At Monday's OTAs Buccaneer Receiver Michael Clayton offered up a theory about why he has failed to duplicate the success in his rookie year. As reported on the NFC South blog on ESPN.com by Pat Yasinkas, Clayton seems to think that the reason for his continued failure is the quarterback carousel he has suffered through the past few years and how he hasn't been the beneficiary of any consistency at the position.
"When you have a quarterback that is set, and is going to be the guy -- we haven't had that consistency in a long time -- at wide receiver that plays a huge part on what goes on in the perimeter," said Clayton. "[Freeman] is going to make that easy for all of us. [What] it is going to all boil down to is, who is out there at a specific time to make the plays? The ball is definitely going to be thrown there. We are all going to have opportunities."
At this point I can't say I'm surprised to hear excuses pouring forth from Clayton's mouth, but I was a little surprised to hear Raheem Morris taking up for him. I figured Morris had learned his lesson after his infamous challenge last season, but alas, it would appear that this is not so.
"That is very valid. I would never sit up here and give an excuse for anybody, but Clayton has had three changes at the quarterback position in any given season. Those guys usually don't end up with the luxury that they would like to have or the success that they'd like to have in the win-loss record for the most part. I'm going to have to agree with him that would have to affect him, but you have to overcome your deal. That's the beauty of Josh Freeman, so to speak -- going into the offseason knowing who your guy is."
While Morris has a point, the inconsistency at quarterback over the past five seasons can't fully account for Clayton's ineptitude. If the ball hits you in the hands and you drop it, I don't really see how it matters if you have good chemistry with the quarterback throwing you the ball. You simply can't catch very well if that is the case. Not to mention that Clayton had Garcia throwing the ball for 13 and 12 games respectively for 2007 and 2008. Does he have to start all sixteen games to develop good chemistry with him? I wish for once Clayton would just own up to his failures and quit making excuses. I guess when all is said and done it really doesn't matter though. The check is in the bank and that's not changing. Right Mike?