Cardinals’ Greg Dortch keeps eyes on opportunity after on-off use in 2022
Aug 5, 2023, 6:45 AM
(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)
The start to Greg Dortch’s 2022 season seemingly should have embedded him in the Arizona Cardinals’ receiver rotation.
He made seven catches on nine targets in Week 1, caught all four targets in Week 2 and hit the nine-catch mark in Week 3.
But from there, Dortch’s playing time fell off for all of October and most of November. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury termed his receiver use as matchup- and scheme-dependent, but Dortch found himself back to frequent playing time during a hardly crucial three-game stretch to end Arizona’s disappointing 2022 season.
He picked up the productivity in a hurry, posting at least four catches in each game from Christmas onward. Did the uneven playing time bother him?
“I would be lying if I said it wasn’t frustrating, just being the competitor that I am and wanting to get out there and help my teammates and not being able to do that, having to wait my turn,” Dortch told Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta on Friday. “That’s what life is about, man, just waiting your turn. When your number’s called, just showing up.
“I think, man, just when opportunities present themselves, it’s up to me to take advantage of every opportunity.”
The simple statistics bear out that he did take advantage.
The quick-twitch receiver caught 52 out of 64 targets for a catch rate of 81.3%, which ranked No. 2 among wide receivers, according to StatMuse.
“Honestly, that’s not even something that I think about,” Dortch said. “My job as a receiver is to catch the ball regardless of who is the quarterback. It could be (running back) James Conner playing quarterback. If he throws me the ball, I have to catch it.”
The 25-year-old Dortch before this past season played only five games for Arizona in 2021, making three catches. So 2022 was a clean breakout year. He hit 467 receiving yards to finish third on the team despite appearing in only 43% of the available offensive snaps.
And now, with a new coaching staff, he just might have a chance to prove that production over a full season for an Arizona team that lost top wideout DeAndre Hopkins and has open competition around new No. 1 Hollywood Brown.
“I remember when I first came into the league, I was just a gadget guy, a guy playing kick return,” Dortch said. “I took that personal. I’m a receiver. I can play punt return and kick return, I enjoy doing it, but I can also go out there and line up in the slot or outside and catch the ball.”