Sean Payton has had the most accurate quarterback in the history of football running his offense for the last 15 years.
We've only seen glimpses, a game here and there, of someone else at the helm, doing things differently than Drew Brees. Those substitutes have fallen short of the standard. Matching his level would be impossible for anyone who isn't a Tier 1 Quarterback.
Should he win the starting job, Jameis Winston won't get asked to be a carbon copy of Brees. He's a different player. Not only will Payton design and call games to better suit Winston's skills, the quarterback has some latitude in how he goes about business.
This much was evident during camp last summer. There were times when Brees and Winston ran the same play and attacked it differently. While Brees might throw to a short route, Winston was more willing to sit back, wait for an opportunity and strike down the field.
The differences in mentality and approach are going to create disparities in accuracy percentages. Winston can't compete with a guy throwing so many short passes. The old version of Brees couldn't even hang. Back when he was still regularly throwing deep he was, at best, a 68% passer. Near the end, Brees was hitting 74% of his passes.
So, no surprise, Winston's career-best 64.6% passing line pales against the things Brees has done recently. But we know that system, circumstance, coaching, and several other factors go into making up these numbers along with the quarterback's ability to throw accurate passes.
Are there ways to isolate different factors, strip away the fat and create a better measure that strives to paint a more accurate picture?
Glad you asked.