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  1. #1
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    Rookie WR report from PFW

    Posted by PFW's Mike Wilkening

    LOS ANGELES — For the second straight year, Eric Edholm and I attended the Rookie Premiere football-card photo shoot at the L.A. Coliseum. More than 30 rookies donned their jerseys and posed for the cameras.

    Eric and I doned sunscreen and white polo shirts and tried to stay out of the shots.

    Some news, notes and observations from the Coliseum:

    --- Chatted with the Bengals’ rookie wideouts for a piece I’m working on for PFW’s next issue. Jerome Simpson, the second-rounder from Coastal Carolina, said he’s going to work at the ‘X’ receiver spot (split end) in Cincinnati’s offense. Andre Caldwell, the swift third-round pick from Florida, is working at the ‘Z’ (flanker) and also at slot receiver. Both will get a chance to contribute immediately, considering the Bengals’ lack of depth at the position. And, quite obviously, their learning curves would be accelerated were Chad Johnson to be traded. But I would be stunned if that happened. I’ll only be surprised, frankly, if he isn’t in the Bengals’ starting lineup in Week One. The Bengals don’t want to deal him, and were he to sit out, he would be walking away from a lot of money. And that is not going to happen.

    --- Buccaneers WR Dexter Jackson’s favorite football card: the 1986 Topps Jerry Rice rookie. Love that one, too. Jackson will get every chance to solve a long-standing problem for Tampa: a lack of punch in the return game.

    --- Rams WR Torry Holt wants rookie Donnie Avery to show less “emotion,” as Avery put it, in his route-running. Holt became one of the best receivers of his generation in part because of his superb routes. Avery has rare speed, the best of any pass-catcher in his draft class, but whether he succeeds or fails may come down to whether he takes a page from Holt when it comes to never letting DBs know what is coming. Avery’s hands — drops caught the attention of scouts, and not in a good way — also need to become more consistent.

    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Rookie WR report from PFW

    Guess I wasn't the only one who watched the SMU game. Let's hope his hands become a little more sticky.

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    Re: Rookie WR report from PFW

    Well it looks like Holt is making an impact. From what we heard at the mini camp, Holt was so pissed we traded Bruce he did not say a word to Avery.

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    Re: Rookie WR report from PFW

    I thought Avery didn't have any question marks? Route running and catching...we can fix that.

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    Re: Rookie WR report from PFW

    *Sigh*

    Those who question his hands apparently either don't know, or have chosen to ignore, the fact that he played with a dislocated thumb.

    As for his route running, he was praised in this category by multiple observers at the Senior Bowl practices.

    Why not give the kid a chance before adopting Mel Kiper's view of the world?

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    Re: Rookie WR report from PFW

    Im with Avenger on this one.

    And plus, it might not be muchof anything, but maybe his hamstring injury he had for a tiny bit through the nay sayers off a lil bit.

    i think he is going to be good, give him a chance before these people keep throwing negative at him.

    I think hes pretty good at route running, his hands dont seem to bad, and if they get better then nothing wrong there. I had read once he had trouble gettting away from recievers who tried to shoe tackle him. well the video we all have seen of some of his highlights clearly shows that that is not an issue.

    He is a burner with good route running and will only get better.

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    Re: Rookie WR report from PFW

    Give him a chance? Okay, I formally allow him to start practicing with the team.

    As far as his hands, Mayock mentioned they were in need of some work when the Rams drafted him. Maybe he didn't know about the dislocated thumb but he doesn't seem like one to overlook such an obvious reason for inconsistency.

    Holt is the one talking about his route running and I'll definitely defer to him on that subject.

    I don't think any Rams fans are rooting against Avery, just questioning the wisdom in making him the #33 pick and first WR overall when there are such mixed opinions about his abilities.
    Last edited by moklerman; -05-23-2008 at 12:36 PM.

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    Re: Rookie WR report from PFW

    Well, WR's historically don't necessarily have to come from the "sexy" schools. Bruce from Memphis State, Rice from Mississippi Valley State, T.O. from UT-Chatt. I'm all for Avery making a big impact on our offense, however he does have a tendency to drop a few balls.

    He actually did it all year. Was his thumb dislocated all year?

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    Re: Rookie WR report from PFW

    Quote Originally Posted by Mok
    I don't think any Rams fans are rooting against Johnson
    Mok, I think you meant Avery, not Johnson. I assume you were thinking of the former Mavs Coach, yes?
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Rookie WR report from PFW

    So exactly how many drops did Avery have in his career? Do we actually know or are we just repeating what some analyst said that he read from some other analyst?

    Other than the 1,798 drops that tx witnessed on a Saturday at SMU........do we even know how many drops we are talking about and when they happened in reference to his playing time with the bum thumb?

    Do we know?
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Rookie WR report from PFW

    I know he caught 90 balls last year so his hands cant be terrible.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel


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    Re: Rookie WR report from PFW

    Quote Originally Posted by moklerman View Post
    As far as his hands, Mayock mentioned they were in need of some work when the Rams drafted him. Maybe he didn't know about the dislocated thumb but he doesn't seem like one to overlook such an obvious reason for inconsistency.
    "Expert" opinions seem to vary on Avery's hands. Nearly every scouting analysis I've read characterizes his hands as "soft", including Scott Wright.

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    Re: Rookie WR report from PFW

    Well, he was the main weapon in the Houston offense and they did go to him quite a bit so he may have more drops than the average Joe but he also had many more attempts.

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    Re: Rookie WR report from PFW

    Quote Originally Posted by moklerman View Post
    I thought Avery didn't have any question marks?
    I hope you're not implying that the people defending the pick think the guy is flawless...

    Quote Originally Posted by moklerman View Post
    Route running and catching...we can fix that.
    Certainly easier to teach than legit sub-4.4 speed.

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    Re: Rookie WR report from PFW

    I find it interesting how many people still fail to see that the version of the Holt/Avery enounter that you are quoting is merely the media's spin on the subject.

    Do you know the context or tone of their interactions? No.

    For all we know, the way Holt is treating Avery is exactly the way Bruce treated Holt as a rookie. Nothing wrong with letting the young, talented, player know that he still has to prove himself and continue working on improving his game.

    From the quotes I've read, it seems that Avery is not shying away from the challenge, but rather respects Holt and will work hard to prove himself.

    As for the depth of knowledge of a guy like Mayock... think of it this way..

    There were 252 players selected in the draft. If we assume that each of them played an average of 10 games last season, and that each game would take 1 hour to review (eliminating commercials and game breaks), one would have to spend 105 consecutive days, with no sleep, food or restroom breaks, to watch all the game film of the players selected.

    I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that, much like the rest of us, Mayock's experience reviewing game film is somewhat more limited than that.

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