Hello, Battle Red Blog community. As you can probably tell by my screen name, I'm a huge Oregon Duck fan who wandered over from AddictedToQuack to check in on one of my all-time favorite Oregon Ducks. I knew that Jeffery Maehl (as the long-time voice of the Ducks, Jerry Allen liked to call him) was signed to the Texans practice squad during the final roster cuts. I found the information after the jump when I searched this site for updated information on the defensive-back-turned-go-to-wide-receiver, (if you didn't know, when the Ducks ran out of WR's due to injuries in 2007, Maehl burned his red shirt with only 2 regular season games remaining, sacrificing the red shirt he had sat out the first 10 games for, in order to become a WR and help the team out, quickly becoming a fan favorite for obvious reasons).
In searching this site, I found a FanPost about Kevin Walter and whom the fans want to see as a replacement.
The piece about Maehl, which I included below, is confusing to me and I wanted to see what insight you might be able to provide. There is mention of Maehl being bad at blocking, and a liability in both the run game and special teams. This is really curious to me because the Oregon wide receivers are well known for being good blockers. Scott Frost, the WR coach, has a saying that they all say all the time - "if you don't block, you don't get the rock." A big reason that our offense regularly is in the top few teams in the nation at rushing yards per game and "explosion plays" is because our receivers block so well.
Those clamoring for Maehl to be activated are ignoring the fact that he has a deficit of bulk and blocking ability, which is what got him on the practice squad rather than the real squad. He can't do all what Walter did, and he's rather a liability on special teams; more than likely his orders on the practice squad were to lift weights like hell and work on blocking. His catching ability was never in doubt, it's just that for an offense like this one, it's hard to justify keeping a one-dimensional player that hurts the running game when he's in and is thus only useful in crunch-time 4-WR set situations. Promoting him now won't solve much, but I must admit that bringing in a young guy with potential is far more attractive than signing some broken-down free agent.
That being said, I completely realize that the NFL is a whole different level. Maehl is small for the NFL, no doubt, but a big part of being successful at blocking as a wide receiver is technique, relentlessness, and toughness. It's not like the cornerbacks they are normally going to be blocking are the big; a lot of the best cover corners are small-ish (Nnamdi Asomugha is 6'2" / 210 lbs, Darrelle Revis is 5'11" / 198 lbs, Maehl is 6'0" / 190 lbs).
So... the question I'm curious about is:
- What leads you to believe that Maehl is not a good blocker? Is it based on an analysis provided by an expert like a coach, scout, etc?
I'm asking this question out of curiosity and with the understanding that there might very well be something I haven't seen or heard that shows this. But I've also seen many times where a players physical makeup and appearance lead people to put him in a certain category even if he doesn't belong in it. Scouts Inc rated Maehl Above Average on Competitiveness/Toughness in their draft analysis, which includes blocking, and said he gives good effort in blocking but his lack of size is a hindrance, but still rated him above average.
If there's an article I haven't read, a video I haven't seen, or some other information I'd much appreciate if someone could point me in the right direction. If there isn't anything like that, hopefully you Houston fans will be able to see ol' Jeffery in a different light.