The Kerry Collins signing is a good move for the Colts. There's no question he's an upgrade over Painter/Orlovsky.
My angst only comes from the fact that if the move is necessary now, it was equally necessary a month ago. We've learned nothing new about Painter's ability that we didn't know three weeks ago. No one should have needed two preseason games to conclude that Painter is terrible. Whoever has been his advocate at West 56th should be fired because that person clearly knows nothing about quarterbacks. He's simply not a good player, and absolutely no one has thought differently for more than a year.
So now, the Colts turn to an old foe, but friend of Polian. Analyzing Collins is an easy task because he essentially plays the same way all the time. Though he's just a handful of losses away from the mythical 100 loss club, Collins has actually been resilient throughout his career. 18to88.com reader Eliah M. chips in with this nice summary of his career.
I've been looking at Kerry Collins' career stats and the thing that stands out to me is how consistent they are. Starting in '99, his first year with the Giants, his numbers sort of stabilize in this zone of competence and averageness. Over those twelve years...
His passer rating was in the 70s and 80s ten times. His average rating was about 77.0 and he was within 5 points of that rating 6 years. Of the 6 "outliers," 3 came in seasons in which he started fewer than 8 games.
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Year by year, his rating went like this:73.3, 83.1, 77.1, 85.4, 70.7, 74.8, 77.3, 42.3, 79.9, 80.2, 65.5, 82.2
He averaged 57% completion, ranging under 59% twice and under 55% twice. Again, in 2 of these 4 outlier seasons, he started 1 and 3 games.
Collins' mean Y/A (without taking sacks into account) was 6.7, with only one season above 7 and three below 6.4 (2 of 4 outliers in shortened seasons).
His TD% average is 3.3%, surpassing 4.3% once and dropping under 2.3% twice. His mean interception% is 2.8%, and was above 3.8% twice and under 1.8% twice.
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What's more, I don't see a clear drop off with age. He's had a rating of 80+ three of the last four years, he's fumbled a lot less in recent seasons (Tennessee O line anyone?), and most stats are in line with his 12 year averages. Obviously all that could change with age, a worse line and run game, a new system with little prep time, etc.
But a glance at recent seasons from other potential signees Marc Bulger and Jake Delhomme, whose last seasons with more touchdowns than interceptions came in 2006 and 2008, respectively, and it's clear Collins is the best of the bunch.
I don't think Collins will have much success with the Colts if he does play. I certainly think that Indy could have maximized his impact by giving him a full training camp to work with the offense. The Indy offense will have to adjust to the limited talents Collins has.
Still, despite all of that, it's clear Collins is likely the best possible choice available to Indianapolis right now.
It's a good move...just one that's coming too late to make any difference.