When Dirk Koetter was hired by the Falcons this past offseason, there was a lot of talk about how much Matt Ryan and the receivers would benefit by him taking the offense vertical. Most of the elite teams in the NFL have stopped leaning on the run game in favor of a pass-heavy, high-tempo scheme where they spread the ball around and attack every part of the field. With a more than capable Matt Ryan at QB, Falcons fans expected the offense to soar to new heights with Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez, Julio Jones, and Harry Douglas. On paper, I would say the Falcons have the most talented receiving corps in the NFL.
As of right now, the Falcons are the last undefeated team in the NFL. They’re on eight-game win streak that’s been filled with highs and lows, but it seems they’ve saved their best for after the bye week. The team has been gelling, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Matt Ryan is in the MVP race due to their undefeated record and him being in the top-10 in every major passing category despite the lack of a running game. Ryan has been attacking defenses deep, and Roddy, Tony, and Julio are all contributing and putting up numbers.
All expect for Harry Douglas…
Should fans be concerned? No, we’re 8-0 and it’s hard to complain about anything on offense outside the O-line, but, I can’t help but think a wide receiver with a skill set like his is being underutilized.
He’s a shifty, agile, and explosive player who could make plays in the passing and return game. He is similar to an Az-Zahir Hakim-type slot receiver; Good hands with blazing speed and overall athleticism. Basically all the traits necessary to take a short, underneath route and break for an 80 yard TD. Hakim was also a big-play threat as a punt returner, with the ability to make defenders miss in the open field and in tight spaces. He was an important piece in the “Greatest Show on Turf”. He put up 9 total touchdowns in the Rams magical season of 99′, good enough for second on the team behind Issac Bruce’s 12 TD’s.
Eight games into the 2012 season, Harry has only 16 receptions for 149 yards and zero touchdowns… Hardly the ‘coming out’ party I was expecting. What’s even worse is that Harry never amassed over 500 yards in a season, and only has a total of 3 receiving touchdowns for his career. At one point in time he was a free agent…Why resign him if you’re not going to use him? At least put him back at returning punts, Franks hasn’t made an impact in that area, seeing as he’s been fielding 85% of them.
Who knows, maybe Smitty and Dirk are saving the best for the playoffs. If that’s the case, I guess I’m fine with it. It could also be the limited time Matt Ryan has behind our offensive line that’s struggled lately. But, I think getting Harry involved would open up things for Roddy, Julio, and Tony even more. Getting someone with a skill set like Harry involved in the passing game would make our aerial attack just about impossible to stop…