Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

16 Sep 2005

Sehorn No Fan of Brady

Since there's not enough debate around here about Manning vs. Brady, I'll add some fuel to the fire. Jason Sehorn likes Manning over Brady. And just to make sure he gets his point across, he also likes Bulger over Brady too. (I bet you didn't see the Bulger curveball coming.) Brady responds: "There is a forum for a lot of these guys to say whatever they want to say... And people respect what they say, even though maybe they can't evaluate talent, or evaluate players or evaluate teams. They still don't realize the reason we're successful. And that's fine by us. The more we can keep it a secret, the more success we can hope to continue to have."

I disagree. I have never respected anything Sehorn has said.

Posted by: P. Ryan Wilson on 16 Sep 2005

45 comments, Last at 19 Sep 2005, 3:56am by DavidH

Comments

1
by JD (not verified) :: Fri, 09/16/2005 - 9:45am

The only thing I can respect Sehorn for saying is when he asked Angie Harmon to marry him on Letterman

2
by princeton73 (not verified) :: Fri, 09/16/2005 - 10:06am

It was on Leno, and it was staged (i.e. they had planned it beforehand but pretended it was spontaneous

Jason Sehorn is the Steve Garvey of football

3
by prunemike (not verified) :: Fri, 09/16/2005 - 10:21am

Well I am convinced. If Sehorn says Manning is better than I know Brady is better.

4
by Independent George (not verified) :: Fri, 09/16/2005 - 10:25am

I don't think the point to #1 was the sponteneity, but the fact that he's married to Angie Harmon.

5
by Independent George (not verified) :: Fri, 09/16/2005 - 10:26am

The proper trash talk response:

"He's right, of course. Marc Bulger is a better QB than me. The reason we beat them in the Super Bowl is because of the superior play of our safeties."

6
by C (not verified) :: Fri, 09/16/2005 - 10:31am

I respect Sehorn's choice of brides more than his football knowledge.

7
by Scott de B. (not verified) :: Fri, 09/16/2005 - 10:34am

The proper trash talk response:

“He’s right, of course. Marc Bulger is a better QB than me. The reason we beat them in the Super Bowl is because of the superior play of our safeties.�

How does thHow does that work? Neither Bulger nor Sehorn played for the Rams in Super Bowl 36.

8
by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Fri, 09/16/2005 - 10:37am

I think Sehorn has a point, but states it wrong.

Bulger is a better passer than Brady. Nor is Bulger the only one.

What Brady is, is a good passer. Very good at times, but not the best. He is also blessed with a quick release, good vision, adequate mobility, excellent game-management skills, and he inspires his teammates better than any QB in the league.

So, if you define quarterback strictly as a passer, Brady might not even be in the top five (though he has been getting better each year, and is just beginning the prime of his career). But if you consider all the other skills a quarterback needs to win games, Brady moves ahead of folks like Bulger, all the way up to where you can argue him the best in the league.*

*Whether he is, in fact, the best, depends on how you choose to weigh the various skills. It seems evident to me, that Sehorn considers drop back, throw ball, to be "it".

9
by Harris (not verified) :: Fri, 09/16/2005 - 10:45am

Jason Sehorn has been humiliated by some of the finest QBs in the NFL. If Jason Sehorn says Manning could more easily make him flail desperately at a streaking receiver, well, I have to take that seriously.

10
by Independent George (not verified) :: Fri, 09/16/2005 - 10:52am

#7: Oh, crap, you're right. I had buried the memory of Sehorn getting burned by Trent Dilfer (Trent Dilfer!!!) the next year. For a while, I was able to convince myself that it didn't really happen.

11
by TMK (not verified) :: Fri, 09/16/2005 - 11:07am

uh, George, Sehorn was embarrassed by Dilfer the PREVIOUS year to the Pats' 1st win.

Or are you ordering tuna on toast again?

12
by BillinNYC (not verified) :: Fri, 09/16/2005 - 11:26am

Jason Sehorn = Jim Rome

You got to say/do something stupid or contraversial if you want to try and get noticed.

13
by B (not verified) :: Fri, 09/16/2005 - 11:29am

Wasn't that the game where Seahorn was exposed as a fraud? I remember through 2000 he got a lot of hype, capped off by his attempted onsides kick return for a touchdown agianst the Vikings. Then he was torched by Dilfer in the superbowl and never really recovered. Of course he was injured in a preaseasn game that next season, but from then on he was known more for his famous wife than anything he accomplished on the field.

14
by JD (not verified) :: Fri, 09/16/2005 - 11:31am

#4, yes that was my point ... the only thing I respect Sehorn for is his smoking hot wife!!

15
by BillinNYC (not verified) :: Fri, 09/16/2005 - 11:35am

Player | Team | DPAR | PAR | DVOA | VOA | Passes | Yards | TD | TO
2004:
12-T.Brady NWE 113.4 | 95.6 | 41.6% | 33.0% | 499 | 3520 | 28 | 17
10-M.Bulger STL 92.6 | 85.8 | 29.3% | 26.1% | 523 | 3672 | 21 | 18
2003:
Brady, Tom NWE 43.2 | 52.0 | 5.2% | 8.9% | 561 | 3389 | 23 | 18
Bulger, Marc STL 32.7 | 45.6 | 0.7% | 6.2% | 569 | 3560 | 22 | 29
2002:
Brady, Tom NWE 53.9 | 66.1 | 6.8% | 11.4% | 629 | 3564 | 28 | 17
Bulger, Marc STL 42.4 | 54.0 | 34.2% | 47.0% | 223 | 1721 | 14 | 8

What exactly could Sehorn be basing this on? Clearly, the numbers don't work in his favor in any of the past three years.

16
by Tally (not verified) :: Fri, 09/16/2005 - 12:02pm

I'm not at all convinced that Bulger is even a better drop back passer than Brady. Except for a relatively small sample size in 2002, where Bulger did have a better DVOA than Brady in the latter's off-year, Brady's been better.

There's not even a handful of QBs in the league who are better passers than Brady...just Manning. Everyone else is debatable. Else you might as well say that Vick is a better passer because he can chuck the ball farther than Brady.

17
by Dman (not verified) :: Fri, 09/16/2005 - 12:04pm

I was just as much a brady hater as anyone, but geeze how many superbowls does it take? I can't think of any other guy with that kind of resume' that anyone would consider "overrated". Only guy I can think of who has had that much success who I didn't think was that good is Troy Aikman. That being said I don't think thats an insulting comparison for brady.

18
by Tally (not verified) :: Fri, 09/16/2005 - 12:12pm

Hmm, I really hate using championships or "intangibles" to define the value of a player like Jeter or Brady (ironic how a New York and a Boston star are linked in our consciousness). The former requires the work of teammates and so isn't an individual virtue. And intangibles just seems like a cop-out. It reminds me of a woman at our lab who would throw in a "correction factor" for every study so that her data comes out perfectly.

And isn't something intangible unable to be perceived or felt? How is something like that supposed to help win games or motivate teammates?

19
by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Fri, 09/16/2005 - 12:29pm

Bill in NYC (#15 )--

I don't think Sehorn was considering DVOA. Looking at traditional stats over the two seasons both were the starter (tossing out 2002 for Bulger's smaller sample size):

Bulger 2003: 532 att, 336 comp, 63.2%, 3845 yds, 7.23 ypa, 22 TD, 22 INT, 81.4 QBR
Brady 2003: 527 att, 317 comp, 60.2%, 3620 yds, 6.87 ypa, 23 TD, 12 INT, 85.9 QBR

Bulger 2004: 485 att, 321 comp, 66.2%, 3964 yds, 8.17 ypa, 21 TD, 14 INT, 97.3 QBR
Brady 2004: 474 att, 288 comp, 60.8%, 3692 yds, 7.79 ypa, 28 TD, 14 INT, 92.6 QBR

So Bulger was 5-10% better in completion percentage and 10-20% better at yards per attempt (pure passing stats). Brady was 50-90% better at the TD/INT ratio (decision-making), and they split passer rating.

So, by traditional stats: Sehorn compares part of the job, the part where Bulger has been somewhat better, ignores the part where Brady has been significantly better, and declares Bulger to be better overall. Nothing new here, really.

20
by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Fri, 09/16/2005 - 12:46pm

And isn’t something intangible unable to be perceived or felt? How is something like that supposed to help win games or motivate teammates?

Kind of like gravity, which is difficult to perceive but the effects of which can be measured?

Let's consider the Dolphins. They won 1 game last year for Dave Wannstedt, that against the miserable 49ers. Then he left, and the 'phins won 3 for his interim replacement, including against the not entirely miserable Patriots.

Their defense didn't get any bigger, or run any faster. They still had The A. Jay Feedlerey Experience at quarterback and the Comedy of Errors at O-line. Same position coaches, same playbook. Yet they won three times as many games, and didn't look nearly as terrible.

The absence of Wannstedt seemed to be worth a couple of wins to the Dolphins last year. Intangible, but can be measured.

21
by Bill Belichick (not verified) :: Fri, 09/16/2005 - 12:52pm

Jason Sehorn is terrible you can print that I was happy when he was in the game.

22
by Vinny (not verified) :: Fri, 09/16/2005 - 12:56pm

Re: 17

I think Aikman is one of the best to ever play the position. He always seemed to quickly deliver the ball on the receiver's correct shoulder so as to allow for maximum YAC. When Kurt Warner was in his prime, that was also his calling card.

23
by Noble (not verified) :: Fri, 09/16/2005 - 1:10pm

...so I guess this means that Brady is going to have a career year, eh?

24
by Rick "32_Footsteps" Healey (not verified) :: Fri, 09/16/2005 - 1:15pm

Just once, I wish Tom Brady would quote Patrick Roy, when his detractors speak up.

25
by Independent George (not verified) :: Fri, 09/16/2005 - 1:21pm

#11: A wiser man would just shut up and quit, but I will not. Did George Washington quit when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

26
by MadPenguin (not verified) :: Fri, 09/16/2005 - 1:34pm

Amazingly I heard this interview when it happened. I tend to agree it was just meant to stir up talk. Now I think Brady is a pretty good QB, easy top 5 choice. Absolutely great decision making. But I am of the opinion that you put other QBs on the Patriots, they would still win. The Patriots are a team. They play disciplined and well together. And thats what I think matters. And this is coming from a steelers fan...

27
by skins r us (not verified) :: Fri, 09/16/2005 - 1:54pm

Brady's the best in the game easy. He uses pump fakes the best, he looks off safeties the best, and he calls better audibles at the line than any other qb (including manning).

28
by MJK (not verified) :: Fri, 09/16/2005 - 2:38pm

I actually disagree with #26. I think if you put other QB's on the Patriots over the past few years, they don't have as much success as Brady did. Whereas Brady MIGHT have as much success on some other teams as their actual QB's.

While the Patriots are talented, their talent comes mainly from their depth. Before the emergence of Deion Branch and Corey Dillon late last year, they really had no single star WR, or star RB. Instead, they got by by having a LOT of GOOD talent on offense--a decent O-line that could keep the pressure off for a little while and a lot of recievers that could sometimes get open and usually catch reliably. The pats moved the ball by using the passing game when the running game failed, and by having a lot of decent recievers on the field where one of them would get open and catch the ball. But that approach requires lightning quick (and good) decision making on the part of the QB, and extremely high precision passes, and coolness under pressure. I can't think of many QB's who possess those qualities to the degree that Brady does--Manning certainly, but maybe only one or two others. On the other hand, I suspect if you put Brady on a team with a stud WR or an elite corps of WR's (e.g. Randy Moss or the Harrison/Wayne/Stokley trio respectively), I don't see him performing any worse than those team's existing QB's.

29
by MJK (not verified) :: Fri, 09/16/2005 - 2:39pm

Just one other point. There are always teams that are not built for a certain style of QB. I don't think EITHER Manning or Brady would have much success one the Eagles or the Seahawks, since both of them would be frustrated by the alligator arms of the recievers there and neither are mobile enough to make up for that, like McNabb is. Conversely, I don't think Mcnabb has the decision making skills to succeed on the Patriots or the Colts.

30
by djcolts (not verified) :: Fri, 09/16/2005 - 3:08pm

I'm a Colts fan, and I'm not impressed with Sehorn's analysis of the NFL at all. He was on an Indy sports talk show earlier this week, and he gave the wrong names for players, and he said that the Colts play a 2-gap defense when they play a 1-gap defense. So, considering the source, I'd say his comments about Brady vs. Manning lacks credibility.

31
by djcolts (not verified) :: Fri, 09/16/2005 - 3:10pm

He likes BULGER over Brady? Yikes - that's just nuts.

32
by pcs (not verified) :: Fri, 09/16/2005 - 4:03pm

Sounds like Sehorn musta ordered whatever Vanderjagt was drinking. Fool.

33
by TomC (not verified) :: Fri, 09/16/2005 - 4:32pm

Just once, I wish Tom Brady would quote Patrick Roy, when his detractors speak up.

Rick, thank you for bringing up one of the greatest comebacks in sports smack talk history. And I say that as a Blackhawks fan who, at the time, was big on the J.R. bandwagon.

34
by PatsFan (not verified) :: Fri, 09/16/2005 - 4:51pm

Re: #24 and #33

So for those of us who don't follow hockey that much, what exactly was the exchange between ??? and Roy?

35
by dryheat (not verified) :: Fri, 09/16/2005 - 4:58pm

re: #22

I think that's also a highly underrated part of Brady's game, and I think the last Super Bowl was a good example. The Man puts the ball in the perfect place for his receiver to make a play on it. Almost every time, in stride, in front of the receiver. He's a huge reason why Branch and Givens had one drop between them last year.

When people say the Manning is the better passer, what they really mean is that he throws for more yardage and touchdowns and is responsible for more big plays. Don't get me wrong, that's important. But I think it's more important to put the ball in the right place consistently.

By the way, this question made it to Dr. Z's mailbag today. He talked around it without answering.

36
by Earl (not verified) :: Fri, 09/16/2005 - 5:14pm

Jeremy Roenick made some disparaging comments about Roy, saying he wasn't as good as he used to be, etc. Roy responded (to the media) with "I can't hear him. My two Stanley Cup rings are clogging up my ears."

37
by Ryan Mc (not verified) :: Fri, 09/16/2005 - 5:52pm

The thing I respect most about Brady, and which in my opinion makes him a great player, is he's smart enough not to try to win games by himself.

Example: that first Superbowl win against the Rams. Brady didn't light it up, but his D was having a great game, so he just didn't do anything crazy (like Brett Favre did in the playoffs that year versus the Rams, throwing 6 (!) INTs) The Pats only scored one offensive TD and that was late in the first half.

Bledsoe would have gone crazy by that stage, tried to force something and given up a big INT/fumble return to the Rams.

So basically, what I respect most about Brady is he realizes that 44 other teammates are also trying to win and if he just does his job then they probably will.
Ironically, this is exactly the aspect of his game which makes so many other people (like Sehorn) think that Brady is unremarkable.

38
by LnGrrrR (not verified) :: Fri, 09/16/2005 - 6:10pm

Really? I'll have to read that...I'm guessing he'll go for Manning...wonder if he'll bring up the fact that he seems to self-destruct during the playoffs and makes the whiny pouty face.

39
by zlionsfan (not verified) :: Fri, 09/16/2005 - 6:37pm

Jason Sehorn's taste in women is outstanding.

Angie Harmon could have done a lot better.

And Roy's line was one of the best ... especially considering its target ... but my favorite memory of Roy is 7-0.

40
by Chris (not verified) :: Fri, 09/16/2005 - 11:22pm

My favorite Tuesday Morning Quarterback of all time, from the day after SB XXXVI, says it all:

"...Reader 'Goathead' proposed, in senryu, a least underrated:

Angie loves Jason.
He poses for photographs
While his man runs past ..."

Ha!

41
by Mr Shush (not verified) :: Sat, 09/17/2005 - 10:06am

Bah! If the Cardinals O-line didn't have a forty-foot 2 Gap between two guys who had never played an NFL snap before this season, no-one would need to worry about this Manning-Brady nonsense because who cares who comes second?

Seriously though, the trouble with the Manning-Brady debate (or the Montana-Marino debate, or any number of other similar ones) is that people are generally unprepared to separate it into the relevant components. Greatness (or goodness, or both if we wish to distinguish) is/are (a) high level supervenient propert(-y/-ies). That is to say it is entirely dependent on some set of lower level properties (accuracy, arm-strength, decision making, leadership, clutchness etc, for example). Therefore, any debate about whether x or y is a greater/better quarterback must involve either a disagreement about which lower level properties x and y possess to what degree (-Manning's more accurate. -No, Brady's more accurate) or a disagreement about what constitutes greatness/goodness (-Passing ability is the most important thing for a quarterback. - No, decision-making is the most important thing for a quarterback). In the latter case, the two parties are not really disagreeing about x and y at all: their disagreement is a linguistic one stemming from their differing (but similar) uses of the word "greatness". In the former case, they are having a decidedly uninformative factual disagreement.

And anyway, we all well know that the best player in the league is Sultan McCulloch.

42
by Ima Pseudonym (not verified) :: Sat, 09/17/2005 - 11:00am

Mr. Shush: I agree that Greatness is a supervenient property and I also agree that Greatness depends on the lower level properties, but lets not confuse the supervenience relation with asymmetric dependence relations! ; )

If one really wanted to be a geeky philosopher (and, hey, who doesn't) one could characterize the Brady Manning debate as, at least in part, a debate over whether or not Greatness at the QB position supervenes locally (on properties of the QB alone) or somewhat more globally (on properrties of the entire team). Manning proponents tend to cite lower level properties that are all properties of Manning himself, while Brady proponents tend to include properties of the team of which Brady is a part.

Reader Animadversion: Is the supervenience of QB Greatness on lower level abilities best characterized using modal operator or possible world formulations?

43
by Judy B. (not verified) :: Sat, 09/17/2005 - 11:55am

The only interesting thing about Sehorn's opinion of Brady is how seriously and personally Brady took it when it was sprung on him by Felger on live radio. Oh, and I guess how Felger is using his new radio show to fill space in the Herald.

44
by BillinNYC (not verified) :: Sun, 09/18/2005 - 9:19pm

Starshatterer - a little late on my reply, but nevertheless... Yes, I'm sure Sehorn isnt out there quoting DVOA, but rather was looking at tradition stats. But as we all know here (or at least that's why I expect people are reading this site) - traditional stats are not the best measure of value. To discuss how someone is more accurate or throws for more yards fails to consider the situations in which those passes were thrown. Its like saying baseball player X is better than Y because he had more RBIs.

As a result, I don't know how one can defend Jason's comments here by saying, yes, but the traditional stats ARE better for Bulger. Who cares?

Jason Sehorn can be the Joe Morgan of Football commentary.

45
by DavidH (not verified) :: Mon, 09/19/2005 - 3:56am

BillinNYC:

I think the point is that if the traditional stats had agreed with Sehorn, at least then it would have looked like he did a little research and made an educated guess about who was better. The fact that he doesn't know about DVOA wouldn't change that. But since not even the (supposedly flawed) traditional stats back him up, he seems to clearly be talking out of his ass.