Being a little bit bored on Friday night I thought I'd take a look at how the top 4 receivers performed for the past 4 years and how their seasons were a part of the total passing yards for the year.
I didn't have any clues as to how this would play out, so with that being said, let's dive into those numbers. Hat tip to College Football Stats for all the statistics.
Crabtree. Just amazing, especially those touchdown percentages. I remember that 2004 season and kept thinking that Hicks was having an unbelievable season and then . . . he never lived up to those expectations. It really puts Mr. Crabtree's year into perspective for me.
It's safe to say that the #1 receiver for the Red Raiders can expect 20% of the receptions, especially under Harrell's guidance. Interesting that in 2005 and 2004 those numbers were down slightly as Hodges and Cumbie both involved the third receiver a little bit more.
Also interesting to note that at the very least 24% of the passing touchdown production comes from the first receiver and each of these guys have a little bit of size to go and get the ball, especially in and around the endzone.
Pretty consistent and the biggest fluctuation comes from Johnson's touchdown totals in 2006, a year after being in the system. This exercise also taught me that Haverty's year in 2004 was pretty special, again in touchdown production, but keep in mind that his touchdown total is the same as Amendola's in 2007, yet Amendola's touchdowns only accounts for 12% of the passing touchdown totals whereas Haverty's accounted for 18%. Again, a testament to Crabtree's ability to get into the endzone.
The second receiver can also expect about 20% of the receptions as well as 20% of the yards. It will be interesting to see if this statistic remains consistent this year, where Detron Lewis is stepping into Amendola's spot, but Morris might be considered the second best receiver on the team. I'm going to hedge my bets that Lewis does take over that second spot, but receivers tend to trend upward in production the longer they are in the system.
This might be the one spot that has the most variation. Morris' 75 to Amendola's 48, a 27 reception difference, is fairly significant and now that I have a chance to put Amedola, Hicks, Glover and Morris' seasons together, I still scratch my head to try and figure out why Amendola struggled so much in 2006. Granted, over 40% of the passes were to Filani and Johnson, but the same could be said for Amendola and Crabtree last year, but Morris seemed to perform pretty well, especially in the touchdown department, but more than that Morris out-performed his counterparts from the previous three years except for Hicks.
Again, the norm seems to be 9% or 10% of the passes and about the same percentage of yards. The 2006 year was the down year for Morris in 2006 as well as Amendola in 2005 and I get the feeling that perhaps after 2006 Harrell recognized that perhaps he should involve all four receivers in order to have better results, corrected that problem and started spreading to his receivers as in previous year. Leach has always said that he needs all four receivers to be productive in order for the offense to really hum and production alone (over 5,700 yards in 2007 to 4,555 in 2006) says that Harrell did a much better job of getting receivers the ball, especially if you look at Britton's 2007 season in comparison with the fourth receiver the previous three years.
|2007||Aaron Crawford (6th)||38||246||2||7%||4%||4%|
|2006||Shannon Woods (3rd)||75||572||2||17%||12%||5%|
|2005||Taurean Henderson (4th)||67||528||5||17%||11%||15%|
|2004||Taurean Henderson (6th)||60||286||2||14%||6%||6%|
The number in parentheses is where each receiver ranked overall and it should also be noted that Crawford's numbers were in only 8 games. If anything, it speaks to the fact that Crawford and the four receivers referenced above were the only guys who caught significant passes from Harrell in 2007. The receptions and yardage in 2006 through 2004 seemed to be much more the norm and had Crawford played in 12 games, he would have had better numbers that Henderson's 2004 season, but nothing quite like Henderson's 2005 and Woods' 2006 seasons.
This is perhaps the most interesting of all statistics. Harrell learned to lean on his top 4 receivers moreso in 2007 than in 2006 and did so with much greater success. We all know that Mr. Crabtree has quite a bit to do with the numbers, but increasing his reliance on the top 4 receivers 9% from the previous year in receptions is a significant jump. Especially when you consider that about 60% is the normal rate. I'm beginning to wonder if Woods' lackluster effort, if that's what was holding him back, made Harrell more determined not to involve Woods and instead trust the guys who were wanting to play.
I hope you've enjoyed this exercise and feel free to post any comments, criticisms or critiques.