Originally Posted by DB-Freak
In their eyes, Ash can do no wrong. They give so many excuses and questionable opinions and observations.
"If Plummer had thrown the ball 1/3 inch more to the right and 1 inch above of his jersey number and descending in 45 degrees, Ash definitely would have caught it."
"Although he gets abused at the line and admittedly isn't good at short and intermediate routes, it's all plummer's fault he can't perform there."
"Although almost every deep ball needs alittle adjustment by the WR to catch it, Plummer should have thrown perfectly into Ash's hands while Ash just runs in a straight line and with his arms extended.
"The reason he couldn't get open was that Plummer didnt use the force to hinder the cornerbacks.
OK...perhaps a little balance is needed here. The truth about Ashley Lelie lies somewhere in the middle of the polar extremes in viewpoint expressed in here. He's not a bust or even a dissapointment at this point, but neither is he as developed as he could be, and probably will be. Forget for a moment all the stuff about blocking, versitility etc...and just look at pure production. That's the easiest way to measure what's going on.
Just for grins I checked to see how some other pretty sucessful NFL receivers fared in their early careers in terms of raw production. These are all current guys playing in the modern pass happy NFL except for one recognizable exception. Using a 1000 yard season as a basic standard of measurement for achievement, I checked to see how Lelie compares in his development, basically taking until his third year to go over the 1000 yard mark. There are a few phenoms like Jerry Rice, Moss, Tampa Bay's Michael Clayton...who started hot their rookie year and hit the mark immediately but that's far from the normal career trajectory. This is pretty interesting stuff when you look at how long it took some of these guys.
Tim Brown took 6 years before he gained over 1000 yards in a season. So did Keenan McCardell. Art Monk, Derrick Mason, Jimmy Smith and Joe Horn took 5 years to do it. Michael Irvin, Marvin Harrison, Hines Ward, Amani Toomer, Reggie Wayne and Rod Smith took 4 years before any of them truly broke out and went over a thousand yards. Like Ashley Lelie, Terrell Owens, Keyshawn Johnson, Jevon Walker, Laveranues Coles, Eric Moulds and Denver's current WR coach Steve Watson did it in their 3rd year. Issac Bruce and Tory Holt went over 1000 their 2nd year, as did Cincinatti's Chad Johnson and Houston's Andre Johnson.
There's good reason to believe Lelie will continue to improve, and little reason to consider him a failure at this point. He has some things to work on but so did a lot of other great receivers at this point in their careers. I don't think that's homerism. It's just a reality born out by the record. I do think he could have probably advanced faster than he has but it looks like he's got his head in the game now, which is what I really care about at this point anyway.