Brady has nothing but options at wide receiver

529130.jpg

Brady has nothing but options at wide receiver

By Rich Levine
Standing Room Only

Theres no No. 1 receiver.

But thats how Brady likes it, right? Isnt he at his best when, as they say (and by they I mean everyone), his favorite receiver is the open receiver?

Personally, I thought he was pretty great the year he had a bonafide No. 1, set an NFL record for touchdowns, won 18 straight games and came within three or four fluke plays of winning the Super Bowl, BUT yeah, hes also pretty damn good when a No. 1 receiver isnt in the cards and for the second straight season, its not.

Welkers still the security blanket, and no one would be surprised if he grabs another 100 balls. The closer the Pats get to the goal line, the role of binky will shift to Rob Gronkowski whos in line for another double digit touchdown season (and thanks to the arrival of his brother, another 15 or so locker room rat tails). At this point, Aaron Hernandez is essentially a receiver a transition thats only enhanced by his adoption of Randy Moss old No. 81. (Oh man, what are they going to do when Randy comes back!?) Deion Branch will still be Deion Branch, for better (sure hands, clutch plays) or worse (injuries!). Julian Edelman will get one more chance to prove hes the next coming of Wes Welker before we resign to the fact that hes actually the next Tim Dwight (comparison only works with white guys, right?).

Can Taylor Price step in andor emerge as a deep threat? Is special teams captain Matt Slater only worthy of targets in the preseason? And what about Tiquan Underwoods Kid n' Play high top?! (OK, I know he was cut, but just wanted to talk about the hair one more time.) Those are all questions were asking right now, but since the start of this abbreviated training camp, the biggest questionstory at receiver has been, and will continue to be Chad Ochocinco.

Anyone who tries to tell you they know whats about to happen with Ocho is lying. No ones in his head. (Man, I just want five minutes in there.) And no ones sure of exactly how much he has left in the tank. Some say that hes been slow to pick up the offense, but with the amount of time Ocho spends studying, I have a hard time believing that will continue to be a problem and it still doesnt explain the drops.
At the end of the day (OK, preseason) the one thing we know, is that theres no No. 1.

With some QBs that might be a problem, but with Brady its an advantage.

Freeman, Coleman lift Falcons past Saints, 45-32

falcons_devonta_freeman_092616.jpg

Freeman, Coleman lift Falcons past Saints, 45-32

NEW ORLEANS - Devonta Freeman practically wore out the Superdome turf with one long gain after another, Tevin Coleman wouldn't be denied near the goal line and the New Orleans Saints hardly looked like the team that made an emotional homecoming nearly 10 years ago to the day.

Cheers turned to boos, and many fans filed out early.

Coleman rushed for three touchdowns, Matt Ryan passed for two TDs and Deion Jones returned an interception 90 yards for a score to help the Atlanta Falcons beat the winless New Orleans Saints 45-32 on Monday night.

"It was real fun. Everybody was doing their job and everybody was playing for each other," Coleman said. "Everything clicked, and we got it done. It's a real big win for us to beat this team here."

The game coincided with New Orleans' celebration of the 10-year anniversary of the Saints' memorable return to the Superdome on Sept. 25, 2006, 13 months after Hurricane Katrina. But there would be no reprise of New Orleans' dominant and emotional 23-3 triumph over Atlanta a decade ago.

The Saints' depleted defense struggled to slow Freeman, who rushed for 152 yards and caught five passes for 55 yards. Coleman also was effective in the passing game out of the backfield, with three receptions for 47 yards to go with his 42 yards rushing.

"We have to stop the run better," Saints coach Sean Payton said. "They were over 200 yards in situations where you knew the run was coming, even at the end of the game."

Ryan finished with 240 yards passing for Atlanta (2-1), which did not turn the ball over and moved into sole possession of first place in the NFC South.

Drew Brees put up his usual big numbers - 376 yards and three TDs passing - and hit tight end Coby Fleener seven times for 109 yards and a TD. But Brees' tipped pass that resulted in Jones' TD return early in the fourth quarter gave the Falcons a 45-25 lead that proved too much for New Orleans to overcome.