the start of next year. Also, David Carr. Whereas, a sixth rounder might get cut before the end of training camp due to roster considerations despite having the potential to be a big time player.

You're right though, Gladwell is exaggerating.

Anonymous said...

Please, Steven. We're on a truffle hunt here and don't need you butting in with your bomber jacket and crude, gasoline-powered vehicle and "excel" whatever thingy.

Malcolm's trenchant analysis shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that we need government-funded football scholarships for grocery baggers so that a million Kurt Warners can bloom.

--Senor Doug

Ivy League Bastard said...

Steve,

your QB analysis is interesting in relation to the issue from the recent discussion on Tournaments And Social Science:

--> are the seemingly complicated sports ("tournament") observables in fact MORE predictable than social-science observables?

Consider, for example, the problem of predicting who will be a criminal, based on an amount of data comparable to what's available for an NFL prospect quarterback. You can have a high success rate by simply predicting "NO" for any given individual, since most people aren't criminals. The question is how much the success rate can be improved using extra information about the individual.

The NFL, of course, has to attempt both predictions these days. But the quarterback performance projection seems to be the easier of the two.

anon-2 said...

Just look at a photo of Gladwell. No way does he know football. What effete NYer does?

Did G play any sports?
Steve's link to an ancient 1998 Washington Post article by G about his heritage is very nice though and made me respect him more

Zylonet said...

I would love to see how NFL teams evaluate quarterback candidates. I wonder how sophisticated they really are. How many data points do they track and do they use adaptive algorithms. In motorsport, I worked with an old guard who could tell very quickly if a young kid had F1 potential and to the degree that kid make become an F1 star. He was very accurate. Having also been involved in driver hires, I would be curious to learn if the typical NFL team tracks the following: (should anyone know, I would like to know why/why not.)

Some potential tracking points beyond the usual.

1)Bone density
2)Ligament and tendon strength
3)Processing power: abstract
4)Processing power: quick reflexes (use the lightboard)
5)Processing power: abstract under stress
6)Processing power: quick reflexes under stress
7)Diet survey of incoming candidates (have they been paying attention or are they mentally lazy)
8)Fitness survey of incoming candidates
9)Practice protocol for previous 10 years (how much effort do they put forth)
10)Practice protocol for previous three years
11)Choice of hobby
12)Leadership potential via personality survey
13)Leadership via experience: (what have they learned and how have they failed, what lessons do they bring forth)
14)Testosterone and thyroid via blood draw
15)Knowledge of nutrition
16)Evaluation of girlfriend / wife
17)Degree of dominance in personality.
18)Degree of fight response to external stimuli
19)Degree of self-regulation and self-motivation
20)Respect for authority

Perhaps some of those are unnecessary, and perhaps a few more are needed, but I think such a system would yield tremendous results over time. The key is to find more about the essence of the person and their ability to withstand punishment. Raw talent is only part of the equation. I can speak from experience in this regard. Juan Montoya is one of the most gift racing drivers in the world. He possesses a level of talent and aggression that is simply difficult to describe. However, he lacks the internal drive and mental dedication to be the best. Therefore, he never became F1 World Champion. Despite the obvious fact that Juan did not possess a commitment to fitness (which is very important in F1), he was hired by the most sophisticated team: McLaren. Somehow, McLaren did not have an internal survey to predict that Juan would not live up to his potential; they merely assumed they could change his personality. Given that McLaren had no such system, and given that they operate in a world that is far more intellectually complex than any NFL team, I would imagine that NFL hiring practices leave a great deal to be desired. Most people are simply incapable or unwilling to track talent factors in a systematic fashion. Fewer still are able to design a system that does not result in a robotic workforce. I think a great deal of money could be made helping the NFL find the best candidates. However, from my limited experience with Pro coaches, they are a bit too dense for such a program to reach fruition.

Truth said...

As I said on another post, NFL quarterback is without a doubt the world's most difficult job. Of 3.5 billion men on this planet, about 8 can do it effectively and consistently over a long period of time. There probably a few thousand or so effective, consistent astronauts, nuclear physicists, etc.

Figgy said...

Is there a better living, breathing example of The Peter Principle than Malcolm?

Anonymous said...

It's obviously ridiculous to say that *nothing* predicts success. Otherwise you might as well give the job to the piccolo player from the marching band.

John Seiler said...

Steve's next book should be devoted entirely to refuting Gladwell. Call it "Stupidonomics."

Any NFL fan knows the top quarterback draft picks are most likely to succeed. But that doesn't preclude a Ryan Leaf disaster, nor a happy surprise like Warner.

Anonymous said...

Here's a question: Has anyone considered giving QB candidates IQ tests, specifically concentrating on the spatial-temporal reasoning component?

My guess is that all the great QBs will score fairly high in this.

G Eugene said...

The guys over at Football Prospectus did a study to figure out what statistics in College football translate into successful NFL quarterbacks. Assuming the quarterback has the necessary "measurables" size, speed and, especially, arm strength, i.e. the ability to throw the 15-yard out, there were exactly two predictors of NFL success. The first was the number of starts. If a college quarterback was his team's starter for at least 2 and a half years, he was a likely candidate for NFL success. The second was completion percentage. If a quarterback's completion percentage was 60% or above, this correlated very well with NFL success. This figures, in that it indicates that the quarterback throws the ball accurately and has the ability to read defenses, makes sense. All other college statistics were nearly useless in predicting future NFL success.

Matthew Stafford, the junior quarterback from the University of Georgia, who is the odds on favorite to be the #1 pick in this April's NFL draft, has started for 3 years in the highly competitive Southeastern Conference. He has a career completion percentage of 57.1 although last year he completed 61.4% of his passes. He has all the measurables, 6'3", 237 lbs., rocket arm, but his career completion percentage raises red flags. Is he accurate enough to thrive in the NFL. I guess Detroit, who by virtue of there winless season has the #1 pick in this year's draft, will find out.

Anonymous said...

Gladwell's "oh I'm so interesting, aren't I?" contention that quarterback success is impossible to predict is mind-numbingly stupid and when I think of how prominent and successful this guy has become writing pap it makes me want to burn down several cities.

Lucius Vorenus said...

Joe Dirt: Not to mention people like Ayaan Hirsi Ali

What's wrong with Ayaan Hirsi Ali?

There are approximately 1 BILLION people in the world who have been commanded to attempt to murder the poor girl.

She lives with 24x7 security and has been in hiding for years now.

Lucius Vorenus said...

Anonymous: Otherwise you might as well give the job to the piccolo player from the marching band.

Oh man, that takes me back.

When I was a kid, there were some fine, fine chicks who played piccolo.

Horny sluts, too, they were.

Man, those were the days.

Those were the days.

Sigh.

Sideways said...

As I said on another post, NFL quarterback is without a doubt the world's most difficult job. Of 3.5 billion men on this planet, about 8 can do it effectively and consistently over a long period of time. There probably a few thousand or so effective, consistent astronauts, nuclear physicists, etc.

This is true only because the requirements for being a professional quarterback are almost entirely different than being a successful high school quarterback and significantly different than being a successful college qb.

In high school, physical gifts trump all. As players head towards the pros, the level of the defense improves to the point where the main ability required is reading the defense and being able to figure out where to throw the ball quickly.

There is no efficient training program that exists for finding pro-type football quarterback talent and no obvious way of creating one. The increased speed of defensive backs and the increased complexity of defensive schemes increasingly highlights the problems with developing quarterbacks.

And, of course, it's completely different from the situation in academia, which has a rather efficient system of getting people who can do the work into positions. (yes, yes, inefficiencies from affirmative action, politics, etc aside)

albertosaurus said...

He was also no doubt the shortest Pro Bowl quarterback.

I believe Eddie LeBaron who went four times to the Pro Bowl at 5'7" was at least two inches shorter than Doug Floutie.

Anonymous said...

RF Interference:
Your post was interesting until you laid a giant turd in the last paragraph: Leaf was taken SECOND overall, after Manning.
Now what else did you get wrong...

Truth said...

"When I was a kid, there were some fine, fine chicks who played piccolo."

My friend, the next time your mom comes up to the attic to tidy up your room, might I suggest that you ask her to buy you a subscription to bangbros.com. I think it would provide immeasurable stress relief.

Anonymous said...

"Of 3.5 billion men on this planet, about 8 can do it effectively and consistently over a long period of time. There probably a few thousand or so effective, consistent astronauts, nuclear physicists, etc."

Utterly asinine. There are only 32 NFL teams; there are thousands of venues for scientists.

Lucius Vorenus said...

Truth: My friend, the next time your mom comes up to the attic to tidy up your room, might I suggest that you ask her to buy you a subscription to bangbros.com. I think it would provide immeasurable stress relief.

Dude - I'm talking about real, live, flesh & blood chicks in my high school band.

Gorgeous chicks, with big buxom mammaries and sunny dispositions and big smiles on their faces and who loved to... [Well, you know.]

Not some Nurse Ratched Ice-Queen Feminazi Bull-Dyke Witch like what infects the modern world, but real, honest-to-goodness females who were fun to be around and fun to look at and fun to talk to and fun to goof around with and fun to... [Well, you know.]

Man, a cool Friday evening in the autumn, and the sun sets, and the sky gets dark, and they turn on the lights, and the band comes marching into the stadium, and you watch some football, and then afterwards everyone heads out to the party...

Wow, those were the days.

I feel old just thinking about it.

Sigh.

PS: And for whatever reason, the piccolo players always seemed like the sweetest, cheerfullest, most buxom and horniest chicks in the entire band.

Man, oh man, oh man, those were the days...

sj071 said...

No. But we do have a fallback position...
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=8Af372EQLck

Anonymous said...

Six foot two or more.


Over 210 lbs, preferrably 220.


A quick release.


Big hands (very helpful, lets you use your actual arm strength, and pump fake "hard").


A strong arm.


Dedication and CONCENTRATION.

Good study habits, willing to watch and dissect film, as well as learn the playbook backwards and forewards, including a complete knowledge of audibles, gets team to line quickly so audibles can be used.


The ability to look "off" recievers, stare down safeties, mislead the defense with body language about where the play is going.


A willingness to be vocal and lead.


Wants to win, loves being a teammate, competitive.


Can make quick decisions.





Malcom Gladwell never played football, and probably isn't a intense fan of it either.

Anonymous said...

"What's wrong with Ayaan Hirsi Ali?"

Lucius Vorenus: Ayaan Hirsi Ali fled to the European white Western world but she is actually anti-Western, anti-white, anti-male, anti-nationalist, anti-Christian.

And instead of assimiliating and embracing the native culture of the sanctuary that saved her, she supports turning the very sanctuary she sought out in the West (sanctuary from her persecutors in the Islamic world) into a poisonous identity vacuum where the native white European Christian people and culture is suppressed by authoritarian government so that the people don't threaten her own post-modern feminist left wing identity.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is an incoherent hypocrite.

Truth said...

"And, of course, it's completely different from the situation in academia, which has a rather efficient system of getting people who can do the work into positions. (yes, yes, inefficiencies from affirmative action, politics, etc aside)"

"Utterly asinine. There are only 32 NFL teams; there are thousands of venues for scientists."

The qualification of the statement is the two of yours, not mine. I simply said that NFL QB was the world's most difficult job. Even with only 32 teams, I would say that MAYBE eight are satsified with the man they have playing QB. That means, that, as I wrote earlier, there are only 8 men on the planet who can perform the duties of NFL QB effectively, consistently and unquestionably.

Truth said...

BTW for those of you who are on the "Tavaris Jackson is a bust" kick, his QB rating last season was 95.4 which would have placed him 4th in the NFL had he had enough pass attempts to qualify. Peyton Manning, for those of you interested would have been fifth at 95.0.

Danindc said...

I've always had a soft spot for Truth defending the indefensible but when he makes the case for Tarvaris Jackson, someone has to be the adult. He was the WORST starting qb in all of football and anyone with any inkling of football knowledge would know this. The Vikings were 10x better than Arizona outside of the QB position. They were set up for a Super Bowl until Childress cast his lot with Tarvaris. Gus Frerotte, yes Frerotte, would have have led the Vikings to a respectable loss to the Steelers in the Super Bowl- now Kurt Warner gets to be the guy.

C'mon, Tarvaris Jackson?

Danindc said...

Couple of things- Albertosaurus- don't think they had Pro Bowls in Eddie Lebaron's day....if you were the best at your position they gave you the fatted calf and a flask of port


QB....everything anon # 5 said except must be 6'4 at least

And for all you Malcolm Gladwell haters- I'll have you know he led the 1996 Baylor Bears in tackles for a loss and sacks... Kiper had him rated as a late third early fourth round pick before he decided to continue writing

Sideways said...


The qualification of the statement is the two of yours, not mine. I simply said that NFL QB was the world's most difficult job. Even with only 32 teams, I would say that MAYBE eight are satsified with the man they have playing QB. That means, that, as I wrote earlier, there are only 8 men on the planet who can perform the duties of NFL QB effectively, consistently and unquestionably.


And if you had read what I wrote, you would have realized that you were completely wrong. The problem with finding pro quarterbacks is not a lack of ability, it is the fact that capable pro quarterbacks are not selected for at the high school and college levels.

It would be like if your college gave straight A's in advanced sciences to jocks and grad schools took those grades as legitimate. That would screw with the sciences almost as much as much as the current terrible quarterback talent search system does.

Sideways said...

Or, to put it another way, if the pros were to take every 19 year old who could throw a football with a reasonable velocity, was 6'3" or above, had good eyes, and had a high IQ, then trained them intensively in real football situations, they'd have better luck getting pro quarterbacks worthy of the title.

Lies said...

for those of you who are on the "Tavaris Jackson is a bust" kick, his QB rating last season was 95.4 which would have placed him 4th in the NFL had he had enough pass attempts to qualify.

Yeah and there's a good reason they have a cutoff on that list of QB ratings: guys like Jackson only played a half season as a passer compared to everyone else.

http://www.nfl.com/players/tarvarisjackson/profile?id=JAC566507

...... 88 completions in a 149 attempts. He did improve in 2008 though. Maybe he's the future of the league! But it looks to me like more idiotic redefining of the QB position away from passing.

The only thing standing in the way of two black running quarterbacks facing off in the Super Bowl is further cooperation from the team owners and the NCAA and high school administrations. It's an administrative issue.

Anonymous said...

"I simply said that NFL QB was the world's most difficult job. Even with only 32 teams, I would say that MAYBE eight are satsified with the man they have playing QB."

That has nothing to do with the question; your assertion makes sense only if those 32 teams had access to every potential QB in the world. The "world's most difficult job?" Please.

Anonymous said...

"He [T. Jackson] was the WORST starting qb in all of football and anyone with any inkling of football knowledge would know this."

I've watched every Vikings qb back to Joe Kapp, and Jackson is the worst of them all, without question. His poor decision making (tied to his obviously low IQ), his inaccuracy and general incompetence cost MN a probable win in their playoff game (his rating for that game was 45.4). His passer rating was elevated artificially a couple of games in which he barely had to throw at all, thanks to the Vikings running game. The ESPN idiots and their counterparts made a big deal out of his game against Arizona. To keep it in some perspective, in that game Jackson completed eleven passes. Move over, Montana.

un-Truth said...

My friend, the next time your mom comes up to the attic to tidy up your room, might I suggest that you ask her to buy you a subscription to bangbros.com. I think it would provide immeasurable stress relief.

And an affirmative-action rainbow for you and your two-digit IQ, "Truth"....

Anonymous said...

"Ayaan Hirsi Ali fled to the European white Western world but she is actually anti-Western, anti-white, anti-male, anti-nationalist, anti-Christian..."

Stop repeating Larry Auster's talking points.

jody said...

turdvaris suckson is the worst player to deliberately be started at NFL quarterback in many years. he is a starter strictly because he is black, a white player with the exact same numbers and measureables would never be handed the starting job. better white NCAA quarterbacks are not even allowed to play NFL quarterback. anybody who thinks tim tebow could not easily do everything better than turdvaris has no idea what they are talking about, yet he were are, with absolute idiots like mel kiper telling us this very thing.

the entire vikings offense has to be rearranged around the fact that suckson struggles greatly to throw passes further than 10 yards. almost all of his passes are quickouts, screens, and checkdowns. the vikings have one of the best offensive lines and running backs in the league, so they do two or three runs on every set of downs, then suckson throws a 3 yard checkdown that gets 10 yards after the catch. do people not watch these games?

when the vikings get 14 points down in a game and they must throw 20 yard passes to catch up, the game is pretty much over, because turdvaris can't do that. exactly like the eagles playoff game. the vikings fans booed, and for good reason. why was frerotte not in the game? oh that's right, because he's not black.

turdvaris is the clearest example yet of the ludicrous black mania that has swept the NFL, compelling coaches who, despite being paid millions of dollars to WIN football games, intead ignore all logic and just go with the black guy. it's simply not true that the best players are on the field.

jody said...

all you guys talking about intelligence and IQ are cracking me up. do you honestly think there is any chance that if NFL coaches are drooling over some black NCAA quarterback with a bad psychological profile and low wonderlic scores, they will be dissuaded from handing over their offense to the guy?

standard practices and rules for evaluating players do not apply to black players. they went out the window about 15 years ago. all that matters is that you are BLACK. that's it. that is the single most important thing about a player. athletic ability as measured in the combine is irrelevant. NCAA performance is irrelevant.

white players are not allowed to play running back or cornerback no matter what. every single year there are several good white NCAA players at these positions who measure out as better athletes than some of the black NCAA players who get drafted and inserted into the NFL. it's just a fact.

there are 1700 players in the NFL. i'd say easily 20% of the black players are affirmative action guys who are only on a roster because they are black. plenty of these guys are SLOW. NOT great athletes. cannot do their job. they miss tackles and drop balls. the new trend, to have huge, fat 350 pound black tackles, has provided the league with plenty of out of shape slobs who cannot play every snap.

quarterback is merely the last position to hold out against the lowering of the standards. the NBA is far, far more efficient at getting the right players into the league. if all 12 players on an NBA team are black, it's because they were the best. in the NFL, it's because they are black, not because they are the best.

Concerned said...

Does anyone here think that Tom Brady's career is over?

Truth said...

"Yet in the NFL, it was jones who was forced to play receiver instead of quarterback."

Jones was not forced to play receiver, Jones worked out at the combine as a receiver after suffering a major shoulder injury as a senior that took the velocity off his passes.

You are not to bright are you Jody. On the one hand you whine:

"WE'RE NEVER ALLOWED TO PLAY WIDE RECEIVER, ONLY QUARTERBACK!!!"

Then when a white QB gets moved to receiver:

"THEY MOVE ALL OF OUR GREAT ATHLETIC QB'S TO RECEIVER!!!"

I hear there's room for two in Luciu's mom's attic. (No offense Lucius, just having fun, you actually seem like a good natured chap.)

"I've always had a soft spot for Truth defending the indefensible."

Thanks Danindic, but one thing that you have to understand about me; I was not defending Jackson, I simply posted a statistic. If I watch a football game, I would feel that Jackson sux, but when I look at the numbers, they would seem to indicate that maybe he's better than advertised. This statistic was (literally) come up with by a team of Stanford math PHD's. It's called PASSER RATING for a reason.

I'm not really in the habit of defending people, no, my interest in is challenging people who's arguments amount to "Tavaris Jackson sucks, heh...heh..heh." Into more of a thought process.

Come on, you're white guys, you love statistics they way brothers love CD's and Jews love money! (BTW Ferrotte was injured, that's why Jackson got his job back, and at 37 he probably didn't heal quickly.)

I'm really

" your assertion makes sense only if those 32 teams had access to every potential QB in the world. The "world's most difficult job?" Please."

Does NASA have access to every potential physicist in the world?

"anybody who thinks tim tebow could not easily do everything better than turdvaris has no idea "

I don't know that Tim Tebow could do everything better than Tavaris Jackson, but I feel that he could do most things better than Tavaris Jackson, that is why he won the Heisman and two national championships (albeit one as a fullback).

"standard practices and rules for evaluating players do not apply to black players. they went out the window about 15 years ago. all that matters is that you are BLACK. that's it."


Really? Then why isn't Gary Coleman in the NFL?

"His passer rating was elevated artificially a couple of games in which he barely had to throw at all,"

This strikes me as illogical, it's called 'passer rating' not 'hand of to Adrian Peterson' rating.

"why was frerotte not in the game? oh that's right, because he's not black."

Well that's possible, it could also be BECAUSE HE SUCKS ASS as a QB.

QB Rating 2008

Gus Ferotte 73.7
Tavaris Jackson 95.4

TD- INT Ratio 2008
Gus Ferotte 12-15
Tavaris Jackson 9-2

QB Rating Lifetime

Gus Ferotte 74.2
Tavaris Jackson 76.5

TD-INT Ratio Lifetime
Gus Ferotte 114-106
Tavaris Jackson 20-18

IQ
Tavaris Jackson Inconclusive
Gus Ferotte Once went on IR for
giving a wall a
celebratory
headbutt
Injury status for the playoffs

Tavaris Jackson Heathy
Gus Ferotte Recovering from
Injury

Contract Status for 2009

Gus Ferotte Free Agent
Tavaris Jackson Signed through 2010

You're right! Now that I look at it, Jackson started because he is black!

Have fun guys, I'm going to watch a Polynesian kick a white guy's butt in MMA.

Anonymous said...

Has there ever been an ambidextrous QB?

Richard London

Danindc said...

Truth- you really thought Penn would beat St. pierre? If they fought ten times St. Pierre would win eleven.

Truth said...

Apparently you are right. I'm not a huge fan, I'm more of a boxing guy. I guess I just wanted the fat unimpressive, scrawny-shouldered looking guy to win. You know I always stick up for the underdog.

Anonymous said...

"Of 3.5 billion men on this planet, about 8 can do it effectively and consistently over a long period of time."

This is a misleading statement. For one thing, outside of North America, virtually no one plays football, and thus those men would never have a chance to develop the skills to play quarterback. The talent pool with which the NFL can draw from is very, very far from 3.5 billion, it's about 150 million. Also, it's not like the NFL can simply choose the best of the best from those 150 million to play quarterback in the NFL, they have to compete with other sports for those great athletes, most notably baseball. Just off the top of my head I can think of a couple of quarterbacks who were highly touted High School quarterbacks with NFL like measurables who chose to play baseball instead. Grady Sizemore of the Cleveland Indians and Matt Tuiasosopo with the Seattle Mariners organization(I know of these 2 because they both signed their LOI's to play for my team, Washington, and chose to play baseball instead), and of course, Joe Mauer of the Minnesota twins, who was the #1 rated quarterback and #1 overall prospect in the country as a senior in high school. Needless to say, there's probably many more, but those are just a few off the top of my head.



As for "Truth", i'm wondering what MMA card you were watching buddy? That "White guy", aka, Georges St. Pierre completely dominated BJ Penn...

Svigor said...

I would say that MAYBE eight are satsified with the man they have playing QB.

They're only satisfied because their 8 QBs are better enough than the other 24, you twit. If the other 24 were as good as the 8, nobody would be satisfied.

Anonymous said...

Looks like another black head coach just hoisted the Lombardi Trophy. Thats two out of the last three years, How long before the NFL is Stuff White People No Longer LIke? The NBA suffered this fate some years ago, but thanks to global support, its managed to continue on as a first tier professional sport.

Oh well, there is always NASCAR.

Truth said...

Svig; you're communicating with me again? When the horoscope this morning said it would be the luckiest day of my life, I figured money or gold, but I could never have imagined this!

"Looks like another black head coach just hoisted the Lombardi Trophy."

You know, speaking of that, I got a chance to speak to Tomlin after the game; he's a big fan, and he wanted me to forward a message to the race realists here: T.M.H.M.A.T.

Anonymous said...

Did fire up excel. Did not work.

Did tink, Did not work.

Did try to like the book. Did not work.

Why? Here

http://blogich.com/2009/04/15/malcolm-gladwell-or-the-power-of-not-thinking/

Ben Taylor said...

Jody's posts, and a few others, smack of some serious racism. Sailer and Gladwell had a long exchange on his blog a while back, and it was apparent to me in reading it that Sailer, too, has some sort of racist agenda.

Sailer seems to have a fascination with fitting data *around* a viewpoint, rather than interpreting it -- for instance, who cares about IQ? It's a crude measuring tool and all of the studies he cites are highly correlative, not causal (as one poster erroneously concluded in these comments).

As for Jody and the race of a quarterback, she seems to either completely ignore or be completely oblivious to the fact that's it been hard to be accepted as a "black" QB in the NFL for a number of years, and BOTH black and white QBs are regularly converted to other positions, most notably wide receiver and 3rd down backs. Isaiah Stanback and Brad Smith come to mind of the top of my head, but there have been many others over the years.

Matt Jones' decision has nothing to do with race -- Jones was a freak at the combine and projected better as a wide receiver than a quarterback. If you were Jones, would you play a position that gave you a worse opportunity to succeed?

Since Jackson came into the league in 2006, he's 30th in Adjusted Net Yards/Attempt, Frerotte is 58th. Jackson is 38th in Adjusted QB Rating, Frerotte is 62nd. Jackson showed signs of promise in the past, but we'd all agree he's not a very good QB right now. Frerotte was a desparation option, not someone clearly being snubbed for race (what's the explanation then for his other failures, behind white QBs?)

What you're completely ignoring, in favor of some racially charged explanation, is that (1) Jackson was probably the Vikings best option, and (2) Brad Childress isn't a perfect decision maker. For your assertions to have any merit, Childress would have to ignore practice, film study, and all statistical metrics and make his basis solely on Jackson's race. Yet there isn't a shred of evidence of this.

And as for Tim Tebow, again, your racial explanations are baseless. Tebow struggled in the Sr. bowl against better competition, has a horribly slow release (he's trying to correct it), and his college success wasn't because he was a prototypical pocket passer, whereas say, Matt Stafford's was. Stafford, along with hundreds of other white QBs, weren't converted to anything, but you don't mention that...