2011 Position Previews: Wide Receivers and Tight Ends
New season. New format. Instead of a digestible combo of factoids and opinions, I am going to write in a more narrative, free style post. As always, feedback is appreciated.
If you've read this blog long enough, you know that at times the little things can piss me off. But you know what moment still lingers with me a year later? Matt Millen disparaging our Wide Receivers during the Notre Dame game. I don't have his direct quote, but the gist was that we didn't have FBS talent at the position. While we aren't sending out a bunch of Jerry Rices, the guys played hard and have potential. The reason no one noticed had more to do with the rest of the offense and not them. I think that will start to change this season.
The reason I remain so optimistic about our WR talent is that I've seen plenty of mediocre pass catchers at BC over the years. A guy can look servicable in an offense if the offense finds the right playes. Plays that work. Plays that build off of one another. Think of some of the catches we saw Swigert and Amidon make last year. Were they flukes? Of course not. But we didn't get them the ball enough because the patterns didn't allow them to get space, the QBs didn't have time and the play calling was suspect. That has to change this year. Not only are the players more mature, but we should have some offensive competency. I'd argue that there were multiple Dana Bible offenses that had less raw talent and depth than our returning starters. If we could put plays together then, there is no reason to think it can't happen now.
The biggest reason you won't hear a Matt Millen type run down our WRs is the return of Colin Larmond. He has big play capability. He's saying he's faster than ever. Whispers differ a bit. Knee injuries are tricky, but even at less than 100% he should be the leading target. Swigert and Amidon were forced to grow up fast last year. It should pay off this season. I still like what Momah brings to the table. We had him all over the place last year but you can't coach height. Logan found a niche for him in 2008. I hope Rogers can his year. Lee will also get a chance to make plays.
I also like our Tight Ends. Pantale is progressing and I could see him having a 40+ catch season. (Rogers likes to work the ball to Tight Ends and H backs.) Anderson has be been very dependable for most of his career. I am guessing that he'll spend a little time in the backfield as a blocking back. I doesn't matter as long as he is being used effectively. Naples and Darmstatter both have favorable buzz. Are there enough snaps for them to make an impact?
If you want to torture analogies to get an understanding of our pass catchers, you can't even use the chicken and the egg. We had a rotten egg that produced nothing but an embarrassing stench. How can you say what is and is not FBS when the scoreboard would indicate that none of it was? But that changes this year because you can't keep talent and hard work down forever.