Jared Goff is one of those special quarterbacks who comes into your life every now and then. Goff is clearly a one of a kind talent and we need to appreciate him while we still have him. His recognition and ability.
But he needs special wide receivers to really get going. That comes in the form of Kenny Lawler.
Lawler is one of those special talents who has all the athleticism in the world to find any pass he can get.
But what really makes him special is his incredible catch radius. He can go pretty much anywhere and grab the football from any angle. That is a special gene saved for receivers like Julio Jones or Odell Beckham Jr. who just have incredible recognition to shift, change, and move their bodies so that they're in the right position to grab any football thrown in their general direction. Even fade routes seem like good ideas when Lawler is prominently involved.
Goff explains pretty well how important it is to have a receiver like Lawler to throw the football to in this piece with Jeff Faraudo.
Goff said defenses must pick their poison, and that Lawler is completely adept at patterns crossing the middle of the end zone.
"There's really only two ways to play it. Stay inside and give us the fade, or (play) outside and give us the post," he said. "They can do whatever they want. It's a win-win for us."
And if defenses double-team Lawler?
Indeed, when Texas decided not to challenge Lawler with an extra safety and leave him isolated in one-on-one coverage, Goff punished them once.
It's a Bear Raid in Austin! Watch #CALvsTEX live now on FOX! http://t.co/GvGMMvTPu3— Pac-12 Networks (@Pac12Networks) September 20, 2015
Jared Goff and Kenny Lawler are putting on a SHOW! Cal leads Texas, 38-24. #CALvsTEXAS https://t.co/j24fHMMFkA— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) September 20, 2015
Lawler finished with six catches for 79 yards and two touchdowns.
And when Texas finally decided to send a safety to monitor Lawler on one side of the field, that opened up not just options for other wide receivers, but also provided clearer running lanes, allowing Khalfani Muhammad to explode down the center of the field.
Texas is looking like Bear Territory! Khalfani Muhammad to the house! Watch #CALvsTEXAS on FOX http://t.co/hZXNWTmuOQ— Pac-12 Networks (@Pac12Networks) September 20, 2015
If Cal wants to make things interesting rest of the year, they will continue to need to rely on Lawler drawing attention and establishing himself as a clear preeminent talent. Goff can dish the ball, but he needs his wide receivers to prove their various worth. Lawler clearly has the highest ceiling, so the more attention he draws, the better opportunities will be available for Trevor Davis, Stephen Anderson, Bryce Treggs, and the running back corps.