3 creative suggestions for Commanders OC Scott Turner
By Jonathan Eig
2. Sammis Reyes– H Back
H backs still exist. Just barely. Teams will line up a tight end in the backfield from time to time, but the teams that rely on lead backs these days have generally returned to the basic offset I that some of us remember from the ‘70s. San Francisco, with Kyle Juszczyk, is the primary example of this. I thought Kansas City’s offense was at its best a few years back before classic fullback Anthony Sherman called it quits. And come on – who doesn’t like watching the Ravens’ 300-pound Patrick Ricard slam into the line ahead Baltimore’s RB de jour?
Turner revealed an interest in employing this kind of player last season when Washington signed Alex Armah, who not surprisingly, had served in this role for Ron Rivera in Carolina. Armah was on the field for a total of three offensive snaps in 2021, and he would appear to be a pretty big longshot to make the final roster this year.
But this is Washington, where names like Warren and Walker and Sellers are venerated for being tight ends who could line up in the backfield. So let’s revive that with the exceptionally athletic-but-still-raw Reyes.
On passing downs, where he would have to quickly read and react to the defense, this doesn’t make sense. But on running downs, when his primary job would be to combine his 6’6’ 260 pound frame with his 4.65 speed and 40-inch vertical explosiveness and wreak havoc on some 235-pound linebacker – now that’s something I’d like to see.
After serving as a battering ram in front of someone like Brian Robinson for a few plays, you can then sneak him out into the flat. Reyes can catch the ball. Provided his route tree doesn’t grow too complicated too fast, he can become a weapon on dump offs where, as mentioned above with Cam Sims, he can use his size to run over corners and safeties.
Reyes may or may not develop into an every down tight end. If Logan Thomas returns, the position will be very solid with Thomas as the primary target, John Bates as a promising two-way player and perhaps Cole Turner as a downfield threat and red zone target in the mold of Dan Arnold. But Reyes offers unique athleticism. A little experimentation could yield some big results.