Friday, October 17, 2008

Crowded House at WR

Kevin Curtis and Reggie Brown should be healthy for the upcoming Falcons game. That will give the Eagles 6 WRs to deal with. Normally it is easy to say who should sit and how the others should be used, but things aren't quite as clear this season.

I think DeSean and Kevin will be the base WRs. I don't use the word "starting" because we could come out in some weird package that doesn't feature those guys, but the base offense should have DeSean at Z (flanker) and Kevin at X (split end).

That move would entail making Reggie Brown a backup. Would Big Red to that to him? I believe so. Andy drafted DeSean in the 2nd round. He talked about signing Randy Moss and looked into trading for Anquan Boldin and Roy Williams. Clearly he is willing to upgrade at WR.

In the spring I was certain that DeSean would play the X spot. That receiver generally runs deeper routes and is a speedier guy. The coaches threw me a curveball by putting DeSean at Z. Their thinking focused on the point that the flanker lines up off the line most of the time and can go in motion if needed. This would help DeSean to avoid some press coverage and physical jams from big NFL CBs.

I also think the coaches want competition there. Reggie Brown is a talented player. He just hasn't clicked for a full season. You see him in some games look so good and then he completely disappears at other times. Can't have that. I think the coaches wanted DeSean to push Reggie. Good plan that went awry. Reggie got hurt in the preseason and that meant a lot of playing time for DeSean. He changed everything by showing that he was ready for Freddie.

DeSean was everything we hoped for and more. Not only was he fast and talented, he looked like he knew what he was doing. He ran good routes. He got open. He showed good hands. DeSean, all 5'10 and 170 pounds, also showed he was tough. He took big hits and got right back up. Peanut came ready to play as a rookie, to make a difference.

Jackson has 29 catches in his first 6 NFL games. Reggie Brown's best 6 game stretch...29 catches. That came at the end of last year.

Andy is a patient and stubborn man to be sure, but he is feeding the ball to DeSean unlike any WR that has been here aside from TO. That should tell you that Andy/Marty value this kid's ability and what he means to the offense. They might think highly of Reggie, but taking DeSean off the field would make no sense. They will mix Reggie in for some plays. He is a player they still believe can help the team. The problem is that he now has 2 better players in front of him, Kevin Curtis and DeSean Jackson.

Reggie will be used quite a bit, but he'll have to move around and fit into the scheme of things. He won't have his old situation. The question about that is how he'll handle things. Will he pout? Will he play well and fight for more snaps and throws to come his way?

The coaches have to figure out which of the 6 WRs will sit. I hope Greg Lewis is the inactive player. DeSean, Kevin, and Reggie have to play. Avant is the 3rd down specialist and a good STs player. Hank has earned playing time. Greg has done his job, but to quote my good friend John Rambo...he's expendable.


DeSean - Most talented receiver. Explosive speed. Good to very good hands. Natural player. Excellent RAC ability.

Kevin - Good speed. Good hands. Very good on slants. Good RAC ability. Best combo of speed/experience/skill.

Reggie - Complete receiver. The problem is that he's not great in any area. Also needs to be more consistent.

Hank - Finally learning how to play as a big WR. I was ready to cut him this summer, but Hank has seen the light and starting to show some progress. Don't play like you're 5'11 when you are 6'4.

Jason - Great moves to get open. Some quickness. Very good hands. Possession/slot receiver.

Greg - Good speed and quickness. Pretty good hands. Nothing special about him. Excellent role player. Best running seam routes, especially vs backup DBs.

This is the best WR corps from top to bottom. DeSean is the only guy who is a legitimate weapon, but the other guys are good in certain areas. They just aren't special.

Getting Curtis back healthy adds a new dimension to the offense. With Hank or Reggie opposite of DeSean, teams didn't have to worry about speed or RAC ability. We can throw slants, quick hitches, and WR screens to either side at this point. Also, both players have the speed to get vertical.

AR, Marty, and Donovan have to figure out the best way to spread the ball around and score some TDs. While there aren't any great playmakers in the bunch (yet), this is a good corps of receivers. There is enough talent and versatility that the offense should play at a high level.

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