Darrius Heyward-Bey Needs to Go Deep Down the Depth Chart

Bret ArmstrongAnalyst IOctober 2, 2009

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 20:  Darrius Heyward-Bey #12 of the Oakland Raiders runs on the field during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on September 20, 2009 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

I don't care how much money Al Davis is paying this guy. As soon as plausible, Darrius Harris-Bey needs to see less of the football field, and more of the film room.

He is a liability in the passing game. He thinks his job is to run around like a chicken who just lost his head. He thinks if he gets zero catches in a game it's okay because, "I'm doing my job."

In the Denver game, JaMarcus Russell attempted to get DHB going early in the game. The result was two interceptions from a guy who has a habit of not throwing risky passes.

On the first pass, DHB did a faceplant on a ball that would've hit him right in stride about 45 yards up the field. I couldn't tell if his feet got tangled or what, but I know the cover guy didn't fall down, because he intercepted the pass.

DHB part two. On JaMarcus' second attempt to DHB, again to try and get him going early in the game, DHB makes a half hearted pirouette at the ball. JaMarcus put it right on the money if DHB hadn't cut the route off short.

You see DHB stop on the route right before the ball goes whizzing by his facemask, and he pirouette's instead of jumping in front of it and at least trying to knock it down.

I know he is young, and I shouldn't be so critical. However, he knows he is young too, and I don't think he is ready to have that pressure on him.

He said during mini-camps that he would like to redshirt this year. Nnamdi Asomugha told us back then that he gives away his route with body language and his eyes.

He is slow to get off the line of scrimmage, and once he gets off the line, he seems to forget what he is supposed to do.

During Sunday's game, Louis Murphy could be seen yelling at DHB on the sidelines. There is something to be said for the fourth round receiver giving a talking to the first round receiver.   

He is throwing the timing off on his side of the field by not getting off the ball right. What good is his speed, but if he doesn't know how to use it properly he can't catch the ball.

Fear, that's what it boils down to. Darrius is afraid of getting hit, he is afraid of messing up, and he is afraid of catching, or not catching, the ball.

The Raiders are struggling enough right now, they do not need to field players who are scared to play.

Start Johnnie Lee Higgins, or start Javon Walker. Heck, even Todd Watkins has more receiving yards than DHB this season, start him.

When Chaz Schilens gets back, if DHB is still in the starting lineup, then we will know that Al Davis has forced his will upon Tom Cable, and perhaps there is no hope for Oakland's passing game this year after all.

It's sad, really, because there is so much potential wasted. Darrius is probably the third best active receiver right now behind Higgins and Murphy. Once Chaz gets back, he will be the fourth, and that's being kind.

Use your head coaches, and get this nervous dude out of there.


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