Things I Learned About … The Receivers

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When it comes to the order of the 2007 season review articles, I initially planned to go from the quarterbacks to the running backs. That would seem to be the logical order, since I would be staying in the backfield. At least, that is the order I generally have followed in the past. But this year, it seems to make more sense to discuss the wide receivers right after the quarterbacks – after all, many would argue that each unit was the other’s biggest handicap this past season. In the end, however, I did not view it that way.

Maurice Covington is one of the talented players in the receiving corps.

There is talent. For all the issues with the passing game during the 2007 season, I never got the sense that a lack of talent at the wide receiver spot was an issue. No, there was no playmaker of Kevin Ogletree ‘s caliber on the field, I admit – we will get to the impact of that loss below – and I cannot ignore the simple truth that only one of the top five pass catchers on the team was a wide receiver. Still, looking back at last year’s games, I do not see the talent level at wide receiver being a prime culprit in the relevant ineffectiveness of the passing game.

When it comes to wide receiver play, I accept that a wide receiver has a lot of responsibilities. We all know how much Al loves those wide receivers that can block, for example, and I certainly do not want to overlook a wide receiver’s ability to contribute in that aspect of the game (case in point – we certainly missed Mo Covington’s blocking when he was out this year). Still, when it comes right down to it, in my opinion the receiver’s main job is to get open and then catch the pass. “Separation” and “hands,” so to speak. When I was breaking down this year’s games in examining Jameel Sewell ‘s 2007 performance, I looked closely to see how well UVa’s