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Coach: Harry Douglas To Have Bigger Role In 2011

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Ah, the sweet sound of Mike Smith telling us to be prepared for a big season from a player who had a disappointing 2010. It's like violin music played by supermodels.

Harry Douglas hasn't lived up to his considerable promise in three seasons with the Falcons. He arrived as the clear slot deep threat of the future, but injuries, route-running lapses and drops have kept him from locking down a prominent role in the offense.

That's why Smith's comments to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution need to be taken with a little bit of sodium. We all want Harry to break out, but will he indeed be to the offense what mustard is to sandwiches? Smith does think so:

I think there will be a jump in production from Harry Douglas because it's going to be his second year recovering from his knee surgery. Even though Harry was ready to go when the season started, he wasn't 100 percent.

As the season progressed, he got better and better. I think it was evident in the Carolina game [in Charlotte on Dec. 12] when he caught the deep ball. Harry will be an integral part of what we want to do.

If the team truly believes that Douglas is ready to take a step forward and contribute, it could be an indication that they're not going to go hard after a wide receiver in the 2011 NFL Draft. Certainly he has the wheels to assume that role, but he's going to have to prove he can do so on a consistent basis to really stick.

What do you think? Should we be excited about HD in 2011?