Continuing the position previews for the Atlanta Falcons I will address the Wide Receivers and Tight Ends. This unit is regarded as the most complete and most dangerous group for the Falcon Offense. Roddy White, Julio Jones, Tony Gonzalez, and Harry Douglas are a very formidable group that will have to be accounted for if any opponent plans to stay within “striking distance” of this team.
Here are the stats; Roddy White, the 9th year player out of the University of Alabama-Birmingham caught 92 balls for 1,351 yards, and seven touchdowns, Julio Jones, going into 3rd year out of Alabama of had 79 catches for 1,198 yards, with 10 touchdowns, Tony Gonzalez, last year in his 16th year had 93 receptions for 930 yards with eight touchdowns, and finally Harry Douglas chipped in with 38 catches for 395 yards and a touchdown. The numbers were absolutely mind-blowing.
Despite the great numbers from last season, this group can get even BETTER. Consider this for a second….this is the 2nd year in Dirk Koetter’s offensive system. Last season was only the “tip of the iceberg” for learning and executing this offense and when you think of how well they transitioned from a run-first, control the clock philosophy, to a quick strike, high-octane offense, having an additional off-season to perfect the craft should do wonders for this unit. Also, the addition of Steven Jackson WILL help this unit soar to greater heights. With Michael Turner in the backfield last season, the threat of someone catching the ball from that position was limited. Jackson, has another gear with pretty sure hands, so that dual threat keeps the defense off balance, trying to choose what they will stop. The only bit of concern is Harry Douglas at the slot position and whether or not he can take his game to another level thus creating mismatches all over the field.
Overall, the receiving unit for the Atlanta Falcons is probably the most talented group. They along with Quarterback Matt Ryan help establish the offensive identity for the franchise. This unit will do nothing but get better barring injury and with the addition of Steven Jackson for the passing game, defenses will have to account for every facet of the Atlanta Falcons’ Offense which in my opinion makes them the most dangerous in the league.
Jamie Walker is a Producer and the Atlanta Falcons Blogger for Sports Radio 92.9 The Game. He can be followed on Twitter @coachjdub21 or through email at Jamie.Walker@cbsradio.com