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Old 05-10-2012, 11:57 AM    (permalink
bigbluedefense
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Originally Posted by Scotty D View Post
Production vs. Talent. Things kind of get blurry in that kind of debate. Certain guys are in situations where they put up bigger numbers than "more talented" players. But in the end isn't the point of football to see who can score the most TDs and gain the most yards.
Welker isn't the only slot WR in this league with a great quarterback. He's also not the only WR who plays in a pass happy offense. And he's also the #1 WR on the team regardless of where he lines up, so he's going against the better CBs in this league.
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Old 05-11-2012, 12:03 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by TheBoyWonder22 View Post
Your receiver rankings are beyond ********. Kuhn sucks, Saturday sucks, Lynch over Ray Rice AND MJD...Newton number 5...I hope I was cruel enough.
Too cruel mam
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Old 05-11-2012, 12:17 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by doingthisinsteadofwork View Post
bearsfan using a hasty generalization, who'd a thunk?
Saying Michael Bush is underrated would have made more sense about 2-3 years ago, as it would imply he isn't seeing enough playing time or a big enough salary, or enough attention in general. But after the amount of playing time he has seen the past two seasons, based off his performance, I fail to see how he is underated.
Funny that you would say that, since I have no idea who you are.

I don't know who said Bush was underrated, but it wasn't me. I was merely responding to you trying to run him down like he's dog meat, which is common practice among fans once a player leaves for greener pastures (which would be about anywhere else in the case of Oakland)
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Old 05-11-2012, 12:32 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by bearsfan_51 View Post
Funny that you would say that, since I have no idea who you are.

I don't know who said Bush was underrated, but it wasn't me. I was merely responding to you trying to run him down like he's dog meat, which is common practice among fans once a player leaves for greener pastures (which would be about anywhere else in the case of Oakland)
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Old 05-11-2012, 12:48 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by bigbluedefense View Post
What I don't get is, if Welker is so replaceable, then why aren't there more Wes Welkers in the league?

Welker is a damn good player, and the best slot WR in the game (Cruz could overtake him in the future though). The slot WR is just as vital if not more vital to the passing game than the outside guys.
What other slot receivers are featured the same way Welker is? Nobody else is used quite as much. How can we say that Welker is super special if no one else is even getting a chance? Welker had the most targets and highest target % in the slot last year.

And guys like Victor Cruz, Danny Amendola and Steve Smith have put up similar efforts in recent years. Not like Welker hasn't been matched. Cruz put up 1200+ yards from the slot last year, Amendola had 77 receptions and 648 yards in 2010. Steve Smith had 80 receptions and 855 yards in 2009 from the slot. Other players like Jason Avant, Miles Austin, Marques Colston, Percy Harvin and Greg Jennings have been similarly efficient and more dynamic while in the slot but not featured there quite like Welker is.

And I disagree that a good slot receiver is "vital" to a passing game. The Saints, Packers, Lions, Chargers, Cowboys, Eagles and Steelers all had top 10 passing games and none of them had anyone as productive as Welker and Cruz.
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Old 05-11-2012, 03:30 AM    (permalink
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Can we get a defense thread going?
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I heard that Sylvester Stallone wrote The Expendables with The Alex in mind. He had to keep it realistic though and split The Alex's abilities into multiple characters. Stallone thought that critics would pan it for being too far-fetched if he just had one character effing everyone up.
The end. Cut to black. Audience goes ****ing ape****.
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Old 05-11-2012, 03:35 AM    (permalink
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QB
5. Newton

RB
4.Lynch
5.DMC

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2.Jennings
3.Jordy

T
4.Bulaga
5.Penn

G
5.Wininski

FB
1.Kuhn
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I heard that Sylvester Stallone wrote The Expendables with The Alex in mind. He had to keep it realistic though and split The Alex's abilities into multiple characters. Stallone thought that critics would pan it for being too far-fetched if he just had one character effing everyone up.
The end. Cut to black. Audience goes ****ing ape****.
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Old 05-11-2012, 08:39 AM    (permalink
bigbluedefense
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What other slot receivers are featured the same way Welker is? Nobody else is used quite as much. How can we say that Welker is super special if no one else is even getting a chance? Welker had the most targets and highest target % in the slot last year.

And guys like Victor Cruz, Danny Amendola and Steve Smith have put up similar efforts in recent years. Not like Welker hasn't been matched. Cruz put up 1200+ yards from the slot last year, Amendola had 77 receptions and 648 yards in 2010. Steve Smith had 80 receptions and 855 yards in 2009 from the slot. Other players like Jason Avant, Miles Austin, Marques Colston, Percy Harvin and Greg Jennings have been similarly efficient and more dynamic while in the slot but not featured there quite like Welker is.

And I disagree that a good slot receiver is "vital" to a passing game. The Saints, Packers, Lions, Chargers, Cowboys, Eagles and Steelers all had top 10 passing games and none of them had anyone as productive as Welker and Cruz.
None of those other WRs you stated were the #1 target of the defense like Welker is. Welker is the only WR worth a damn on that team, and he still gets his. Everybody and their mom knows what Welker is gonna do in the slot and still nobody can stop it.

As for the other WRs who move around, yeah they are productive in the slot too. They are productive WRs period. I'm not questioning that other WRs can't be productive either but when you look at how ridiculously productive Welker has been, I think it's unfair to just assume that he's the product of some system like everyone wants to believe. You don't get that kind of production by just being a product of the system. The guy is good. Very good. And he's the primary focus of CB coverage and still gets his.

As for not needing a slot, I disagree. All of those teams you stated don't have a designated "slot" WR but they attack the slot all day long. The Saints pretty much run 4 plays over and over again out of different formations, and the basis of all 4 plays is their ability to attack the middle of the field with guys like Graham and Colston, and they line both up in the slot often (along with Meachem and several others) and use the same concepts to attack the defense.

The Packers do the same thing with Jennings and Finley. Don't look at it as a slot WR, I probably should have worded it differently, whoever lines up in space in the slot is the key to most offensive concepts in today's passing game. That's probably a better way of putting it. Now how you attack defenses from that position and what routes you run and body types you throw in there is dependent on the system and preferences of the coach, but the overall blueprint is the same. Most teams have that player running some kind of choice route to attack the defense.
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Old 05-11-2012, 08:59 AM    (permalink
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I don't see what's so special about him. He gets a ton of targets and he takes advantage. He runs great routes and he's crafty but other than that, what's great? He's not a dynamic player and he plays inside a bunch where he takes advantage of nickelbacks, linebackers and safeties.

Honestly, I think that guys like Jason Avant, Danny Amendola and Lance Moore could match Welker's production if they were given 150+ targets a season. And I think guys like Miles Austin, Percy Harvin, Marques Colston, Greg Jennings, etc. etc. would be better if they played as many snaps in the slot and were given 150+ targets a year.

I don't think Welkers a bum or anything, I think he's a good player in a great situation. And I don't think he's a primary target. His worst season came in Gronk and Hernandez's rookie year when Randy Moss left. And then he picked right back up in 2011 once Gronkowski became an absolute force that demanded attention. Without Randy Moss or a non-rookie Rob Gronkowski, his production dropped.

And I'll concede to that, having a passing option who can manipulate the middle of the field is a fantastic thing to have.

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Old 05-11-2012, 02:16 PM    (permalink
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I don't see what's so special about him. He gets a ton of targets and he takes advantage. He runs great routes and he's crafty but other than that, what's great? He's not a dynamic player and he plays inside a bunch where he takes advantage of nickelbacks, linebackers and safeties.

Honestly, I think that guys like Jason Avant, Danny Amendola and Lance Moore could match Welker's production if they were given 150+ targets a season. And I think guys like Miles Austin, Percy Harvin, Marques Colston, Greg Jennings, etc. etc. would be better if they played as many snaps in the slot and were given 150+ targets a year.

I don't think Welkers a bum or anything, I think he's a good player in a great situation. And I don't think he's a primary target. His worst season came in Gronk and Hernandez's rookie year when Randy Moss left. And then he picked right back up in 2011 once Gronkowski became an absolute force that demanded attention. Without Randy Moss or a non-rookie Rob Gronkowski, his production dropped.

And I'll concede to that, having a passing option who can manipulate the middle of the field is a fantastic thing to have.
He's a very good player in a GREAT situation. Beautifully worded.

The NE offense is nothing like any other offense in the NFL. Welker is sometimes a substitute for their running game.

When he's the No. 1 option in their passing attack, it's an issue. It's Gronkowski now and was Moss before him.

And I can't get the SB drop out of my head (or the 4th-and-2 against Indy). The great receivers I listed above Welker all usually make plays like those (save for Maclin). I know it's a nit-picky point, but it's one that stands out.
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Old 05-11-2012, 03:50 PM    (permalink
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I don't see what's so special about him. He gets a ton of targets and he takes advantage. He runs great routes and he's crafty but other than that, what's great? He's not a dynamic player and he plays inside a bunch where he takes advantage of nickelbacks, linebackers and safeties.

Honestly, I think that guys like Jason Avant, Danny Amendola and Lance Moore could match Welker's production if they were given 150+ targets a season. And I think guys like Miles Austin, Percy Harvin, Marques Colston, Greg Jennings, etc. etc. would be better if they played as many snaps in the slot and were given 150+ targets a year.

I don't think Welkers a bum or anything, I think he's a good player in a great situation. And I don't think he's a primary target. His worst season came in Gronk and Hernandez's rookie year when Randy Moss left. And then he picked right back up in 2011 once Gronkowski became an absolute force that demanded attention. Without Randy Moss or a non-rookie Rob Gronkowski, his production dropped.

And I'll concede to that, having a passing option who can manipulate the middle of the field is a fantastic thing to have.
I really don't go to bat for Wes all that often, but there is plenty of special attributes about him. His short area quickness is among the best in the game, he gets to top speed very quickly, he's very crafty at times with his routes, his whip route is legendary, he has a nose for the sticks, he is a very balanced and creative runner after the catch, and for such a guy with such a small body he does a great job of using his body to shield defenders from getting to the football. He gets killed for that SB drop which is fair, but he didn't have a drop last year until one of the last weeks of the season despite over 150 targets.

The 2010 season is pretty much the result of a January ACL tear that year, not because Moss was gone or that Gronkowski hadn't developed yet. Do those guys help? They sure do, but lets not pretend that he's JAG without them.

I honestly think sometimes people just want to believe that all Wes runs is bubble screens and drag routes. You can bring him down for being an extension of the running game, but not everybody can get immediate separation right off the snap like he does. He runs more of a full route tree than most, and if you watch this video you'll see him do damage on plenty of routes 15+ yards down the field.



I'm not going to argue him top 10, but putting him behind guys like Harvin, Maclin, Britt, Holmes, and Bryant isn't correct. The guy just had a 1500 yard season, give the man his due.

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Old 05-11-2012, 05:11 PM    (permalink
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Welker is underrated if he isnít at least a fringe top ten receiver on these lists. I suppose arguments could even be made for him starting at four based on his video game-esque production. Because his production, slot receiver or not, speaks for itself. Heís a prolific, ultra-reliable chain-mover and that is a critical cornerstone of successful, sustained offense in the NFL. And Welker isnít just good or great at it. Right now, heís the best in the NFL at it. Thatís an important distinction. Cruz is his closest counterpart, but Iíd still give a conscious edge to Welker.

His designation as a slot receiver shouldnít be held against him. Thatís the role he has carved out for himself and he excels at it. Across the NFL and college football, offenses are attacking defenses from advantageous areas of space and the slot is often the focal point of those concerted efforts. In the past, the slot was viewed as an outlet. A check-down that wasnít dangerous when isolated, but could do their jobs and fill their roles and produce for their offenses. Now, given the ever-evolving state of the league, the slot is being utilized as a true weapon in some schemes. Defenses canít (and, in most cases, donít) just forget about Welker because he doesnít fit the traditional mold of a top-flight receiver. Heís still given preferential treatment or the defense gets burned for their neglect.

Welker is the prototype of his position for a reason. His skill set encompasses all of the core attributes required in a slot receiver. Heís a better field athlete than track athlete. Heís got great short-area athleticism to gain separation in man coverage situations. Heís got a soft set of hands. He runs crisp, fluid, and meticulous routes. His route-running is as clinical as it comes. Heís mastered nuances like setting up his defender and shifting their weight distribution. He breaks down pass patterns to the precise angle and half-step. But whatís most impressive is how he thinks the game. He thinks it like a quarterback. When he dissects the back seven, he sees the same thing his quarterback does. Therefore, the coaching staff doesnít have to limit him and the quarterback doesnít have to tailor to him, which is priceless. Those traits trump all of his measurable shortcomings.

Granted, I donít consider Welker elite. Heís not Johnson, Johnson, or Fitzgerald. No other receiver in the NFL measures up to that high standard either though. And I think Welker is in his perfect scheme for achieving statistical dominance, too. That said, if I had to rank the top receivers, Welker would still be somewhere in the second half of that top ten. Even if we extract him from New Englandís scheme and evaluate just him, his skill set is evident.
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:11 PM    (permalink
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Welker's in that tier behind the top 3 were every other stud resides, Nicks, Cruz, Dez with a strong season, Miles Austin if healthy, Maclin, Jennings, Jordyzz, Marshall, Colston, Steve Smith, Vincent Jackson, Rhoddy White, AJ Green, Mike Wallace, Welker, Britt when healthy, Bowe, Julio, etc. All of those guys have similar talent, and it's awesome, just not as awesome as the top 3 and how you rank them comes down to after which season you're to rank them.
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:15 PM    (permalink
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Yeah there really are a ton of very good WRs. It's the strongest the position has ever been 1-25 or so.
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Old 05-14-2012, 03:30 AM    (permalink
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If you in any way shape or form believe Wes Welker is a better receiver than Dez Bryant then I don't know what to tell you. All it would take would be watching one game of each player... wow.
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Old 05-15-2012, 01:59 AM    (permalink
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If you in any way shape or form believe Wes Welker is a better receiver than Dez Bryant then I don't know what to tell you. All it would take would be watching one game of each player... wow.
I donít think itís that simple. Youíre weighing the measurable side of the equation too much. If measurables were the perfect predictor for NFL success, the Combine would have a flawless track record of evaluating talent, but we know thatís not the case. Yes, Dez is bigger, faster, and stronger than Welker. Itís clear that Dez is the superior specimen. One game can show that much, sure. Being able to run faster and jump higher doesnít guarantee a superior skill set though. Itís an important part of the evaluation process, but it isnít the be-all and end-all.

Rankings can be fun to do as fans, but itís important to keep sight of the fact that there are few absolutes in football. For example, take Dez and Welker. Both have big-time skill sets that allow them to step onto the field and produce at a high level. From an overall talent and tools perspective, Dez has the loftier ceiling. He has shown that heís better suited to work the perimeter and handle the deeper regions of the passing tree. But Welker has one of the smoothest underneath games in the entire NFL and his other football skills are underrated, too.

Dez would struggle filling Welkerís role in the Patriotsí offense. With the amount of run-and-shoot concepts that New England implements, and the demanding responsibilities bestowed upon Welker in those option route situations, I have a tough time believing that Dez could just step right in there and replicate Welkerís ridiculous production. Heís never demonstrated the kind of rare football aptitude required to do that. Weíve seen talented receivers fail to acclimate themselves in New England before. Itís a taxing offense for wide outs. Most receivers arenít used to breaking things down and then reacting to that processed information in a split-second. Thinking on the football field prevents people from reaching their full athletic potential. On paper, Dez might have more flash and power in his game, but each hesitant step begins to add up as a snap runs its course.

And Welker would struggle to accomplish what Dez does for Dallas. What makes Welker special are his sharp instincts and mental faculties. An offense predicated on stricter, more defined route concepts marginalizes those qualities to a degree. Freeing himself from coverage with deception and smarts becomes a more difficult challenge on a snap-to-snap basis. Not to mention, the increased perimeter alignments and vertical patterns remove Welker from what he does best, which is busting underneath coverages from the slot.

So, to me, itís not all that ridiculous to suggest Welker is a better receiver than Dez. Both have unique talents that will shine when utilized in the proper scheme and would fall on a similar tier.
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:47 AM    (permalink
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I donít think itís that simple. Youíre weighing the measurable side of the equation too much. If measurables were the perfect predictor for NFL success, the Combine would have a flawless track record of evaluating talent, but we know thatís not the case. Yes, Dez is bigger, faster, and stronger than Welker. Itís clear that Dez is the superior specimen. One game can show that much, sure. Being able to run faster and jump higher doesnít guarantee a superior skill set though. Itís an important part of the evaluation process, but it isnít the be-all and end-all.

Rankings can be fun to do as fans, but itís important to keep sight of the fact that there are few absolutes in football. For example, take Dez and Welker. Both have big-time skill sets that allow them to step onto the field and produce at a high level. From an overall talent and tools perspective, Dez has the loftier ceiling. He has shown that heís better suited to work the perimeter and handle the deeper regions of the passing tree. But Welker has one of the smoothest underneath games in the entire NFL and his other football skills are underrated, too.

Dez would struggle filling Welkerís role in the Patriotsí offense. With the amount of run-and-shoot concepts that New England implements, and the demanding responsibilities bestowed upon Welker in those option route situations, I have a tough time believing that Dez could just step right in there and replicate Welkerís ridiculous production. Heís never demonstrated the kind of rare football aptitude required to do that. Weíve seen talented receivers fail to acclimate themselves in New England before. Itís a taxing offense for wide outs. Most receivers arenít used to breaking things down and then reacting to that processed information in a split-second. Thinking on the football field prevents people from reaching their full athletic potential. On paper, Dez might have more flash and power in his game, but each hesitant step begins to add up as a snap runs its course.

And Welker would struggle to accomplish what Dez does for Dallas. What makes Welker special are his sharp instincts and mental faculties. An offense predicated on stricter, more defined route concepts marginalizes those qualities to a degree. Freeing himself from coverage with deception and smarts becomes a more difficult challenge on a snap-to-snap basis. Not to mention, the increased perimeter alignments and vertical patterns remove Welker from what he does best, which is busting underneath coverages from the slot.

So, to me, itís not all that ridiculous to suggest Welker is a better receiver than Dez. Both have unique talents that will shine when utilized in the proper scheme and would fall on a similar tier.
Julian Edleman stepped in for Welker and filled his role just fine. Darren Sproles' role with NO wasn't really much different than Welker's. Option routes, outs and angle routes.

Just like you say, Dez would struggle playing inside in NE, and Welker would struggle (probably mightily) facing top CBs outside in Dallas. My argument is that there a lot more players who could occupy Welker's role and make a similar impact than there are that could win outside like a Dez.

Welker's very good at what he does, and you describe it nicely, but there are a bunch of quick, smart receivers who could do a similar job in that role.

The same cannot be said for outside guys who can consistently win (and score more/more YPC) against top outside DBs and make big plays.

As for Welker vs. Harvin, Harvin's just better in almost every way. He's faster, stronger, better after the catch, has better hands (Welker drops passes but is a volume stat guy), and can actually win on the outside/vertically.
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:00 AM    (permalink
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If you in any way shape or form believe Wes Welker is a better receiver than Dez Bryant then I don't know what to tell you. All it would take would be watching one game of each player... wow.
Dude really? Giants fan, I've seen a lot of Dez and Welker. Over the course the season Welker impacts the game more. Dez may have more visually impressive moments of dominance but over the course of the season the results of Welker's play are much more dominant than what Dez has done so far. Ultimately the results have to speak for themselves and the results are that no receiver works the inside as well as Welker, few are as agile and sudden in their cuts, and few have the intelligence to read coverages as well as he does. Cruz is getting because he's more explosive, but Welker is still King and belongs in the second tier of great WRs.
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:06 AM    (permalink
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This pretty much summarizes the opinions on Welker:

For
Extremely productive, great short area quickness and route runner, difficult to cover even when the focal point of the DBs, best slot WR in the league.

Against
He's not big, he's not athletic, other guys are big and athletic so even though they don't produce like him they are clearly better than him bc they are big and athletic and he's not.

Not every WR needs to be 6 5" and run a 4.4 guys. That doesn't automatically make you a great WR.
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:33 AM    (permalink
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yeah, i mean, just think what would happen if welker had to line up opposite revis twice a year, and beat him.
Yep. 2 receptions for 18 yards when matched up against Revis last year. Beat him like a drum.
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:34 AM    (permalink
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Don't forget Dez Bryant and Percy Harvin were both first rounders and Wes Welker wasn't drafted. I don't even need to watch games to know who's better!!!

In all seriousness, I don't understand people who just say that Welker's role can be taken by any smart, quick WR. Why aren't more of them producing like Welker does then?

People said once Randy Moss left and the Pats stopped being able to strecth the field that Welker's production would drop but he had his best year last year with literally no one of note playing outside the hashes who could go vertical.

There still seems to be a real stigma attached to "slot" WRs.

Saying Welker isn't as good as others because he can't play out wide is like saying that Ryan Clady is a better offensive lineman than Carl Nicks because Nicks can't play LT. They are two different positions and require two different skill sets
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:35 AM    (permalink
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Yep. 2 receptions for 18 yards when matched up against Revis last year. Beat him like a drum.
Where do you find player on player matchups like that?
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:39 AM    (permalink
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Where do you find player on player matchups like that?
I invested 20 bucks in profootballfocus last August as a resource for an Eagles blog I own. Rankings and grades are insane sometimes but good for stats like that.
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:39 AM    (permalink
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Don't forget Dez Bryant and Percy Harvin were both first rounders and Wes Welker wasn't drafted. I don't even need to watch games to know who's better!!!

In all seriousness, I don't understand people who just say that Welker's role can be taken by any smart, quick WR. Why aren't more of them producing like Welker does then?

People said once Randy Moss left and the Pats stopped being able to strecth the field that Welker's production would drop but he had his best year last year with literally no one of note playing outside the hashes who could go vertical.

There still seems to be a real stigma attached to "slot" WRs.

Saying Welker isn't as good as others because he can't play out wide is like saying that Ryan Clady is a better offensive lineman than Carl Nicks because Nicks can't play LT. They are two different positions and require two different skill sets
This this and more this.

And please, don't bring up Revis. Revis held Calvin Johnson to 1 catch for 7 yards. ZOMG Calvin suckzzzz right?

Revis shuts everybody down.
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:40 AM    (permalink
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I invested 20 bucks in profootballfocus last August as a resource for an Eagles blog I own. Rankings and grades are insane sometimes but good for stats like that.
Weren't you supposed to crawl back in your hole after your idiotic predictions fell flat on their ass last year JBX?
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