“Rookie Receivers Are Mostly Irrelevant Figures”

July 26th, 2010

Stalinist BSPN and many other national media types are making a bid deal about Cowboys rookie wide reciever Dez Bryant refusing to abide by the rookie tradition of carrying fellow receiver Roy Williams’ sweaty pads after practice last night.

Joe couldn’t care less.

But Joe did see some commentary on the situation, and about rookie receivers in general, from Dallas Morning News columnist Tim Cowlishaw. He managed to dampen hopes of Bucs fans for Arrelious Benn and Michael Williams, and insult Michael Clayton in one paragraph.

Rookie wide receivers are mostly irrelevant figures in today’s NFL. Unless you have the unmatched skills of Randy Moss, unless you can pull off the total surprise of Tampa Bay’s Mark Clayton (never to be repeated), first-round picks just do not produce 1,000-yard totals in their rookie season.

Clayton’s been reduced to a trivia question and a guy who’s first name gets botched. These are humiliating times for the blocking icon.

As for Williams and Benn, as Joe has written before, if these guys grab 30+ balls each, show decent hands and make their share of big plays, Bucs fans should be quite happy. Don’t expect miracles from rookies.

45 Responses to ““Rookie Receivers Are Mostly Irrelevant Figures””

  1. Lakeland Bob Says:

    Who’s Mark Clayton?How about Deshawn Jackson.Seemed like a pretty good rookie to me.

  2. bucfanlostiniowa Says:

    Dez is well on his way to being labeled “locker room cancer” by media hacks looking for a story.

  3. Joe Says:


    So “the hacks” are the guys who refused to carry Roy Williams’ shoulder pads as per Dallass tradition?

  4. Gary Says:

    Say what you want about me, but I don’t like this Dez one bit. I mean, every rookie goes through hazing. Its a right of passage and earns you the respect of your teamates when you take it with a humble and professional attitude.

    I don’t care how good he thinks he is. I bet calvin johnson or andre johnson didnt act like a little bitch when they were rookies.

    It goes so much farther when you pick up his pads PRECISELY BECAUSE you are better than him, and will probably take his job. Have some respect Dez.

    Think Gerald would say some BS like that if he had to carry Ronde’s pads? I hope not.

  5. bucfanlostiniowa Says:

    Joe I was watching NFL network last night every commercial break the lead story was Dez Bryant refusing to carry pads really blowing it out proportion. I guess with T.O. off everybody’s radar they have to find some other non-story to exploit.

  6. Joe Says:


    Small news becomes large news when there’s no other news. Given Dez Bryant’s recent history however, every little thing will get blown up. He’s already under the microscope and this proves it. Also happened iwth the Cowboys who have a monster following. Perfect storm.

  7. big007hed Says:

    I think he should’ve sucked it up and carried the pads…. he hasn’t earned anything with the Cowboys players and he needs to realize this…. I agree 100% with Gary!!

  8. JimBuc Says:

    Rookie WRs are usually irrelevant because they don’t play. Not going ot be the case for the Bucs. Not saying the rookies are going to light it up, but they are going to get chances unlike most rookies

  9. CalicoJack Says:

    Bill Walsh didn’t tolerate “rookie hazings”. His philosophy was that all players were there to help the team win championships, therefore, they deserved respect. Seemed to work for him, too…

  10. d-money Says:

    Sammie Straughter was not irrelevant for the Bucs last year.

  11. eric Says:

    To have any semblence of a passing game, a team needs a 1000 + yard receiver.

    The bucs passed on several opportunities to get one, so now were counting on rookies.

    One of the many flaws of the grand plan.

  12. Capt.Tim Says:

    “First round WR don’t get 1000 yards.” thank god we drafted our two in the Second and fourth round! Whew! That was close! Of course Marquis Colston got 1000 as a rookie, but he was a seventh round pick by New Orleans . . .

  13. eric Says:


    Nobody said it was impossible, or that it hasn’t happened before. It is just rare for rookie wideouts to contribute. This is especially so where there is no legit number one receiver on the team.

    We may have drafted exceptions, but it is unlikely.

  14. ac3 Says:


    Have you heard any rumors about the bengals looking at TO because Bryant’s knee is acting up? If this is the case (have not heard any reports, just rumors posted on the web so don’t jump all over me), then shouldn’t all “haters” bashing the move to let Bryant walk take their kick in the nuts and actually give Dom some props? Granted, if he goes out and has a 1000 yard season for the bengals, then all those supporting the move will have to swallow their pride and also admit they were wrong.

  15. Joe Says:


    Yeah, heard the TO rumors though Joe is doing his best to tune them out. Chad Johnson has long lobbied for TO so not sure if this is because of Bryant’s knee or if Marvin Lewis wants TO or what.

    Why would Joe jump all over you man???

  16. ac3 Says:

    Joe…haha, it wasn’t Joe I was worried about…

    I think we both know the possibility of Dom being right and some certain individuals around here being wrong would upset quite a few (eric, thomas, louie, tampa2, ya know…the usual who said getting rid of Bryant was another idiotic move)

  17. Louie the HATER! Says:

    Again, who’s knee is worse, AB or K2?

    Nobody is talking much about K2 missing all of the OTA’s and mini-camp because of his knee. I haven’t heard of AB missing time because of his knee, but when there’s smoke there’s usually fire. But, it can’t be any worse than K2’s knee. Like K2, I imagine AB will be playing on it even if it’s not 100%.

  18. Capt.Tim Says:

    First comes the statement “1000 yard reciever” then the panic” we don’t have one!!! Then the crying” we’re doomed! We Must have a 1000 yard reciever to have a semblance of a passing game!” . ” all hope is lost!!” dumbasses! The Ravens won a superbowl without a 1000yd WR! We were 9-7 two years ago without a 1000yd WR. I’m to lazy ta look, but I don’t think Keyshawn had 1000yds the year we won the Superbowl! ( he might of, I don’t really care). The point is, if Benn gets 700 yds, and Williams get 700yds. And Sammy gets 700yds, and Winslow gets 800 yds- tada! We have a great passing game! Throw in 500 for Graham and the backs, and we’re cooking! I swear you guys Just look for things ta cry about!

  19. Capt.Tim Says:

    Eric- what’s contributing? 1000 yds? 800? 500? Did Sammy contribute last year? If Benn and Williams together gain 1500 yds, did they contribute? They don’t have to be Swann and Stallworth this year to contribute. If they both can be just a bit better than last years 7th round pick, we are greatly improved- because then 3 Wrs will have out performed last years starter- Mike Clayton.

  20. Patrick Says:

    @Capt. Tim

    “We were 9-7 two years ago without a 1000 yard WR.”

    You’re wrong. In 2008, AB had 83 catches for 1,248 yards and 7 TD’s. In 2007, Joey Galloway had 57 catches for 1,014 yards and 6 TD’s. Both of our 9-7 teams had 1,000 receivers.

    I know you said you didn’t care, but Keyshawn Johnson DID have a 1,000 yard season in 2002. He had 76 catches for 1,088 yards and 5 TD’s.

  21. JimBuc Says:

    Eric, you have it exactly backwards:

    “It is just rare for rookie wideouts to contribute. This is especially so where there is no legit number one receiver on the team.

    Rookie WRs generally do not produce big numbers because they don’t play or they play a subordinate role (i.e #2 or #3). However, rooike receivers that do play and that play a primary role do sometimes produce. Look no further than your favorite Michael Clayton, who produced big numbers in his first season because he was forced into a primary role.

    So, its not like rookie receivers are inept or that they, as you suggest, cannot poerform where there is no #1 to take the ehat off them. Its just that they don’t normally start as as #1s or #2s.

  22. eric Says:

    Joey Galloway SEA Seahawks 1995
    Terry Glenn NE Patriots 1996
    Randy Moss MIN Vikings 1998
    Anquan Boldin ARZ Cardinals 2003
    Michael Clayton TB Buccaneirs 2004
    Marques Colston NO Saints 2006

    Jimbuc, at the risk of exposing that I have nuttin better to do, above is the list of rookie 1000 yard receivers. I got it from Wikianswers.

    I would have thought there were a lot more. That isn’t a very long list.

    If it is accurrate, I can’t believe Clayton is on a list with those guys!

  23. JimBuc Says:

    eric — you are answering your won question. Why is Clayton on that list? What happened in 2004 that has not happened since?

  24. FIRE GREG OLSON! Says:

    good post eric, you took the names right outta my mouth…

  25. JimBuc Says:

    oops “own”

  26. FIRE GREG OLSON! Says:

    JimBuc, you really don’t know the difference between “won” and “one”? I hate to be the spelling police, but God that’s powerfully stupid…

  27. FIRE GREG OLSON! Says:

    My bad JimBuc

    I apologize

  28. troxell8t8 Says:

    Looks like the bengals have made a contract offer to T.O. I wonder how healthy his knee can be. Wish him the best, maybe the Bucs knew a little more than us fans with the medical reports.

  29. JimBuc Says:

    No problem. I gladly accept the title of worst typist

  30. Capt.Tim Says:

    Dammit , scorched by Patrick!! Yup, it’s a Monday 🙁

  31. JDouble Says:

    I guess last year someone forgot to tell Michael Crabtree, Percy Harvin, Jeremy Maclin, Kenny Britt, Hakeem Nicks, Mohamed Massaquoi, Mike Wallace, Johnny Knox, and Sammy Stroughter that rookie recievers are irrelevant and don’t make an impact on thier team.


  32. The White Tiger Says:

    JimBuc – why do rookies ride the pine, exactly?

    Because th GM’s & coaches that selected them (in the first place) secretly want them to tail?

    Doubt it – they (GM’s & head coach) usually have millions of reasons why they should START their rookies.

    …but, now I’m curious…why do YOU think they don’t play immediately?

  33. JDouble Says:

    Statistics are skewed. Statistics of rookie WRs include so many different rookies in so many different situations. Plenty of good recievers go unused as rookies because they have solid teams with vets starting. We have no depth at reciever and Williams, Benn, and Stroughter will get alot of playing time as rookies. Much more than most rookies. Stats are for losers.

  34. The White Tiger Says:

    …and for the record…I predict a massive FAIL by our rookie recievers that cause many low intellect types to blame Josh Freeman…because it won’t be quite so obvious to you when the ROOKIES run the wrong routes, get jqmmd at th line, or simply get taken to school by a veteran DB.

    I therefore predict that Freeman’s accuracy will drop, INT’s will skyrocket (simply due to him playing in more games), prompting many low-intellect types to blame the 2nd year pro QB.

    You guys are AWE-SHUM!

  35. JDouble Says:

    I think Mike Williams can make all the acrobatic catches Bryant made, but instead of “freelancing” make shift routes and simply watching the INT instead of fighting for off target throws like Bryant, Mike Williams will run the routes he suppose to run and try his hardest for every pass thrown his way. That alone makes him an upgrade imo.

    Benn has got to be an upgrade over Clayton. I mean…who wouldn’t be?

    2nd year Stroughter is an upgrade over rookie Stroughter.

    Winslow is Winslow.

    I think our passing game will be just fine this year. It’s the running game I’m worried about.

  36. TJ Says:

    So funny how Roy Williams is having a conversation about Dez carrying his pads when he needs to worried about Bryant taking his job

  37. Capt.Tim Says:

    No no no Patrick, not 3 years ago, two! Grudens last year. Bryant had 600 yards and sat out most of the year. 9-7, no 1000 yd WR. -10 points from the slow squad for” creative Calendars”

  38. eric Says:

    Bryant had 1200 receiving yards in Gruden’s last year, which also was AB’s first year with the team. 2008.

    Gruden had a 1000 yard receiver every year he coached the buccanneers.

    Longest streak in the NFC during that period.

  39. Capt.Tim Says:

    Yup , right! Retraction on my last post! Sorry! During my week away, suffered a Lil concussion(ugh) . Still having moments of ” Not clarity” . I’ll check closer until I’m less “fuzzy”

  40. eric Says:

    No prob Capt.Tim,

    I figured a redfish bit ya or something.

  41. Patrick Says:

    @Capt. Tim

    “No no no Patrick, not 3 years ago, two! Grudens last year. Bryant had 600 yards and sat out most of the year. 9-7, no 1000 yd WR. -10 points from the slow squad for” creative Calendars”

    Capt. Tim, you’re confusing me. It looks like you thought I misunderstood your post or something. It was pretty clear that you said 2 years ago, and I got that. I never said 3.

    “Bryant had 600 yards and sat out most of the year. 9-7”

    During the 9-7 year, Bryant had 83 catches for 1,248 yards and 7 TD’s. His 600 yard season where he sat out for part of the year was LAST SEASON. 2009

  42. BamBamBuc Says:

    I’m not so sure why everyone is so worried about having a 1000 yard WR. From 1997 to 2000 we didn’t have a 1000 yard WR. In 2001, we finally had one in Keyshawn. In those years, we came very close to a Super Bowl in 1999 (and didn’t have a 1000 yard rusher either… Alstott came close, but no cigar). In 2000, we made the playoffs without a 1000 yard WR. Even 1997 we made the playoffs without one (and no 1000 yard rusher either). That’s 3 seasons making the playoffs without a 1000 yard WR, and 2 without the 1000 yard rusher either.

    Beyond that…. rookie WR’s can make a major impact. It may not be 1000 yard seasons…. but Eddie Royal had 980 yds on 91 catches and 5 TDs his rookie season in Denver. DeSean Jackson had 912 yards his rookies season. I’ll take that if we can get it from one of our guys. Who knows, maybe it’ll be the combination of them that totals a good contribution the rookie season.

  43. Capt.Tim Says:

    BamBam- exactly my point. This team has won lots of games before, without a 1000 yd WR. Rookies generally don’t have that kind of rookie season, but that doesn’t mean rhey won’t be major contributors. Yes Patrick, I was wrong. Sorry. The Capt. Is wiping a Lil Egg of his face today. But, I had a week that reminded me of “Joe’s” beloved “24” last week. Still a little off. But you got me. I admit it. My point was still a good one though, right?

  44. Gary Says:

    See, atleast the capt. is man enough to admit his mistakes. Others on here will use anything to avoid that.

    1000 yd receivers as rookies are rare because of what Jimbuc pointed out arleady, i would think its common sense! They dont get much playing time!

    This year mark it down, our WR corp will not be the weak link or close to it. I promise you that. Just Freeman’s improvement alone will make sure of that. Rookies or not, their job is simple… just catch the damn ball. And they will.

  45. BigMacAttack Says:

    I hope that is the last picture I see of MichaelCCClayton in a Bucs’ uniform. Maybe he can get a job in Cinci with the rest of the Leftovers.