DaeSean Hamilton brings ‘veteran presence’ as route runner
Denver Broncos head coach Vance Joseph was highly complimentary of rookie wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton’s ability to run routes…
DaeSean Hamilton understands the importance of the ‘little’ things.
Transitioning to the wide receiver position is one of the most difficult from college to the pros because of how good every cornerback is. Every corner has the ability to stick with you one on one if you’re sloppy, too slow, or some combination of both.
You have to be able to run good routes as a receiver, or you won’t be able to create any sort of separation against these great athletes that play defense.
That’s why, for the rookie Hamilton, being able to run great routes is such an advantage.
Let’s step back for a moment and talk about being a great route runner at the most basic level.
As a receiver, you want to have the advantage of making the defensive back consistently have to guess where the route is going.
That means that as a route runner, you have to be able to take long strides, make sharp cuts, get in and out of breaks quickly, and have good footwork.
Receivers have to be careful not to give too much away with their eyes, their hips, or with sloppy, slow, and rounded off routes.
Being a good route runner can help a sub-par athlete have a long, successful career at the game’s highest level because defensive backs are unable to simply use their athleticism to dominate in coverage.
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Former Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker is a great example of this.
Welker ran a 4.65-second 40-yard dash coming out of college and had a very average 7.09-second three-cone drill.
Yet, somehow, he was able to have one of the most successful careers of any slot receiver to ever play the game. Why? Route running.
Two of the best modern examples of exemplary route running are Antonio Brown of the Steelers and Larry Fitzgerald of the Cardinals.
Why has Brown been able to reel in close to 600 catches over the past five seasons? In addition to being freakishly talented and working extremely hard, he’s got no weaknesses in his route running.
Which brings us all the way back to DaeSean Hamilton, and why it’s such a huge compliment for Vance Joseph to say he brings a ‘veteran presence’ to his route running.
Hamilton commands respect from defensive backs because he runs good routes.
If you fast-forward to about 3:25 on that video with Hamilton on Good Morning Football, he starts talking about the importance of running routes and why his game is evolved there compared to other young players coming into the league.
Hamilton makes a good point that it’s not just the fact that at Penn State, he was asked to run a more expansive route tree. It’s also that, unlike many other conferences, he wasn’t facing off coverage the entire game in Big Ten play.
Many (if not all) Big Ten defenses play a pro-style defense. Many of those defenses include players who excel at man coverage.
Hamilton, who played primarily from the slot in college, faced all different types of coverage, and plenty of press-man.
It’s also important to note that just because Hamilton played primarily out of the slot at Penn State doesn’t mean he’s strictly a ‘slot’ receiver. He’s going to be able to be used in a variety of ways, but with his size, strength, quickness, route running, and soft hands, he’s going to be an effective player early on.