Douglas not forgotten man in Falcons offense

Harry Douglas will see plenty of action for the Falcons as part of a three wide receiver set this season. Curtis Compton/Ccompton@ajc.com

Harry Douglas will see plenty of action for the Falcons as part of a three wide receiver set this season. Curtis Compton/Ccompton@ajc.com

Vivlamore reporting from Flowery Branch.

Harry Douglas might get lost this season – and that’s a good thing for the Falcons offense.

The Falcons have a number of highly regarded receiving weapons at quarterback Matt Ryan’s disposal in wide receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones and tight end Tony Gonzalez. A defense’s dilemma in trying to stop them all may well be Douglas’ opportunity.

“Teams are going to double them,” Douglas said. “I always have to be ready, no matter what. Teams can’t double all three of them. … Like coach [Mike] Smith always says ‘You have to step up to the plate and do your job.’”

Douglas will be a key component of the Falcons offense as they have often operated from three wide receiver sets during the preseason. With White and Jones being deep threats and Gonzalez working the middle of the field, the speedy Douglas can be effective on crossing patterns. Ryan has completed an NFL-high 11 passes of 20 yards or more during the Falcons three exhibition games, including one of his three touchdown passes.

“We are connecting on [long passes],” Gonzalez said. “It’s not like we are throwing them down there and not connecting. Defenses are going to have to respect that and realize that we can do it at any time. It’s going to open things up underneath.

“The more that those guys can stretch the field and let me work the middle – and with Harry on the other side – it’s a good combination. It’s a good place for us to be.”

Douglas was effective last season with 39 receptions for 498 yards and one touchdown. He had eight catches for 133 yards against the Saints on Nov. 13.

The three wide receivers worked together most of the offseason in Atlanta, at and away from team headquarters, to get better. A little friendly competition never hurts. The group worked on several drills with bragging rights on the line – at least for one day.

“I remember one day, I beat them both in drills,” Douglas said. “The next day Roddy was upset about it and the next day he came in and he won the drills. That is the type of competitiveness you want out of the group. You want guys who are going to make each other better. There is never any jealousy or envy. We want the best for one another.”

And that translate onto the playing field.

“It makes you go hard,” Douglas added. “It makes you be competitive. It makes you always want to win, never accepting losing. If you lose a game, it makes you want to win the next day.”

Douglas says he wants to improve in all phases of the game as a receiver, noting in particular to be better at yards after catch, being aware of what defenses are being called and what blitzes might be coming.

Douglas could also be used in a punt return capacity, a role he is willing to fill if called upon. Douglas has not been part of the return game during exhibition games with Dominique Franks seeing most of the action. Smith said the team is already aware of what Douglas can do as a returner.

A team player is how Douglas wants to be known. He uses the term time and again when asked about himself or his role in the offense.

“There are going to be times when I’m going to get my chances,” Douglas said. “I’m not the type of guy who is going to complain about it. I’m here to do the job, whatever they ask me to do. We have two outstanding guys in Roddy and Julio, plus Tony [Gonzalez], Michael [Turner] and Matt [Ryan]. We’ve got great guys. If we all do our job, we can do some great things.”

- Chris Vivlamore

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41 comments Add your comment

chalkdawg4

August 27th, 2012
5:43 pm

Good read DLed. Looked like Kansas City got it handed to them last night. The opener is so damn important this year. Go Falcons!!!

Stupid

August 27th, 2012
6:10 pm

The Falcons have the most formidable receivers in the NFL. No defense will be able to stop them, they will win the super bowl. Nuff said.

Sick & Tired Of Being Sick & Tired

August 27th, 2012
6:26 pm

There is no question as to the quality of the Falcons receivers this year. The BIG ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM is whether or not the offensive line can protect long enough for Ryan to find the open receiver. Even in preseason Ryan has had to run for his life several times from a non-existent pocket. Most of the time the jail break was on Sam Baker……surprised????? OMG NOT!!!!!

Paddy

August 27th, 2012
6:32 pm

Chris/DLed……what is your take on Baker’s camp/games so far?

mountain_jim

August 27th, 2012
6:52 pm

Nope Sick – the jailbreak has been from the right side so far from what I have seen.

Mikey

August 27th, 2012
6:53 pm

We haven’t forgotten Douglas either… he is a force to reckoned with. Its so nice to be loaded at WR. I know there will be injuries and I hope to see four receiver sets much more than we ever have. This will be fun to watch and I hope this will be Douglas’ best year ever! Kudos to him for putting in all the hard work to fully recover from his devastating knee injury. GO FACLONS!

Rise Up Nation

August 27th, 2012
7:09 pm

I think having Douglass not only improves our other three recivers but it also improves our OLine with the crossing routes he can run meaning they only have to block for a shorter time. Really excited to see this team for four quarters against KC!

Michael M.

August 27th, 2012
8:03 pm

Douglas is a playmaker on that offense………you be surprised when they need a big play at a critical time who’s name is called by the announcer………………………………………………………….

[...] Ryan’s bulk and mass is more than just extending throws….its extending more… Douglas not forgotten man in Falcons offense – blogs.ajc.com 08/27/2012 Harry Douglas will see plenty of action for the Falcons as part of [...]

Judge Smails

August 27th, 2012
8:39 pm

I’ve been on the blogs for a week saying that we will have a hard time with this “high flying” passing game without a good running game.

So far, I have not seen anything to suggest that we can pound the ball between the tackles and contriol the clock like we dis for the last two seasons.

Anyone else concerned???

Judge Smails

August 27th, 2012
8:40 pm

First time Season Tix Holder

August 27th, 2012
9:31 pm

Enter your comments here

The Real Rick

August 27th, 2012
10:40 pm

I know that everyone is looking at Julio to be the long ball threat, but Douglas can be even more dangerous…….with 15-20 yarders……I love our receiving group……the line is the key…but they adequate in pre season……now stay healthy and let’s play ball

Falcon James

August 27th, 2012
10:42 pm

I think Douglas is huge weapon. He will burn some defenses this year.

The Real Rick

August 27th, 2012
10:48 pm

@ judge …turner obviously misses ovie…but I don’t think he was busting it in preseason…..he’ll find the groove on game day….

LOL at the Aints

August 27th, 2012
11:48 pm

LOL!!!!!!!!!!!

DR. FALCON

August 28th, 2012
12:16 am

SEENTHISB4, & HIRAMSAINT, YOU’D BETTER WATCH OUT! WE HAVE MORE WEAPONS NOW, THAN THE SAINTS! THATS INCLUDING JAQUIZZ RODGERS’ IMPROVEMENT, AS A PLAYER! THE FALCONS WILL SWEEP THE ‘AINTS THIS YEAR! CHEATERS, NEVER WIN!!! LOL! SEEN SEAN PAYTON LATELY?

qb/db

August 28th, 2012
1:24 am

You spend too much time trying to create drama. The Falcons got enough stuff going on but you pit them against themselves. Stp it!!!

Kuwait Falcon Fan

August 28th, 2012
2:32 am

I read on a different website how Garret Reynolds has been a RT since he started playing. He actually has the ideal size to play RT. I know Smith likes to “cross train” his offensive lineman and supposedly there’s a wide open competition at all spots, but I haven’t read anywhere where Garret Reynolds has had a chance to even practice at RT let alone try to win the job there. Peter Konz was moved to G even though he played his entire collegiate career at C (granted he actually has the ideal size for RG and played there at the high school level so its not like he doesn’t have experience.) It’s hard to argue with Smith’s regular season record but he is a defensive minded coach. Could someone please let Pat Hill have free reign with the O-line decisions?

Kuwait Falcon Fan

August 28th, 2012
2:33 am

I know this is a story about Douglas but Sick’s comments about the O-line got me thinking lol.

Birdman of Falcatraz

August 28th, 2012
4:02 am

I think you will see lots of roll outs to the right to run away from Sam Bakers side. Also a lot of screens thrown to Bakers side since his man will be in the backfield. They will scheme around their weakest link until such time as Lamar Holmes shows he can be as effective as Baker, which shouldn’t take long. If you also expect Konz to improve the right side and let Reynolds go back to being depth at RT, you might all of a sudden have a really good Oline.

[...] Harry Douglas not the forgotten man in the Falcons offense [...]

JROLL1

August 28th, 2012
8:34 am

The only person who forgot about Harry was Mike Mularkey!!!! Go out and ball now Harry!

dean

August 28th, 2012
9:23 am

Thank you JROLL1. My sentiments exactly last year.

DC Dirty Bird

August 28th, 2012
11:22 am

HD should have a legit season in the slot. We’ve got to design plays to get him the ball in space and on the run.

P B Orr

August 28th, 2012
12:15 pm

D-Led – get us an interview with the Kid, Dominique Davis! Man it feels good to know that Ryan has someone realistic behind him.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 28th, 2012
2:26 pm

P.B. Orr — We were way out in front on D.D. Here’s the story from Aug. 14. http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-falcons-blog/2012/08/14/atlanta-falcons-dominique-davis-and-ryan-reunited/ Everybody is just now catching up.

[...] Harry Douglas not the forgotten man in the Falcons offense [...]

Esquire

August 28th, 2012
8:15 pm

Stupid
August 27th, 2012
6:10 pm

The Falcons have the most formidable receivers in the NFL. No defense will be able to stop them, they will win the super bowl. Nuff said.
————————————————————————
FACT

[...] Harry Douglas not the forgotten man in the Falcons offense [...]

tlk abt it

August 30th, 2012
10:42 am

wtf yall talkin bout if douglas is so good why did they go out n get julio jones idiots!!!!!

Left Coast Dawg

August 30th, 2012
5:16 pm

@tlk abt it – you don’t know wtf you are talking about?! Douglas was never meant to be or rather have a Jones type of impact but there was and still are expectations that he will sufficiently fill that 3rd (slot receiver) position. Teams better not get caught with a LB matched up against him or they will get burned. I even like his chances against most NCB’s.

[...] Harry Douglas not the forgotten man in the Falcons offense [...]

[...] Harry Douglas not the forgotten man in the Falcons offense [...]

[...] Harry Douglas not the forgotten man in the Falcons offense [...]

[...] Harry Douglas not the forgotten man in the Falcons offense [...]

[...] Harry Douglas not the forgotten man in the Falcons offense [...]

[...] Harry Douglas not the forgotten man in the Falcons offense [...]

[...] Harry Douglas not the forgotten man in the Falcons offense [...]

[...] Harry Douglas not the forgotten man in the Falcons offense [...]

[...] Harry Douglas not the forgotten man in the Falcons offense [...]