Thursday, July 21, 2011

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.


mod34b said...

Here is what mod10 said in comment on this blog last year:

"Matt Millen was merciless last night talking about how BC's receivers are slow, don't even try to get separation and can't catch the ball when it hits their hands. At one point McDonough said BC's receivers were not D1 caliber"

Erik said...

Two things about Momah:
1. He's my favorite person to yell out to on the Eagle Walk. Comes up the rear, whatever you say about the game you get a nod and a "yes, Sir."
2. You gotta appreciate how hard he worked in the weight room at the DE experiment. He really tacked on the upper body strength for it. It is nice to see a kid work that hard to contribute wherever the coaches need him.

And the WRs overall, so much depth this year, even if there are no superstars. Larmond, Swigert, Coleman, Momah, Amidon, Phillips, Clyde Lee. We don't need to go 7 deep, I'd like to see Amidon redshirt. He plays hard but IMO has the most to gain from age & practice on technique.

I'd go Larmond & Momah starting wide, and Swigert starting in the slot, with heavy rotation all around. Those 3 all bring different things to the table.

Snuffy said...

BC's receivers might be getting closer to ACC calibre players, but they would be laughed off the field in the SEC. They just do not have the athleticism of an SEC player. None we even recruited by SEC schools. But, hey, good enuff for ACC so rah!

Patrick said...

100% agree with ATL --- this group has as much if not more talent than most of the groups we've seen at the Heights over the past two decades.

The problem was not the receivers. Very few look good in double coverage. Even fewer look good on 3 & 12 against a dime package. Those were the situations in which we were passing last year.

Over the past 20 years we have had only a handful of receivers that could get open on their own absent the play design doing it for them. Some were fast enough to do so (Blackmon), and others were just good receivers capable of finding soft spots in zones (Gunnell, Anthony DiCosmo, BRob). But mostly we've relied on keeping defenses off-balance.

The only way Tranquill would have kept a defense off balance is if he lulled them to sleep. We telegraphed every damn play, and passed only on third and long. Shocking the receiving crew --- all of whom were VERY young --- didn't look like all Americans. Wans't their fault.

JBQ said...

It is hard to tell just how good a freshman is when he just walked onto campus and was handed a uniform and then he was in a game. BC felt that they had to skip the redshirt on a number of freshmen. This was especially true at wide receiver and of course the guy that threw them the ball.

Jeff said...
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Jeff said...
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Jeff said...

We've got really good height and size in our receiving corps. No freshmen, only one senior - this is a young, developing group of ball-catchers. I see a lot of promise here.

14 Johnathan Coleman SO WR 6-4 208
30 Donte Elliott JR WR 6-0 195
1 Colin Larmond, Jr. JR WR 6-3 202
17 Clyde Lee JR WR 6-0 193
3 Ifeanyi Momah SR WR 6-6 229
84 Shakim Phillips SO WR 6-2 203
10 Bobby Swigert SO WR 6-1 184
37 Hampton Hughes JR WR/DB 6-3 202
83 Alex Amidon SO WR 5-11 185
25 Joseph Bronzo RS FR WR 5-11 187

(deleted previous comment in order to clean up the player list)

CT said...

You don't remember the criticism the WRs got during the Bowl game? Even the play-by-play guy was calling them out. When the play-by-play guys calls you out between reading promos for another boring ABC show, you know you have some serious problems. We were playing freakin' Nevada. A defense of such ill-repute that 1940 France looked like Ft. Knox compared to them. Defenses don't need to worry about being beaten over-the-top with us, and that hurts the running game. Too many dopey safeties and LBs to block. Larmond should help, but that's precisely because he is fast. The group as a whole is not. You can't teach height, but give me "you can't teach speed" at that position. Yes, Rettig was pretty weak--to be expected--but separation is a position issue. We. Are. Slow. If 60 year old white guys see it from 100 yards away...

Then again, who knows, maybe Rettig channels his inner Peyton, dates all of FSU's cheerleaders, tutors Castonzo in Biochemistry, and cuts unemployment in half. Won't matter then...

Jimmy said...


Being a drunk and angry snot watching BC football on TV does not qualify you to comment, especially when you are dead wrong and don't know jack about football.

If you think Larmond (4.4) is fast, then so is Amidon (4.4), so is Swigert (4.4) and so is Philips (4.5). Some of these guys even turned down offers from the great SEC, Big Ten, and ND. Yep. It is so.

It's not all clowns at BC football. The only clown is you, and your SEC loving buddy Snuffy. Go post your snot remarks on some SEC board.