This situation would look more stable if John Brown returns to form. After a breakout year in 2015 (65 catches, 1,003 yards, seven touchdowns), Brown was hampered by hamstring injuries due to a sickle cell issue last season, ending up with just 39 catches and two touchdowns. Michael Floyd fell out of favor in the offense before a DUI arrest led to his release. J.J. Nelson showed flashes of promise but is still unproven as a starting receiver.
The Cardinals drafted Grambling State’s Chad Williams in the third round this year. So far, he’s drawing rave reviews from Fitzgerald.
“He’s extremely explosive,” Fitzgerald said, via Revenge of the Birds. “He reminds me of Anquan Boldin in terms of the strength of his hands. Once [the football] touches his hands, it doesn’t move.”
But full practices haven’t even started yet, so it’s too early to tell how much of a role Williams will have as a rookie.
There is some promise among this group but also a lot of risk — especially if Brown’s sickle cell problems flare up again.
“In the first three quarters they’re releasing five (receivers) outside and believing in their offensive line to stop us up front,” Freeney said. “Five sacks later they realize, ‘You know what? We’ve got to give Tom time no matter what.’
“All of a sudden, they’re running seven-man protection and receivers are just running routes man-to-man against our DBs. We’re out there 80-plus plays so fatigue starts to enter into Cheap Blackhawks Jerseys that equation.”
While the defense did founder, Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has taken Cheap Chelsea Jerseys the bulk of the blame for Atlanta’s loss with highly questionable play calls that failed miserably in the fourth quarter. Freeney, though, refused to scapegoat Shanahan for the defeat and pointed out that “it’s easy for people to say these things when they’re not under the most extreme pressure situations.”