John Skelton said he just wanted to throw more completions as his life as NFL starter heads into a second week. That makes sense, but it really needs to be a two-way street. It was difficult to see the Cards’ game last weekend and not notice the early drops, which put Skelton into an 0-for-7 hole as a passer. There is little question each side has to back the other in this equation (Hence the headline … and yes, that’s really the Cards’ locker room).
The Cards’ pass catchers do seem to have dropped more passes this season than normal (think Steve Breaston’s long incompletion last Sunday — pictured below– or Larry Fitzgerald’s TD drop against the 49ers). In fact, according to STATS, LLC, the Cards have had the greatest percentage of dropped passes this season (12.7) than any other team in the league. Sunday’s opponent, Carolina, is next (11.2) and then surprisingly, New England (10.4). According to STATS, Breaston has seven drops this season, Fitzgerald four and Early Doucet four (and running back Tim Hightower 5). The Cards are listed with 33 total drops.
“To be honest I don’t even see it as a major issue,” Doucet said. “It’s one of those things, the coaches notice and they mention it, and drops happen. As receivers, though, you want to make sure you’re not that guy. I know I have had a couple and so have the other receivers. I don’t think it’s something we’re always thinking about, which would cause more drops.”
Again, it works both ways. STATS also tracks “catchable” balls (and like drops, there are judgment calls involved in these “facts”). The Cardinals are last in the NFL in “catchable” passes thrown, at 57.8 percent. More than half the league is above 65 percent. In the end, it goes back to being a two-way street.
“It’s something you need to focus on, especially with a young guy (at quarterback),” Doucet said. “If he’s making the throws he needs to make and you’re not holding up your end of the bargain … we are professionals and that’s what we get paid to do, catch the ball. That’s something we are aware of.”
UPDATE: Coach Ken Whisenhunt’s thoughts on the subject of drops: “I don’t necessarily know if it is an inordinate amount as much as it is in critical situations, where we have had opportunities for big plays that can change the momentum of a game. That’s where I think we have had some. Anytime you are struggling a little bit and not performing the way you expect to, those things are magnified.”
Tags: Early Doucet, John Skelton, Ken Whisenhunt, Larry Fitzgerald, Steve Breaston, Tim Hightower
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