[Note by JasonB, 06/25/08 12:10 PM EDT ] promoted from fanposts
So, we’re in the darkest hour of the offseason here; where literally nothing is going on. I’m sure there’s some front office dealings that are happening behind closed doors, players are resting and working out (hopefully not being dragged through the streets of Vegas), and Andy and the staff are strategizing and trying to figure out what exactly they believe will yield the best results. But, for us, there’s really nothing going on right now. While OTAs are still fresh in our minds, and visions of approaching Training Camp surface, I thought it would be interesting to get some opinions of our offseason so far. Specifically, what offseason addition (draft, signing or trade) do you feel is going to fare the best? I’m going to leave how you evaluate your choice a little open ended. It could be the player you feel will compile the best stats, the player that you feel will revolutionize one of the three facets (offense, defense, or special teams), or the player that you feel is just an all around good pickup for how/where we got him, etc. I’ll make one request; don’t pick Asante. I say that simply because he is the obvious choice. My idea behind this is to get a real feel about what we think of the non-obvious choices here. (For argument’s sake, I will say that I feel Asante is the best answer here, as I’m sure most people do.)
For my pick, I’m going to go with Lorenzo Booker:
5’10”, 195 lbs., 4.45. 5’8”, 203 lbs., 4.57. I’m sure you can speculate where I’m going with this, but that first set of statistics belong to Booker from the 2007 Combine. The second set is B-West’s Combine stats. Pretty similar eh? Now, stats are just stats, but there’s something to be said about them being of similar build and speed. There are quite a few reasons that I feel Booker will be the guy that everyone looks back at and says, “Now that guy was a key pickup.”
I will admit that I am a bit bias here with this pick. Although I’m PA born and raised, FSU is my NCAA team, I did a few years of college there, have seen my share of games at Doak Campbell Stadium, and bleed garnet and gold on Saturdays in the Fall. So I’ve pretty much seen all of Booker’s games while he was in school, and even then he reminded me of Westy. The keys with Booker are match up problems he creates, his ability to work in space, and his ability to catch the ball well. While at FSU (which is by no means a hit you in the mouth running program), he realized that to get the ball more, he’d need to work out of the backfield and improve his catching skills. Booker worked hard, and his improvement through his career was easily noticeable. Although not a West Coast Offense, he has had a lot of experience moving out of the backfield to a wideout position. There are two instances where this is going to help us out a lot; both are with Westy on the field at the same time. Keep one in the backfield and either line the other up or motion him out. Still have to worry about the run, but who’s covering the other one? Or, send them both out to create a 4 WR set. Opposition better start figuring out some formations where they can get all their DBs on the field at once.
Although I believe this will be the area he contributes the most, he also helps take some of the load off of 36, while still giving us the option to do many of the same things. I know Westbrook wants as many touches as he can get, but realistically, I’d like to keep him as fresh as possible for every game and also the playoffs. And God forbid he gets hurt. Last year, that probably spells disaster, but now at least we will have a backup plan. Booker also picks up blitzes fairly well and is a decent screening back, which I’m sure will improve with his time in Philly. He’s only 24 and is signed for the next three seasons as well. I think, I’ll end with his attitude. He’s shown in college that he’s willing to alter his game to help the team excel, and coming into this situation, he’s already accepted the fact that there’s a good chance he will be used primarily in a hybrid type receiver role.
I look forward to him causing all kinds of dismay and match up problems to the opposition. To paraphrase what Booker said a few weeks ago. If a linebacker can cover him, maybe he doesn’t belong in the league.