Monday, October 10, 2011
More Malcolm Mitchell please
All summer long, the talk coming out of Athens centered on a freshman. No, not Crowell, who has seemingly been the difference for us all year between ineptness offensively, and touchdowns. The hype machine was growing about a kid they called Tampa.
He wasn't even the signature signee from his own high school, that was redshirting TE Jay Rome. But Malcolm Mitchell was just as important according to noted experts. He had that extra gear you want from playmakers. He had the size, speed and hips to be a shutdown corner, or those things + the hands to be a difference maker at WR. The staff chose to put him at the more needed spot of WR, and he made his name known during summer workouts as the possible replacement for AJ Green as our go-to man on the outside.
Since games started, he's proven to be just that, as our leading receiver with 22 catches for 312 yards (14.2 ypc). But have we used him enough? The guy is a clear difference maker, but he's getting just over 3 catches per game. When we were throwing deep posts early in the first half in Knoxville, it was to Tavares King. They missed, until we had Mitchell flying under them.
He tweaked his hamstring on one of those long passes, so we may not get to see him Saturday, but at the end of the month in Jacksonville, he'll be one of the keys to our success. He has that speed that allows him to pull away from opposing DBs. He's got reliable hands, which is something we can't say about several other receivers. He's got great agility, which allows him to adjust to the ball in the air. Those adjustments are crucial with Murray who has struggled sometimes under throwing deep balls, and at others over throwing them (although overthrowing Tampa is proving about as difficult as overthrowing AJ Green). We've got two years left with him after this one, because talents like this don't usually stay for a full 4. Enjoy it Dawg fans, because hopefully we are watching the beginnings of a beautiful relationship between him and Murray. Possibly our best WR/QB combo since Zeier/Hastings?