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Old 12-24-2012, 07:54 PM    (permalink
JordanTaber
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Originally Posted by cmarq83 View Post
Wes Welker is neither tall nor fast. Once we get past this, maybe you can actually analyze the situation. There is a vast difference between having deep speed to take a screen pass to the house, and having the agility to make the first guy miss to gain an extra 3-4 yards.
What first guy? The first guy is usually blocked. Often, so is the second guy. The first guy who gets to him usually makes the tackle, but by then, he's already 7-12 yards down the field. That's how successful screens work...that's why coaches call them. There's a reason there are blockers out there.

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Yes a guy like Randy might take a screen to the house a couple of times in his career, but that is usually a product of man coverage and a single high safety who isn't fast enough to catch Randy once he's up to full speed on the sideline. However, this play isn't really one that you're going to get a lot, and isn't exactly a high percentage play even if you do run it. I'd take a guy like Welker who is going to make a quick cut upfield, bounce off a tackler, and get you positive yardage giving you a shorter field to work with on later downs consistently than a guy who will take it to the house once or twice over his career.
Bounce off a tackler? Again, when does this happen?

Steve Smith is an example of a guy you can throw the quick hitch to and he'll break just about any corner's attempt to tackle and take it down the sidelines for positive yardage. Not a screen...a hitch.

If Welker were truly really good with the ball in his hands, he'd be making a lot more big plays given how much space he usually has to work with.

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The fact that you consider the ability to take one to the house as the only element in picking up extra yards after the catch is laughable. It doesn't take more than a simple google search to find out that Welker has picked up massive amounts of extra yards over his career, and has made a good amount of first tacklers miss or surrender more yardage in a tackling attempt than they should have.
A google search? Take a look at any running back's YAC averages on yahoo stats. They're all much higher than Welker's. Of course, that's also the result of them catching little BUT passes to the flat, but my point is that nearly every pass of that nature will result in at least a few yards after the catch.

That's how Welker gets yards after the catch - he catches screens and other short passes with tons of space and takes them down the sidelines before the first guy with an angle on him takes him down or runs him out of bounds.

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Exactly, he's attempting to have it both ways. Wes Welker is only productive because of the amount of targets he gets, so that is how he puts up his stats. However, when you show this not to be true he says its because he gets easy passes to pick up yards, but doesn't ever make anybody miss. However, since he doesn't ever break long passes he doesn't get easy yards. Is he somehow the biggest statistical anomaly ever? He's this short slow useless player who never picks up extra yards. Yet he somehow consistently gains over 1000 yards and convinced his HOF coach to invest $10 million to keep him around despite having someone who can replace him perfectly right on the bench.
Already addressed this. When you're involved in the plays Welker is, you don't need to be able to make anyone miss to pick up yards after the catch.

I also think it's time I address this "coach invested money in him." First of all, as I've said before, the Patriots didn't even sign him to a contract extension this off-season. He's been making peanuts in comparison to other guys with similar production.

And secondly - it's not Bill Belichick's money. Why the hell would Belichick care if Bob Kraft is paying Welker $10 million? They signed all the free agents they were interested and had cap space left over.

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Also, the use of hyperbole is fine there. You're exaggerating to make your argument to the point where it is clearly intentional and not meant to take at face value. For instance you're implying he gets the bare minimum which would be 0 YAC which is objectively not true. Thus you are using hyperbole to get your point across. Nice try on the grammar criticism though.
By "bare minimum" I am saying he gets what everyone else would get without having to do anything extra, such as break a tackle or outrun a defender with an angle. He runs to where they ain't...until they catch him. Not hyperbole.

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The fact that you're trying to correct this is just being combative for the sake of being combative.
No, I'm just annoyed by all the people on the internet who misuse the word, "hyperbole." Accusing someone of "hyperbole" is like accusing someone of "sarcasm." It's like, "great, I'm glad you could tell. You want a cookie?"
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Old 12-24-2012, 08:23 PM    (permalink
cmarq83
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Jordan, I'm not even going to bother going back and forth with you. This pathetic excuse for a thread has long since run its course.

Most of what you say isn't remotely true or even founded in reality. Yes, Welker does make plenty of people miss, and picks up plenty of yards that other people cannot. This is evident by the half+ decade he's done exactly those things. He runs far more routes than you believe he does in the context of our offense. I'm not going to sit here and continue to go back and forth with you as others have, because frankly you're massively overreaching to make your point. The best evidence I can offer is simply showing what I can.




No extra yards there huh?



Or there either.


As far as the hyperbole thing goes, I think you've taken most of your arguments to the point where you're being facetious. If you honestly believe what you're saying then there was no hyperbole and shame on me. However, I think the bigger issue in this situation is that you are pretty far removed from reality. There are multiple things that you have said that should not be taken seriously.
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Old 12-24-2012, 09:25 PM    (permalink
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What are those videos supposed to prove? Is he winning on the outside?
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Old 12-24-2012, 09:31 PM    (permalink
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To get a bit more specific here are a few examples Welker doing the exact things you say he cannot do.

Against Houston, he's lined up on the outside with Jackson in man coverage on him, makes a double move and takes it 25 yards.

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-fantas...ker-25-yd-pass

Here is Welker in the slot running a deep post route

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-fantas...ker-28-yd-pass

Here is Welker against the Seahawks. After running up the seam and flattening his route drawing Earl Thomas to break on the route, he jerks up the field and gets a step on him burning him for a TD.

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-h...-yard-TD-catch

Here is Welker against the Bills he runs a 5 yard out route from the slot. He breaks the tackle and picks up an additional 15 yards. Hardly got the bare minimum on that play.

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-fantas...ker-26-yd-pass

Here is Welker against the Cardinals, he works right out of the slot beating the jam and taking a quick seam route 36 yards.

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-h...-36-yard-catch

Here is Welker running a chair route against the Ravens where he takes it 59 yards beating Ed Reed.


http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/0ap1000000065254/Welker-59-yard-reception


He's done these kinds of things dozens of times over his tenure here, but all he's running is screens and drags and following his blocking for automatic yards right?
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Old 12-24-2012, 09:37 PM    (permalink
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I don't get baited dude. The thing you don't get is, useless little memes or GIF's don't bother me in the slightest. The guy above, Ness or whatever, is one of the worst football posters I have ever come across, and I wouldn't be surprised if he has Alex Smith's name tattooed on his ass. His opinion and posts in any football discussion are utterly irrelevant because he has proven time and time again that he's just a little kid with no understanding of the game whatsoever.
You've constantly bitched about how ****** this forum is. Then leave. No one appreciates your presence. No one takes you seriously because you're an obnoxious troll.
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Football...it's rocket surgery now, folks.
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Old 12-24-2012, 09:40 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by HypocrisyIsGreat View Post
What are those videos supposed to prove? Is he winning on the outside?
Well there are multiple examples in those videos of him doing that, but he's primarily an slot receiver which is what most of the videos consist of... And please use your other screen name. At least your alter ego Jordan has the ability to be civil.

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Old 12-25-2012, 01:08 AM    (permalink
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Hahaha. Hypocrisy getting clowned by everyone. Please just retire. While it has been a laugh, your garbage dun straight up stank now at this point. Oh well, another loon to the ignore list.

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Old 12-25-2012, 01:31 AM    (permalink
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Hahaha. Hypocrisy getting clowned by everyone. Please just retire. While it has been a laugh, your garbage dun straight up stank now at this point. Oh well, another loon to the ignore list.

GIF number 10? 11? Now did you get that tattoo removed?
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Old 12-25-2012, 01:32 AM    (permalink
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You've constantly bitched about how ****** this forum is. Then leave. No one appreciates your presence. No one takes you seriously because you're an obnoxious troll.
Obnoxious, maybe... Troll, no. Non groupthink opinions does not equate to being a troll. If anyone has been a troll in here, it's been all you clowns for pulling the troll card in the first place, which is a fallacy that has nothing to do with football.
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Old 12-25-2012, 01:36 AM    (permalink
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If you have to declare yourself the winner of an argument, chances are you actually lost it.

The fact that you missed the point by a country mile is embarrassing. Derek Loville was replaced because he was horrible in the running game. SF was not a great place for a RB to gain yards on the ground after the mid-80s, once the dominating Cross/Fahnhorst tandem was gone.

But any running back in the league would catch a lot of passes in that system.

It's the same with Welker in New England. If Welker's out, Julian Edelman will catch 100+ passes in a year in that scheme. If Welker did something with the passes he caught, that would be one thing. But he doesn't - he gets just about the bare minimum.
That's a complete fallacy. Julian Edelman has been on the Patriots for 4 years now. He is faster than Welker, shiftier than Welker and can make more players miss than Welker. As an athlete Julian Edelman absolutely eats and shits Welker. Yet this year Edelman hasn't caught more than 5 balls in any one game, despite there being rumours for the first 4 weeks or so that the Patriots were "phasing Welker out" in favour of Edelman. Edelman doesn't have more than 64 yards receiving in any game this year and his highest output came against the Jets who pretty much exploded and one of his 2 catches was a deep ball for 50 or so yards.

As I stated earlier, Edelman has not caught more than 5 balls or had more than 64 yards receiving in any game. Welker has had 2 games with less than 5 receptions and 4 games with less than 64 yards.

I really hate to break this to you but Edelman cannot, or at least to this point has not, replicated Welker's production. He offers more of a big play threat and may be the future at the position (debateable) however saying he can do what Welker does is just wrong. And it's not as though he hasn't had his chances. Edelman was the guy starting at the beginning of the year. Welker started 1 game in the first 4 and in that game only had 1 reception.

EDIT: And to say Welker gets the bare minimum is incorrect as well. Don't get me wrong, the Pats are good in the screen game (maybe the best in the league) but against Arizona Welker averaged 19 yards per catch (and Arizona were playing damn good defense at the start of the year) and the very next week he averaged 17.8 against Baltimore. Now I don't know about you, but if Welker is going at nearly 20 yards per catch in the screen game then I would do it a whole lot more than they are doing currently.

Also, for a guy who runs simple drags and screens and gets the "bare minimum" last year Welker had a 99 yard TD reception. Surely this guy should have been chased down by a defensive lineman he is that slow. Now I am in no way saying this play is indicative of Welker the receiver, in fact he ran a double move and the CB slipped, however the route he ran was an out and up (I believe) on the sideline. He beat a boundary CB for a 99 yard TD. This wasn't a LB.

Against Philadelphia he scored a 40+ yard TD. Welker ran a few in breaking routes in front of Coleman (I believe) and behind the LBs and he noticed that Coleman was breaking on the route every time. As per Tom Brady, Welker came back to the huddle and said the safety was cheating on the route every time and to run a double move at him. Right enough, Welker ran up field, cut in, Coleman came downhill and Welker ran past for him for a long TD. That TD could have been as long as you want because he got behind the defense and nobody was close to him. The ability to get behind the defense isn't all predicated on speed. Welker's football IQ is high enough for him to realise what tendancies the defense and specific defensive players have.

Welker is damn good WR in the system he is in. He would be a good WR in most systems because guys who can run routes tend to have a role in the NFL.

I also have to question the validity of posters saying Welker only runs screens and drags. For someone who has watched pretty much all the Pats games for the last few years Welker has run a helluva lot of wheel routes and seam routes
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Old 12-25-2012, 01:48 AM    (permalink
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To get a bit more specific here are a few examples Welker doing the exact things you say he cannot do.

Against Houston, he's lined up on the outside with Jackson in man coverage on him, makes a double move and takes it 25 yards.

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-fantas...ker-25-yd-pass

Here is Welker in the slot running a deep post route

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-fantas...ker-28-yd-pass

Here is Welker against the Seahawks. After running up the seam and flattening his route drawing Earl Thomas to break on the route, he jerks up the field and gets a step on him burning him for a TD.

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-h...-yard-TD-catch

Here is Welker against the Bills he runs a 5 yard out route from the slot. He breaks the tackle and picks up an additional 15 yards. Hardly got the bare minimum on that play.

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-fantas...ker-26-yd-pass

Here is Welker against the Cardinals, he works right out of the slot beating the jam and taking a quick seam route 36 yards.

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-h...-36-yard-catch

Here is Welker running a chair route against the Ravens where he takes it 59 yards beating Ed Reed.


http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/0ap1000000065254/Welker-59-yard-reception


He's done these kinds of things dozens of times over his tenure here, but all he's running is screens and drags and following his blocking for automatic yards right?
None of these videos you have posted have him winning on the outside vs a corner in man except for the 1st one, against Kareem Jackson who is one of the worst starters in the league.

The rest of them have him running double moves against safeties out of the slot due to superior playcalling.

Take a look at those videos and ask yourself "Could Julian Edelman do this?"
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Old 12-25-2012, 02:01 AM    (permalink
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None of these videos you have posted have him winning on the outside vs a corner in man except for the 1st one, against Kareem Jackson who is one of the worst starters in the league.

The rest of them have him running double moves against safeties out of the slot due to superior playcalling.

Take a look at those videos and ask yourself "Could Julian Edelman do this?"
How often do you see Jahri Evans win against OLBs?

Welker is a slot WR, not a boundary WR. That is two different positions.

Hey, Haloi Ngata seldom wins with speed moves to the outside of OTs so he must be terrible.

Here's maybe something to do, let's not compare what Welker does based on your own perception of what a WR should be
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Old 12-25-2012, 02:09 AM    (permalink
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People really take for granted how skilled a route runner Welker is. To call him a technician isn't even close.
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Old 12-25-2012, 03:25 AM    (permalink
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How often do you see Jahri Evans win against OLBs?

Welker is a slot WR, not a boundary WR. That is two different positions.

Hey, Haloi Ngata seldom wins with speed moves to the outside of OTs so he must be terrible.

Here's maybe something to do, let's not compare what Welker does based on your own perception of what a WR should be
He is a slot WR, playing in an offense that throws it all the time, and rarely doing anything out of the ordinary. That's the point.

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Old 12-26-2012, 10:02 AM    (permalink
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Jordan, I'm not even going to bother going back and forth with you. This pathetic excuse for a thread has long since run its course.

Most of what you say isn't remotely true or even founded in reality. Yes, Welker does make plenty of people miss, and picks up plenty of yards that other people cannot. This is evident by the half+ decade he's done exactly those things. He runs far more routes than you believe he does in the context of our offense. I'm not going to sit here and continue to go back and forth with you as others have, because frankly you're massively overreaching to make your point. The best evidence I can offer is simply showing what I can.




No extra yards there huh?



Or there either.


As far as the hyperbole thing goes, I think you've taken most of your arguments to the point where you're being facetious. If you honestly believe what you're saying then there was no hyperbole and shame on me. However, I think the bigger issue in this situation is that you are pretty far removed from reality. There are multiple things that you have said that should not be taken seriously.
So you think posting two highlight videos where he breaks just 7 tackles supports your claim?

Welker has 664 catches in his Patriots career. If these are the only 7 anyone could find, that's not a very good ratio.

As I said, once in a blue moon he breaks a tackle. But guess what? That goes for every receiver in football. He's not even above average in that area.

Here's a highlight video of Pierre Garcon breaking a few (all of them come on just 3 catches): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_D3dus9hol4

Garcon has just 229 catches so far in his career, by comparison. Garcon would never make my list of great runners after the catch. I just picked him as one of the lower tier starting receivers in the league.

Let's try Robert Meachem: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxg3-vs_yX4

Hey, whaddaya know?! I see examples of him breaking tackles/making people miss. And look at him at 0:53. Does that play look familiar to you...as a Welker fan?

Seems to me Robert Meachem is just a big, fast version of Wes Welker.
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:30 AM    (permalink
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That's a complete fallacy. Julian Edelman has been on the Patriots for 4 years now. He is faster than Welker, shiftier than Welker and can make more players miss than Welker. As an athlete Julian Edelman absolutely eats and shits Welker. Yet this year Edelman hasn't caught more than 5 balls in any one game, despite there being rumours for the first 4 weeks or so that the Patriots were "phasing Welker out" in favour of Edelman. Edelman doesn't have more than 64 yards receiving in any game this year and his highest output came against the Jets who pretty much exploded and one of his 2 catches was a deep ball for 50 or so yards.
That's because the rumors that the Patriots were phasing Welker out were just that - rumors. They aren't phasing him out, and never planned to. Edelman has yet to start a game this year in place of Wes Welker...and won't now that he's injured.

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As I stated earlier, Edelman has not caught more than 5 balls or had more than 64 yards receiving in any game. Welker has had 2 games with less than 5 receptions and 4 games with less than 64 yards.

I really hate to break this to you but Edelman cannot, or at least to this point has not, replicated Welker's production. He offers more of a big play threat and may be the future at the position (debateable) however saying he can do what Welker does is just wrong. And it's not as though he hasn't had his chances. Edelman was the guy starting at the beginning of the year. Welker started 1 game in the first 4 and in that game only had 1 reception.
Except he has...in the games in which he actually replaced Welker in the lineup. In 2009:

@ NY Jets, week 2: 8 catches, 98 yards
@ Texans, week 16: 10 catches, 103 yards
Div. playoffs vs Ravens: 6 catches, 44 yards, 2 TDs


And are you really going to trot out that "start" claim? Welker was given credit by nfl.com for a "start" in the opener...the game in which he only caught 3 passes. In the next 3 games when he's NOT given credit for a start, he catches 5, 8, and 9 passes. A "start" only means a player is on the field on that side of the ball's first play from scrimmage.


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EDIT: And to say Welker gets the bare minimum is incorrect as well. Don't get me wrong, the Pats are good in the screen game (maybe the best in the league) but against Arizona Welker averaged 19 yards per catch (and Arizona were playing damn good defense at the start of the year) and the very next week he averaged 17.8 against Baltimore. Now I don't know about you, but if Welker is going at nearly 20 yards per catch in the screen game then I would do it a whole lot more than they are doing currently.
Two games that are clear outliers given his career 11.2 yards/catch average.

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Also, for a guy who runs simple drags and screens and gets the "bare minimum" last year Welker had a 99 yard TD reception. Surely this guy should have been chased down by a defensive lineman he is that slow. Now I am in no way saying this play is indicative of Welker the receiver, in fact he ran a double move and the CB slipped, however the route he ran was an out and up (I believe) on the sideline. He beat a boundary CB for a 99 yard TD. This wasn't a LB.
That corner's name is "Benny Sapp." He is a journeyman who was released days later. And it wasn't on the sideline - watch the play again. Welker bent it towards the sidelines. The throw from Brady was perfect, Welker had about a step on the plodding Sapp, and Sapp further embarrassed himself by botching the tackle. That was it on that play.

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Against Philadelphia he scored a 40+ yard TD.
Blown coverage. Just look at that play - complete miscommunication in the secondary and he was uncovered down the field.

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Welker ran a few in breaking routes in front of Coleman (I believe) and behind the LBs and he noticed that Coleman was breaking on the route every time. As per Tom Brady, Welker came back to the huddle and said the safety was cheating on the route every time and to run a double move at him. Right enough, Welker ran up field, cut in, Coleman came downhill and Welker ran past for him for a long TD. That TD could have been as long as you want because he got behind the defense and nobody was close to him. The ability to get behind the defense isn't all predicated on speed. Welker's football IQ is high enough for him to realise what tendancies the defense and specific defensive players have.
Who are we talking about now? That was a blown coverage, plain and simple. Nobody even picked Welker up running that route.

If Welker's intelligence were such a weapon in getting behind defenses, he'd actually be getting behind defenses. He wouldn't be averaging 11.2 yards/catch in his career with only 13 plays of 40+ yards.

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Welker is damn good WR in the system he is in. He would be a good WR in most systems because guys who can run routes tend to have a role in the NFL.
And guys who can't run routes tend not to have a role in the NFL. Brandon Stokley is/was a better route runner than Welker...what did his career look like?

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I also have to question the validity of posters saying Welker only runs screens and drags. For someone who has watched pretty much all the Pats games for the last few years Welker has run a helluva lot of wheel routes and seam routes
Oh, Welker will run plenty of dinky little routes on those linebackers he's facing.

Again, the average distance from the line of scrimmage in which Welker has caught his passes is 5.4. How many difficult kinds of patterns do you really think he's been running to accumulate that average?
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Old 12-27-2012, 03:54 PM    (permalink
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Actually, Crabtree does make more acrobatic catches than DHB. You're starting to see that more with Kaepernick slowly.

Crabtree is also top 5 currently in pure RAC ability.
I dont disagree with the acrobatic catch statement, but his pure RAC ability is false...

Demaryius Thomas, Brandon Marshall, Calvin Johnson, Julio Jones, Andre Johnson, Percy Havin.. all i would say are easily better at RAC/YAC
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Old 12-27-2012, 07:03 PM    (permalink
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This thread continues to deliver. These trolls see nothing in receivers except measurables. Route running? Thats make believe. Understanding and quickly recognizing coverages? Made up by NFLDCers to talk about bad football players like Welker.
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Old 12-27-2012, 07:13 PM    (permalink
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GIF number 10? 11? Now did you get that tattoo removed?
Don't hate. Gifs are awesome.
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Old 12-27-2012, 11:58 PM    (permalink
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This thread continues to deliver. These trolls see nothing in receivers except measurables. Route running? Thats make believe. Understanding and quickly recognizing coverages? Made up by NFLDCers to talk about bad football players like Welker.
Welker's average distance from the line of scrimmage on passes caught is 5.4. Tell me, what kind of "great routes" can you run that end 5 yards from the line of scrimmage?

I also love how you missed the intentional irony behind my "rocket surgery" comment. It's an old line, yet you're so oblivious you don't even get that it's intentional.

Last edited by JordanTaber : 12-28-2012 at 12:01 AM.
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Old 12-27-2012, 11:59 PM    (permalink
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:00 AM    (permalink
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I dont disagree with the acrobatic catch statement, but his pure RAC ability is false...

Demaryius Thomas, Brandon Marshall, Calvin Johnson, Julio Jones, Andre Johnson, Percy Havin.. all i would say are easily better at RAC/YAC
Take Calvin and Andre off that list - they don't belong there...much less are they "easily better."
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:09 AM    (permalink
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You know what's kind of hilarious is that these people are arguing that Welker "isn't a good receiver" and that he's just a product of the Patriots and Tom Brady... who might be the single least athletic player in the league.
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:12 AM    (permalink
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Welker's average distance from the line of scrimmage on passes caught is 5.4. Tell me, what kind of "great routes" can you run that end 5 yards from the line of scrimmage?

I also love how you missed the intentional irony behind my "rocket surgery" comment. It's an old line, yet you're so oblivious you don't even get that it's intentional.
When the Pats havent really ever had a run game til this year and used short passes as heir run game. Find holes in the zone and try and fight for a few extra. Its baffling how you can't grasp this. Players have different skill sets and are placed into roles that best accomodate their skill sets. Rocket surgery, it is. But if you havent been convinced of logic by this point in this thread then I can't say anything to persuade the unpersuadable.
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:01 AM    (permalink
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Welker's average distance from the line of scrimmage on passes caught is 5.4. Tell me, what kind of "great routes" can you run that end 5 yards from the line of scrimmage?
I wasn't aware good route running only applied to double moves and comeback routes. There is a ton that goes into even short routes, and the ability to create space to be open 5 yards off the ball with good footwork, good route selling, and understanding coverage technique to create space on the field cannot be undersold.

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-h...ker-highlights

Take for instance this game against the Dolphins when Matt Cassel was under center.

Right off the bat we have Welker running a drag route, Cassel doesn't attempt the throw and begins to scramble in the pocket. The late developing play has allowed the linebacker to ride Welker down off of his route. When the play breaks down Cassel begins to scramble towards the LOS. Welker has the presence of mind to slip upfield where the area had been vacated to get open. It allowed an easy throw and a pickup of a first down. Not an amazing play by any stretch of the imagination, but a heady play that led to a positive result.

On the next play Welker runs a whip route which is one of the more difficult routes to run in the route tree. When run right this is almost impossible to cover because the receiver virtually stops his route, and has all the space from the area he was previously to get open. He sells hard to the inside where the linebacker is in zone coverage. The linebacker has the right positioning considering the coverage type he's in, but the route itself is executed well and there is too much space for Welker who quickly gets up to speed and is able to take the play for a first down. Welker cleanly beats his man who never really had a shot at the play to begin with.

At 0:21 Welker is aligned in the slot with a player in man coverage right over him. The Pats call for a little slip screen to Welker on this play. His initial sell is key to this play, he goes forward just enough to draw the CB into his backpedal, he then slips back towards the line of scrimmage. This forces the CB to immediately change his momentum to try and break up the screen, however by now it's too late and he's picked up by the blocker designed to block him. Welker essentially beat him right off the snap and won his matchup. He then works back to the ball. He turns upfield immediately to avoid the guys bearing down on him, and is aware of where his blocking is and follows it to pick up a first down. You completely sell off the ability to follow blocking assignments as well which is a crucial part of playing with the ball in your hands. If this was some trivial attribute Knowshon Moreno might be a functional player.

On the next play Welker runs a little jerk route against the corner playing man coverage on him. He sells his route hard to the inside which forces the corner to open his hips completely since he's expecting a drag route. Welker then breaks out and up which is impossible for the corner to do considering the positioning he has, and he falls to the ground. Welker now has space to run, he does enough of a juke to create space from Sean Smith, and follows a good block from Sam Aiken to pick up a big chunk of yards.

None of these plays are the sexy big plays where the receiver completely tricks the cornerback to give himself 10 yards of seperation down the field, but that doesn't mean that Welker's routes are any easier. He knows the space he has to work with, he understands the coverage of the players he's facing, and he manipulates their technique to get open with that knowledge. He's wildly effective in what he does which allows the Patriots offense to produce even on days when the rest of it isn't there.

These routes are not unique to the Patriots or Welker, however it takes a lot of subtlety and ability to make these routes happen. Teams have thoroughly scouted Welker and are aware of the kinds of routes he's going to run, but with the proper execution it doesn't matter. Screens, drags, and out routes aren't magical routes that only BB and Tom Brady have figured out. The players just use the right technique and timing which makes them very difficult to cover.

While I like a guy like Julian Edelman I've seen enough of him as a receiver to know that he doesn't have this kind of awareness in the passing game. His connection with Brady has never been there, and the 2 have struggled to get on the same page since the Houston games despite ample opportunities out of the slot. One game isn't a representative sample, or else why not just assume that Hakeem Nicks is replaceable with Ramses Barden?

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