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Derek Anderson: Not the Answer for the Dolphins

Earlier today, a diary was made about the PFT rumor that said the Dolphins could very well be interested in Browns QB Derek Anderson once this offseason rolls around. Now, PFT mentions a Cleveland radio host as the source of this rumor. But this wasn't the only place I've heard this rumor. I can't remember if it was ESPNews or NFL Network but I was recently watching a show that also talked about how the Dolphins might make a play on Anderson in the offseason.

So what would it take to pry Anderson out of Cleveland? Since he's a restricted free agent, it will depend on how the Browns decide to handle the situation. In all likelihood, the Browns will at least make the highest tender offer, meaning any team who signs Anderson away from Cleveland will have to surrender their 1st and 3rd round pick. For the Dolphins, this is a ridiculously high price considering they have the #1 overall pick in April's draft.

Is Derek Anderson even worth it? This is something I wanted to decide. And first thing first, the only game I watched from start to finish with Anderson starting (besides the Dolphins/Browns game) was this past week's Browns/Bengals game. And Anderson did not look good at all, making some terrible decisions. The one thing I noticed was that Anderson stuggled mightily when under pressure. So with that in mind, I decided to look at his stats when under pressure (as defined by I've compared his numbers to that of Miami's two current QBs, Cleo Lemon and John Beck.

Under Pressure
Player Com/Att Pct Yds TD-Int Rating
Derek Anderson 19/59 32% 293 2-6 21.3
Cleo Lemon 16/41 39% 130 0-3 17.3
John Beck 5/17 29% 24 0-1 15.1

Hmmm...Anderson's numbers don't even make me confident enough to say he's even that much better than Cleo and John. Sure, you could look at his overall season and totals and call me crazy. After all, 3,600 yards and 28 touchdowns are nothing to sneeze at, that's for sure. But you need to consider the facts here. Anderson has two great talents in Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow to throw to and he's got a solid running game to keep the defense honest. Oh, and his offensive line has played very, very well all season long (which is why he has only 18 more pass attempts under pressure despite having 219 more total pass attempts). Maybe that could be why Anderson has put up the numbers that he has.

Still think Anderson is worth giving up the #1 overall pick? That's fine. Your entitled to your opinion. But here's one other statistical analysis to look at. Let's look at the percentage of inaccurate passes for each of the three quarterbacks:

*percentage based off of total pass attempts*
Anderson Lemon Beck
Batted down at line 1.4% 2.8% 1.2%
Overthrown 7.3% 6% 4.7%
Underthrown 4.3% 3.5% 2.3%
Thrown wide 7.9% 9% 11.6%
Interceptions 3.5% 2.1% 3.5%
Bad pass percentage 24.5% 23.1% 23.3%

So what did we learn? Well, first of all, we learned that if Beck could just stop throwing so many passes wide of the receiver, he could have a much better completion percentage. Now getting back to the topic, I think this here shows all I need to know about Derek Anderson. If we think Cleo Lemon has been bad as QB, Anderson has actually been more inaccurate than Cleo has. Is that the kind of QB we want under center? And is Anderson worth anything close to the #1 overall pick? Not a chance in hell. If anything, I learned from this statistical look at things that John Beck isn't as far away from being a productive NFL QB than many thought. With an improved offensive line and a playmaker or two on offense, John could potentially be a productive NFL QB sooner rather than later.

But most importantly, Derek Anderson is not the solution to the Miami Dolphins' quarterback problem. If anything, bringing Anderson to Miami in the offseason would simply be a perfect example of how the Dolphins got into this mess to begin with. And despite his impressive track record, it would really make me question the logic of Bill Parcells and his ability to turn this team around.