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All Jerry all the time

Posted by Doug on August 30, 2006

Once you get started talking about Jerry Rice, it's hard to stop. This post isn't as Rice-centric as previous ones have been, but it was inspired by yesterday's post about how much Rice might or might not have been affected by having Hall of Famers at the quarterback position for much of his career.

I decided to check out the career numbers of Jerry Rice's (and everyone else's) composite quarterback. Here is the plan.

STEP 1: Estimate how many passes Rice caught from each quarterback. For example, in 1989 Rice caught 82 passes. That year, Joe Montana threw 79.9% of the 49ers' passes, Steve Young threw 19.0% of them, and Steve Bono threw 1.1%. So I estimate that Rice caught roughly 65 passes from Montana, 16 from Young, and one from Bono. Of course these are just estimates, but for my purposes that shouldn't cause any problems.

STEP 2: Add up Jerry's career catches from each quarterback and divide by his total career reception total. This gives (an estimate of) the percentage of Jerry's career that was spent with each quarterback.

STEP 3: Find the weighted average career passing yardage totals --- weighted by the percentage above --- of those quarterbacks.

Here is the data for Rice:


Receiver Quarterback PCT CarPassYd
=========================================================
Jerry Rice Steve Young 38.0 33124
Jerry Rice Joe Montana 22.7 40551
Jerry Rice Rich Gannon 13.0 28743
Jerry Rice Jeff Garcia 7.6 19076
Jerry Rice Elvis Grbac 5.5 16769
Jerry Rice Steve Bono 3.8 10439
Jerry Rice Jeff Kemp 1.9 6230
Jerry Rice Rick Mirer 1.9 11969
Jerry Rice Matt Hasselbeck 1.4 15924
Jerry Rice Steve Stenstrom 0.8 1895
Jerry Rice Mike Moroski 0.7 2864
Jerry Rice Jeff Brohm 0.5 353
Jerry Rice Marques Tuiasosopo 0.4 482
Jerry Rice Ty Detmer 0.4 6351
Jerry Rice Matt Cavanaugh 0.3 4332
Jerry Rice Kerry Collins 0.3 33635
Jerry Rice Bob Gagliano 0.2 3431
Jerry Rice Trent Dilfer 0.2 19352
Jerry Rice Rob Johnson 0.2 5795
Jerry Rice Cary Conklin 0.1 560
Jerry Rice Tee Martin 0.1 69
Jerry Rice Jim Druckenmiller 0.1 239
Jerry Rice Bill Musgrave 0.0 402
Jerry Rice Bobby Hoying 0.0 2544
Jerry Rice Rodney Peete 0.0 16338

So I estimate that 38% of Rice's career was spent with Steve Young at QB, 22.7% with Montana quarterbacking, and so on. The rightmost column is the given quarterback's career passing yardage total. The weighted average of those numbers is 29,088. Roughly speaking, what this means is that The Quarterback Throwing To Jerry Rice was a guy who passed for 29,088 career yards. That's a pretty good quarterback. He would rank 31st in NFL history. And Matt Hasselbeck will add a bit to that before his career is over, but it won't matter too much, as Hasselbeck only accounts for 1.4% of The Quarterback Who Threw To Jerry Rice.

The real question is: how does the 29,088 figure compare to other wide receivers? Here is the list of all receivers who debuted in 1970 or later and have at least 500 career catches:


Receiver Top three quarterbacks (percentage)
===============================================================================
Mark Clayton 58324 Marino (89), Favre (5), Mackey (1),
Mark Duper 57467 Marino (93), Strock (2), Woodley (2),
Terry Glenn 39092 Bledsoe (70), Favre (10), Carter (9),
Ernest Givins 38655 Moon (73), Carlson (12), Brunell (3),
Mark Carrier 36431 Testaverde (50), Collins (22), Beuerlein (6),
Dwight Clark 36309 Montana (77), Deberg (12), Kemp (4),
Drew Hill 35863 Moon (64), Miller (4), Carlson (4),
Haywood Jeffires 35209 Moon (61), Carlson (13), Chandler (7),
Sterling Sharpe 32440 Favre (49), Majkowski (32), Tomczak (5),
Nat Moore 31510 Griese (41), Marino (30), Woodley (12),
Marvin Harrison 30402 Manning (83), Harbaugh (9), Justin (3),
Wes Chandler 30334 Fouts (51), Manning (29), Luther (7),
Cris Carter 29393 Moon (24), Cunningham (17), Johnson (14),
Jerry Rice 29088 Young (38), Montana (22), Gannon (13),
Troy Brown 28717 Brady (53), Bledsoe (43), Zolak (0),
Michael Irvin 28668 Aikman (79), Garrett (5), Beuerlein (3),
Ed McCaffrey 28533 Griese (31), Elway (29), Simms (8),
Andre Reed 26767 Kelly (67), Flutie (10), Reich (6),
Steve Largent 26692 Zorn (46), Krieg (43), Stouffer (2),
Tony Martin 26474 Humphries (35), Marino (22), Chandler (13),
Rod Smith 25816 Griese (36), Plummer (26), Elway (18),
Rob Moore 25432 Esiason (25), Plummer (22), O'Brien (18),
Keenan McCardell 25225 Brunell (53), Johnson (15), Brees (11),
Eric Metcalf 24392 Kosar (29), George (19), Testaverde (12),
Frank Sanders 24390 Plummer (59), Graham (12), Krieg (9),
Wayne Chrebet 24383 Testaverde (34), Pennington (15), O'Donnell (12),
Cliff Branch 24282 Stabler (56), Plunkett (23), Wilson (10),
Amani Toomer 23637 Collins (61), Manning (15), Graham (8),
Keyshawn Johnson 23490 Johnson (27), Testaverde (18), King (10),
Harold Carmichael 23471 Jaworski (54), Gabriel (25), Boryla (9),
Anthony Miller 23423 Elway (25), Humphries (19), Tolliver (13),
Terance Mathis 23220 Chandler (31), George (25), Hebert (11),
Henry Ellard 23203 Everett (51), Frerotte (16), Shuler (6),
Jimmy Smith 22610 Brunell (68), Leftwich (17), Garrard (5),
Randy Moss 22370 Culpepper (59), Cunningham (13), Collins (9),
Al Toon 21915 O'Brien (84), Ryan (7), Nagle (4),
Webster Slaughter 21707 Kosar (47), Moon (15), Carlson (7),
Andre Rison 21682 Miller (24), Gannon (12), Grbac (10),
Eric Moulds 21596 Bledsoe (36), Flutie (22), Johnson (14),
Billy Brooks 21466 Trudeau (27), Kelly (23), George (23),
Gary Clark 21440 Rypien (37), Schroeder (23), Beuerlein (10),
Art Monk 21427 Theismann (36), Rypien (29), Schroeder (14),
Irving Fryar 20701 Marino (16), Detmer (11), Eason (9),
Brian Blades 20628 Mirer (38), Krieg (30), Friesz (6),
Tim Brown 20470 Gannon (32), Hostetler (24), George (11),
Derrick Mason 20013 McNair (64), Volek (13), Boller (8),
Terrell Owens 20013 Garcia (53), Young (19), McNabb (13),
James Lofton 19567 Dickey (39), Kelly (17), Whitehurst (14),
Roy Green 19295 Lomax (64), Rosenbach (9), Hogeboom (7),
Carl Pickens 19281 Blake (59), Klingler (12), O'Donnell (10),
Joe Horn 18976 Brooks (76), Blake (10), Grbac (7),
Stanley Morgan 18704 Grogan (50), Eason (28), Cavanaugh (7),
John Stallworth 17975 Bradshaw (48), Malone (29), Woodley (10),
Brett Perriman 17410 Mitchell (40), Peete (16), Kramer (12),
Muhsin Muhammad 16934 Beuerlein (39), Delhomme (22), Collins (9),
Joey Galloway 16558 Moon (17), Carter (15), Mirer (14),
Eric Martin 16360 Hebert (51), Walsh (15), Wilson (10),
Isaac Bruce 15911 Warner (27), Bulger (22), Banks (17),
JT Smith 15894 Lomax (47), Fuller (15), Kenney (12),
Ricky Proehl 15583 Warner (15), Delhomme (12), Chandler (11),
Herman Moore 14978 Mitchell (52), Batch (13), Peete (9),
Curtis Conway 14952 Kramer (24), Flutie (11), Brees (9),
Jeff Graham 14775 O'Donnell (22), Kramer (21), Harbaugh (11),
Johnnie Morton 14506 Batch (28), Mitchell (28), Green (21),
Torry Holt 14227 Bulger (42), Warner (35), Martin (10),
Hines Ward 10257 Stewart (35), Maddox (34), Roethlisberger (20),

Obviously, comparisons are complicated by the fact that many of the above-listed quarterbacks are still active.

There is lots of interesting stuff there, but time is short, so I'll close by putting in yet another plug for Joey Galloway as a very good and underappreciated wide receiver. Look at the quarterbacks this poor guy has had to play with:


Receiver Quarterback PCT CarPassYd
=========================================================
Joey Galloway Warren Moon 17.7 49325
Joey Galloway Quincy Carter 15.4 6337
Joey Galloway Rick Mirer 14.9 11969
Joey Galloway Chris Simms 10.6 2502
Joey Galloway Brian Griese 9.3 16344
Joey Galloway John Friesz 9.3 8699
Joey Galloway Jon Kitna 9.0 18259
Joey Galloway Chad Hutchinson 5.9 2466
Joey Galloway Anthony Wright 2.3 3547
Joey Galloway Ryan Leaf 2.0 3666
Joey Galloway Brad Johnson 1.2 25798
Joey Galloway Clint Stoerner 1.1 367
Joey Galloway Troy Aikman 0.4 32942
Joey Galloway Gino Toretta 0.3 41
Joey Galloway Glenn Foley 0.2 2469
Joey Galloway Randall Cunningham 0.2 29979
Joey Galloway Stan Gelbaugh 0.0 2100

Yes, Moon was great, but he was 41 and 42 years old during the two seasons he played with Galloway. Also, he only accounts for 18% of Galloway's Quarterback. About 80% of Galloway's career has been spent with Quincy Carter, Rick Mirer, Chris Simms, Brian Griese, John Friesz, Jon Kitna, Chad Hutchinson, Anthony Wright, and Ryan Leaf. 8500 career receiving yards (and counting) doesn't seem so bad in that context.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 30th, 2006 at 4:01 am and is filed under General, History. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.