We have heard that when he was the offensive coordinator of the Bengals, Jay Gruden liked to employ tall receivers. Almost any discussion of a potential Redskins free agent or draft target starts with “how tall is he”?
Sometimes these “preference” are exaggerated by the presence of one tall player. Someone might look at the 6-4 A. J. Green and say, yeah, Gruden likes big guys. But one website decided to put a measuring stick to the question.
Instead of just looking at who has a “WR” or “TE” or “RB” next to his name and averaging out their heights, Chase Stuart of FootballPerspective.com took figuring out how tall a receiving corps is at step further. Here’s what he did:
I calculated the average receiving height of each team during the 2013 NFL season by taking a weighted average of the height of each player on each team, weighted by their percentage of team receiving yards. For example, Jeffery caught 31.9% of all Chicago receiving yards, so his 76 inches counts for 31.9% of Chicago’s average height. Bennett gained 17.1% of the team’s receiving yards, so his 79 inches counts for 17.1% of Chicago’s average height, and so on.
That way, a 6-5 receiver who rarely gets targeted doesn’t skew the picture of the group as a whole.
The tallest receiving group belonged to the Bears at a weighted averaged of 75.9 inches. Two 6-4 receivers, Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall, accounted for just over 60 percent of the Bears’ receiving yards and 6-6 tight end Martellus Bennett accounted for 17 percent.
What about Gruden’s Bengals? They came in sixth with a weighted average of 74.3 inches. Green had 33 percent of their receiving yards and 6-1 wide receiver Marvin Jones had 16.5 percent. They had to overcome the “handicap” of their third-leading receiver being running back Giovani Bernard, who stands at 5-9.
If Gruden wants his Redskins to mirror the Bengals he has some work to do. The 2013 Redskins were 29th in weighted height of their receivers at 72.4 inches. Pierre Garçon, who accounted for 33.2 percent of the team’s receiving yards, is 6-0. Jordan Reed, at 6-3 with 12.3 percent of the receiving yards, pulls the average up a bit but the 5-10 Santana Moss (11.1 percent) drags it back down.
The Redskins made a couple of roster moves just before departing for Arizona to play the Cardinals.
They signed cornerback Dashaun Phillips from the practice squad and cut offensive tackle Blaine Clausell. The Redskins also waived safety David Bruton Jr. off of injured reserve.
Phillips was the Redskins’ nickel corner for the first three games of the season, and he made four tackles and recovered a fumble. But they moved rookie Kendall Fuller up into the slot corner role in Week 4 and Phillips spent several weeks on the inactive list before being waived on November 12 and added to the practice squad three days later.
The moves became known after Redskins coach Jay Gruden had spoken to the media for the day so we can only speculate as to the reasoning behind them. Actually, the release of Clausell isn’t hard to figure out. He was signed after Trent Williams started his four-game suspension and with Williams set to return on Monday and the other options at backup tackle healthy there was no point in keeping him around.
Phillips is likely going to Arizona as an insurance policy. The Cardinals like to spread the field with a lot of wide receivers. They will want to have five cornerbacks active. They do have Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland, Fuller, Quinton Dunbar, and Greg Toler. But Breeland is listed as questionable with an ankle injury and they Redskins don’t want to take any chance of being caught short-handed at cornerback if he suffers a setback. That’s especially true when they don’t need to bring an extra tackle along.
Depending on how things shake out injury-wise against the Cardinals there is a good chance that we could see Phillips on the waiver wire once again as a roster spot will be needed for Williams.
Bruton started the first four games of the season at safety before going on injured reserve with a concussion. This past offseason he signed a three-year, $9 million free agent contract with $3.4 million full guaranteed. There will be a deal cap hit of approximately $1.7 million in 2017 to account for the prorated bonus.
TE Jordan Reed (shoulder)—The word heroic is thrown around too often when talking about what athletes do, in light if what, say, first responders do every day. But Reed playing in the second half out of the Dallas game with a third-degree AC joint sprain certainly was remarkable. But Gruden said that Reed won’t have sufficient range of motion in the shoulder or range of motion to be able to go against the Cardinals.
DE Anthony Lanier (leg)—The reserve lineman missed the second half of the Dallas game with a leg contusion. Gruden said he was kicked in the lower leg against the Cowboys and the swelling is still an issue.
LS Nick Sundberg (back)—He tweaked his back in the weight room before the Packers game and missed that game and the one against the Cowboys. He was a full go in practice all week and will return against the Cardinals.
G Brandon Scherff (ankle)—He has been limited in practice during the week but it seems certain that he will go against the Cardinals.
T Ty Nsekhe (ankle)—Ditto comment on Scherff above.
CB Bashaud Breeland (ankle)—He suffered the injury in practice this week and he was limited in practice on Thursday.
RB Chris Thompson (illness)—He was limited in practice during the week but he said in the locker room he will have his usual role on Sunday.
Also questionable for the Redskins: ILB Terence Garvin (shoulder) and DE Ricky Jean Francois (knee)
Check back for the Cardinals injury update after they release their report later this afternoon.