Ruminations, etc..

Musings, rantings, and pie.

It’s Never too Early to go to Doucet

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This morning while driving around, I heard Mike and Mike on ESPN radio dissecting the AZ Cardinals upcoming season.  It was a mostly fair assessment, with both guys agreeing on a 8-8 record for the 2010-2011 season.  I think that’s a reasonable conclusion, considering the amount of questions the Cardinals have going into this season.  In fact, I could see as bad as 4-12. But I digress…

One thing that did stick in my craw was Golic’s assessment of WR Early Doucet. Doucet is expected fill in for Anquan Boldin as a tough receiver that goes across the middle. Golic doesn’t buy that — at least not yet.  He said that Doucet’s 31 receptions his first two years in the league were not a good sign, considering that Boldin had 157 catches his first two years in the league.  However, that is not a fair comparison.

Doucet, after his amazing reception for a touch down in the nutty playoff game against the Packers

When Boldin was drafted by Arizona in 2003, Arizona had the following WRs on its roster:

  • Larry Foster
  • Bryan Gilmore
  • Bryant Johnson
  • Kevin Kasper
  • Jason McAddley
  • Nate Poole

Recognize any of those names?  Me neither.  And I’ve been following the Cardinals since 1993.

In Boldin’s first game against Detroit, he had 187 yards receiving.  That shocked the Cardinals and their fan base.  It became pretty clear over the next few weeks that this guy was something special.  So he became the focus of the passing attack, which is why he had 157 receptions in his first two years.

Now, when Doucet came aboard in 2008, Arizona had the following WRs on its roster:

  • Larry Fitzgerald
  • Anquan Boldin
  • Steve Breaston
  • Jerheme Urban
  • Ed Gant
  • Michael Ray Garvin
  • Onrea Jones
  • Lance Long
  • Sean Morey
  • Steve Sanders

You see the difference?  Arizona had two of the best WRs in the league (and Fitzgerald might be one of the best ever), and Steve Breaston was no slouch either.  This was the year that Arizona had three 1000+ yard WRs on its roster.  In that kind of situation, a rookie WR won’t be anywhere near the ball (if memory serves, Doucet was 5th on the depth chart, just after Jerheme Urban).  The year after, Doucet moved up, but Arizona still had Fitz, Boldin and Breaston catching the ball.  It would be hard for anyone new to compete with those three.

It’s not a fair to Doucet to draw a conclusion about his abilities by comparing Boldin’s first two years to Doucet’s.  The situation on the team was wildly different when Boldin came aboard to when Doucet did.  Golic may still be right in his ultimate analysis (that Doucet will not be a suitable replacement for Boldin), but how he got there, I think, is wrong.

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Written by B. Michael Krol

August 18, 2010 at 11:12 am

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