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Topic: Ok football/WR gurus, I have a question?
Replies: 19   Last Post: Apr 3, 2021, 8:47 AM by: Lakedude®
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Ok football/WR gurus, I have a question?

emoji_events [5]
Apr 1, 2021, 11:48 AM
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I feel like I am fairly football knowledgeable, played several years, and college football junkie.

But from the first time I heard it mentioned that Ross will be playing slot, it just didn't ring as a great move to me. While I am excited to have him back, and he is super talented, those acrobatic catches he pulled off on the outside, why would we want to lose that outside talent, size, and DB mismatches. What about a smaller Ladson in slot, or where is Spector? Mikey Dukes is supposed to have great hands and has running talent, why not use him for slot?

I have always pictured the slot position as a possession position to move the chains, and maybe it was because Renfrow was so good at it, but possession WE with potential of yards after catch vs. giving Ross one-on-one opportunity down the field. Seems like we have filled that position with the likes of Amari, Scott, Renfrow and not pulled an outside guy to slot, especially when he proved to be a factor.

I think you get the just of my question and the history of the position under Dabo.

Thanks in advance for educated response. And being enlightened.

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Re: Ok football/WR gurus, I have a question?

[2]
Apr 1, 2021, 12:08 PM
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I wonder the same. Slot seems like a more violent position. Often being thrown into defenders coming full speed.

That said I think Ross is the most refined route runner we have. Like renfrow he will be able to get open.

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Re: Ok football/WR gurus, I have a question?

[2]
Apr 1, 2021, 12:13 PM
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Not to mention Ross is getting better but still not fully cleared to even play quite yet. Interesting to see him train at a position where he will likely get rocked a few times by some linebackers.

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Re: Ok football/WR gurus, I have a question?

[2]
Apr 1, 2021, 12:26 PM
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I'm guessing if you go back for the last several years you will have a hard time finding any of our WRs getting "rocked by LBs" while catching ball.

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Re: Ok football/WR gurus, I have a question?

[2]
Apr 1, 2021, 12:41 PM
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Agreed it doesn't happen often but for someone who was "never going to be able to play again" it is an interesting position for him to be put at.

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Re: Ok football/WR gurus, I have a question?

[3]
Apr 1, 2021, 12:48 PM
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I'm guessing an outside WR running a post or one of those slow sideline routes has more chance of a safety trying to clean him up than a slot guy crossing near LBs.

If he is cleared to play, then he will play a dangerous game with a chance of injury no matter what spot he lines up.

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Re: Ok football/WR gurus, I have a question?

emoji_events [5]
Apr 1, 2021, 12:16 PM
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I am no guru, but I think the answer is that though slot may not be the best position for JR, him playing slot is best for the team. If he plays outside, I think we can have 2 future NFL receivers on the field. With him at slot, I think we can put 3 future NFL receivers on the field.

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Re: Ok football/WR gurus, I have a question?

emoji_events [6]
Apr 1, 2021, 12:23 PM
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Ross played the slot in the CFP during his freshman year so he could be on the same side as Higgins.

Everybody can look back and see how that worked out.

Slot can affect the routes you run, but it doesn't have to.

Also it's harder to press a slot at the line because of how they line up, so it would keep Ross from having to get physical with DBs as much.

As far as other options at slot, Ladson, Ngata, Williams and Ajou are all 6'3". Ross is 6'4".

I don't think that's really enough difference to say height is a factor in determining which could move inside more easily.

You listed several small guys who have played slot.

We have also played Jaron Brown and Diondre Overton in the slot under Dabo who are not short shifty WRs.

Sammy Watkins also played in the slot a times.

Personally, my opinion is that it takes a more refined route-runner to play the slot well. With his experience and skill set, Ross may be the best man to fit those needs out of our WR core.

I like the idea of pairing Ross with either Ladson or Williams on the same side. Somebody has to get a safety/nickel to cover them which is a huge mismatch.

Finally, I think that Ross will move around in formations if he is healthy and on his game so getting hung up on him working in the slot during the spring is not a big deal.

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It's a stupid move that won't get Ross ready for the next


Apr 1, 2021, 12:59 PM
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level but it is out of necessity because WRU didn't recruit the different types of WRs we needed to run our offense apparently...We had a period where about 80% of the guys we signed were 6 3"/6 4" and then it dawned on us that we had nobody to run the 5 or the 6...I would love a true explanation of how we got here honestly, but all we will ever get is coachspeak or spin from the apologists

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Re: It's a stupid move that won't get Ross ready for the next


Apr 1, 2021, 1:10 PM
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Could you explain why it's a stupid move?

I'm not buying that Ross will only play the slot, so why is Ross working all spring in the slot and already knowing how to play outside a stupid move?

He had a great deal of success playing in the slot as a freshman.

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Re: It's a stupid move that won't get Ross ready for the next

[1]
Apr 1, 2021, 1:33 PM
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Well you kind of pointed out my other concern about not preparing him for the NFL. No way he is going to be a slot guy in the NFL.

I think we have options at slot by using a younger talented WR that has another 1-2 yrs after this season that can move outside next yr or take a Dukes that is 6' with good hands supposedly and has the run after catch ability. I doubt he will be top 3 RB this yr so give him an option to play slot. But we have Shipley, Stellato with possibilities? Looks like Spector isn't holding up the #13 standards or I would have expected more playing time over Willy.

Just seems like the move is backwards when he is our most proven edge guy.

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Some truth in Shack's reply****


Apr 2, 2021, 4:28 PM
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I am apparently the only one saying it, but man, I see

[1]
Apr 2, 2021, 5:01 PM
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Shipley as an absolute Weapon X out of the slot. I would hope putting Ross there is just a placeholder until he, or one of the other new guys acclimates enough to the offense to take over, and move Ross back outside. But, I haven't even heard anything about Shipley being put in the slot at practice. But, for the most part, no press allowed, so it may be happening, and we are keeping it on the down low to not attract any attention from Dogs, if you know what I mean.

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Re: It's a stupid move that won't get Ross ready for the next

[1]
Apr 3, 2021, 7:52 AM
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Well, actually, Brannon Spector is a pure 5. He even wears the #13 jersey, is a sophomore, actually looks really good, to my eyes, anyhow. He looks pretty much like a carbon-copy clone of every white-guy WR we've had at the spot from Renfrow to Humphries to Grisham himself If ever anybody should be able to plug right into the slot it's Spector. We got another one who looks money this year with that Troy Stellato. Stellato looks good, man. Lightning. Can house it anytime he touches it.

Honestly I just think they think Ross is a mismatch there. Normally a guy who's 6'4" doesn't have the quicks or the cuts to be able to run those routes in the slot; Ross does, and you get him matched up on a nickel, a safety, or, God help the opposition, a LB, and it's just plain unfair. Especially with Big Cinco's ability to pitch it over the top.

So hey, why not input the cheat code, and completely break the opposition? Kinda what LSU did a couple years back with Justin Jefferson when he caught 111 balls in one season from the slot and caught every mismatch known to man? (And Jefferson was only 6'1".)

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Re: Ok football/WR gurus, I have a question?

[2]
Apr 1, 2021, 1:02 PM
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Sammy played a lot of snaps from the slot and was unstoppable. Renfrow was also unstoppable, but for very different reasons. Either style can work.

I'm excited to see it, especially if everyone is healthy as it will get all of the top WRs on the field at the same time.

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Re: Ok football/WR gurus, I have a question?

[3]
Apr 1, 2021, 1:38 PM
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I believe that the notion of the "slot" is shifting away from solely being WRs similar to Hunter Renfrow. Teams are looking at the slot as the spot to put their best overall WR. Justin Jefferson at LSU. Jerry Jeudy and DeVonta Smith at Alabama. For Clemson, Justyn Ross is our best WR. And we simply do not have someone else that would scare opposing defenses from that position. Ross is shifty for his size. He is a good route runner. And he has been effective in the slot before, especially his freshman year when he was lined up next to Tee Higgins. Remember his 2nd TD against ND in the semi's came from the slot when he was matched up against one of their safeties. That's just one example.

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Re: Ok football/WR gurus, I have a question?

[1]
Apr 1, 2021, 1:52 PM
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Exactly! Doesn’t mean he can only run short inside routes from the slot. You can bunch him and get him free releases, delayed crossing routes after the TE clears the middle, or just streak him. The only thing I wouldn’t expect to see much of is the jet sweep stuff. Plus there’s always the pick plays on short yardage like LSU ran against us with Moss on the goal line.

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Re: Ok football/WR gurus, I have a question?

[1]
Apr 1, 2021, 2:06 PM
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One word: "matchups" How many linebackers are able to cover JR? not many!

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Re: Ok football/WR gurus, I have a question?


Apr 3, 2021, 8:03 AM
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It is the Devonta Smith effect. He played out of the slot a lot last year and was wide open often. Resulted in a Heisman trophy. Creates bad match-ups for the other team when a fast, good route runner gets a free release. Do you think Simpson or one of our Slot corners would fare well against a healthy Ross? Our guys in those positions are better than everyone we would play with the exception of maybe Georgia and the playoff teams.

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I am personally hoping we see the success we did in the '18

[1]
Apr 3, 2021, 8:47 AM
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playoffs when Ross and Higgins were on the same side of the field.

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