Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

12 Nov 2009

UFL Statistics

Figured it would be a good time to start checking on how players of some minor renown are doing in the UFL.

At quarterback, Brooks Bollinger is having a pretty fantastic season, averaging 8.9 yards per attempt while completing 68.3 percent of his passes, and throwing 11 touchdowns against two picks. J.P. Losman is right behind him, and then there's a big gap before the rest of the league shows up.

Cory Ross leads the league in rushing yards, but he's got 32 more carries than anyone else in the league; he's averaging only 3.9 yards per carry. DeDe Dorsey is second, and has a gaudy 8.5 YPC to show off (albeit with 71 yards coming one one carry).

Bollinger's big receiver is former Giants practice squadder Taye Biddle; he's tied for the league lead with Craphonso Thorpe at 19 catches, but he has 352 receiving yards to Thorpe's 191, which is second in the league.

The defensive leaderboards are pretty boring. Former Lions middle linebacker Teddy Lehman paces the UFL with 27 tackles, while ex-Raiders tackle Chris Cooper has a league-leading 2.5 sacks.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 12 Nov 2009

34 comments, Last at 16 Nov 2009, 6:19am by evenchunkiermonkey


by Key19 :: Thu, 11/12/2009 - 12:57pm

What a talent dropoff this league is. Brooks Bollinger was lucky to throw incompletions when he came in against the Giants. Now he looks like a frontrunner for MVP.

To anyone who has watched the UFL: Should I bother?

Looking forward to updated UFL DVOA Ratings. I have a feeling they'll be up any day now.......... annnnnnny day now..........

by tuluse :: Thu, 11/12/2009 - 1:21pm

I've seen 3 games, they're kind of fun. These players would still be among the best in college, so the talent might not be as poor as you think.

There are some odd rules too, like the defense isn't allowed to blitz more than 5, if you fumble out of the endzone, it's not a change of possession.

by jofroh :: Thu, 11/12/2009 - 1:04pm

Anyone know how many fans attrnd the games?

by MilkmanDanimal :: Thu, 11/12/2009 - 1:16pm

Craphonso Thorpe may be my favorite NFL name ever. He was drafted in the 6th round by Kansas City in 2005. No, I didn't look it up, I saw the name crawl across the bottom of the screen when he was drafted and laughed so hard I've never forgotten it.

I guess if you play like Crap you belong in the UFL.

by ineedawittyname (not verified) :: Thu, 11/12/2009 - 1:54pm

in terms of the greatest name, Chraphonso goes right up there with Guy Whimper and Littlejohn Flowers IMO.

by Thok :: Thu, 11/12/2009 - 3:56pm

I'm playing with a group of friends in a 13 team fantasy league, with a 14th team designed to be a bye for everybody (basically it drafted a bunch of players who wouldn't play this season.) The bye team ended up going first in the draft, and drafted Craphonso with the very first pick, solely because of the name.

by from winnipeg (not verified) :: Thu, 11/12/2009 - 6:47pm

Craphonso Thorpe - He got cut by the Bombers earlier this year. If Pacman isn't good enough for us, Craphonso certainly isn't either.

by Danish Denver-Fan :: Thu, 11/12/2009 - 1:16pm

Taye Biddle and Craphonso Thorpe. Thats all I have to say...

by MilkmanDanimal :: Thu, 11/12/2009 - 4:04pm

If you have Craphonso on your Biddle, seek medical attention immediately.

by Measure (not verified) :: Thu, 11/12/2009 - 1:27pm

>there's a big gap before the rest of the league shows up.

The other two quarterbacks?

by Glen from Scotland (not verified) :: Thu, 11/12/2009 - 1:29pm

DeDe Dorsey looked pretty decent for the Bengals in Hard Knocks, he should be NFL back up somewhere.

by Aaron Schatz :: Thu, 11/12/2009 - 1:33pm

Teddy Lehman is a good player, his problem was always injuries.

There aren't any UFL DVOA ratings coming. Maybe if this thing lasts more than two years and it is useful to measure players who might go back to the NFL.

by Dice :: Thu, 11/12/2009 - 7:23pm

Good Madden LB. Cheap and fast.

by lieiam (not verified) :: Sun, 11/15/2009 - 11:03pm

if you ever seriously consider doing dvoa for another league, i humbly suggest the CFL! (sadly edmonton lost today to calgary in the play-offs... woe be to me).

by Cian (not verified) :: Thu, 11/12/2009 - 1:44pm

I had a chance to go to the UFL's New York debut a couple of weeks ago. It's very clear that this league is still in flux. When it comes down to it, the league's survival depends upon the coaches developing deep and successful systems, much like successful college coaches, which players can come in and out of. Simeon Rice on his last legs (and yes he looked on his last legs, poor guy) and Quinn Gray isn't going to pack in the fans.

The problems are of course is that this "premiere" season for the league has each team looking more or less the same, in terms of the unis, yes, but also with vanilla defensive schemes (no rushing more than five and every team runs a 4-3, rules they plan to do away with next season). The league has put itself in a difficult position, not wanting to directly compete with the NFL... they need to establish an identity yet they want to be a feeder league... so no crazy spread offenses, no crazy 3-3-5 defenses... on the flipside no marketable stars besides the coaches. It's a conundrum, not an impossible task, but a problematic one.

If anyone's interested, you can read a piece I wrote on it for the Norman Einsteins magazine which goes into much greater detail... but the gist of it? The outlook isn't good:


by Nuk (not verified) :: Thu, 11/12/2009 - 2:45pm

When can we expect to see UFL DVOA?

by Nuk (not verified) :: Thu, 11/12/2009 - 2:47pm

How did I manage to miss Aaron's comment the first time?

by Theo :: Thu, 11/12/2009 - 3:16pm

I've watched 2 games and brought back memories of the NFL Europe.
Vanilla defense and straight, madden-ish offense.
It's ok to watch, but I'd rather dl an NFL game and watch that.

by Fmtemike (not verified) :: Thu, 11/12/2009 - 5:14pm

when speaking of names, dont forget Earthwind Moreland, who of course wound up playing for the Rhein Fire

by jebmak :: Thu, 11/12/2009 - 5:48pm

Heed my call!

by Fmtemike (not verified) :: Thu, 11/12/2009 - 5:14pm

when speaking of names, dont forget Earthwind Moreland, who of course wound up playing for the Rhein Fire

by The Guy You Don't Want to Hear (not verified) :: Thu, 11/12/2009 - 5:44pm

Something I never thought I would read: "At quarterback, Brooks Bollinger is having a pretty fantastic season."

by Independent George :: Thu, 11/12/2009 - 6:06pm

The USFL was moderately successful largely because it was pre-free agency, and the NFL players were still so underpaid that the USFL could outbid them for the premiere college players without breaking the bank.

Nowadays, the big-name NFL rookies are, if anything, overpaid, and a UFL team wouldn't have a chance of signing the modern equivalent of Jim Kelly or Herschel Walker without breaking the bank.

by Mr Shush :: Fri, 11/13/2009 - 10:15am

If the UFL was less concerned about being an NFL feeder league and more willing to run wacky offenses, it might be able to get some name recognition mileage out of college superstars who don't have NFL skill-sets - option quarterbacks, in particular.

by FourteenDays :: Thu, 11/12/2009 - 6:31pm

While Bollinger may be successful, some things never change: I see Mike McMahon can't break a completion percentage of 50% even in the UFL.

by Leo Kalips (not verified) :: Thu, 11/12/2009 - 6:33pm

I have not seen or heard anything about this since last year can anyone tell me what channels the games are on and what night and time as I would like to see for myself. thanks.

by tuluse :: Thu, 11/12/2009 - 6:35pm

They're on versus Thursdays, and another day too but I forget.

If you go to their site all the info is there, they're also streaming every game.

by socctty :: Thu, 11/12/2009 - 7:53pm

I've always thought that when the general person looks at a productive player, they assume that the player should be productive under all circumstances. But as we see with guys like Miles Austin, they can languish in support roles for a while and only emerge when coaches have their hands forced on the matter.

I'm not saying Taye Biddle is the next Jerry Rice, or that Teddy Lehman is a perennial Pro-Bowler... but maybe their performance in the UFL will give NFL coaches more patience with those players when they get run through the NFL again. Maybe NFL coaches will be more likely to put them in positions to succeed.

by Temo :: Fri, 11/13/2009 - 9:15am

Well Miles had different reasons for languishing. In his rookie year he was a pretty good kick off returner (had a TD in the playoffs), but since he came from a small school he wasn't used as a WR.

In 2007 he had his sophomore year, was still learning how to play WR in the NFL and was working his way into the 3rd WR role, finally flashing his potential by drawing two huge DPIs on the Packers where he completely burned his man down the field.

2008 he was being considered for the #2 WR spot in training camp opposite TO, but he battled knee injuries all year, missing a few games.

by Raiderjoe :: Thu, 11/12/2009 - 9:43pm

florida Ruskers made it to UFL championship game which play on nov 27. Wish had Versus because would watch games. maybe title game get shown on a espn channel too or insteda of versus. maybe put on tape delay at 5am on CBS or NBC or ABV or somnething? would be bice to be able to watch championship game at least. sure other fans would like to expericne it too

by jebmak :: Fri, 11/13/2009 - 9:40am

Heck, I would watch it over the Lions game every year. Better football.

by Zheng :: Fri, 11/13/2009 - 5:26am

Perhaps the UFL could be made into more of a feeder league if the worst-performing NFL team got kicked down into the UFL for the next season, while the winner of the UFL championship was elevated to the NFL. What'd the spread be on the Redwoods vs. the Browns?

by DelawareSteeler (not verified) :: Fri, 11/13/2009 - 10:22am

that would be awesome

also, my captcha thing looks like it would fit in the weird names discussion: berrigan rushton

by evenchunkiermonkey (not verified) :: Mon, 11/16/2009 - 6:19am

all 4 ufl teams could beat the browns. If a team goes 0-16 the UFL champion should replace them in the NFL the next year. Also, you can only wish you were ted cottrell. I only wish I was Dennis Green with Ted Cottrel's mustache...