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diehardskin2982 06-24-2004 12:34 PM

The H-back position
 
As I sat here thinking about all our depth at Wideout :sleep: I wondered how we could use all of the talent we have. Then I thought about the H-back position. What exactly consist of that position and who is fit to play it.

All the "Official NFL" experts thought KW2 was perfect for that position, but he made a mistake signing with the Postons and lost his chance to be a skin :Flush: .

Then we drafted Cooley and exspectations went down. So I asked myself how could we make that position still be dominant with the players that we have. Then I came up with the idea... how about darren McCants playing some H-back on passing downs. He was a Tightend/ WR in college and he would be an awesome option out of the back field on passing downs he is a big target with some speed and sure hands. It would create alot of mismatches.
Remember klessinger of the vikings started as a TE and switched to FB becoming an impact player could it work?... I think so :D

Redskins_P 06-24-2004 12:44 PM

From what I know. The H-back position is a combination of FB/TE. Basically you want someone who can block with pass catching abilities, and with some kind of speed. As far as size, your looking for someone between 6'0 - 6'3 weighing about 220+.

McCants does have the size and good speed, and great hands but he's not really known for his blocking abilities (run & pass). McCants is a perfect "possesion" receiver.

diehardskin2982 06-24-2004 12:49 PM

how good was KW2 at blocking, i don't think it was that good.

SKINSnCANES 06-24-2004 01:00 PM

KWII could block. Shockey is probably a better pure blocker. But Kellen would still pancake safeties pretty easily. He probably blocked for more of the season then he was a receiver because he would always get targeted. Hes better known for his hands but can block when hes suppsoed to. Not as good as a blockign TE, but great for someone with hands that good.

BrudLee 06-24-2004 01:07 PM

There has been some discussion of McCants lining up a H-back, but I wouldn't out much stock in it. The blocking ability of a WR, even one who has played (in Div 1-AA) the TE position, doesn't match up to the standards of the league.

In the past, this offense didn't require a gamebreaking TE/H-back. The top tight ends of the reign of Gibbs I were Don Warren and Clint Didier. Warren never caught more than 29 balls under Gibbs, and Didier's high was 41. In Super Bowl years, 27 was the most balls caught by a single TE. The role this offense has always had for TE's is important, but not prolific. Double the best, and offer that to KWII. Do you think he'd be happy with 58 catches? Or would he be a malcontent? I know what my vote is.

joecrisp 06-24-2004 02:13 PM

H-backs in Gibbs' offense need to be much beefier than Darnerian McCants (6-3, 214). The reason for this is that H-backs are frequently used to block defensive ends and linebackers. Though McCants is fairly big for a receiver, he's nowhere near the size of guys like Cooley (6-3, 265), Sellers (6-3, 260), Kozlowski (6-3, 250) or Ware (6-3, 259). These guys match up much better with the average DEs (250 lbs to 300 lbs) and LBs (230 lbs to 260 lbs).

Even Winslow is far bigger (6-4, 243), and presents a more formidable roadblock for defensive players, regardless of his blocking ability-- which has generally been underrated due to his receiving prowess.

McCants played TE in college, but keep in mind it was at the Division I-AA level, where D-linemen and linebackers are generally smaller than what you'd find at Division I-A, nevermind the pros. When I was at James Madison (which was in the same conference as Delaware State, where McCants played) in the late '90s, there was a guy about my size (6-0, 200 lbs) starting at weakside linebacker. My roommate was the starting middle linebacker, and he wasn't more than 230 lbs. I don't think the starting strongside 'backer was any bigger than my roommate. The safeties were all smaller than me, around 185-195 lbs.

While Gibbs likes to use H-backs as receiving options out of the backfield, they are rarely the primary receiver, and more often will be pulled out of their pass route to be used as an extra blocker when defenses bring extra men on a blitz. Most H-back receptions will occur in the flats as a short dump-off, or in the short areas over the middle which have been vacated by linebackers. While an athlete such as Winslow is always a bonus for a coach to have at his disposal, the position really doesn't require such tremendous athleticism. Generally, you want your H-backs to be a little more athletic (and therefore more versatile) than your blocking TEs, but the premium is still on blocking ability-- especially on third down, when defenses often bring heavy blitzes.

Cooley may not be the superstar that Winslow is, but he brings all the necessary tools to the position to be a significant weapon at H-back-- both as a receiver and a blocker. He was also very effective at breaking tackles and gaining yards after the catch in college, which is exactly what an H-back needs to do, to make big gains out of short dump-offs.

On the other hand, if you were to insert McCants into the lineup as an H-back, it would almost certainly be for the purpose of throwing him a pass. This would eliminate the ambiguity on the part of the defense, and therefore detract from the most significant advantage a true H-back brings: uncertainty by the defense as to whether the H-back is being used as a blocker or a receiver.

justrick 06-24-2004 04:27 PM

Excellent option
 
Although I like this on paper. I think Mccants effectiveness from the H-back position ties directly to the effectiveness of Portis. When a defense is in a position where they have to honor Portis. I can just picture Mccants on a linebacker in the middle of the field when the safety reacts to slow. Also let's not overlook his effectiveness as a decoy. I like this and doubt if JG has overlooked the beauty or the pressure Mccants puts on a defense from a slot or backfield position if you will. Man it feels good to have Gibbs and company back.

mizzo skins man 06-24-2004 05:50 PM

I think that is a excellent idea. If nothing else he is another body to cover. He has excellent hands, and he is big enough to deliver a solid block. Also we wouldn't have to lose any of these great receivers. :biggthump

jrocx69 06-24-2004 06:31 PM

ask robert royal if he thinks mcants shout play TE. i bet his answer will be two words,,, "simeon rice"

justrick 06-24-2004 07:00 PM

don't sacrifice mccants
 
hey guys don't look as Mccants at H-back as anything other than a special timing type of situation. It would not be a down after down or week after week type of arrangement. That's another of the tons of benefits of having Gibbs and Company back. Knowing when and when not to utilize a resource. The SS era is over. Hurry up season!!! GO SKINS!!!!!

SKINSnCANES 06-24-2004 07:10 PM

Portis would never want McCants lining up in front of him to blcok, you gusy are thinkign a lot about him as a receiving Hback, but when hes lining up as a full back hes going to get creamed by linemen and linebackers and Portis is just going ot have to try and run around him.

joecrisp 06-24-2004 08:05 PM

I understand that the idea behind using McCants as an H-back would be only on 3rd-down or passing situations, but again, the problem with that is you're losing a valuable blocker by replacing one of the regular H-backs with a receiver.

I understand that his speed would represent a mismatch in certain personnel situations. But again, that's going back to the Spurrier philosophy that "speed kills". That philosophy may be true on defense, but Spurrier's offense showed us that when you add receivers and subtract blockers, the only thing getting killed is the quarterback.

Remember, the buzz-phrase being used around Redskins Park these days is "maximum protection". Why? Because defenses are blitz-happy. When do defenses blitz the most? Passing situations.

Again, the beauty of the H-back position is that he's a player who can both block and catch passes with equal efficacy. You can move him up and down the line of scrimmage-- [i]on any down and distance[/i]-- and keep the defense guessing as to where he'll wind up when the ball is snapped, and what he'll do when the ball is in play. Chris Cooley can do that. That's why Gibbs and Bugel wanted him so badly, and that's why they gave up a 2nd-rounder in 2005 to get him.

That Guy 06-25-2004 02:38 AM

[QUOTE]Double the best, and offer that to KWII. Do you think he'd be happy with 58 catches? Or would he be a malcontent? I know what my vote is.[/QUOTE]
well, he did spend his post draft interview whining about how washington didnt pick him, and calling gibbs a liar... and the postons have already mentioned holding him out and wanting 1st pick money...

I think gibbs did find background checking and found out the guy is a total jerk/ego, and that taylor was a better team player (and well liked).

So yeah, I know how i'd vote to. In the washington times they ran a poll over whether we should get KW or ST, and about 80% said taylor, even though the post and times spent a lot more space talking about winslow.

and about mccants, maybe if it was low usage, but i really think it'd be obvious he's not going to be able to block most people, so he'd be letting the D know its a pass...

diehardskin2982 06-25-2004 10:12 AM

I still think it could be a great idea, its not like buguel couldn't show him a thing or 2 about cut blocking. Plus if there was a constant switching at the position between the 4 or so players playing the position you wouldn't know what to expect. Fake pass to him out to the flats and run portis inside Dockery and Raymer with Thomas pulling as lead blocker. The OLb would have to respect the pass option of McCant & thomas would kill the middle linebacker, while portis shake the safety TD baby.

Lastly it's not like McCants could not gain weight, especially if it meant starting at the position. Hell if he picked up enough just enough weight he could turn into a playmaker like TO or Boston.

We can't make a definite judgement on what a player can do it all... because it's about what he thinks he can do.... choice example Zach Thomas who is extremly undersized for his position but still is one of the best.


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