Thoughts on ESPN’s Total QBR and more

In a sign that I am truly over the hill (at age 31 – yes, I am 31 years old.  Brett keeps asking me for a biography so he can post interesting things about me on the site.  I have, to this point refused.  Maybe it can be a fun Easter Egg Biography?  In this blog post I mention that I am 31 years old.  He can read each blog and try to piece together an interesting biography.  I can be like those ransom notes in the movies made out of pieced together magazine articles.  It will be awesome.  And in lieu of a picture, he can just draw one in MS Paint from various descriptions I give of myself.  Here is a head start:  built like Samuel Giguere.  Hello, ladies.  Holy CRAP that is a long parenthetical) I woke up wanting to write about something.  I kept forgetting what it was.  Thankfully Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders tweeted about it and it instantly reminded me.  I need to start chugging my Ensure and Ginkgo.


ESPN will release its Total Quarterback Rating tonight in an hour-long special on ESPN (the uno) at 8pm ET.  I broke into Bristol Headquarters last night and obtained the secret formula.

The TQBR will go on a scale from 0-100 and be a combination of four different factors, all worth a maximum of 25 points each.  So the formula looks something like this:

R + MS + W! + ML = TQBR.

R = RINGS!!! and is the total number of Super Bowl Championships a player has;

MS = Market Size.  The bigger the market, the better the quarterback;

W! = WINS!  If a team wins, it is obviously because of the quarterback (unless that QBs MS is too small, or he does not have enough R, then his WINS! probably mean less than another QBs W! rating); and finally

ML = Media Likability.  Are you a good interview?  Do you stand at the podium for hours taking asinine questions?  The more you say yes to these questions, the higher your ML score.  Players with a perfect TQBR will one day work for ESPN.


I am glad that ESPN is trying to take football analysis more seriously, but hearing that clutchness (something that, in general I do not believe exists) being part of this stat makes me think this is just ESPN trying to flex their muscles.  Until I see it in action and have some reason to think otherwise, I will stick with the current advanced metrics out there, especially Football Outsiders.


Mike Chappell continued a strong off-season with a good piece on Colts WR Anthony Gonzalez.  If you know me or my “work,” you know that I love Gonzalez.  Not only is he a beloved Buckeye, but his first two years in the NFL proved that he was a special player.  Injuries have derailed his career and I agree with everyone out there that says this is probably his last year with the Colts.  I hope his summer workouts prove helpful and he can stay on the field all year.  I do not believe he is injury prone, just really unlucky.


Which reminds me (tangent time):  I saw someone tweet that Austin Collie needed to prove he was durable this year.  W. H. A. T?  A guy takes three hits to the head (at least two of which I felt were blatant forearms to the head – Patriots and Jaguars games, the Eagles hit should be ‘illegal,’ but I do not blame the safety for how he played it) and is injury prone?  What the heck?  I am fine with certain criticism of pro athletes (as evident in every post and podcast I do that involves Ryan Diem), but I would never dream of questioning their toughness.  I do not expect Collie to play much longer if he takes another blow to the head.  Not because he is soft.  Because he is smart.  You do not mess around with brain injuries.  They are dangerous, and, more importantly, we simply know too little about them.


Kuharsky has some quotes on Addai from Addai and Caldwell.  Caldwell mentions a lot of the reasons I wanted Addai to re-sign with the team.  While I think Addai gets shortchanged when people discuss his ability to run the ball, his true value lies in every other aspect.  He is smart; he knows the system completely.  He is a great blocker.  I believe he is the best blocking running back in the league, and I do not think that skill, especially in the Colts system, can be overstated.  He is a good pass catcher.  He does not have game-breaking ability anymore, but he has sure hands and is a good route runner.


Most importantly, though, Addai is mentally tough.  He accepts and thrives in a role where his stats (and body) suffer.  He takes physical abuse from the opposing team and verbal abuse from his own fans.  Still, he does not complain.  He wanted to come back and compete with this team, with this group of guys.  He signed on knowing what his role would be.  I think his contract ($14 million over 3 years) may be a tad too much, but I am not going to complain.


It will be interesting to see how the running back situation shakes out this year.  Like Gonzalez, I think this may be Donald Brown’s last chance to prove himself to the team.  I am very much against labeling players busts, and Donald Brown has shown flashes of great ability, but it is time to put it altogether.  His poor running stats can be blamed off by the offensive line, but he has still shown an inability to grasp the blocking and audibles of the Colts’ offense.  For the record, I hope he does it.  It would be nice if the Colts could successfully use all there running backs this year, with Brown being their “starting” back, Addai being their “3rd down” pass blocking back, and Carter being used as a “pounder.”


Under a thousand words today! I hope everyone… (&#%& 1001 words.  Dang it, Donald.  Forget it.  Have a good weekend, guys.  Don’t go swimming in any canals.