Thursday, September 8, 2011

Delivering the Maehl: Can Oregon find its next great receiver?

Oregon has a great tradition at the receiver position. There have been only a handful of stud defensive tackles and dominating middle linebackers, but even in the bad old days, the Ducks have always had one or two fast, exciting or dependable guys to go up and get the football. Jeff Maehl, who had 77 catches, 1076 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, is the latest in a long and glorious line. Here are a few fan favorites: Cristin McLemore, Tony Hartley, Pat Johnson, Samie Parker, Keenan Howry, Demetrius Williams, Lew Barnes, Bobby Moore and Terry Obee.

The crucial question is, who is the next one? One thing that was glaringly obvious in the LSU game was, Darron Thomas hasn't found that reliable, explosive, game-changing target at receiver just yet. The passing game lacked synchronicity and cohesion. Oh, Josh Huff, Lavasier Tuinei, young De'Anthony Thomas and even LaMichael James had their moments catching the football, but after one game, no one has established themselves as the go-to guy or a game changer on passing downs.

photo at left: Tony Hartley, one of Tony Graziani and Akili Smith's favorite targets, ran every route hard and was dangerous after the catch ( photo)

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