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Raiders' Ryan Switzer says Cowboys miscast him as RB

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  • Raiders' Ryan Switzer says Cowboys miscast him as RB

    One year later, the Dallas Cowboys are still trying to replace Lance Dunbar, and they're apparently on the backup to the backup plan.

    After the Cowboys traded for Tavon Austin during the draft, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that Dallas views the receiver as a running back who could fill a role similar to the one Dunbar held before leaving for L.A. in 2017.

    The Cowboys had previously dabbled with filling that position by turning another receiver into a running back: Ryan Switzer.

    After being traded from Dallas to Oakland following the Austin acquisition, Switzer spoke to Patrik Walker of 247Sports about his role with the Cowboys.

    "The more I think on it, I think that they had a different plan for me than what I was capable of doing," Switzer said. "I don't know. Looking back I had two or three rushes in the NFL before receptions and I was taking reps at running back at times. I don't know if [they] were trying to use me as like a scat-back or what. There was a lot of talk about my high school days and being a RB and I don't think I ever fit that mold as a change-of-pace back or someone with slide sweeps and carries. I don't know if that's the plan they had for me [because] it was never spoken, but when I try to piece these things together -- that's kind of what I'm thinking. ... I think that had a little bit to do with it because I can't really think of anything else. ... I did, like coach [Jason] Garrett [told] me, I did everything [asked of me] and more. I felt like that, too. I'm not really sure. That's about as good of a guess as I have."

    Switzer's usage outside of special teams bolster's his analysis. Before a throwaway Week 17 tilt versus Philadelphia, Switzer had two catches for nine yards, compared to four rushes for five yards (including one for minus-4). Before the final week, the 5-foot-8 receiver played a combined 26 passing-down snaps, according to NextGen Stats, never more than five in any single game.

    A prolific slot receiver at the University of North Carolina, Swizter earned 96 catches his senior season, and exited with the most receptions and receiving yards in school history. Pigeonholing the slight receiver into a running back role seemed faulty on the face. In truth, the Cowboys couldn't figure out how to utilize the overlapping skills of Switzer and Cole Beasley.

    "I did everything I could," Switzer told Walker. "I was one of those 'get there early, stay late' [players]. You know I had great practices. When I got my opportunity at the end of the year against Philly, I produced. I never really knew what they were going to do with [Cole Beasley] and I."

    Given the series of moves that led to his exit from Dallas, Switzer's assumption that they wanted him to be a scat-back to fill the Dunbar-role makes sense. After adding Austin, Switzer became redundant at two positions.

    Moving to Oakland should provide him a better opportunity to earn slot snaps.

    "I know how successful I can be in this league as the receiver and just being one week with these guys and the offense with [Derek Carr], I feel a lot more confident from an offensive standpoint going into this year with Oakland," he said.

    The 23-year-old is out to prove he can be an NFL receiver and that Dallas moved on too soon.

    "I've always played with a chip on my shoulder but I never had anything like this happen, where I just felt disrespected," he said. "It's not something that's going to weigh me down and create a negative. I feel more so that it's going to be something that propels me and not that I needed any external motivation, but this is kind of nice. I gave my all to Dallas. I gave everything I had to the organization and I plan on doing the same thing in Oakland."

  • #2
    I fucking hate the staff's obsession with this "web back" role and how they apparently ruined Switzer's one year audition with this crap. He could have been groomed into a Beasley replacement, or even more than Beasley.

    Maybe, maybe not, I mean, there's no guarantee on a fourth round player, but the kid had talent and we never got a chance to find out, really. And I'm not even sure he doesn't end up as a better kick returner than Austin, too.

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    • #3
      Our offensive coaching staff's prowess is on full display here.

      I'm fairly certain Austin will only be marginally more effective in the offense than Dunbar, who was always hyped up around this time of year only to wither away as the season got going. It really is amazing that they maintain this idiotic philosophy, especially since it seems like it will mean taking Elliott off the field in favor of Austin, and previously Dunbar.

      Really astounding stuff.

      At least they drafted a guy in Scarborough who is actually a viable alternative if we're without Elliott for a few games.

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      • #4
        Well, all in all, I'm happier with Austin than Switzer. He has elite traits that Switzer lacks. I do think Switzer could have been used more often as a slot WR, especially with Butler down most of the year. That was a mistake on the part of the coaching staff. However, going forward we have a faster, more athletic guy who also is both a slot WR and change of pace RB. Having a slot WR who can take the top of the defense could really benefit this team which lacks team speed on offense.
        I was on the draft LVE train. I was for trading for Amari before it happened.
        'nuff said

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        • #5
          I soured on Switzer after his idiotic fumble against the Rams and the fact that he didn't seem to really take it seriously, seemed like a bit of an idiot. I think he can be a decent slot receiver but I think the more important point to make is that our coaching staff is full of idiots who tried to convert a 5-8, 180 lb slot WR who isn't especially explosive into a hybrid change of pace back/slot WR.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Simpleton View Post
            Our offensive coaching staff's prowess is on full display here.

            I'm fairly certain Austin will only be marginally more effective in the offense than Dunbar, who was always hyped up around this time of year only to wither away as the season got going. It really is amazing that they maintain this idiotic philosophy, especially since it seems like it will mean taking Elliott off the field in favor of Austin, and previously Dunbar.

            Really astounding stuff.

            At least they drafted a guy in Scarborough who is actually a viable alternative if we're without Elliott for a few games.
            Why would a defense treat Austin like a RB. If Dallas runs him out there I'd be in nickle or dime with no fear of him actually running the ball up the middle. He is a WR playing RB. So you cover him like a reciever. I just don't get this wonderful concept we are trying out. Elite receiving backs need to still be RBs.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Cowboysrock55 View Post
              Why would a defense treat Austin like a RB. If Dallas runs him out there I'd be in nickle or dime with no fear of him actually running the ball up the middle. He is a WR playing RB. So you cover him like a reciever. I just don't get this wonderful concept we are trying out. Elite receiving backs need to still be RBs.
              The only thing I can make out of it is that we plan on using formations with both Austin and Elliott on the field in the hope of creating mismatches with Austin coming out of the backfield and/or in creating confusion in terms of the defensive personnel.

              Of course all of that implies that our crack staff of offensive coaches will be more creative and show more ingenuity than McVay did with the Rams, so we'll see how that works out.

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              • #8
                2016 DCC LOTY Fantasy Football Champion

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                • #9
                  I'd like to say we should've taken Jake Butt in retrospect, but he hasn't done anything for the Broncos yet.

                  That'd be a guy I'd look into trading for, though.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Iamtdg View Post
                    We definitely wanted a third down RB/specialist. Why we locked into that in the fourth round is beyond me. But that's why we wanted Pumphrey (total turd and bust) with that pick. Switzer was somehow the backup option. For a position so easy to draft we always seem to fuck up the utility players.

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                    • #11
                      Yeah, I hate that we don't try to use the fourth round for finding starters.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Cowboysrock55 View Post
                        We definitely wanted a third down RB/specialist. Why we locked into that in the fourth round is beyond me. But that's why we wanted Pumphrey (total turd and bust) with that pick. Switzer was somehow the backup option. For a position so easy to draft we always seem to fuck up the utility players.
                        The whole mindset this staff has with wanting a gadget rb for 3rd downs after we heard over and over taking Zeke at 4 was worth it because he didn't have to come off the field on 3rd down pisses me off to no end
                        2018 DCC Super Bowl Bingo Champion

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                        • #13
                          Didn't the Raiders contact us about Switzer? Sounded like McClay valued Ward over Switzer.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jsmith6919 View Post
                            The whole mindset this staff has with wanting a gadget rb for 3rd downs after we heard over and over taking Zeke at 4 was worth it because he didn't have to come off the field on 3rd down pisses me off to no end
                            Well teams keep gouging us with scat backs so we try to emulate. Personally, I want us to have a fast little scat back. From what I've seen of Zeke running routes (which is rare - usually he stays in and blocks) I'm not super impressed. He's excellent at screens but running routes, meh...
                            I was on the draft LVE train. I was for trading for Amari before it happened.
                            'nuff said

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Cowboysrock55 View Post
                              We definitely wanted a third down RB/specialist. Why we locked into that in the fourth round is beyond me. But that's why we wanted Pumphrey (total turd and bust) with that pick. Switzer was somehow the backup option. For a position so easy to draft we always seem to fuck up the utility players.
                              Yep. The easiest way to miss on draft picks is to lock into one position no matter what.

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