Saturday, September 15, 2007

Leonard Weaver day is almost here!

Despite fumbling in nearly every pre-season game, Leonard Weaver will play a significant role on Sunday. Very few men have gotten out of Holmgren's doghouse after showing a propensity for putting the ball on the turf, but Holmgren played Weaver for roughly 30% of the snaps last Sunday, and is likely to play him even more this week on passing downs with Shaun's hurt wrist limiting his catching ability (even more than normal) and Mo Morris likely sidelined with a bum hip.

This is great for a number of reasons. The NFL is a game of focus, preparation and execution. I guarantee you nobody on the Cardinals staff is focusing and preparing for Leonard Weaver. And even if they are noting the plays he was a part of last week, it will be different this week. That means there should be opportunities for Weaver to make some plays, and I think he will. The concern here is his ability to pass protect. I can't say he's worse than Shaun in that regard.

Look for some screen passes, check-downs, and possibly some draws to Weaver tomorrow. What got lost in his fumbling during the pre-season was that he made some great catches and strong runs in the last few games. We all want to see "The Baptism" (his stiff arm, for the uninitiated) in regular season action. Before too long, he is going to break a big gainer off of a screen pass, and then teams will start preparing for him. But not this week. Opportunity is knocking.

2 comments :

cwu91 said...

Ive never quite understood the criticism that Weaver has received this year, given that he missed last year with an injury. They shut him down for the entire season for a high-ankle sprain...anyone else think that was a bone-headed move by the front office? That left us with a change of pace back to carry the load when Alexander went down.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/gamelog?statsId=5940&year=2006

Notice that Hackett wasn't placed on IR for the same reported injury this year.

It's not like he's a 5 year veteran or anything...he transitioned into a new position in 2005 and had, what, 17 carries for the year? None, in the regular season?

A patient approach is probably best at this point, lest we wind up with Ahman Green 2.0

hawkblogger said...

Interesting take, cwu. I definitely agree that putting Weaver on IR was a risky move that backfired on them. Mo Morris is not built to carry the load for an offense. Weaver is a guy who can potentially make holes where there are none. Mo is more dependent on the o-line creating gaps.

Weaver has the potential to be John L. Williams Part Deux in the passing game. He was a tight end in college, has good hands and can be a punishing runner.

I'd love to have another weapon that teams have to prepare for, especially one that is different than our other threats.