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Old 12-01-2004   #1
The.Houston.Titans
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Default AJ catching with his body

Maybe it's just me, but it seems that AJ has a tendency to catch the ball with his body (I see quite a few other WRs in the NFL that do so as well).

Frankly I don't care how he catches the ball- so long as he comes up with it, but I always thought WRs were coached to catch the ball with their hands. I did see in the Packers' game one pass that bounced off AJ's chest because he was trying to catch it with his body.

Are NFL WRs coached differently from high school and college players? I remember coaches getting on to me when I catch with my body, even if I come up with the ball. It's one of the first things you're taught as a WR at my high school. Well body or hands it doesn't matter, Andre still rules so that's all that counts.
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Old 12-01-2004   #2
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In the Titans game, AJ jumped TWICE to catch touchdown passes in his gut, instead of just reaching up to catch them in his hands. I don't really blame him for that for several reasons. Being in the endzone makes a difference, because he could cradle the ball and not worry about running, and catching one in the gut is always easier than with your hands, if you're just going to cradle it and fall right there. They just don't want you to make a habit of it because the next thing you know you're catching them higher and having them bounce off your chest, like the time you just mentioned. If he had not been in the endzone, he could drop the ball trying to get it up to a running position after the catch. More likely, he could also get NAILED while coming down with it. This scenario always reminds me of Ernest Givens going over the middle, jumping and catching one in the gut, and then getting his head knocked off on the way down, although that wasn't all just about him catching it that way.

That's one reason I think receivers should ALWAYS, ALWAYS practice with shoulder pads on. Even if everyone else is practicing without pads, I think the receivers should have to wear the shoulder pads, because that way they will see their mistake immediately if they ever catch one in the chest (or don't catch it, I should say). It's also harder to get your hands up when you're wearing pads, so it's not something you can just mentally tell yourself you'll switch to when it's time.


On those rare occasions, when you just want to suck the ball in and envelope it, not looking for any more yardage and you know what you're doing, OK take it in the gut and hug it to death.

In answer to your question, I don't know if they actually go so far as coaching him to use his hands or if they will actually tell him he's beein doing it wrong some lately, but I'm certain that he knows full well that he should be using his hands and any receiver that lets a ball bounce off of his chest knows he just made a fundamental mistake. They probably know that he doesn't need to be told. He just needs to concentrate on that one thing a little more.

Last edited by HJam72; 12-01-2004 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 12-01-2004   #3
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AJ worked very hard on his hands in the off-season and it was obvious from training camp on that he has been concentrating on using his hands. Remember some times WR's will catch balls less than ideally because of the throw or because they are trying to position out a DB from the ball. Overall he has (knock on wood) made great strides this year:

2003 119 targets, 10 drops--8.4%
2004 106 targets, 4 drops--3.7%

For a comparison to some other WR's:
Isaac Bruce--108/4--3.7%
Donald Driver--92/7--7.6%
Marvin Harrison--102/4--3.9%
Torry Holt--87/2--2.3%
Terrell Owens--100/5--5%
Jimmy Smith--97/6--6.2%
Hines Ward--76/2--2.6%
Joe Horn--103/5--4.8%
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Old 12-01-2004   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by infantrycak
AJ worked very hard on his hands in the off-season and it was obvious from training camp on that he has been concentrating on using his hands. Remember some times WR's will catch balls less than ideally because of the throw or because they are trying to position out a DB from the ball. Overall he has (knock on wood) made great strides this year:

2003 119 targets, 10 drops--8.4%
2004 106 targets, 4 drops--3.7%

For a comparison to some other WR's:
Isaac Bruce--108/4--3.7%
Donald Driver--92/7--7.6%
Marvin Harrison--102/4--3.9%
Torry Holt--87/2--2.3%
Terrell Owens--100/5--5%
Jimmy Smith--97/6--6.2%
Hines Ward--76/2--2.6%
Joe Horn--103/5--4.8%

Great (and very interesting) stats.
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Old 12-01-2004   #5
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I thought I had read an article earlier during the pre-season that A.J. was practicing his catches. On that article it mentioned that he wanted to master, error free, catching throws with his hands mostly. I've heard several analyst say that it is paramount for a receiver to have hand catching down as best as possible. Since there are LBs, safeties, and corners to arc over and through, hand catching is a must in the NFL.
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Old 12-01-2004   #6
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With AJ's talent, I have no doubt that he will master the hands-only catching. It would put/keep him the elite corps of NFL receivers. Most of the spectacular receptions of all-time are those passes that seem impossible to catch, but the WR brings it in with his fingertips or jumps to catch a ball 10 ft. in the air and brings it down with his hands.
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Old 12-01-2004   #7
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Let's also remember how hard it is to make catches with your hands when Carr is throwing 100 mph fastballs at you. Most other QB's it wouldn't be quite as difficult.
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Old 12-01-2004   #8
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Speaking of catching with your hands. JJ Moses does an awesome job of catching kicks that way.
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