Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

16 Nov 2007

ESPN: DEN/TEN Second-Year Stars

This week's Monday Night Football column runs similarity scores for the second-year offensive players for Denver and Tennessee: Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, Tony Scheffler, LenDale White, and Vince Young.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 16 Nov 2007

16 comments, Last at 20 Nov 2007, 1:40pm by pharmboyrick


by mmm... sacrilicious (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 4:22pm

I didn't realize VY's TD numbers were so low. Has there been any recent QB for a decent team who has thrown as few as 8 TDs on 360 passes?

It would be interesting to see what he could do with a halfway decent WR...

by dryheat (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 4:54pm

Given his draft status, I don't think VY can be considered anything but a bust at this point. If he's not using his legs, he's not producing...and a competent DC will take away his legs.

He needs a ways to go in both decision making and accuracy before he can be called a competent NFL QB.

by JoRo (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 5:02pm

Is there a reason it seems that Cutler is so disliked by FO? I mean... other than the first qb projection it seems every time he is mentioned it is in a negative light. Last year you guys focused on him being thrown in in the middle of a "playoff" hunt. I also can only really remember a few things said about him in Audibles but the one most closely sticking out in my mind is that he is being tamed...

This is article honestly the closest to a positive I can think of since he began starting for Denver. Is there a reason

by Sam (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 5:02pm


He has -6.6 DPAR against Jacksonville this season, just to emphasize your point. He's 9 spots lower on DPAR than Quinn Gray and 8 spots lower than DVOA. And Gray has a higher rushing DPAR as well, despite not being allowed to run much since HIS backup is Todd frickin' Bouman. And Gray just made his first 3 career starts this year.

by BBtAC (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 5:31pm

Vince Young is unique for two reasons: he's a great scrambler, and his passing skills have regressed since his rookie year.

Substitute "2nd year" for "rookie" and that sounds like Vick.

by Earl (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 5:41pm

It's worth noting that, as of week 10 DPAR, Cutler is the 11th rated QB. He has a 44.8 DPAR, and I'm going to guess it's that high because of his steadily improving 3rd down completion numbers.

In my opinion, right now the only thing really holding Cutler back is that the Broncos are having too much instability in the Offensive Line (seriously -- a guy back from an ACL, two of last year's players out on IR and two others gone -- and we all know that FO has shown time and time again that the most important thing to an O-Line's performance is a unit that stays together for a long period and learns to work together better).

Right now the Broncos are having to keep extra protection in most of the time, and Cutler is still putting up a 65% completion rate. And it's not that he's doing dink & dunk take the safe throw stuff; his yards per attempt is outstanding.

by tunesmith (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 5:42pm

Scheffler was dealing with injuries for most of the first half of the year, fwiw. For those that think his first half stats are reflective on a full participant in all the games, they're not.

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 7:13pm

"It would be interesting to see what he could do with a halfway decent WR…"

he has decent receivers. Roydelle Williams looks like a stud.

He just can't hit them.

by Kimble (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 7:28pm

Young's projections look way off -- he'd need like 85 yards per game rushing (maybe possible, but it's more than he's had any game this year) and minus-1 interceptions total (less possible) to meet them. Are those the numbers the similarity scores were run on, or was it just a copy/paste issue for the article?

by thestar5 (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 7:41pm

I'd still take Young over Leinart any day of the week. And Young doesn't really have any weapons to work with. Remember, DVOA and DPAR aren't isolated induvidual stats.

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Fri, 11/16/2007 - 8:00pm

"And Young doesn’t really have any weapons to work with."

Based on what? From what I've seen (and based on Kerry Collins' performance) it looks like hes got good weapons.

His receivers look good to me, he just overthrows/underthrows them badly when they're open.

He did most of his passing in college to guys who had no one within 10 yards of them... thats not going to happen in the NFL.

by kibbles (not verified) :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 12:11am

Kimble already beat me to it, but how is Vince Young "on pace" for 9 interceptions this season, when he's already thrown 10?

If you pro-rate his current numbers over 15 games, you get 2085 yards passing @ 60.9% and 5.8 ypa, with 8 TDs and 19 INTs, as well as 103/407/4 rushing (3.95 per carry). Yes, he has really been that bad so far this year.

by admin :: Sat, 11/17/2007 - 6:00pm

Why is Vince Young on pace for nine interceptions? Simple: Poor typing skills. Not his. Mine. I just e-mailed ESPN to fix.

by John (not verified) :: Mon, 11/19/2007 - 2:58pm

I've been on this for quite a while now, but it needs to be said again. Vince, Jeff Fisher and Norm Chow are making a marked attempt at trying to make Vince a better as opposed to just falling back into a Scrambler who can pass, like so many Scrambling QBs have done. Now what this means is that Vince is always looking to pass instead of run. Which really doesn't help at times because he (and Norm and Jeff) ignore wide open running lanes at times.

Vince has a long way to go to becoming a good passer, but it also is compounded by the fact that the receivers (outside of Roydell Williams) are just not getting open.

by Kaveman (not verified) :: Mon, 11/19/2007 - 10:22pm

Thanks for the article. Imagine: Cutler actually looks like Favre statistically as well... the comparisons have been made subjectively a dozen times at least, and there actually is some truth to them!

Of course, Cutler isn't running down field to leap into his receiver's arms after TDs; he's pretty Iceman on the field. But if he has a career like Favre's, I won't complain. :-)

It is early to say, of course, but so far, he looks like the pick of the litter to me.

tunesmith said it on Scheffler; he missed almost all of training camp. He's clearly coming along but Graham has taken some of his plays.

by pharmboyrick (not verified) :: Tue, 11/20/2007 - 1:40pm

I am very impressed with Cutler, especialy his ability to lead drives at the end of the game or half.

I was critical of the selection at the time thinking Denver should have got a RB instead and made another SB run with Plummer.