Whenever the good folks here on TST start talking about this player or that player you get the inevitable ‘I hate him’ and ‘I love him’ comments. For the most part they are civil. Some players draw no dissention whatsoever like Robert Quinn. Anybody who doesn’t acknowledge his greatness will forever be assigned the job of cleaning out NoAvailableCap’s lawn mower.
Some players however bring out the worst in everyone. One in particular is of course is Sam Bradford. But as I read more and more here on TST the guy next in line for diametrically opposing viewpoints seems to be Brian Quick. The thing keep wondering is, why does the FO have such faith in a guy who has done so little?
Now I will admit I was heavily in the ambivalent corner. If he blossomed fine, if he was cut that was fine to. But then in another post I was baited into looking deeper into his number. Thanks for that BTW Cap. To be truthful I was surprised at what I found.
As many of you know I am a big stats guy but I like to make sure they are in context. So if someone says he ‘always drops the ball’ what does that really mean? ‘His catch to target ratio is to low’ brings my same question, compared to what?
So I started digging into his numbers. Now unlike some I didn’t penalize him for a very low number of targets and receptions. I wanted to know on a percentage basis how did his key stats match up to the rest of the league? That would tell me if he was on the field more and targeted more how would his performance on the chances he got look with more opportunities. For purposes of this analysis I focused on 2013. For each item I reviewed I awarded a Win, Loss or Push score.
So did he ‘drop balls all the time’? Well in 2013 he had two dropped passes. So you can spin that two ways. Two is not very many or 234 receivers had zero or one. Both are meaningless. Why you ask? Because 59 of the players with one drop had less than 20 targets and 96 of the players with zero drops had less than 20 targets. And dropping two of 34 targets is a lot worse than Larry Fitzgerald who also dropped two passes, but that was out of 134 targets. Also a lot of the ‘receivers’ were RBs and TEs which tend to have balls thrown a lot shorter to catch than Quick who was used more as a downfield guy.
So I stripped out the non WRs and looked at drops as a percentage of targets. Still not good. At 5.88% he was near the bottom of the list but in some decent company with the likes of Vincent Jackson, Demaryius Thomas and Steve Smith from Carolina. GRADE - LOSS
So does he "never catch the ball"? The only relevant stat here is reception/target %. If the ball was thrown to him did he catch it? Quick caught 18 of 36 passes or 50%. That ranked him 83rd among WRs last year. Again, not good…but how bad is it? Remember Quick is a downfield guy. So what is a good completion percentage on passes thrown 20+ yards downfield? I like to use PFF’s Accuracy Percentage instead of completion percentage. It removes drops, throw aways, spikes, balls thrown out of bounds or batted down at the line of scrimmage (obviously some of these don’t apply to long passes). In other words catchable balls, which by the way yields a higher catch percentage than just completions %. NO QB in 2013 had an Accuracy Percentage above 50% on passes thrown 20+ yards downfield. Now this was not all of Quick’s passes but it is a modifier in my mind. GRADE - PUSH
So my next question was what does he do when does catch the ball? Does it yield good results?
I first looked at yards/reception. Quick’s 16.78 ave ranked 12th in the league among WRs. Now that’s a good number. I can hear the critics now ‘Yeah but he did catch enough balls’. So I next looked at yards/target. Even with his catch percentage he still ranked 36th in the league. Not great but not bad either. GRADE - WIN
What about making something good other than yards? How about first downs? Quick’s 1st Down/Target % was 32nd in the league. Since there are 32 teams in the league if you finish in the top 32 that would fall in the realm of a #1 WR; at the very bottom but still there. Yet that statement is only true if there was a single WR from each team in the top 32. However in that top 32 there were only 22 teams represented so Quick’s number was better than any WR on 10 teams in the league. GRADE - WIN
How about TD’s? Quick’s TD/Target % ranked him 36th in the league just one-tenth of a point behind Josh Gordon. I am sure he will have more TDs this year than Josh. Considering the Rams ranked 29th in the league in starting field position I would expect to see a lower TD%. GRADE - WIN
Now he didn’t have a single fumble all year. But if you look at fumbles/receptions % I found the list of worst offenders very interesting. Among the top 10 worst are a few guys who are there for just a single fumble but also very few receptions. A few notable names however included Julio Jones, Alshon Jeffery, Dez Bryant, Roddy White and our own Chris Givens. GRADE - WIN
So what conclusion can we draw from all this. Just for grins I calculated what his numbers would look like if he got the same number of targets as a #1 WR in the league with his 2013 performance numbers. While not perfectly accurate I took the top 32 WRs in the league in terms of targets. They averaged 138.88 targets last year. So here is what that number of targets would have looked like for Quick will all else being equal. I calculated out to three decimals but rounded the results here.
139 Targets – 69 Receptions – 1165 Yards – 8 TDs – 58 First Downs
FINAL GRADE - WIN: Even taking in to consideration his drops, poor catching percentage and anything else you might want to criticize him for, those are good numbers. For me, I see why the FO believes in Brian Quick. So now the question is can he earn the trust of Bradford and Fisher to get on the field and more balls thrown his way? That’s The $64,000 Question (sorry for the 1950’s game show reference).