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Just The Sports: Sam Bradford Does Not Deserve AP Offensive Rookie Of The Year Honors

Just The Sports

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Sam Bradford Does Not Deserve AP Offensive Rookie Of The Year Honors

Like with so many other end of the season awards, the AP voters got it terribly wrong when they gave St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford their Rookie of the Year award. That Bradford won is bad enough, but that he won in such a landslide with 44 out of a possible 50 votes shows an excruciatingly high level of ignorance from the AP voters.

Based on Bradford's college career, eventually he will be a star NFL quarterback, but that time was definitely not in the 2010 season. In the regular season that just ended, Bradford was one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the NFL by multiple measures.

According to Football Outsiders, of the 48 quarterbacks who attempted at least 100 passes in 2010, Bradford ranked 34th in DYAR, which measures total value, with 81 DYAR and 34th in DVOA, which measures value per play, with a -9.1 percent DVOA.

Bradford's negative DVOA had everything to do with his pathetically low 5.95 yards per pass attempt. Not only did Michael Vick and Jamaal Charles have higher yards per rush averages, 6.8 and 6.4 respectively, but of the 31 qualifying NFL quarterbacks, those who attempted at least 14 pass attempts per team's game, Bradford ranked 30th in yards per pass attempt. Only Jimmy Clausen of the Carolina Panthers was worse.

Bradford's Rookie of the Year candidacy was further weakened by the fact he was not even the best rookie quarterback to play in 2010. Even the most ardent Bradford supporter has to admit that Bradford could not possibly be the best rookie in the NFL if he was not even the best rookie playing his position.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy was superior to Bradford in both total value with 235 DYAR and value per play with a 3.7 percent DVOA. The advantages McCoy holds in those two statistics become even greater when one remembers he appeared in eight fewer games and threw 380 fewer passes (246 to 626) than did Bradford; Football Outsiders count sacks and aborted snaps as passes in addition to regular pass attempts.

Even with 60.7 percent fewer pass attempts, McCoy's quarterbacking was still more valuable than Bradford's.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Williams, who received four of the six votes Bradford did not get, was also unworthy of his Rookie of the Year votes because he was outplayed by a fellow rookie wide receiver.

Colt McCoy's former college teammate, current Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Jordan Shipley, had more total value than Williams with 156 DYAR compared to Williams' 65 DYAR and more value per play with 14.1 percent DVOA to Williams' -6.6 percent DVOA.

Shipley put up those more impressive numbers despite being targeted for 54, or 42.7 percent, fewer passes than Williams (74 to 128).

The true Rookie of the Year was New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. Gronkowski was more than just a great rookie. He was the second-most productive tight end in the entire NFL in total value with 249 DYAR and the third-most productive tight end in value per play with 53.2 percent DVOA. Only San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates had more total value, and only Antonio Gates and Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley had more value per play.

Additionally, having Gronkowski on the field made Tom Brady a better quarterback. Gronkowski's dominant play this season is what one should really be looking for when choosing a Rookie of the Year, and the award should be his.

The fact that the AP voters voted for two rookies, Sam Bradford and Mike Williams, who were completely unworthy of them while at the same time completely ignoring the one player, Rob Gronkowski, who most deserved the Rookie of the Year award essentially eliminates all credibility of the honor this season.

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  • This writer doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground.

    Safety Harbor, FL

    By Blogger Jerry, at 3:18 PM  

  • Hey pal, find a different job will ya? Stats are not everything, he totally turned that team around. Nice article, NOT!

    By Blogger Tristen, at 3:16 AM  

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