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San Diego Chargers 2015 Training Camp Profile: WR Keenan Allen

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Concudan, Jun 22, 2015.

  1. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    http://www.rantsports.com/nfl/2015/...s-2015-training-camp-profile-wr-keenan-allen/

    Whether or not the “sophomore slump” exists for the wide receiver position in the NFL could be addressed on a case by case basis. While there is statistical analysis available by sports research engine Point After (nearly a 10 reception, 200-yard differential for a second year wide receiver who surpassed 1,000 receiving yards as a rookie), the drop is hardly significant enough to warrant a general “sophomore slump” moniker across the board. But when looking at second-year San Diego Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen, “sophomore slump” might fit the bill; and if the Chargers are going to want to compete deep into the postseason in 2015, they are going to need Allen to return to his rookie form.

    Here is a player who was dynamic for three years at California, but had a setback coming into the NFL with a knee injury that affected his draft stock. Coming into his rookie season, Allen was projected to be, at best, the fifth-string wide receiver by his own teammate Antonio Gates. But in the NFL you never know when your number will be called, and Allen had his called when Chargers wide receiver Malcolm Floyd went down with a season-ending knee injury. Allen filled in the role perfectly with five 100-yard receiving games, eight touchdowns and 1,046 receiving yards — all Chargers rookie records for a wide receiver.

    2014 was supposed to be a year of even greater accomplishments, but it seemed as though Allen could never get momentum going and that NFL cornerbacks had seen all the game film they needed in order to shut him down. He had seven games where he failed to reach 50 yards receiving, his first touchdown didn’t come until week eight versus the Denver Broncos, and could not finish out the season suffering a collarbone injury week 15.

    Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers has been on record this offseason saying that Allen seems more “focused” and “determined” coming into year three. Rivers has depended on Allen heavily since the receiver has entered the league, targeting him 105 and 121 times in his first two years, respectively. An endorsement from the team leader should be the motivation that Allen needs to return to the caliber receiver he was in 2013. There have been talks of playing Allen in the slot now that they have the additions of Steve “Stevie” Johnson and Austin Pettis. With the four-wide receiver sets the Chargers could potentially run and their depth at tight end with Gates and Ladarius Green, Allen will have his way with defenses coming into 2015. He needs to put his sophomore season behind him and come into training camp with the same intensity he had when he was vying for a starting position his rookie season. If Allen’s able to do that, there’s no doubt that the Chargers will be a force to reckon with this season, well into the postseason.

    Ryan Williams is a NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him onTwitter, like him on Facebook, or add him to your network onGoogle.
     
  2. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    JMO, I think the O-line and Rivers were a bigger problem for Keenan Allen last year. There were MANY times where Allen was open and Rivers didn't have time to throw him the ball, or just didn't see him. An issue that definitely cost us TDs, and probably cost us wins.

    I still think we lack a deep threat, we need to get Ladarius Green into the action, and I'd rather have Royal than Stevie Johnson, but this should be a better year for Allen.
     
  3. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    The OL was a mess that is for sure.
     
  4. Chaincrusher

    Chaincrusher BoltTalker

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    Okay, I disagree with the statement that Allen was open and not getting the ball on many occasions.

    Allen has a very good initial get off in terms of making a sudden and quick move to get open, but he can't run by anybody and defenses have finally figured that out, completely shutting him down all too frequently.

    The problem was that Rivers had no time and had nobody open, including Allen, far too often.

    IMO, Allen should be the primary slot WR where he can maximize his quick separation game (more room to operate to each side on any given snap). His catch radius would be an upgrade over Royal's as well, which would help sustain drives. The downside would be that crossing patterns that Royal would take for a large gain Allen might not due to having less speed.

    My preference would be for both outside WRs have at least a modicum of vertical threat to their games to prevent defenses from squatting on our short passing game.

    For this reason, I was not very impressed with the addition of Stevie Johnson (another slow WR). Jones is a vertical threat, but not such a great WR. Floyd is solid, but not outstanding. The rest aren't horrible, but they aren't all that good either.

    The only player on our roster with even a remote chance to be a true #1 WR someday is Tyrell Williams, a player with the physical gifts, but only good enough to be taken as an UDFA at this point. But even if we hit the lottery with him, it is likely that he is going to need time (probably a couple of seasons at least) to develop.

    I like the idea of playing lots of 2 TE sets with Green and Gates. It does force Allen to be an outside WR (until we get someone good enough to force Allen to the bench), but using 2 TEs with the receiving potential of Gates and Green creates matchup problems with opposing personnel and we can check from passes to runs and vice versa all day long depending upon what defenses show us (personnel and formations).
     
  5. Bonzi Jones

    Bonzi Jones BoltTalker

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    Chain, I didnt even realize who wrote this post til I got to the end and was thinking this sounds similar to something I would say. I'm not on that train that KA13 isnt good enough to be an outside receiver although I see your point in saying that. I think his ceiling is a true #2 or potential 1B if we can find a complementary 1A receiver. At this point our only vertical threat we have depending on the PT Jones sees is M80 who is on the way out so I for hope hopes that Tyrell Williams finds away to make the team and push for PT at some point. Now like before, commence with the "you only think that the Calvin Johnson type receivers" can be true #1s.

    Sidenote I do believe in our WR situation (primarily because of Rivers), but we still need a deep threat WR that sees significant PT. One reason that I wished we had gotten someone like Percy Harvin in FA or the draft. But we have who we have and hopefully Tyrell earns his stripes to contribute on the roster.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Chaincrusher

    Chaincrusher BoltTalker

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    I should clarify my thoughts on Allen being an outside WR. He is good enough to be an outside WR for anyone because he has a well above average get off, above average hands and is a pretty polished route runner. I don't think an outside WR absolutely has to be a burner and the league's history is full of outside WRs that were/are very good that were not burners.

    However, I think the following things are all true:

    1. While Allen can be an outside WR, his combination of quick get off, but slow top end speed make him a better fit as a slot WR and I think he can excel in that capacity. I really like the size/catch radius he would bring to that position. One thing I will not miss with Royal being gone is all of those times that Royal almost, but didn't quite make a catch because of his small catch radius and smaller hands.

    2. Allen is not a true #1 WR. He's just not that. Using a direct player comparison, I think Floyd is at least as good as Allen, but I admit that the players are difficult to compare because they are so different. And the point of that is that Floyd was clearly not as good as Vincent Jackson, which is an example of a player that I think was a legitimate #1 WR for us. I don't think the WR has to be Calvin Johnson (though that helps) to be a true #1 WR, but the WR does have to be much better than Allen. I think there is a gigantic range between Calvin Johnson and Allen.

    3. Allen's lack of top end speed hurts our offense in particular. Under McCoy, we have emphasized ball control with the heavy use of the running and the short passing game. If I were an opposing DC, I would cheat like crazy to stop all things short and have been baffled why it took opposing defenses so long to figure that out. Allen's lack of speed allows defenses to be more aggressive in their cheating versus all things short. I think a number of opposing defenses have figured this out.

    IMO, it would make a lot more sense for us to have very fast outside WRs to open up the short passing game that we want to emphasize and to create huge penalties for defenses that cheat against our short passing game. That way our offense is not squeezed with impunity.

    Finally, I agree with you 100% that having Rivers makes for a good passing game and I do think our passing game will be good and that our group of WRs are better than last year's on the whole. I just think we are obviously missing a very good, fast, traditional #1 outside WR and that having one would likely be a huge boost to our offense.
     
  7. Bonzi Jones

    Bonzi Jones BoltTalker

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    So Chain, I agree with you and your analysis, but let me elaborate a bit more on my Calvin Johnson comparison. I only brought that up because months ago I stated here that I dont see KA as a true #1. Not that he cant play outside because he can be a 1B and some ppl got at me "assuming" that I must only feel that true #1 are the Megatron type receivers in the league. Personally, I just dont think he is a true #1. I do agree that a true #1 doesnt have to be a burner, extremely tall, or a superior athlete, but combinations of those things do help. I do think KA13 can and will excel in the slot, but personally I prefer my WR breakdown to be more like this:

    1. Athlete with great hands and speed (doesnt have to be a straight burner, but good speed) What we had with Vincent Jackson. (Floyd sort of fits that role with less foot speed and consistency)
    2. Possession type receiver - hands, route running, with decent speed (What we have in Allen)
    3. Slot Receiver who's a vertical threat and also quick ()
    4. Dependable WR. Savvy route runner, great hands. (I guess this can be our Stevie Johnson)

    So Chain your philosophy probably aligns more with McCoy's Ball Control Style of stretching the field more on the edges and giving the slot wr more room underneath, but I would like my slot WR to be more aggressive because if he can win early on the line with his quickness, then the safeties have to commit sooner to helping.

    As an football mind (and I will use that term loosely since ppl on here will want me to post my credentials of what qualifies me to make that statement), but as a football mind, I like the flexibility that KA brings since he can play both inside or outside. This then gives us flexibility in how we address the need for speed to the rest of the position whether that is as (1) an outside vertical threat or a (2)burner in the slot. Based on our current team's makeup and McCoy's approach, I would prefer choosing option 1 for the reasons that chain stated and because M80 (who is our closest thing to being a true #1) has lost some foot speed and is also about to hang it up.
     

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