Shawn Springs: Pierre Garcon is a No. 2

December 2, 2013

(Via Comcast SportsNet)

Fans and media members have spent two years debating whether Pierre Garcon is a No. 1 or a No. 2 receiver, without clear resolution.

I’ve leaned toward No. 1, because Garcon ranks second in the NFL in receptions, 10th in yards, and 14th in receiving yards per game. He’s in the top half of the league in all those categories, playing for a team that is bad. So maybe he’s not one of the best five or 10 receivers in the NFL, but he’s probably one of the best 32 receivers, which makes him a No. 1 receiver to me, unless you want to argue that there are fewer than 32 No. 1 receivers, which is weird, unless you also argue there are fewer than 32 NFL head coaches or something.

But reasonable people disagree. Via Maske:

[Louis] Riddick also said the team’s wide receiver corps performed well enough to win this season if Griffin had thrown the ball more accurately. But he called Garcon “really a good number two [wide receiver]. You need a real number one.”

Mike Wise recently argued he would take 22 to 24 NFL receivers over Garcon, although he later clarified that he was including tight ends.

Anyhow, Shawn Springs is on Team No. 2 receiver. Here was the former cornerback on Comcast SportsNet’s postgame show, when asked by Chick Hernandez to name a player he would fear on the Washington offense.

“There’s nobody on that offensive team that I fear,” Springs said. “Pierre Garcon’s a good receiver. He’s a No. 2 guy to me. I would go into the game and say you know what coach, I can check him. Gregg Williams, my coordinator — Gregg, I got it one on one. Everybody else, go get the ball. Go blitz. I can take this guy. And when you don’t have a guy like a Megatron or a Dez Bryant or a DeSean Jackson — somebody who can stretch the field — then that allows the defense to be aggressive, blitz on first down, blitz on second down and get you in negative plays.”

Trevor Matich, sitting next to Springs, pointed the finger at another Redskins wideout.

“Part of the problem was receivers were dropping passes,” Matich said. “In the second half, they kept putting footballs in the hands of receivers, and the receivers kept dropping them. And the other part of it is this. I love Aldrick Robinson. I love him. He’s the coolest dude, a guy you want to root for. But he’s supposed to be the speed guy, to blow the top off a defense. And I’ve got to ask you this question: When was the last time you saw No. 11 running free behind the secondary, with the safety running desperately behind him to try to catch him? And the answer is, I don’t know.

“And then when was the last time you saw him jump up and win a jump ball against a safety who was near him? And the answer is, I can’t really think of it. And so Aldrick Robinson, if he’s not going to be a deep threat that will scare the defense, and if he’s not going to win the ball when he’s got somebody near him, then throwing the ball to him isn’t going to scare anybody. And the defense continues to gum up the other receivers. They need that deep threat.

“And so we talk about Robert, we talk about his mistakes. But he was failed last week miserably by his offensive line, allowing him to get bludgeoned in the pocket. He was failed miserably in the second half of this game by his wide receivers, who could not catch a thing.”

Springs also praised Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell for unleashing blitzes on first and second downs in the second half, putting Washington in negative situations.

“Obviously the Redskins couldn’t handle 3rd-and-13 or 3rd-and-10,” Springs said. “They weren’t able to make adjustments.”

This was something Giants defensive end Justin Tuck also mentioned after the game.

“We [were] able to kind of take Alfred out of the game,” Tuck told reporters. “I think RG hurt us in the first half, running the football, but that was a little bit by design by us, to make sure we took Alfred out of the game….[Griffin] looked fresh tonight. He hurt us with some runs early. He outran me on a few plays. I thought he looked good, until we was able to make some adjustments. He hurt us with the pass a lot tonight too, and it was fortunate for us that we was able to make some adjustments. Hats off to Coach Fewell and that staff, to get us in some different playcalls, some things we hadn’t even practiced before. But he knew that that was going to give [Griffin] a different look.”

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.
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Dan Steinberg · December 2, 2013

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