Matt Waldman’s Rookie Scouting Portfolio NFL Lens showcases an example of fluid movement from second-year Jets receiver Chad Hansen.
A great example of high performance is knowing when to break the rules. A rule that Jets wide receiver Chad Hansen has heard numerous times throughout his playing career has been to retract the ball to the body as fast as possible. Snatch the ball.
However, Hansen displays enough awareness on this play against Saints defensive backs Marcus Lattimore and Kenny Vacarro to break that rule. On this target, Hansen extends the ball further from his frame upon making the catch.
Why would he do this? Watch below and the context behind the decision to go against the fundamental guidelines of catching a football becomes clear.
Good players display awareness of when basic rules they've been taught are guidelines rather than laws. #Jets receiver Chad Hansen showcases this awareness against Marcus Lattimore. pic.twitter.com/wymK5qWTEf
— Matt Waldman (@MattWaldman) July 23, 2018
Hansen’s awareness of Lattimore at his inside hip leads him to extend the ball from this frame rather than retracting it. I’ve watched a lot of receivers in a similar situation retract the ball and attempt to turn away from the opponent, but the retraction of the ball allows the defender easier access because the turn happens after the retraction or isn’t finished as the receiver inadvertently brings the ball closer to the defender.
Hansen’s awareness of this potential outcome in real time is likely the difference between a completion and a pass defense. If Hansen’s awareness and advance movement skills continue growing with his game, he’ll be a name worth watching as a future starter of note.
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