Following practice on Monday afternoon, Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn discussed the depth the team has at the wide receiver position via The Falcoholic’s Jeanna Thomas:
“It’s definitely what you want, where you have difficult decisions. When you’re in that space, that means you’ve done a good job of either developing some players who were on the way up or adding playing into the mix. The receiver is one of those spots, whereas you’re looking at roster spots five, six, seven, and who has the developmental experience to push through, that’s a big deal. That’s why these next three weeks for a number of these guys, to show what you can do in those moments, it’s a big thing. We do like the depth that we have. We’ve got some speed at some different spots. What can they do on teams? Who has return ability? Those are some of the things that factor into those last few spots on the 53.”
When asked if he could envision having seven wide receivers on the roster, Dan Quinn responded:
”Sure. Just the way the game is going now? I think when you have the space to do it, who could be totally devoted to a special teams role? That would be something to consider. It seems high, but as you go through it, past receiver, what would the roles be on the team? If you look at it that way, maybe it’s a 52 man roster, and there are one or two special teams players that go, but we’ve got to put them at somewhere, at a position. It could be heavy at running back, heavy at receiver, heavy at tight end. You know, just a matter of how we want to utilize those guys.”
Even though the 30 other NFL teams are entering the second week of Preseason, the Falcons are fortunate to have two games already under their belt. Christian Blake led the team in both receptions and receiving yards in the Hall of Fame game against the Denver Broncos. In the Week 1 preseason game against the Miami Dolphins, Khalil Lewis led the receivers with 43 receiving yards. The biggest takeaway from the first two weeks is arguably the emergence of second-year wide receiver Russell Gage. Even though his stat line against the Dolphins wasn’t earth-shattering, only 33 yards, he looked very good to everyone who watched the game.
Currently the Falcons wide receivers are: Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu, Calvin Ridley, Russell Gage, Justin Hardy, Devin Gray, Marcus Green, Olamide Zaccheaus, Christian Blake, Shawn Bane, Khalil Lewis, and C.J. Worton. If the Falcons did decide to carry 7 wide receivers, it would likely mean one of them would handle return duties on special teams, and also one less spot at another position. Luckily, we still have three more games to let the position figure itself out.