The Myth of Aaron Brooks

Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

There's a few folks around CSC who would have you believe that Aaron Brooks is the 2nd best QB in Saints history behind Drew Brees. And not only that, some of them are saying that only a raving homer, revisionist, with a non-football related bias would disagree with their opinion.

Uh, huh. Let's take a look, shall we?

Okay, it's time to put all the B.S. about "That Grinning Jackass" in a dumpster where it belongs. What B.S you say? The incredibly nonsensical garbage about Aaron Brooks being the "2nd best QB in Saints history" or "Best QB is Saints history until Drew Brees came along."

The problem with a phrase like "best" is that it is a qualitative term based strictly on the user's point of view and limited to that person's knowledge of the subject while also being colored by whatever bias they may have. As opposed to a phrase like "most" (as in most yards, most completions, most touchdowns) which is a quantitative term and can be easily determined by facts.

And here is where the Brooks supporters get themselves into deep donkey crap. They are basing their idea of "best" on the FALSE assumption that Brooks had the "most" in various passing categories (until Brees), so therefore, he is OF COURSE the "best" (until Brees).

Wrong, Godzilla-rific poop breath.

If Brooks was indeed the all-time leader in various statistical categories and held the majority of Saints passing records until Drew Brees hit the scene, that still wouldn't make him the best. Not any more than Emmitt Smith having the most rushing yards makes him better than Jim Brown, or Brett Favre having the most passing yards makes him better than Joe Montana, or Trent Dilfer having a Super Bowl win makes him better than Dan Marino.

Sometimes, most can mean best, but other times, it just means that - most.

But, guess what Saints fans? The "Brooks Brothers" have spent so much time peddling their nonsense of Aaron Brooks being 2nd best because he has "better numbers than anyone until Brees", they haven't even bothered to notice that he WAS NOT the all-time leader in a majority of various passing statistics (behind Brees) like they thought.

Yup....their entire argument is a mirage built on a house of cards.

Most passing yards? Most completions? Attempts? Nope. Highest completion percentage? HA! Oh, don't make me laugh!

Brooks never cracked 60% in completions in his entire career. And UNLIKE every other starting quarterback in Saints history (not named Brees), Brooks had the luxury of playing in the passing friendly 21st century when completion percentages are higher due to rules changes and the prominence of the short passing game. This is in contrast to down-the-field passing of previous decades which had lower completion percentages but higher yards-per-attempt.

In previous eras, breaking the 60% barrier in completions was an accomplishment because of how the game was played. In the 21st century, you're SUPPOSED to be slinging the rock at a minimum 60% clip or you're just another fraud waiting to get exposed. Wait? What? Is that sCam Newton I hear crying over in the corner, clutching his NFC South title after getting choked out in his first playoff game?

So, how did these folks arrive at their erroneous assumptions? Simple. By looking at Brooks' passing numbers inside of a vacuum. Let's take a look.

Year

G

GS

W-L

Cmp

Att

Cmp%

Yds

TD

Int

Lng

Y/A

Y/C

Y/G

Rate

2000

8

5

3-2

113

194

58.2

1514

9

6

53

7.8

13.4

189.3

85.7

2001

16

16

7-9

312

558

55.9

3832

26

22

63

6.9

12.3

239.5

76.4

2002

16

16

9-7

283

528

53.6

3572

27

15

64

6.8

12.6

223.3

80.1

2003

16

16

8-8

306

518

59.1

3546

24

8

76

6.8

11.6

221.6

88.8

2004

16

16

8-8

309

542

57.0

3810

21

16

57

7.0

12.3

238.1

79.5

2005

13

13

3-10

240

431

55.7

2882

13

17

66

6.7

12.0

221.7

70.0

Total

85

82

38-44

1563

2771

56.4

19156

120

84

76

6.9

12.3

225.4

79.7

Pay close attention to the four seasons that are highlighted - Brooks' second through fifth season. These four seasons are what Brooks' supporters are always trying to shove down everyone's throats as "evidence" of Brooks' superiority over every other QB to play for the Saints before him and Brees.

A veritable smorgasbord of asinine hyperbole.

when [Brooks] was the QB for the Saints, the franchise was at the top of their history, the best they'd ever been. You are what your record says you are

Really? Top of their history? Best they'd ever been? Um, WTF?

Brooks was 38-44 as the starting QB for the Saints. The Saints won 10+ games in a season only once during the Jim Haslett era with their only playoff appearance in the same year, 2000, when Jeff Blake was the full-time starter and had 7 of the Saints 10 wins before getting injured. After Brooks was given the starting job in 2001, he had only one winning season (9-7 in 2002) and the Saints NEVER made the playoffs with him as the full-time starter.

Bobby Hebert was 49-26 when he was the Saints QB. Under Hebert, the Saints had 5 winning seasons, 3 playoff appearances and the team's first ever division title (the 4th playoff appearance during the Jim Mora era was with Steve Walsh). Also, the Saints won 10+ games four times and had 7 consecutive seasons without a losing record (5 with Hebert and 1 each with Steve Walsh and Wade Wilson).

The Saints were the "best they'd ever been" with Brooks? Oh, mercy. And Brooks propagandists are always the first to tell someone else to "go look it up!" whenever they're peddling their snake oil.

This particular Brooks Supporter was right about ONE thing. You are what your record says you are. Well, except when a Brooks peddler is making excuses for his losing record as a starter. It's okay for them to crap all over Archie for his record, but whenever Brooks' record is brought up, you get more excuses than a Justin Beiber fan trying to explain away his latest doofus moment.

How about this one?

Brooks bested several of Archie's records before Brees broke them. Very few others can claim that.

Um, pardon me, but....the Saints only had 2 other QBs who started for the team at least two full seasons between the time of Archie and Brees - Bobby Hebert and Jim Everett. So, the "very few others" line is more hyperbolic nonsense.

Also, in all-time passing stats for a season, it was Jim Everett who broke Archie's records first until Brees came along to put them out of the stratosphere. In all-time passing stats for a career, Archie is still second in Saints history (behind Brees) in yards, attempts, completions, with Brooks only passing him in total TDs ( 120 -115). Which is still the ONLY major Saints record of Archie's that Brooks ever broke in career totals or season totals.

Wow...."bested several of Archie's records", huh? Umm, okay.

Brooks' supporters like to argue that Archie played longer for the Saints, so of course he's going to have higher career totals. Which is why they want you to look at Brooks' four best seasons in a vacuum or on a per game basis. You know, because THEN Brooks will look better by comparison. But, um, there's one little problem with that. They really don't want you to do that with any other Saints QB because their guy isn't gonna do quite so well.

Jim Everett played half as long for the Saints as Aaron Brooks (Everett - 3 seasons, Brooks - 6 seasons) and is behind him in career totals. But, on a per game basis he's near or beats Aaron Brooks in the same way that Brooks beats Archie under that same scenario.

What's the matter Brooks peddlers? Y'all didn't go look that one up either?

Funny thing about Everett and Brooks. They're almost the same guy. Except one is white and one is black. Everett was 6'5" 212 and Brooks, 6'4" 220. Both men had unquestioned physical talents as quarterbacks, but both had big questions when it came to certain intangibles. It was well known that Jim Everett was "Hell on wheels when he had time to throw but crumbled like a stale cupcake under pressure" during his time with the Rams. This was emphasized in the NFCCG against the 49ers and Matt Millen, the Niners' LB, made that quote after the game.

Similarly, there was never a question of Brooks' talent, but there were HUGE questions regarding leadership, decision making, and yes, heart. Like Everett, Brooks could sling it with the best of ‘em (TWSS - shut up, Hans) when he had time to throw, but when under pressure, he flopped around and made some of the most boneheaded nonsensical plays in Saints history. And, of course, all the while grinning like a hyena who backed into a cattle prod and found out that he liked it. So, he did it again. And again. Until he passed out and then woke up and did it again.

Oh, good grief.

Just look at their career numbers as Saints QBs.

Year

G

GS

W-L

Cmp

Att

Cmp%

Yds

TD

Int

Lng

Y/A

Y/C

Y/G

Rate

2000

8

5

3-2

113

194

58.2

1514

9

6

53

7.8

13.4

189.3

85.7

2001

16

16

7-9

312

558

55.9

3832

26

22

63

6.9

12.3

239.5

76.4

2002

16

16

9-7

283

528

53.6

3572

27

15

64

6.8

12.6

223.3

80.1

2003

16

16

8-8

306

518

59.1

3546

24

8

76

6.8

11.6

221.6

88.8

2004

16

16

8-8

309

542

57.0

3810

21

16

57

7.0

12.3

238.1

79.5

2005

13

13

3-10

240

431

55.7

2882

13

17

66

6.7

12.0

221.7

70.0

Total

85

82

38-44

1563

2771

56.4

19156

120

84

76

6.9

12.3

225.4

79.7

Year

G

GS

W-L

Cmp

Att

Cmp%

Yds

TD

Int

Lng

Y/A

Y/C

Y/G

Rate

1994

16

16

7-9

346

540

64.1

3855

22

18

78

7.1

11.1

240.9

84.9

1995

16

16

7-9

345

567

60.8

3970

26

14

70

7.0

11.5

248.1

87.0

1996

15

15

3-12

267

464

57.5

2797

12

16

51

6.0

10.5

186.5

69.4

Total

47

47

17-30

958

1571

61.0

10622

60

48

78

6.8

11.1

226

81.1

Notice how their careers as Saints QBs almost mirror each other, except, cut exactly in half by total seasons (6 to 3) and most productive seasons (4 to 2). Also, Brooks first season was spent as backup to Jeff Blake, while Everett started immediately.

If you look at their seasons as the team's full-time starter, the similarities are striking. Each QB was very good statistically, but they could not lead their teams to the playoffs and had very mediocre results as winners. Then, each player had a final season in which they were not as good statistically and the team completely went into the toilet. Their passing stats and won-loss records in their final seasons are almost identical.

As matter of fact, if you were to take their best seasons and place them inside the same table, you'd be hard pressed to tell them apart

Year

G

GS

W-L

Cmp

Att

Cmp%

Yds

TD

Int

Lng

Y/A

Y/C

Y/G

Rate

1994

16

16

7-9

346

540

64.1

3855

22

18

78

7.1

11.1

240.9

84.9

1995

16

16

7-9

345

567

60.8

3970

26

14

70

7.0

11.5

248.1

87.0

2001

16

16

7-9

312

558

55.9

3832

26

22

63

6.9

12.3

239.5

76.4

2002

16

16

9-7

283

528

53.6

3572

27

15

64

6.8

12.6

223.3

80.1

2003

16

16

8-8

306

518

59.1

3546

24

8

76

6.8

11.6

221.6

88.8

2004

16

16

8-8

309

542

57.0

3810

21

16

57

7.0

12.3

238.1

79.5

See how seamlessly Jim Everett's two best seasons fit in so perfectly with Aaron Brooks' four best seasons? It's like they're the same guy. Same passing stats and same mediocre team results. The Saints were not a bad football team with either of these guys, but, they weren't good either

If I didn't include the year and shuffled the seasons, I'd dare you pick which QB is which. But, there is one sure fire way to tell. As I said before, Aaron Brooks NEVER cracked 60% in completions as the Saints QB.

Jim Everett and Aaron Brooks - Brothers from other mothers.

Okay, enough of that. Let's get on to the career passing numbers and then shut this puppy down. Only 17 QBs in Saints history ever passed for more than 2000 yards in their career with the team, so for comparison's sake I've included them below.

RK

Player

GS

W

L

T

Cmp

Att

Cmp%

Yds

TD

Int

Rate

Y/A

Y/G

1

Drew Brees

127

80

47

0

3356

4990

67.25%

38733

283

124

99.0

7.76

305.0

2

Archie Manning

129

35

91

3

1849

3335

55.44%

21734

115

156

67.4

6.52

162.2

3

Aaron Brooks

82

38

44

0

1563

2771

56.41%

19156

120

84

79.7

6.91

225.4

4

Bobby Hebert

75

49

26

0

1202

2055

58.49%

14630

85

75

79.1

7.12

187.6

5

Jim Everett

47

17

30

0

958

1571

60.98%

10622

60

48

81.1

6.76

226.0

6

Billy Kilmer

39

11

29

0

592

1116

53.05%

7490

47

62

65.1

6.71

152.9

7

Dave Wilson

31

12

19

0

551

1039

53.03%

6987

36

55

63.8

6.72

131.8

8

Steve Walsh

19

10

9

0

336

620

54.19%

3879

25

22

72.0

6.26

176.3

9

Ken Stabler

22

11

11

0

326

570

57.19%

3670

17

33

62.4

6.44

146.8

10

Billy Joe Tolliver

11

2

9

0

249

467

53.32%

3343

15

20

69.2

7.16

196.6

11

Bobby Scott

14

4

10

0

237

500

47.40%

2781

15

28

51.4

5.56

67.8

12

Ed Hargett

8

1

5

1

205

437

46.91%

2727

11

10

66.0

6.24

62.0

13

Wade Wilson

14

7

7

0

241

416

57.93%

2629

12

15

71.3

6.32

146.1

14

Richard Todd

14

6

8

0

177

344

51.45%

2369

14

23

59.4

6.89

139.4

15

John Fourcade

11

7

4

0

159

313

50.80%

2312

14

15

70.1

7.39

96.3

16

Billy Joe Hobert

12

4

8

0

157

313

50.16%

2031

13

14

66.1

6.49

135.4

17

Jeff Blake

11

7

4

0

184

303

60.73%

2025

13

9

82.5

6.68

168.8

As you can see, Brees is across the board #1. What's interesting is who's number two in each category.

Wins - Bobby Hebert

Attempts - Archie Manning

Completions - Archie Manning

Completion PCT - Jim Everett

Yards - Archie Manning

Touchdowns - Aaron Brooks

Passer Rating - Jim Everett

Yards Per Game - Jim Everett

Yards Per Attempt - Bobby Hebert

Note: Completion PCT, Passer Rating, YPA, and YPG leaders were based on minimum 750 attempts.

Okay, for you cats who say career totals hold an advantage for longevity with the team (which is code for, "You're making Archie look good!"), we'll also look at season statistics. Ten QBs in Saints history have passed for more than 2000 yards in a season - thirty times.

RK

Player

Year

G

GS

QBrec

Cmp

Att

Cmp%

Yds

TD

Int

Lng

Y/A

Y/G

Rate

1

Drew Brees

2011*

16

16

13-3-0

468

657

71.2

5476

46

14

79

8.3

342.3

110.6

2

Drew Brees

2012*

16

16

7-9

422

670

63.0

5177

43

19

80

7.7

323.6

96.3

3

Drew Brees

2013*

16

16

11-5

446

650

68.6

5162

39

12

76

7.9

322.6

104.7

4

Drew Brees

2008*

16

16

8-8

413

635

65.0

5069

34

17

84

8.0

316.8

96.2

5

Drew Brees

2010*

16

16

11-5

448

658

68.1

4620

33

22

80

7.0

288.8

90.9

6

Drew Brees

2007

16

16

7-9

440

652

67.5

4423

28

18

58

6.8

276.4

89.4

7

Drew Brees

2006*+

16

16

10-6

356

554

64.3

4418

26

11

86

8.0

276.1

96.2

8

Drew Brees

2009*

15

0

13-2-0

363

514

70.6

4388

34

11

75

8.5

292.5

109.6

9

Jim Everett

1995

16

16

7-9

345

567

60.8

3970

26

14

70

7.0

248.1

87.0

10

Jim Everett

1994

16

16

7-9

346

540

64.1

3855

22

18

78

7.1

240.9

84.9

11

Aaron Brooks

2001

16

16

7-9

312

558

55.9

3832

26

22

63

6.9

239.5

76.4

12

Aaron Brooks

2004

16

16

8-8

309

542

57.0

3810

21

16

57

7.0

238.1

79.5

13

Archie Manning

1980

16

16

1-15

309

509

60.7

3716

23

20

56

7.3

232.3

81.8

14

Aaron Brooks

2002

16

16

9-7

283

528

53.6

3572

27

15

64

6.8

223.3

80.1

15

Aaron Brooks

2003

16

16

8-8

306

518

59.1

3546

24

8

76

6.8

221.6

88.8

16

Archie Manning

1978*

16

16

7-9

291

471

61.8

3416

17

16

71

7.3

213.5

81.7

17

Bobby Hebert

1992

16

16

12-4

249

422

59.0

3287

19

16

72

7.8

205.4

82.9

18

Archie Manning

1979*

16

16

8-8

252

420

60.0

3169

15

20

85

7.5

198.1

75.6

19

Bobby Hebert

1988

16

16

10-6

280

478

58.6

3156

20

15

40

6.6

197.3

79.3

20

Aaron Brooks

2005

13

13

3-10

240

431

55.7

2882

13

17

66

6.7

221.7

70.0

21

Jim Everett

1996

15

15

3-12

267

464

57.5

2797

12

16

51

6.0

186.5

69.4

22

Archie Manning

1972

14

14

2-11-1

230

448

51.3

2781

18

21

66

6.2

198.6

64.6

23

Bobby Hebert

1989

14

13

6-7

222

353

62.9

2686

15

15

54

7.6

191.9

82.7

24

Billy Kilmer

1969

14

14

5-9

193

360

53.6

2532

20

17

52

7.0

180.9

74.9

25

Wade Wilson

1993

14

14

7-7

221

388

57.0

2457

12

15

42

6.3

175.5

70.1

26

Dave Wilson

1986

14

13

6-7

189

342

55.3

2353

10

17

63

6.9

168.1

65.8

27

Richard Todd

1984

15

14

6-8

161

312

51.6

2178

11

19

74

7.0

145.2

60.6

28

Bobby Hebert

1987

12

12

10-2

164

294

55.8

2119

15

9

67

7.2

176.6

82.9

29

Billy Kilmer

1968

12

11

4-7

167

315

53.0

2060

15

17

51

6.5

171.7

66.9

30

Jeff Blake

2000

11

11

7-4

184

302

60.9

2025

13

9

49

6.7

184.1

82.7

Once again, Brees is #1 across the board and we're looking at #2 in each category below.

Wins - Bobby Hebert

Attempts - Jim Everett

Completions - Jim Everett

Completion PCT - Jim Everett

Yards - Jim Everett

Touchdowns - Aaron Brooks

Yards Per Attempt - Bobby Hebert

Yards Per Game - Jim Everett

Passer Rating - Aaron Brooks

Okay, so who is the 2nd best QB in Saints history?

Well, take your pick. But, just like I stated above, that will be based strictly on your own point of view and limited to your knowledge of the subject while also being colored by whatever bias you may have.

But, looking at these numbers, it would be a clear case of bias to claim that Aaron Brooks is HEAD AND SHOULDERS above everyone else and the only QB qualified as "best of the rest" behind Drew Brees. There's a few Saints QBs who can make this same case. And I'm fine with that. Everyone is welcome to their own opinion. This was never about changing someone's mind about Aaron Brooks or proving some nothead wrong.

This was about clearing the air and showing without a doubt that there are other legitimate options in this so-called "Who's Number 2?" debate.

You like Aaron Brooks? Great, I ain't trying to change your mind. You place him at #2 on your own personal list behind Drew Brees? Have at it. I don't care who's on your list. You think he was an awesome QB for the Saints? Hey, man......so was "Steve Walsh, BABY!" for about a game or two. It don't matter to me.

What does matter is when Brooks peddlers have the audacity to act as if everyone else who doesn't agree with their opinion is a stupid revisionist who refuses to be enlightened. Because they believe they're right and everyone else is a raving homer who just won't go "look it up".

The only revisionists I've seen around here are folks who look at statistics from Brooks' four best seasons and act like no other Saints QB ever played as well (wrong). Or, who trumpet one playoff victory from a season that was made possible by wins from another QB, as the best the Saints had ever been in their history (it wasn't) while ignoring the fact that Brooks never came close to doing that again as the Saints full-time starting QB.

And then, there is the elephant in the room that a couple of real wankers have decided to throw on the table whenever they are losing the Brooks debate. The fact that Brooks is black. According to them, people who don't recognize Brooks as the 2nd best Saints QB behind Drew Brees are only doing so because they won't accept a black QB in that capacity.

I get it. You can't win on the merits of your argument, so just throw a pile of s*** in the mix to shake things up, and hopefully, no one will notice that you're completely full of crap.

So, there you have it, cats and kittys. A little more information that you can chew on for your future slobber knockers in this, uh, "debate". And the next time a Brooks peddler tells you to "go look it up", tell him ‘em to go toss someone's salad do their own homework. Or, just link to this post.

I hope it's been helpful.

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