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Bolts Young Receiving Duo Delivers
Sunday night’s loss was as tough as they come, especially against a bitter rival.
Still, it was hard not to come away encouraged by the play of two bright young stars as the wide receiver tandem of Keenan Allen and Vincent Brown had their best games of the young season. Much is expected out of both young men, and it’s entirely conceivable that we may look back upon the Week 5 loss as the start of something new when it comes to who the playmakers are.
According to Head Coach Mike McCoy, the way the offensive system is in place, it could be any receiver’s week to shine depending on what the defense is giving the quarterback.
“You guys talk about all the time or ask me who’s doing this week in and week out,” said McCoy. “Well, the way the system’s in place is Philip is going to take advantage of what the defense is giving him. That was a perfect example last night of those two young players doing some good things. They made the most of their opportunities. We’re going to build off of that.”
Allen, a third-round pick out of California this past April, scored his first career touchdown in his return to the Bay area. The seven-yard strike was impressive and he broke a tackle with brute strength, using extra effort to get into the end zone. The score highlighted a six catch, 115-yard performance for the 6-2, 211-pound rookie, who now has 14 catches for 225 yards and a score on the season.
Still, while many wanted to heap accolades on Allen after the game, he was lamenting the team’s loss rather than relishing in any personal accomplishment.
Allen also admitted that with the losses of Danario Alexander and Malcom Floyd, the onus has been placed on Brown and him to step up and embrace a bigger role in the offense.
“Me and Vincent go to work every day,” he said. “Hard work (gets) put in, and hard work shows. We came out there ready to play football. When Danario and Malcom went down we knew we’d have to be the guys to step up, so we just got in the playbook, got with Phil and made sure our connection was right. We made sure we were out there being on time.”
Brown meanwhile led the team with 117 yards on eight catches, and it was the first 100-plus yard receiving game of his career. His top play came on a beautifully run 51-yard deep bomb late in the third quarter up the left sideline that sparked a 14-0 run to get the Bolts back in the game. After missing all of his sophomore year due to a broken ankle, the 5-11, 190-pound third-year pro out of San Diego State leads all wide receivers with 23 receptions for 208 yards and a touchdown.
“We have a good group of guys that can definitely make plays in the passing game,” tight end Antonio Gates said. “We believe in all our guys, but to watch those two guys step up was very encouraging. That’s something we can build off of. Every single day you see Keenan growing and this was kind of like the break out game we’ve been waiting to see from Vincent. So we have some corrections we have to make overall, but those two guys were definitely encouraging