Why not try Stonum at Slot WR?

Submitted by Braylon1 on November 11th, 2009 at 2:29 AM

but why not try Darryl Stonum at slot WR?

This isn't to say I'm not pleased with the production of Odoms and Roundtree, but IMO Stonum presents a speed element that we haven't seen from that position yet. RR has at times checked to the slot post and it's been run with great success, particularly Odoms for the win against Indiana, and Roundtree with the big TD vs Purdue. Imagine how open Stonum would have been on those plays.

Stonum is the best speed WR we have on the team. His body type and lack of physicality blocking, which is crucial in this offense, has cut down his ability to contribute. Naysayers will come back with the fact that he hasn't produced much catching the ball on the outside, but I think it's also because he's not physical enough to body up DB's, nor does he have the route running skills of Manningham.

I think Stonum would bring a different dimension to the offense with his ability to stretch the field at slot WR. He's got a similar body type to Roundtree and Steve Breaston, and both can produce have produced in the slot, I wouldn't mind seeing Stonum get a shot.



November 11th, 2009 at 2:45 AM ^

seems to me that he's our fastest WR, so he should probably be on the outside running a lot of fly patterns or deep posts. but who am i kidding? we rarely throw deep.


November 11th, 2009 at 8:33 AM ^

We do not test the field vertically very often, but I think this is partly a function of Tate not having enough protection to allow those plays to develop. Tate is forced to scramble too soon too frequently, and he does not look fully comfortable yet in the pocket. Hopefully, once the pass blocking improves somewhat, we will see more deep routes.


November 11th, 2009 at 2:54 AM ^

but I thought the best attributes for a slot receiver are sure hands and quickness (in and out of cuts/routes). No doubt Stonum has great straight-line speed (good attribute for outside WR) but I haven't seen much with respect to hands and quickness... of course he doesn't get many balls thrown his way to give me much to go on.


November 11th, 2009 at 4:44 AM ^

something more along the lines of "But I'm about to finish an entire bottle of whiskey."

After Roundtree's performance, I'm pretty comfortable with him at slot.


November 11th, 2009 at 6:17 AM ^

been involved in the offense lately, slot or otherwise? (If he had like six catches against Purdue, neg away, my emotions were high at the time)


November 11th, 2009 at 6:45 AM ^

If Stonum is legitimately blocking-deficient, then we wouldn't want him at slot. On the majority of our running plays, the blocking from the slot receivers is much more important than the blocking from the outside receivers. Slots block linebackers and safeties who are near the line of scrimmage and can make immediate plays in the running game. If a cornerback makes a play because of an outside receiver's missed block, then chances are that the RB has already gained a good chunk of yardage.

The only play where it's absolutely necessary to get a good block from the outside receiver is on the bubble screen.


November 11th, 2009 at 9:45 AM ^

I kind of see where you are coming from but I am pretty happy with Roundtree and Odoms in the slot. Especially how Roundtree performed in the last game.

matt D

November 11th, 2009 at 10:08 AM ^

Stonum doesn't necessarily fall into the category of burner by any stretch. On the 61 yard TD vs. MSU, he was nearly caught but gave a good stiff arm, and would've most certainly been caught by the MSU defender behind him if there were another 10 yards. He's listed as a 4.4, but he doesn't look to be any faster than the 4.55 range. Hopefully Stokes will be the Manningham like vertical threat that we need next year.


November 11th, 2009 at 12:24 PM ^

Please see Stonum's kick return against ND...he IS "burner" fast. Like Breaston, Pryor, Randy Moss, etc. he is tall and lanky so he doesn't necessarily look fast due to his long strides.

In the play you reference Stonum had to stop to catch the ball then start up again to run 50 yards for the score. The player that "caught" him barely broke stride and had an angle. The MSU defender that "would've most certainly" caught Stonum w/ an extra 10 yards probably benefited from the fact that Stonum was jogging into the end-zone after out running everyone else...players have a tendency to slow-up when they are about to score w/ a ten yard cushion.

Would you prefer Forrest Gump?


November 11th, 2009 at 10:21 AM ^

I think that's a fair question, very reasonably asked. Ultimately I defer to the judgment of the coaches spending day after day around our personnel and endless hours watching tape, but watching from the couch I often wonder about position switches too.

The important question is: are our best players getting the ball, in a position to exploit their skills? I would like to see Stonum catching the ball more, since he is probably our most dangerous player after the catch.

Watching him run, though, he is a long-striding glider--great for kick returns, great for deep routes. The standard outside WR routes would seem to fit that style more than the quick-start bubbles at slot.


November 11th, 2009 at 1:56 PM ^

Part of the reason I suggested this is because I've seen WR's with similar attributes have great success at Slot. Look at how Breaston has blown up at Slot WR in the NFL. Percy Harvin has done great things at Slot. I don't necessarily think we need a 5'9 ft quick but not fast player at Slot.

Magnus brings up a good point about the importance of blocking of our Slot WR's, but if Roundtree can learn how to block w/ his body type then Stonum should be able to get the job done.

Stonum from everything I've seen is simply not the route runner on the outside or physical enough to use his body to get open @ outside WR. IMO he would kill teams on the deep post and crossing routes a la Breaston out of the Slot.

Thanks for the responses.


November 11th, 2009 at 2:18 PM ^

Come on! How many times do we have to go over this?

First of all, Stonum ran all the way across the field and was gassed at the end of that 61-yard run.

Secondly, that 4.4/4.55 bullshit is lame. You questioned Stonum's speed by saying that he probably runs a 4.55 and then you said Manningham was a burner...but Manningham ran like a 4.6 at the NFL Combine. So please don't make wild-ass guesses/assumptions about 40 times when you obviously have no clue.



November 11th, 2009 at 2:51 PM ^

We have been getting good production out of the slot between Odoms and Roundtree. Odoms has better blocking ability than Stonum and seems shiftier to me too. And Roundtree seems to beat Stonum in every key metric for a slot receiver except speed (and he's been tearing it up of late, so he's staying at the top of the depth chart).

Our production out of the wideouts has tailed off. Matthews is a good possession receiver, but he can't go deep. Hemingway, meanwhile, hasn't done a whole lot since the Western game. Stonum is a legitimate deep threat and is probably moving to #2 on the depth chart next year, barring a breakout performance from someone else (Stokes or one of our dozen or so incoming receivers or something). Leave him where he is.


November 11th, 2009 at 4:47 PM ^

our need for speed like stonum's at outside reciever is much, much greater than our need for talent like his inside. Odoms and Roundtree are great, Gallon will be as well next year.