Recognizing Red Herrings In Highlight Clips; More Love For Chauncey Washington

I'm beat from work, so something light today. Mike Mayock uses a lot of clips to support his assertions. I don't get the NFL network, but I haunt their site often, and see his work. I'm kind of on the fence about Mayock. I appreciate his effort, but he makes some pretty questionable claims. Also, his use of clips seems to routinely destroy the exception. As if one instance of xyz proves that xyz is the norm or even the rule. I understand, in theory, he's employing the iceberg strategy: show the tip, imply the mass underneath.

Anyway, The point of this post is to identify certain red herrings within highlight packages. Here's a quick list.

1. Broken plays

Basic stuff. Rusher running to a hole in the defense. Wide receiver uncovered, especially no deep safety help. Basically any play where the outcome is the highlight rather than the effort.

2. Dominance over substandard competition

Think Dustin Keller spanking Akron.

3. Plays that don't involve NFL skills

It's fine to watch Rashard Mendenhall receive an option pitch and marvel at this athleticism, just don't read too much into it. The option is deceptive, perceived as an outside run, the rusher actually runs almost straight. See:


In the first sequence, the running back runs alongside the quarterback. When he's pitched the ball and changes from decoy to rusher, his route is actually quite straight. That's because the action of the option has already taken him outside. In the second sequence the rusher starts his rush from a typical I-formation. The rusher must be able to run quickly, knowing he is the primary target of the defense's pursuit, from the onset. His path is decidedly less straight. My point is that an option rush looks a lot like an outside rush, but doesn't effectively measure a player's ability to run quickly in a curved line. Red herring.

To evince my points, here's a couple highlight packages. One is of Jonathan Stewart, the other Chauncey Washington. I'm not trying to pick on Stewart, this package is just apt for my purposes.

The first thing you see is Stewart dragging a bunch of Houston defenders. Houston. Next, we get a kickoff return. It's a terrible kick, but that's besides the point. If Seattle drafts Stewart, I hope they're wise enough to not use him on kick returns. Seattle is stocked with returners, and Stewart seems fragile. Next clip, the catch is fine, though he doesn't really do anything other than jog into the endzone. The next two plays are against big ballers, Stanford. Then we get a shotgun draw, not a common play in the West Coast. Etcetra.

On to Washington, you're going to have to skip to 1:52 if you want to avoid punisherRT's "presentation".

First clip, Washington runs from a very vanilla formation, 2 WR, 2 TE, 1 B, against Arizona's 12th ranked defense. He shows a good cut, and makes a nice off-tackle rush. Next, Washington State (38th), another nice cut, powers his way into the end zone. WSU again, works around his blocker, good, positive yardage. Not flashy plays, but flash doesn't matter. Production against top competition, good, NFL moves, that's what one has to look for. Following his blockers, finding cutback lanes versus 16th ranked Arkansas. Punishing 46th ranked Washington. Etcetra.

He's the real deal. I want Chauncey Washington to be a Hawk so bad it burns.

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