I know this may reek of homerism, but I've got to say it anyway, Marv IS NOT DECLINING. His numbers have declined the last coupla years because of the growth of the rest of the offense, but make no mistake about it, Marv is still the weapon other teams defensive secondaries plan against(and if they don't this year, Marv will have a huge year, but they will).
Now if you want to make the argument that Marv is behind Johnson and Holt fantasy-wise then ok. That's reasonable givin the fact that the Edge, Reggie, Stokely and Dallas are still there to suck up touches, but physically Marv is still capable of 130 catches. The Colts just don't need him to do that now. They wouldn't have given him the money for the years they just did if they even suspected he might be deteriorating physically. They would've made Edge the priority. And while Marv does open up the defense so Reggie/Stokely/Dallas can run free, Marv will definately still get his even if Manning dowsn't throw 50 td's this year.
fair enough! good reply!
I agree, as I stated, that there are others more worthy of the 'bust' tag than Marvin Harrison; Priest Holmes being one, Heap and Bell being others..
I also said in no way does Stokley make it a full season, so that could benefit Marvin..but lets face it , his reception totals are going south, quickly..
in 13 games last season, he caught just 5 or fewer passes..in 6 games he caught 4 or fewer passes..he had just 3 games where he caught between 6-9 passes, and just 2 games with double digit receptions. He also netted just 4 100+ yard games, where in 2003, he netted 7 100+ yard games..
last year was a major dropoff in second half ( final 8 games) production, whereas the previous two seasons, he had been better or at least even with first-half production..
first 8 games '04:
last 8 games '04:
he averaged just 4.5 catches per game over final 7 games in 2004.
He is clearly NOT the focal point of the offense anymore..he HAS slipped , considerably. Its inevitable, like all the great NFL players who hit 33, his stats are sure to drop like Emmitt, Rod Smith, etc..now it could be that Wayne and Clark have emerged, or that he's getting older, or both..
either way, he is NOT what he once was.
the point is, he got 15 tds last year on 86 receptions, in an offense where the QB set an ALL-TIME td record..
Manning will not come close to 49 tds again..Marino didn't either when he first set the record..If Manning throws his career average of 30 tds per season, how is Marvin going to get another 15 of them..thats 19 fewer TD's from Manning than last year...precisely 1/2 of Manning's Td's will go to Marvin?
no way. not with Wayne,Clark, et al on the roster..
Don't let Marv's age fool ya. If you wanna complain about his yardage numbers(not saying you are) that's fine, but a big reason that his yardage numbers suffer is because he rarely gets any RAC yards. If you wanna make that a complaint, ok, I can live with that, but that also means that he NEVER GETS HIT. You can't compare him to Faulk, Emmitt and Rod Smith. Those guys have been abused. Marv is fresh as a spring daisy.
He most definately is the focus of the offense. 90% of Mannings check downs start with Marv. And defenses know it so they over cover Marv which opens it up for everyone else. Marv's numbers aren't declining because of age, they're declining because defenses focus on him so much (the very talented) Reggie Wayne and Stokely(who Manning's known since he went to a Manning summer football camp in high school and who Manning hand picked to come to the Colts after his last year with Baltimore) get single covered by #2 and #3 cb's.
Marv still gets the opposing teams best cb and the double coverage and still is able to find holes and make plays. Marv is not "getting old" like players who take alot more abuse. He doesn't have 130 catches anymore because he makes those other guys better, not because they're better than him. And I love them. But to say Marv isn't the main go to guy in the receiving core is patently false.