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Why shouldn't McCants and Doering start?


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Still trying to find positives from the game . . . Here's one. McCants had another great game. And Doering was productive again.

McCants had four catches for 84 yards, including a terrific 37-yard TD on a long fly pattern. (This man is big and strong, with good hands, *and* is fast.)

Doering had three catches for 36 yards and a TD, making him very productive in four out of five preseason games.

McCants and Doering are the only consistently productive pass receivers. Maybe it's time to give McCants a start. I've been on record since Osaka advocating his start, but that was based more on a hunch -- I thought he was the best WR on the roster long-term, so I was interested in his getting more game time as a starter short term. But now I think he deserves a start based on his consistent performance, not potential.

Thompson had also looked promising in his first few games, but he has completely disappeared as a starter (0 catches in two games). That's not all his fault -- Wuerffel didn't have any time to throw in the first half. But he did have a chance at one long pass early, and came up empty.

Gardner has looked fine while catching the ball, but he has been close to MIA in several games as well, including last night. I keep wondering what's happening on all those plays where we don't see him.

Green has been a shock -- almost completely MIA all preseason. He simply hasn't earned a starting job, and should be eliminated from consideration.

Lockett has played well at times, not so well at others. He doesn't seem to have the upside to be a star WR, but is a reliable #3 type of receiver.

If I were making the decisions, I'd try this order:

McCants

Doering

Lockett/Gardner

Thompson

Green

I put Lockett/Gardner together as the #3 receiver as a trial. Maybe play one at #3 in the first half against the Cardinals, and the other at #3 in the second half. That way they both get substantial game time with the same QB and same defense on the field.

I think Thompson is a game-breaking WR, but he apparently doesn't have the skill yet to perform against #1 secondaries. So playing him consistently as the #4 receiver may get the mismatches he needs to show his game-breaking talent. With some more experience and coaching, he may refine his skills to move up higher in the rankings.

McCants might also have trouble against #1 secondaries, but it's unfair just to assume that. He deserves a start to show what he can do against the best.

Doering has been consistently productive, if not a game-breaker. He has terrific hands and should always been on the field as the #2 receiver in the possession receiver role.

Here are the game totals for the WRs:

McCants

- 49ers: 4, 84, 2 TDs

- Panthers: 0, 0

- Steelers: 3, 24, 1 TD

- Bucs: 0, 0

- Patriots: 4, 84, 1 TD

Total: 11 catches, 192 yards, 4 TDs

Doering

- 49ers: 4, 66

- Panthers: 5, 71

- Steelers: 7, 73, 1 TD

- Bucs: 0, 0

- Patriots: 3, 36, 1 TD

Total: 19 catches, 246 yards, 2 TDs

Lockett

- 49ers: 3, 35

- Panthers: 2, 38, 1 TD

- Steelers: 0, 0

- Bucs: 4, 71

- Patriots: 0, 0

Total: 9 catches, 144 yards, 1 TD

Gardner

- 49ers: 1, 13

- Panthers: 2, 30

- Steelers: 3, 35

- Bucs: 2, 28, 1 TD

- Patriots: 1, 11

Total: 9 catches, 117 yards, 1 TD

Thompson

- 49ers: 3, 105, 2 TDs

- Panthers: 5, 73

- Steelers: 8, 129, 2 TDs

- Bucs: 0, 0

- Patriots: 0, 0

Total: 16 catches, 307 yards, 4 TDs

Green

- 49ers: 0, 0

- Panthers: 2, 14

- Steelers: 0, 0

- Bucs: 3, 24, 1 TD

- Patriots: 0, 0

Total: 5 catches, 38 yards, 1 TD

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ASF, you are a stats freak, no? :)

You gotta start with Gardner and Green. Can't base it on stats in the preseason alone. I've been impressed with McCants as well, but he can work his way up the charts by performing in the REGULAR season, just as Gardner and Green should drop based on their performance in the regular season, not the preseason.

I suspect we'll have enough 3 and 4 WR packages to get everyone on the field a chance to shine (or drop) fairly soon.

You're wouldn't start Betts over Davis are you? Purely looking at preseason stats, you might have a notion to.

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Has McCants had any game reps with the first team? I think Doering will get his chances during the season as a possession guy on 3rd down. That's a pretty good role for him. Get out there and hang on to something coming in your direction. I also like Thompson to start with Gardner...two big and fast receivers that will make problems for secondaries.

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Prior to the preseason every one of us thought Doering was simply in place to help other receivers learn the offense. He's looked great in the preseason and now, suddenly, a guy that has never done anything in the league is a guy the more reactionary folks among us would like to start.

I have no doubt that as the year goes on if Doering and McCants and Thompson produce when they are given chances that they will move up the chart and eventually when their preseason play against reserves is the same as we see against better starting level players they will be our starters.

But, they should not be our starters for much the same reason Wuerffel shouldn't be. Remember this thread ASF where you went with Wuerffel as the should be starter. Most agreed. I didn't think Matthews did enough to supplant Wuerffel from the lead until last night, when it was more what Wuerffel didn't do than what Matthews did. But, the reason Matthews should be the starter is the same reason Gardner and to a lesser extent Lockett and Green should be the top three on the chart.

These guys have done it against stiffer competition more often. The other guys have to work their way in against that competition before starting for this, or any team. Let's stop falling in love with third stringers being better than other third stringers until they are better than first stringers too.

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I think we should stop worrying about who will be the #2 WR in our offense. It's a moot point ... you might as well ask what our line-up will look like if we opted to go with the wishbone.

Spurrier's base offense will be a 3 WR set ... particurly now that our best two blocking TE's (Royal and RAsby) are down and out.

So in the end, Gardner is #1, one of the other big guys will play on the line (typically thought of as a #2) so they can beat the jam, and J.Green/Lockett will play in the slot, off the ball so they can get into their patter without delay.

As for ASF's views ... I tend to agree that Lockett may deserve some of J.Green's time if matters don't improve. Lockett has looked really good in a complimentary role.

But I'm still curious to see how J.Green looks in real game situations .... and when he gets 1-on-1 ... does Matthews have enough arm to catch up with a streaking Green?

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Originally posted by Art

Let's stop falling in love with third stringers being better than other third stringers until they are better than first stringers too.

Haven't we been saying that about this Skins team all preseason? But, I do think that Thompson has the mettle to start. Granted, he hasn't done much in the preseason since moving to the starting role, but I think he'll get his chance and do well. If you remember from a previous thread, prior to the Freeman signing, I was all but begging for a trade for him. He's good.

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McCants hasn't proven himself against the same level of competition that Thompson and Gardner have. Gardner remains the #1 WR, as he should be. Doering has had some success, and has arguably been the best and certainly the most impressive WR during the preseason. But he's no better than a #3, who needs other WR's to take double coverage away from him.

ASF, you need to take a hint on McCants. He's a prospect with tremendous potential. But it's telling that all the recent word has had Spurrier considering him for the #6 WR spot, only. We all love underdogs, but give us a break here.

Also, everyone needs to keep in mind that we're going to (evidently) keep 6 WR's because we plan on using all of them to a certain extent. The first three will get the lion's share of PT, but the other three will be inserted as matchup opportunities present themselves.

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First of all, Over the last two games, gardner has performed respectably against first stringers. Obviously the tampa game was better, but gardner came out early in the Pats game and still ended up with a nice 11 yard reception. I think at this point your gardner criticisms have lost a lot of water. He still has some more to show before he is a true #1, but as of now he is doing okay.

I think as many others have said that we're going to see a lot of options in the 2-3 positions and sometimes they will be thompson and doerning or locket or green. Mcants is sort of a big question mark at this point, but in the best possible sense. I think spurrier will give some PT, but he will not start until he does something against starters.

Green has ben a major dissapointment. I think spurrier sees this and that's why he's getting playing time with the scrubs. However, he brings a unique ability to stretch the field and that is always valuable in this offense.

-DB

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Originally posted by redman

McCants hasn't proven himself against the same level of competition that Thompson and Gardner have. Gardner remains the #1 WR, as he should be. Doering has had some success, and has arguably been the best and certainly the most impressive WR during the preseason. But he's no better than a #3, who needs other WR's to take double coverage away from him.

redman, some of this doesn't make sense.

You say "McCants hasn't proven himself against the same level of competition that Thompson and Gardner have." But Thompson (who I actually do like a lot) only "proved" himself against backup defenses, much like McCants has. He's now gone two games against #1 defenses, with zero catches. That's not all his fault (Wuerffel was running for his life yesterday), but you certainly can't say Thompson has proved himself against a greater level of competition.

As for Gardner, he has impressed me with his ability to catch the ball in traffic this year. I haven't seen drops. But he seems strangely quiet -- not a lot of passes going his way. I can't tell if he's not getting open or not getting thrown to or not running the right routes. But you can't point to a five-game production total of 9 catches, 117 yards, 1 TD (I'll thrown in a 10th catch he should have been credited for against the Steelers, but lost due to holding) as "proving himself". However, he has proven to me that he can catch passes thrown by Wuerffel and Matthews, so I'm not grinding an axe against Gardner. I'm just fairly neutral about him.

Then you say, "Doering has had some success, and has arguably been the best and certainly the most impressive WR during the preseason. But he's no better than a #3, who needs other WR's to take double coverage away from him. "

That's a theory (of yours), not a fact. Doering has clearly been the most productive receiver, and should be given the chance for the #2 role. I do agree that he doesn't have the gamebreaking ability to be #1, but I love him at #2.

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Originally posted by Atlanta Skins Fan

Doering has clearly been the most productive receiver, and should be given the chance for the #2 role. I do agree that he doesn't have the gamebreaking ability to be #1, but I love him at #2.

I like Doering and feel as though he will be a productive player for us. However, he is too slow to match up against a starting corner. All of his pre-season success has come against 2nd and 3rd team players. He is best suited at the 3rd WR on 3rd downs, where he'll most likely be matched up against smaller nickle CB's.

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I think it is a ridiculous point to say that Gardner has caught less passes than Thompson and McCants in preseason so has not 'proved' himself in that regard.

Fact is, Gardner has 16 NFL starts the other two have 0.

Gardner had close to 50 catches and 700 plus receiving yards while playing with the lowest rated starting qb in the NFC.

Meanwhile I think Thompson caught 3 passes and McCants 0 in 2001.

And what McCants does when the Pats stop blitzing and are playing WIDE RECEIVERS at cornerback in the fourth quarter is supposed to count for how much in Spurrier's mind for the start in the opener? :laugh:

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I want the the wr's ranked this way.

1-Gardner

2-Thompson

3-Doering

4-McCants

5-Green

6- Lockett

I didn't like Doering like Art said when we picked him up and thought he was going to be a WR coach to help the other guys learn the new system. But after I went to camp and saw this guy play. I knew there was something special about him. I just went back and reread my camp report. I said he had great hands and some nice moves and was getting seperation and caught every ball thrown to him. He must be on the field in 3rd down situations.

I think you can swap Mc Cants and Thompson and it wouldn't bother me a bit. Gardner has played about 1/2 the snaps this preseason as some of the other recievers so his numbers this preseason are useless to judge him. The only guy I don't like is Lockett. I wish we could package him with someone else maybe vickers for a trade for a Guard. This would also mean Skaggs may get some snaps this year.

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I'm not impressed with Lockett either (understatement). I don't know his history like the Gator receivers, and everyone else has impressed me in preseason........except Lockett. Can someone give me some insight as to why this guy is still on the roster?

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kaffeen, I could go into some "well, he's had a decent preseason and has performed fairly well" statement with some stats, as seems the norm here, but that wouldn't really mean alot. When it comes down to it, bow to the obvious. He's there because S.S. wants him there. :cheers:

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Park, I understand the sentiment, I don't take offense to it. :cheers:

I was just wondering if Lockett had done something special in the past with the Redskins or Chiefs (remember, I've only just become a Skins fan).

Stats are not always indicative of a players ability. Perhaps some of you long time Skin fans have seen Lockett make some outstanding plays? I'm sure you discussed his past when he was signed last year (so you must be familiar with his career).

I looked up his stats several weeks ago, and Reidel Anthony has better career stats in some regards. I'm not saying Anthony should be here, he shouldn't IMHO, but he was statistically a better receiver. There must be some things that Spurrier or the Skins staff sees in Lockett to be here, but statistically I do not see it.

Hmmmm, maybe I should start another thread? On second thought.....

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:laugh: Not another thread... seems to be the norm though huh? :laugh: (no offense intended by the way). Story on Lockett is that yea, Marty did bring him over. Familiararity thing. He had a case of the drops last year, but so did all the rest of the recievers, (all 2 of them in a Marty/Raye offense). He also went through a time where it seemed he did nothing but catch the ball for 1st downs. Runs pretty good routes and has deceptive speed, IMHO. Only one year with the Skins so far. Guess we'll see come next week. :cheers:

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I think Lockett has gotten far too much credit for his resume up to this point.

He has averaged 35 catches a season and has played on Chiefs and Redskins teams that didn't have a plethora of pro bowl receivers, so the question of why he wasn't more productive still needs to be answered :)

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