This is only my second post of any kind at RBR, but I felt roused to action because I’ve noticed a near lockstep derision of the abilities of Greg McElroy. The most common complaint is that he isn’t a “downfield passing threat.” Others are that he holds the ball too long and more generally that he can’t win a game on his own, he only has the ability not to lose and yadda, yadda, yadda…...
I’m not sure how many folks realize this, but this very quarterback of ours is eleventh in the nation in passing efficiency, beating out Terrelle Pryor, Andy Dalton, Andrew Luck, Jacori Harris and many other big names. He’s also eighth in the country in yards per attempt, again besting Terrelle Pryor, Andrew Luck, Matt Barkley, Jake Locker and many other names you’ve heard of. It’s true he’s one of the worst in the country when it comes to taking sacks, but he’s also consistently one of the best as far as not throwing picks, having thrown less ints than almost all the names I mentioned.
We Bama fans ought to know what not having a “downfield threat” looks like; in 2008, it wasn’t until the SEC championship that we had even one 40+ yard completion (look it up). In 1992, Jay Barker, a quarterback who has rightfully earned a place in our hearts, threw six touchdowns and nine interceptions during the regular season. Indeed, his numbers make Gmac look like Bart Starr.
Yes, I am aware Gmac has a great team around him, and perhaps that inflates the numbers a bit. But no matter how hard one tries to find ways to diminish these stats, it’s impossible to deny that Gmac is well above average. That means that when we complain about Gmac, we’re basically complaining that he’s merely good, and not a future NFL superstar. Do not misinterpret me as being against criticizing players or noting their weaknesses. I would just like to see it done based on facts, not based on kneejerk reactions to the t.v.
Just remember, it’s easy to spot open receivers when you can freeze your Tivo, but it’s difficult when you have 4 seconds or less before you are walloped by a giant. And while it may appear that McElroy leaves many plays on the field as you rewind game film over and over, that says more about the difficulty of quarterbacking than it does about Gmac, because Gmac (Gasp!) is actually doing a better job than most QBs.