Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

24 Oct 2005

2005 Quick Reads: Week 7

Nothing helps a struggling quarterback like a game against the Green Bay secondary. Unless it's a game against the Minnesota secondary. Also in this week's Quick Reads: Tooth decay is bad, apologies for our Donald Driver projection, and I channel Britt Daniel.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 24 Oct 2005

59 comments, Last at 26 Oct 2005, 3:40pm by Ryan Carney


by Trogdor (not verified) :: Mon, 10/24/2005 - 6:11pm

Are Holcomb's numbers right? 0.0 across the board? Should he change his name to Blutarsky?

by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 10/24/2005 - 6:13pm

Trogdor: Or Billy Joe.

by Drew (not verified) :: Mon, 10/24/2005 - 6:21pm

"Billy Joe Blutarsky" it is.

by B (not verified) :: Mon, 10/24/2005 - 6:21pm

I finished watching the Dal/NYG game last week convinced Marion Barber was a much better backup runing back than Anthony Thomas. Way to prove me wrong, Marion. There should be a rule about never trusting football players with a girl's first name. Although, according to A boy named Sue, you'd expect them to be tougher.

by ABW (not verified) :: Mon, 10/24/2005 - 6:22pm

Yay Spoon. Great band.

Aaron, this column has gotten steadily better. I really like the current "all QBs, top 5 WR & RB, bottom WR & RB + notably bad performances" format.

by admin :: Mon, 10/24/2005 - 6:24pm

Well, one game doesn't prove anything, so don't give up on Barber yet, even though he was a Big 10 product. And yes, Holcomb had 0.048 DPAR this week.

by Michael David Smith :: Mon, 10/24/2005 - 6:32pm

"There should be a rule about never trusting football players with a girl’s first name."

My list of the all-time Top 5 football players with girls' names:
1. Fran Tarkenton
2. Gale Sayers
3. Jackie Smith
4. Lynn Swann
5. Jackie Slater

Any others?

by B (not verified) :: Mon, 10/24/2005 - 6:35pm

Can we include names that sound like girls names? Cause then we can throw in Drew Bledsoe.

by Michael David Smith :: Mon, 10/24/2005 - 6:36pm

I thought of Drew Brees, Drew Bledsoe, Peyton Manning, Kellen Winslow, etc., but I couldn't think of any females I know of who have any of those names. They all sound kind of feminine, but I don't know if they really count.

by Kordos (not verified) :: Mon, 10/24/2005 - 6:42pm


by Aaron Boden (not verified) :: Mon, 10/24/2005 - 7:01pm


a Bears QB in the top 15! Mayhap the ghosts of Krenzel and Quinn (and the host of others) are finally behind us!

(I know that this is unlikely and something catastrophic will happen forcing us to use Grossman and Blake to keep up the constant stream of QB's)

by Nate (not verified) :: Mon, 10/24/2005 - 7:23pm

Non-Schatz Aaron: I thought the same thing. This may be the first time since 2001 that the Bears have a QB in the top 15. I was hoping for a comment at least.

by Rob (not verified) :: Mon, 10/24/2005 - 7:26pm

Don't forget Shannon Sharpe.

by zlionsfan (not verified) :: Mon, 10/24/2005 - 7:27pm

One of my friends named her daughter Peyton. She said it wasn't after the QB, but she is a pretty big Colts fan, so one can't be sure ...

I doubt I can bring up any names to break into the top 5, although Jackie Harris was pretty good at one point. Maybe Lou Groza.

by Dave (not verified) :: Mon, 10/24/2005 - 7:38pm

Let me get this straight. Favre throws for over 300 yards. The Packers have no turnovers. They hold the opposition to 20 points. And they lost?

by Arkaein (not verified) :: Mon, 10/24/2005 - 7:48pm

I think the Brett Favre in domes/the Metrodome needs a bit more analysis. Favre really struggled in the Metrodome under Holmgren, but since Sherman took over it's been largely a different story. The Pack has been 3-3 @ MIN in that time, and with yesterday's game Favre has played quite well in at least 4 of those six games, with I think just one really bad game there during that span.

When you get right down to it, the whole Packer/Favre tough at home, bad on the road has a lot less to do with domes, Lambeau Field (and it's "mystique"), or cold weather, and a lot more to do with Holmgren. Excessive home field advantage seemed to disappear with Holmgren, with the Pack becoming normal at home but a bit better on the road.

by Drew (not verified) :: Mon, 10/24/2005 - 7:49pm

Drew is not a girls name! I shake my fist angrily at you all!

by Arkaein (not verified) :: Mon, 10/24/2005 - 7:54pm

Re Dave:

Unfortunately the Pack only held the Vikes to 20 points for 59 minutes, 58 seconds.

Special teams and injuries sunk them. Longwell hitting just 2 of 4 FGs while Edinger made all 3 of his, including a career long. Losing their 3rd WR this season allowed Minn to limit the passing game in the 2nd half by doubling Driver every play. I'm pretty sure with a healthy Ferguson the Pack's offense in the second half keeps rolling and GB cruises to victory (despite being unreliable early in the season Ferguson was playing well the past couple games and already had two catches in the first quarter before being injured).

by jju (not verified) :: Mon, 10/24/2005 - 8:08pm

This may be the first time since 2001 that the Bears have a QB in the top 15.

Probably not. I am willing to bet Chad Hutchinson did in week 13 of last year when he threw for over 200 yards and 3 TDs (with 0 Int's) against the Vikes.

It has probably been done a lot more times than you think. After all, even Kordell Stewart (284 yards passing, 2 TDs, 0 Int's, 26 yards on the ground and a rushing TD against Arizona in '03) managed to have a good game or two. You know what they say about blind squirrels and all.

by Carl (not verified) :: Mon, 10/24/2005 - 8:09pm

I didn't see one football game this weekend, so I'll just say what surprised me:

Collins passing like that against the Bills. Still, I've argued that Oakland has been better than their critics would make them seem. I just thought the Bills would finally get the same defense I saw last year onto the field.

No luck.

I thought Plummer would do better against the Giants' secondary (he did well, but, still).

Martin isn't the answer against a good team.

Garcia is the best hobbling QB in the NFC North!

Kyle Orton is a QB!

But see Alex Smith.

The Jets should have held on to Jordan and dumped the future HOFer. No one likes to hear that, but I said it at the end of last season.

Tough to sell to fans in that media market, but New England would've done it.

I would consider Donte Stallworth to be the least valuable receiver every week simply for the hype and the compensation package he's wrangled out of the Saints.

I caught myself praising him earlier in the year for becoming a healthy, mediocre wideout.

But that's just me.

by Phil (not verified) :: Mon, 10/24/2005 - 8:18pm

"Gimme Fiction" is solid, but I prefer "Kill The Moonlight." Great album.

by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 10/24/2005 - 9:41pm

Carl: Still think Detroit will win the NFC North? I'm counting on the Bears now. Only team in the division which has either a defense or an offense that hasn't collapsed completely during a game. (Defense, obviously)

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Mon, 10/24/2005 - 9:46pm

Carl, if Orton ends up being above-average, there is no way the Bears fail to win the division, short of the reincarnation of Bronko Nagurski appearing on the scene, revoking his ties to the Bears, and instead swearing allegiance to his native state.

Bronko could provide better interior line protection for Culpepper, when he wasn't a lead blocking back for Moore, while also immediately becoming the Vikings best pass rusher from the edge.

The fact that the only thing thing the native of International Falls would do on a boat is catch walleyes is an added plus.

by NF (not verified) :: Mon, 10/24/2005 - 10:01pm


Brett Favre (Obvious? If not, read The Sun Also Rises.)

The rule is actually never trust a running-back with a weird first-name. Ki-Jana anyone?

Also, never trust a first-round picked QB with a weird last name, like Leaf, Couch, McNown, Druckenmiller, Klingler, or Mirer.

by rk (not verified) :: Mon, 10/24/2005 - 10:06pm

Roethlisberger's a pretty weird last name. Ladanian is pretty weird for a first name.

by Raul Allegre\'s Revenge (not verified) :: Mon, 10/24/2005 - 10:22pm

Gotta love the Spoon reference.

Ob. football: Eli Manning is my new hero.

by Old James (not verified) :: Mon, 10/24/2005 - 10:54pm

Good player, female name: Marion Motley.

by COINFLIP (not verified) :: Mon, 10/24/2005 - 11:29pm

Just re-posted my Funny Names report from last season.

Sadly, last year's winner got cut this season, but the runner up might make the Pro Bowl!

by NF (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 1:36am

Roethlisberger is obviously a German name. Deal.

LaDainian is an exception to the first-name correlation. However, look at the first names of some of the other great past RBs and good ones today. Barry, Marshall, Emmitt, Walter, Curtis, Corey, Shaun, Jerome. Of course in the gray areas there are names like Tiki, Duce, Deuce, LaMont, and Ahman. Also, is Edgerrin a derivative of Edgar or a weird first-name?

by NF (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 1:45am

Coinflip, that article is really funny. When you do the 2005 one, please note that there is a player named Boss Bailey.

by Steve Sandvik (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 2:16am

Rosie Greer, of course. He even did needlepoint to relax.

by foos (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 3:37am

There are some good names in the college game this year. We all know about D'Brickashaw, but there are some lesser-known gems. My faves:
Bear Pascoe (Fresno St.)
Syndric Steptoe (Arizona)
Sir Henry Anderson (Oregon St.)
Elvis Dumervil (Louisville)
et cetera. God bless a lack of reverence for Judeo-Christian naming conventions!

by SM (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 8:57am

re 32:
Wither I-Perfection Harris (Georgia Tech)?

There was a great comment in the si.com college football preview about the Houston Cougars OL sounding like a 'group of 18th century English poets':

Sir Vincent Rogers
Roy Swan
Sterling Doty
Dustin Dickinson
Byron Alfred

by houlie (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 10:11am

I haven't heard much about him since the spring, but the Jets allocated a running back to NFL Europe called Little John Flowers. That's a beauty. And yes, I believe he was actually named after the Robin Hood character.

by Andrew (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 10:23am


Will you be updating this with the surely pathetic DPAR of Vick, Testaverde, and Bollinger?

by princeton73 (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 10:41am

the Redskins once had a running back in training camp named Sir Prince Borton

by Pat (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 11:16am


Disturbingly, there are absolutely zero Philadelphia Eagles on that list.

Thankfully, the team has added Juqua Thomas to compete in future Funny Names competitions, but even that's pretty weak. Are they the All-Ordinary Name team?

by Mike (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 11:19am

re: girls' names.

Ashley Ambrose wasn't bad. And who can forget Marion Butts, who had a girl's first name and a stupid last name.

by jimmo (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 11:48am

re:Pat #22, I'd say Cleveland's two TDs in 30-some seconds against Chicago for the win a couple of weeks ago counts as a collapse.
Granted, the D was pretty tough all game until then, and the O fumbled quickly, but a collapse nonetheless...

by Pat (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 11:58am


That's an offensive collapse. The defense hasn't collapsed at all. All the other NFC North teams have had both their offense and their defense collapse in some game during the season.

One solid unit will get you to 8-8 in my opinion.

by lafcadio (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 12:32pm

Girl's name :

Leslie O'neal

(I wouldn't ask him if he's a guy! No I wouldn't!)

by TomC (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 12:42pm

I am shocked (shocked!) that T. Jones didn't make the top 5 in RB DPAR. 25-139 and no fumbles against the #8 DVOA run defense can't compete with Edge's almost identical performance (yardage-wise at least) against craptastical Houston? Yes, Jones had 1 reception for -5 yards, but how much you gonna hate on a man for that?

by Andrew (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 1:35pm

Pat #37:

Never fear though. This year, we've got Todd France and Michael Gasperson. And how does the incomperable Reno Mahe get overlooked?

by Alec (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 2:23pm

Re- Orton
I was wondering if this was the first week this year we were over 0.0 DPAR, much less Top 15. Detroit game?

by Carl (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 2:39pm

I've noticed that a lot of posters find names such as Lamont, Leroy and LaDamian odd.

Actually, there is a Creole tradition nearly 400 years old of naming free-born children beginning with a "La" or "Le," French articles.

Leroy, for example, is a form of saying "The King." It has a long, honorable tradition in the Delta's African-American communities, a tradition that picked up steam after the end of institutional slavery.

As anyone who tracks census data could tell you, the phenomenon of "gender shift" for popular names has been quite real for more than 80 years.

More established, typically whiter and wealthier families in cities, will begin to take traditionally male names (Lesley, Paige, et al) and appropriate them. There are some nifty graphs you can build from U.S. Census data on this.

At one time, "Jackie" was a male nickname. So don't blame Slater or Smith for the title.

There might also be problems in translation. In Scandanavia, "Jan" is pretty masculine.

I'm sure Stenerud learned the hard way that it's not ordered like this in the States.

Of course, if you're stuck with a less-than-stellar name, you can always cheat by adopting that tried and true football strategy of appearing manlier.

In sum, you get a nickname.

Don't like Alphonse? Try "Tuffy."

Stuck by mom with Elroy? Now you're "Crazylegs!"

Are the guys making fun of "Harold" or "Morris?" How about "Red?"

Albert? No, no, no, it's "Turk," to you.

Junious? Buck.

Clarence? Ace.

Frank? Bruiser.

Wilbur? Weeb. Harold? Bud.

Christian Adolph Jurgensen, III? Please, please. Just call me "Sonny."

If no one will give you a nickname, abbreviate!

Yelberton Abraham Tittle? Try "Y.A." Looks better in the program.

"They hold the opposition to 20 points. And they lost?"

Actually, the problem is that they held the opponent to 23, if I recall.

"Carl: Still think Detroit will win the NFC North?"

Yes, but as I've mentioned elsewhere, it doesn't matter. First in the NFC North gets you a bad homefield loss in the first round of the playoffs.

by bobman (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 3:31pm

Girlie-names: Terry, as in Bradshaw and Hanratty. Great work coming up with Rosie Greer and Leslie O'Neill. And Fran "Drescher" Tarkenton. (I think for Lady Brett, from Sun Also Rises (it's been a few years), Brett may have been her last name.

How about Deion?
Shaun Alexander--I know a woman named Shawn, so the spelling's close and pronunciation is the same. As for Sonny Jurgenson, well, I knew a Sonia who went by Sunny, but that's kinda pushing it. Did anybody ever call Conrad Dobler Connie? (and live to tell about it?) Probaboy not.

Be fun if we could come up with an all-pro team this way. I bet we can also for guys who have "no last names" (i.e. their surname is often a first name, like Shaun Alexander).

by steelershomer (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 3:41pm

I think for Lady Brett, from Sun Also Rises (it’s been a few years), Brett may have been her last name

Actually, it was Lady Brett Ashley.

Curiously, Ashley was once a man's first name ...

by melford (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 4:29pm

Liked the article. One comment on Drew Bledsoe. It seems like every negative comment written about Bledsoe is couched in an "I told you so" message to Dallas Cowboys fans. Cowboys fans are well aware of Bledsoe's limitations. They don’t need to be told by every Patriot and Bills fan that he sucks. Everyone knows that Bledsoe is a ticking time bomb. Cowboys fans are probably more aware than most because they were rooting against Buffalo and Bledsoe last year hoping to obtain a higher first round pick in 2005 (to capitalize on the trade for the no. 1 pick in 2004 (J.P. Losman)) so they tracked the debacle that was his 2004 season.

Did you see Vinnie Testaverde and Brooks Bollinger last night? That was the Cowboys situation last year. That's the alternative to Bledsoe.

by B (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 4:31pm

melford: You (Or possible Bill Parcells) might not be aware, but apparently it's possible to draft a quarterback as well. There are other options as well, Dilfer was a free agent last year, and it was apprently possible to get Tim Rattay from SF for a draft pick.

by melford (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 5:58pm

I don’t see how drafting a quarterback in the 2005 draft would be an improvement over the Bledsoe signing. Assuming they could trade up and get him, Alex Smith starting as the Cowboys QB would not be an improvement. Are Parcells and Jones at fault for not drafting a QB in an earlier year? Probably. But the Bills drafted JP Losman with the Cowboys' first round pick in 2004. Losman as Dallas QB in 2005 would not be an improvement over Bledsoe. This past off-season, the Cowboys had to upgrade at QB. The free agent alternatives were guys like Holcomb, Dilfer, and Garcia. None of those guys is an improvement over Bledsoe.

But this is beside the point I made which is that when Bledsoe was signed, no one in the Dallas Cowboys organization, in the Dallas media or in the Cowboys fan base touted Bledsoe as anything other than a serviceable NFL quarterback. He is a bus driver. Everyone expected him to have games like he did on Sunday. Games like he had against Philadelphia are a bonus. It’s not news to Cowboys fans that he’s not a great QB. No one was fooled by his first four games. Nevertheless, he was still an upgrade over what the Cowboys had last year. To reiterate: Vinnie Testaverde was the Cowboys quarterback last year.

Yes, Bledsoe sucks. No, that is not news to Cowboys fans.

by bobstar (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 7:07pm

Has Ashley Lelie been nominated yet?

by Zac (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 8:32pm

Everyone talking about baby names may be interested in the website I linked to (click my name). You can enter a name, and see how its popularity has changed since 1900.
Some examples from this thread:
Kelly as a boy's name hit its pick in the '60s, when it was the 123rd most popular.
Drew is much more popular as a boy's name.
Peyton has jumped up like crazy recently. In 2004 it was the 161st most popular boys name and the 134th most popular girls name, up from not being in the top 1000 in the '90s.
Marion is the opposite. It has fallen like a stone in recent years. Its high point as a boys name was in the 1880s, when it was the 91st most popular.
Ashley as a boy's name reached its peak in the '80s.
And some rulings:
Shannon is a girl's name. Drew is in fact a boy's name.
Marion was a girl's name, but it changed in the '80s, and is now a boy's name (ranked 692nd among boys in the '80s, ranked 903 among girls in the '80s).

by Harris (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 10:29pm

What about Lito, Dhani and Terrell in Philly? I'd love to have an unusal name. I once played on a team with three other Jasons. Jason would take the snap, fake the handoff to Jason, pump towards Jason in the flat to move the safety then throw deep to Jason streaking down the sideline. It was ridiculous.

by calig23 (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 10:48pm


How about Deion?

Dionne Warwick...

Did you see Vinnie Testaverde and Brooks Bollinger last night? That was the Cowboys situation last year. That’s the alternative to Bledsoe.

Ah yes, Vinny Testaverde. Remember the Pittsburgh-Dallas game last year? All Steelers' fans knew it was only a matter of time before Vinny made a mistake. We've seen it so many times before. And sure enough, he fumbled, the Steelers recovered, and went on to win the game.

Vinny and Bledsoe- Two QBs who will always make the costly turnover at a critical point.

by Israel (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 1:38pm

The best combination of first and last names is that great German-Hawaian hybrid Kimo von Oelhoffen. Although he is playing like he is twenty-seven, he will be thirty-five before his season ends this year, so enjoy him while you can.

by Andrew (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 2:26pm

Israel #55:

Last year in the Jaguars-Steelers game you had Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala, Troy Polamalu, and Kimo von Oelhoffen all on the field at the same time. It gave the announcers fits trying to say these names before the next play sometimes!

by Led (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 3:02pm

The QB stats page is not fully updated yet, but I'm willing to guess that right now Bledsoe is above average in DVOA and DPAR (he was top 5 in both as of week 6). Bad game and dumb ass pick this week, but all in all he's been a very good signing.

by Drew Bledsoe (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 3:33pm

"YOU MAKE ME FEEL LIKE A NATURAL... WOOMMMAAANNN" sorry guys sometimes I just feel like singing.

by Ryan Carney (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 3:40pm

I hate Drew Bledcoe, and I hate the Cowboys, I hate the fact that they are having success with washed up receivers and Blew Headsoe, and I hate that they took two Super Bowls away from my Bills. I hate that Bledsoe sabotaged my team last year, that was ridiculously talented, had a shut down D (where did that go), the best special teams in the league bar none, and Willis/Moulds/Evans, and Bledsoe blew it, single handedly. No offense to any Dallas fan, it's not your fault, but I hate everyone on your team, from your choke qb to your overrated injured rb, to your loud mouth alltime under achieving wide receiver, to your dirty horse collaring safety, to your embarassing assistant shoving head coach. If I had an abusive step father, I would hate the Cowboys more than I would hate him.