Look, I know some are going to throw a tantrum over this post, but it's not as though our so called 3rd WR, who ever that really is, has stepped up. Barden and Hixon have all had but one good game a piece. When we played the Panthers, their defense focused on Cruz and didn't really didn't know how to game plan against Barden. Their DB's played far off the line, which allowed Barden to catch a bunch of underneath passes. Hixon is what he is. He's simply doesn't have the speed to consistently get behind the defense. Yes, I know, he's had some good catches here and there, but if you go back and look at all the games played so far, he lacks separation speed, and he's lousy getting off the jam. It's not knock, just a fact.
Rio gave us the ability to still stretch the field, even when Cruz and Nicks were double covered. He possessed the ability to blow past most DB's. Also, please don't compare what he's doing now with SF. Different scheme, and most importantly, different QB. I know we can't bring him back, and trust me, I would in a heart beat if it were possible. Yes, he made mistakes, but doesn't Nicks and Cruz even to this day? The answer is, YES! Bennett is going to have to become more of a focal point in the scheme of things. Teams are going to do what Dallas has done until we prove we can scheme around what they are doing. I'm hoping Randal can step his game up sooner than later, but he is a rookie, and it will take more time for him to develop. What happened to Jernigan? Is he really so bad that he cannot get on the field?
I also believe Nicks will not be healthy enough this season to look like his old self. I cannot believe for one moment that he has fallen off and cannot get separation. I think many underestimated the value of Manningham, and to date, no one has replaced him. These WR's have to show that they can separate against the better defenses in the league. We won't face Tampa, Cleveland and the Panthers every week. The truth hurts sometimes, but it is what it is. Gilbride can be a dope at times, but he doesn't run routes.