Let's talk about Avant for a minute. He's the best blocker of our receiving corps. He has the best hands on the team. He runs the best routes. Pound for pound he might be the toughest player on the team. Avant also might be the most clutch player on the entire squad. Avant caught a pair of long passes to kick start the offense in the fourth quarter on Sunday. His most impressive attempt ended in an incompletion, but also came on that drive. Avant went down the left seam. He was well covered, but went up for the ball with a defender right there. Avant just missed making a spectacular catch. He got his hands on the ball while fully extended, but couldn't bring the ball back to his body to secure it. Players really fed off the energy he showed on that drive. Avant seemed to wake up the whole team.
I like the way the coaching staff is now using Avant. Last week, we ran the wide receiver screen to him in the red zone and that resulted in a touchdown. This week, we ran another play to him in the red zone. The design of the play was to get Avant the ball on the right side along the goal line, but there was a defender close to him and Donovan McNabb opted to throw to Alex Smith in the back of the end zone. The fact we're designing specific plays to get Avant the ball in the red zone tells you all you need to know about what the coaches think of him as a player. He might not technically be a starter on the team, but Avant is a key player for us.
There were two other plays where he did catch passes inside the 10-yard line. The reason we like to use him down there so much is that Avant does a good job of working the middle of the field. He can get open in tight spaces because of his quickness and body control. Avant can also catch the ball when tightly covered because of his strength, toughness and good hands. The defense has less area to cover in the red zone so speed doesn't always mean very much. Quickness is more important. Also, skill players must be able to be physical. That's no problem for Avant.
Click here to read my complete and detailed recap from the Eagles-Redskins game ...
-- Posted by Tommy Lawlor, 12:58 p.m., December 1