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Sam Madison: Speed Can Kill a Defense
Posted By Jesse Agler On May 5, 2011 @ 11:57 am In Football | 1 Comment
With their fourth round pick in last week’s draft, the Dolphins selected wide receiver Edmond Gates out of Abilene Christian University. If there’s one thing you need to know about the guy they call “Clyde,” it’s this: he is fast. Really fast.
At this year’s Combine, Gates ran a 4.37 40-yard dash, the third fastest of anyone there and the fastest of all the receivers. He later said it was the slowest 40 he’d ever run.
With Brandon Marshall being a yards after catch specialist and with Davone Bess being a premier slot receiver, Gates adds elite speed to a receiving corps that could do plenty to help out the rest of the offense. Don’t take my word for it, though, here’s former All-Pro cornerback Sam Madison…
Guest Blog, by Sam Madison
Speed is something you cannot teach. You have it or you don’t. And when you have speed and know how to use it on a football field, that is a very dangerous thing. The Miami Dolphins now have a guy that will strike fear in defensive coordinators, Edmond Gates.
Gates will not only help himself but all the players around him. This is the real reason why DB’s dislike fast wideouts. Gates makes you fearful of getting “Mossed,” so you have to take an extra step back. This opens up the bubble screen and the 5-yard plays that turn into 15 to 20 yard plays (think Brandon Marshall). It also softens the defensive schemes and alignments.
This kind of speed also makes the run game more efficient by backing up the strong side safety. A speed receiver will now take up your best two out of three DB’s leaving one-on-one match-ups somewhere with the 3rd or 4th best DB’s on the team. And one-on-one with Marshall or Davone Bess will equal 1st downs and more touchdowns.
Additionally, Gates is not a guy that should have to shy away from contact. At 6’0 and 192 pounds, he will grab the DB’s attention. Having to run up and down the field chasing a speed guy and then having to deal with him being physical makes you lose focus. This pick will allow the Miami Dolphins to open up and explore how to let Chad Henne unleash the big arm we know of. Gates should help make it easier for this offense to move the ball and keep the defense on their heels rather than on their toes attacking the line of scrimmage.
As the old saying goes, speed kills.
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