this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Shockey is living up to the hype Before the New Orleans Saints started their 2009 training camp, a New Orleans-based journalist told me in a discussion about Jeremy Shockey that the tight end would turn out to be a major ...
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|11-08-2009, 11:44 PM||#1|
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Shockey is living up to the hype
Before the New Orleans Saints started their 2009 training camp, a New Orleans-based journalist told me in a discussion about Jeremy Shockey that the tight end would turn out to be a major disappointment in New Orleans.
“I know you are a big Shockey guy, but I don’t buy the hype around him,” the journalist said. “He looks to be just playing for himself, and he has little team-oriented skills in him. Mark my word when Sean Payton traded for him, and we all know he was the main catalyst to acquire him, it was the biggest personnel mistake he has ever made in New Orleans. It cost this team plenty to trade for him, and they are going to get very little in return. He will be with another team in 2010.”
Well, I think this gentleman may have another opinion of Shockey after watching what he has brought to the table this season.
With Saints wide receiver Lance Moore fighting a series of injuries, it has been the sure-handed Shockey who has secured his spot as a key element in playing on the Drew Brees “Change the Scoreboard Often Football Show.”
Shockey is second on the team in catches with 31 for 376 yards and three touchdowns in seven games this season.
With teams featuring the tight end more in their attacks (10 of the Top 30 reception leaders in the NFL are tight ends and Shockey is in that category) he has become a go-to option in the middle of the field.
The former Miami (Fla.) all-American says his success this season has all to do with his good health and him being on the same page with Brees, one of the NFL’s elite players.
“I don’t like to make excuses, but because of the sports hernia injury, we really had no time to work together on our timing and it showed up during some games,” Shockey said. “A quarterback and receiver have to have trust in one another and a sense of where that guy will be down field. Also I had to pick up a new offense and football is not like baseball. If you trade for a center fielder in baseball you are playing the same position in the American League as the National. In football the terminology is different from team to team, and this offense is pretty complex to digest in a short period of time. This offseason, in training camp, and in the preseason games, we were able to get our timing down, and it has worked out pretty well during the season. I know if I run my routes correctly, Drew Brees will get me the football.”
Former Saints quarterback and WWL-AM radio commentator Bobby Hebert says that Shockey has been a great addition to an already very potent Saints passing attack.
“When I played with New Orleans, we had two good tight ends in Hoby Brenner and John Tice, but they were more run-blocking type tight ends,” Hebert said. “Hoby was a good receiver, but he didn’t get a lot of yardage after the catch like Shockey does. Jeremy is a big target and he is a mismatch for any safety or linebacker down field. He has tremendous athletic skills, and he will outrun 99 percent of the linebackers or safeties that try to man up on him. Jeremy may drop an easy catch at times, but then he will come down with a great catch in traffic. You can see that his practice time with Drew (Brees) has really paid off, and they are on the same page now. I know as a former quarterback that Drew trusted Marques Colston, Lance Moore, Devery (Henderson) and Billy Miller more than he did Shockey last season. Football is about talent, but it is more about execution and good execution and because of the injury and the lack of quality practice time the execution on game day was not what everybody thought it would be. Jeremy Shockey has been a great addition and people don’t give him props he should get because he is a pretty good blocking tight end also. I can safely say that there has been no tight end in Saints history with Shockey’s kind of talent and production out on the field.”
Hebert is correct because if you look at the list of nominees for possible induction to the NFL Hall of Fame in 2010, Shockey’s numbers are quite impressive for someone who just turned 29 years old on August 18, and if he can stay healthy, he would have at least four to five real strong seasons left in him.
Listed below are the five tight ends that have been nominated for possible induction to the 2010 NFL Hall of Fame and Shockey’s numbers are included amongst them
Shannon Sharpe, 815 catches, 10,060 yards, 62 touchdowns
Frank Wycheck, 505 catches, 5,126 yards, 28 touchdowns
Ben Coates, 499 catches, 5,555 yards, 50 touchdowns
Jeremy Shockey, 452 catches, 5,087 yards, 30 touchdowns
Russ Francis, 393 catches, 5,262 yards, 40 touchdowns
Mark Bavaro, 351 catches, 4,733 yards, 39 touchdowns
One of Shockey’s biggest backers is former Miami (Fla.) Hurricanes teammate and perennial all-pro safety Ed Reed.
The Baltimore Ravens standout told me this summer that Shockey is a rare breed of talent and an emotional wire on the field.
“I know that Jeremy was upset about how he played last season, but this is the NFL, and it is not like a light switch to turn on and off when you are with a new team and fighting through an injury. He is one of the great tight ends in the game today, no question about it,” Reed said. “He has big, real sure hands, and he is like a big forward in basketball in boxing out defenders to the ball. For someone that big Jeremy can really run and he attacks defenders. He doesn’t give you a chance to unload on him, he unloads on you. People talk about his personality and stuff, but the guy loves to play this game and he is as tough as they come. He plays the game with purpose and emotion. If I was piecing together a club I would want him on my side. Once Shockey and Brees get on the same page they will be hard to stop.”
That has been very apparent this season and you have a feeling more footballs will be aimed in the direction of Shockey. He has indeed lived up to his four Pro-Bowl level in the black and gold.
SAINTS SCORING SHEET
I started a running total of the amount of points scored by the Saints this season in comparison to some of the best scoring squads in the history of the NFL and the demand to continue this has made me include this statistic again this week.
Here is a list of the most points scored by an NFL team through the first seven games of a season since 1965…
2000 St. Louis Rams (296 points scored after seven games)
2007 New England Patriots (279 points scored after seven games)
2009 New Orleans Saints (273 points scored after seven games)
1966 Dallas Cowboys (266 points scored after seven games)
1999 St. Louis Rams (265 points scored after seven games)
As I wrote a couple weeks back, the most impressive statistic in the 2009 season for the Saints has been their dominance in the fourth quarter.
The Saints have outscored their opponents 81-18 in the fourth quarter and have only given up one fourth quarter touchdown (a cheap scoring pass from back-up quarterback David Carr to receiver Hakeem Nicks late in the fourth quarter of the New York Giants game).
But if you are looking for when the Saints really pull away from their opponents, it is in the second quarter of games. The Saints have outscored opponents 86-47 in the second quarter of games in 2009.
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