Fun With Statistics: Colt McCoy Vs NFL QBs

We're all wondering the same thing: will Colt McCoy finally become the franchise QB we're looking for? Well, the obvious answer is that none of us knows. Only time will tell. (But then it could be never if these lockout negotiations don't get completed.) However, for the sake of boredom and speculation, I've decided to look into some statistics regarding many well-known QBs in comparison to Colt McCoy's first year in the NFL.

Colt McCoy's Rookie Season (2010):
GS/GP: 8/8, QBRec: 2-6-0, Cmp: 135, Att: 222, Cmp%: 60.8, Yds: 1576, TDs: 6, Int: 9, QBRate: 74.5, Skd: 23

Now I'm going to compare Colt to the most recognizable QBs in Cleveland Brown's history. Probably the least relevant being Otto Graham simply because of how much the game has changed since he last played. Nonetheless it's interesting to see how they compare.

Otto Graham's Rookie Season (1946):
GS/GP: 9/14, QBRec: N/A*, Cmp: 95, Att: 174, Cmp%: 54.6, Yds: 1834, TDs: 17, Int: 5, QBRate: 112.1, Skd: N/A
Otto's Graham's Career Statistics (1946-1955):
GS/GP: 114/126, QBRec: 57-13-1*, Cmp: 1464, Att: 2626, Cmp%: 55.8, Yds: 23584, TDs: 174, Int: 135, QBRate: 86.6, Skd: N/A
*QB Record is not available from 1946 through 1949.

Brian Sipe's Rookie Season (1974):
GS/GP: 5/10, QBRec: 2-3-0, Cmp: 59, Att: 108, Cmp%: 54.6, Yds: 603, TDs: 1, Int: 7, QBRate: 47, Skd: 15
Brian Sipe's Career Statistics (1974-1983):
GS/GP: 111/125, QBRec: 57-55-0, Cmp: 1944, Att: 3439, Cmp%: 56.5, Yds: 23713, TDs: 154, Int: 149, QBRate: 74.8, Skd: 224

Bernie Kosar's Rookie Season (1985):
GS/GP: 10/12, QBRec: 4-6-0, Cmp: 124, Att: 248, Cmp%: 50, Yds: 1578, TDs: 8, Int: 7, QBRate: 69.3, Skd: 19
Bernie Kosar's Career Statistics (1985-1996*):
GS/GP: 108/126, QBRec: 53-54-1, Cmp: 1994, Att: 3365, Cmp%: 59.3, Yds: 23301, TDs: 124, Int: 87, QBRate: 81.8, Skd: 273
*Bernie played his first 8 1/2 seasons for the Browns.

Tim Couch's Rookie Season (1999):
GS/GP: 14/15, QBRec: 2-12-0, Cmp: 223, Att: 399, Cmp%: 55.9, Yds: 2447, TDs: 15, Int: 13, QBRate: 73.2, Skd: 56
Tim Couch's Career Statistics (1999-2003):
GS/GP: 59/62, QBRec: 22-37-0, Cmp: 1025, Att: 1714, Cmp%: 59.8, Yds: 11131, TDs: 64, Int: 67, QBRate: 75.1, Skd: 166

The statistic I like to look at most closely is the completion percentage. They're all pretty similar, but It's interesting to see that Colt's Cmp% is better than the rest of these guys. Also, Colt's sack numbers cause a little concern. If Colt played a full season he likely would've been on par with Tim Couch's league leading total in 99.

On a side note not related to Colt, I knew the 70s was an overall bad decade for the Browns, but I never knew Brian Sipe's rookie season was as bad as it was. Sipe certainly isn't a HOFer, but it is a bit encouraging to see that even with his sub-average career statistics that he led us to at least a couple of playoff runs in the early 80s, albeit both losses...

Now I'd like to compare Colt to the statistics of familiar quarterbacks, active and retired, who have won the Super Bowl.

Aaron Rodgers Rookie Season (2008*):
GS/GP: 16/16, QBRec: 6-10-0, Cmp: 341, Att: 536, Cmp%: 63.6, Yds: 4038, TDs: 28, Int: 13, QBRate: 93.8, Skd: 34
Aaron Rodgers Career Statistics (2005-2010):
GS/GP: 47/54, QBRec: 27-20-0, Cmp: 1038, Att: 1611, Cmp%: 64.4, Yds: 12723, TDs: 87, Int: 32, QBRate: 98.4, Skd: 124
*This was not Aaron's rookie season. For the sake of preventing an argument, please just go with it for now. It was virtually impossible for Aaron to get any playing time behind Favre. At the very least, Aaron's 2008 season is more relevant than his actual rookie season in 2005.

Drew Bree's Rookie Season (2002*):
GS/GP: 16/16, QBRec: 8-8-0, Cmp: 320, Att: 526, Cmp%: 60.8, Yds: 3284, TDs: 17, Int: 16, QBRate: 76.9, Skd: 24
Drew Bree's Career Statistics (2001-2010):
GS/GP: 137/138, QBRec: 79-58-0, Cmp: 3145, Att: 4822, Cmp%: 65.2, Yds: 35266, TDs: 235, Int: 132, QBRate: 91.7, Skd: 184
*Similar to Aaron Rodgers, Drew only played in one game his rookie season so I found it more relevant to post his 2002 stats instead.

Tom Brady's Rookie Season (2001*):
GS/GP: 14/15, QBRec: 11-3-0, Cmp: 264, Att: 413, Cmp%: 63.9, Yds: 2843, TDs: 18, Int: 12, QBRate: 86.5, Skd: 41
Tom Brady's Career Statistics (2000-2010):
GS/GP: 143/145, QBRec: 111-32-0, Cmp: 2996, Att: 4710, Cmp%: 63.6, Yds: 34744, TDs: 261, Int: 103, QBRate: 95.2, Skd: 244
*Yet again, I found it more relevant to post Tom's 2001 season as his "rookie" year seeing as how in 2000 he only attempted 3 passes in one game the whole season.

Peyton Manning's Rookie Season (1998):
GS/GP: 16/16, QBRec: 3-13-0, Cmp: 326, Att: 575, Cmp%: 56.7, Yds: 3739, TDs: 26, Int: 28, QBRate: 71.2, Skd: 22
Peyton Manning's Career Statistics (1998-2010):
GS/GP: 208/208, QBRec: 141-67-0, Cmp: 4682, Att: 7210, Cmp%: 64.9, Yds: 54828, TDs: 399, Int: 198, QBRate: 94.9, Skd: 231

Ben Roethlisberger's Rookie Season (2004):
GS/GP: 13/14, QBRec: 13-0-0, Cmp: 196, Att: 295, Cmp%: 66.4, Yds: 2621, TDs: 17, Int: 11, QBRate: 98.1, Skd: 30
Ben Roethlisberger's Career Statistics (2004-2010):
GS/GP: 98/99, QBRec: 69-29-0, Cmp: 1766, Att: 2800, Cmp%: 63.1, Yds: 22502, TDs: 144, Int: 86, QBRate: 92.5, Skd: 274

John Elway's Rookie Season (1983):
GS/GP: 10/11, QBRec: 4-6-0, Cmp: 123, Att: 259, Cmp%: 47.5, Yds: 1663, TDs: 7, Int: 14, QBRate: 54.9, Skd: 28
John Elway's Career Statistics (1983-1998):
GS/GP: 231/234, QBRec: 148-82-1, Cmp: 4123, Att: 7250, Cmp%: 56.9, Yds: 51475, TDs: 300, Int: 226, QBRate: 79.9, Skd: 516

Brett Favre's Rookie Season (1992*)
GS/GP: 13/15, QBRec: 8-5-0, Cmp: 302, Att: 471, Cmp%: 64.1, Yds: 3227, TDs: 18, Int: 13, QBRate: 85.3, Skd: 34
Brett Favre's Career Statistics (1991-2010)
GS/GP: 298/302, QBRec: 186-112-0, Cmp: 6300, Att: 10169, Cmp%: 62, Yds: 71838, TDs: 508, Int: 336, QBRate: 86, Skd: 525
*Favre's rookie season in 91 was in Atlanta where he only played in 2 games attempting 4 passes with 2 of those being intercepted. His first year in Green Bay is more relevant to this discussion.

Troy Aikman's Rookie Season (1989):
GS/GP: 11/11, QBRec: 0-11-0, Cmp: 155, Att: 293, Cmp%: 52.9, Yds: 1749, TDs: 9, Int: 18, QBRate: 55.7, Skd: 19
Troy Aikman's Career Statistics (1989-2000)
GS/GP: 165/165, QBRec: 94-71-0, Cmp: 2898, Att: 4715, Cmp%: 61.5, Yds: 32942, TDs: 165, Int: 141, QBRate: 81.6, Skd: 259

Steve Young's Rookie Season (1985*):
GS/GP: 5/5, QBRec: 1-4, Cmp: 72, Att: 138, Cmp%: 52.2, Yds: 935, TDs: 3, Int: 8, QBRate: 56.9, Skd: 21
Steve Young's Career Statistics (1985-1999):
GS/GP: 143/169, QBRec: 94-49-0, Cmp: 2667, Att: 4149, Cmp%: 64.3, Yds: 33124, TDs: 232, Int: 107, QBRate: 96.8, Skd: 358

Joe Montana's Rookie Season (1980*):
GS/GP: 7/15, QBRec: 2-5-0, Cmp: 176, Att: 273, Cmp%: 64.5, Yds: 1795, TDs: 15, Int: 9, QBRate: 87.8, Skd: 15
Joe Montana's Career Statistics (1979-1994):
GS/GP: 164/192, QBRec: 117-47-0, Cmp: 3409, Att: 5391, Cmp%: 63.2, Yds: 40551, TDs: 273, Int: 139, QBRate: 92.3, Skd: 313
*Joe's rookie season in 79 was very similar statistically to his second year in 1980. However I decided to post his second season due to his 273 pass attempts compared to his 23 attempts in 79.

Terry Bradshaw's Rookie Season (1970):
GS/GP: 8/13, QBRec: 3-5-0, Cmp: 83, Att: 218, Cmp%: 38.1, Yds: 1410, TDs: 6, Int: 24, QBRate: 30.4, Skd: 25
Terry Bradshaw's Career Statistics (1970-1983):
GS/GP: 158/168, QBRec: 107-51-0, Cmp: 2025, Att: 3901, Cmp%: 51.9, Yds: 27989, TDs: 212, Int: 210, QBRate: 70.9, Skd: 307

Joe Namath's Rookie Season (1965):
GS/GP: 9/13, QBRec: 3-5-1, Cmp: 164, Att: 340, Cmp%: 48.2, Yds: 2220, TDs: 18, Int: 15, QBRate: 68.7, Skd: N/A*
Joe Namath's Career Statistics (1965-1977):
GS/GP: 130/140, QBRec: 62-63-4, Cmp: 1886, Att: 3762, Cmp%: 50.1, Yds: 27663, TDs: 173, Int: 220, QBRate: 65.5, Skd: 109*
*QB sacks were not accounted for until the 1969 season.

Dan Marino's* Rookie Season (1983):
GS/GP: 9/11, QBRec: 7-2-0, Cmp: 173, Att: 296, Cmp%: 58.4, Yds: 2210, TDs: 20, Int: 6, QBRate: 96, Skd: 10
Dan Marino's* Career Statistics (1983-1999):
GS/GP: 240/242, QBRec: 147-93-0, Cmp: 4967, Att: 8358, Cmp%: 59.4, Yds: 61361, TDs: 420, Int: 252, QBRate: 86.4, Skd: 270
*Dan never won a Super Bowl, but he is widely considered one of the most productive QBs of all-time.

There are numerous other QBs I could chronicle in this list, but I decided this was a good enough list. If there's someone you feel like I've missed that deserves a comparison then simply comment and I'll post their stats too. Anyway, here are the most important stats that caught my attention from this list:

First, like I stated earlier, I think the completion percentage is likely the single-most important stat for a quarterback. As talented as a QB might be, you almost never have a chance with the guy if he can't complete his passes. With that said, I'm very surprised to see the Cmp% of some of the older QBs like Joe Namath, Terry Bradshaw, and John Elway so low compared to the rest of these guys considering how much success they had. I don't know much about Namath and the Jets, but a guy like Bradshaw certainly benefited from one of the leagues best defenses and Elway always had a steady running game to fall back onto. Even Otto Graham didn't have that great of a Cmp% and he's the most legendary QB of Browns history. I certainly expect Colt to improve on his Cmp% especially with us moving to the WCO, but comparatively speaking Colt's not in a bad spot so far with his 60.8 Cmp%.

Secondly, touching the point I briefly made with Brian Sipe, it's encouraging to see some of these NFL greats like Peyton Manning, Steve Young, and Troy Aikman start off their careers with lousy stats. The strongest comparison to McCoy of these three I feel is Young. With Steve you have another "short" 6'2" QB that went 3-16 as a starter in his first two seasons. In that time frame he also threw 21 interceptions to his 11 touchdowns and was sacked 68 times. But after a few years in the WCO with Bill Walsh in San Francisco his QB rating went from 56.9 to 101.8 after Joe Montana left and Young became the full-time starter in 1991. I've made the statement before in other posts as well, but Drew Brees is another example of a short, yet very accurate, quarterback that has only improved with each year in the league.

So in conclusion, none of this really proves that McCoy will be an All-Pro like most of these guys were. He could very well end up in the gutter like Tim Couch. However, from what I've seen of Colt thus far, and with the new offensive direction our team is headed, I truly believe Colt will become one of these recognizable names. Super Bowl? Who knows? But at the very least he ought to be good enough to take us to a couple playoff games like Sipe and Kosar did. If nothing else we could always surround Colt with more talent and let him walk into the playoffs like Roethlisberger and Bradshaw did with the Steeler defenses they were lucky enough to have. Tom Heckert, get on that.

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