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# Pro Football Reference Blog

## 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:

```
=========================================================
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:

```
===============================================================================
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:

```
=========================================================
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.