Have you ever heard Mike Smith and Thomas Dimitroff described as giddy?
ESPN's Pat Yasinskas definitely caught my attention with that characterization of the team's Dynamic Duo, especially in the midst of an article about our old friend Kerry Meier. The wide receiver we call Sunshine apparently sets Smith's heart atwitter and causes Dimitroff to swoon, which is quite remarkable.
The question is, why?
He played some quarterback in college. He also made a quick and smooth switch to receiver and put up some huge numbers. He even held for extra points and field goals and served as a backup punter. When the Falcons drafted Meier last year, there was even some talk about him having the ability to play some at H-back or tight end.
That begins to get at it. The Falcons value versatility, schooled as they are in the way of the New England Patriots, and Meier can certainly play special teams, wide receiver and quarterback. He's the heir apparent to Brian Finneran, and he's a better fit for what this team wants out of its wide receivers.
After missing the entire season in 2010, Dimitroff and Smith say they're encouraged by his rehabilitation from the ACL injury that knocked him out in training camp. Everything I read in Yasinskas' article suggests that he's very much on track to contribute in the season ahead, and they legitimately sound excited about what he brings to the table. If he lines up across the field from Roddy White even part-time, he's got a chance to do some damage.
The problem is that we really don't know what Meier can do yet, and whether a guy without blazing speed is going to be a factor in improving this offense. The cynical caption writers at Rotoworld think the 24-year-old is being touted along with Harry Douglas in a bit of the old cloak-and-dagger, trying to draw attention away from the fact that the Falcons are going to be chasing receivers hard.
But we've learned by now that these Falcons are rarely totally predictable, and the confidence expressed in the two young receivers might be a legitimate sign that the team isn't going to go hog-wild in the draft. I still fully expect them to bring aboard one receiver, but I'm no longer convinced that Meier's going to be on the roster bubble after reading this.
In fact, if I was being bold and making crazy predictions, I'd say the Falcons will use him in a few different packages and ultimately ask him to spell Michael Jenkins on the field. That could give him something like 25-30 catches, 350-400 yards and a couple touchdowns. You know, Brian Finneranish numbers.
What say you?
Will Kerry Meier contribute in 2011?
Yes, and he'll be a huge part of the offense (74 votes)
Yes, but minimally (139 votes)
No, not at all (6 votes)
He won't even make the team (4 votes)
Kerry Meier is a steam-powered automaton (18 votes)
241 total votes