Ex-Rep. Heath Shuler Earns Dubious Football Distinction

Shuler put his football skills to use as a member of Congress. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Shuler put his football skills to use as a member of Congress. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Jason Dick
Posted December 16, 2014 at 12:54pm

Ex-Rep. Heath Shuler is associated with two franchises that have their public relations challenges: Congress and Washington’s NFL franchise. It’s his time as quarterback in D.C. that has earned him further ignominy, though.  

According to The Washington Post’s Fancy Stats , the North Carolina Democrat is the Washington pro-football team’s worst quarterback. Ever. Or at least since 1970’s NFL-AFL merger. Fair or not, Fancy Stats uses something called “adjusted net yards per attempt above average,” which takes a quarterback’s time just in D.C. and “adjusts for yardage lose due to sacks and rewards passers for scorind with a multiplier on touchdowns and penalizes them for throwing interceptions.”  

However it stacks up, Shuler’s “minus-549.1 adjusted net yards” scrapes the bottom of a barrel of sad Washington quarterbacks: Past-their-primers like Donovan McNabb (minus-174.6 adjusted net yards, good for 10th-worst) and Jeff Hostetler (minus-283.7 adjusted net yards, sixth worst), young-going-somewheres such as Stan Humphries (minus 303 adjusted net yards) and never-weres such as Patrick Ramsey (minus 456.22 adjusted net yards, third worst) and John Beck (minus-213.8 adjusted net yards, seventh-worst).  

Shuler was worst by a country mile, or long field goal in this case. The second-worst Washington quarterback, Rex Grossman, came in at minus-493.32 adjusted net yards.  

Good thing Shuler retired before any opponents could use this for research.  

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