Saying Goodbye–Craig Stevens

Posted by: Avinash on Saturday, January 19th, 2008

It’s weird–I went to almost all the Cal home games the past two years, and Craig Stevens never seemed to hit a blip on my radar. Probably my fault. I didn’t know any better and was too focused on the meltdowns and big players that I miss the unsung tight end.

Perhaps if the Bears had pulled up more tight end plays…ugh, no. I’m not going to get into that “what if” game right now. Let’s analyze Stevens’s prospects for the NFL draft.

The upside: He’s a really nice guy. He’s a really honorable guy too. Great blocker. Not an easy player to take down.

The downside: For a coach who loves using the tight end, the Bears sure didn’t go much to Stevens this year. Stevens went from 17 catches and 239 yards in Dunbar’s spread offensive scheme last year to…17 catches and 204 yards this year.  Compare that to the Trojan tight end, Fred Davis, who atoned for the Trojans wide receiver troubles with 62 catches and 8 TDs.

This is no knock on Stevens, who had the misfortune of being stuck with a struggling Longshore for half a season and the most talented receiver corps Cal has ever disposed of. Plus the up-and-coming Cameron Morrah took nearly 30-40% of his possession time. Talk about too much talent. Like Hawkins, he does struggle holding onto the ball.

Most memorable moment: Ride Beavers. Ride.

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Future: Probably a backup tight end, would work great in two tight end sets–he averages over ten yards a catch, so he has shown he is more than capable of running his routes and picking up some extra yardage as well. Stevens is a decent run blocker too for goal line situations, but his dropping problems might come back to bite him. Hopefully he overcomes them, and I’ll get to know him better in the NFL. Just never got his chance to fully blossom into a fan favorite.

Any parting thoughts on Craig Stevens? Comments please.

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