Training Camp Preview: WRs
As the Washington Redskins wide receivers and tight ends head back to training camp this year, they will be greeted by some new faces to the passing game. While Mark Brunell , Chris Cooley and James Thrash are nice additions. The acquisitions of Clinton Portis and offensive line coach Joe Bugel will give head coach Joe Gibbs the running game and protection needed for the Redskin passing game to thrive. One thing is for sure, it will be a tough training camp battle at WR for the following incumbents...
WR Laveranues Coles
Weight: 193 lbs
Coles had a solid first season with the Redskins. He recorded 82 catches for 1,204 yards (14.7 average) and six touchdowns. Coles set a modern day NFL record for catching at least five receptions per game in 19 consecutive games. He proved to be one tough football player as he played through multiple injuries throughout the season. With a more stable Quarterback situation and a sound running game, look for Coles to have a Pro Bowl season.
WR Rod Gardner
If there was one consistence thing about Gardner last season it was his inconsistency. After a great sophomore season when he recorded 71 catches for over a 1000 yards, his number dropped to 59 catches for 600 yards last year. Gardner will have to prove in camp he is worthy of being the #2 receiver this year. Although Gibbs uses multiple 3WR sets, Gardner could see his playing time taken by McCants and Thrash if he continues to drop balls and run poor pass routes.
WR Darnerien McCants
Weight: 214 lbs
McCants was a nice surprise for Redskins last season as a solid and reliable third receiver , hauling in a career-high 27 catches for 360 yards, and a team-high six touchdown catches. The Redskins rewarded McCants for his efforts with a new contract in the off-season. A local kid (Annapolis) McCants grew up watching Joe Gibbs coach the Redskins to 3 Superbowl victories. Look for McCants to push Gardner for the #2 receiver position. At 6Ď3 and 214 he is a big physical receiver who thrives in the slot.
WR Taylor Jacobs
Jacobs had a forgettable rookie campaign. After being reunited with his college coach Steve Spurrier Jacobs saw limited playing time as he struggled through a series of injuries. He posted 3 catches for 37 yards and a touchdown in 8 games . The Redskins felt like Jacobs was a steal, projected as a 1st round pick the Redskins drafted him ( out of Florida) in the 2nd round of the 2003 draft. Jacobs will be out to prove his worth and shout get a fair shot with the new coaching staff.
WR James Thrash
Weight: 200 lbs
The wide receiver position looks to be set. Coles is a solid # 1 and Gardner will benefit from the running game that was missing in action last season. McCants has proven to be a touchdown maker and should see plenty of action in the three receivers sets. Jacobs could be a sleeper, a very speedy receivers if opposing teams donít play him he could have a few big games. See you at camp.
- DE Hog
This article was released on 2004-07-01.
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