Second straight day with a passing game-related post. I'm a man of obsession.
I could bring out the Michael Turner argument, because Turner has been absolutely abysmal over the last three weeks. On 53 carries, he's averaged only 2.8 yards, an average so anemic it makes vampire victims look robust. But there are a lot of factors going into Turner's issues at the moment, and I'd like to see how he fares against a piss poor Panthers run defense before I go down that road.
I'm here today to talk about Kerry Meier.
You'll recall that Meier looked pretty good in pre-season this year, his second in the league. You're all familiar with Sunshine's story, and it's a remarkable one. He lost his brother during his days as a Kansas quarterback, reinvented himself as a wide receiver in the NFL and was doing great things in practice in 2010 before suffering a season-ending injury. To his eternal credit, Meier fought back, won a roster spot and...well, here we are.
In an offense that's thrown the ball quite a bit thus far in 2011, Meier has been an afterthought. His targets have been eaten up by Roddy White, Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez, and to a lesser extent the running backs. There's been table scraps for guys like Harry Douglas already, so why would Meier get a look?
Two reasons spring to mind. The first, of course, is that Julio Jones may miss the Panthers game, leaving his targets for Douglas and guys further down the chart. The second is that Meier deserves them, at least based on pre-season action.
What he brings to the table is this: He's a tall guy with quality wheels for a possession receiver. He's sure-handed and pretty athletic. Above all, he runs his routes with an attention to detail, something every receiver getting significant playing time thus far has struggled with. Meier isn't going to blow anyone away with his speed, and for that reason he sometimes struggles to get separation. But this offense needs a guy who can battle for the ball and keep his grip on it, especially right now, and Meier's a solid option. Any help is good help.
Now, I'm not naive enough to think that Meier is any sort of panacea for the team's offensive woes. I just think that the Falcons need to start trying to use every weapon at their disposal, and Meier certainly qualifies as one. If Jones is out, I'd like to see them keep Douglas in the slot and make targeting him a priority, but give Meier some snaps outside. He may do good things with them.
What say you, gentle readers?