Was 2009 a Fluke for Sidney Rice?
Despite finishing 4th in the league with 1312 receiving yards and tied for 16th with 8 receiving TDs, I’m a little nervous about Sidney Rice. Even after the 10 catches for 184 yards and 4 TDs in playoff games against Dallas and New Orleans. After all, he is dealing with a hip injury that will limit him in training camp. Injuries have plagued Rice in the past, and one would hope that he would have been fully recovered by now.
The injury prevented him from participating in Larry Fitzgerald’s offseason program. One could argue that his participation in that program last year was second only to Brett Farve’s arrival in explaining Rice’s breakout year. He’s busy rehabbing his hip, but will his absence cause his production to suffer?
Brett Favre will return barring a reversal for the ages, which helps. However, they were not on the same page in the interception that cost the Vikings a chance to return to the Super Bowl. Even though Favre isn’t blaming Rice for the interception, you have to wonder if he’ll be as willing to throw the ball up to him, trusting Rice will make a play.
What’s scary is that Rice could conceivably improve on last year. He had 8 TDs in his first 46 catches in 2007 & 2008. He had 8 last year in 83 catches. At 6’4″ with good leaping ability and body position, he could turn in a double-digit TD season.
I don’t have him completely falling off the map, click here for my 2010 WR rankings, but I do have him taking a step back in 2010. I’d still take him as a WR1, but, honestly, I’d prefer him as a WR2.
For starters, I think they run the ball more this year. At times they went away from Adrian Peterson last year. I think Brad Childress got wrapped up in the Brett Favre mania and leaned a little heavy on the pass. That should change this year.
With Brett Favre throwing fewer passes, it stands to reason that Rice could see fewer targets. I also think Percy Harvin plays a bigger role in the offense, which will further dip into Rice’s production.
Prediction: 75 catches, 1200 yards, 7 TDs
What are your thoughts on Sidney Rice?
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