Entering last season, receivers and coaches couldn’t ignore the ‘drop’ question. An epidemic in 2013 was never of concern for 2014. Tommy Mainord and Neal Brown knew they had the athletes to make the routine, and big plays alike.
Their primary concern was their play away from the ball. Most of the young receivers had been THE guy in high school, never needing to focus on the little things, like blocking downfield or running their man off on run plays. Coach Mainord stressed physicality, to the point of beating a dead horse, before the young wideouts began producing breathe-taking results.
Nobody takes the air out of opponents better than Dorian Baker. The true freshman takes pride in his ability to receive, and give, MASSIVE blows. His wide frame is intimidating, but not as much as his strong, silent personality. The hit he laid in the latter stages of the LSU game was without a doubt the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Standing on the sidelines, the dude’s mouthpiece almost made it to me ten yards away. Ignore Saturday Down South’s title and Jesse Palmer’s analysis: there wasn’t a flag, the SEC even reviewed it the following week. It was simply a filthy display of physical domination that gets you paid on Sundays.
Many were upset at his jawing after the play, while getting their butts whipped, but I like it. LSU cornerbacks would not stop yapping the entire game, and I’d rather have a player that makes them pay for it than a wimpy baby whiner.
Dorian’s block was fun to watch, but it only gave Pat Towles a few extra yards. It wasn’t a game-changer, but more often than not a big block is just as valuable as a big catch.
Javess Blue’s 83-yard touchdown reception got him the big numbers in the box score, but it couldn’t have happened without Juice Johnson and Ryan Timmons. Johnson Juiced up a defender, allowing Blue to make a move. Timmons has been notorious for playing poorly off the ball, but his extra effort was just enough to ensure a score.
It’s an under-appreciated talent, but these receivers are just getting started. With swagger like Mick Jagger, they’re head busters prepared to make some noise. With additional depth next year, they’ll have the legs under them to make us say “ugggggggggggggggh” much more often.