The Atlanta Falcons offense has been dynamic and difficult to defend all season, and with that success comes a lot of confidence. The top-scoring offense in the NFL in 2016 has had plenty of opportunities to trash talk opponents on the field.
In previous years, if you’d asked guys in the locker room which offensive skill player talked the most trash, the answer would have probably been Roddy White. It wouldn’t have been close. This season, however, there’s a new top trash talker in town, and he’s Mohamed Sanu.
If you watched Sanu’s Mic’d Up segment, you’re probably not surprised.
After watching this, I wondered which Falcons player talks the most trash on the field. Sanu’s teammates were unanimous. It’s definitely Sanu.
Rookie tight end Austin Hooper and wide receiver Nick Williams are locker neighbors in the Falcons’ locker room, and both told me there’s no question it’s Sanu.
“You’ve got to catch it live or be a defender he breaks off,” Hooper said.
“Watch him after he catches the ball,” Williams said.
“Yeah, watch him after literally every single catch,” Hooper agreed. “He’ll get up and let whoever he beat know about it.”
Tight end D.J. Tialavea agreed with his teammates.
“It’s definitely a wideout,” Tialavea said. “I would say Mo.”
Eric Weems and Taylor Gabriel were also decisive in their answers.
“Oh, that’s Sanu,” Gabriel said.
The Mic’d Up segment confirms it. After a catch, Sanu jumps up and tells Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane that he’s not ready for Sanu.
“You can’t stop me,” Sanu says emphatically. “You can’t stop me.”
And after his touchdown catch, which was pretty remarkable, Sanu said he told the defender he wasn’t capable of guarding him.
“Why’d they do that to that man?” Sanu says on the sideline. “No. I told him he couldn’t. I don’t know why they did that to him. That was messed up.”
Sanu’s trash talk isn’t a distraction, though. Fullback Patrick DiMarco wasn’t even aware that Sanu talked so much on the field until he saw the Mic’d Up segment.
“You don’t really notice Mo, Mohamed Sanu, or at least I didn’t, but I watched his Mic’d Up this week, and he chirps a little bit, too,” DiMarco said. “It’s all in fun.”
Sanu agreed that it’s all in fun.
“It’s just me being me, having fun, enjoying myself,” Sanu said Thursday.
The Mic’d Up segment also gave a pretty good glimpse into Sanu’s personality. While he has a lot to say to opponents on the field, he’s a nice guy off of it.
After that touchdown catch, Sanu goes on to share some kind words about his opponent.
“I like him,” Sanu said. “He’s a good player, but he can’t cover me.”
Early in the segment, Sanu stops to take a photo of the Falcons’ longtime team photographer, Jimmy Cribb.
“Jimmy’s always taking pictures of us, so I felt like it was right for us — for me — to take a picture of him, you know?” Sanu said.
Sanu is the most prolific trash talker, but he isn’t the only one. Nick Williams and Devonta Freeman each received one vote, also.
“Nick’s kind of the enforcer,” Hooper said.
DiMarco said that Freeman’s trash talk doesn’t come from a place of malice.
“Free can be yappy, but he’s just such an emotional player,” DiMarco said. “That’s kind of where it comes from. It’s not like an angry intent. It’s kind of his way of staying in the zone and staying ready.”
On Sunday, the Falcons will face a Green Bay Packers defense that finished the 2016 season ranked No. 22 in the league for yards allowed per game. The Packers gave up 24.2 points per game, placing them 21st in the NFL. Mohamed Sanu should have some opportunities to talk trash to the Packers on Sunday.