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Battle For Falcons’ Final Wr Spot Expected To Drag On


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Battle For Falcons’ Final WR Spot Expected to Drag On

Jay Adams

Published June 29, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Falcons wide receivers coach Terry Robiskie has quite the battle on his hands, and he’s expecting it to rage on for quite a while. Losing Eric Weems during free agency was certainly a hit to the Falcons’ special teams units, but it has also put the state of the wide receiving corps in a bit of flux during the offseason.

The Falcons’ wide receiving unit is one that gets its fair share of the spotlight, with the combination of Roddy White and Julio Jones being one of the best in the NFL. But every spot on the Falcons’ 53-man roster is crucial, and the open void left by Weems’ departure is one Robiskie is focused on filling.

With a roster filled with candidates, Robiskie certainly has his pick. Two in particular — Kevin Cone and Drew Davis — would seem to be the likely favorites after spending a year on the practice squad in 2011, but college free agents James Rodgers, Michael Calvin, Marcus Jackson and Kenny Stafford can’t be overlooked.

“We’ve got to find someone who can step up and be Eric Weems,” Robiskie said. “Somebody here was Eric Weems before Eric Weems, so we’ve got to have somebody that wants to step up with the group I have. Somebody’s got to step up and say, ‘Hey, Coach. Eric Weems left. I know what he did, I know the contribution he made and what a good player he was. Coach, I want that job.’

“Whichever one of my guys is going to do that through… training camp and preseason games, he’ll be the guy that’ll have that spot.”

Robiskie doesn’t expect this decision to be made lightly. In fact, he said he expects the battle for that final wide receiver spot going all the way through 2012 Russell Athletic Training Camp and the entire preseason.

Cone, who was a late addition to the Falcons’ training camp roster in 2011, took the opportunity presented to him last year and ran with it. A wide receiver from an option-happy Georgia Tech offense, Cone caught just five passes in his college career before earning a spot on the Falcons’ practice squad before eventually making his way to the 53-man roster for the final game of the regular season and the wild-card matchup against the Giants.

Davis was another college free agent last season who turned in an impressive training camp to earn a practice squad spot. The Oregon product honorable mention All-Pac-10 honors and was a co-recipient of the Todd Doxey Award, given to the Oregon player who exemplifies the traits of dedication associated with being an outstanding teammate as a senior. He caught 42 passes for 470 yards and three touchdowns in 2010 and helped lead the Ducks to the BCS National Championship Game. In four seasons in with the Ducks, Davis appeared in 46 games and caught 73 passes for 823 yards with six touchdowns.

With Robiskie expecting the preseason to be the proving ground for his younger wide receivers, Davis said he’s putting a lot of emphasis on making the most of those four exhibition games to impress Robiskie — as well as special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong.

“I do, because most people don’t get a chance to play in the season, so the preseason is a chance to prove yourself not only on offense, but on special teams, too. That’s where you’re getting evaluated a lot, too. Going in there, making sure you’re popping up on film — whether it’s offense, special teams or just making sure you’re in the film when the game ends is most important.”

Built most like Weems and a darkhorse candidate for kick and punt return duties, Rodgers — brother of Falcons running back Jacquizz Rodgers — finished his career as one of the greatest receivers and all-purpose players in Oregon State history. He established a school record with 222 career receptions, including an OSU record 91 catches in 2009. He also set the Oregon State career record with 6,377 all-purpose yards and is the first player in OSU history with 1,000 yards rushing and 2,000 yards receiving.

Calvin’s college career at Cal was derailed by a knee injury, which dropped him on the depth chart, but he’s capable of putting up solid numbers with a 6-2, 210-pound frame.

Jackson, a product of Lamar University in the Southland Conference, is the first player out of its football program to reach the NFL since the school reinstituted the sport two years ago. He caught 65 passes for 1,159 yards and 14 touchdowns during his two seasons at Lamar.

Stafford, out of Toledo, was a tryout invite during the Falcons’ rookie minicamp in May. He caught 21 passes for 272 yards and one touchdown in 2011 at Toledo.

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The titles a bit confusing. It seems more like they are talking about who will do return duty otherwise they would have mentioned Meier also cause I know I don't want a 5'7" WR in Rogers but obviously he might fare well in return duty.

Yea but he's a pretty decent WR as well, these stats are not bad for 9 games as a senior, and I like the fact he was a team captain, says something about his heart, a guy that small, but his knees are a flag even though he came back and finished strong last year .......IMO he may be a better WR than Weems was .........

RECEIVING RUSHING SPLIT REC YDS AVG LNG TD ATT YDS AVG LNG

TD

Season 45 514 11.4 31 3 11 75 6.8 19 0

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The titles a bit confusing. It seems more like they are talking about who will do return duty otherwise they would have mentioned Meier also cause I know I don't want a 5'7" WR in Rogers but obviously he might fare well in return duty.

Eric Weems was Atlanta's #5 WR, and its returner and gunner. Atlanta is trying to replace Weems with another #5 WR who can also play Special Teams. I think Jay Adams was assuming that Meier is Atlanta's #4 WR, and thus the final battle will be for the last WR slot, as Atlanta usually carries five WRs on its final roster.

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Eric Weems was Atlanta's #5 WR, and its returner and gunner. Atlanta is trying to replace Weems with another #5 WR who can also play Special Teams. I think Jay Adams was assuming that Meier is Atlanta's #4 WR, and thus the final battle will be for the last WR slot, as Atlanta usually carries five WRs on its final roster.

That makes more sense and honestly after the 3rd WR slot is known then it really comes down to special teams contributors.

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This article upsets me. Especially the quoted comments from Robiske.

I mean, why are we assuming we are only looking for a #5? If we want someone to replace Weems (who was average at best) and look no further, then that is all we will ever get. Nothing more. We set our sights too low. To the contrary, if someone like Rogers or the lanky tight end from Minnesota comes out on a tear, why isn't the sky the limit for them?

I think assuming Meier is #4 and even HD is #3 is assuming too much. Meier has barely seen the field and we're just gonna GIVE him the 4 slot? And HD has never seen the "breakout" so often promised.

We hurt ourselves by thinking too much in the box and assuming too much. The Giants fans BEGGED for Victor Cruz to get a chance after he shined in pre-season, and look what happened. Their free agent from UMass out performed our 1st round stud rookie. Nothing against Julio, but fact is fact. Cruz was a better receiver last year.

Look at how long it took our free agent from Shippensburg State to prove he was a better option than Chris Owens or even Dunta at CB? How many people doubt that now? There are a LOT of people eating crow.

We talk a good game with comments like "no sacred cows, open competition, etc...." but when it comes down to it, do we walk that walk? REALLY???

If a 105 lb. walk-on shows up and returns kicks like a cross between Deion Sanders and Gayle Sayers, then by God, HE SHOULD GET THE JOB.

Edited by since68andcounting
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This article upsets me. Especially the quoted comments from Robiske.

I mean, why are we assuming we are only looking for a #5? If we want someone to replace Weems (who was average at best) and look no further, then that is all we will ever get. Nothing more. We set our sights too low. To the contrary, if someone like Rogers or the lanky tight end from Minnesota comes out on a tear, why isn't the sky the limit for them?

I think assuming Meier is #4 and even HD is #3 is assuming too much. Meier has barely seen the field and we're just gonna GIVE him the 4 slot? And HD has never seen the "breakout" so often promised.

We hurt ourselves by thinking too much in the box and assuming too much. The Giants fans BEGGED for Victor Cruz to get a chance after he shined in pre-season, and look what happened. Their free agent from UMass out performed our 1st round stud rookie. Nothing against Julio, but fact is fact. Cruz was a better receiver last year.

Look at how long it took our free agent from Shippensburg State to prove he was a better option than Chris Owens or even Dunta at CB? How many people doubt that now? There are a LOT of people eating crow.

We talk a good game with comments like "no sacred cows, open competition, etc...." but when it comes down to it, do we walk that walk? REALLY???

If a 105 lb. walk-on shows up and returns kicks like a cross between Deion Sanders and Gayle Sayers, then by God, HE SHOULD GET THE JOB.

According to half this board Meier is the second coming of Jerry Rice ............rolleyes.gif

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Guest Dtan (Elite Poster)

This article upsets me. Especially the quoted comments from Robiske.

I mean, why are we assuming we are only looking for a #5? If we want someone to replace Weems (who was average at best) and look no further, then that is all we will ever get. Nothing more. We set our sights too low. To the contrary, if someone like Rogers or the lanky tight end from Minnesota comes out on a tear, why isn't the sky the limit for them?

I think assuming Meier is #4 and even HD is #3 is assuming too much. Meier has barely seen the field and we're just gonna GIVE him the 4 slot? And HD has never seen the "breakout" so often promised.

We hurt ourselves by thinking too much in the box and assuming too much. The Giants fans BEGGED for Victor Cruz to get a chance after he shined in pre-season, and look what happened. Their free agent from UMass out performed our 1st round stud rookie. Nothing against Julio, but fact is fact. Cruz was a better receiver last year.

Look at how long it took our free agent from Shippensburg State to prove he was a better option than Chris Owens or even Dunta at CB? How many people doubt that now? There are a LOT of people eating crow.

We talk a good game with comments like "no sacred cows, open competition, etc...." but when it comes down to it, do we walk that walk? REALLY???

If a 105 lb. walk-on shows up and returns kicks like a cross between Deion Sanders and Gayle Sayers, then by God, HE SHOULD GET THE JOB.

You're hired.

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According to half this board Meier is the second coming of Jerry Rice ............rolleyes.gif

I don't think I've ever seen anything on this board that even considers Meier at any higher position than a #4 or #5 WR. That's not comparing him to Rice.

Some feel he would be a good replacement for a Finneran but that role has more or less been filled By Gonzo--so Meier has not gotten much playing time. not unusual for a backup in the Falcon scheme of things.

if you need a possession Receiver and your options are Meier and Gonzo -- who you gonna call?

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This article upsets me. Especially the quoted comments from Robiske.

We hurt ourselves by thinking too much in the box and assuming too much. The Giants fans BEGGED for Victor Cruz to get a chance after he shined in pre-season, and look what happened. Their free agent from UMass out performed our 1st round stud rookie. Nothing against Julio, but fact is fact. Cruz was a better receiver last year.

Juilio missed a few games (4?) so you need to adjust the numbers--- Cruz( do not know what he missed)---also Cruz had Eli throwing to him Julio had Ryan.

Edited by delaigle
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For 20% of the time, when he's not injured.

I admire your desire to keep posting no matter how dumb you look when you do it.

In the 20% he's played, he's had more yards, receptions, and TDs than Douglas and Meier combined.

Zing.

Edited by Mr. Right
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I beleive that James Rodgers will earn the spot as the 5th wide receiver on this team. He does have good speed and he brings some good credentials as a kick/pnt returner. I don't have anything against Meier, but he doesn't have the break away speed that some of the best wide receivers have and It it extremely premature to compare Meier to a hall of fame receiver such as Jerry Rice. I don't think anyone should go there in that comparison.

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According to half this board Meier is the second coming of Jerry Rice ............rolleyes.gif

I've never seen anybody say that, but people are high on him because he has great hands, pretty good speed & runs good routes. all anybody is saying is that the guy has the potential to make plays but wasn't being used.

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This article upsets me. Especially the quoted comments from Robiske.

I mean, why are we assuming we are only looking for a #5? If we want someone to replace Weems (who was average at best) and look no further, then that is all we will ever get. Nothing more. We set our sights too low. To the contrary, if someone like Rogers or the lanky tight end from Minnesota comes out on a tear, why isn't the sky the limit for them?

I think assuming Meier is #4 and even HD is #3 is assuming too much. Meier has barely seen the field and we're just gonna GIVE him the 4 slot? And HD has never seen the "breakout" so often promised.

We hurt ourselves by thinking too much in the box and assuming too much. The Giants fans BEGGED for Victor Cruz to get a chance after he shined in pre-season, and look what happened. Their free agent from UMass out performed our 1st round stud rookie. Nothing against Julio, but fact is fact. Cruz was a better receiver last year.

Look at how long it took our free agent from Shippensburg State to prove he was a better option than Chris Owens or even Dunta at CB? How many people doubt that now? There are a LOT of people eating crow.

We talk a good game with comments like "no sacred cows, open competition, etc...." but when it comes down to it, do we walk that walk? REALLY???

If a 105 lb. walk-on shows up and returns kicks like a cross between Deion Sanders and Gayle Sayers, then by God, HE SHOULD GET THE JOB.

Indeed. Those 4th and 5th receiver positions should be for guys who are going to compete to win a slot or outside receiving position. Guys who will push the starters, and take over with little problem when a starter goes down. If all you have is a special teamer as depth, then when you have an injury, your offense will take a major hit.

We also have this issue at DE, OLB, TE, etc. The guys who aren't the starters, they're just looking for role players, and tend to sign guys with low ceilings. This is the great place to have the high ceiling guys. Get a speedster who will work hard...he can still be great on special teams...and coach him up to hopefully be better than your current starters.

Give yourself a chance to have stars come from nowhere.

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I beleive that James Rodgers will earn the spot as the 5th wide receiver on this team. He does have good speed and he brings some good credentials as a kick/pnt returner. I don't have anything against Meier, but he doesn't have the break away speed that some of the best wide receivers have and It it extremely premature to compare Meier to a hall of fame receiver such as Jerry Rice. I don't think anyone should go there in that comparison.

Yeah no one should be compared to Jerry Rice but maybe Steve Largent lol. i just want to see Meier get some meaningful playing time.

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