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It might driven by a roto mindset.
Roto is short for rotisserie, as in rotisserie football, better known as fantasy football, a popular game for football fans, where you pick players, and compete against others. You get points for things like receptions by your receivers.
I have no issue with fantasy football. It’s a lot of fun, but you shouldn’t cover football with a roto mindset.
Some people, who grew up playing fantasy football, now cover real football, and seem to have brought their fantasy worldview to writing about football.
“It’s the weapons!”
You might have seen this quote. Baltimore GM Eric DeCosta, went on a rant earlier this week when asked about the fan/media perception that the Ravens are weak at wide receiver.
“I’m aware that there’s some fan discontent with our wide receivers and our drafting and all that,” DeCosta said Monday. “But in general, I look at our record, and how we win games and how we play football, and I’m proud of the team. I know Coach (John Harbaugh) is proud. I know (director of player personnel) Joe (Hortiz) is proud. So we’ve got some really good, young receivers. It’s insulting to these guys when they hear that we don’t have any receivers. It’s quite insulting. I’m insulted by it, too, to be honest.”
It is insulting, and this is the second time DeCosta went on a rant recently about this narrative. He said something similar earlier this off-season.
The Ravens have enough at receiver to be successful, with guys like Hollywood Brown, Miles Boykin and Devin Duvernay.
They recently added Sammy Watkins and will likely draft one or two.
For three years, we had to listen to people tell us Sam Darnold didn’t have enough weapons and that is why he struggled. They look at wide receiver numbers, and if they are substandard, they tend to blame the receivers for having low numbers.
But as Santonio Holmes once said – “I can’t throw to myself.”
Look, I’m not saying Darnold always had the best weapons during his time with the Jets, but honestly, his problems weren’t the weapons.
As I’ve written like a broken record, his issue was limited field vision, locking on his first-read too often, and not doing an ideal job of going through his progressions on many plays.
Those things have little to do with weapons.
And Ravens QB Lamar Jackson, even with all the success he’s had, needs to improve his field vision in the passing game, like Darnold.
We can focus on Joe Douglas “resetting the clock” financially at the QB position by going with a rookie, and moving on from Darnold entering his fourth year, and getting close to a second contract. However, let’s be honest, if the Douglas believed that Darnold was the Jets’ long-term answer at QB, do you really think he would have let money dictate the decision to trade the player? If you have an elite QB, you pay him whatever you have it, because it’s the most important position in football, and they’re very hard to find.
That last Jets’ game of the year, which I bring up a lot, their loss to New England, was illustrative of Darnold’s issues not being related to weapons.
He had plenty of weapons in that game – Denzel Mims, Breshad Perriman, Jamison Crowder and Chris Herndon (who played well down the stretch), and Darnold threw two picks in the second half to ice the New England win. On both plays, his field vision was problematic.
As a scout once told me, “Quarterbacks make receivers, receivers don’t make quarterbacks.”
DeCosta was right to dismiss the weapons narrative in Baltimore.
The issue in the passing game there isn’t the weapons.
Just like it wasn’t with the Jets the last three years.
April 21, 2021
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