September 22, 2011
You thought that your targets were great, Aaron Rodgers(notes)? Hey, Drew Brees(notes) — you're under the impression that the guys you throw to may comprise the best receiver corps in the NFL? The Eagles may think that their DeSean Jackson(notes)/Jeremy Maclin/Brent Celek(notes) combo is the one to watch, but Rex Grossman(notes) of the Washington Redskins has news for all of you turkeys.
Rex is putting you on notice and telling the world. According to the hyper-confident quarterback, Washington has the NFL's best group of receivers. That's right, America — the Murderer's Row of Santana Moss(notes), Jabar Gaffney(notes) and Anthony Armstrong(notes) is an unstoppable force, according to their quarterback. Add in tight ends Chris Cooley(notes) and Fred Davis(notes), and it's almost too much to comprehend.
"I trust all of them," Grossman said in mid-September. "This is the best receiving corps in the league, in my opinion, from top to bottom. Everybody's a great player. Anthony Armstrong can do special things. He's fast, so he gets people off him. He can make big plays, Santana's great, Jabar's great. So, everybody has a role and collectively, they're one of the best."
Well, before we bash Rex for his hyperbole (remember, this is the same guy who's virtually guaranteed an NFC East title this season), let's give props to a few people. Davis has really come on this year — he leads all NFL tight ends with 191 receiving yards, and he's second in the league in Football Outsiders' metrics for the position behind New England's Rob Gronkowski(notes). So he's got that going for him, which is nice. And Armstrong was one of the more underrated receivers in the NFL last year; one of the few productive pieces in the Redskins' disastrous 2010 offense. But the love put out by Rex the Magnificent seems a bit out of proportion to actual production.
"It's not a good feeling not to be able to trust a receiver to win versus man coverage or that he's not going to run a route the right way," Grossman said. "That's a terrible feeling as a quarterback, and I definitely feel that trust.
Well, that's nice. Nothing like fostering trust, especially when your quarterback hasn't always been known for his pinpoint accuracy. But as it stands now, Moss leads his compatriots with a ranking of 22nd in FO's receiver efficiency rankings. Gaffney ranks 32nd; perhaps he would be up in the rankings a bit if he caught more than 47 percent of the balls thrown to him. And Armstrong, who paced the Redskins' receivers in efficiency last year, currently ranks 60th.
Perhaps that's why Moss was a bit more restrained when asked about the greatness of his group.
"We have guys that can get it done: downfield, short. We have guys that do what's asked of them," Moss said. "But I don't want to pat ourselves on the back, I want to keep getting better. I feel like each week is a week to get better. As long as we keep getting better and put up points for this team, then you can start telling us how good we are then."
Unless you just want to wait for Rex Grossman to do it for you.
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