How Philadelphia Eagles' Vince Young Has Proven Quarterback Wins Is a Bogus Stat
Young, according to said reports, has not done enough to guarantee himself the backup role ahead of Mike Kafka.
While Kafka looks like a good football player that has shown flashes in his limited time under center, as well as having the advantage of having played longer in the system, Young's experience in the NFL and talent should still outweigh whatever Kafka can offer.
Young was paid a substantial amount to sign with the Eagles and it appeared to never be in question that he would be the team's backup.
It is difficult to believe that Young hasn't seized the backup position, considering what he has achieved in the NFL since being drafted third overall in 2006. Despite the fact that Kafka might understand the system better than the former Titan at this point, hasn't Young at least proven that he is a winner in the NFL?
No. The truth is, he hasn't.
Statistics are enigmatic things. They are reflective of football but they are not always reliable. Players' performances can never truly be reflected in the statistics that they are represented by.
One statistic that is more meaningless than most is the number of quarterback wins, considering the NFL is a league that consists of 32 teams.
According to statistics, Young is a winning quarterback. He has won 30 of his 47 career starts as a professional. However, on the field, he still can't even secure a backup position, let alone become a starter again.
If you look back to as recently as last year, the fact that Donovan McNabb was a proven winner with a Super Bowl appearance and five NFC Championship appearances didn't stop Mike Shanahan from benching him.
The truth is, winning is a team statistic. It cannot be hung on the shoulders of one individual. The quarterback might be the most pivotal position on the field, but he does not outweigh the rest of the 52 men on the active roster.
A quarterback can improve the situation of the offense around him or he can benefit from the talent around him. A quarterback can be what is often known as a game manager.
If you look at Tom Brady's career, his most significant seasons came in 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2007.
Statistically, Brady's best season came in 2007. He put up the best numbers of his career and collected the most regular season wins ever. However, he did not win the Super Bowl.
That year, Eli Manning earned a Super Bowl ring after his New York Giants triumphed in only 14 games—including both the regular season and postseason. That's fewer triumphs than Brady's Patriots had in just the regular season, but who was the happier quarterback at the end of the postseason?
Brady hit his prime in 2007 as he had more talent around him that year than in any other.
He won more games that season than he won in any of the other most important years of his career. The truth is, Brady hadn't been as good of a quarterback in those years than in 2007, but that's not what winning is.
Brady played on better teams during those years—teams that were built to win and were able to win when it mattered. Had Brady been on any other franchise in the league, it's entirely possible that he wouldn't have won anywhere near as many games.
If I took Brady from the Patriots right now and put him with the Buffalo Bills, he wouldn't win five games. Brady would be dead after two weeks, if put behind the Bills' offensive tackles.
Brady is the best quarterback to use in this debate because he is the best quarterback in the league right now. However, his three Super Bowls came with three defensive-orientated teams.
Bill Belichick is a defensive genius and has relied on strong defenses to win most of his games with the Patriots. While Brady may have won multiple MVPs and Super Bowl MVPs, he wouldn't have done either without his defenses.
That is a pivotal point in this debate.
While the quarterback may control many things on the offense, there is another entirely different side of the game that he plays no part in.
What happens if the New England Patriots defense is the worst in the league in 2011? What happens if the Patriots concede a touchdown on each, single drive?
Brady's offense is the best in the league, but it could never overcome such a horrific defense. He'd finish the season 0-16. Even if he had the greatest season that any quarterback has ever had, he'd still finish somewhere along the lines of 5-11.
Judging him using the quarterback wins statistic, he would have had been a bad quarterback.
This is the discrepancy that has once again been reflected in the failures of Vince Young. Young may have won 30 of his 47 starts in the NFL, but there is a reason why Chris Johnson is holding out in Tennessee and why Kerry Collins has been entrusted to lead the Indianapolis Colts' offense.
Vince Young never really carried the offense in Tennessee.
Giving him credit for Chris Johnson's hard work, not to mention the likes of Chris Hope and Jim Washburn's key contributions on defense, is just insane.
Vince Young may still make it as an NFL quarterback one day, but it won't be because he is a "proven winner."
It will be because individual talent and performance is only a contributing factor to winning football games.
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