From the “those who don’t learn from history” department comes Todd Pinkston, who, if I showed you only the remaining text of this entry, could be a dead ringer for Reggie Brown.
There were a lot of questions surrounding Pinkston’s selection in 2000. Sure, he was 6'2", but at barely 170 pounds, he looked more like a sprinter than a wide receiver.
But in his first three seasons, he showed some potential. After a rather pedestrian but promising rookie year, Pinkston took over as a starter in 2001 and put up decent numbers in 2001 and 2002: 102 catches, 1384 yards, 11 touchdowns.
The latter performance earned him a five-year contract extension and a huge signing bonus.
But in 2003, he dropped to just 36 catches, 575 yards and two scores, all of which were career lows as a starter. He went on to exacerbate that underperformance by completely disappearing in the NFC Championship Game, where he had three less catches than Ricky Manning...aka the Panthers' DB assigned to cover him.
And then, “Alligator Arms” showed up.
2004 was another 36-catch season (this time for 676 yards and only one score, although Terrell Owens was partly to blame for that), but he might be more noteworthy for a catch he didn’t make.
Early in a game against Washington, Pinkston went deep down the middle and was ready to haul in a bomb...until, that is, he saw Redskins' safety Ryan Clark bearing down on him. Instead of trying to make a tough catch, Pinkston just basically stopped.
It seemed as if avoiding contact was more important than making the play, and even ESPN announcer Joe Theismann quipped that “(the play) is a great way to lose your job as a receiver in the National Football League.”
Which is exactly what Pinkston did.
Pinkston left Super Bowl XXXIX with leg cramps after making four catches, and never stepped on the field again.
A torn Achilles tendon cost him 2005, and because he was obviously still slowed by the injury, he was released at the end of the 2006 preseason. He was later signed (and cut) by both Minnesota and Washington, never again seeing an NFL snap.
Oddly enough, he was back in green in 2009 as a coaching intern at the Birds’ training camp. Pinkston worked under receivers coach David Culley to get some experience so that he can break into coaching in his native Mississippi.
I wonder if he’ll teach his receivers to shy away from contact.