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8.10.2005

A Season Without Slim


"That's right. Even the fans in Philadelphia call him Todd Stinkston."

That was sort of the quote Michael Irvin delivered last season on Inside the NFL. It seems like the only thing consistent about Todd Pinkston's game is that he's caught the ire of NFL talking heads and football fans, especially Eagle fans. Here's why:

  1. At 6'4", Slim weighs 170 lbs. soaking wet
  2. He was manhandled by the Panthers in the Eagles 3rd consecutive NFC Championship game loss
  3. He avoided contact from lurking DBs twice on deep passes during consecutive games late last season
So this season they will get their wish. Todd Pinkston tore his achille's tendon and will miss the entire '05 campaign. Greg Lewis will man his starting wide receiver position opposite Terrell Owens and just might open the season as the Philly fan's offensive darling.

And while I think Lewis is the perfect replacement and will hold his own, I just don't agree with the notion that he will outperform Todd Pinkston. Pinkston's averaged roughly 700 yards and 4 TD's per season over the last 4 years. He's averaged 16 yards per catch or more during the past 2 seasons, leading the Birds in that category for the past 3 years.

Similar numbers are attainable by Greg Lewis, but surpassing them will be difficult. Like Pinkston, Lewis should succeed in playing the role of stretching the field with deep passing routes. But the bulk of the Eagles offensive action occurs 15 yards from scrimmage and in, which takes advantage of the team's more talented offensive weapons. Basically, the number of targets the Eagles number 2 receiver gets each game is dictated by that position within the Eagles' scheme, rather than the wideout playing that position.

So even when Greg Lewis becomes a fan favorite in '05, I won't forget the plays that Todd Pinkston has made over the years. Slim came up big in one of the most amazing victories in Philly sports history, catching 7 balls for 95 yards and 1 TD in the "4th and 26" win over Green Bay in the '03 playoffs. Pinkston caught balls from Koy Detmer and AJ Feely for 94 yards and a score on Monday Night Football against the 49ers, helping to ease the anxiety Philly fans faced following Donovan McNabb's 2002 ankle injury. And while it was unfortunate that he left the game 2 quarters early due to leg cramps, Todd Pinkston was putting together a monster Super Bowl against "a good bunch" last season with 4 catches for 82 yards in the first half.

I look forward to Slim stretching the field again next season, unless the analysts and fans get their way.

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To quote ESPN college basketball talking head Steve Lavin, "don't sleep on" Reggie Brown and Billy McMullen.

Okay...maybe you can sleep on Billy McMullen.
 
As funny and as admirable as it is to see Pinkston out there for the Eagles, can you think of a worst 2nd receiver on any team? Honestly?
 

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