As an undergraduate, I had the joy of dissecting a brutally difficult but immensely rewarding book by Ludwig Wittgenstein called Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, which attempted to develop a perfect language for the description of reality. He adopted a highly formal style that consisted of a series of propositions (sentences) ordered by a numbering system such that a first proposition (1) was commented on by 1.1, and 1.1 commented was upon by 1.1.1 and etc.
The recent discussion at NinersNation of the importance of speed at the WR position (with regard to Crabtree, particularly) inspired me to write a few propsitions of my own. I'd welcome your comments, examples, critiques, etc. Does this seem like a "perfect language" for studying WR's? Are there things I've missed? Does this go some way to explaining the inexhaustiblity of the debate about certain prospects (like Crabtree)?
Proposition 1: Speed is an asset for any football player and particularly for WRs.
Proposition 1.1: Speed relevant in football terms may or may not be measurable by stopwatches on practice fields.
Proposition 1.2.1: Speed measurements are thrown off by field conditions, whether a player is or is not wearing pads
Proposition 1.2.2: Speed's relevance for a particular WR is relative to offensive scheme and role within that scheme
Proposition 2: Speed is not the only factor in a receiver's likelihood of success at his position
Proposition 2.1: Balance, agility, etc. are also factors
Proposition 2.2: Unteachable physical tools like size, sense of leverage, etc. are factors
Proposition 2.3: Teachable, position-specific tools like route-running also factors in
Proposition 3: Speed is not at all a factor in a receiver's likelihood of success as a team member
Proposition 3.1: Being a bad teammate can sour a coach on you, leading to less playing time
Proposition 3.2: Being stuck behind a more-experienced teammate can hinder a receiver's development
Proposition 3.3.1: Being stuck with a bad QB can greatly hinder a receiver's development
Proposition 3.3.2: Being stuck on a good team that never throws the ball late in games can prevent a receiver from seeing the field and developing.