Washington had a 9-catch, 296-yard, 2-touchdown performance against Pitt in mid-September. Waldman puts one of those plays under the RSP microscope.
I’ve seen James Washington a number of times but this was the first time I studied him formally for the Rookie Scouting Portfolio. There’s a lot to like.
What was especially good about the Pitt game wasn’t the outrageous stats but the fact that he faced a lot of man coverage tight to the line of scrimmage. It’s the kind of setting that allows me to see how much technique he has with releases.
The tape reveals that the 6’0″, 205-pound junior has built a decent library. He can use a variety of moves to release from press coverage and he appears smooth when executing them.
I’m always impressed when a receiver doesn’t just use a release technique as if he’s carelessly running a drill. This kind of cursory usage of technique happens a lot and it’s not effective. Washington’s placement on this play is poinpoint.
I also rarely see a young receiver actually stack an opponent. Washington does it on this play as well.
If I was asked to teach a middle school or high school kid about wide receiver play and that kid already had the passion for the game, discipline, the courage to handle physical play and good hand-eye coordination, I’d work him over and over on releases.
I’d work on the violence of his fakes. I’d have him practice location with his hand strikes on chops and rips. And I’d have him drill over and over on the footwork of his releases until he could integrate all of these things with either arm and in either direction.
If my student wondered why, James Washington’s clip below would be one of several examples I’d show.
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