Good morning Rumblers,
I'm sure most of you heard of the show MythBuster; where the host use elements of the scientific method to test the validity of rumors, myths, movie scenes, adages, Internet videos, and news stories. Well, I'm going to attempt to do this; in order to test the validity of the NEED to have a "#2 WR". Of course, I won't use much science, just a little bit of statistics and deductive reasoning. :)
Let's get started:
If I was to ask you a simple question like, do the Bills need a #2 WR? With out much hesitation, the majority of you guys will say yes. In fact, in a recent thread that I posted titled Morning Joe! What Are We Missing?; 27% of the Rumblers that voted; voted that it could be what ultimately prevents us from being legitimate Super Bowl contenders.
Now you have some fans, who will pause and ask some questions, like:
-Define # 2 WR?
-What position (X, Y, Z) does this #2 WR play?
-What is the #2 WR is going to be ask to do?
All of these questions are valid, but I've never saw someone take the time to address these questions in regards to this particular team, in this particular offense.
Intrigued yet? Yes? Hit continue reading post. No? Hit back. :)
Okay, before we get started, lets look at some facts:
-The Bills offense was 11th in Passing last season.
-Of the top 10 passing offenses; the #2 WR averages 59 Rec and 749 yards (not including Victor Cruz; including Cruz will be 913).
-Amongst the top 10 passing teams in the league last season; the Bills #2 WR (David Nelson) ranks 5th in catches (61) and 9th in yards (658); in comparrison to the other #2 WR's on their teams.
-David Nelson had more receptions and yards than the #2 WR for the Saints (Lance Moore 52 rec 627 yds). The Saints were 1st in the league in passing last season. He also has more receptions than the #2 WR for the Patriots (DeionBranch 51 Rec). The Patriots were second in the league in passing.
-Wes Welker was second in the league in receiving yards (1,569) and was first in receptions (122). Victor Cruz was third in passing yards (1,536). Both guys play the Y position (Slot/TE) in their offenses. The same position that David Nelson plays.
-Lance Moore the #2 WR for the Saints (league leader in passing) ran the 40 in 4.52 seconds; which is the same time that David Nelson did. Nate Burleson #2 WR for the Lions, ran a 4.51 for the Lions (3rd in passing)
-Of all the top 10 passing offenses, the TE either led the team in passing or was 2nd on the team 7 out of 10 times (70%)
So I assume that when you guys say we need a #2 WR, we're talking about a guy that can stretch the defense vertically. To be a deep threat on the outside, in order to free up Stevie from double teams and keep the safeties honest. Is this about right? Is he going to be the guy who out jumps opposing DB's, or is he just purely a speed demon? Is he a possession receiver?
What do you want our #2 WR to do, and why is so important for this offense? Look at the facts above and think about our offense, is it really needed?
The truth is this, our team was ranked 11th in passing, and some of you think that we can be higher if we had a second WR opposite of Stevie. But the way our offense is designed we spread the ball around to our RB's, TE's, and our other WR's. The supposive value of a #2 WR just isn't there for this offense. We typically operate out of a spread offense, with 3 and 4 WR sets; the most in the league last season. We rely on route combinations between our TE and our slot receivers to move the ball down the field. We look to take advantage of mismatches between our slot WR David Nelson and LB's and safeties. It's essentially, the bread and butter of our passing offense.
If you ask me, we have a WR on our team who is putting up "#2 WR type numbers". It shouldn't matter where he lines up, because in our offense the slot WR is the second option. In fact, I will argue that the #2 WR is the 5th option in the passing game behind the TE and RB's. If this is true, what the heck is all the banter about for relatively the 5th WR? If you don't believe me, just look at the Patriots. Where did Chad and Deion Branch rank on the priority list in their spread offense? 4th or 5th? If you still don't believe me, and believe we need a "true deep threat". Just look at Brian's post about Donald Jones and the deep ball. Even if we had a guy that can do all those things that you want him to do; Fitzy couldn't even get the ball to him, so why even bother? In my opinion, having a guy that stretched the defense hurt him last year. I remember a lot of forced throws, and ill-time passing plays when all we needed was a few yards for a 1st down. Instead, he opted to throw the deep go route.
You all can let me know what you think. Did I bust the Myth?