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Analysis of Passing Game: Targets & Receiver Success

Since I made updates throughout the season breaking down who the Dolphin quarterbacks were targeting most often, as well as the catch percentages of the receivers, I figured I might as well close the books on this aspect of 2007 by laying out the final numbers for you all.

First, let's look at the targeting. I have listed below the overall targeting of all 16 games, along with a breakdown for the passes thrown by Cleo Lemon and John Beck.

2007 Targeting
Player Total Targets (%) Targets by Lemon (%) Targets by Beck (%)
Marty Booker 105 (19%) 59 (19%) 19 (19%)
Ted Ginn 70 (13%) 42 (14%) 25 (25%)
Chris Chambers 66 (12%) 22 (7%) 0
Derek Hagan 58 (11%) 42 (14%) 10 (10%)
David Martin 49 (9%) 28 (9%) 10 (10%)
Justin Peelle 47 (9%) 30 (10%) 9 (9%)
Ronnie Brown 46 (9%) 22 (7%) 0
Jesse Chatman 37 (7%) 16 (5%) 10 (10%)
Lorenzo Booker 36 (7%) 24 (8%) 12 (12%)
Greg Camarillo 10 (2%) 8 (3%) 2 (2%)
3 Others 13 (2%) 8 (3%) 3 (3%)

As you can see here, one major problem that the Dolphins have is a lack of a true #1 receiver. When no receiver is targeted more than 20% of the time over the course of a full season, that's an issue. And it's ironic that the receiver who was targeted most often, the only veteran of the group, is one whose future in Miami is certainly in question. Of course, the hope is that Ted Ginn becomes, in time, that kind of player. I know many are disappointed by his rookie season. I, personally, am not. But we'll talk more about Ginn in another post down the road. One encouraging thing, though, is that John Beck clearly did have a favorite receiver, and it was non other than fellow rookie Ted Ginn.

Let's move onto looking at the catch percentages for the Dolphin players. Note that those players with fewer than 5 receptions will not be included in this. Again, we'll look at overall catch percentage and then we'll look at the difference between when Lemon is at QB to when Beck is at QB.

2007 Catch Percentages
Player Overall Catch % With Cleo (%) With Beck (%)
Ronnie Brown 85% 86% -
Greg Camarillo 80% 75% 100%
Lorenzo Booker 78% 71% 92%
Jesse Chatman 73% 81% 40%
David Martin 69% 68% 80%
Justin Peelle 62% 57% 67%
Derek Hagan 50% 52% 40%
Ted Ginn 49% 45% 56%
Marty Booker 48% 44% 53%

First of all, don't be alarmed that the backs and tight ends are ahead of most of the receivers. That's usually how it works out for many reasons (routes ran, targeted more often, better defenders, etc...). Next, it's funny how so many people are actually in favor of getting rid of Derek Hagan. The numbers show that, despite his tendency to drop balls, Dolphin quarterbacks have more success throwing to him than they do to Marty Booker or Ted Ginn.

Most importantly, though, there's one thing I think really needs to be highlighted. Notice the drastic difference in success in the young guys when Beck is throwing to them compared to when Lemon is throwing to them. In particular, look at Ted Ginn's, Greg Camarillo's, and Lorenzo Booker's success rates. Notice how the catch percentage of each is better by double digits when Beck is throwing to them. Any coincidence? Definitely not. It's simple, really, and quite encouraging. John was clearly more comfortable throwing to the guys who he worked with most through training camp and early on in the regular season. He got much more familiar with Ginn, Camarillo, and (Lorenzo) Booker than he ever did with the starters (when Chambers was there, that is, and Ginn wasn't starting). Even throw Justin Peelle into that mix, as he has been David Martin's backup. Could it be that John's struggles under center was partly due to the fact that he wasn't working a lot with some of the players? Seems quite likely to me, and is very encouraging for the future.