Matt Waldman’s RSP Boiler Room No.268 WR Damonte Coxie (Memphis): Obeying the Ball

Matt Waldman’s RSP Boiler Room examines Memphis wide receiver and NFL Draft prospect Damonte Coxie’s route running, body control, and anticipation of open space.

Explaining football is a lot different than playing football. This seems obvious until you get into the profession of breaking the game down as a coach, scout, or player. The more you deconstruct the game into smaller segments of “If X happens, do Y,” the greater the risk that you lose fluidity of thought and action.

This is common with quarterbacking, but there are also cases where players at other positions become too robotic due to the segmented thinking that results from an over intellectualization of the game. Deconstructing the game on a conceptual level helps only if you can reconstruct it so it operates as fluidly as before.

It’s a lot like taking apart a radio, garbage disposal, or toilet. Unless you’ve made the machine more efficient, you better not have leftover pieces when you put it back together or the device will deliver clunkier production than before.

Wide receiver Damonte Coxie offers compelling talents as an aspiring professional receiver and his obeying of the football is a skill that many receivers are guilty of deconstructing and wind up having pieces left over when they attempt to put it back together. Coxie has learned when to keep his feet on the ground to attack the ball as well as not overreacting with his jumps if the target is over his head.

A lot of receivers with equal or greater promise have difficulty with this skill and the harder they work on it, the more focused they become on this single point of their games and the less they notice valuable information happening around them. It’s because they haven’t mastered that specific detail and it takes more concentration to perform it.

One way Coxie displays mastery with when to leave his feet or where to turn with the ball is when he earns a target in a situation where leaving his feet doesn’t seem like the right decision when examining the location of the target. However, when widening the scope of the play to the coverage he’s facing, Coxie’s decision to leave his feet the difference between a first down and a touchdown.

Coxie displays traits of a playmaker. He has skills against press coverage, deep speed, and good length, Plays like the two above tie these traits together with a thread of intelligence. That’s what I’m seeking from potential contributors on offense.

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