Monday, August 21, 2006

Expectations

30 - 500 - 5?
50 - 750 - 8?
75 - 1000 - 10?

What are the expectations for Greg Jennings this year? The rookie wideout from Western Michigan has been THE offensive story of camp/preseason so far. And not "offensive" in a Mike Cooper sort of way. The hype surrounding the 2nd round pick is as ridiculous as a Dr. Z symposium on potential hall of fame quarterbacks after a few bottles of his favorite riesling. So what are the expections?

Rookie WR's are, notoriously it would seem, not to be relied on. The amazing youngsters stand out. Randy Moss. Anquan Boldin. Larry Fitz. What do they put in the water down in AZ that makes their young wideouts into future Canton residents and the rest of their team future "America's Got Talent" celebrity judges? That's a mystery for another day I guess. The point is, not many of the young wideouts do much their first year or two (or six - and yes I'm looking at you Ferguson).

For me personally I'm hoping for something like 40 catches, 600 yards and a handful of TD's. That's just a hope mind you, not a guess. I have no idea what he'll do against real NFL defenses when the games actually matter. I'd like to think that all of the comments from other players, praise from the coaching staff, and the results henceforth in the preseason would indicate the Packers have a special player on the verge of bursting on the scene. But I've swallowed that hook before, so this time I'm going to be a bit more cautious.

What happens then if Jennings is the real deal? If we're going to spend time being skeptical I suppose I can sacrifice one paragraph to dreaming, right? What if he is a legit #2 for Driver? A guy we can rely on to put up a 1000 yards without much trouble? What then? Are the Pack a playoff team if that's the case? A division winner? I mean, it's still the NFC North and it's still got two teams (Lions & Vikings) that are question marks at best and 3-13 at the worst.

The Year 3 question - it's commonly held that the 3rd year of a wide receiver's career is when you can most likely expect a real contribution. Due to all the hot reads, option routes and overall ability of the DB's in the league it's apparently difficult to understand it all until a few years have passed. This makes sense in some ways and it is the primary reason why I'm hesitant to say that Jennings is worthy of the #2 status he's being pushed towards.

That being said, Antonio Chatman, all five foot nothing of him, managed to catch 49 balls last year. Anyone doubt that Greg Jennings has more ability than Chatman? Maybe the years don't matter as much if you have, say, talent? Here's hoping that's the case.

1 comment:

the_majikman said...

I think Jennings will be the real deal. And I got to make my bold predictions of what the Pack's record will be this season...you'll love it.