Saints wide receivers offer a mix of experience and youth

Saints wide receivers offer a mix of experience and youth
Michael Thomas terrorized the Bucs defense all day. (Source: Mark LaGrange)

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - When looking at the Saints wide receiver depth chart, it all begins with No. 13, Michael Thomas. Thomas is heading into his fifth season, owner of several NFL records, but his coaches believe he can be even better.

“Well he better break some more records. That’s what he better be doing,” Saints assistant Curtis Johnson joked. "I think Michael Thomas is a student of the game. He loves football, he’s a football junkie, he’s a smart guy. I wish he’d block a little bit better. We can put that in there, let’s throw that in. But last year he really stepped up and played everywhere and did everything we asked him to do. He can also improve on catching every ball, instead of dropping like one or two.”

One player that should help Thomas is the presence of Emmanuel Sanders, who signed with the Saints this offseason. Though he hasn’t been able to be with his new team, they have big plans for him this season.

“The one guy we got to get is Emmanuel Sanders. We got to get him going a little bit. I think he’s a smart guy. I’ve probably talked to him probably more than anyone. I know he likes to play a lot of golf. That’s it. that’s a joke but he’s a tremendous player. We were talking the other day myself, RC and Pete Carmichael putting plays together in for him. Use his strengths.”

As for a third receiver, it remains to be seen who emerges. They have young developmental players like Emmanuel Butler and Lil’ Jordan Humphrey. Return specialist Deonte Harris could see his role expand. Then there’s third year pro Tre’Quan Smith, a player Johnson believes can be a difference maker.

"The one thing I would say about Tre’Quan also (is) we took him from an outside receiver and moved him to an inside receiver by necessity. He’s been outstanding doing those things. We’ve just got to continue to work with him on some of the things that he never did in college and didn’t do very much of in the first year that he was here. I think his improvement is going to be drastic and I think he’s going to have a breakout year. Y’all can write that down! .”

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