The 3rd wide receiver. Man. I love a good 3rd wide out.
Hassan Jones, Qadry Ismail, David Palmer, Matthew Hatchette, Chris Walsh, Bobby Wade, Jarius Wright, Kelly Campbell, Jerome Simpson. Just a few of the former Vikings third wide receivers I can name off the top of my head.
I heard Jarius is a free agent again and there is mutual interest to bring him back. Oh… I’d love that. He’s a third down conversion recking ball. I was in the urinal at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, watching the Vikes play the ‘Hawks in 2013. I told the guy next to me all about how I don’t miss Percy Harvin because he’s the poor man’s Jarius Wright. Guy just shakes his head and ignores me. A couple minutes later Jarius burns Richard Sherman for like a 40 yard touchdown. Funniest thing being that later in the game, at a random concession stand buying my sister and I beers, I saw that SAME GUY in line and just bombarded him with nonsense. Boy was I happy to see him. The final score of the game?…Irrelevant. In 2017 Jarius Wright was the perfect third down receiver. He had 18 catches. 13 of them were for either a first down or a TD. That’s 72%. And watching him all year it honestly felt that percentage should have been higher. Best stat I’ve ever heard. Love that guy. Pleeeeaaaaasssse bring him back. C’mon home Jarius.
Walsh, Hatchette, and Palmer played on that ’98 Vikings team. Walsh usually lined up at the 3rd wide spot to crack-back block someone. He was almost always successful. It became a thing. Today it would be a hashtag. Of course that block is no longer legal. Palmer was the receiver/3rd down back/punt returner. He could make any 6 yard run magical. I saw Hatchette play in person in a preseason game in ’97. He was made for preseason football. Dominated. Had all the tools. But good luck getting into a regular season game that featured Cris Carter, Jake Reed, and Randy Moss. Bad timing. Showed flashes. In 2009 while staying at a friend’s house for awhile, his wife was watching a reality show featuring a woman who’s only job was to arrange dates for celebrities/rich people. Hatchette was one of the love-hungry patrons. Not sure how that worked out, but I certainly popped up off the couch when I saw him walk into the room.
Loved Ismail. His brother’s nickname was The Rocket. So they called him The Missile. He was never very good. Looked awkward when he ran and returned kicks. Most of the time he was on the field he just ran the straight deep route. But just having his name out there always meant there was a possibility of a big play. And what more can you ask for from a 3rd wide out? He would have been a great video game player. He had a legendary TD catch against the Saints when I was in 7th grade. The Vikings had no timeouts, down by six, 10-15 seconds left. They were somewhere around the 10-yard-line. I don’t remember what down it was but I know it wasn’t 4th. Warren Moon for some reason throws him the ball out in the flat, around the 7 yard line. If he gets tackled in bounds the game is over. He somehow makes two Saints miss and then a third as he dives in. It was only a good play because it worked out…which is sort of symbolic of the Denny Green era. The next day my science teacher, Mr. Spong, and I talked all about it.
Hassan Jones was the guy I barely remember. I was pretty young. Great name though. But I recall watching a game with my dad and his two carpenter buddies in the late 80s and he made a big catch.
Jerome Simpson and Kelly Campbell are idiots. They both had one spectacular highlight play each in their careers. I don’t blame them for being who they are. This one comes down to coaching and talent evaluation. If a coach voluntarily talks about a third wide receiver and how important they are to the gameplan, without being asked by the media, your team has problems. That’s not their role. I don’t know how many times I heard Leslie Frazier (Vikings coach 2011-2013) bring up Jerome Simpson saying stuff like they need to get him involved, or when he gets back from his suspension that’ll help us do what we need to do. Stop with all that. And Kelly Campbell had Mike Tice as his coach. Inventor of the Randy Ratio and the three year plan. ‘Nough said.
I don’t remember anything about Bobby Wade except he was brought in cheap from Chicago. It was a slow news day that day.