Mack Hollins received zero targets on Sunday despite playing 41 snaps. He was out there 59% of the time when the Eagles were working on offense, but quarterback Carson Wentz instead found six different players on his 24 passing attempts.
Monday, Doug Pederson was asked how the Eagles “get more production from that spot,” which resulted in a pronounced sigh and a pause before he answered with this:
“Well, I know that there’s one football. The ball typically finds guys that, where it’s the first or second progression of the play. Mack’s doing everything we ask him to do. We’re gonna continue to keep working there, keep putting him in the game. If we get DeSean back, obviously he might take a step back just a little bit. And we’ve played a lot more 12 personnel, keeping our tight ends on the field and gone that route. But Mack’s a big part of the offense. We ask him to do other things. He’s a guy that is willing to give up himself to the team at times. He’s been very productive doing that.”
Sounds kind of like a Mike Groh answer to me. “There’s one football,” is what Groh said last year when Golden Tate wasn’t doing much of anything at all after coming over via midseason trade.
Unlike Tate, Hollins has been here a while. He caught 16 balls for 226 yards and a touchdown as a rookie, then missed his sophomore year via injury. This season, with DeSean Jackson on the shelf, he’s mustered just 10 grabs for 125 yards despite being thrust into a more pronounced role.
Hollins actually finished the entirety of October without a catch and was targeted only four times. If we lump it all together, his 2019 season looks like this:
- 290 snaps / 8 games = 36 snaps per game
- 21 targets / 8 games = 2.6 targets per game
- 8 games / 10 receptions = 1.25 receptions per game
So with 36 snaps per game, he’s still catching less than one pass on average. That’s not tenable at all.
And to put parse this another way, the following players have logged fewer snaps than Hollins this season:
- Dallas Goedert
- Miles Sanders
- Jordan Howard
- JJ Arcega-Whiteside
Personnel packages are what they are, and injury affected some of those Goedert snaps, but clearly you can operate more efficiently with 21 or 22 personnel, getting Goedert more involved, letting your 2nd round draft pick actually play, or even just giving Greg Ward a chance.