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The Big Man: How the Tall Wide Receiver Is Changing the NFL

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - FEBRUARY 07: Marques Colston #12 of the New Orleans Saints runs with the ball against Jerraud Powers #25 of the Indianapolis Colts during Super Bowl XLIV on February 7, 2010 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
Logan DaltonCorrespondent IFebruary 8, 2010

I couldn't help myself when I saw Marques Colston's Incredible Hulk hands and Colossus-like height at 6'4". This physical specimen burned the Colts' tested Tampa 2 Defense for seven catches and 83 yards.

He did drop one pass early in the game, but his production definitely makes up for it. Colston is definitely an example of how the big wideout is changing the game in the NFL.

A tall, powerful wide receiver like Colston, Larry Fitzgerald, or Randy Moss is a powerful weapon in any team's arsenal. The average NFL corner is, at 5'11", about the size of the accountant at your office.

Even though some corners, like Fabian Washington of the Baltimore Ravens, can run a 4.3 40, they can't jam these big guys. With the NFL's no-contact rule outside of the five yards, this gives the tall ones an advantage.

This is why teams like the Colts, Steelers, and Bucs run the Tampa 2. Because their corners are undersized (Colts starters Kelvin Hayden and Jerraud Powers are 5'11" and 5'10" respectively), these teams rely on old fashioned fire and brimstone: gang tackling and zone coverage. They might give up five yards but they won't give up the home run play.

However, these strong and tall receivers expose the Tampa 2. Last night, the Colts' corners couldn't bring down Colston, and the linebackers had to clean up their mistakes. Colston, with his clutch catches and ninja-like elusiveness, was the X factor last night.

Offenses in the NFL with semi-accurate quarterbacks will continue to dominate as long as they have big, surehanded wide receivers and tight ends to throw to until the corners catch up size wise with the wideouts.

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