When the master speaks, we listen:
[Anthony] Gonzalez's acquisition might not draw the attention of the [Randy] Moss move but it can be every bit as important. The reason is Gonzalez plays the slot in three- or four-receiver threats. The slot receiver might not be as sexy to fans as split end or flanker, but its role can be minimized.
"The last time we had that kind of threat from the slot was when Brandon Stokley was healthy in 2004," Polian said. "That was the year Peyton Manning threw 49 touchdown passes."
Per usual, John Clayton of ESPN hits the nail on the head. While morons like Mark May call New England the #1 for trading for a malcontent, lazy receiver with a history of quitting, Clayton makes the point that getting a young, fast, hard-working, and smart receiver like Gonzalez makes the Colts offense "scary good." Clayton continues:
he slot receiver always has been important in offenses, but the Patriots and Colts are taking the value of that position to new levels. Welker's success is vital to the Patriots' offense because if he can catch 60 passes, he will open up single coverage on the outside for Moss and Stallworth. Given Brady's accuracy, it's not out of the question for Brady to approach a 40-touchdown-pass season and compete with Manning for passing records.
But Gonzalez could have an even bigger impact. First of all, he runs much faster than Hakim, Stokley and Welker, who barely runs a 4.7 40. The former Ohio State receiver runs a 4.4 40. Think of the matchup problems. Unless a team puts a corner with comparable speed on him, Gonzalez could get past safeties and be open down the middle of the field for touchdowns.
Ah yes, I am thinking of those match-up problems. I'm thinking of a rookie safety like Brandon Merriweather, or an old, beat-up safety like Rodney "Punked by Marvin" Harrison trying to cover a receiver like Gonzo. I'm seeing several TDs caught by said reciever Gonzo. I'm seeing another disappointment for New England fans.
The Master concludes:
Moss, Stallworth and Welker were great acquisitions to the Patriots' receiving corps. Last season New England paid a costly price -- falling in the the AFC title game at Indy -- for losing Deion Branch and David Givens to a trade and free agency, respectively. So the Patriots made a big splash and received all the attention for reloading their offense with new receivers. But despite the lack of headlines, the Colts adding Gonzalez is just as big of a story.
We Colts fans thank you Master Clayton for, once agian, bringing a sense of perspective and a touch of knowledge to your evaluation. If only other members of the media (especially idiots like this
), could be as insightful as Clayton.