Leftwich Better With Short Passes

September 25th, 2009

One of the main reasons the Bucs acquired Byron Leftwich and later named him the Bucs starter was his ability to wing the ball downfield.

But some number-crunching geeks say he is better throwing short, so reports Vacation Man of BSPN.com, known in some circles as Pat Yasinskas.

Vacation Man says the geeks have crunched the numbers and have come to the conclusion Leftwich isn’t that good at throwing the long ball.

Matt Lyon of ESPN Stats & Information just passed along some numbers that suggest Leftwich might be better suited for Jon Gruden’s horizontal offense than he is for the offense that allegedly was going to be vertical when Jeff Jagodzinski came to town and was supposed to remain that way when Jagodzinski was fired and Greg Olson is supposed to be carrying on a slightly more sophisticated model of the play pamphlet Jagodzinski designed (in 15 minutes).

Of course, this spreadsheet warrior breaks out the knee-jerk quarterback rating, which is one of the most worthless stats in the game.

Can’t these geeks let people enjoy sports? If Joe was so into numbers he would have been a math major. One of the joys of football is that it hasn’t been hijacked with incessant numerical graffiti like baseball.

Let’s keep it that way, shall we?

UPDATE: As if almost on cue, the great Phil Mushnick of the New York Post writes this morning about how asinine quarterback ratings are:

Interesting graphic on MNF: Peyton Manning, with 118 wins, is sixth on the all-time list behind, first to fifth, Brett Favre, John Elway, Dan Marino, Fran Tarkenton and Johnny Unitas. Then why, if ESPN thinks QB Passer Ratings (Please, someone make them go away!) are so expletive significant, is Manning only in the career Top 10?

For what these ratings are worth, Tarkenton is 43rd, Elway is 47th, Unitas is 56th. All are rated behind — Ready? — Jake Delhomme, Byron Leftwich, Jeff Garcia, Chad Pennington, Daunte Culpepper, Marc Bulger, Dave Krieg, Brian Griese, Neil O’Donnell, Ken O’Brien, Jeff Hostetler, Mark Brunnell, Trent Green, Jeff George and Brad Johnson.

2 Responses to “Leftwich Better With Short Passes”

  1. Pete Says:

    The numbers say what about Leftwich?

    He does not appear to have a “better” range.

    He overthrows long, medium and short passes half the time.

    So far he has a 73% completion rate in the first half and 47.5% in the second. Going deep is always going to hurt your stats but to say he throws better short because the numbers say so???

    Perhaps the vacation man should actually watch the games.

  2. Jorge Says: